From the Beach to the Mountains

Arriving in Nags Head, NC with no trailer and all of our worldly possessions piled into our minivan felt like defeat. This was washed away by the beauty of the beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and the carefree schedule of a family vacation.

We had to decide between sticking it out a year or two in one location to save up money, or to try to stretch the limited resources we had to buy another camper and hope that this time it would not be a disaster. We departed from Nags Head towards Washington, DC with a start date for a workamper job, but no camper.

Our time spent in Washington, DC was entirely consumed by errands. One errand after another. Within 48 hours we found ourselves at an RV dealership, looking at a teardrop camper, a Little Guy Five Wide. It was brand new so it was assured to be free of major problems, and the price was extremely reasonable for the make and model.

The Little Guy was actually the very first camper we looked at when we started to discuss living on the road, because it was so lightweight and the ultimate in simplicity, but we had dismissed it for not being ‘enough’ camper to live in full time. With the only other options being campers in dilapidated condition, and the expansion choice of a screen room for the Little Guy, we decided this was the camper for us, and prepared to adjust to full time life in a tiny teardrop.

Thanks to the assistance of Citizen’s wonderful parents, we were able to obtain the Little Guy free of liens, and their help made it possible to bring together the supplies we needed to get ourselves road-ready in record time.

We spent the next two weeks running errands and seeing old friends. We had to register our minivan in Maryland, as well as get routine maintenance done. The mechanic boosted our confidence when he said our car was doing well, and would make it for another 100,000 miles ;)

The Little Guy is a queen sized bed on wheels, with a set of pass-through cabinets, power outlets, a hatchback kitchen with a sink with a fresh water tank, and a luggage rack in the front. Ours came without a stove installed, but it was a surprisingly straightforward process to (carefully!) cut a hole in the countertop and run a propane line to a two-burner drop-in stove.

Citizen’s mother had some vintage cowboy print fabric in just the right width for curtains, and with velcro and a sewing machine she created a set of custom curtains for privacy and a personal touch.

After a million more errands, acquisition of health insurance, new license plates, and multiple family gatherings and dinners eaten on the patio as summer wound down to a close, we were ready to hit the road and begin the slow meander down to Nashville, TN to begin Sarah’s job for the fall.

Now we are in the Shennendoah mountains at our first campsite, plugged into the electric and water hookups, and feeling snug from hot showers and a batch of lentil soup cooked up in our new tiny kitchen, and we are beginning the process of learning to organize and manage possessions and tasks with ‘home’ being wherever we happen to be.

Total distance: 80.18 mi
Max elevation: 942 ft
Min elevation: 256 ft
Total climbing: 5518 ft
Total descent: -5341 ft
Average speed: 34.76 mi/h
Total Time: 10:58:26