Happy Nomadiversary To Us – Top 5 Lessons Learned!ย 

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!

 

Thanks for your support!

๐Ÿ’•HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

โค๏ธINSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/hippiehoopla_trailin/

๐Ÿ’›YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/c/TRAILinTODAY

๐Ÿ’šFACEBOOK – https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/

๐Ÿ’™PINTEREST – http://www.pinterest.com/hippiehoopla/

๐Ÿ’œWEBSITE –
*www.trailin.net
*www.hippiehoopla.com
*www.mydoterra.com/hippiehoopla/

 

 

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Implosion of a Shelf

While we travel we encounter a lot of bumpy roads which sometimes lead to things not holding up well inside our home on wheels. One of these such instances was one of our built in storage shelf cabinets. One day when I went to retrieve some thing out of it I had discovered that the base of it had imploded. These cabinets are not very user friendly because they are very deep. They are made this way I suppose because they are the depth of the couch they are next to and double as a side table. Since we removed the couch these became kinda more of a nuisanceย then a usable addition to our home.

At the same time I discovered this implosion we were also removing book shelf that was also at the point of implosion and needed to come up with a plan for its replacement. Realizing even if we were going to simply fix the imploded base the only way to do so was toย take off the side pho-wood panel. Since it’s stapled on like everything else in an RV it was easy to remove. Once off we realized we could build up a secondary shelf and reuse the panel for extra base and trim work.

We love the finished result. Love being able to access everything in this shelf easily. There is also another one of these shelf/cabinets on the other side of the wall which may be another project in our future.ย 
We also purchased a new table and chairs. We have never liked the pedestal table that came with our RV. It was heavy and the top came wobbly more than not when we traveled.

We love this new Ingatorp http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/20221425/ IKEA table we got that has folding sides.We also got 2 IKEA http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/10115067/ folding chairs and it’s so much easier on travel days to secure them. Simply fold and put under the table. We love IKEA, check out our IKEA post about all the RV friendly items we love, IKEA: Why RVers love it!

https://trailin.net/2017/03/11/ikea-why-rvers-love-it/

If you have never been to IKEA than you don’t know of all the awesomeness that it entails. Its one thing to just buy something online but the store itself is an adventure. We’ve been to several across the US and its pretty uncanny how they are all set up exactly the same. I know I know lots of stores do this, but they do it consistently. It really irks me to go into a superstore thinking I can find the product I’m seeking and not only have they relocated it but it is not carried at that said location. We love IKEA for this and so much more and here is why.

Here isย a quick video of finished shelf https://youtu.be/Am30gfvzI04

Also check out a full tour of our 2016 Grand Dedign Refection 367bhs https://youtu.be/D-61ur4UiZU

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!

๐Ÿ’•HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

โค๏ธINSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/hippiehoopla_trailin/

๐Ÿ’›YOUTUBE – www.youtube.com/c/TRAILinTODAY

๐Ÿ’šFACEBOOK – https://m.facebook.com/Trailin1/

๐Ÿ’™PINTEREST – http://www.pinterest.com/hippiehoopla/

๐Ÿ’œWEBSITE –
*www.trailin.net
*www.hippiehoopla.com
*www.mydoterra.com/hippiehoopla/


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! ย 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!ย 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!

๐Ÿ’•HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8

6/18/16

Good golly what a week, my head is spinning and I hurt my back.  We bought an RV, well almost!  We made a decision on what we wanted and went back to the dealer where we first toured it, a few over the Internet exchanges with price and in person back and forth and add-on whatnot’s. So with that said we put down a refundable deposit to hold it while we get approved for financing. If all goes as expected we will go sign all the paperwork and do the 2 hr tour next week.

It feels so good to have this decision made and about wrapped up. We’ve been so wishy-washy about which rig would be best for our needs. What I fist thought were must haves turned into I could probably live with-outs. But we won’t really know until we are fully in it if we got the right one, pretty sure we did!

So what were our original must haves?

  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2nd exterior door
  • Washer/drier hook-up
  • Slide in master for bed
  • 2 ac units
  • Bath tub
  • Kids have separate bedroom
  • Larger basement storage
  • Outdoor kitchen

What did we end up with?

  • 1 bathroom
  • 1 exterior door
  • Washer/drier all in 1 vented unit
  • Slide in master for bed
  • 2 ac units
  • Shower no tub
  • Mid bunk w/loft
  • Larger basement storage
  • No outdoor kitchen but a possibility of one due to additional storage space.

What, where and why were there compromises?  No rig fit our exact needs, no matter how much we would pay. I originally wanted 2 exterior doors and baths because I liked the set-up where the half bath where the 2nd door would enter into would double as a mudroom. Not having to track all the outside in while going in to potty sounded nice and clean. We fell in love with the midbunk model which didn’t provide these 2nd options in any company that offered this set up. My level of anxiety is yet to be determined with the level of dirt that will get tracked in on the daily.

We could not find a tub option for any of the midbunk models either. Midbunks are already longer than a lot of RVs out there so putting in a tub means taking away storage. But I may need to weigh this option down the road. I’m a bath taker and my back appreciates these soaks so we shall see, maybe a horse trough will do:) We also compromised on the outdoor kitchen. There are some really nice set-ups but they are more typical in a back bunkhouse model. Our midbunk has an extra exterior storage space that just may be able to pull off the kitchen we were hoping for.

What did we get that we are excited about?  The midbunk is great cause it gives you the 2nd bedroom but also gives you more shared living space. The back of the rig is all living room and kitchen with so much storage, kitchen island, fireplace, pantry, large residential fridge, we are pretty excited about all of it. It also has a bonus room which is called the loft. It’s above the bunkhouse and can double as another sleeping area for our kids, guests or as a playroom and storage. We got a rig that is pre-wired for solar so that will be another possibility to explore if we really start boondocking as much as we think we will. The RV is insulated for all 4 seasons which was also pretty high on our wants list. Most are only 3 season so doing Wintery snow excursions would be chilly, but not for us!

We still have lots of logistics to figure out like where is it going, how will it get there, insurance, when do we start moving our stuff in. But for now it feels good to have this main big decision over with!

Oh ya it was also my 40th birthday this week!  Lots of great surprises, parties and events were celebrated. But best of all was I got an RV for my birthday, that’s just crazy and awesome!!

Check out our video tour of the first day we picked up our Grand Design Reflection 367bhs. https://youtu.be/D-61ur4UiZU.

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!

๐Ÿ’•HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link! http://amzn.to/2IAHhh8