Happy Nomadiversary To Us – Top 5 Lessons Learned! 

Holy cow, what just happened?  How did an entire year go by of living in our RV?  There were for sure times where days felt like weeks and seasons would never end, BUT! We have never put a time limit on our fulltime traveling but I can’t even imagine only doing this for a year, which is a typical goal a lot subscribe to.

If you’ve seen everything all in a year your moving super fast and man you must be exhausted! We took the Southern route from the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean and back and we still want to see so many things we missed along this route. The Grand Canyon for one, how did we miss that big hole in the ground? Well it was Winter and its snowy and cold that time of year so not ideal, at least not for us!So a year in and we have no future plans of stopping this life style. We’ve learned a few things and have tweaked a few of our travel norms as well. Plus we know that if we don’t adapt swiftly to change our lives will be pretty miserable. Everyday the road throws you a curve ball and if you don’t roll with the punches it will beat you down and your lucky if it spits you back out.

OK, so a few major things we figured out while traveling were

#1 – We bought a camp ground membership to Thousand Trails. 

In a nut shell the Thousand Trails membership lets you stay at one of their numerous locations for cheap or free for up to 3 weeks at a time depending on your level of membership you purchased. I won’t go into the tricky ins and outs of it cause it’s kinda like buying airline tickets. We started out with their basic Zone pass and 6 months later we now have one of their highest level Elite memberships (bought used). The way we are traveling, this upgrade just made sense financially and it was a less stressful way to travel as well, here’s why:

  • We gained access to more parks (81 nation wide).
  • We can stay for 3 weeks at each location.
  • We can move from park to park w/o having to stay out of the system.
  • We don’t have to pay any additional fee per day unless we need 50amp at some of them.
  • We can book out 120 days in advance.
  • Discounts at more reciprocal RV resorts.
  • It’s soooo affordable, it’s not a posh resort by any stretch. It’s like like Forrest Gump said about the box of chocolates, “you never know what your gonna get”.
  • We’ve met a lot of great families at these parks and run into each other again at others across the country, it’s fun!

#2 – The weather isn’t something you will ever figure out.

We set out to stay the Winter in Southern California cause, well, it’s Southern Cali, mild and sunny, RIGHT? Sooo wrong, at least in our experience. It was a record breaking year for rain this past Winter where we stayed and man it was not awesome. So much rain and wind and cold that seemed never ending!  I lived in San Diego a few decades back, I know what it’s supposed to be like, this was the opposite. Also the wind, who knew that the Southern CA/AZ/NM/TX region had a windy Winter season, yes everyone except us! We had an amazing week planned to visit several National Parks in New Mexico and had to make hard and fast decisions to divert while driving to get ahead of this front we were driving strait into. Where we were heading was reporting 30-50 mph sustained winds with 80 mph gusts, that’s Tropical Storm worthy.  So back tracking through New Mexico is on our to do list cause we really still want to go to White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns National Park!

National Parks pass is our #3, it’s a must have!  

It’s soooo amazing and a really cheap and amazing way to see the country. $80 for an annual family pass or cheaper if your a senior/military/disabled or like us next year we have a 4th grader in tow which earns us a free one for the year, thanks to the Every Kid In A Park program! It’s really easy to spend all the money sightseeing, but if you enjoy the outdoors, hiking & history then this pass is a no-brainer. We’ve come to realize these parks are huge and being able to go back multiple times is a huge perk.  Trying to cram it all in one day is exhausting.  Plus they have a really amazing Jr. Ranger program which gives our kids a chance to earn a badge or patch while learning about the park they are exploring.  Its homeschooling made easy and personally I’ve learned more about these places just from visiting than I ever did in a school book.  One of our favorite shows is Rock the Park on ABC as well as Netflix and Hulu.  If you don’t get a chance to visit all the parks this show will give you a great overview of whats there to explore.  #4 – Something we couldn’t predict, but it really was a possibility was that things would break and need fixing/replacing on our RV/Truck.

