Now that we are a family of 5, traveling in the Airstream is a bit more challenging than before. Our last extended trip was our tour of the southwest in the fall of 2011 when we attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Since then, we have installed new solar panels and added Luka to the roster of our road trippers. Both additions worked out surprisingly well in their first outing a couple of weeks ago at our local KOA. We intentionally opted for a dry campsite to see how much the solar panels can handle. Although it does not completely replenish our batteries daily with only 100-watts of maximum output, it reassures us that we will at least put enough juice back in to run the bare necessities.
Luka slept with us on the bed just like Mila did when she took her first trip at a month old. But at the rate these weeds seem to grow, we are desperately in need to make better sleeping arrangements soon. Unfortunately, the modern Airstreams like ours are not designed for families our size to travel full time. Our evening routine while on an extended trip is to give the kids baths or showers and then put them to bed so we can get some work done at the dinette table. With 1 more kid, we are trying to find ways for them to sleep comfortably without having to breakdown the table. If you have ever full-timed, you would appreciate not needing to reconfigure your living and sleeping space daily.
One of the ideas we are entertaining is to build a bunk bed in the bedroom. After talking to Timeless Trailers briefly at the Palm Springs Vintage Trailer show earlier this year, we are a little sticker shocked to hear that the minimum cost for a professional job was in the 5 digits. We want it to look nice and professionally done but we don’t need to hack off one of our arms to afford it. I’ve got some ideas for a project that might work without a full custom job by the pros. Once it is more ironed out, I will try to document it in a post or two.
As if having a new baby is not challenging enough, we are looking for more. Ever since we returned from our cross country trip in 2010, we have been vying for another opportunity to head out again. Last year’s 6 week span in Europe and a short jaunt to New Mexico was not enough to satisfy our road cravings. The first time around, we weren’t confident enough to sever our roots with the home base. We paid dearly for it with our California-sized mortgage. Now that we’ve got several hundred nights in the Airstream under our belt, we are taking the leap to lease our home and be real full timers for a change.
It isn’t going to be easy to execute this plan. Having lived in this house for 8 years and more than doubled our family size during that time, we will need to drastically downsize. Lots of things will need to go for everything else to fit into a storage space. Even though our home is small by American standards at around 900 square feet, it is surprising how much crap we can pack into it. As usual, the only rock solid plan we have right now is to be in Denver for Alumafandango in August. The rest we will deal with as it comes. Tentatively, we are hoping to be living out of the Airstream towards the end of June. We will probably hover around Southern California from campground to campground for another month or so, or until all the loose ends are tied up. I am starting to get the jitters but I think it is the good kind.
over and out,