So we just recently passed our three year mark of full-time travel! That is a huge milestone! I mean, seriously, while it has been exceptionally fun and exciting and educational and life altering, it has not been without it’s fair share of challenges.
We originally set out to travel periodically and so we bought a 1999 Georgie Boy Cruisemaster just to make travel easy. RV travel was so much fun that we just made full-time travel work for us. We knew we were roughing it in our Georgie Boy.
First, you know, it was 16 years old and had the decor to prove it. With 12 kids, the last thing we had time for was a major renovation and so we just dealt with it … big deal, right?
Second, it had a mini fridge, like slightly larger than the ones you buy for your dorm room your first year of college. Mini fridge to feed 14 starving people … this was much harder to overlook than the decor. It made “living” in the RV pretty tough, especially if you wanted to boondock, like we LOVE to do!
Third, the sleeping arrangements were uber tight. Again, we made do by hauling extra bunks, like Camo Bunks and pitching a tent and/or our Monkey Sling Hammocks in the warmer months, but making do and actually flourishing are two completely different verbs.
Now, life in an RV is so much better because we are traveling in a luxury Newmar Dutch Star. Anyone would enjoy RV’ing either fulltime or part-time in this life-giving rig. Our Newmar Dutch Star takes the stress out of travel, it takes the word “beater” out of our fleet and replaces it with luxury. After only 1.5 months in the Newmar, I want to share with you our take aways … here are the things this RV offers that we absolutely could never ever live without again.
In all honesty I really don’t know how an inverter actually works, but Dan does and that’s all that I need to technically know. What I do know is that an inverter makes it so we don’t have to run our generator to charge our phones, laptops and other electronics as we cruise down the road. It also enables us to watch TV and run our huge fridge (more on the fridge later) while barreling down the road! Dan’s quick synopsis of what an inverter does is summed up with this quote, “Everything that plugs into the wall is powered by the inverter.” It’s how you get a residential fridge to work.
Funny story: Our old RV didn’t have an inverter. Instead, the fridge toggled between using LP Gas and 110 ac. We thought that the big rigs would have to run their generators 24/7 while on the road in order to power their refrigerators! LOL, no, they just have an inverter!
Anyone who feeds a family can understand the beauty of not having to go to the store every single day. It’s a hassle, a pain in the arse, and absolutely inconducive to dieting (which I am perpetually in a state of). Let alone, the fact that having a full size fridge enables us to go off the beaten path and camp in the middle of nowhere on the banks of our favorite rivers. Which leads me to yet another favorite thing about the Newmar Dutch Star …
Big Holding Tanks
Specifically a 105 gallon water tank! Now, that may sound like nothing to you all living in a home with continuous running water, but RV’ers are notoriously water conservationists. And, being that we are avid whitewater enthusiasts, we tend to conserve more water than the average RV’er as well. So a 105 gallon water tank can actually take us 5 days or more when boondocking! Of course, most families who travel in RV’s utilize campgrounds like KOA and state and national forests, and while we do as well, it’s not our first choice. We like privacy and quiet and wildlife and stars!
Now for the gray water and the sewage (yuk) tank, I really don’t care how big they are, but they are actually equally huge. Our Dutch Star Model 4312 has a 65 gallon gray water tank and a 45 gallon sewage tank. We have gone up to 7 days without needing to dump..
Funny Story: Coby turned 2 ½ the day before we picked up this phenomenal coach and two days after moving in, he potty trained himself. Over & Done! Not one accident, barely any encouragement from me and he was potty trained. Thanks Newmar for making gorgeous RV’s with bathrooms even the littlest of us appreciate!!
As indicated by my ability to deal with the rose and green decor in our Georgie Boy, I’m not the pickiest person when it comes to interior design. However, I absolutely adore, love, have an appreciation and fondness for this specific interior. It is designed for a family with kids. Specifically for a family with outdoors kids who aren’t afraid of dirt and sweat and for that, I am eternally grateful. Tan interior is the most neutral of colors and it also shows very few imperfections.
Now I’m a certified neat freak, I can’t stand dirty and/or messy. I struggle with balance because I do have 12 kids, but I can honestly say the marble tile floors, the granite countertops, the leather seats, the decked out bathrooms the tremendous amount of storage … it all makes keeping this coach clean super easy.
Everything in this coach is automatic. Automatic blinds. Automatic Queen Size Bed into a couch, automatic foot rests, automatic blinds (which, incidentally eliminate handling making them virtually indestructible), automatic awnings, the televator (super cool and a huge hit amongst the kids friends) automatic generator…I’m spoiled rotten. There is NO way we are going back into our Georgie Boy … not after this Newmar!!
A ginormous 22 cf Maytag Fridge, a Whirlpool convection oven, a True Induction two-burner induction burner, and a dishwasher (yes, a dishwasher) make this Newmar Dutch Star feel no less a home than our Colorado house. Add in a stackable washer and dryer and you literally have all the comforts of home.
I knew a residential fridge would make a ton of difference in our daily lives. I also knew how much I loved the True Induction burners as I have an electric one that I used in our Georgie Boy. What I had no idea I needed was a real, true oven. Our oven in our old RV was the size of an Easy Bake oven. It was so small I used it only for storing cookbooks. Since we have had this Newmar, I have made lasagna, ham, roast beef, and so so much more. The kids are in heaven for the comparable to home meals.
I also wasn’t aware of how wonderful a washer and dryer would be. Now granted, it’s a stackable, so it won’t be replacing our laundromat runs, but for emergencies or to dry our fleece (kayaking gear) it’s so crazy handy!!
I stuck this in the “appliance” section and quickly decided this amazing piece of equipment deserves its very own category. Why the heck our home isn’t equipped with this gem, I’ll never know, but suffice it to say, central vac is a neat freaks dream. No more searching for small compact vacuums that actually work — there are none, of that I am certain — rather, plug in the hose and instant mega suction! It’s so simple to use, even Elly (4) can plug it in and sweep up crumbs! That’s Golden!
When I say this RV is nicer than our home, I mean it. I’ve never been surrounded by such luxe, I feel like a queen.
While, Dan and the boys dig all the beauty and luxury, they LOVE the entertainment qualities of this Newmar Dutch Star! The 48’ Televator Sony LED TV with the accompanying Blue Ray DVD player and Epic Sony surround sound speakers offer a movie theater like experience like none other we’ve ever experienced!
They also enjoy having friends over for a drive-in type experience with the exterior TV in the sidewall! The neat freak side of me loves this too … for obvious reasons!
There is an additional TV in the back bedroom, which is great for quiet & relaxing getaways, or even huge family meetups. LOL.
Every single person in our family has a built-in bed. No assembly required! Nuff said!!
No, really, I’ll give you a little more. There is a full sofa that turns into a Queen sized bed with an air mattress … Grady finally has a bed that can fit all 6’ 1” of him and then some!! There is a jacknife sofa that easily sleeps two. There is the dinette that Cardy snags on occasion. There’s the Queen size Master Bed, that Dan and I and Coby and on occasion Elly sleep in.
And then, drum roll please, there is the bunk room in the very back of the coach. I love this room. 3 of our littlest sleep back here and there is enough storage for all their toys AND all their clothes. American Girls, Bitty Babies and accessories, legos, and books all reside back here! Hallalujiah.