Thursday, June 13, 2013

Schedule Change - Heading out in One Week

Wifey practiced her bread-from-scratch skills last night.
Time seems to be speeding up. After sharing with Uncle R that my new job begins in two weeks, he informed me that I'd need to get there a few days early because the farm house has some plumbing issues. Since I'll be staying there for a  month or so in order to scout out the new job, town, schools, church, etc...I need to make sure things are running as smoothly as possible.

Looks like the old farm house is in need of a new water heater and some minor plumbing repairs. Instead of leaving on a Saturday and arriving Sunday (work starts Monday), I'll be leaving either Wednesday or Thursday of next week. It all depends on if Mr. Plumber can do everything on Friday.

Team Alpha + Wifey on recent trip to Disneyland
I'm going to pack up my 10x12' enclosed trailer and take some stuff with me. I figure it's one less load to pack up on the next trip and it will afford me some comforts from home. Not quite sure what I'll take yet. Most likely camping gear, normal travel gear (clothes, etc), and whatever else might come in handy on the farm. I'll get to see how well the Orange Jeep pulls a loaded trailer 1,000 miles. Her gas mileage is already pretty pathetic as it is. This should be a real gas guzzling trip.

Once I get there, I'll need to do a quick assessment of the living quarters. I'm sure I'll spend a few hours sweeping up cob webs and dead critters, wiping things down, and putting my stuff away. I'll have to get in the habit of leaving the farm gate the way I found it. First rule of the country: leave a gate the way you find it. If it's open, leave it open but for sure, if it is CLOSED...leave it closed. I have a cousin out there that may have a small herd free grazing. I DO NOT want to be responsible for letting those animals loose on my first week there.

I have to make sure everything at home is handled for Wifey so she doesn't have any unexpected surprises while I'm gone. Get the bills paid up, check the Suburban's oil and other fluids, discuss security and OPSEC for a manless house and establish an emergency call procedure.

Team Bravo about to Tea Party in style.
I'll document the road trip with lots of pictures and report in once I get there. Hopefully it won't take too long to get settled into the new job and find a rental home. We will need to stay in a rental until we figure out how we are going to homestead the farm. We've discussed putting a double-wide trailer there but the cost would eat up the funds we have for building a house. So, for now, I'll be looking for a nearby rental property. Problem is, all the houses in these types of small towns were built back in a time when 1200 square feet was a typical house size. With six kids, we feel pretty packed in our Arizona home and it is 2000 square feet. Either we're going to have to deal with a smaller home or I'll have to figure something else out (farm house + trailer?). Any suggestions from my Internet family and friends are welcome!

I'm hoping that once I get into town and start meeting folks, someone will have just what I need. Something under $1000/mo, big enough for our family, and near the farm/job. Indoor plumbing would be nice too ;-)

per Wifey's request: Yes dear, you beat me...once ;-)


Next: Planning for the solo roadtrip


  1. Think about a tune up before you go? Or at least take a set of plugs and wires and points (if it's that old) and the tools to change them out if needed....

    When I moved from Naples,FL to the Memphis, Tn area it was a steady incline the whole way. I was pulling a fully loaded 5x8 uhaul trailer and it cut my mileage in half! 18 to 9 mpg.

    For a long haul like you are planning and pulling a load with a lot of wind resistance, if it's been awhile since your last tune up, it might help a little.

  2. @Matt Thanks buddy, great idea. She's a 2006 with 109k miles. Probably wouldn't hurt to tune her up a bit. Do you think the high end gasoline would help?

  3. I doubt it unless the specs call for it.

    When you factor the 40 cents plus more a gallon for premium you'll actually lose money on that deal.

    You could try a tank of mid-grade vs a tank of regular and do the math. But I still think at the rate you are burning it, it will be cheaper to use the 87.

  4. Ok. What about a bottle of Octane Boost? I've heard it helps burn out gunk but I've never tried it. Thanks for your insight.

  5. I'm not a mechanic so keep that in mind, but I'd run it through the jeep BEFORE I take off on a long trip. Just to make sure it runs ok on it.

    Otherwise I'd just stick to a tune-up.

  6. OJD...Use Ethanol free gas if you can find it. It helps with the gas mileage and your jeep will run much better, that is ll I run in my truck.

    Is the farm house in too bad of shape to live in it? If it isn't I would move the family in and use the rent money for home improvements. Since you have all girls a shared bedroom or two is no big deal.

  7. @Mbear The farm house is one big room with a full bath. I'm guessing 800 sq ft maybe? A few people could sleep there... but not eight. I'll take pictures of it once I get there.

  8. You may not like this idea, we camped one summer between homes. The kids had a blast roughing it. I don't know if there are any trees for shade. My parents bought a old mobile home and dad fixed it up for their BOL up north. Read Mystic Mud's blog. For some good ideas. They got an mobile and fixed it up.

  9. Remember to bring ALL your tools, especially your plumbing tools. There is no way to know what surprises are waiting for you. We live in a double wide of higher quality (in the Northwest), it works for us just fine for us. There are some decent ones out there, if you can find them without the old mobile home huge-tub type bathrooms etc.

    You might consider an oil cooler for the jeep, another for the trans if its an auto. Don't forget to up your tire pressure for towing the trailer. You will be in my prayers.

  10. What about sleeping in the old farmhouse, and getting a rental trailer for an additional bath, & a livingroom/kitchen combo? I'm thinking of the ones that people rent for office space and a sales room. It isn't perfect, but would be workable until the new home is built. Since you are moving to tornado country, may I suggest a dome/deltec round house? Much safer than a rectangle.

  11. Wow. It's actually happening. Prayers going up for everyone's safety and that you get settled in quickly.

    What, you can't cram wife and 6 chilluns into 800 sq ft? It would be the supreme test of your homesteading skills :-)


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