We bought new and a big perk was the warranty for this exact reason. However, once all your stuff is in your RV the thought of having to take it to a dealership for warranty work and either sleep over night in the RV dealership parking lot or get a hotel seems less than ideal. We picked a company that has built a great customer service reputation, Grand Design. Their stuff breaks just like all the other competitors, but the way they handle it is the big difference. Most parts/furnishings come from the same handful of distributors and quality control has a long way to go in this industry, sigh! To avoid the above mentioned scenarios we’ve had parts shipped to us, called ahead and had parts shipped to dealership and had Mobil techs sent out to fix the problem. I’ve heard of many horror stories of those spending weeks to months in a dealership to get warranty work done. RV dealerships are a major part of the RV industries problem as well regarding communication breakdown and lack of customer service. Choosing to repair things our self, sometimes even out of pocket was worth the money in exchange for our sanity. That’s why deciding to DIY as much as possible has made our lives way more easier to keep this journey going. So many things have broke and if you let it get you down you will miss whats right outside you door.

Take a look at our laundry list of repairs

Finally, #5 is taking time to enjoy the adventure.

It’s easy to swiftly move from one national treasure to the next and not even stop to smell the roses, just checking it off your sight seeing list. We have slowed down some and are trying to soak up as much of our surroundings as possible before we pack up and move on down the road. Everyone has their own path and feeling, sometimes feeling like your not living up to an expectation or feeling sorry or guilty for missing a must see spot.

Our journey is unfolding exactly the way it’s supposed to be. Do I get sad cause our rig is too big to fit into some really amazing camp sites, yes!  But I’m thankful for all the things that rig does for us and it’s the right size for our needs at this exact moment. We’ve met a lot of people who have been doing this a long time and are moving on to new adventures like fulltime living on a sailboat, downsizing to a smaller RV, buying a campground, buying land to build a house on and the list goes on and on. It’s so interesting to watch all these stories change and unfold. We have no timeline as mentioned before, we are having a blast on this adventure and cant wait to see what this next year brings!

Check out our RV inside and out

 

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

 

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Moving Day

Relocating your home takes some practice and patience. Since we’ve been traveling we have moved a couple dozen times. I’m pretty confident in our moving day routine at this point. My husband takes care of all exterior details while I concentrate on the inside.

In this video you will see what our RV looks like inside right before we pull our slides in to move. Many things get taken down or off of from where they live while stationary. But, you’ll be very surprised how much also stays right where it is. It’s been a big lesson in trial and error. Sometimes we loose this experiment!

Hope you enjoy this inside sneak peek and we plan to show you a more detailed video soon regarding all the things we’ve changed since we bought our RV so stay toned!

Hope you enjoy the video https://youtu.be/ueIsaOe1KGg

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

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Q and A with TRAILin -part 1

Hi everyone we thought we would put together a few videos where we answer all your questions about living the fulltime RV life!  In this video we will answer the following:

  1. Why did we decide to fulltime RV?
  2. How do you make money on the road while traveling?
  3. Why did we decide on our model of RV?
  4. Where are we going to travel to?

Hope you enjoy it and please subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with all our TRAILin adventures.

Click here to watch our video now! https://youtu.be/kYbDzl5cSf0

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

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Grand Design Reflection 367bhs 2016 Video Tour

Hi everyone I finally got our RV video I shot the day we picked it up with our GoPro edited and uploaded.  Only took 6 months but whose counting?  Hope you enjoy it and subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos of our adventure on the road!

 

Watch now! https://youtu.be/D-61ur4UiZU

img_3742

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

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Big Tex – Part 2, the suburbs strike back

cropped-trailin-white-background-png1.pngAlthough our posts are about a month behind I couldn’t help but show our new Trailin logo, it makes my heart happy!! Thank you so much for all your positive feedback!  Thank You to Jennifer b. Jacobs Marketing.

We are in Texas not only to seal the deal on our residency stuff but also to visit family in Dallas. When making reservations several months earlier we had a hard time finding an RV park with an opening for an entire month, didn’t help we got a late start.  There are so many RV parks in and around Dallas, which rocks! However, a lot more than traveling families stay at them.  The entire city of Dallas is under construction so I’m pretty sure a lot of other people who have moved into the area to help with these improvements are also utilizing the lots.

