Tuesday, January 24, 2017

......and Preperations

Much of our time in the next month or so will be spent preparing.  We have been following several Blogs over the last year, learning from the experience of others.  These folks have spent multiple years on the road.  Here are some of our favorites.

WatsonsWander   This is a couple who refurbished an Airstream trailer, and have been on the road for since 2012.  I like the idea of refurbishing an Airstream, but like the idea of traveling better.  It is one of the reasons why we purchased a new trailer.  I do like their set-up though.  It reminds me a lot of what we should look like traveling down the road.  We are bringing along bike and kayaks too.

Gone With the Wynns  These guys began traveling in an RV and sharing not only their adventures, but lessons about what they have learned, what equipment works best, and places to visit.  They recently traded the Motor Home for a Sail Boat.  They are full of great ideas, and really fun to follow.

The Greatest American Road Trip - 59 Parks in 52 Weeks  Jonathan and Stefanie embarked on an epic road trip last year, visiting all 59 national parks in 52 weeks, in celebration of the centennial of the National Parks Service.  One of our goals is to visit, not only these parks, but the many national monuments that find them selves in our way.

Modern Nomad - Outside Online  I recently found this blog from a couple who recently began traveling full time.  They have great ideas, lessons and adventures.

The RV Mobile Internet Resource Center is a must resource for anyone hoping to stay connected while on the road.  Many experienced nomads and full timers who I have looked into have recommended this as a resource.  Not only have Chris and Cherie been full timing for about a decade and have a wealth of information, they are THE go to resource for anything related to staying connected on the road.  Weather it is how to get your email, update your Blog, or watch your favorite show, they have the information you need.  The annual membership  fee is more than worth the cost.

I have learned that staying connected on the road involves using both WiFi and Cellular signals, and boosting both of them.  Using the Resource Center, I settled on the following Technology.

WiFiRanger EliteAC Pack
For a mobile router, and a WiFi Booster I settled WiFi Ranger's EliteAC Pack.  This setup includes their GoAC Mobile Router, paired with their EliteAC, flat mount booster.  The mobile router allows cellular tethering, meaning the router will handle both WiFi, and cellular signals, creating a LAN in a and around the Trailer.

To boost the cellular signal, I chose the weBoostDrive 4G-M booster kit from WilsonAmplifiers.  This will boost the signal for my Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot AC791L by Netgear.  The hotspot supports multiple devices, on our Verizon Data Plan, and tethers to the mobile router.

Another critical component has been which stabilizing trailer hitch we should use.  I decided on the ProPride 3P hitch.  This
ProPride 3P
hitch is designed to eliminate trailer sway, by projecting the pivot point of the trailer forward to above the rear axel.  The decision seemed to make sense especially since we will be towing our home every where we go.

Luckily, I was able to ship all of this technology to Colonial Airstream will install all of this before we take delivery of the trailer in early March.  Particularly I wanted them to install the exterior antennas for the WiFi and Cell boosters.  In speaking to the technician, he knew everything I wanted to install and assured me that they do several of these installations weekly.

I have been busy working on the tow vehicle as well.  Since the truck will be our main storage area I have spent considerable thought on how I would like to set it up.

ARE Topper
The topper is an ARE V Series topper, ordered through Suburban Toppers in Denver.  The toppers is a basic model that allowed me to customize it to fit our needs.

I added solid "windoors" on both sides, allowing us to access items in the bed from the side of the truck.
 On top, is a Yakima Rack, where we will carry the kayaks.  Inside, we installed a single strand of LED lighting, that comes on once the back window is opened.  In addition, we have a 12V power block.
Storrage Racks 

To organize the inside better, we customized modular steel shelving from The Container Store which allows us to store boxes and bags more efficiently.

Viking Tire Step Ladder
Access to the truck bed, and roof rack is made easier by the Traxion Tailgate Ladder and a Viking Solutions Tire Step ladder.

Traxion Tailgate Ladder
Both seem to be cost effective solutions that will travel nicely.

Stowed Ladder

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Downtown Courthouse
We returned from the Big Island, Hawaii on December 21st.  Taking up residence in the Homewood Suites in Boulder.  I have taken to calling it the "Homeless" Suites, given our current housing situation.

It was a bit of a change.  It is snowing heavily, and 5ยบ F as I write this.

We are back in Boulder to celebrate the Holidays, tie up loose ends, and say some farewells.

Also, AIROSMITH the Airstream won't be outfitted and ready for delivery until the end of February.

However, being transient in my own hometown has brought on some interesting feelings.  I would not call it unmoored though I have always had a home-base here.  I find myself sitting at breakfast in a hotel amongst visitors in my hometown.  Like a visitor.  Those who have moved on from where they grew up may not feel it, but I have always been here.  This has always been home-base.  This place is a part of my identity.

We do have places to stay, thanks to friends and family, and we are planning several trips, including one to move our son back to Boulder from Dearborn Michigan.
Michelle, Shawn, Me at Vail

Once back in town, I took advantage to ski Vail with good friends, Shawn and Michelle.

Being with them in Vail recalls so many fine days spent skiing with their Dad, and my friend, Jon.

I finally got my ski legs under me, following a spectacular fall in the powder of Sundown Bowl.  I have cut the fall from the video, featuring only my classic powder skills.

Christmas was spent with family here.  Steff was happy that she didn't have to cook all of the cookies.  Ashley provided a fine prime rib, and we had a wonderful time.
Christmas Dinner

Juan, Vadin & Me at Eldora
I also had the chance to catch several runs with Juan and Vadin at Eldora.  There is nothing much better than grabbing some turns with my grandson and best ski partner!  Juan is a "boarder" like Vadin's mom.  But we have  forgiven them for that.

Happy New Year!
All in all, we are enjoying staying in town, and visiting many of our old haunts. How many times have I driven past the Flagstaff Star?  I don't recall a winter that I didn't see it.  I will miss living here. Though the idea, the anticipation of our nomadic adventure overcomes any feeling to stay planted here in my hometown.  I know that I will always return.  Niwot's curse you know.

Flagstaff Star