Well we’ve said we’re going to do this big adventure, all our friends and family know, so now the process of figuring out what we need to do and how we’ll get it all done.
We need a 5th wheel. We need a truck.
We’ve started conversations with the kids’ current teachers and administrators. We know we are lucky that our kids love school, reading, writing, and math. We will get copies of the standards and especially try to keep the kids on track with Language Arts and Math since they tend to build on previous lessons.
We’ve started a list of what we want to see in each state.
We’ve started to-do lists – oh the to-do’s!! What to pack – have to be mindful of both space and weight constraints! What can we take to make it feel like home, without taking too much stuff? This will be interesting, stayed tuned!
I was a hard core tent camper. And not those big honkin’ multi-room tents but the ultra light backpacking units. I thought anyone who needed a trailer to pull their “tent” was a sissy. Then we rented a popup camper and it was awesome!! We started thinking about doing a long term trip and realized that we’d need something more substantial than a pop up. And so it came to be…I’m now a sissy (but I still absolutely love the simplicity of backpacking). With my pride swallowed we began the search for our tenement on wheels.
We had found a good deal on a 5th wheel that seemed to be just what we wanted. We drove 6 hours (RT) one day to check it out and make sure it was The One. We made an SMS-based deal with the sellers. But we had no clue what the rest of the process looked like. Steph and I have bought several different houses. Like real estate this was a pretty big purchase and it will be our home….but it has wheels so its more like a vehicle….right? Steph and I have bought several cars, always used, twice with salvage titles, and always with cash. But almost none of that experience translated to buying this fifth wheel. What to do? Read more →
No, not a television….a tow vehicle. However, it is a little funny that our 300 square foot home on wheels has 2….that’s right, TWO, a pair, of televisions and our sticks and bricks has only one. The thought of the downsize we are making is sometimes daunting but then I remind myself….this RV has 2 bathrooms, 5 beds (and soon a guest bed), 2 kitchens and 2 TVs! It’s a mansion….a veritable castle relative to the majority of the homes of the world’s population.
But that’s not what you came to read about! Alright, tow vehicles. Read more →
Once again my good buddy Eric lends a huge helping hand with winterizing the trailer. Its mid October here in CO and the nights are getting chilly. It won’t be long until we start dropping below the freezing mark. So we gave the grey and black tanks a really good cleaning, drained the fresh water tank and drained the water lines. We also pulled the plug on the water heater. You’d think that draining the water lines would do the trick but we hooked the compressor up to the water inlet and, whoa nelly, there was still a LOT of water in the lines. But after awhile we were just getting air out of all the fixtures. I then poured a little antifreeze down each of the drains. I think I’m going to order some Fresh Cab to deter mice from moving into our rolling castle. I also saw a pretty clever mouse trap you can build with a 5 gallon bucket….maybe I’ll try that too.
I had really wished that we could get a trip under our belts, but its not going to happen. There are so many benefits to getting some time in the trailer before rolling out long term….but we don’t want to do it the easy way!
Whats the deal with couches these days? The arm to butt space ratio is WAY out of wack. We found this out when our family grew to 5 members and our tiny loveseat in our tiny TV room didn’t have enough room for 5 butts…but only because the arms of the loveseat took up at least one, if not two, butts worth of space. We figured out that the Ikea Karlstad couch (plus the chaise for lounge-ability) would just fit in our room and had enough space for all 5 of us. The couch has arms appropriately sized for an average human arm, which is the most frequent use case for couches in our house. I watched Craigslist like a hawk and ended up scoring the EXACT unit we wanted, almost brand new (was in a family’s vacation home) for $200 and located less than a mile from our house. Well, it seems that the poofy, luxury couches that come in most RVs are designed for Popeye’s big arms and tiny butt just like the sticks and bricks counterparts.
My one word for 2015 is trust. It really became my word in late 2014 and so I decided to use it in 2015 as well. As we prepare to head out on our adventure there have been numerous items where trust plays a big role. For me trust is tricky because I sorta want it to be a one way street….I want people to trust me but its hard to trust other people sometimes. And not just people, but God.
Nope….again, not that kind of TV. I’m talking about the news on the tow vehicle! Its been rainy and dreary here in CO and that coupled with my random decision to give up caffeine for a bit has left me sort of in the dumps. I felt completely paralyzed with what to do about trip preparation….and we’re only 10 weeks (or so ) out!! Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!
My search for a truck so far has led me to believe you can only find DRW trucks in CO….the SRW’s are at least a state away. I found one in KS and another in UT recently. Essentially the same truck and price. Getting the one in Salt Lake was an easy (and cheap….$59 one way) flight but KS what a bit trickier. I debated….I thought….I dawdled….I pinched my pennies like those souvenir penny smashers….I drug my feet. When I got home from church last night I did a quick search and found an even BETTER deal than I have found to date!! My good buddy Scott Middleton at Insight Automotive is assisting me in checking it out and quite possibly buying it for us!!
I’ve read about several folks who took up the “fulltiming” life because they were fed up with their situation, their job, their neighborhood, the rat race or whatever. And I commend folks for having the wisdom to see they are unhappy and the courage to try something different. But our story is a bit different. For one, we are not really “fulltiming” because we are only going for 6 months. But also, we are not trying to escape from anything (well, perhaps a break from some of the hustle and bustle will be refreshing).
When we moved to Old Town Longmont in 1999 I was sure it was just going to be one step in our real estate future that would eventually put us on a several acre plot outside of town with plenty of storage for stuff and lots of privacy….perfect for my introverted life! We were renovating our 1890’s house and were starting to think about a place in the country (well, I was…..I think Steph was just humoring me). We’d go out house shopping and when we would come back to the ‘hood I’d get this feeling. A really good feeling. Like I was home. But this just could not be possible. Our house was too small, the yard too cramped, no garage, a shed that is shared with our neighbor whos house is only 9 feet from ours. But there was no denying the feeling…this was home.
Sort of a trivial step in the process but finally got around to getting Ava (our fifth wheel) officially titled in Colorado in our names! I strolled the few block downtown to the DMV and was pleasantly surprised that there were exactly zero persons in front of me in line! Armed with the bill of sale, the title from the seller and a completed VIN verification form I walked out with a license plate, registration, title (actually this will get mailed to my house later), and my bank account further diminished. I should mention that my first attempt to do this was thwarted by the lack of the VIN verification form. When a vehicle (or at least a trailer) was previously titled out of state you have to have a qualified person do a VIN verification….that is, they verify that the VIN on the vehicle matches that on the title. In Colorado this can be done at emissions testing stations or by a dealership. I used the latter and was able to get them to go to the trailer instead of taking the trailer to them.