So we ended up getting a space for just over a month at Shady Creek RV, just North of Dallas in a newly developed area and you cannot travel anywhere without road construction.  They kinda built the housing and commercial first than forgot they had to widen the roads and are doing them all at once.  We were kinda stuck in suburban hell, the very place we ran from! But the RV park was small, quiet, well kept and had large sized lots.  Didn’t hurt that our backyard was a horse farm, except for the flies!

While in Texas we had a long list of things to fix, get, resolve and decide on, a month was not enough time to get it all done.On top of that we were there for 2 holidays, Halloween & Thanksgiving.We bounced back and forth between our suburban sprawl and in-town Dallas to see our relatives, about an hour drive each way due to traffic and construction.  But the bonus was always staying at a really large lovely house with huge bathtubs and all the hot water you could wish for!

So what are all the things that needed our attention on our RV?

The water pump had crapped out before we left Atlanta and all our boondooking was cut short or made slightly difficult because the pump wouldn’t cycle off when not hooked up to a non electric power source. We called Grand Design and we were told to bring in so tests could be run. Well we were pretty sure it was just a quick fix we searched out all the YouTube/Blogs and for $70 we could buy and replace it ourselves. We were right and the $70 was a small price to pay to not have to spend any amount of time w/o our home due to warranty work.

Next we wanted to upgrade our battery situation. RVs typically come with a pretty standard and really crappy 12v battery. They are sufficient enough for the weekend campers but not so much for fulltiming. We got rid of that one and got 2 6volt golf cart batteries. Apparently 2 6v are greater than 1 12v, go figure!  But we also had to purchase a new home for these batteries to live in and install that as well. The new battery box fit great in our front storage area and didn’t take up too much room. Less storage was a small price to pay to have longer power opportunities while boondocking.

If you read our last post you know we had a bent cargo rack issue thanks to the Louisiana stretch of I-10!  We originally went with this style cargo frame because we liked the idea of folding it up if we were in a tight spot and needed more room. But it did become a pain in the butt to lift the generator on and off of it, plus we never ever used the folding option. We decided on the cargo rack type with a fold down ramp used for electric wheelchairs. This way the generator just rolls on and off with only 1 person doing it. It does not fold up like the previous one, however with that model the hitch extended so far out to make that folding option a reality.  We think that’s why it was more likely to bend. Problem solved, for now!

We also finished the final piece of the puzzle to our Texas residency and got our drivers licenses. Because of the lack of childcare we went separately so we were not bring kids in for an unknown amount of time. Hubs was at the DMV forever, I was in and out in probably 45 minutes. My experience was a little different in than you need to bring a form showing ownership of your vehicles if your using your registered vehicles as your permanent address proof. Well for some reason my name is on the RV but not the truck. It’s odd cause the loan is actually in my name. Not a problem now but maybe one to get resolved in case of any future whatnot. The guy helping me out was very nice and asked me at one point what county Livingston, TX was?  I had no idea, cause I just moved there?  He looked it up, I live in Polk co. He also was curious why I was getting my license up in Dallas, nowhere near where I “lived”?  I told him I was in the area visiting relatives, not a lie but still I see why it would seem fishy!  But like I said, in and out and this TX residency thing was now complete.

Besides all the have to’s we did a lot of fun stuff while there, here’s the brief rundown:

  1. Dallas Arboretum & Gardens
  2. Gaylord Texan sledding, ice sculptures
  3. Ice skating @ Allen Community Ctr
  4. Trick or Treating
  5. Thanksgiving
  6. Ray Roberts state park
  7. Several local parks
  8. Lots of eateries,but our favorite is Babes

Hubs and I both got sick midway through our stay and mine lingered into walking pneumonia so my productivity and ambition to do more activities was low. There was a week that it rained daily and never really dried up so I think everything outside was getting moldy and my immune systems is not a fan of mold.

That’s all for part 2, stay tune to hear all about the final installment of Big Tex! Hey it’s a big state so it deserves to be a trilogy, right?

