We Call VermonsterRV Home Now!

Hi and welcome to our new blog. For many years, we wrote about our sailing travels on Sailblogs.com so now it only seems appropriate to start fresh on this new site as we get going in our newly built overland RV. We enjoy keeping a blog to stay in touch with family & friends, share something about the places we travel to, plus it helps us remember what we’ve been doing! We’d also like to try to help others who might be following a similar path since we’ve gained so much info from the overland blogs we’ve read- both inspirational and technical.

Our Fall 2019 was rather hectic but we got through it. A quick sale and bittersweet goodbye to our sailboat Evergreen that carried us to so many cool places over 19 years, required that we move into the RV before it was finished. Never mind that it had gone from summer to winter in eastern NC practically overnight. It seems it’s always either too hot or overly frigid temps as we try to apply paint, varnish, adhesive and other potions to get things completed. Plus we do sort of live outside. At one point we were working on both the boat and the RV at the same time and we know we’re too old for that kind of stuff! But we transferred ownership of Evergreen in mid November and bought an inflatable kayak a few days before so we wouldn’t be completely boatless…

In the Catskills visiting Rankin & Sandy on a beautiful icy day

Then the holidays came marching in. Well, with no heat installed yet we needed to keep our new home with us so it wouldn’t freeze while we visited family up & down the east coast so we drove down to warm Florida and then up to snowy Vermont and then back to N. Carolina getting to know our truck & its systems better along the way. We spent time with family, lost a loved one, met up with old friends, made some new ones and tried to mentally work through all that had happened in a 3 month span of time. It was great to see everyone we fit in, sad to say goodbye but you have to say goodbye to say hello again. We even managed to accomplish a handful of things along the way. One was that Jon made a beautiful table out of birdseye maple given to us by my great childhood neighbors Chase & Linda. Its funny because this wood is from the same tree that Chase made our wedding hope chest out of 26 years ago! We put 3 coats of tabletop epoxy on it and in doing so it really brought home the fact that we have done this build in the oddest and most challenging of circumstances. From redoing the cab on our land in Vermont using generators and hauling water from my parents house, to constructing the habitat box in a plastic bubble in a quonset hut in November to constructing the interior at a storage unit with one 20 amp power outlet, we have made this work despite many obstacles. And there were people all along the way that helped us out or just plain encouraged us. So when we were applying the epoxy outside in the sun on a relatively warm day last week, bugs were flying in out of nowhere to die on our wet table. Good grief! Nothing we’ve done is perfect but it is better than good enough. Heck we’re just thankful to have a table to eat on now!

While we were down in Florida, we took the 2 day motorcycle class that’s required for the license endorsement and it felt good to get that out of the way. I can now drive a motorcycle rather than just ride as a sack of potatoes and it was actually kind of fun. We intend to use our motorbike like a dinghy and think it will come in handy. And with the adjustments made to the rear rack, it is now in its place and ready to go.

This was done by Jon’s mom Mariette and now is front & center over the bed

We are now back in eastern NC at our workshop finishing out the list of must do projects before pointing ourselves SW next week. We chuckle to ourselves that we finally made it to living in a gated community. Our truck is not completely done, but we’ve decided that we can do stuff along the way and bring the materials with us. We have visions of hiking one day and doing projects the next in a desert landscape moving westward. We hope to be shipping later this year to S. America so we do need to stay focused. Some of the things that still need to be done are installing the sand tracks on the rear of the truck, mount the exterior running lights and a couple of porch lights so we can see & be seen, install an entry door grab rail, replace the rear leaf springs as they are tired from 30 years of sitting with a tank full of water ready to fight a fire and get the 2nd fuel tank hooked up, among a myriad of other things. Whoever thought this would be easier than having a boat??

Cushions & table complete

But some things have gotten finished such as, we have a water tank monitor, we have cushions to sit on, the heat is almost ready to fire up, some artwork is up, we have much brighter headlights, the transmission oil is changed (takes a ton!), we have a nice movie screen on a swing arm that stores out of sight when we’re not using it, we have shelves in place of the hanging locker that we decided we didn’t need, we pulled out all of the fresh water hose and re-installed new because we discovered that “non-toxic” water hose doesn’t make it drinkable unless it says FDA approved, we’ve worked to organize our space some so that things are accessible but stowed well, the shower sump pump has a better filter, we’ve worked on organizing the gear locker area since it is going to be STUFFED with gear- we now have our snowshoes with is too. Plus we have the dining table! And a produce hammock mounted under it. All in all, our new moving home is feeling more like a real home. Good thing, because it is home now!

Working (and actually living!) at the workshop
Jon with his banana hammock!

Hopefully the next install will be from someplace new & fun. We’re onboard with that!! If you’re reading this, we hope you’ll follow along and keep us company.

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