Week 843 - Full Time Motorhome Travel - Part I - The Back Story - 10-09-2022

Full Time Motorhome Travel - Part I - The Back Story


On April 5th, 2006 we purchased the MotherShip to see some of America. How did we come to that decision?

In the Beginning


On August 3rd, 1973 Pete met Ellen. Pete was living in a second-level apartment in San Luis Obispo, California. Ellen moved into the apartment on the ground floor. It took only a couple weeks for them to show great interest in each other.
This aged progressed photo illustrates the love in their 20's.

Six months later on Feb 3rd, 1974 they were engaged and on Aug 3rd, 1974 they were married.

They moved into a 12 x 70 foot mobile home in San Luis and in 1977 they moved north to Atascadero. On 4 acres they built a 2,400 sq ft home. Pete's brother Mike was the architect and foreman. Family members on both sides help to build the home as well as a 1-day, 40-person barn raising.

By 1988 there were 4 boys and 2 girls in this family of eight. Ellen home schooled for 8 years and then we enrolled them in North County Christian School. After graduation, the girls went on the Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA.

Needless to say all of this took a lot of time and money. We took vacation/trips as we could, but never traveled far. The decision was made to buy a RV and explore America.

How did we know we would like to travel in an RV? First, our honeymoon was 30 days in 7 western states in Ellen's father Carl's pickup camper. In addition we brought along our 125cc dual-sport motorcycle. We loved the travel life and it ended too soon.
This is similar to our honeymoon RV.

Over the years, we motorcycle camped twice, once for 2 weeks. We also tent camped and built a van-conversion. We borrowed a tent-trailer for a weekend. Other trips included three in rented motorhomes, a class C, a class A gas and a class A diesel.

In 1996 we purchased an old 1988 light-weight 5th wheel RV and truck. We took a 25 day trip with the girls visiting 5 western states. The trip was cut short by a day when the 5th wheel caught fire in San Jose California. No problem, the city sent out a fire captain, a water truck and ladder truck! Fire was out in minutes with almost no damage, but a great adventure!
Our fire was not like this, it was just inside the wall.

In 2005 a good friend Bill, purchased a 30 foot Itasca Sunova, class C motorhome. He called everyday for weeks telling us what joy he found in the motorhome. He just could not stopping talking about it. So we visited Bill and saw his "fort" and liked it. So with all this experience, and enjoying every trip, a new RV seemed in order.

We began a year-long search trying to determine the best RV for us. We looked at everything from tear-drop trailers to million-dollar Prevost bus conversions.

Pete thought Bill's 30 footer was a good choice. Ellen kept pointing at the 40 foot diesel pushers, she said "I like these". Pete pointed at the 30 footer and said "This is Us" and pointed at the diesel pusher and said "That is Them!"

As you know, we are now Them! We ordered the MotherShip and waited 12 weeks for it to be built. We picked it up on 4-5-6 and brought it home where we lived it everyday for 4 months. On Aug 15th, 2006 we left our home with daughter Melissa and head out.

Our 17 year journey began and continues today. We never moved back into our house, the motorhome traveling life was for us.

Check back next week for Part II, The Journey.

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

Photos from 1973 to 2006

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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