2023 has not gone exactly according to plan. In fact, 2023 seemed to be the year of learning the hard way.

The first lesson that we learned is that RVs built after 2019 are called COVID CAMPERS with good reason. Forest River’s poor quality control is second only to their customer care after the sale. When our 2022 36BHQ began to literally fall apart in January of 2023, Forest River did nothing to help. Instead, Forest River did everything they could to shirk their responsibility, laying the blame for their poor construction at the feet of Super Springs International.

Feeling defeated, we returned to our “home base” property to build a tiny(ish) house in the woods. The lesson we learned here is that it takes much longer than one might think to build a house on a property that has been abandoned for ten years. After five months of clearing brush, a tractor purchase, tons (really) of dirt work, and one broken post hole auger later, we still didn’t even have a base foundation for the house prepared. The leaves were changing, letting us know that winter was coming whether we were ready or not.

As we didn’t want to spend another winter in the Sabre, Sam was working outside from sunrise to after sunset, but progress was slow. Any time we felt like we were making progress, an approaching setback seemed certain. Tensions were high in the household. For a few days it seemed like 2023 was going to end in a very unhappy way.

Then, on the third straight morning of breaking rock in the bottom of post holes, the tension reached the boiling point. Frustrated, we decided that it was time to admit that we were not going to have a house ready by winter, and that God was making it pretty clear that we were headed in the wrong direction.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”

Bruce Lee

Sam has observed that when difficulty arrives, it is usually the case that Sam is not moving in harmony with the flow of the Universe. Sam firmly believes that God is in direct communication with the created Universe, though those communications are usually very subtle. Pillars of fire are spectacular, but the important messages often come as whispers from God.

And after the ra’ash an eish; but Hashem was not in the eish; and after the eish a kol demamah dakkah (a quiet, gentle voice).

Melachim Alef 19:12 (First Kings 19:12)

After much reflection on ideas such as those above, Sam suggested that the time of year signaled the end of camping season, and that we might be able to get a decent deal on an older RV. As is often the case when we are moving with the Universe, we found a promising prospect a day or two later, and it was only a few hours away. A few days later, we brought our new (to us) RV to our base camp.

Introducing Corvus Canus

We were lucky enough to find a 2015 Jayco 4212 Toy Hauler. Compared to the Sabre, this RV is built like a tank. Everything about the structure of the RV as well as the materials and components used within the RV are superior in every conceivable way. We expect far, far fewer problems with this RV than the junk Forest River produced. After all, it has already outlived our Sabre seven times!

Seismic 4212

We spent the next month getting it ready for us. New carpet in the front bedroom, bunk beds for the kids, a reconfiguration of the garage/happy jack system, ROKU TVs to replace the off-brand TVs provided by the OEM (UpStart?) and two bottles of Meg’s 61 Oxidation remover later (it was really bad), it’s ready to roll, and we are on the road again!

On December 11, 2023 we departed base camp for a more southern latitude to enjoy a mild winter season.

We will upload many more pictures over the coming days, and will be releasing a tour video soon.

But, what about the tiny house?

We are still planning to improve the base camp property, including a tiny house, and other amenities that we will announce as we go along. We plan to return when the weather there is more favorable to outdoor activities, and take it from there.

Until then — see you “out there”!

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