Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hittin' the Road!

So, it's been a long time since I've blogged. What's new? But, I have a great reason to blog right now. I'm super duper excited about this adventure we're about to embark on. We're moving into an RV, and are going to explore the great U-S of A!

Here's how it all transpired:

We've wanted to leave California for a long time now, but for various reasons just haven't. Partly because we haven't known where we want to go. This summer, we took a family vacation to New Hampshire to check it out. We've done some research, and New Hampshire is rated as the "freest" state, and home of The Free State Project. Our little Libertarian hearts are longing for some of that freedom, so we've been mulling it over. It would be a big move, but we've got some adventure left in these spirits, so why not? We're planning on this being our final destination after our adventure, but we're also open to having our minds changed by our adventure.

A few weeks ago, some friends of ours gave us an RV that they no longer needed. Our other friends had given it to them. And some friends of theirs had given it to them. So, we're the latest recipients of this love, and are so grateful for this huge blessing! Traveling the country with our kids has always been a dream of ours. We've always said we wanted to do it for a year while homeschooling them, but since they're not quite school aged yet, that probably just means we'll have to do it again someday.

Since I'm currently with child (did I neglect to mention that here?), we are trying to figure out the timing of our move into the mansion. We're not sure if we should bust tail and get in there before the baby is born, or wait until a few months after he comes to move in. All just details, but stuff we're working through right now. The Hot Contractor has been getting more work in the Bay Area than he has here (which is pretty much none), so we're considering just movin' in and going down there for a while this Fall/Winter, and "practicing" living in it. I think it will be fun.

The cool part is that we took it camping last weekend (can I just pause here to tell you what glorious Camping Sleep this pregnant Mama had in that thing? Seriously. Camping Sleep and Pregnancy just don't go together well in my experience). While camping, we discovered all these things that are broken/need fixing on it. Like how the generator doesn't work, and the hydraulic system is broken, so we aren't able to level it. And how if it's not level, the fridge and freezer don't work. And how the water pump leaks, so whenever we use it (which is whenever we want to turn on water), it leaks a lot of our water, and we end up with an empty water tank in about a day. And the window coverings that don't exist. It might sound like I'm complaining, but really, these quirks excite me! Know why? Because we get to make it our own while we fix it! Woo-hoo!!!

When we first got it, the front door wouldn't close, so The Hot Contractor rebuilt the door. It took a few days, but it was well worth having some privacy when we went camping last weekend. We also decided to tear up the carpet, and put down laminate floors. We found some really fun stuff at Home Depot, and since it's a sprawling mansion of 29 feet, it cost us about $200 in flooring to replace it all. I also got a carpet remnant (shag, of course) at a carpet store for $35. We're going to cut it to size, and have a nice cushy carpet runner under our tootsies. homey does that sound???

We're going to repaint the cabinets and walls eventually, and replace the oh-so-retro (but not in a good way) cabinet hardware with some cute oil-rubbed bronze knobs I got cheap on eBay. I'm going for a vintage country look. We bought some upholstery fabric, and are making cute curtains for the lodge (The Hot Contractor is doing that too. He's just a better seamstress than I am, and has a hard time letting me sew important things...because he's a little afraid I'll mess them up. Justifiably). A few of them ended up shorter than we wanted (width-wise), so I have an idea of adding some fun fringe or tassel fringe to the edges to extend them out a bit. I'm still looking for the prefect fringe, so let me know if you see any. ;-)

Another idea I had....since storage is an issue when you're living with five people in a 29-footer, I'm collecting vintage hooks to put on the walls all over the RV. Whenever I think of this, I imagine cute little hooks decorating spacious feet of wall space.

And then I go in there.

And I realize there aren't very many places to hang hooks because there is very little wall space. Even though I will be spatially challenged, I'm determined to succeed with my vintage hook decorating idea. I think it will be functional, yet cute. And that's what I'm going for.

One aspect of our adventure that is really challenging is laundry. If we're living in this thing full-time, I really don't want to be dragging three kids to a laundry mat every other day just to keep up on my laundry. I use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, cloth towels (instead of paper towels), and even more "cloth" stuff that I won't mention here. Some things I'm willing to give up, but some things I'm not (like cloth diapers), so I must find a way to do laundry in this RV. If I don't do one to two loads a day, I'm behind, and that's only with two kids! We came across this machine that washes and dries your clothes all at once, and is about 2'x2'x3'. We think we have a place for it in the RV (we'll lose one of our nice Lazy-Boy type chairs, but I think it will be worth it....especially since we'll add a counter top to it so we expand our kitchen counter space). It's about a $1,200 unit, and a little out of our budget for this "Design on a Dime" endeavor, but I called around to RV salvage places, and found a used/refurbished one for $600. Cool, huh? It's down in Sacramento, so we'll go check it out the next time we go that way. Maybe y'all should start calling me Frugal Mama, because I'm SO feeling it right now.

There's a lot of dry rot we're discovering, so The Hot Contractor is planning on tearing all of that out and replacing it. There's a little teensy bit of me that is afraid of what we will discover, but it's all a part of the adventure, eh? And again, we get to make it our own!!

There's the update. I think I need to start an RV blog. RVMama? What do you think? I definitely need to find some way to document our adventures. For now, Homesteadmama will have to suffice.


  1. Can I say just how BRAVE y'all are? I love your spirit of adventure and am so inspired! Blessings on you and the family during your travels! I look forward to reading about it.

  2. How fun! Sounds like a great adventure! Suggestion for you; since you are passionate about children and childbirth have you thought of trekking out to Ina May's birthing farm in TN and having your baby there and staying awhile? We have a good situation now, but when we were unemployed earlier this year it kept crossing my mind! Have fun with the RV; can't wait to hear about the adventures. I know it's still cali, but you're always welcome in San Diego! We're hoping for a central america adventure/life in a few years... still dreaming though!

  3. Great idea, KC! We are going to stay here, and have him in Santa Cruz. That way we can be close to family for the holidays, and utilize their help when he comes. I'm due on New Years Day, so the timing is good for us to be near family. =) Love your idea though!