Exciting Updates & Van Progress

We’re still about 5 months away from lift off, but things have really come along in the last couple months.

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The beautiful, giant new inverter that replaced the possessed/evil one installed by the previous owners.

First, the van (We have been affectionately calling her the Beast, but she goes by many names) is now outfitted with: 400 watts of solar from Renogy, 4 200ah AGM batteries (thanks, Uncle Rob), and a 5000 watt Jupiter inverter. Which basically means we have all the power. ¬†Seriously, we can run the power-hungry A/C unit off that stuff. So now we can watch TV, use the microwave (also new, the old one used a bit too much power), run the fridge, dry my hair with a hairdryer (!!) charge phones, etc, all without worrying that we’re gonna run out of juice. I’m ecstatic that the electrical guts of this thing are finally coming together. We also replaced the broken engine temperature sensor, and decided just to use our GPS to determine our speed rather than trying to fix the speedometer.

We also fixed the water pump, so running water is now a reality, which has been more exciting than anything. (We decided against a water heater…. so showers last about 45 seconds total). But, now it feels like a real RV!

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In the middle of riveting down the wires coming off the solar panels. The rivet tool is fun!

In July I was booked in Allegany State Park for a week of gigs. I took the Beast down and used it as my primary residence/tour bus for six straight days despite being given a cabin to sleep in. Honestly, it was really nice. I was worried about it being too small or too uncomfortable, but it’s surprisingly neither. In a place where I had no concern about being parked illegally (currently my biggest fear is being booted from a parking spot at 3am in a city I’ve never been to), I was pretty damn comfortable. And I’m way more accustomed driving it than I was when we bought it back in March – it’s really not quite as large as it felt the first time I took it out for gas. I was alone most of the trip, though, so I was worried how things might be when we added a second person.

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Close up of the finished panels. There’s a fourth one directly in front of the one furthest to the right. And they all kick ass.

Last weekend Greg and I attempted the first two person trip, up to my Dad’s summer cabin in the 1000 Islands. This was a bigger test – a 4 hour drive at night, 2 people sleeping & showering in the van, PLUS a gig, meaning we had to load in all our gear as well. And you know what? It was awesome. The worst part was the drive home! It’s got me pretty psyched for what the next year might have in store for us.

On the music front, The Rightly So’s self-titled album came out on 7/28. We had a release party at the Alibi, and it went extremely well. People are digging the tunes, which is exciting. And the release of that CD meant we (read as: I) could start booking the tour. This has been my biggest concern of the entire process. If we don’t book shows, we’re not gonna get to eat, and we probably won’t last too long on the road. And most of these places are 100% new to us.

Well, great news. I’m about 3 weeks into booking the tour, and I’ve got 4 shows confirmed, 1 in Georgia and 3 in Florida. We’re actually gonna do the thing! Albeit slowly, things are really starting to come together.

We probably won’t be announcing the tour officially for quite a few months – can’t have either of our jobs finding out that we’re planning to leave. But we’re getting there and that’s exciting. I can’t wait to go see all these places that I spend every waking moment analyzing & trying to figure out where we can sleep/park/eat. And I can’t wait to be playing music for a living, even if living only means being able to afford food and gas. I’ll update again when we get a little closer!

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How most of the week in Allegany was spent – boozin’/reading in the woods. This is looking straight out the back of the van!
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Bonus pic: we found a friend at the FedEx facility not to long ago. Almost identical to the Beast, which gives me hope for stealth parking!

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