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

Big Tex -part 1

I know I’ve been a little absent from the website the past few weeks but as always I usually post daily on our TRAILin Facebook page so please like us over there too!  Update, we have been in Texas for 4 weeks takin care of business.

Our first stop was our new home, Livingston, TX. When I say our new home I don’t mean we really live there, but our address does. When traveling like we do you will need a permanent address of sorts. We decided to switch from Georgia to Texas for several reasons.

  1. We need to pay taxes, I know sad but true
  2. We need a drivers licence, car registration and license plate
  3. We need insurance on our vehicles
  4. We need to declare a state to homeschool out of
  5. We need a state to affiliate our business with

We no longer own a home or have a job or actually reside in Georgia so switching it all over to Texas was our best all-in-one stop shop to do so.

“So why did we choose Texas?”

Florida, South Dakota and Texas are the 3 most Fulltime RV friendly states to be a resident of. Look at most RV license plates and usually it will be from one of these states. What makes them so RV friendly, mostly the taxes, then registration as well as homeschooling laws?

Livingston, Texas is our home turf now because a company called Escapees is located there. They are an RV club & mail service and for additional fees they will also give you an actual physical address of your own, not just a POBox, this is important. We need the physical address for our business, Hippie Hoopla. 

OK so on our way to Dallas where we were staying for a month we decided to stay in Livingston  for 3 days and get as much done as we could. First stop was visiting the actual offices of Escapees to fill out/sign paperwork and pay monies to get the official address, which you get right there and then. FYI escapees has a large RV park so don’t confuse their RV park office check-on bldg with the actual business offices which are a few blocks apart.

Now that you have your permanent address you need to get to work on switching all your vehicles over.  You’ll need to get them inspected, have insurance for them both in Texas and then get them registered in same county as your permanent address. Sounds easy enough, bwahahahah?  You also will need to get a drivers license but that’s last and I’ll talk about that down the road.

The inspection thing is kinda a joke, they just have it as a way to generate additional monies for their government, its $7. One thing on the list of things they look for was mud flaps or guards that are required on all dully trucks. We did not have these so we were scrambling the day before to find them. FYI we checked all the major auto part stores in town and it was a no go unless we ordered them. Finally found them at a small mom and pop truck accessories shop. We were going to get the truck and RV inspected at the same small auto repair shop in Livingston but their inspector dude woke up late and my hubs was there right when they opened and he was not so we went on down to the nearest car dealership. Truck passes no problem and he came back to our RV site to hook up and take it to the small mom and pop spot cause the guy finally woke up and was now at work. We arrive, guy asks if we have a fire extinguisher, never looks in the RV and in less then 5 minutes we are on our way, see I told you it was a joke!

Next day we headed to the government building where you pay all sorts of taxes to get our registration and license plates. It’s a small office and no one was waiting ahead of us but there’s a lot of paperwork and after taking forever to fill out it takes forever for them to type it all into the computer. So plan on staying there at least an hour even if it’s not busy. The picture above is what we needed to bring with us to submit for registration for them to have on file. You will also need to take a picture of the label on your rig with all its weight measurements. We had zero issues, paid them their money, got our license plates and were on our way! FYI this small government office does not have parking for a large RV in their small parking lot. I suggest doing what we did and just drive your truck or Toad to take care of business.

Just a reminder you will need to get your insurance for all vehicles switched to Texas before you can get registration/plates.  Coming from Georgia our RV insurance stayed relatively the same but our truck insurance about doubled, crazy! We shopped around a few weeks later and saved a few hundred more and paid for the year in a lump sum so that was an additional saving but it’s still high. Apparently the storms from the past year skyrocketed all the rates due to all the hail damage payouts:(

Yea we got all the things done in Livingston that needed to be done. We don’t have to actually ever go back there to our home turf, I think?  We can get our drivers license anywhere in Texas and we did. Same with inspection, can be done anywhere in Texas. Also for the following years we don’t need to be in the state when our annual registration fees are due. You can send in a letter that you promise to get the inspection within 48hrs the next time your in Texas, see still kinda a joke!

