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What a whirlwind this week has been! It’s currently 10pm on Saturday night and we’ve been home from the RVX show for 24 hours now. James is still out in the new van, and since he’s still working, I feel like I should be doing something productive, too. Writing is productive, right?!? Let’s go with that.

SOOO. Did you catch our news last week at the end of the RVX Show Product Reveal Video?!?! (…about 30 minutes in…)

Meet the very first Nat’l Park Foundation Travato… we’ve named him “Parky”!!!

Soooo happy I can start talking about it now! We’re honored to have this awesome van on loan for the next few months… and are especially excited to do some blogging about lesser known National Parks; more to come on that!

Pulling “Parky” out of the show turned out to be pretty uneventful. The Winnebago booth was the farthest from the building’s exit, so we expected a long wait. NOPE!

I had our car, so I went on ahead of James and picked up Mel from his cat sitter in Provo, an hour south of the show.

Mel:  “My van seems to have shrunk…”

Mel and I started our 4 hour road trip to southern Utah, and eventually met up with James and the new van a couple hours south of Salt Lake City. I passed Mel off to him.

Mel: “NOW what have my humans done to my van…”

Mel seemed a little on edge with the new van at first, but eventually he got bored and took a nap.

When we landed at the sticks and bricks last night, James immediately got to work on checking the systems and starting his mods. We only have until tomorrow morning before hitting the road for a few weeks, so he wasn’t going to waste precious time doing typical things: like SLEEPING. And EATING.

There were a few snafus off the bat.

  1. The tires were out of balance. We got them balanced today. CHECK!
  2. The microwave wouldn’t work. Turns out the plug had been pulled for the show. CHECK!
  3. The fridge wouldn’t work. I didn’t pay attention to what was going on there but he eventually got it fixed. CHECK!

Before beginning to work down his mod list, James tested the water systems:

Looking for leaks under the galley… (there were none)

Water lines got the James Seal of Approval. He even made time to sanitize the fresh tank with some Thetford sanitizing product he picked up at the RVX show.

From there, I started losing interest in watching James be James, and ended up spending a couple hours working out and got a good 5 mile run in too.

Today’s home-gym workout! (And hey don’t judge my chicken scratch; I didn’t know I’d be snapping a pic…)

But I did check to make sure James was breathing a few times throughout the day today. This is what I found him doing:

  1. Trimming some of the Froli springs so that the twin bed cushions could snap to the bed frame more easily. Otherwise the mattress slides around a lot.


2. Drilling holes in that white storage bucket that sits under the bed to make it lift out easier. I’m not sure what’s under there that requires the bucket being frequently lifted, but it is James, and I’m sure he’ll find excuses to dig into Parky’s underbelly.

3. Removing the TV. Now THIS was quite a fiasco. So much so that JAMES ACTUALLY USED A DREMEL!!! One of the things that the bolt screws into had stripped, the bolt itself was cross-threaded, and there was absolutely no getting the bolt out. In the end James had to cut the bolt with…of all things… the tool he hates most in the world and has EVEN BLOGGED ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATES IT. The Dremel. I’m sure you can imagine how much fun I had pointing that out while he was using it.

4. Covering the ugly bolt holes from the removed TV. This was my project!!! I ran to Target and picked up a very simple frame with a clip (instead of glass) to hold a picture. Then! I took a little 5×9 “StickItList”, trimmed it to 5×7″, and then clipped it in the frame. It’ll actually be functional! StickItLists are a thin & flexible dry-erase material, and it’ll be handy for staying organized or leaving each other messages. I already have a bunch of StickItLists and was intending to stick one on the fridge since they’re made to stick anywhere, but I like having it in the frame much better. And I already filled in James’ To Do list!!!

James is very good at following clear and concise directions.


5. Cutting a hole in the bathroom wardrobe for a litter box. This one was a top priority! Great news, James got it done and the litterbox fits perfectly!


6. Building a tabletop and attaching a Lagun table mount. Y’all probably remember, James still has a pesky day job. That makes a comfortable work space super important. Between the other projects today, he was sanding and coating this table top:


It sounds like that tabletop is a temporary solution and when James has more time he wants to do it up better.

And finally, the last time I checked on him (at 10:15 PM), he started building the base for the Lagun table mount:


7. Installing our WeBoost (from Lance). Shout out to Gordon for taking the time to mail us Lance’s WeBoost control unit! Luckily, WeBoost is based right here in St. George, so James was able to buy new antennas direct from the manufacturing facility. It was super easy to run the antenna to the roof through Winnebago’s new roof port! We checked with Winnebago, and it sounds like this was the first official use of the roof port!

So yeah! That’s what James has been up to, all in the past 24 hours. Now you see why I say he’s part alien. There were probably lots of other projects too, I just didn’t see them and I’m too lazy to go out there and ask.

As I type he’s finishing up his table project and then he’ll FINALLY stop on projects. That’s when the fun starts! We’ve got to completely clean the van from the ‘show germs’, and then start hauling all our crap out there. I already used our packing lists (which omg I’d be lost without!) and got everything gathered so it’s just a matter of loading it all up. AND, I’ve also hit the grocery store and Target so we are totally ready to rock this trip.

Even though it’s almost 11pm and James is out there having a ball, I’m starting to see double. Excuse any typos, it is possible I’ve been half sleep-writing.

Nighty night all! Big driving day tomorrow! BNR rally… HERE WE COME! And then after that, let the Nat’l Parks stops begin!!! Can’t wait!

Your comments below are always welcomed!

xoxo, Stef