A few months ago, we found out that a college acquaintance of ours had written book. Excited for him, I dug in to find out what it was about and was pleasantly surprised to find out his book is a memoir about teaching his two year old to read. Intrigued, I requested a copy […]

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It’s time. I’ve been back and forth on this for months,  and we’ve finally come to a decision. I’m going to start booking Lifestyle Family Portrait Sessions again. I’m so excited! I really have missed meeting with clients and creating amazing photos for them and can’t wait to get back into it. Since our travel […]

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When I think of a nomad, wandering existence it can appear to be pretty lonely. Constantly in new places, no neighborhood friends to see everyday, and a new church congregation every week. We’ve found, however, that sometimes just the opposite is true. Life can get a little TOO social sometimes. With many full-time families and […]

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  • Kyle - What wonderful friendships and memories you families are creating! So cool! Loved seeing these pics!ReplyCancel

After evaluating our needs, and figuring out what I don’t know about installing solar, we sought for recommendations for a professional installer. We began conversations that started good, and gradually got worse and worse. This happened while I was camping just next door to Dave Zimmerman in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Dave happens […]

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For some insane reason, our Airstream came from the factory with a single-stage charger. When connected to shore power (or a generator), the converter provides both 12V DC power to the Airstream, and also charges the house batteries. As a single-stage converter, it has only one mode: charge. This single charge mode is neither fast […]

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  • Roger Smith - Replacing the converter is a great idea. I replaced our 7355 with a Powermax Boondocker so our AGM batteries would not get fried by the stock converter.

    You may want to look into a Trimetric battery monitor (http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric) if you don’t have anything already. It is a great way to watch your battery usage.


  • Mike G - Hi Folks,

    I also swapped out the converter and the series 24 batteries with 2 Full River series 27 6volt 220 Amp ADM batteries. They fit in same compartment. You do have to remove the series 24 plastic base holder and the cover to slide them in. Once in re-rivet cover back on. The batteries are great for us, can run furnace all night (lowest 17° outside) and still have 75 to 80% capacity in AM. We use a generator to charge them back up.


    • Sam - Dual 6 Volts are our most likely upgrade. The upgraded converter did a great job reducing our generator usage, which I do appreciate. Though today, my panels did all the charging!ReplyCancel

We are huge Percy Jackson fans, and ever since reading The Titan’s Curse (where Percy & Annabeth end up in the bowels of the dam being chased by monsters) the kids have been anxious to visit Hoover Dam. After returning to our Airstream in Las Vegas from Christmas break, we planned a solid two weeks […]

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  • Megan Marlene Peter - Oh my goodness- that security guard was insane! He needs to go work for border patrol or something, nothing would get past him!ReplyCancel

We started this journey over a year ago with our bikes on a rack attached to the back of our mini van. Biking is one of our favorite family activities and we knew they would be important to have with in the Airstream as well, but that required a significant re-arrangement of our current system. […]

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  • JorDanee - We secretly envy your rolling cover. At times we wish we had spent the extra money for one instead of the flip back, and I’m sure we’ll really want one when we hit the road. Granted we don’t have bikes to mount yet, but your solution really is the best for carrying bikes. ReplyCancel

We got an email asking us about our truck purchasing decisions. The email ended up being long enough that I gave it a rework, and here it is as a blog post! Consider this an open invitation: If you want to hear about something we don’t have posted to the blog, email us! Choosing a […]

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  • Nick - Hi, what year is this truck? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - It’s a 2006. We’ll add that in to the post. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Lauri - I was curious about the brand of bike rack you have on your truck? We have a rolling tonneau cover and haven’t found one that will work with it!ReplyCancel

  • Mike Key - I have similar reasons to you Sam. I chose gas first because I know my way around it, and the second reason will make you feel confident in your decision, $70 oil filters for diesels. A lot of folks talk about the MPG with diesel, but because every aspect of diesel ownership costs more, you have to own the diesel for at least 5 yrs before the fuel savings help you break even. So for me, I decided we needed to at least be on the road for a year, and grow our family more before we decide we need to move towards that.

    And I have to agree with the size, the smaller half tons are easier to maneuver in parking lots. The big advantage we have over the guys with F250’s is not having a solid front axle. So the turning radius on our truck’s is superior.

    Although I will say Dodge has stepped up their game with the newer trucks for interiors. I’ve always been a chevy guy and the Ram won me over.ReplyCancel

I imagine the average person doesn’t think much about their hiking shoe purchases. I’d wager that a good percentage of people don’t even have hiking shoes. Being the active person and family that we are, I take my outdoor gear a little more seriously. Added to that, I have slightly wide feet. Choosing shoes can […]

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We have earned quite a few Jr. Ranger Badges in our travels, but sometimes they aren’t easy to turn in after we’ve visited different areas of some of the larger parks. Luckily, the NPS plans for this as also has the option to mail in your booklets when you get home. When we showed up […]

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Its amazing to me how little we explore our own backyards. Sam has family in Petaluma, CA which is about an hour north of San Francisco. We have been out there countless times over the last 11 years to visit with family, yet I am still finding new and exciting places to explore. Either that […]

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  • danielle - That looks like a great place to visit! I like the bridge also!ReplyCancel

  • Christa Gonzalez - Questions: what type of camera do you use? Tips on manual mode? What’s your most used lens?(: get back to me when you can I became instantly In love with your blog! You inspire me(:ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Christa – thanks so much!! I have a Canon 5D Mark II. Occassionally I’ll post some from our Samsung NX300 as well when I’m too lazy to bring the “big” camera along. :) My favorite lens is definitely the 16-35, or lately even the 24-70mm. I love shooting wide angle! Hmmm… tips on manual mode. Have you read the book Understanding Exposure? It does wonders for understanding the relationship between ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. I honestly shoot on aperture mode most of the time now because it’s just one less thing to think about!ReplyCancel

Recently, I did a “Day in the Life” series on my Instagram feed. It turned out to be quite popular so I thought I’d share over here. We’ve also posted a Day in the Life: City Edition if you want another peek at what full time travel is like! 7:50am: This is my usual morning […]

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  • Karilyn - Great to read about this! I always wondered how structures your days were. And what about homeachooling- do you follow a curriculum and take tests? I’ve considered doing it for my son. Glad to see you get some down time too!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Boerman Wisley - Hi jess! Hope you guys are well! We have almost made it back to Indiana! The day we left you in Death Valley the RV alternator broke and left us stranded on the highway going into Kingman AZ. We ended up getting towed into an repair shop and the nice couple that owned the company took great care of our family. It was fixed the next day and we haven’t had any more issues! The boys were excited about the tow though!
    I was excited to see that you are doing the 100 easy lessons book with kara! I am doing that one with Jake as well and love it! Take care!ReplyCancel