You may have noticed a picture above of our cargo carrier which holds our generator. Well because of how ridiculously bumpy I-10 is through Louisiana into Texas the frame at the hitch bent, a lot! It was not over weight but we think because of how far the hitch attachment extends out from the hitch itself it was enough of an engineering no no resulting in this incident. We were able to bend it back, but not close enough to its original state. We made it safely to our next destination without any drama and got us a new one!  Crossing fingers this one will be our last! The new one is better for us anyways cause its actually a wheelchair cargo holder which has a drop down ramp.  This makes it much easier to wheel it on and off.

To end this on a high note the site we stayed in at Lake Livingston was booked solid, partly cause it was the weekend before Halloween and also because a group of Heritage Girls from Houston had taken it over. They were great, our kids instantly had several dozen new buddies to play with. Most of them homeschooled like us and they even let our girls hang at a few of their scheduled talks. We met a few of their parents who were very nice. One of the dads was very interested in our journey and may even being reading this now, if so “hello!”  We meet a lot of people on our adventure who state how envious they are of our lifestyle. Just goes to show there are so many people stuck in a lifestyle they don’t want to be in. We were there, trapped in that suburban shuffle not 6 months ago. I love the choice we made and continue to make, I’m very excited to see how it all shakes out.

Tune in soon to hear all about part 2 and maybe part 3 of Big Tex!  Hey it’s a big state so it deserves to be a trilogy, right?

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

Boondocking or Bust!

So we really want to Boondock as much as possible. Some of you may not be familiar with this term Boondock. It means to not be hooked up at an RV site with water/electric/sewer. Ewe, yuck, weird, why would we want that you may ask?  Well for one not paying a daily fee for these luxuries is a huge cost saving way to travel. But, it comes at a price, you for sure have to sacrifice some normal daily creature comforts. Depending on the size of your tanks you have to be pretty careful what and how much goes into them. All I’m saying is on boondocking days or even sites w/o full sewer hook-ups, we pee as a family!

So we decided to faux Boondock in my hubs parents driveway for a few days before we headed out West and tried it for realz. The girls slept in the house but we spent 3 nights in the RV and it was a good trial run. We have an RV 12 volt battery that will run stuff like the lights and the a/c and heat but it will also drain very very quickly. I’m still figuring all this battery stuff out so I pretty sure I don’t know what I’m talking about!  Don’t plan on plugging anything in cause it ain’t no 110 volt either, which means no coffee maker or TV. You don’t realize what all you use that’s connected to power until you ain’t got none. I plugged my phone charger into the wall charger cause I wasn’t thinking and about completely drained the battery. The furnace needs electric to run its pump to provide this luxury as well, its also a battery sucker.

One thing we were glad we found out while on our test run was our water pump is not working right. It’s completely fine when hooked up to city water but if it’s not and we want to pump water out of our fresh water tank into our pipes it runs and won’t turn off which will inevitably ruin a motor or something like it. So we have some further trial and error reasurch to do with that but for now we just plan on having no water coming out of a faucet while boondocking, not so awesome.

OK besides the bad there is good, there are so many places to boondock that you may had never known about. For instance just to name a few, these places will let you stay over night in their parking lot; Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Bass Pro Shop, Cabelas, Casinos, truck stops and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. So why would we want to over night in a Walmart parking lot?  Well besides it being free they are everywhere!!!!  If you are trying to go from point a to point b and it’s 800 miles. Driving as far as you safely can the first day and pulling over into one of these parking lots at night then heading out in the early morning is a cost effective way to travel. If you had paid for a night at a state park or independently owned park it would typically run you $25-$60 depending on location and hook-up. A place you may only be at for 12 hrs to sleep and eat and be on your way sure ain’t worth dishing out the dough. Most likely you will need or want something from these locations and the managers know this so that’s why they allow it.

There are a few boondocking clubs that have recently popped up and it’s becoming really helpful with our boondocking needs. We joined membership based club called Harvest Hosts. You pay a small yearly fee and it gives you access to Winery’s, farms and historical locations around the country that will let you spend the night for free on their property. We recently got to experience our first Harvest Host boondocking stay at a Winery on the Georgia/Alabama border.

