We’re now safely home in Rankin Inlet. The trip that took up the last month of our lives was so intense from day to day that it was all I could do to keep a bullet-point record in my journal of what we did, and snap lots of pictures. I’d like to spend the next several days taking you along with our little family on our RV-ing adventure.
To get down south from Nunavut, we did something we’ve never done before: we split the party. There are four Aeroplan seats on the Rankin-Winnipeg flight, and five of us, so… Jared took the two big girls down a day early, and Dooner, Sisko and I went down the next day.
Flying over Manitoba, the effects of this spring’s floods are still very evident. Flying back up again, it doesn’t look as bad, but many fields that aren’t flooded anymore are still waterlogged. It’s going to be yet another rough season for farmers in the region.
Once our family was reunited, we went to pick up the RV. We rented from a private couple through RVEasy, sort of like AirBnB for RVs. The RV itself was a 24 foot motorhome, bought second hand from a big RV-rental-company called Frasier Way. That meant it was built to last, unlike some of the retail RVs we hear about. The couple had done some custom updates on it, and it was fully loaded. It may have actually had more kitchen appliances than my kitchen at home!
Cooking in an RV was always a shuffle. We leaned toward meals without a lot of prep, buying things canned or prepped, and making use of our Costco membership. The fewer dishes the better. But when we did have to do dishes, there was a propane-powered water heater, and an outdoor dishwashing station.
The RV slept 5. Jared and I slept in the queen bed in the back, the big girls slept in a queen bed over the cab, and Dooner slept on the dinette. The table lowers, then you just fill the gap with a camping mattress and put a sleeping bag on top.
Sisko slept… wherever he could find a spot. His favorite bed was the drivers’ seat, but sometimes he chose other places.
Speaking of doggo, he was amazing on our trip! Everything was so new and exciting, new smells and sights everywhere, that he conked out hard all night. Toward the end of the trip, I guess he was getting used to things, and needed to go out at night a little more often.
WHAT WE LOVED:
- The flexibility of the motorhome was fantastic for our family. Wherever we went, we had all our stuff, a bathroom, food, and places to sleep. I could throw together lunch or dinner while we were parked at a gas station, if I had to. We got away with very little eating out.
- The dinette had seatbelts, where the kids sat while we drove. It was nice being able to sit with them in the fourth seat sometimes, and get back to help them whenever they needed.
- It honestly didn’t feel like camping. Even when we didn’t have electricity, we could do nearly everything we could think of, and we could always get into a relatively climate-controlled space.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
- Should have packed in cardboard boxes that we could throw. Once we had unpacked into the RV, storing the suitcases in the RV was a pain in the neck. We could also have stored the suitcases with a person, if we’d arranged that in advance. Also, we definitely should have arranged to store the dog crate somewhere, because Sisko slept in it exactly zero times.
- We packed up and left our campsite every. single. day. That wasn’t a huge pain, but it seemed kind of silly, especially with gas prices being what they are. I’d definitely go with a truck-and-trailer arrangement if we were to do it again, and stay longer in each place.
- Gas for these buggers is way more than we thought. Even before the prices went way up this spring. Ouch!
- The bathroom was fine, but the shower was too short. A tiny stool would have made washing my hair much more practical. Once we went to Whistlers’ in Jasper, with its fancy new bath houses, our RV showers were over.
- Doing laundry in laundromats is expensive. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it by hand. Escaping to the laundromat was a nice little break from the fam, to be honest.
- Living in a confined space with the same four people for a month will put some strain on your relationships. That got pretty tough toward the end – more on that another time. To be honest, I’m not sure I would do this again with kids. But as a retirement plan, I’d be all over this lifestyle!
After we got oriented, we hit the road, and spent our first night at a random RV campground somewhere in the middle of Saskatchewan. Tomorrow I’ll take you to our first destination.