After trimming all the trees, and backing up the new camper for the hundredth time, we were finally able to unhook, level, and pull down the steps. As we put out the awning and slides, I realized just how ridiculous this camper was. After making the decision of our year long adventure, we quickly realized that our current Keystone Outback 312BHQ travel trailer would not suffice for all of us. After searching for months, we finally found the one! It’s a Forest River Sabre 36BHQ 5th wheel, and it’s nicer than my home. Quite frankly, I’m a bit embarrassed. We are trying to minimize our life in order to go on this journey, but we didn’t say it had to be uncomfortable. There are numerous reasons as to why we decided to purchase a larger camper. For starters, Joseph will still be working from the road full time, and the girls will be homeschooling. In GTFO, it was already tight on a week long trip. Second, I couldn’t put on my pants in my room. I could wave to the neighbor while putting on my pants! “Hello neighbors!” In our new “home,” Joseph will be able to work from our bedroom using a flip up desk that we will be making. Second, the girls can work from the living area or their bedroom. Finally and most importantly, I can get dressed in my room. Hallelujah! No more putting on my pants between the couch and sink!
Let’s backtrack for just a moment. Why in the world are most camper layouts not as family friendly as they could be? With all of the bunkhouses we looked at and toured, in the beginning of our quest and this time around, none of them had adequate storage AND bunk beds for the kids. In our Outback travel trailer, it offered great bunk beds for the girls, but it lacked clothing storage. We found a temporary solution for storing the girls clothing while vacationing, which included a laundry basket on the top right bunk. Since we were only taking trips here and there, it wasn’t a huge problem. Our new home on wheels didn’t have the bunk beds, but it did have better storage. The bunkhouse had a tri-fold couch and a mini me bunk bed on top. We are blessed to have some very handy dandy friends, who are going to help us build bunk beds for the spot. I’ll post before and after pictures once we are finished. In all seriousness though, RV Manufacturers, PLEASE remember that we all need a place to sleep AND store our clothes!
Over the past month, we have repacked all of our stuff back into our new home, hung up our pictures, and did many upgrades. I’m pretty sure I have seen the UPS man more than my friends. I’m not going to lie, seeing the UPS man delivering yet again another Amazon package does make my day, even though it adds another to do on my list. We have bought our stinky slinky a support system, not like a support group, but a bridge to help keep things flowing. There is nothing more attractive than watching someone lift the hose to assure everything is out and clear. We purchased a Canada and a United States map to keep up with what states and provinces we visit. Two items that have been by far the best and cheapest upgrades would have to be the screen door cross bar handle and roof vent cover. Both were easy to install and took very little time. Other upgrades included a paper towel holder for under the sink, numerous command hooks/accessories, a weather station for indoor/ outdoor temperature, and motion activated LED strip lights for all of the deep cabinets. As I am typing this, the UPS man is pulling in with yet another package. I’m excited but now there is more work to be done.
In the past few weeks, we have been busy bees getting our life in order with wrapping up unfinished projects, getting the house ready to put on the rental market, prepping the camper, packing/goodwill-ing/ selling our stuff, and planning our route all before departing. I try to keep in mind that all of this hard work is for our future, a way to become closer as a family, and make incredible memories. This trip is an experiment for our family, it is also an adventure, whether we are gone for the entire year or just six months. It is better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all. We are naturally nomadic by moving every couple of years. It’s taken me until recently to come to terms with this. I have felt like we needed to grow roots in one place and call it home until we die, but after a few years, we get that itch again… and we have it bad! Instead of moving our family and selling our house, we have decided to take a different route. This route has been an idea for almost a year and a plan for a couple of months, but a dream of ours for a lifetime. We are going to travel around the United States for a year in our camper. Crazy, right? Yeah, we are. Exciting, right? Yes, it is! We need an adventure, a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel as a family, and to experience many things on our bucket list.
Our first handful of trips have been exciting, new, and adventurous, but what happens when the honeymoon phase is over?