In Search of Our Nomadic Home – Part One

My realilty and ideals rarely match up and the search for a nomadic home has not been any different.

The Ideal

We’ve been dreaming about this trip for a few years.  In my head, I’ve always seen us rolling down the highway kicking up dust in an old restored bus conversion or even an Airstream. The sun is setting and golden rays reflect off the worn aluminum.  Brent drives along wearing a cardigan with wooden buttons while Bon Iver or Nick Drake plays. My perfectly cherry red pedicured feet rest on the dashboard. The boys hang out together discussing whether they want to read or play Scrabble.

The Reality

Brent is not a big fan of cardigans.  My polish is always chipped.  And the boys torment the cat.

And this…

…the engine.

Brent’s response when we looked at a 1953 vintage bus conversion?  “You don’t have to work on it.”

We’ve been looking at RVs for a few months now. This was one of the first we saw and she charmed me.

I saw character. I  saw myself in vintage aprons. I saw potential.

Brent saw old.  Brent saw me with PMS and no privacy.  Brent saw work.

He’s probably right but take a look at this pad.

Only Front “door” knob

Groovy orange chairs

Built in magazine rack

Legit lighting

Swanky built-in toaster

Dashboard fan


I’d love to replace “PRIVATE COACH” with “NEWSCHOOL NOMAD”

Not sure about the toilet flush button.  Seems like trouble.

All of this for $6000.

However, at that price the toilet may be the least of our troubles.

More than likely we’ll end up with something newer, more reliable, more spacious, and, to some a little, “obnoxious”.  Despite my imagination, we are not posing for an Anthropolgie catalogue.  We are going to be living life with two young boys, two pugs, and a cat.  Living life means Brent is going to be working. The boys are going to be schooling and playing.  I’m going to be blogging, cleaning, and cooking sometimes with PMS so a new fangled slide out or two extra room might be nice.

Still a girl can dream.

And the search continues.

With love,

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About Jenn

I'm Jenn and I'm so happy you stopped by our little corner of the web. My favorite moments are cuddling with my boys, listening to the purrs of my cat, and sipping warm cups of tea. The smell of orange blossoms conjures up delightful memories of childhood even though I grew up in Indiana hundreds of miles from citrus groves. I love animals and when I'm stressed I dream of owning a goat farm. I love art, road trips, books, and food. Vintage clothes make me ridiculously happy. Red lipstick is my friend.

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13 Responses to “In Search of Our Nomadic Home – Part One”

  1. Michelle Says:

    LOL! Gotta appreciate the sensibility our hubbies can always seem to find. Guess it keeps us on track once in a while, huh? 😉 It this same sensibility that’s kept our family from camping. For the first time in 8 years, we are going to give it a go next month at a KOA. In a Kamping Kabin of course (we are getting the one without toilets – that’s roughing it in my book. My hubby knows better ….! (If I pass this test, we *might* get a tent and try real camping next year.)

    I’ve added Newschool Nomads to my reader and will be following along on the Nims’ exciting adventure! xo


    • jennincat Says:

      You’re my first comment!!!! Yippeeeee!! Thank you!

      Ha ha ha!!!! Oh yes, Brent keeps me on track in more ways than one. 😉 Love, that you are going to give camping a try! I hope it goes well. Thanks for following along on the journey! xoxo


  2. Stephanie Says:

    That is definitely a cool bus, but not particularly practical unless you have a lot of money for repairs and renovation.

    Our family has been on-the-road for over 3 months now and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about campgrounds, RV memberships, on-the-road living, etc. Find us at and


    • jennincat Says:

      I’ve never been known to be the most practical of gals! 😉 I think we’ll be getting a newer diesel pusher. Do you know anything about biodiesel?


  3. Boyink Says:

    Hey – we’re 8 months into a planned 1-yr road trip with a family of four as well. Since our family structure and trip sounded similar I thought I would pitch in with a few thoughts:

    – Class A motorhomes like diesel pushers are mainly designed for 2 people, unless you happen to find (and can afford) a bunkhouse version. Do you want your kids to have their own space, and will it get old making tables and couches into beds every night and undoing that in the morning?

    – Diesel pushers also tend to be quite long, which will limit where you can park it. Do you want to camp in national forest campgrounds and state parks? Some have length restrictions (30′ in the parks by the Grand Canyon, 35′ in a Virginia State Park).

    – Being limited more to private parks will affect the types of people you’ll meet in that they won’t tend to be other families. We’ve friends travelling in a 40′ pusher and met at the Grand Canyon for Easter. By that point we’d met 4-5 other travelling families and they hadn’t met any. Don’t get me wrong – RV people are awesome no matter the age, but your choice of rig can affect how may opportunities your kids have to meet other kids.

    – Big class A’s will be harder to find service for in an emergency, and more expensive to fix when you do need repairs. I’m not sure if you’re on a budget or not, but those same friends in the diesel pusher had issues with the dash A/C and had a horrible experience trying to get it fixed with the proposed repair bill being >$6K.

    – With a rig that big you’ll want to tow a car for errand running or getting into cities, and do you have that vehicle already or need to purchase it? Now you’ll have two drivetrains to maintain, and you’d probably want the “toad” to be diesel as well so you’re only looking for one type of fuel.

    LOTS to think about with RV purchases. We ended up with a 30′ “bunkhouse” 5th wheel trailer and crewcab truck. We’re ~48′ long when hooked up and are pretty nimble for getting around and into smaller campsites. The truck is a standard Chevy that can be serviced anywhere. We all have a place to sit and a place to lay down in the trailer without folding down tables or couches. The truck works well as a day-tripper once we’re in place in a campsite.

    The best part for us was our total investment was under $30K, we were able to self-fund most of that, and didn’t have too much capital wrapped up in it if we decided to be done after a year.

    However we recently decided that a year wasn’t going to be enough so will head back and put our stick-house on the market and travel indefinitely. By doing so we’ll be able to pay off all debt – and hope to start saving for an upgraded mobile house and pay cash by the time we need it.


    • bnims Says:

      Thanks for your input Boyink! Will def consider the factors you have mentioned here. We have a Honda CRV for a toad. The RV seems desirable for the living space while traveling. Our groms usually do pretty well on long trips but they can get pretty squirly… but I understand the safety concerns. That’s very cool that you are going on the road indefinitely. We have had the “what happens when a year is up?” conversation a few times. Hope we can connect on the road at some point.


  4. [email protected] Says:

    Loved reading this! Good luck finding the right home for the next year! 🙂


  5. dania Says:

    Oh Jenn ~ I LOVE this, I can TOTALLY see you guys there, just how you described. Ahhh, the dreams vs. reality thing. Uggghhh.
    🙂 …’not posing for an Anthropologie catalogue’ TOO FUNNY!
    I’m so dang excited for you guys and inspired already by your posts. YAY for you guys!
    KEEP WRITING my friend, you rock!


  6. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) Says:

    OMG I could see how you’d love the vintage cool of this whole thing, but of course Brent is the voice of reason. and he’s too cool for cardigans. With wooden buttons 🙂

    Nothing at all wrong with something modern and from a couple of the comments above, I think that you will develop a network of knowledgeable and helpful friends to help guide you. This is really so exciting!

    Need to add you to my reader as well! So fun to see life unfolding for you!


  7. Sarah Says:

    Haha… This reminds me so much of myself! I’ve been talking about restoring an old bus for a a few years (I even have my eye on an old Blue Bird parked behind our church), but the reality is probably going to be along the lines of a Silverback (hangs head in shame). So many of your posts, I feel like I could have written them about myself. I guess you have to be a certain type of person to want to take this on.


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