Sunday, April 3, 2016

Going from 400 to 100 square feet


You know you’re a fulltime RV’er when…….. Fill in the blank, there are hundreds of answers that would apply. I had one of these moments the other day and had to laugh at myself. I was at our daughter’s house using the bathroom. Instead of reaching for the flusher on the side of the toilet, my right foot automatically went for the foot flush on the bottom of the stool! Luckily there was no one around to witness this stupidity (that would have been awkward)!
Returning to Salt Lake we were filled with anticipation. Not only do we get to see our daughter and son-in-law, our son and daughter in-law and our grandkids, we also start our great Alaska adventure from here in less than month! With less than 4 weeks here we had a long list of things to do and get done.

The main item on Barb’s itinerary is to take care of our daughter, Jessica, who is having minor surgery. As a result she has restrictions on what she can do and how much she can lift for 4 weeks or so. Not an easy task with a 6 and 2 year old! In additional to tending to Jessica, Barb will be cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking Dylan to and from school and watching baby Kendall…… you know all those things it takes to keep a household in order.  Luckily Jessica’s husband Shane will be there to help out as well.

The surgery went well and although sore, Jessica was recovering comfortably at home while Barb tended to her every need. However, a day after Jessica’s surgery Shane came home from work doubled over in pain. An ultrasound later that day resulted in Shane having his gallbladder removed! Now Barb had two invalids to care for!

Where was I you ask? As far away from there as I could get! See ya later Barbie, I am outta here! Actually, I was a mere 30 miles south at our son Forrest’s house helping him getting ready to list it. We installed baseboards and trim in the new bathroom downstairs as well as cleaned and organized the garage for a yard sale that coming weekend. They listed their house on Tuesday and immediately had showings scheduled. The first day they had 5 showings and by the 4th day they had not one but two full price offers!

In the meantime we moved our rig to the marina just south of the city on Utah Lake. Daisy and I settled in there while Barb continued to spend her days and nights up at Jessica’s.
Next on our list was getting the camper ready for our Alaska adventure! Before we headed south to Quartzsite in December we had put the camper in the storage area here at the marina and filled it with the totes we did not want with us down in Quartzsite (all our warm clothing, hunting/fishing equipment….) Needless to say we were a little overwhelmed when we opened it up to see it stuffed full of totes!

But before we get to cleaning it out and stocking it for the Alaska adventure, we need to see if it even fits on the truck! If you recall, when Barb bought it last fall she had it delivered here to the storage area at the marina so it has not even been on the truck yet. So after Barb dropped Dylan off at kindergarten, she came down to the marina and we got busy; remove the 5th wheel hitch from the truck, empty tool chest from back of truck, remove tool chest, disconnect backup camera from tailgate, remove tailgate from truck…….now you can see why Barb did not test it when she bought it!
Truck ready, we headed over to the camper for the test fitting….remove the cover, lift the camper remove 55 gallon drums it was resting on and slip the truck under the camper. Although tight on the sides, it fit like a glove! After testing all the lights and measuring the tie-downs so we could buy chains we reversed the entire process getting the truck back in order. Several hours later we had crossed that off our list!
Ready........

Easy does it!

Success!
Over the next couple of weeks we slowly went through every tote, drawer, nook and cranny in the rig to determine if we were moving it into the camper or storing it in the rig for the next 6 months. One thing we discovered….we still have too much stuff! There are items that we have not touched in two years. We listed and sold some of these items while others we still just cannot part with. In the end we are all packed and ready for our adventure!
Of all the places we visit, Salt Lake is by far the one we look forward to the most. We spent Easter at Jessica’s (Forrest, Somer and Lily went snowboarding). We had several garage sales at Forrest’s on the weekends to help him get rid of stuff, helped him with a few items on his inspection checklist, we went out for sushi, BBQ, a brewery and even went to a movie!
 
Kendall found an egg!

And her basket!
Dylan found his basket!
Meanwhile.....Forrest, Somer and Lily were skiing!
Sampling a few brews at Epic Brewing Co.

This last week here we are putting the 5th wheel in storage and have started living in the camper! We wanted to have a few days in the camper while still in town just in case.

Goodbye home, see you in 5 or 6 months!
You think 400 square feet is tight, how about 100?!?! Besides the size difference the next biggest change for us (well me) is no TV. My brother Rod did send us a lot of movies so we will have some entertainment for those rainy days.
Good thing we all like each other!
We leave in less than a week for this adventure within an adventure, it is going to be an interesting five months to say the least……stay tuned!
 

40 comments:

  1. You guys are going to have a blast! Can't wait for the Alaska blog entries.

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    1. We are going to stay here another week to make sure everything is working properly but we want to leave now!

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  2. So glad things are going as planned. I laughed at the leg lift in the bathroom. Done that a few times. Don't think Steve could go without the tv. Look forward to this adventure. Dino already said you could just print off the itinerary and pass it out. Have fun! Joan

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    1. We have an issue with the fridge but I am working on that today. Barb plans on keeping pretty detailed notes on our travels and what we spend so others can use is as a guide.

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  3. While cozy, it really is amazing how much room a truck camper has, Jim. Are you taking comfy outdoor chairs?