Our first real Boondock experience couldn’t had really gone any better. You call ahead to make sure they have space for you, the website gives a bit of info on each location and some pictures, also how big of an area they have and for how many RVs. The family who ran the winery could not had been nicer and even though they were closed on the day we arrived they were super welcoming and gave us a wine tasting. We did purchase a bottle from they which is suggested. The theory being you should spend the amount you might spend on an RV site at the location. So I got a night stay and a bonus bottle of wine is the way to look at it.

While we boondocked at the winery we used battery powered lamps and strung lights inside for light. The fridge runs off electric or propane so for traveling and boondocking it’s on propane. We woke up that morning freezing and our bettery was already pretty low so we cranked up our generator. This will juice back up your battery while it’s running things like your furnace for heat. So our rig did not come with a pre-installed/vented generator. We purchased one and carry it on the back of our RV cargo hold hitch mount. To use this we have to physically take it off the cargo holder and it ain’t light. Plus there is the added bonus of it being super duper loud. We asked the owners the night before if we could run it and they had no problem. However we were not gonna run it all night, we would never sleep due to the noise. If we had pulled over into a Walmart parking lot for the night doing this generator scenario is not an option.

So how do we boondock and run all the things?

The answer is get more batteries and eventually solar.  The more batteries you have the less you will need the generator to charge them back up. Also you can charge the RV battery while it’s hooked up to your truck, but then you run the risk of draining your truck battery.

We have boondocked one more time since our Winery stay and it went in the complete opposite direction. We boondocked at a Casino and we had the option of several in the area and just by sure bad luck picked the wrong one. The parking lot was apparently the parking lot for the unlabeled after hours nightclub across the way that made for a very disrupted night sleep from 3-5am!  For those of you looking to boondock in Biloxi, do not stay at the Hard Rock Casino! The Golden Nugget or Harrahs seem to be way less likely to have a similar result like we had.

We really like the idea of boondocking and once we get our water pump issue solved and gain a few more batteries I can see doing it for longer stretches. Out West there are tons of BLMs –Bureau of Land Management areas that are free or almost free to stay on.  Many people whose rigs are too big to fit in National Parks like Yosemite boondock right outside their entrances as well as the Grand Canyon.  National parks usually have a 35′ limit and ours is 40′. These are places I’m excited to stay for free at, a little bit more off the grid then the Walmart at the closest interstate exit!

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

Stone Mountain

If you’ve never heard of Stone Mountain it’s this geological phenomenon located in Atlanta, GA that is realy quite surreal. Besides being a natural beauty filled with history both good and bad there is so much to do and see for every kind of person and lifestyle. Living in Atlanta we utilized most of all that the Mountain had to offer. Hiking, fishing, history museums, train rides, adventure passes, laser show, tram ride to the top as well as walking up and down. We started camping there with tents a few years back but had never stayed in an RV there. We thought lets spend a week there with our new home and do one last hangout in our hometown before shoving out West.

First things first, the first few mornings were cold, like in the 50’s which we hadn’t experienced since late Spring and it felt so good. We’ve been sweating for about 4 months so this change in temp was a welcoming change.

We went from having no plans to too many plans, not uncommon. Hometown stay meant wanting to see everyone and also enjoy Stone Mountain in our RV. We arrived on a Friday and our lot was kinda unlevel, but so we’re all of them. It took about 2 hours and several repositioning tries to decide that being almost level would just have to be good enough, plus the park was packed so relocating wasn’t even an option. The same night we arrived another family pulled in around 9ish so it was dark. I offered some light assistance from our truck and after briefly chatting discovered they had just moved out of their house into their RV that day and became Fulltimers!  Pretty sure the Universe was looking out for them by placing them next to us.

