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Toys: The Tools of Childhood

Kimberly 70 comments

From this…

To this… in 1 hour

If you’ve got kids… you’ve got toys! Even the most organized RV parents will find themselves howling in the night after walking through a lego mine field.

We have 4 kids in our camper so you can be sure that Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels abound! To keep it all organized – sometimes we have to throw everything out of the RV and start from scratch like we did today.

This is a brief overview of how we figure out what to keep, what gets tossed and what gets stored in the basement to be “rediscovered” at a later date.

Step 1. Get ALL the toys out of the RV – this is the step my kids like the most ’cause they get to make a big giant mess.

Step 2. Determine just how many boxes (crates, bags, whatever your container of choice is) you’d like to keep.

Pick the vessels first – then fill them.

For the big boys (2 of them) we have a file box and a oval container. Tonia gets her own file box and the baby has a smaller box. In addition to these, we have a box of Legos and a large tub dedicated to outside toys like Nerf guns, tea sets, and sports equipment. We have one crate for toys to be stored. Our last box is our Emergency Toy Box.. more on this later.

Step 3. Let the sorting commence. Have the kids sort through the giant pile of toys and place the keepers in the designated box. We’re mean… so when the box is full… it’s decision time. The kids can only keep things if they fit. If the boxes are overflowing, the kids have to make cuts and choices so all their selections fit.

Step 4. If the overflow toys are in good shape, we set them aside for donation.

Step 5. Two file boxes, the oval container, and the Lego box are stored under one of the beds in the bunkroom (see pic above). The baby’s chest is stored in the living room. The outside toy tub is stored under the RV while we’re parked. The crate is put away in basement storage.

Step 6. The Emergency Toy Box: There are times when cabin fever sets and threatens to infect every single one of us. This is when we pull out our Emergency Toy Box. In it, we store play dough tools, Mr. Potato Head (and accessories) and Fuzzoodles. We spread out a picnic blanket and get busy playing. No matter what your age or disposition, these toys are sure to occupy you.

You may have noticed that there are tools, but no Play Dough in our Emergency Toy Box. That’s because making our own Play Dough is part of the fun.

Quick and Easy RV Friendly Play Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil – any oil will do
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of food coloring paste or a few drops of food coloring liquid

(the secret ingredient is Cream of Tartar / Alum Powder – so if you don’t have any of this in your RV be sure to put it on your shopping list)

Mix all the ingredients into a pan and blend with a whisk.

When all ingredients are blended, place the pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat.

You will need to mix continually until the mixture thickens. It may take 3 to 4 minutes.

When the mixture starts to clump and is difficult to mix, take the pan off the stove.

Pour the dough on a floured surface and when it is cool enough to handle start kneading like bread dough.

Remove from the floured surface when the dough is no longer sticky. Knead away from the floured surface until all the flour on the dough is absorbed and the dough is smooth and pliable.

You’re done!

To store, keep in:

  • Plastic wrap
  • A plastic bag
  • Or an airtight container such as Tupperware.

Want to see how we organize the rest of our RV? Check out the tour of our RV here:

Fulltime Families Magazine Announces New Monthly Columnist

Kimberly 46 comments

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2011


Fulltime Families Magazine Introduces New Columnist to Pen Society Pages under tag line “Friendly Lines”



CLOVERDALE, CA — Carolyn Sasek, of Nomadic Jesters signs on as Fulltime Families Magazine newest columnist, providing a brand new monthly column called “Friendly Lines”

Fulltime Families is thrilled about the addtion of a Society Pages styled monthly column. Kimberly Travaglino, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, believes this column will help to build even greater community among mobile families. “When you’re on the road full time, life doesn’t get suspended.  There are still milestones and accomplishments to be celebrated and this column will help us share these activities with eachother in a whole new way”.

Mrs. Sasek has lived full time in her rv for many years and knows the importance of cultivating a community among like minded families, regardless of their physical location.

