Texas, Where We've Been

We’re Texans now!

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We’re Texans now!

Since we started this trip in summer 2022, we have been to the southern half and eastern half of the United States, comprising 39 out of 49 states we can travel to with the fifth wheel. (We can’t bring the fifth wheel to Hawaii!)  On average, we’ve been able to spend about a week in each state, learning about the history, culture, different foods, and enjoying the scenery. We’ve met a number of people on our travels and met up with friends and family that we haven’t seen in years. We’ve also experienced our fair share of mechanical mishaps, roads in desperate need of repair across this country, and some less than appealing locations. Overall though, it’s been a gift and we feel blessed to be able to experience the U.S. in this way. More importantly, our kids have been able to learn about “school” topics by being in the locations where discoveries were made or historical events happened. We study the Bible together, experience the wonder of God’s creation, and interact with those who are of varying beliefs.

A few months back, we came to the conclusion that despite the setbacks, we wanted to continue this way of life for the foreseeable future. To do so, we needed to establish a home base, a place to dump our things, and return to in the colder months as we wait out the winter. We already had a mail forwarding address in Florida, and as much as we enjoy the state, it is far away from family. We wanted something more central, without strict homeschooling laws, not in a humid climate (so that our things would not be subject to mold), warm in the winter. That pointed us to Texas. We also liked the fact that there were no state income taxes, there was a mail forwarding service in Livingston, and the people were those who we resonated with, in culture and belief.

So now we are Texans, y’all!

We are planning to buy some land in a few years once our tour of the 49 continental states is complete. We plan to use that as our home base in winter, and begin traveling again as the weather gets warmer… and that means to you also, Colorado. We have many friends and family in Colorado and are planning to visit often so that we and the kids have their time with their friends and family.

Note: The process of changing our domicile went relatively easily and could be done in a week, ideally even in 2 days if you don’t need the Class A Non-CDL license.

These are the steps we took:

  1. Vehicle Inspection at Soda Auto Repair
  2. Registration for taxes and plates
  3. Update insurance policies on both vehicles
  4. Driver’s licenses (Class C) *Appt Req’d*
  5. Library Card *optional*
  6. Take the Class A Non-CDL license written test (Req’d only for big rigs over a certain weight) *Appt Req’d and had to be min. of 24 hours after initial driver’s license*
  7. We had to return a few weeks later to take the Class A Non-CDL driving test *Appt Req’d and none available at the time*


More RV Issues

What more could go wrong than outriggers failing and slide issues? Well, how about the dreaded frame flex?

We noticed some interior scraping of the wall to the cabinetry every time we hitched up. 

And scraping of the wall around the night stands…

Definitely not normal!

We took it to a shop in Texas (Let’s Roll RV) who was able to get us in with short notice and work on figuring out the problem. 

After some research, it turns out that the larger rigs, like our Solitude, have a design flaw where the screws that connect the frame to the front walls can back out or become disconnected. It took some finagling, but ultimately Grand Design ended up covering the cost of repairs.

Here’s what they did:

At the shop, the techs took down the front ‘skin’ of the fifth wheel, exposing the frame underneath. That’s when they saw the break, but it wasn’t until they uncovered the carpet along the walls of the master bedroom that they noticed the lag screws were loose or missing. They replaced the screws and added new ones to make a secure fit on both sides. Then they rewelded on a lower support bracket to hold the wall in place and voila, fixed!

Now that our third fix of the years is done, off we go on our way again, but this time as Texans!



Rainbow’s End – Escapees Park

The Escapees Park in Livingston is an older park with a number of fulltime residents, homes, and elder care community mixed in. It’s also the location of the mail distribution center where mail is delivered if you are an Escapees member. 

We were in site 91. We requested a site with no trees so that we could use Starlink. We had a full hookup site and no problem with the utilities.

We were also allowed to wash the fifth wheel and truck. We were also asked by several people if we were a service and wouldn’t mind washing theirs as well. 

Also in the campground, there is a bakery that sells cookies, sodas, and a special lunch menu that varies on different days of the week.

We had some of the best speeds across all carriers while here. Starlink gave us 102 down and 30 up. We had 4 bars on the Verizon phones (47/19) and 5 bars with the cell antenna (44/25). AT&T was 5 bars with the cell antenna (24/26).  Wifi at 2.4g (20/1) and at 5.0g (28/12).