The following day was great we had friends over for dinner and hit up the infamous laser show at night. I’ve been going to that thing for over a decade and not much has changed and that’s why I love it. Just a reminder the Snow Mtn structure is set up and taken down in the spring/Fall so that takes up half the lawn. Good info if your meeting friends and tell them you’ll be sitting toward the top, cause this time of year that place is no more.  The following day was a whirl wind cause we had our friend/Elli’s speech therapist come out in the morning for a quick evaluation and visit then we were off to meet more friends at lunch time to do all the adventure pass fun!  Train ride, putt-putt, ropes course, tram to the top of the rock and then some. A fun filled packed day to say the least.

The rest of the week we had friends who stayed at the campgrounds a few days near by and it worked out great. We invited even more friends to come out for dinner and had a blast. After everyone left we had 2 days left to kinda chill and do nothing, well kinda. We fished, played at the playground and hiked up the mountain! FYI if you haven’t been to their playground this year it’s new and realy cool. I know I know, the old wooden one rocked too, However they actually relocated the old one to the campgrounds so now you can enjoy them both!

The week really flew by and as sad as we are to say goodbye all our friends and family we are excited to push off our West and explore. This East coast swing was our soft launch cause we were familiar territory. Can’t wait to see how our families adventure plays out in the unknown.

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

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Pirate Matthew Argh

So as I mentioned in the last post I’m 2 weeks behind and really want to fill you all in on everything but with my really especially horrible short term memory, the farther I get from the actually happenings the likelihood of me recalling such events drastically plummets. I’ll remember this week really well in 2 years, I gots rockstar long term memory! With Hurricane Matthew that just raged along the East coast it kinda ties into our 2nd week at Tybee. So here we go…

Our family has a timeshare at a condo on Tybee Island, GA and it is a numbered week that usually falls the last week of September into October. But remember, everything shifts early this year due to Moon phases and tide changes 🙂 Our week was really early! If it had fallen as usual we would had evacuated that Thursday due to the mandatory evacuation of the island. So thank you Universe and all your Moon/tide juju working in our families favor.

OK now let’s talk about all the fun stuff we did at a Tybee while we stayed in the Condo. We went to the beach, end story!  Literally I don’t think much else took place. We parked our truck on Saturday in the condo parking lot and didn’t move it to go somewhere again until the following Friday. When you can walk out your back door to the beach why would you go anywhere else?  I should mention this was a particularly warm week as well, highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the low 70’s. I don’t even think it did more than a light sprinkle once all week either. In the past we’ve been freezing and rained out so it’s a crap shoot this time of year. But the major perk is that it’s off season and no one is really there but us. The following week is the islands Pirate festival which we sadly always miss and sadly was cancelled due to the hurricane.

The one major obstacle we faced this week was where to store our home?  I started this search way back in July. I knew our rig would never fit in the condo parking lot, our Dulley was a tight squeeze. I called the islands visitors center, police dept and city hall and they all said the same thing, check with the River’s End Campground. Yes the camp ground we stayed at the previous week. I actually called them first and the response I got was they did do storage but only for locals with a Tybee drivers licence!  The fact that none of these official depts. knew this is kinda nutso.

So as recommended by the campground I called a couple of local storage facilities and none had enough space to accommodate us. I also reached out to several marinas that stored boats and again hit a roadblock. I even tried to pull some strings with family members and see if their local business owners/friends had any pull with our situation and again nothing was looking in our favor. Every inch of public parking on the island is run by the city and you have to pay every day from 8-8 no exception. I reached out to them to see about a special permit and the lady helping me was able to speak with her boss about allowing us to park on the street across from city hall. We would take up 2 spots but we would only be charged for 1. Great, problem solved, kinda!

The week before while at the campground we swung by the spot they suggested to park and it for sure would fit, we know because we busted out the measuring tape and measured it!. But it would only fit if all the stars were aligned in our favor and no one parked at the two spots near the cross street. Backing into these would be our only shot, there’s no parallel parking this beast. The road we were to park on is also the main road on the island so relatively speaking its busy. The thought of leaving our rig alone was starting to not seem so awesome. Day before the relocation we started calling camp grounds further outside of Savannah as well as storage facilities.

We really lucked out and found a secure and fenced in storage area where the guy who ran it lived on site. We really couldn’t get any safer and it was cheaper then if we parked on the original street spot, by half!  So an adventure in finding this spot that started out 3 months previous was pulled together 24hrs before Go time. Wow didn’t expect to talk so much about this parking issue but it was rather stressful and if I can help one person out by giving any helpful tips then I did my job!

