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Tubing the San Marcos River at Rio Vista Park

Kimberly No Comments

Water! That’s all it takes to make our family content… Well, we like rice cakes and beef jerky too… So any day on the water with a cooler full of rice cakes and beef jerky is a seriously good day! Add ice cream and we’re talkin’ Epic!

So when life presented us with a particularly trying day, we packed up the cooler, pumped up the floats and headed to Rio Vista Park in San Marcos!

What a gem! Like seriously some top 10 USA awesomeness!

Picture a really wide pool with some pretty calm water and then a 6 ft wide spillway… Imagine tubing that!

But wait… There’s more. Two more pools with spillways, each with their own torrential character.

Do it with a float, or don’t. The choice is yours and the experiences are completely different but equally thrilling. Check out it for yourself here:

Oh… Did I mention about the twin rope swings???

Where to go: San Marcos, TX 78666 @29.878367,-97.9345

What to bring:

Floats (local Walmart has the best prices)

Water shoes

Life vests for little kids

Towels

Cooler

Some cash for the ice cream truck (the park is free) here’s where it gets Epic!

Don’t forget the rice cakes and beef jerky!

 

 

Fulltime Families Just Got Pinteresting

Kimberly No Comments

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You may or may not be aware of the fact that Fulltime Families has their own Pinterest Account.

That’s a place where we pin all sorts of ideas for our life, like the Awesome Organization Thingies for your RV, Celebrating Holidays in your RV, Easy RV Crafts, and Ideas for Entertaining Little Ones on your Drive.  If you haven’t been to our Pinterest Boards, check them out here: http://www.pinterest.com/ftfamilies/

But that’s not what this post is about!

This post is about a brand new feature we just included on every post in our website.  It’s a tiny little red button that says, “Pin It” in the top corner of every post.

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Check out how it works (we’ll wait…).  See when you click that little button, it brings up all the pics on that particular blog post and allows you to pin any ones that you want to add to your own Pinterest account.

Happy Pinning!

 

 

 

Fulltime Families Canada Rally Limited Spots Available

Kimberly No Comments

The FtF Canada Rally has a very limited number of spots available.

The event sold out in 20 days, our fastest selling event to date, but a few cancellations have opened up spots.  If you missed your chance to get a spot for this event, now is the time to book.  Visit our Fulltime Families Canada Rally Info Page for reservation instructions and FAQs.

 

No RV Yet?  There are options, send an email to the above address for more info.

Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events Page for more FtF Events coming soon!

Looking for Larry in Seattle

Kimberly 3 comments

I love bringing books into our touring efforts!  So when Seattle was on our route, I searched for just the right story and found “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle“.  Although I usually gravitate to e-books, I purchased the hard copy version so we could use it as a bedtime story.

The pages are filled with beautiful illustrations that follow Pete and Larry (Pete’s lost pup) through Seattle’s landmarks.  I decided to use this story book as our actual tour list and made a touring itinerary that incorporated as many of the Pete and Larry’s detours as possible.

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So when Pete and Larry checked out the flying fish at the Public Market, we did too!

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And when Pete and Larry stopped by Pioneer Square, we did too!

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Larry found a hammering giant, so we did too!

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And when Pete looked for Larry by the Space Needle, we did too!

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When Larry found a scary guy in Fremont, we did too!

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and just like Larry, we didn’t find these people to be so helpful with directions.

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We searched the Lake Union Houseboats, just like Pete and Larry.

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Some things we did that Larry and Pete missed were:

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Eating sushi off a conveyor belt at Blue C Sushi!

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Making our own contribution to the Gum Wall!

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And drenching ourselves in rainbows at the Chuhily Museum and Garden.

We loved following Pete and Larry’s footsteps through Seattle and still read the story nightly.  It warms my heart to hear DJ squeal, “we been dere” as we turn the pages.

You can bring this post to life by clicking play on our latest episode of “One Epic Adventure”.

And there’s even more good news!  In researching for this blog post, we’ve discovered that Pete and Larry have explored other cities!  Check out the whole list here and see if one of these cities is on your route: Larry Gets Lost Series

 

 

 

 

 

How to Park a Big Honkin’ Truck in Downtown Seattle and Get the best priced tickets to the Space Needle

Kimberly 1 Comments

City touring can be a pain when you need to consider finding a parking space for your big honkin’ truck.  Then there’s the issue of getting the best value out of the attraction tickets you purchase.

