Slide-on, Slide-off

Slide-outs. The handiest of the handy when you want more space. Trailers without slide-outs are pretty cramped, so at least one is pretty well a necessity if you’re a family going full time.

Unless you travel a lot. Because when we go between Manitoba and BC (more than 2300km, or 1400 miles) it isn’t like it is convenient to open and shut the slide every night and morning. Some people seem to have no problems with their slide-outs, but remember that you’re living in an RV; EVERYTHING BREAKS. I major warning from multiple full timers has been to ensure that your RV is level before using your slide-out motor, or risk breaking it. As such, we simply don’t touch it while on the road.

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Traveling Through Covid-19; The Road to Winnipeg

We’re back! Finally, a new post! Life was just too stressful to make posts for a while, but we’ve landed something kind of great and it is time to get moving again! So let’s get back to the stories.

First up, our travels back to Winnipeg in the middle of the first pandemic lockdown. And wow, was that weird.

That song played three times during our trip.

The pandemic and the lockdown changed everything for all of us. Even ironclad rules.

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Past and Future Plans, As of Today

As you have seen if you follow our blog, our plans go wonky very quickly. We bounce back, but at no point do our goals ever stay static simply because life throws us too many curve balls for that to ever be a thing.

Case in point, our trip to Vancouver Island last winter.

We weren’t sure if we were going to try to stay on the Island or not. Going back and forth is expensive, especially with the ferry fee. But we don’t have a setup capable of handling Manitoba’s frigid winters.

We started on the Island volunteering. But the trip had been far more expensive than planned. Right away, though, I was able to land a job with an arborist. Even though I was also supposed to be volunteering, I couldn’t very well turn down a steady paycheque. I managed to handle both for several weeks.

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And Then… There Was One!

Where have we been!?

Normally I do posts several months after the fact, but this is an update as of today!

I am now working 50 hours per week landscaping and am working on getting my air brake endorsement. I am also teaching a wild edibles class every other week, had to buy and fix a second vehicle so that Lyndsay can take Aurora to classes and things and get a part time job (and there is more to do on both vehicles), am trying to find time to write two books (one fiction and one non-fiction), and of course still need Shabbat off for family time.

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To Sell A Van: Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

In roughly five hour stints we would be going from North Dakota down Highway 15 to Las Vegas.

While going through Idaho we stopped at Hell’s Half Acre. We’d been driving through agricultural land and then suddenly were in the middle of an old lava field. It was a very striking difference in terrain, so we stopped for a walk.

Next was Salt Lake City where we stopped to get Mexican food. Unfortunately it sucked. It was bland to the point of being nearly tasteless.

Nice scenery, though.

Next was St. George.

Mormon church.

St. George was a rather interesting place. Claiming to be a “dry” town, all bars and liquor stores only sold beer.

Yeah, I don’t get it either…

Our friend Dave–along for the ride on another one of our crazy adventures– went to the bar and had interesting discussions with the locals. They liked talking to visitors and were very friendly and welcoming. So welcoming that they told you all about how welcoming they are. Everyone is welcome in St. George, not just Mormons! Whites, blacks, natives, Christians, Jews… “But not Muslims. Have you read the Koran? They want to kill us!” (I’m not making that up, this was what they said.)

The next day, leaving a dry Mormon town in a rape van, we were stopped by the police for having expired plates. We had to explain our temporary registration to the officer who declared while trying to understand the forms, “they do things weird in Canada.” Thankfully he was satisfied with the temporary registration forms and let us continue on our way.

From St. George it was on to Las Vegas. And let me tell you, to this day, that was the most beautiful drive we’ve been on. The highway went up and down hills with cliff walls to each side. It was phenomenal and I’m sorry that we don’t have pictures!

So things weren’t so bad, other than dumping 2 to 5 litres of oil into the van every time we fueled up.

We decided to stay two nights in Vegas due to how cheap the hotels were and it was three days before we could drop off the van. And the cheapest place we found to stay?

The Hooters hotel on the strip.

With a baby.

At a booby buffet.

To Sell a Van

Several events happened to us that made us decide to live a life in an RV. I was more interested in having land (still am, and we’re trying to sort life for that to happen), but Lyndsay wanted the life on the road. She had to convince me and we had to prove that Aurora could travel well.

Three major trips played large roles in our decision to live in an RV full time. The first was the trip to Las Vegas and California to sell Lyndsay’s shagin’ wagon… I mean her drug runner… I mean her heart van.

We had been living in downtown Winnipeg and her van was just sitting parked outdoors. It was rusting, its paint was fading, and it was costing us $50 per month to store.

Lyndsay was deeply in love with Tasty. I sometimes think she loved that van more than me! But we had a wedding to pay for, so we finally made the decision to sell it.

At first Lyndsay tried to sell locally. We got a few offers, but they were all below $1000. As the saying goes (I made it up myself), never send a Ukrainian to do a Jew’s job. I took over the sale process.

I took new (and old) pictures of the van and put it up online in several places, talking it up as a collector item. Within days, offers poured in from across the country from collectors looking to save the van. In short order, we received a phone call from a collector in California.

Now, this collector was the walking stereotype of the ignorant American. When trying to explain where Winnipeg is, he could barely comprehend that we were north of North Dakota; he had to look at a map. He was also the walking stereotype of an American with too much money. He talked my ear off (the cell phone bill had $200 in long distance charges) and during these conversations he told me how he’d taken his Porsche out of storage just before heavy rains and it got completely flooded.

After all that I decided I would be taking his money.

Lyndsay had paid $3000USD to buy the van in California. I convinced this collector to buy it for $4500 American, pay $3500 up front and we would deliver it to him.

(Side note: If you own or manage a sales lot in Manitoba, I’m for hire. Use the contact form.)

It was rather appropriate when you think about it. Lyndsay bought the van in California and it would be going home after a long tour of North America. The plan was simple: drive to San Francisco to visit a friend, drop off and collect the last of the money owed on the van, rent a car and drive through Death Valley (Lyndsay has always wanted to see Death Valley), stay a day in Vegas, go see the Grand Canyon, then fly home.

What could go wrong? Pictures to come!

Sunday Review: Road Snacks!

A road trip just isn’t a road trip without road snacks.

Or maybe we’re just fat.

Bits & Bites are by far my favourite. I don’t know why, but I must have them on the road and I just about only eat them when on the road. And then I eat a lot. The perfect mix of different levels of crunchy and salty and that barbeque flavour mixed into the cheese flavour- dangit, I just drooled on my computer.

This is what happens when a 4-year-old has control of her own snacks.
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Drumheller and the Dinosaurs

On the road again! Can’t wait to get on the road again! Is that the full time RVer theme song?

After Manitou it was on to Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum to see the dinosaurs!

First, here’s a pro-tip for parents taking their kid(s) to a museum. FACE PAINT! Lyndsay painted Aurora’s face and got her to pose at the exhibits. Aurora–normally very attention hungry and energetic–thought she was tricking people into thinking she was a part of the exhibit. She had fun, stayed still for lengthy periods of time, and everyone got to actually read the information without child interruptions.

Aaagh! Dinosaur! Oh, it’s just a kid.
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