I should add that with storing the RV we had to deal with all that lived in the fridge, we were not hooked up to power while stored. Do we bring it with us for the week at the condo or leave the propane tank on and cross our fingers it don’t run out? Well in the end not knowing much about how much propane suckage a fridge on full time eats up we decided to relocate the goods. It was a pain in the butt, however it made grocery shopping light and we were able to toss some extra things we really were not gonna eat anytime soon away.

So yea we wrapped up our 2 week Tybee tour on a good note and headed inland back to our hometown HOTLANTA!  One swing through the mother-ship before our big adventure out West truly begins.  You will not want to miss out on all the Westerly adventures.  Make sure you subscribe to our website to get emailed updates on all the newly posted blogs.

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

Fulltiming and it Feels So Good!

It’s official, we are in the thick of Full-timing in an RV. So much has happened this week I don’t even know where to start. Lots of highs and lows and everywhere in-between.

We got to spend our last weekend in the Mountains with family and went jet skiing, swimming, camp Labor Day luau, had a camp fire (first one of the Summer we weren’t sweating at) and went back to our daughters favorite rib place, Rib Country!

So packing up the RV wasn’t too difficult, we put pretty much everything away or down low that was sitting out. The day we exited took about 3-4 hrs to get everything ready to launch. Hubs did great with pulling out of our campsite only to be stuck in a traffic jam only a few short miles along due to a wreck!  We headed to a weight station first and got that task squared away, let’s just say the numbers were not happy, to be continued…

We were able to fit our rig in our parents driveway, good to know. Fun fact, we have had zero pest control issues all Summer inside our rig in the tree filled rain forest like climate in North GA. 12 hours in the suburbs and we had ants everywhere, what the bleep? I put a few drops of DoTerra peppermint essential oil  http://www.mydoterra.com/hippiehoopla/ on a dozen cotton balls and spread them around the rig and by the time we got to our next camp spot they were all gone, witchcrafery for the win!

Ok, so our official launch day was not as smooth as the previous soft launch the day before. I was up at 5:30am to fit in an emergency dentist appointment at 7:30. Well there was a car fire on the highway and it took me 2hrs in morning commute traffic to get to my appointment 30 min late. My Dentist office is so amazing they were still able to fix me up. Dr. Cann Dentistry is amazing in Atlanta, GA if your ever looking for a holistic gentle dentist. http://www.canndentistry.com

I was back home by 9:45 and was in go mode to get us going. It was time to pull our slides in and the mid-bunk would not retract. It came in a few inches and would go wonky and just stop. I immediately got on my Grand Design Facebook group to see about help. We watched a few suggested YouTube videos and apparently our motors were not in sync. We had to do a manual over ride then a re-syncing and the slide finally went in, 2 hours later! At one point I thought the day was a total loss and would be calling out a tech to look at it, pushing back our launch!

“We left after lunch and the ride itself went great, only a few dozen are we there yets!”

We made 2 stops at trucker gas stations. Once to weigh the rig at the “pin” (again, to be continued…) and a pee/snack break and again for gas and dinner. Completely forgot the sun was not setting at 9pm anymore and while driving through Charleston we were losing light fast. At 7:45 we finally pulled into our campground and checked in. My hubs backed into his first RV spot in the dark, rock star!!

I got the RV unpacked and in semi livable condition after parking in about 45 min, while enjoying a tasty beverage. Hubs worked on all the hook ups outside. 2 things that didn’t get done that first night, the Black tank hose was not close enough to the pipe to fit on and we could not get the RV level. Both things we addresses in the am and there was no issues waiting until then to address them. It was so good to wake up and see how perfect our new RV spot was.

So we did it, Launch was a success!  Had its bumps along the way but it’s in the past and they were lessons learned. Our week has been so exhaustingly filled with so many fun adventures here in the low country, I think I’ll wait until next week to catch you all up on them.

 

If you follow our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/ you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8