“In 1991, I was blessed by my grandfather with permission to write under my grandmother’s byline “Friendly Lines”, which I did for a short time as part of a small local publication in my hometown.  Recently the opportunity has presented itself to share “Friendly Lines” through Fulltime Families Magazine.  I am so excited about this new adventure.  “Friendly Lines” will be published monthly to share what is happening with our nomadic kindred spirits, just as if we all shared our ‘hometown’ — which in essence is we do.  Even though our ‘homes’ are where we park them, thanks to the internet we are as close to one another as our computers (or other communicating electronic devices…)

“Friendly Lines” will be a place to share joys and celebrations in your family: a ‘new addition’; anniversary; birthday; maybe even a ‘new home’ … whatever you’d like to share with our Fulltime Families I’d love to be a part of sharing your joy!  Please send your announcement info to me via friendlylines@fulltimefamilies.com then look for “Friendly Lines” to be a regular addition here starting in October 2011.

Attention Media!

For more information:

Kimberly Travaglino, 561-305-3829, Kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com


Fulltime Families Set To Revolutionize The American Dream

Kimberly 17 comments

Fulltime Families Set to Revolutionize the American Dream

 ANYTOWN, USA — August 1, 2011 — With millions of Americans out of jobs and homeless, there has been a great shift in family values.  Susie Orman recently declared on the Today Show that the “American dream was dead”.

It’s not dead – it has evolved.  With their homes in foreclosure or underwater, hundreds of families have decided it is time for a permanent vacation and are hitting the road full time in RVs – criss crossing the country, seeking temporary employment, to fuel their wanderlust.

These families have made the conscience decision to put time with their children first and are leaving their picket fenced homes in droves, with all their belongings crammed into a 350 sq foot box on wheels.

Fulltime Families is the company that supports families on the road full time.  Our monthly magazine discusses issues such as cooking for a family in a kitchen built for a hobbit.  We organize educational family adventures across the country to promote camaraderie among modern day nomads.  We developed the “Family Finder” – a dynamic map where families can pin point their locations and make connections with other families currently touring the same locale.   We have established lending libraries in campgrounds so families can economically replenish roadschooling materials and other educational media.

On April 1st 2011, we launched an entirely new website where families have the opportunity to join our membership (become “Family Members”) and receive significant savings on the tools and resources that will help them to make the most of their full time adventures (such as Passport America – Camping Discount Club and Workamper News – a classified newsletter where campers can find temporary employment).  Fulltime Families hosts quarterly “Family Reunions” all around the country  – open to both full time families and dreamers who are seeking encouragement to spread their wings and spin their tires.  We kicked off the summer camping season with a 4 day Family Reunion in Astoria, Oregon.

Fulltime Families is poised to become the “Go To” resource for extended family campers and those curious about this lifestyle choice.

For more information:

Kimberly Travaglino, 561-305-3829, Kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com

Visit our website at https://www.fulltimefamilies.com

RV Travel USA

Kimberly 50 comments

Fulltime Families has been on the road now for over 15 months.  When Chris started out, he didn’t want to travel full-time and leave his job.  He worked at Citrix where the pay was great, insurance was great, and he felt we were living the American Dream.

Now that Chris has been on the road, I don’t think I can get him to stop.  We were talking about in 10 years that the kids may need to go to a brick and sticks school so they can participate with other kids, go to the prom, etc.  Once Chris heard that news, he started looking for other alternatives.

If you have the bug like Chris or would like to start traveling, visit https://www.fulltimefamilies.com to see how your dream can be a reality, or visit http://howtohittheroad.com to learn all you need to do to get your family on the road!

See you down the road.


Snowball Fights in August Or Why You Shouldn’t Wear a White Sundress to a National Park

Kimberly 33 comments

Zooming down the Pacific Coast Highway, watching the surf smash against giant rocks – keeping my eyes peeled for whales, I am struck by what a beautiful life we have crafted for our family over the last 15 months.

