Home Sweet New Home!

Yes! It’s true. We have a new home. When we were on our last leg of the tour in the Pacific Northwest, we had decided in our rain-induced stupor, that we were done traveling and we were going to settle down. Luckily, the sun came out the next day and we snapped out of that madness :) We happened across a Camping World in Burlington, WA that had recently taken a trade-in and it was exactly what we were looking for. We loved it as soon as we walked in. It was spacious, had a large countertop, HUGE windows, a tall full-sized shower, and more. The most important feature we were looking for…a coach chassis. When an RV is on a coach chassis, it sits up higher, drives smoother, is safer, and has tons of storage in the “basement”.

After many negotiations, we closed on the RV and drove it directly to Green Eye Auto in Eugene, Oregon to have it converted to run on veggie oil. Finding Green Eye was a huge blessing. We definitely did not want to drive the RV back across the country to have it converted at Golden Fuel Systems…simply because it would have cost us thousands of dollars in diesel!! We have nothing against GFS, just didn’t want to pay for the gas :) We talked with Clark at Green Eye on our way through to Portland to make sure he was willing and able to do larger systems, and he was. After a week in the shop (and a lovely visit in Eugene!), we were back out on the road with Matt’s custom “dream” veggie oil system. A big thanks to Clark and crew…they know their stuff and we highly recommend them to anyone looking to “go veg”!

After one last stop in Washington, we arrived in back in Bozeman (home of our first RV remodel!). While we were there, we spent a lot of time with our friends at the Refuge Sustainable Building Center talking about flooring and paint options. We finally decided and got everything painted and built a loft for Bella. A few weeks later, we traveled on to Matt’s parent’s home in Minnesota and finished the bamboo floors and other small projects. There are always little projects going on of course, just like a “real” home, but we have finished the big remodel. All in all, we LOVE our new home. It suits us perfectly and we’ve loved every minute in it. I know you have been patiently waiting for photos…so here they are!

Click here to be magically transported to the Flickr set of our new RV. Some of the photos have notes on them, so if you click on the main page for the photo, you can see the notes.

Here are the specs:

*1998 Western Alpine Coach (small company out of Yakima, WA, now out of business)
*325hp/8.2 liter Cummins Engine
*Onan Quiet Diesel/Veggie Oil Generator
*36′ long by 8′ wide (4 ft longer and same width)
*12′ tall (3 feet taller)
*Fresh Water: 100 gallons
*Grey Water: 10 gallons
*Black Water: 60 gallons
*6 gallon hot water tank
*Automatic leveling system
*Central air/heat
*Central vacuum system (possibly my favorite thing about the RV!)
*Flat panel HD television (we love our movies!)
*Combo convection oven/microwave
*Bamboo floors
*Zero-VOC paint
*King-sized bed with loft

Veggie System:
Custom 150 gallon system by Green Eye Auto
50 gallon “dirty” tank (allows for quick gathering of grease)
100 gallon filtered tank (dirty filters to clean while driving)
100 gallon factory diesel tank (for start up and shut down)
18 second “quick purge” for shut down
Averages between 5-8 mpg

And now to answer some FAQ:

Where is the big blue RV now?
We sold it to Jeff, Kim, and Parks…in Plano, TX. Jeff flew into Seattle to pick it up and drove it back to Texas. Just in case you missed that blog post, you can read more here. They have been busy making it their own and will start traveling as soon as they get everything in order.

Why did you need a new RV?
We didn’t NEED a new RV…it was not essential to our survival on the road. However, we knew that we wanted to make our life on the road more permanent and the new RV allows us to do that. It’s heavier, easier to drive, has more room to stretch out/entertain, I could go on and on, but it’s just better all around.

Are you going to continue doing demos around the country?
We are still going to be traveling around the country, but we are not planning a lot of public demos this year. We aren’t opposed to doing them, but we aren’t seeking them out as actively as last year. This year will be specifically for processing all of our thoughts from the past year…along with doing a lot of writing, catching up on blogs, and photography. We’re settling into “real life” on the road…which means more time with just us as a family (instead of being with other people 24/7) and enjoying the beauty of our country without a super strict timeline. Our loose plan right now is to travel to NYC in a few weeks, then down the East coast, hitting the south and the west in the winter after we fly back to the Midwest for the holidays…similar to last year’s route without as many stops. We love life on the road!


  1. I have been following your blogs for a long time, and I am finally getting around to thanking you for producing them. The new motor home is beautiful, as was the last. You have such an artistic eye! I will be sharing with others this latest offering of making the world more beauty-filled. You are an inspiration.

    Comment by A Girl Called Dallan — September 23, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

  2. Thanks so much…we appreciate your kind words! xxoo

    Comment by livelightly2 — September 23, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

  3. The new RV is just stunning. Well done. You have a great flair for decorating.

    Comment by Erika — September 23, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  4. How fun! It’s always nice to have a bit more room to stretch out!

    Comment by Cortney — September 23, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  5. still watching from misty autumnal England – love the new rv and how come you can get it so up together and artistic so quickly? We’ve been in our full size house for 16 months and I’m nowhere!

    Comment by jackie — September 24, 2008 @ 1:12 am

  6. Wow. It is SO nice. We love it. Send xoxo’s to Bella! She has grown so much since we met you all. Happy Travels II!

    Comment by christy in georgia — September 24, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

  7. Sara,
    It was great to hear how you are doing on the road. We are now in Ukraine and living simply and loving it. The market is a quick walk. Everyone takes their own bag to the market (if not you have to buy a plastic one). Raw living is a challenge, but could be worked out if we lived here full time. We are in a one bedroom flat and I love looking at your past homes to gain advice on small spaces. We look forward to watching your journey! Blessings to you and the family!

    Comment by Deanna Riccardelli — September 25, 2008 @ 3:01 am

  8. Hey just writing to say that I love your blog. It’s a hude inspiration! And, are you really coming to NYC soon? I live there, and I love visitors and would be happy to show you guys around a bit. Let me know if you’re interested.

    Comment by Rebecca — September 25, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  9. What a blessing!

    Comment by Isle Dance — September 29, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

  10. I just looked through all the photos and I LOVE it! WOW! It seems homier than my house. I have some work to do;) I just LOVE the picture next to the bathroom sink – I could just look at it all day. Enjoy this time, how wonderful! What a GREAT way to live and homeschool! Bella is so very fortunate!


    Comment by Sandy — October 4, 2008 @ 8:32 am

  11. I have been on a lot of sites and looked at a lot of coaches and your’s has to be the most “homey” one I’ve seen yet. It just looks like a home on wheels and not a bunch of fluff. I am not a big fan of purple, but I really like that in the bath for some reason. My dog darcy and I are just starting our adventure in fulltiming and are really looking forward to the spring so we can head out west and start seeing the sites. Good luck and God bless. Ron

    Comment by ron sears — December 10, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment