Monday, February 28, 2011

Let Operation Explorations Begin!

Even though our tentative departure date is April 20th, having our new trailer in the driveway is so exciting. It brings us one step closer to a dream.

Originally we wanted to travel for a year however right now we are only able to go for 4 1/2 months for this maiden voyage, but it will be so amazing! And this will only be the first major trip... I am positive there will be more...

Since we have two young children ages 3 and 4 we spent a lot of time looking for a trailer that would accommodate all of our families needs. We needed a bunk room and not just bunk beds for the girls. In our house their belongings take up more room then ours do!

Our 4 year old will take over the main bunk, our 3 year old will sleep on the pull out bed/couch and we will use the above bunk (currently holding folding chairs) for bin storage of toys, clothes and art supplies on our journey. We also want to find a slim, folding table to secure to the wall or entertainment unit so they will have a workspace in their room as well.

Yes that space is for a TV and they will have their own TV. There will be many adventures for them during our Operation Explorations. Places to see, explore, climb; where their curiosity and sense of wonder will guide them on many adventures, but lets face it...there will be times WE will need their TV as much as they do!

Here's our floor plan:
We had been researching our options for about a year and had decided on an Open Range Roamer. We loved that it had lots of exterior storage and a door from the outside to the bathroom. We went to an RV show for one last look before making the commitment to buy and we took one look at this lounge and all our thoughts about the Roamer went out the window...our those lovely panoramic windows!

After seeing this model which had only been on the market for a couple months we knew that we could live without the extra door to the bathroom! Since we will spend alot of time in this trailer (4 1/2 months on the first big trip with the possibility of living in it more long term down the road) we chose to take this living space that IS sooOOooo wonderful! The open lounge is so comfortable, so roomy and I love the large panoramic windows. We were sold! It looks great, is livable and has lots of storage.
We gave up our second outside entrance to the bathroom. I will miss that feature as we park near beaches and our living space becomes a sandpit but heck...a little sand will just make it feel homey right? And that's what vacuums are for right?

(Anyone have a suggestion on a good, compact vacuum to purchase for the trailer?)

We do have what they call an outside shower which is more like an outside hose in our outside kitchen that can be used to hose them down if they are really dirty; before they entre!

In the Roamer we liked, this area was storage for bikes etc which we will also miss but then I look at the lounge area again...and we will find a way to pack it the very least we will learn to be selective in what we bring and learn to thin out and we will make good use of this outside kitchen!

Our tiny bathroom has a very small bathtub which you step down into with a sky light. Just the right size for the girls.

And last but not least...our bedroom. Very compact, and it could use more closet storage but we will get creative on how to best use the space we have.

To some it may sound crazy, picking up and leaving for a life on the road with kids (even if only for 4 1/2 months). What are we thinking? Are we really considering selling off everything in the future for a life of travel? How can you? What about the girls school? This first 4 1/2 month trip will be the test trip and if all goes as well as we hope who knows what the future could hold for us!

Selling off our businesses a few months ago has given us the freedom to follow our dreams and to live life how we want instead of running around in the rat race. It is so liberating! I know that the life lessons my girls will learn on the road will give them the tools to succeed in life. The hardest part of our 4 1/2 month trip I am sure will be waiting a full year while my husband finishes his degree, before we can take off again!

Check back often to see our preparations for Operation Explorations to begin. This blog will detail our preparations for the trips, our paths we take and all our daily explorations!

A sneak peek to our travel plans... we hope to depart April 20th (my husbands birthday) as he finishes this term at UBC on April 19th and we can't wait any longer then that! We'll head to Vegas to meet up with some friends who are there for Easter weekend (neither of us have been to Vegas before). We will explore the Grand Canyon and other nearby marvels, visit Taos to see some Earthships (click HERE to learn about Earthships) as this is our eventual build and live in an Earthship. Then we head towards the Texas coast, Louisiana, Florida and have our fill of all those fabulous beaches along the way. Then we head North to visit Family and friends in Nova Scotia and Ontario, before starting our trek back to British Columbia via Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone! A busy 4 1/2 months which I am sure will leave us wanting more!


Donna aka Froggi said...

Nice rig!! Looks like it will work well for you. Check out this vacuum, meant for hard floors:

joanne said...

we have been looking at this trailer but have heard one or two things about it, i was just wondering if you could tell me if they were true. That the fan was noisy? and the dvd player doesnt connect to the tv?
Thanks Joanne

Brooke (Siayla) said...

Hi Joanne. We LOVE our trailer!!! The "fantastic fan" in the bathroom is quite loud but really you don't have it on much or for long so I never ever even thought about it as a problem.

We did have a problem with our DVD player at first. It wouldn't recognize a DVD and play it. We manually slid the lazer over and it reset itself and we haven't had any more problems with it since.

There are two things we didn't think about before we bought the trailer as we fell in LOVE with the lounge area and we still love it and have no regrets! One of the forums mentioned not having a booth/table for dinners/card games etc was an issue but we are managing just fine with the fold up table and using the 2 stools. We wouldn't trade our lounge area for a booth. The view out the panoramic windows is much more useful to us.

The other thing is the length. We jumped right from a camper on the truck to 35 feet which can be troublesome in certain places but you learn to adapt and we have managed fine. We needed the length for the kids room which is a must for us!

If you have any other questions I'd be happy to try to answer them. So far we LOVE our choice for a trailer. It suits our families need. I still miss the outdoor bathroom door but once again...the lounge area makes you forget about it quick. The living space in here is amazing!!!

Hope that helps. Good luck on your hunt!

John said...

Hello... I've been scouring the Forest River Forums for information about travel trailers and I came across one of your posts about the Surveyor 305. My wife and I ordered one and are to pick it up next week. We are so excited! We did exactly the same as you... decided the Open Range Roamer was what we wanted. After walking around in one, we decided that was our rig. Then, while searching the web an evening or too later, I came across the SV-305. When my wife so the "lounge" area, we both knew we could live without an outside bathroom door.

I'm looking forward to reading about Operation Explorations. I just found it and decided to start at the beginning.

In the meantime, if you have an suggestions/tips/tricks/etc. about your SV-305, if you have the time, I would love to read about them.

Take care,
~ John

Brooke (Siayla) said...

Hi John Congrats on the purchase :) We are still in love with our trailer after basically living in it since April 17th when we left on our maiden voyage.

We have REALLY missed that bathroom door on times we were parked at the beach!!! But not enough to wish for it over our lounge area.

Only considerations are I mentioned above in reply to a comment that our DVD player worked after an inital adjustment but it has since stopped working and we will have to get them to fix it when we get home in September.

The stools for our kids 3 and 5 can be tricky to manage at times but we like it still way better then booth seating.

Do make sure to check under the bathroom sink for leaks. Our friends bought the same trailer and there's leaked right away. Our leak was just noticed the other day. They put a nail through the water hose in factory. Ian fixed it with a stop to Home Depot but might want to check it out before leaving the lot. Just get them to unscrew the panel under the bathroom sink. The water filter is in there which you may need to add the filter as ours was just handed to us?!?

If you plan on buying solar panels like we just did...beware the roof is rubberized and you can't apply the panels without bolting to the roof and voiding your warranty...we are still trying to decide what to do now that we bought the panels.

A precaution when opening the main slide make sure the storage door is closed as if it pops open in transit you will tear it off during opening...we leant from experience;(

Other then that we have a great time having many journeys in our Surveyor and are sure you will to. The lounge is soooOOooo worth it! I think the Roamer might have been constructed a bit better but the price tag was more too :)

Hope that helps and Welcome to Operation Explorations!