(brought to you by Bryan)
Hi there! We keep updating you with stories and images of all the cool places we are seeing, which I’m sure is fun and interesting, but I wanted to write a quick catch up of living on the road in general. I think this Monday will be the start of week 12 on the road. It is still a very weird feeling. We’re not always quite sure what we are doing, what we should be doing, where we should be going. It is hard and weird to leave “normal” life. There are still no regrets and no desire on either of our parts to change course now. Jaimi and I are still getting along really well in the confined space, dealing with anything that comes up. We laugh more than anything else – so that’s keeping us sane through this wild ride. The cats have been amazing as travel kitties. We could not have imagined they would be doing so well on the road.
We’ve been putting Merlin and Smartie through their paces. We’ve given Merlin a few character scratches on drives where most RVs would not, or should not be. This made us really happy we went with a 10 year old solid vehicle. The thought of scraping up the sides of a more expensive, newer, RV made us shiver. We are still dragging our feet on getting new batteries. While we are in full sun we can charge and run just about anything we want using our foldable suitcase Renogy solar panels. It seems the batteries cannot hold a charge well overnight. We’ve heard the best answer to this is to get two six volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. We’ll let you know how this goes when we get around to trying it out. Everything else in Merlin has been great. We still love the layout. We are not feeling too cramped. The kitchen has been more than adequate. The only negatives I can think of now… 7.5 mpg or so average so far ouch $$. The gray tank (dish water, shower water) vents into air space that is shared with our cabin. Mostly not a problem but can be smelly when dumping. Seems like a design fail. We will be looking into this further when time allows.
Smartie has been awesome. We’ve taken it down many dirt roads, it is dirty inside and out, but we are so glad that we made the decision to tow this great little car behind us. Plus, he’s one serious conversation piece!! We are regularly hit up with questions from Smartie on-lookers everywhere we go. It’s fun to talk him up and try to convince die-hard truck folks to consider this small, fuel efficient, and very practical little ride. Hooking up Smartie to Merlin, though never fun, has become less of a hassle. We always manage to have enough space for laundry, groceries, day packs, or whatever else we want to do. The occasion does still come up that we wish we had a Jeep, but for overall ease of towing and city navigating our Smart Car is the best. I haven’t been as good at keeping track of mpg’s for Smartie but it seems to be 40+ on more normal driving conditions.
We are also glad we have the bicycles. We have used them more than we had in the past couple years. They are getting beat up and weathered outside, but better that than sitting in our garage.