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    1. True, we just need to stage getting ready in the morning and moving within the camper. We brought our captains chairs but not our real comfy ones, they just didn't fit.

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  4. Awesome "An Adventure within an Adventure." Don't look in the rear view mirror as you pull away from the 5er with your new little turtle shell on. She won't be smiling. "please please take me... I promise I'll suck in, I'm really not as big as I look and I'll happily bounce along the pot holed roads of Alaska with you".

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    1. There is no sucking in that much! We want to get into places it would never fit. The first is going to be Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, we have been wanting to stay there but never fit!

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  5. Another chapter in a great story begins!

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    1. It almost feels like we are hitting the road all over again with the camper!

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  6. Good Luck Jim and Barb! You're gonna have a blast.

    Red

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    1. Thanks Red, hoping to get some great drone footage up there.

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  7. Have a wonderful time!

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  8. We loved our truck camper but two weeks was long enough in 100 sq. ft. BUT that was then, I think now we could handle the space especially traveling to some amazing scenery. We're huge TV watchers so that'd be the biggest challenge. I look forward to following your adventure.

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    1. We (I) love our TV too, it is going to be an interesting few months!

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  9. Wow - I sure do give you guys a lot of credit! We're you really nervous the camper wouldn't fit? Aren't they pretty much standard? Anyway - glad it's all good!
    Can't wait to hear all about it and see you guys in AK!

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    1. We were pretty confident the camper would fit, what we were not sure about was the tie-downs. We had those custom welded just using measurements. The guy did a great job!

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  10. A busy but nice time with family! Looks fairly roomy! I know you're going to have a great time and I'm looking forward to all the nice pics! Don't forget to post some nice salmon shots! When in doubt, let the grizzly have the fish :-)

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  11. Now you see why I just couldn't do Alaska with three dogs in a truck camper...have fun!

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  12. We are planning to do the Alaska trip next year with a truck camper. I am very interested in how you transition to the 100 Sqft from the 5er. Please let us know the good, bad and ugly. We are concerned it will take some of the fun out of it. Especially when it rains for days on end. Please leave a few greyling for us.

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    1. So far so good but it has only been 2 days, we will let you know how it goes. As far as the grayling go.....no promises!

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  13. Jim that was a really interesting post. I have never used a truck camper and appreciate the level of detail you used to describe the process. So glad Barb was there with your daughter and son-in-law when they needed her. How great is that!! The whole 400 feet down to 1OO is pretty eye opening. Be interesting to see how it goes. Guess dinner is at our place when you stop,by in Alaska though cause I don't think I could take the small space 😄

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    1. It's a date for dinner, looking forward to it!

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  14. What a great idea to use a truck camper! My wife and I have just started our fulltime adventure, and of course, a trip to Alaska is on the bucket list. I had already decided, though, that I'm not gonna drag our 40' DRV Suites 5th wheel up there, for the same reasons you cited. The camper would solve all of my issues for such a journey. Good luck and we'll be reading. One question: did you have to modify your truck insurance?

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    1. We have heard mixed opinions on taking a big rig up there. We decided not to chance it. We did put insurance on the pickup camper, it was $87/500 deductible, $65/1000 deductible.

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  15. Was beginning to wonder what you guys are up to!! Sounds like a lot!! Glad all the pieces are coming together (and the truck camper fit!!)

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    1. It is always different when we are here; more family time, less adventures. Although there is a lot to do here, we just get out to do anything!

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  16. What good parents helping out the kids:) Of course, you get that added grandchildren benefit:)

    So glad the camper fit the truck...that would have been a major bummer. Have a an amazing trip! Can't wait to follow along:)

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    1. It is good to see everyone before we leave the area for the summer. Who knows where Forrest will be when we get back!

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  17. Glad everything is working out for you guys. Looking forward to the Ninja Turtle adventures. Just some food for thought though as you take on this 6 month journey. If you sneeze in a 400 foot home versus a 100 foot home, the sneeze is going to spread more in the smaller. So make extra waffles.

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    1. Waffles are going to be few and far between with no real battery bank to use for power. We plan on boondocking/dry camping as much as possible.

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  18. Sounds like you guys have accomplished a lot and had some quality family time. We've also had the foot pedal experience a few times. 😳 That's a nice looking camper you chose Barb...good job! Enjoy your travels up the Pacific coast. We are looking forward to seeing you soon in Victoria.
    Safe travels!

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    1. So far everything works except the fridge, it only works on electric. Cleaned the jets and replaced the thermocouple yesterday, that did not fix it.....control board is next.

      See you guys soon!

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  19. I have often wondered if I could further downsize, and if so, would a Truck Camper be an option for me. I will look forward to hearing more about how this works for you guys. Oh, and Alaska!

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    1. So far so good. We have been spending more time outside the camper then we would have in the 5th wheel. So far we have not spent a lot of time at the table, we generally jump up on the bunk to read and play on the computer.

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  20. We are now south of Portland slowly going north for a May 4th border crossing. This is gonna be a great summer! Safe travels!

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    1. We head west from Salt Lake tomorrow, it looks as though we may catch up to you near the border.

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