As a full time traveling family, we are not actually on vacation and can not afford to splurge on every tourist attraction on our route.  Therefore, we must be picky with our touring dollars and are always looking for the best bang for our buck.  This time was a total score and I’ll fill you in about the ticket specifics later in this post.  Timestamp of snap: 0:01.3

At this point, I’m pretty good at uncovering the value in attractions.  See this, skip that, I can make those decisions pretty quickly based on online reviews and facebook comments.

So when we were exploring Seattle and it came time to search out ticket options for the Space Needle,  I knew which websites to focus on to find the best deal.

Through my research I found that Sunday was the least crowded day to visit and specifically Sunday night yielded the best viewing opportunities.  A quick google search told me sunset would hit the Seattle area at 8:23pm, so I booked our elevator tickets for a 7:30pm viewing time.

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Sure enough, there were no real crowds to speak of at this very popular landmark when we arrived for our reservation time.

As an aside, I’ll tell you that right next to the Seattle Center, the downtown area that houses the Space Needle and several other well known landmarks, is a pay parking lot.  It cost us $15 to park for the evening.  Sure it was tight, but I live with “a dually drivin’ boss” so as long as there’s an open spot, he can make it work!

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The views at the observation deck of the Space Needle were breath taking! Watching the sunset over Pugent Sound was a memory our family will cherish.

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Then, when the sun dipped below the horizon, the city skyline twinkled as far and wide as the eye could see.  The observation deck is open until 11pm on Sunday’s* and visitors can stay at the top as long as they like with their ticket so we had plenty of time to check out all the sights.

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We loved picking out other locations we have visited on sea level.  There were also a great number of interactive exhibits within the Visitors’ Center.  We learned all about the construction of the observation tower for the 1962 World’s Fair and that it was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude.

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So, wanna know how much this aerial tour of Seattle cost our family of six?  $144 (not including $15 parking) which is a real splurge for our family, but I should mention that we purchased a combo ticket and after we descended from the Space Needle, we headed right next door to explore the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit.  A visit to this museum was top on my list so the combo ticket was definitely the most affordable option available.  Separately the Space Needle tickets would have been  $86  and the Chihuly tix would have cost us $88.20.  By purchasing the combo ticket we were able to maximize our downtown Seattle experience, pay for parking only once and save $30.

Tune into our Seattle episode of One Epic Adventure to find more great things to do with kids in Seattle!


*Please check websites for actual times

Stuck in the Sand

Kimberly No Comments

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There we were.  Having the perfect Roadschool kinda day.  Exploring the rusted, decaying spine of the Peter Iredale.  This relic from 1906 impales the shoreline at Fort Stevens State Park along the sun kissed, fog laden coast of Warrenton, Oregon.  A quick google on the beach yielded the ships fated tale of woe.  A saga of wrong turns, nautical mishaps and stowaways.  Little did we know that this wreckage would serve as prophetic foreshadowing of what our future held.

IMG_9939The dogs were romping, the kids were dune diving and three sets of adults enjoyed the surf and each others company, but like all good things, it was time to wrap up and head home.

And so we packed up and started home.. only we didn’t get far.

The front bumper of some hapless vehicle, laid in our path… only the bumper… another clue to the fate that awaited.

50 feet from pavement we were moving, but not forward. Frankentruck was digging its own hole to China.  No amount of transmission rocking would grant our freedom. 4wd high… nope.. the big guns, 4wd low… only served to seal our fate as sand was flung across our hood and windshield.

The Hamilton’s who had left a mere 5 minutes before us, made a u turn, but stopped short on the paved border as they had just narrowly avoided the clutches of the soft sand themselves.  It’s a good thing too, ’cause as everyone knows, two stuck trucks makes a grown man say… ‘aw…. shucks” 😉

A young Canadian family was on the beach and started triage with a plastic pink princess shovel.  For some reason I was under the impression that this required more substantial equipment.  When I realized our beach toys would work, we all got busy, digging.  With shovels, and cups and even a seahorse sand mold.

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We dug and made a haphazard sand ramp and then the pulling began.  Strapped to our Good Samaritan, the tug-o-war began.  Unfortunately, Frankentruck won and stayed put!  The tow rope snapped and came flinging back to our bumper.  Thank goodness we were all clear otherwise this would have been tragic!

