Date: July 2014
Destination: The Pacific Northwest
Activity: RV Trip
I think it was my childhood memories of being in my grandparents motor home that sparked the desire to try an RV trip with my own family. After a lot of discussion and research Trent and I decided to purchase an RV instead of renting one. The size of the RV we’d need to rent and the distance we wanted to travel made renting an RV seem extremely overpriced. Purchasing one seemed like a smarter idea especially if we loved it enough to keep it. If so we’d have a quick vacation for our growing family of 9 and if we hated it we felt like we could sell the RV and still lose some money but off set the cost of renting one in the end. We ended up purchasing a 45’ Charleston made by Forest River. It was a huge RV!
In April of this year we purchased an RV at Motor Home Specialists up near Dallas. We stayed onsite for one night at the RV sales center just to test the RV and make sure we knew how to run and operate one on our own. We cooked, watched a movie, and played games and had a great time just sitting in our RV in the middle of the sales center. We were on our own planet already.
The end of April we ventured out again and drove an hour north of San Antonio to Austin and tried it out again. This time we were at a small RV park with our four youngest and practiced again for our 5,500 mile trip we had planned for the summer. Again we were successful but this time realized the importance of towing a car behind our big rig. Without one we were doomed to just stay at the RV park because without a vehicle we couldn’t possibly drive the RV to a restaurant or the movies on a whim. Driving an RV takes a lot of planning. The route the RV takes must be planned to avoid getting ourselves into a pickle. We needed to avoid anything that required a tight turn or had a dead end!
So with this gleaned knowledge we started planning for our summer vacation. This summer we had the usual obstacles to plan around like Scout Camp, Girls Camp, Youth Conferences, Especially for Youth Camp, Sports Camps and more. We also had one other life changing event to plan around and that was the birth of our 7th child Collins Matlida. Collins was due July 22 and I had scheduled a C-section on July 15 so we planned on taking off soon after her arrival. Luckily for us she came healthy and happy 32 days early on June 20! That opened our summer trip a little so we could take off on July 12.
The first stop on our itinerary was to head straight up to Utah where we kept an extra vehicle at my mothers home. Our Ford Excursion would be the car we would tow behind our huge rig making us even bigger! I will admit I was a little nervous but Trent proved himself to be a proficient driver and so I had to trust in his abilities.
After visiting with family in Utah for a week, (yes we parked out front of my mothers home and stayed in the RV. It gave all of us a little more room and privacy and worked great) Then with a purchase of a car tow trailer we loaded up the Excursion and set off on our newest adventure. With six kids (our oldest had left at the beginning of the summer on a church mission to Ecuador), and a dog we had ten states in our sites, and six weeks to accomplish visiting them!
Safe and happy Travels!