Last night, Dominick, my eight year old, told me he’d rather live in a house, than travel the country.  When I delved deeper into his concerns he told me he “doesn’t like packing up”. I can commiserate – that’s not my favorite part either.

But then I reminded him, if we lived in a house: Read More

Decision To Full Time RV – A Big One

Kimberly 34 comments

Most people wait for their dreams to come true. Not Kimberly Travaglino. She made hers come true, then she set out to help others with the same dream make theirs come true too.

Travaglino’s wasn’t a life-long dream. Actually, it came on quite suddenly. She stepped into a pop-up camper and was overwhelmed at the simplicity of it.

“I thought to myself, I could live like this. I could do this. Maybe not in a pop-up fulltime, but in an RV. And from that moment on I became passionate about simplicity and simplifying our lives.”

Initially, Kimberly’s husband Christopher was not onboard with her idea. Wasn’t sure about living a counter-culture lifestyle as a vagabond, the stereotyping, a nontraditional education for their children. That didn’t stop Kimberly’s pursuit of “the dream.” She researched, studied, asked questions, and took Christopher to an RV rally.

At the rally, the Travaglinos met people who were ‘doing it.’ Saw how they were doing it, that it was possible, and fun, and wonderful. At the end of the rally those other people were spending another day or two there, or going off on their own adventure. Christopher would be going back to work. But what he really wanted to do was spend another day or two at the rally or head out on an adventure. He could live like this. We could do this. And now the dream was his too.

When Kimberly does something, she does it thoroughly. She wasn’t going to set out on this adventure until she was fully prepared. She searched high and low for information specific to their situation. Particularly information about traveling and full-timing with children, having a baby while living and traveling in an RV, resources, things to do, places to go, homeschooling, accommodating a special needs child..

She didn’t find much.

Upon finding this void, Kimberly did as Kimberly does, she filled it. Fulltime Families was born. So great was her passion for simple living and full-time families, she was compelled to provide for others the very thing she needed herself – advice, support, guidance, opportunities to socialize with other families, tips on stretching every dollar while making the most of the travel experience.

Fulltime Families www.fulltimefamilies. com is a social organization committed to supporting full-time families (and wannabes) in their adventures and aspirations. Membership has a long list of benefits, resources, discounts, social opportunities, free things, cheap things, local things, training, information, support, and even a family finder.

“Sometimes this simplified lifestyle is a little more complicated than I expected,” says Travaglino. “Six people living in 350 square feet, planning locations, and RV repairs – I spend twice as much time looking for repair materials for the RV than I ever did in Home Depot looking for materials for repairs on our house.”

Kimberly’s advice?

Don’t head out on the road with debt.

Don’t delay – put your feet on the road in the direction you want to go.

Don’t wait, just do it.

“It took us three years to get ready,” Kimberly says. “Every time I went to the store I asked myself about each purchase, ‘Do I want to buy this or have breakfast at the Grand Canyon next year?’ Grand Canyon usually won.”

Do you have a dream to RV full-time? Want to learn how you can make that dream come true? Maybe just curious? Join Kimberly for a free webinar July 14 and she will show you how you can do it too. Go here: https: //www3.gotomeeting. com/register/341188614 right now and register for Making Your Family’s Fulltime Dreams a Reality.

See you on the road.

Visit Fulltime Families for more info on how to get started and what you need!

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

RV Living Tips

Kimberly 33 comments

RV Living full time can be challenging at time but very rewarding.  When you travel the Country, you have to plan for things breaking down.  Since we have been full time for the past 14 months, we have gone through a power converter, leaf spring suspension, an AC, and a toilet.  Part of this problem was due to over use or the devices not being able to stand up to living demands.

The power converter had a fan problem, so it could not cool the unit properly.  This was a poor design since the fan could not be replaced and the entire unit needed to be thrown out and a new one installed.

The leaf spring issue was due to overloading the RV with all of our stuff.  We replaced the 3 leaf system with a 4 leaf system.  We also replaced our tires with 10 ply from the original 8 ply.  I would recommend this due to the weight you will be adding to your vehicle.

