Thursday, March 25, 2010

And Answers :)

Thanks for all the great questions! I have attempted to answer them & have also asked the Captain (aka Dad) for help. It has been a long day (homeschooling, sick preschooler, sick Mom, various forms to fill out to work on changing our residency, all on top of the usual house and home work), so if you spot mistakes, please point them out. Kindly. And no Finnish translation on this one - at least not yet.

- How long is The Mothership? 35 feet, which makes it (her?) a little less than 11 meters long (a regular bus is about 12 meters)

- Have you tried driving it? Nope! And don't intend to!

- Is it hard or heavy to drive? "No, it's extremely easy!", says Captain. (Yeah, right! Try backing it into a parking spot in the dark!!)

- Do you need a special driver's license to drive a motorhome? I found this answer here: "Driving the vast majority of RVs requires no special license and is easier than many newcomers think. In some states, the very largest motorhomes may require a special driving test or written test for a different class of drivers license. Regardless of size, personal use recreation vehicles do not require a commercial drivers license. Experienced automobile drivers already have the skills to drive a motorized RV. With proper attention to the size, height and weight differences, experienced drivers find it fun to take the wheel."

- How much did your RV cost, or how much do RVs like these go for? Here is a link to Fred's Airstream Archives where they have some pictures and prices of sold ones. We found ours on eBay.

- How much gas does it take? And how far can you drive with a full tank? The gas tank is maybe 60 gallons/227 liters. We've successfully blocked the gas station stops from our memories. The Mothership gets about 10 miles/16 km per gallon (3.78 liters). Is that a hopeful sentence??

- How much is the yearly upkeep of The Mothership? We don't know! It hasn't been a year yet. But, we've had to update some parts, and there is still more to do. Also, we've had to pay for The Mothership to stay in a sunny storage while we've been wintering up North.

- Does it have a water tank? Yes, The Mothership has a water tank. We don't drink the water (the pipes are old!!!), but we use it for showers, the toilet, some cooking. I don't know how big the tank is, but we can go days before filling it up, if we are careful. Which means while at campgrounds we try to use their showers and toilets, and when we use our shower it is for a very quick shower. The Mothership also has tanks for grey and black water.

- Do you always stay at campgrounds or where can you park for the night? We usually stay at campgrounds so we can connect to electricity (instead of running the generator), and fill the water tank and empty our grey/black water. But, whenever we can, we stay at friends' driveways :) While on the road we've also parked at various parking lots (like Wal-Mart) and even at highway truck stops and rest areas.

- Do the sofas/chairs have seat belts? Can you walk around freely while on the road? The Mothership came with two seat belts: the driver's and the front passenger's. That's it. But, we have an awesome Grandpa, who installed several seatbelts for us!! Our rule is to stay buckled up while driving, but we do allow quick bathrooms trips. We have tried to find laws on RV traveling and seat belts, and it appears you don't need to be buckled up in the back, but we have precious cargo, so we want to stay safe!

- I bet none of you do suffer from any motion sickness because even the kids are able to read or use computers during the drive which is very good and crucial on the long drives. Ha! Well, the Captain and the kids all travel great. In fact they don't seem to even get sea sick on boats that often. So they can pretty much do whatever they please and still be ok. Mom 5ennie on the other hand gets sea sick in a swing. So she stays in the front passenger seat pretty much the whole time while we are driving. Except for the quick bathroom trips.

- How handy is it to cook meaning can the windows be opened to get the smoke etc. out well? The gas stove works fine and there is fan we always run while cooking - fumes haven't been an issue yet at least. We also have a microwave oven and a small outdoor camping grill. But I have to admit cooking in our motorhome has been a little bit challenging. As a mother of five kids, I am used to buying huge quantities and making huge portions. Well, the RV kitchen is teeny. The cupboards and the fridge are teeny. My pots and pans are teeny! Plus washing pots, pans & dishes uses a lot of water. We have found our favorite way of cooking is using an electric slow cooker. Even if we are driving we just plug it in and set it in the sink. As we drive our dinner is cooking away (sometimes the delicious smells can make us go crazy!!!). I use a liner in the crockpot too, so that cuts down on clean up too. For lunch we usually make cold sandwiches and we keep the RV well stocked with snacks and drinks. Traveling in it is great! (Just had to say that!!)

- Just curious whether The Mothership has a proper air condition? Yes and no. We have two air condition units, the front and the rear, but currently can only run one at a time. So when Florida had their hot spell in October, we had some pretty uncomfortable nights. One of the things on our To-Do list is to update the amp service to be able to run both air conditioners at the same time.

- How do you cope with washing laundry? Last Fall we used the campground laundry machines or brought our dirty laundry to our friends houses (we have awesome friends!!!). In Florida I loved how little laundry we had! Our wardrobes consisted of 2-3 sets of bathing suits and rash guard shirts and pajamas - I wasn't washing laundry every day like at home :) I did find I wasn't getting our clothes quite as spotless like at home, so we don't bring our best clothes with us - it is more like camping style (thus bathing suits and pajamas).

- Do you plan on using that "Beast" in road trip to the plains? Our current plan is head back to Florida asap - afterall, that's where The Mothership is! We have to head there for work reasons also, but we love to plan new trips and would love to go explore this beautiful country some more. If you'd like our laundry us to visit at your house, let us know!

Camping World rents motorhomes and trailers, click here for more info. Click here for their frequently asked questions. If you are interested in renting an Airstream Trailer, check out these campgrounds.


  1. Thanks! Learned a lot new things about traveling on the road. I think the facilities are pretty similar to big yacht boats that I have been sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.

  2. Wow! Thanks for all the great answers, now I want to go traveling with one (but maybe a slightly smaller one...) as well! Can't wait for your adventure to begin :-)

  3. Jutta, your experiences sound really neat! I'm really impressed in both yachts and boats at the clever storage areas - there is no wasted space anywhere!

    Soile, yes - we'd travel in a smaller one too, if we could fit in one :-D
    We are lining things up and *might* head out a week after Easter! I was thinking if I have some extra time I'll post some pics from our previous trips while we are waiting for our upcoming trip to start.

  4. What a great blog post! Love your answer to "have you driven it". ;-D

    BTW - I just found that I have a slow cooker cookbook I forgot about! Want me to bring it? I know the internet is full of recipes but I find it hard to sort through them all...!

  5. :-D The Captain really is amazing at driving this beast! He continues to impress me every day we travel..

    Which cookbook is it?

  6. This would be a dream for day ;)

  7. I hope you can, Sober Julie!!! It has been very rewarding for our family..