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Ergobaby Papoose Coat.

For those of you who have been following our cross country Airstream adventures over these past few years, I’m sure you have noticed a theme with the babies. Yes, they are cute, obviously, haha… but they also are always in the Ergobaby carrier when we are out and about. I could not imagine doing what we are doing, or even having more than one more kid, without the help of the Ergobaby. During our first cross country trip in 2010, we purposely planned our trip to avoid any super cold weather. I didn’t have to worry about keeping myself or the baby warm for the large majority of the time.

But this current adventure we are on is a bit different. We are chasing autumn around the country and are quickly approaching winter. For a born and raised southern California girl, this cold weather came as a little bit of a shock. I am not use to dressing for this type of cold weather, especially with a baby in tow. So I have been wearing an over-sized men’s puffy jacket that zips up just enough to cover the baby’s feet. And if it is really cold, I layer a blanket over the top of the carrier too. Yes, I look dorky but it was the only thing that I thought worked for my situation.

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Grab your credit card. It’s Etsy time.

Enough of this techy stuff. It’s time to soften up this blog a bit!!

I am a huge fan of Etsy. As I am of Anthropologie. And this week my heart broke a little when Anthropologie’s big sister, Urban Outfitters, pretty much stole a line of necklaces from a small guy gal on Etsy. People were going nuts. But then a little article came out on Regetsy about people on Etsy stealing from others on Esty and it shut some of them up and for others, added more fuel to the fire.

But I am not hear to preach to you about how stealing is wrong. I am here to help you do a little shop shopping for your Airstream and/or home.

I’ve stumbled upon a couple awesome prints on Etsy that are fitting for those of us that enjoy the road. This first one by The Wheatfield is my favorite. It is currently sold out but I’m sure it will be back in stock soon. And when it is, I am buying one ASAP… unless you swoop in and get to it first. Damn, maybe I should have kept this my little secret.
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Who is Eddie Bauer?

Most of you not living on Mars have probably heard of the name Eddie Bauer. Who knows, maybe even some of our Martian subscribers have heard of them and just haven’t had to time to comment on our blog. Yet. If you are one of these people who have heard of the name, what does the name mean to you? Is it just a brand name? Does it convey some type of lifestyle and environment? Or maybe it just reminds you of your last trip to the mall where you saw some sweet down-filled winter jackets. Well for me, its a little bit of all of them.

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Speakers inside our Airstream.

Our Airstream came with the A/V package that is really nice to have to keep Ava entertained when we need to work. And when we are working inside Mali Mish, we sit at each side of the dinette where we can have a nice view through the wrap around windows of whatever view we happen to have that day. It is a beautiful thing.

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But there is one small problem…

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Parking the Airstream at Malibu Creek State Park.

Before our last mini trip to Malibu Creek State Park, a lot of people warned us of how scary the road was to get there. We had a flashback to our first little trip to Lake Isabella. Narrow, windy mountain roads with rock overhangs on one side and a cliff down to oblivion on the other.
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Well, that nightmare did not materialize. In fact, the trip there was as uneventful as one could imagine. A short drive up the 101 where most of the way was a 6-lane freeway with just the last 5 miles or so a straight 2 lane highway. I think the fact that we did not come from the ocean side of Malibu was the difference. Las Virgenes Road goes all the way through to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, AKA California Highway 1) and it dumps you off right next to Pepperdine University. I am guessing driving a big RV thru the road to there would not be too pleasant.

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How an Airstream is made.

The Discovery Channel program ‘How It’s Made’ showed the making of an Airstream trailer. In most of the shots, they are building a 25 ft International Ocean Breeze just like the ol’ Mish! Check it out. One day I will post a video of a complete walk-thru of our own silver bullet.

over and out,
dan

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Carve Your Own Road by the Remlings.

Jennifer and Joe Remling from Atlanta decided in the summer of 2007 to quit their jobs and hit the road in an Airstream. They traveled around the country interviewing people who have also fired their bosses and went out on their own. The end result of their journey is a book aptly named ‘Carve Your Own Road‘.

If you didn’t think it was possible to just get up and leave your mundane and boring life, it’s time for you to get this book. In this recession when many of you are losing your jobs and looking for new beginnings, there is no better time to lighten your load and hit the road. It’s like hitting Control-Alt-Delete on your life.

Check out an interview of the Remlings on the Wall Street Journal Blog or read Jennifer Remling’s blog at CarveYourOwnRoad.com/blog.

over and out,
dan

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The Never Ending Debate: Generator vs. Solar Panels.

While I am on a little bit of a boondocking roll, let me share my two cents on this ongoing discussion: Generator or Solar. It is really not a debate on whether one is better than the other. There are plenty of folks who’ve decided to use both technologies. For those of us who are on a budget, the main reasons to choose are the cost and storage availability.

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A 120 watt panel mounted atop a late model Airstream

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The ‘New-To-Us’ Honda EU2000i Generator

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Our Portable Battery Bank.

The standard battery bank on the Airstream consists of two 12-volt group 24 batteries connected in parallel stored just in front of the trailer and behind the propane tanks. Group 24 batteries are designed to hold around 75 amp hours of power each. At a full charge, they store just enough juice for you to run all the lights in the Airstream for about 2 seconds. OK, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but the power-hungry halogen bulbs Jackson Center, Ohio installed into our 25 foot International are not really designed with boondockers in mind. Bright and warm as they might be, they are very inefficient. Many people have swapped them out for expensive LED versions of these lights bought from Internet sources. The problem with this ‘upgrade’ is that in return of them running forever, you have to deal with these dim little blue lights that makes you feel like you are living in the International Space Station.

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Quenching Our Thirst for Power.

A big part of going full timing is being able to adapt to changing environments. In some of our recent posts, we have focused a lot on the ability for us to boondock. That is because I have been obsessed with getting the Airstream a steady supply of portable power. As much as I would love to have solar panels installed on the Airstream, the cost is much more prohibitive than just getting a reliable generator. I know, I know, there are more ongoing costs with generators not associated with solar power like gas and maintenance, but I just can’t see myself spending upwards of $2000 to get the solar panel I want. It is a much more permenant solution that I would want to do it right when I am ready to spend that kind of money.

After scouring Craig’s List and eBay for the last 6 months, I finally came across a local seller with a lightly used Honda EU2000i generator. He was asking $900 for the unit that has maybe 10-20 hours of use. Relying solely on my negotiations skills, I walked away with it only $775 lighter in my back pocket.

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