Then the Calvary came… in the form of the Sheriff Wood.  He formed a truck sled team tying a tow rope to his Standard Issue Dodge and our Canadian Savior’s Chevy.  Would this be the horsepower that would yank us from the grips of the sand that by now had fully engulfed the frame of Frankentruck?

You can see for yourself in this brief video.

Learn How You Can Have FREE Wi-Fi In Your Rig

chrisadmin 18 comments

Welcome to FulltimeFamilies.com, the RV club for families who live or are seeking to live, the full time rv lifestyle.

A reliable internet connection is like the Holy Grail for many full time rv’ers.  How many crowded lodges have I come across full of surfers, with every available power outlet in use.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could have reliable, free internet right in the comfort of your own rig.  Did I just say “free”?  I did indeed, and now I’m going to tell you how!

I have researched this for a long time and have come up with a solution that will work 90% of the time.  This internet solution requires some hardware and software configuration, but at the end of the day, you can expect to have FREE internet 90% of the time.  That’s right, I said FREE!  How can this be you ask??!!

Ok, here is the answer to FREE internet on the road.  Most McDonalds, Starbucks, book stores, or even local libraries offer free Wi-Fi.  I know what you’re thinking; I don’t expect you to sit in at coffee shops, book stores, or the library all day.  This is about internet in your RV at the location of your choice!  This is about internet, in your jammies, with your own snacks an arm’s length away.

With this configuration, I have been able to pick up Wi-Fi  from up to 1.7 miles away!  I said it right, 1.7 Miles away!!!  This is surrounded by mountains.  With that in mind, I think I may be able to get up to 3 miles away on flat terrain.

To get access to FREE internet in your camper,you will need 5 pretty inexpensive hardware components.

  1.  100’ Cat6 Ethernet Cable
  2. RiteAV – Cat5e Network Ethernet Cable – Blue – 6 ft.
  3. Ubiquiti BULLET-M2-HP Outdoor 802.11b/g M2HP
  4. TP-Link 2.4GHz 15dBi Outdoor Omni-directional Antenna, N Female connector, weather resistant (TL-ANT2415D)
  5. NETGEAR WG602 54 Mbps 802.11g Wireless Access Point

I put links in the text to Amazon where you can find all these components for about $200.00.  This is a small sacrifice when thinking about what you pay a month for an Air Card plan or paying a campground a monthly fee for internet.

Putting all these components to work for you is not a hard task either.

1.  Pick a spot! The first thing to consider is where you are going to place your wireless access point and how you are going to run the 100’ Cat6 cable to your Ubiquiti Bullet and Wireless antenna.  I mounted my bullet and antenna on the existing TV antenna so that when I bring my TV antenna with the crank, it brings up the Celluteq antenna as well.  It will also lay flat for travel making this a seamless system.  You can mount this setup on a flag pole style mount, but that will require you setup and tear down every time you move.  For now, let’s keep going!

2.  So you have found the perfect spot for your wireless access point and antenna.  Now you will need to run the cable as neat as you can from the two devices.

3.  Once you have run the cable, connect the bullet to the antenna with the N style connector.  You just simply screw the two pieces together and you’re ready to go.

4.  Next plug the Cat6 cable into the Power Over Ethernet (POE) device that was provided with your Bullet.  From the 2nd port on the POE device, plug the 6’ Cat6 cable in and run that to the wireless access point connecting that to Port1 of 4.

Voila! Your hardware installation is complete and all that’s left is configuring the software of the wireless access point and the Bullet.

Using the supplied documentation (included with your wireless access point device), configure the wireless access point to meet your needs.  Once you have completed the configuration and you can connect your your access point wirelessly, you will need to configure the Bullet.  Complete the form below to download the PDF on how to configure the Bullet.

That’s it, you now have FREE internet from the local hotspots in your area.

Here are some more pictures for you to get an idea of what everything looks like:

 

Membership has it’s Privileges; Top 5 Benefits of Joining Fulltime Families

Kimberly No Comments

The Fulltime Families Membership can save you thousands of dollars, but the privileges of membership go way beyond saving money.

Here are the top 5 benefits our members point to as their favorite thing about being a Fulltime Families Member.

#1 Finding My Tribe!

