The Happy Janssens

Current Location: Longmont, CO

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Let The Adventure Begin...

We knew we were cutting it a bit close when we gave ourselves 2 weeks to get everything done in Bozeman. We needed to paint the interior of the RV, install new flooring, faucets, fixtures and build a king size bed platform. All of this, in addition to selling or giving away all of our belongings, moving out of our house, selling 2 vehicles, and saying goodbye to all of our friends. Oh, and all of this needs to be done before it gets too cold and snows!

It was tight, but we did it (well, not the snow part, but we survived). We even had time to have a going away party and also got to go trick or treating in downtown Bozeman the night before we left. Here is a little video of the party...

Saturday, October 31 was  crisp, clear morning. A perfect driving day. We were heading 3 hours north to Missoula to spend a few nights with our friends Mike and Kate…who had moved there from Bozeman just a few months prior.

Let the adventure begin!

Photos from our last days in Bozeman here.
Photos from the RV remodel here.
All photos are available on Flickr for comment here.


Campin' Out

Whenever we get a new RV, something always goes wrong on our inaugural trip. It never fails. This time around, we were traveling over to Iowa City for a photo session. While we were there, the motor for the slide went out.

After a bit of research, we found out that the company who manufactures the hydrolics for the slide is located just north of Iowa City. Thank you God! Of all the places it could have been in the entire country, it was located just a few miles down the road. Crazy.

We pulled into HWH and spent the night in their back parking lot. It was a busy place...there was a line up of RV's there waiting for repairs...with their BBQ's out, having a great time in the middle of nowhere. The next morning, we bought the motor (which Matt installed) and we were on our way. We’ve found that Matt is able to fix pretty much anything in the RV or in the engine, which is a huge blessing. He’s had a lot of experience in these last couple of years to learn the skills!

We headed back to Des Moines and spent a bit more time there camping out with our friends and family at Ledges State Park near Ames, IA. We had a beautiful campsite…large and wooded, our favorite kind. We laughed and explored...ate roasted veggies and quinoa...and marshmallows, of course! And then we were off to Colorado to visit more friends and family. After a week there, which included some unexpected snow and cold, we left for Bozeman to remodel the RV, sell all of our stuff, and hit the road! Yippeee!


Open Roads and a New RV

Once you've tasted the freedom of life on the's very hard to live any other way! We were definitely feeling this after Lucy was born...but we also loved our little home and our dear friends in Bozeman. We were torn...but eventually, the lure of the open road and the life of adventure that it brings won out.

As you might know, Matt is the master of finding the perfect RV (he can help you too!). This is our 4th RV in two years :) When we first started looking this time around, we were totally excited about getting a bus. Like a real bus...a Prevost or an MCI. But then we came to our senses. Buses are expensive to own and expensive to fix. It was going to take A LOT of money to make a bus into something that we would want to live in. Plus, buying a bus with a slide is WAY more money than an RV with a slide. Not to mention the fact that Matt is 6'5" and any bus we bought would have to have a raised roof...or we could cut his feet off.

So we started looking for an RV instead. We looked for several months and finally found our perfect rig. It was a Western Alpine Coach (the same brand as our 2nd RV, which we loved), it had a closet that we could build a bunk into for Bella, and it had one slide. Perfect.

Matt flew down to Texas to do the deal and drove it back to Iowa (the video in this post is the first time we saw it as he pulled up). Shortly after that, Matt flew to Ohio to pick up our Ford Sportrac. We chose that as our tow vehicle because it was easy to set up for towing and we could put a tank in the back to collect veggie oil without bringing the RV to the restraurants.

We were set. New RV. New truck. Big we go!