We can’t even believe our lifestyle sometimes. One week we are in Hawaii, the next in Vernon, Canada and a week later in Wells, Maine. How can this be in an RV? Well, it wasn’t in an RV in Hawaii. The planning and logistics of a fulltime RV’er can be complex at times. This blog will simply be a reconstruction of what we did, so I have a record and for those of you who are curious; it might be an interesting read.
My wonderful in-laws invited us to Hawaii to stay with them in their timeshare. “How long can you stay?” They asked. “How long do you want us?” We happen to be able to work no matter where we are, if we have an internet connection, so Hawaii is just as good as any other place with wifi.
On April 13 – 15, 2017 we had an event in Portland, Oregon so we made our way up from California to Portland, stopped over 1 night in Bend, Oregon so the boys could go to their orthodontist on April 11th, and then headed to the Pheasant Ridge RV Resort in Wilsonville, OR. We purchased a used car on the 12th. They agreed to keep the car until we returned from Hawaii. We ran around on the 13th getting the final items together for our big Chicks Connect Inspiration Celebration and attended the kick off the night of the 13th. The boys stayed with my parents during this event. This was the first one they missed but I wanted them to spend time with my folks.
The event was over at 5pm on the 15th, we cleaned up and headed to our Rig at Pheasant Ridge. Both of my sisters were kind enough to come over and give us hugs and help me clean out our refrigerator because you can’t store food in there when you put your rig in storage. The freezer and fridge need to be emptied and cleaned out so your refrigerator doesn’t get moldy. Packing up an RV takes time. Everything needs to be put away since it will be moving. Imagine everything on your counters throughout your home needing to be put away, all hanging items off the walls, everything cleaned out of your fridge, and then bringing in the walls of your living room. Those are called slides. We have 2 decks and 2 slides that also need to be put up and brought in. Oh, we also needed to pack for Hawaii. My mom brought the boys over, helped with the fridge, gave us big hugs goodbye.
MISTAKE ALERT – not on purpose of course, but I did make a big mistake while planning this and I want to warn others so they don’t do the same thing. When I was making the reservations, I booked the RV resort from the 11th to the 15th because I was checking into the hotel on the 15th so that seemed logical. What I didn’t compute was, check out at the RV park is at 11am and we were there until 7pm. I should have booked our RV stay until the 16th since we were so late in checking out. They had someone who wanted our spot and we were still there when they came to check in. They tried to call us but we were deep into our event and our phones were turned off. I felt terrible when I realized my mistake. They found another spot for them and they simply charged me for an extra night, but I don’t like making mistakes.
We drove the Rig to the Shilo Inn at the Portland Airport and TJ dropped us off with the luggage. We checked in and sorted and organized our clothes one more time so we could leave a suitcase and not pack as much. (We still packed way too many clothes). TJ took the Rig to the Storage facility, unhooked, and arrived back at the Shilo Inn at about 2am.
Staying at the Shilo Inn Airport Hotel was a good idea since we had to be up at 5am the following morning to get to the airport to catch our plane to Hawaii and we needed a place to keep our truck during our time away.
April 16 – May 4 – Kona, Hawaii
We had two separate reservations for our trip home. Jenson and Jewels going on one flight and TJ and Lukas on another. Side note: TJ’s parents had the same flight at TJ and Lukas. They offered to give up their seats on an Alaskan Airline flight from Kona, Hawaii to Redmond, Oregon.
They both received $800 cash, a convertible rental car, a hotel room, all food covered, and they scheduled them for the following night which added 1 ½ days to their trip not to mention $1600 cash! Wowza! Benefit of being flexible with your travel plans. You can offer to give up your spots for perks. These were some serious perks.
TJ and Lukas had many delays on their leg from Seattle to Portland due to nasty weather. They were supposed to arrive at 9:45pm but it was closer to midnight before they arrived at the Shilo Inn. Jenson and Jewels returned to Portland airport as scheduled coming through San Francisco, caught the shuttle, and arrived at the hotel around 1:30am on May 5th. We all slept and woke up early the next morning.
