Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More New Tires! That Makes 25 this year!

Wow!  More tires!  
You can’t be serious!  

Last August, we were travelling from Montrose,  Colorado to Marysvale,  Utah when we blew two tires on the camper.

Though we bought 19 tires last August, that did not include our Dodge Dually.  We drove all the way from Virgin, Utah to a campground near Branson, Missouri with only one cracked rim on the camper, which is quite common for us.  That happened somewhere between Grants, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas.  My husband was doing his normal check of the tires, rims, and motors before we would head out the next day when he came across the crack in the camper rim.  He found a local tire place that got us one pretty quick and we got it put on and left the next day.

But, back to the current wheel problem.

 Thankfully, my husband is very meticulous when it comes to motors, campers, vehicles, and basically anything you would consider “a guy’s job”.  A couple of days ago he came in and broke the bad news, “Honey, we have to buy tires for the truck.”  Oh no, I thought.  Seriously?  We just bought 19 tires last fall and now we have to buy six more!  Plus, the truck tires cost more than the other ones. 

Shae was looking over all of our machines, motors, tires, and equipment – on an almost daily inspection – when he spotted the bulge in the back outside tire of our dually.  He told me how thankful he was that we had made it to Missouri without it busting.  So since my oldest son needs our van for his new job, I asked my husband to get new tires quick, which he had already planned on doing.

Today we made the 40 minute trip to Walmart to get the new tires on.  We have always used locally owned tire shops but this time we thought we would go with a nationally owned shop in case we have problems down the road.  When we go to a local shop in a particular town we can almost guarantee that we will not be going back to that town again.  If the shop does bad work, we can’t just bring it back and say, “Fix It!”  We might be 1000 miles away before we catch their mistake!  Believe me, this has happened to us.
After we arrived at Walmart, my husband glanced at the tire with the bulge in it and the bulge had tripled its size in just a short drive!  The Lord really protected us, as usual!
He decided on a NITTO Dura Grapplor tire.  We hope it will do good for us.

Tires are definitely something we have to budget for.  These are the tires that Shae decided on.
The rim was welded back at one time.  Now, we just replace them.
Shae checks our tires often which has saved many a problems on the road.

Sometimes we get the same rim and other times we do not.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chores were not left behind in the house...they followed me into my camper!

I think I truly believed that I would have more free time while on the road and in a sense I do.  When I had my sticks and bricks I spent most of my time cleaning, sorting, and tending to things.  Our family was involved with more classes and clubs that took many a nights.  Now, our nights are spent with each other, around a fire, or working on our writing.  

My husband and I find time to spend together everyday! 

Not just once a week. 

We date everyday!

But, even with all of the benefits of travel, we still have normal life.  

We are not on permanent vacation! 
 Let me repeat:  
We are not on permanent vacation!

We have normal daily life -
  • wash dishes - we have no dishwasher
  • wash clothes
  • vacuum
  • clean rooms
  • do school
  • cook more meals
  • make sure everyone gets outside to run and play
  • spend time with hubby
  • pay bills
  • sort paperwork
  • sort clothes and school work
  • fix broken items in and on camper
  • fix van, truck, camper, flatbed, UTV, ATVs, bikes, and toys
  • change oil on numerous motors
  • decide where to go next
  • spend days trying to find a campground that will work for us
  • pray pray pray pray pray
  • visit people
  • site see
  • and so much more
It is so hard to fit it all in.  I thought that I would have time to read and relax more, but I don't.  That is OK, though, I have such amazing experiences and memories that it is all worth it.

When we had a house, I could put a pile of items in the basement and get to it in a few months, when I had more time.  Now, everything has to be sorted and put away daily, there is no room for piles!  Dishes can't sit overnight, and laundry has no large basket to pile up.  Things cannot go undone, but must be taken care of daily.  There is a benefit to that in that chores are not piled up for another day, yet it can get difficult trying to do it all everyday.  

The grass is always greener on the other side, and sometimes it is.  For me, I love traveling.  But, I have learned over the years that troubles and problems can follow us anywhere.  Will a lifestyle change solve those problems or just join you in your new life?  Traveling has not been the solution for my problems, but instead has given me a different perspective on life.  It has changed me to the core - forever.

The Grass is not always greener on the other side, it is just on the other side!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Benefits of Full Time Travel - great education

There are many benefits to the full-timing lifestyle and a great education is at the top.

Instead of just reading about the Civil War, Revolutionary War, Indian settlements, volcanoes, mountains, habitat, and animals - we go to them, experience those locations and subjects - we live them.

While in the east we studied manatees and then went kayaking with them and played with them on the shore of an inlet.

We studied alligators then held one and later that day we took an air boat ride through the Everglades.

We didn't just draw the Appalachian Mountains on a map - we drove through them and hiked them.

Mt. St. Helens was visited and studied.

Bears were seen, a little too close, and photographed in Colorado and Montana.

We went to the PBR and another day sat on a bull and some even rode a bull at a
PBR world champion bull riders home!

We kayak the rivers, lakes, and oceans.

We hike the trails weaving through the many National Parks and National Forests.

We go to Pando, the world largest known organism.

We camp near every race, gender, and type of person in the United States.

We meet people from all walks of life from all over the world.

Education is not just learned from a book but we actually see, smell, touch, taste, or feel  what we learn.

My husband confirmed that, yes, the salt in Death Valley National Park actually
tastes like salt.

My son found out that sand at the bottom the ocean is hard when you hit it with your knee after flipping over in your kayak.

My daughter found out that the view from Angel's Landing in Zion National Park is as stunning as she had heard.

My three old learned that trees and mountains are meant to climb and that they belong to him.

Instead of just reading about places and events, we study them and then experience them in as many ways and using all of our senses.

I can't imagine a better education for my children, from birth to 20 years old, all of my children are better off from this trip. Their education is unbelievable - I cannot even put a price tag on it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Some people say we are crazy to do what we do - they were right!

Sometimes there are people that tell us we are nuts to travel full time with 
eight of us in 42'.  

And over the years, I have come to agree with them.

Some would say those with houses are crazy to not travel full time.

And over the years, I have come to agree with them.

Yet, I have evidence that we truly are crazy to do what we do.

The following conversation happened the other night between my husband and oldest daughter.
She loves to visit with friends and family on facebook and uses pinterest as an outlet
for some of her creativity.

Hanna:  "I found a cool hair style on pinterest the other night.  What do you think?"

Dad:  "It looks like an Indian headband."

Dad  goes to bedroom and makes a hair band out of his underwear.

Dad then runs into living room area of camper to scare his children.

Children:  "AHHHHHHHH  DAD!"

Hanna:  "NOOOOO"

Dad:  "How do you like the hair band idea I found on pinterest?"

Mom and Hanna think - does he even know what pinterest is?