The AC went out due to an accident we had, but we replaced the AC from a 13.5K unit to a 15K unit with a heat pump.  I can’t even express how much we save now on propane!

The toilet that was installed was a plastic toilet and there was nothing wrong with it, but we wanted a ceramic toilet.  This makes cleaning much easier and keeps the toilet looking new all the time.  Not to mention, the new one has a hand wand to help clean the toilet when certain things stick to the bottom of the bowl.

The bottom line is, make sure your RV is ready to handle the living demands that you will put on it.  It pays to replace parts before things break so that you can avoid other things breaking from the cause of a failure.

Find out more info at Fulltime Families and see how much you can SAVE by becoming a member!

Families On The Road

Kimberly 26 comments

One thing that families on the road traveling the Country are always looking for is a good stable internet connection.  Most of the families that live on the road keep up with their family and friends via email or updating their blogs.  Sometimes you might find yourself in remote areas of the Country where the internet and cell phone service is little to none.  In this article, I am going to explain how to increase the performance of your cell signal so your internet air card will have great service and you will also have phone service on the road as well. Read More

RV Education 101

Kimberly 24 comments

If you use your Motorhome or Travel Trailer as much as I do, then you know that there is always something that needs to be fixed or maintained.  This can include things like plumbing, electrical, awnings, and even suspension and tires.  If you pay a repair person every time something needs service, you’ll be broke in no time.

The best way to service these things on your RV is to do it yourself.  All it takes is a little bit of education, research, and trying it.  You can find information about repairing from books, forums, search engines, and even asking people who have done it.

A lot of the repairs that you need to make will be like you already do in your home.  The electrical system is very similar to a home, the plumbing, and even replacing a toilet.  I was surprised how easy it was to replace a toilet in an RV as I had to do one myself.  It is just like the toilet in your home.  The toilet uses two bolts to secure the toilet flange, then connecting a water line.  How easy was that?  Took me 30 min. to complete and I didn’t have to pay someone $85.00 + per hour.  I learned this from books and simple internet research.

RV Education 101’s eBook series will help you do your own RV and Camping Trailer repairs. Why pay a service technician $85.00 or more per hour when you can do it yourself for 85% less. Lots of repairs can be done by the average RVer with little to know money involved.

Pickup a set of the RV Education eBooks and you’ll be educated on everything from awning care and repair to deep cell battery care and maintenance!

Good luck with your future repairs and maintenance on your RV Coach, travel trailer, or popups.

See ya down the road!

RV Recipes Tuna Sweet Potato Jackets

Kimberly 55 comments

Close to the Counters

Surviving cooking in a 20 sq ft RV kitchen…

Last month we traveled across Canada from just north of Seattle, WA up through British Columbia and the Yukon on our way to Fairbanks, Alaska – definitely a ‘bucket list’, dream-come-true type of trip!

While it’s probably not fair to judge an entire country based on our small sampling, I have to say that the Canadians’ friendliness was akin to our own ‘Southern Hospitality’. Super nice people, everyone interested in where we were from and eager to answer our questions (where’s the closest public wifi?) An example: we arrived at the Riverside RV Park (Vanderhoof, BC) late one afternoon to see a maintenance crew and a big “CLOSED for the season” sign. As we pulled over to check our Milepost for alternatives, one of the workers walked over to our motorhome. He told us they were working on getting the park open, but since we were just looking for an overnight stay, he’d open the gate and we were welcome to choose any spot, hook up to the water & electricity and stay for free. You can imagine how quickly we said yes to that offer! We were the only people in that park – and while it did rain all day, it was a great place to relax for a while.