On May 5th TJ dropped me off at my Organizing client’s home and I worked with her for 8 hours while TJ and the boys ran errands, picked up the dog, visited doctors, and went to my parent’s. We picked up the used car that we purchased and dropped it off at a storage facility to be picked up again sometime soon. (Not sure when this will happen). We said our goodbyes to my parents and headed to the storage facility to pick up our Rig. We hooked up and started on our way to Vernon, Canada. (It is about 10pm now on May 5th)
May 5th – Drove north from Portland from 10pm – 1am – Flat Tire on the rig so we pulled over for the night in a Walmart that had a tire shop. We got it patched in the morning. The boys learned how to remove and put on a tire.
May 6-7 – Driving to Vernon, Canada. No problem at the border. Boys are 15 and we used their birth certificates. We will need to get them passports when they turn 16 and mine expires this year as well.
May 13th we drove back down to the states and checked in at an RV park in Coeur de Alene, Idaho where TJ’s sister and family were visiting for Hunter’s soccer tournament. TJ’s parents also happened to be visiting so we saw both families and watched Hunter’s soccer game.
We were set to check out on May 14th, Mother’s Day, and start our trip to Boston, MA to see my niece graduate.
May 14th, We were all packed up and ready to bring in our slide so we could get on the road. When Jenson pushed the button, the slide didn’t move and we heard what sounded like a faucet spraying. Our hydraulic hose had a hole in it and was spraying hydraulic fluid everywhere. No one would come and fix it on a Sunday so we were stuck for another day. Luckily, May 15th at 4pm someone arrived and fixed our slide. We were back on the road around 8pm that day.
*During days of extended driving, we pull over to sleep in Truck stops, Walmart’s, or Rest Stops. You need to make sure that it is ok before you just pull over and stay. Some Walmart’s don’t let you stay overnight. You will see signage. You may also find that some Truck stops at gas stations are full so have a backup plan. Also, make sure you have water in your storage tank so you can wash up. Some of the truck stops have showers (We haven’t used those, we use our own very quickly) If your grey tank fills up on an extended trip, you can also find locations where you can dump; both grey and black tank. (I am not knowledgeable in this area as TJ is the lucky one that deals with this part so if you have questions, I can refer them to him)
May 15 – Coeur de Alene, Idaho – Missoula, Montana
May 17 – Dickinson, North Dakota – Duluth, Minnesota
May 18 – Duluth, Minnesota – Sault Ste Marie, Michigan
May 19 – Sault Ste Marie, Michigan – Rochester, New York (We took a short cut through Canada and back into the United States right around Niagara Falls.) This trip across the border, they did a full search on the Canadian side. We had to pull over, get out, open our rig, open the slides, while 4 people searched our entire rig. It didn’t take long and we were back on the road again. Make sure to always tell them the truth about what you have on board. We don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs so we always say no, but I think they probably assume we have some alcohol. Nope. Not in our rig! I think they also search rigs that come from states where Marijuana is legal. We have Oregon plates. Make sure to have your dog records as well. We didn’t have any trouble getting back into the United States.
May 20 – Rochester, New York – Cape Cod RV Resort Massachusetts – Cape Cod RV Resort is affiliated with the Thousand Trails Membership that we own. We purchased this membership over 5 years ago and we are still benefiting from the membership today! We arrived on a beautifully sunny day, got settled in, and took nice long warm showers.
May 21 – Erika’s Graduation in Boston, Massachusetts. It was exciting to see my sister, her husband and 2 of their 3 daughters. Erika graduated from Boston University in Health Studies and plans on coming back for an advanced degree in Physical Therapy in the fall. The graduation was wonderful and then we all enjoyed lunch at a local favorite restaurant.
May 22 – 25 – Visited with some business connections in Stoughton, Massachusetts
May 25 – May 30 – Wells, Maine for Memorial Day weekend – Today is Sunday, May 28th and I wanted to write this blog post so I would have a reference of our travels over the last month and I share it with you in case you are interested.
TJ and I are so grateful and amazed that we are living this lifestyle. It is not always easy but we are blessed to have family that invite us to celebrations, sports, and visits at their home and vacations. We have met so many wonderful people on the road that have become our lifetime friends. I want to be of support to any of you that may be interested in this type of lifestyle or creating a lifestyle that allows for flexibility in time and place. We call this lifestyle living.