Leveling Up

Thu Sep 02 2021

Diana is on-site at Yestermorrow on her construction course while I've been with the crew working on our brand new driveway.

Leveling Up

It's been a few weeks since our last update, but there's been a lot going on and we have lots of news to share today!

Yestermorrow Design / Build Course

Last week, Diana started the in-person training part of her Yestermorrow course: Certificate in Residential Design and Construction.

Learning New Skills

We both love embarking on new adventures and learning new skills is a huge part of that experience for us.

Learning New Skills

In addition to the 6 weeks or so of online classes she's done already, the course includes 3 weeks of hands-on training where, as part of a small group, she'll be working with experts in their respective fields to design and build a structure.

Yestermorrow Design Build Course
One of the structures that Diana's group have been working to build on the Yestermorrow course.

Students (and tutors) are attending this course from across the US, so most people choose to stay on-site or nearby. Given that the program includes evening guest presentations and we're about an hour away from the location, Diana decided to stay there too.

Rather than moving the RV over there, Diana instead chose to tent camp - something several others are doing too. We realized though that this is the first time that Diana and I haven't spent the night together in more than two years! Pretty crazy given the tiny space we live in!

In fact, the last time we spent the night apart was in Colorado in summer 2019 when Diana went camping with our friend Cass.

YouTube Video Player
Backpacking Colorado San Juan National Forest: Hiking in Hail

Back then I took advantage of the time alone to install a smart WiFi thermostat.

Upgrading to a Smart WiFi RV Thermostat

Most RV thermostats are cheap, low-end units - certainly nothing like the fancy domestic WiFi models. Find out how we added a WiFi-controllable thermostat in our RV.

Upgrading to a Smart WiFi RV Thermostat

I didn't know it then, but that would become the start of our journey to create the ultimate DIY Smart RV.

Smart RV Tour

A tour of our DIY smart RV, packed full of home automation technology that makes our full-time RV life more comfortable, secure and efficient!

Smart RV Tour

Needless to say, I have some more mischief planned while Diana isn't around to keep an eye on me, but shh, don't tell her!

You might be wondering why Diana is doing the Yestermorrow course and not me. While I'd love to believe that it's because I know it already, I can assure you that's not the case - Diana is learning a lot of very valuable skills that will be immeasurably helpful in our project.

No, in fact the original plan had been that we would both enroll in the course when Diana registered back in mid-May.

But I was nervous that the timing might end up such that our driveway construction would be happening at the same time as the course, and I didn't think that was a good idea - at least one of us should be around while the driveway is being built.

It turns out I was right.

Driveway Underway

Last Monday, construction work finally started on our driveway!

If you've been following our YouTube videos recently you'll know that we've been working on preparing for the driveway construction for the past few weeks. It was a lot of hard work, but that sweat equity investment really paid off. Within hours of arriving on site, they were already stuck in - clearing brush, felling trees and excavating.

The driveway was pretty much completed by Monday this week, with the final touches finished on Tuesday. I was on-site each day, helping out where I could and filming the progress they were making.

Building a Driveway

An old logging trail won't cut it for long - we need a solid 1,000ft driveway from the road to our house site.

Building a Driveway

Spoiler alert: the driveway is so much better than we could possibly hoped for; we're absolutely delighted with the finished result! We'll have a video all about it in a few weeks, check out the blog post Building a Driveway for lots of photos and details about exactly how it was all built!

That's all for now - lots to do before Diana is back!

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