Permanent Hiatus - Home Base

Our first home base

Not so funny now

The running joke in my family now is that I live at my parents' in a trailer. Technically it's true. My parents graciously agreed to allow us to set up our summer home base on their nearly 200 acre farm in southern Iowa.

Permanent Hiatus - Walk the DogAfter I graduated college and was living in Virginia, my parents sold the house I grew up in and moved back to the town where my mom grew up. They started a tree farm and have been there since the early 90s. When I moved back to Iowa in the early 00's, I stayed with them for about a year. I love their farm – 3 ponds, hiking trails and you guessed it, lots of trees. Over the past 8 years, it has not been unusual for Bailey and me to make the 45 minute drive to the farm on the weekends for long (leash free) walks on the wooded trails.

When Boyd and I decided to RV full time, we talked it through with my folks and asked if they would be willing to allow us to home base on their property in the summers of 2016 and 2017 so we could be in Iowa while Kaylee is still in school. The farm was ideal for us since they had plenty of space and are close to Boyd's family and our business in Des Moines.


Essentially this meant we would need a flat place for parking the RV that also had access to water and electric. We had 2 choices of which way to face the RV in the location we selected – the first has a great view of a pond and the rolling hills and the second is easier access from the car/walkway. We tried it both ways and ended up choosing to face toward the road so visitors didn't have to walk all the way around the RV to get to the door.

  • Pad: we chose to use gravel due to expense of paving and the mess of not doing anything. Dad built a frame for the rock and it took 3- 4 tons of rock to get a level pad. Cost was around $800 excluding Dad's free labor to build the frame and level the rock.
  • Water: we were able to run a hose directly from the outside spigot on the house to the RV. The farm has well water, so no concerns with consumption.
  • Sewer: There is a campground within 10 minutes of the farm with free dump station and an interstate rest stop with a free dump station within 30 minutes.  Since its best for the RV if we drive it at least once every 3 weeks, this times out well  for us to make f a run to the dump station.
  • Electric: We called the rural electric cooperative to install the pedestal outlet with 20, 30 and 50amp hookups we purchased. They brought everything in from an existing power pole and trenched it to our new RV pad for less than $1,000.
  • Internet: We were able to used our unlimited data on our mobile hot spot for internet. Actually, my dad was also able to use our internet until we left – he ended up liking our solution so much that he got one of his own shortly before we left.
  • Satellite TV: Our location is at the top of a hill with no trees tall enough to be in the way. No concerns.

All in, it cost us around $2,000 to get our home base all set up. Next summer we want to add a fire pit.