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"Hope" & "The Tank"

"She said it gave us all HOPE to finally be together again."

Before I start talking, here's the link to how we ready for transit mode...just in case that's all you're interested in: Readying For Transit Mode.

On March 10, 2013, after 6 months of preparations, window shopping, waiting for our tax refund and waiting for Nic to fly into town for a week from Virginia (we needed all the planets to align perfectly too, lol), we finally bought our perfect home! It wass a 28' 2005 KZ Sportsman Sportster toyhauler. It was converted by the previous owners to a travel trailer when they decided to remove the rear ramp and wall it off. That was utterly perfect for us! We got the benefit of the toyhauler's weight GVWR (10,000 lbs, instead of the 7-8k lbs max of a comparable travel trailer) but without the big ramp door that just looks like it would be a furnace's worst nightmare. It was perfect for us at least. :)

28' 2005 KZ Sportsman Sportster Toy Hauler

We didn't have a truck yet to tow it with, so we asked the guy we bought it from if he could haul it to my in-laws' home for us. He obliged and after a few minutes of him and my Husband straightening it in their driveway, he drove off with our money and we stared in awe and splendor at what we just did.

We spent the next few weeks (and still to this day) breaking ground on it. We gave it a complete makeover, remodeling and interior decorating. We made a lot of progress in a short amount of time thanks to a lot of people's help. (My Mom, Nic's Parent's, their awesome RVing neighbor Jim, our friends Pip, Jedi & Tiger, the Barbarian and others, just to name a few.)

It was a perfect compromise of what we wanted vs. what we needed.

  • I needed the girls to have their own room (for my sanity). Their room is 8 feet by 10 feet. It's a third of what they were used to (and twice the occupancy of what our eldest daughter is used to), but it's better than nothing and they're happy with it. That's all that matters.
  • I need a real bed for my Husband and I to sleep fold out couch or anything. I didn't care if we had an actual room. We have a queen size bed at the front of our RV that I can "close off" with curtains to give us some privacy.
  • I needed somewhere we could eat as a family and homeschool but not necessarily "hang out" as a family. We ripped the couch out of the slide and built a dinette. We don't need a couch. We're not a big tv family and when we do watch it, we use our bed as the headquarters for that activity.
  • I need somewhere to put my clothes. Handled between the use of a sterilite 2-drawer dresser and a makeshift closet space next to the pantry.
  • I needed a toilet, sink, shower and wanted a bath tub for the girls. We got everything, technically, although the bathtub is a 1/2 size bathtub. It's perfect for Cindy and doable for Monster High Girl (MHG).
  • I needed somewhere to cook. Established via my miniature kitchen. We have become masters at organizing and storing stuff. Zip lock baggies are my best friend...all sizes of them.
  • I wanted to be able to store a lot of homeschooling-related items. Definitely not a problem. I put shelves up in the girls' room and between my organizational skills, Pinterest and getting ideas from fellow RVers, we've got everything we need...and even some stuff we wanted. 
MHG named our new home: "Hope". She said it gave us all hope to finally be together again. After being separated from Ahdoo for a year, it was definitely taking its toll on us. We were so happy when he came back for us on May 29th, and a week later, June 6th, we bought our truck: a 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 V-10 with only 115k miles on it. It is gasoline, by the way...not a diesel. In Colorado, annual inspections are required on all diesel trucks and we knew we wouldn't always be able to drive our truck back to Colorado every year for that. Gasoline was the smart choice for us.
1998 Dodge Ram 2500 V-10

On June 11, 2013, we hitched it up to Hope (his first time ever hitching her up) and hauled it down the 7% grade hill to his Parents' home for the night. Once there, their neighbor helped us get the hitch assembly hooked up *better*, we spent the majority of the night squaring things more away, strapping things down better, and getting rid of more stuff. We prayed to the higher powers that, on our first trip hauling an 8,000lb RV behind a truck that we've only owned for a few days, everything would go ok. The biggest trailer he had ever towed was just a tiny utility trailer and we were about to travel 2,000 miles across the country with this behemoth! We just dived right in. All or nothin'!

Last day in Colorado! Open come the Boho Hobos!!!
June 12, 2013

We stayed at the Rocky Top Campground & Motel for the month before we hit the road. It is located in Green Mountain Falls, CO and I would HIGHLY recommend you stay there if you're ever passing through.

Needless to say, Hope held up just fine, she treated us well on the way, keeping us cool at night as we slept and she stayed in her lanes on the road just fine. The truck hauled like a dream and we were really glad we had those extra liters over the 2500 V-8. Size matters...yes, yes it really does.

Check out the "Renovations" tab at the top to see the before and after pics.

The blog link to the day we bought The Tank is:

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