Some of the differences we’ve noticed that – while subtle – let us know we were in a different country:

  • Spelling
    • “re” instead of “er” – although this seems to be limited to very few words; centre/center, theatre/theater and fibre/fiber were the only ones we saw.
    • “our” instead of “or” as in colour/color or savoury/savory
    • Caribou – we were excited to see the first road signs to look out for these animals. But when we started seeing ‘Cariboo Hardware’, ‘Cariboo Restaurant’ and the like I thought they were just playing with the spelling. But nope; that’s how you spell caribou in Canada: cariboo. (You wouldn’t believe the trouble my spell checker is having with this month’s column!)
    • Chinese restaurants advertise ‘Chinese & Canadian food’ instead of ‘Chinese & American food’ (what’s Canadian food?)
    • The other thing that struck me – after spending a significant part of my life in California – was that signs are in English/French instead of English/Spanish. Makes sense of course, but it’s just one of those little differences.

And yes, as expected, gas prices are higher in Canada; but for all of our complaining in the U.S. our gas prices are significantly lower than the rest of the world.  Europeans, including the British, the Irish, the Germans, the Italians and the French, pay somewhere between $7.50 and $8 per gallon.[1]  And gasoline is $9.28 per gallon in Norway – figure out how much THAT would cost to fill your tank! As of this writing, the highest priced gasoline we’ve found in Canada was $5.32 per Imperial gallon. Definitely painful, but I’m absolutely not going to complain about it.

What did give us sticker shock though were grocery prices. Once we figured out how to actually unlatch a grocery ‘buggy’ and take it in the store (they require quarter deposits!), we stopped to take a look at the store directory and set off to knock out that grocery list.

First thing I noticed was that they don’t have many generic brands – even in the Safeway store, their ‘store brand’ wasn’t near as prevalent as you see in the States. And items are in bigger packages – for instance, hot dog & hamburger buns. The only option was packages of 12 – no 6 or 8 counts at all. Since there are only 3 of us, a package of 12 hamburger buns can take a while to use up! So we’re using those buns as our ‘sandwich bread’ this week.  And prices are just plain higher – black beans, $2.29 a can versus the $.99 a can I was used to seeing. Aluminum foil – over $7.00! Not the extra thick style and not a 500 ft package either. Yikes.

After that first stop to replenish the cupboards in Quesnel, BC, I’m rethinking our menus for the rest of this trip. I’m going to be looking to stretch that food dollar even more than usual. Besides, I love a challenge.


I have one recipe for you this month, plus some other ideas for thrifty meals. Enjoy!


Tuna Sweet Potato Jackets

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (about ½ pound each)
  • 6 ounce can tuna , drained
  • ½ red onion , finely sliced
  • 1 small red chili , deseeded and chopped
  • Lime juice (fresh or from the little plastic limes)
  • plain yogurt (Greek style yogurt or sour cream would work if you have them on hand)

Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place on a microwaveable plate and cook on High for 18-20 mins, or until tender. Split in half and place each one, cut-side up, on a serving plate.

Flake the drained tuna with a fork and divide between the sweet potatoes. Top with the red onion and chili, then squeeze over the lime juice. Top with a dollop of yogurt to serve. Add something ‘green’ – salad, broccoli, raw veggies, whatever you have and quick biscuits and you’ve got a great, inexpensive meal.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2010.

Other ideas for easy, inexpensive meals:

  • The baked potato dinner – just top cooked, baked potatoes, split in half, with whatever toppings you like. A great way to stretch leftovers! Chopped broccoli, salsa, a bit of chili, or some chopped chives. Sprinkle some grated cheese on the top too, and broil till the cheese melts.


  • Potato Salmon Pie is a meal made with 1 can of salmon, drained, and with the bones and skin removed, and then flake the salmon. Add 2 cups thick white sauce and 1 cup cooked peas to the salmon. Put in casserole dish. Top all with 2 cups mashed potatoes. Dot with butter, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. A thrifty, tasty, dish that serves six.


  • Eggs are always a great starting point for an inexpensive dinner. Omelets or scrambled eggs using whatever leftovers are in the refrigerator are quick & easy.  If you’re a bit more ambitious, an oven frittata is another option.

Have a favorite quick, inexpensive meal? Send your recipes to me and I may share them in future columns!


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