Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The Captain took this cool photo of The Mothership using a periscope at The Submarine Force Museum and his iPhone. It was our first family RV trip and we drove around New England, one of the stops being Groton, CT. (Definitely an interesting stop, and worth seeing if you are in the area!)

During that first trip we kept three lists going:
- items to get from home for the RV
- items to buy for the RV
- things to do for the next trip

As we are planning this upcoming trip (which will begin in about a week and half!!! Where's the paperbag????), we have another set of three loooong lists going:
- things to do before we leave (the longest list)
- things to find/purchase before we leave
- things to pack (trying to keep this from becoming the longest)

Most of our planning so far has been brainstorming and the list-making, but we have been able to cross some things off, slowly.. One of the challenges is I can't remember what we have in the RV! Next time I will either make inventory lists of what we leave behind, or take pictures of closets, cupboards and drawers...

Here are (some of) the piles of laundry I washed the first days we were home from our Fall trip. As I looked at this picture I realized our camping towels came home with us! Which means I have to go find them before we leave... Also, a note self: remember Shout-stain remover this time. Maybe look through all the trip pictures too.

It is a lot of work to get ready for a trip, especially for a longer one with a large family. Then there is work and school to 'pack along' too. And as our lists of things to pack grow longer and longer, we remember we have a long drive ahead of us squeezed in our GMC before we even get to The Mothership...

... but all that is worth doing and going through when we know what is awaiting us in Florida!

Little Miss at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo last year (another great place to visit!).

Our Mothership and fun adventures with our family. Priceless!!!


Meillä on suunnitelmissa lähtö jo noin puolentoista viikon kuluttua. Normaaliin arkeen on lisätty matkan suunnittelua, listojen tekemistä, tarvikkeiden hankkimista. Pisin lista on 'mitä pitää tehdä ennen lähtöä', ja toiseksi pisimmäksi yltää 'mitä pakata mukaan'. Paljon työtä kun lähtee pidemmälle reissulle ison perheen kanssa! Olisi kiva, jos muistaisi mitä kaikkea jätin asuntoautoon... Pyykkikuvasta yllä näkee, että ainakin toin kotiin leiripyyhkeemme, eli nyt pitää löytää mihin ne olen piilottanut.. Kaikki vaiva ja työ kuitenkin matkan arvoista, on ihana lähteä seikkailemaan Mothership-asuntoautollamme perheen kanssa!

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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I received some great questions in the comments about traveling in a motorhome. I started to answer them but realized the answers would be quite lengthy for a comment box, so I decided to do a Q&A blog post. If you have questions about (our) RV-traveling, leave them in a comment box and I will try to answer them in the next post.

Sain hyviä kysymyksiä asuntoautomatkailusta(mme) kommenteissa, ja päätin tehdä niistä uuden postauksen. Voit siis jättää kysymyksiä kommentteihin, yritän vastata niihin parhaani mukaan seuraavassa postauksessa.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Mothership

Here it is, our home away from home. It's the MotherBeast Mothership! 1991 Airstream 350.

The two pictures above show the scale, somewhat.. (And we thought my sister's Suburban was huge! ;-)

Inside is quite comfortable for 7 people. In the picture above the kids are doing school on the road. Our kids really enjoy traveling this way. We do school, watch movies, read books and even play games on the road. Having a bathroom has made the road trips so much better and shorter!

This was the only picture I found that shows a little bit of the back of the RV. Behind the kitchen are closets, bathroom, shower & our master bedroom. I'll have to take more pictures of it once we get to Florida.

The sofa, and the kitchen table/benches area turn into beds. We currently can fit two kids on both beds and we have used a mattress on the floor for Little Miss. We have plans to replace the two seats on one side of the RV with a sofa, which should give our family enough sleeping space.

Tässä kuvia Airstream 350-asuntoautostamme, vuosimallia 1991. Se on ihan järkyttävän pitkä ja koomisen komean näköinen :-) Tämänkokoinen perhe kuitenkin tarvitsee tilaa, ja meillä on suunnitelmissa laittaa kahden tuolin tilalle sohva, että saisimme lisää nukkumatilaa. Tällä hetkellä ainoan sohvan saa levitettyä sängyksi kahdelle, kuin myös keittiön pöydän ja penkit. Asuntoauton takaosassa on komeroita, vessa, suihku, sekä makuuhuone.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Welcome to Our Mothership Adventures! Our blog is named after our RV, as most (though not all!) of our adventures happen during our RV travels. We lovingly call our 1991 Airstream 350 motorhome "The Mothership". We found it on eBay last Summer, and first took some smaller trips in New England in it before driving down to Florida for six weeks last Fall.

We are back home now in New England, The Mothership is waiting for us in Florida, and we are currently making plans to head South so we can continue our adventures. Our current (somewhat flexible) plan is to leave in April in our GMC - missing the comforts of our RV, no doubt. In addition to our trip, our family is actually looking into relocating to Florida, at least for most of the year. But we shall see what the future brings! This blog will hopefully be an online diary of our travels and adventures.

Our family consists of New Englander Dad, who will bring work with him wherever our wild plans take us, as he is self-employed. Mom, the keeper of this blog, is from Finland originally, and might occasionally write here in Finnish too. She helps Dad with his business and homeschools the four older children. We have three sons: Mr. D, Mr. A and Mr. T and two daughters: Missy and Little Miss. (At least that is what I'm thinking of calling them for now to protect their privacy here online.) This is our first year of homeschooling after our older children attended a great Christian school for five years. We are working on finishing 5th grade at the moment, using a computer based program Switched-On-Schoolhouse. Little Miss was born in China, and joined our family in 2006. She has been attending a local preschool for three mornings a week this year.

That's us in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy following our adventures!

Tervetuloa lukemaan Mothership Adventures blogia! Yksityisyrittäjäisä, kotiäiti, neljä kotikoulua käyvää koululaista ja Kiinasta adoptoitu nuorimmainen suuntaavat Yhdysvaltojen Uudesta Englannista etelää kohti - mahdollisesti pysyvästi, mahdollisesti osaksi vuotta. Suuri osa seikkailuistamme tapahtuu The Mothership-asuntoautossamme. Tämänhetkisten suunnitelmiemme mukaan lähdemme Floridaan huhtikuussa. Tervetuloa seuraamaan villin perheemme seikkailuja!