It’s July Already? What’s up with the Kortmans?

It's been almost a month since we've blogged... crazy how fast time goes. Here's just a reminder of what's going on, where we're headed and what our life looks like right now.

Gracie fully loaded missing the minivan yet.

Gracie fully loaded missing the minivan yet.

We're living in Gracie, our 37 foot motorhome.

She's most often parked at the house we used to own in Newaygo, Michigan. Reason for this is cheap (free) campground costs and we get to share Mike's electricity and water. Mike is Becky's brother and he bought the house from us. Becky's parents live 400 yards behind, so we're essentially on the family compound.

We're doing remodel projects while working, living, and playing in Gracie. Most Class A motorhomes are built for 2 people plus some "guests" who sleep in the main living area. Since this will be is our permanent living quarters we decided to modify (a lot) to be more suitable for our crew of six. And while we're living in it we've added to the list as there are things we're noticing that would make life better.  For example, a produce holder. There's no good place to put fruit and veg when you're moving every week so Becky found a metal basket at Goodwill, spray painted it and I hung it.

While driving Gracie from California to Michigan we had accumulated a list of 60 things that needed to be done in Gracie. Since then I believe we've added at least 20 if not more. Even though we're working evenings and weekends on remodel projects the list seems to never shrink. But last night we revisited each of the items still on the list. From our original list of 60+ items we needed to accomplish we're down to 36!!!

A lot of these items are over my head. Like how to fix/stabilize the mirrors. Yes, I could purchase new mirrors for $250 a piece... but when a strategically placed screw will do the job I'm going to go with the screw option first.  But where to place the screw so as to get the best hold without messing with the wiring and usability of the 12"x 8" driving mirrors?

This is where Tom comes in. Tom is Becky's dad and a large part of why we're in Newaygo. Tom is a boy scout. He's kind of like MacGuyver meets farmer. Give him an idea or a problem with a possible solution and he'll help come up with a cheap way to make it happen. His farm life, trucking life and life experience in general have made him into the perfect person to help us.

Here's just a small segment of the list that needs to be accomplished:

  • Outdoor electrical/12 volt outlets
  • Drain pipe storage (why this is installed next to the fresh water hookup I have no idea!)
  • Fixing wood trim where the dinette used to be
  • Paint the roof (the plastic seal over the rubber was wearing off, we need to replace it.)
  • Purchase a tow dolly for pulling the minivan behind the RV
  • Extend the kitchen countertop so we have more room
  • Put a slip cover on the couch (we're not into the floral print!)
  • Make/install curtain tiebacks (we replaced the shades with curtains to make it more "our" style)
  • Grease the swivel chairs, as they don't swivel easily currently (Although watching Becky wrestle with them is entertaining!).
  • Repair water tank sensors

In the meantime we've been hanging with friends, and learning more about living in Gracie as we move her around and experience life in a camper.

We're also trying to lay low to save on expenses. Each of these "little" fixes cost money and so for budget reasons we're trying to cut back on other costs.

Yup, you too can live in a motorhome, boat, or fly around the world and still not be a millionaire. We have to be very conscious of where we spend our money because the last 9 months while we've been in the states the client work has been slow to rebound. We've had to borrow money for living expenses (aka credit cards) and while Connex has recovered it's not enough yet to pay off the debts.

We've were brainstorming creative ways to bring in more revenue to help offset those debts. And we thought, Hey, maybe our audience (you, reading this, yes you) would be interested in buying something from us. So here's our thoughts on stuff we could make/sell... we are interested in knowing what you'd be interested in purchasing.

  • Coffee-table book of our trip photos ($30-$50)
  • "I follow HomeAlongThe" Bumper sticker ($10)
  • T-shirt ($20)
  • The yet-unpublished book (details and experiences we didn't blog about from 2014) $50
  • Personalized video greeting from the road ($35)
  • Greeting cards/drawings from the kids ($15)


So yeah, just let us know if you would be interested in any of these or if you have another idea of something you think we should do/make, write it in the comments here. We'd be thrilled to know what you'd love to have.

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Paul Kortman

Dad of 4, husband, blogger, digital marketer, follower of Jesus. I podcast at and own We're on this crazy journey to travel the world as a lifestyle. Looking for help in how to live as a digital nomad family? Join this Facebook Group!

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1 Comment

  1. Taylor

    Don’t replace the tank sensors, most RV mechanics I have talked to say they don’t ever really work. Get a bright flashlight and hold it up to the tank in strategic places to give you a visual of fresh/grey. Black monitoring can be tracked with a log book, sort of odd but works really well.


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