  • Fulltime Families Members share a common bond that is considered weird by the majority of American Families.   We think less is more… that’s weird!  We’re actually excited about living in 350 sq feet, alongside our family, every minute of the day… that’s weird!  We don’t want to wait until our children are on their own to explore this country… that’s weird!  Fulltime Families Members understand and embrace these “so called oddities”.  If making time with our family makes us “misfits” then we’d rather not fit in.  Fulltime Families supports and applauds You, the risk taker, You the pioneer, You the trail blazer, who is looking for more out of life than just security!

    #2 Making Spaces to Meet in Real Life!

    Fulltime Families hosts events around the country so families enjoying the full-time RV lifestyle can meet in person and make friends.  The reality is lifestyle can be isolating and connecting through Fulltime Families events, provides adults and children alike the opportunity to make friends and form bonds that span the miles.  It is very common for families to establish temporary or long term intentional neighborhoods with the families they click with, after an FtF event.  Just because your family is nomadic doesn’t mean you need to be alone.  Join us for our next event and embark on the next leg of your journey with friends in tow.

    #3 Connecting Families with the Services and Suppliers who commend their choices!

Isn’t it great to do business with someone who values you as a customer?  Isn’t it awesome to know you are supporting businesses that are supportive of your lifestyle choices and actually look forward to serving you? Fulltime Families reaches across all service and supply industries, vetting companies both large and small, to present our members with businesses of the highest level of integrity.  Through both our Resource Guide and our Partnership list, FtF Members are connected to trusted resources that will help you save time and money!

#4 We’ve Got Your Back!

At Fulltime Families, we’ve got your back!  Through our relationships with RV professionals, Home School curriculum providers and the media, we have a unique opportunity to help you spread your message and connect you effectively to the resources that can help you the most.  You’re not out on the road alone and being a part of the FtF family has made an impact through the collective voice and the collective efforts of your other FtF family members.  Case in point, in 2016 alone, FtF served 343 families in person at FtF events and provided over $21,000 in relief to RVing Families!

#5 Saving You Money and Time!

Of course, your Fulltime Families Membership will save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of wasted time.  Through our extensive list of partnerships, which currently includes a Free Year of Escapees and a Free Year of Good Sams Membership, our members rack up savings on:

So what are you waiting for?

Don’t you like friends, having fun times with people who get you, businesses that understand and value you, someone who has your back and saving money?  Join Fulltime Families today!  https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/joinftf/

 

 

 

 

Natural Hot Springs are Soaking Spectacular – with Video

Kimberly No Comments

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On this episode of One Epic Adventure, the Traveling Travaglinos, together with the Felty Foursome, hiked to Fifth Hot Water Springs in  Diamond Fork canyon, south east of Provo, UT.

This family friendly hike to the springs is approx 2.5 miles along a large and sometimes fast flowing stream.

We choose a spring weekday for this adventure, to avoid the crowds that arrive on the weekends.

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During the hike, the skies opened up and pelleted us with hail for about 10 minutes.
When you arrive at the springs there are several sparkling pools that have been made for your soaking pleasure.

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The pools closer to the water fall are considerably warmer then the lower ones which you’ll encounter first (and the fact that there was a gentleman bathing au’natural in the first one) made the upper ones far more appealing.

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Most of the pools create a convergence between the cool river and the very hot thermal springs.

Depending on your preference, you can find your “sweet spot” where the two bodies of water blend to your perfect temperature.

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We loved our time soaking in Fifth Hot Water Springs and recommend you check out this hike when you’re in the Provo Area.

Check out our short video and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to check out our other Epic Adventures.

Gardening in Your RV; How to Grow a Garden on the Go

Kimberly No Comments

One of the things I miss from my Sticks and Bricks life, is my garden. The ability to walk outside and harvest fresh grown, organic produce for free is something I know a lot of full time rvers miss.  So when I saw Ashleigh Priest’s pictures of her “garden on the go” on the Fulltime Families Facebook Group, I got very excited and asked her to write an article on just how she made her mobile garden a reality. Here’s what she had to say:

Rver Rver, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rver Rver, How Does Your Garden Grow?

 

2015 has brought my family a few epiphanies. We had a rough winter for 2014. Too much of it was spent in our camper, as this Floridian family tried to adjust to a Minnesota winter.  It seemed something was always happening. First our truck needed an expensive repair. Our water access port kept busting every couple of weeks. The truck broke down a second time. A third time. We were behind on all bills.  Bad weather, meant work days missed and money was tight.  Some weeks we had to decide between food or paying the cellphone bill. Food obviously came first.

RV Garden

RV Garden

Boy food is ridiculously expensive! How do people with large families do this?

Here’s epiphany number one.

If only we had a garden we could have healthy food. Too bad we travel.

March came around and my back went out. I’m young. This should not happen. It’s always attributed to my weight. Yes, I’m very unhealthy.

This was epiphany number two.

I NEED to get healthier! I really wish we could have a garden. How can this become something we can do?

I did research. Joined gardening groups on Facebook. Asked if anyone in the traveling groups have a garden. The limited replies I received were in the “that’s a cool idea” vain..  and if I followed through with the garden to keep everyone posted.

Garden on the Go

Garden on the Go

So, I got to work.

I planned out what I wanted to grow. What I’d use for containers. How to make my own compost (what’s a better fertilizer than compost 😉 ).

My original plan was to build planter boxes from pallets, have holes on both sides, put some rope through the holes, and make a loop on each side.

Then take two 2x4s, drill 7/8 inch holes in them and put a wooden dowel in the holes after putting the dowels through the rope and hang up the planter boxes. The 2x4s would have a rubber covering on the top and lean against the camper.

Phew! Let me say if that sounded like a lot of work, it was! With two toddler boys, I was already stretch thin. I got two planters built and that was that.

I planted sweet peas and green beans in the boxes.

Then I simplified.  I used four 5 gallon buckets to plant tomatoes and corn in. Everything got covered at night because there were still cool nights.

Then we got a surprise snow! That storm killed all my plants except my sweet peas. I decided to wait until May to replant.

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This time I had a different plan.

I bought some storage tote boxes, soil, pea pebbles.

I took my original 5 gallon buckets, and with a hammer, and a nail, poked 4 holes in the sides of the buckets at the bottom. I put about 3 inches of pea pebbles in the bucket then filled up the bucket about 2/3 full with soil and added my seeds for corn and tomatoes (I feel like I just did this lol). Finally, I watered the seeds and set them aside.

I replanted green beans in the wooden box I used before. I watered them and put the box aside.

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I was ready to expand my garden.

Butter crunch lettuce, spinach, green bell pepper, parsley, and basil seeds were all planted in the storage totes, which had been prepped like the buckets, with several holes and pea pebbles topped with soil.

In one tote, I planted the lettuce and spinach together. This way I have an instant salad with the combination of these greens.

The other box was a little more tricky. I went to Dollar Tree and bought two long, plastic planter boxes. I poked holes in them. Next I filled the tote box the way I did the other containers. I then grabbed two pieces of broken concrete blocks we had laying around and placed them on top of the soil in the tote box. Afterwards I placed the Dollar Tree plastic planters, each on the concrete pieces. There was space in between these, which is where the green bell pepper was planted. In one planter I put seed for basil and the other for parsley.

So far everything has sprouted wonderfully. I’ve harvested two large handfuls of sweet peas already. My lettuce has been harvested for salad as I please. My corn is growing along with my tomatoes. My last box has just sprouted in the last couple weeks.

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The dirt on dirt.

I mentioned compost earlier. We made our own compost as well. We bought a Roughneck tote box (I think like 3 gallons) in dark blue. We have put in things such as used coffee grounds and filter, banana peels, orange peels, egg shells, ashes, mud, corn husks, and whatever else we thought of. We then bought fishing worms (don’t judge) and added them to the box as well. We read that the worms help aid in the breakdown of the matter and their excretions are good for the soil. I will be adding some compost to each plant this week.

I have been asked how we will transport our garden when we move. We have a bumper pull travel trailer so we are able to put the garden in the bed of the truck. We have a contractors topper on our truck so the garden will be protected during travel. As for crossing borders, we’ve never been somewhere we have been stopped, so we will address that if we ever encounter that problem. So I will say, use your best judgement and plan ahead.

Another option would be to place your garden in your shower during moves.

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I’m excited to see how well our traveling garden does. I hope to have enough of a harvest to give me the opportunity to learn to can as well.

For those considering gardening on the go, this is my first garden ever. I have not killed the plants this go around (so far). If you put your mind to it and do some research, you can do it! Happy trails!

Ashleigh Priest is a proud wife of a union pipe welder/fitter. Mother of two rambunctious toddler boys, traveling this great land since 2011. Always looking for the best in life to make my family the happiest and healthiest it can be.

You can find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ashleigh.huggins1?fref=ts

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