You see, it has always been a dream of my dads to set off on the open road in an RV. He has always been a roamer, an adventurer, a traveler, a nomad at heart. This was the trip of his lifetime. One he had been dreaming about doing, literally, for as long as I can remember.
So finally, a year ago, around May 2016, they were ready. The time was right. They started planning for the RV trip of their life, a year or more long journey they were about to embark on. There was a lot to prepare.
Going through their stuff, a lifetime accumulation of stuff. This entailed lots of garage sells, donations to goodwill and thrift stores, selling things on Craigslist. etc. Basically, whittling down to the bare essentials.
The next step was to start to get their house ready to rent out. Repairing broken items, removing and selling all their furniture, deciding which keep-sake items to take with them, etc. A few months after listing the house for rent, they finally found a renter (in May 2017). Took longer than they hoped, and didn't rent it for what they were hoping to, but it had to be rented to make the trip, so kept lowering price until they found one.
In early 2017, it was time to start looking for an RV. It wasn't easy, multiple trips to multiple destinations and still no RV. They were getting frustrated. Then finally, they found the perfect RV at the right price and jumped on it. Locked it up. Here it is below, a picture they sent me at 12:36 on the 1st day of the trip, today, June 22, 2017, when they were setting off from the RV park in Boise.
They had the RV at a local RV park in Boise for about a month and half before they set off so they would have some time to make a few modifications and get everything ready for the trip. After many, many hours of sweat equity, it was finally ready for the road. Stocked with what little they had kept from their home.
The next step after securing a renter was to purchase a truck to haul the RV with. After a couple of weeks, they found one. A Ford F350, used, but with a rebuilt, ready to go engine.
And finally, they had to sell their Van that they would no longer need since they had the truck.
They were so excited!! They started a Facebook group so we could all follow along with them - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1030150910427861/ on their journey of a lifetime, a year long trip around the USA.
And then, about 2 hours into the trip, ON THE VERY FIRST DAY OF THE TRIP they had been preparing for for just over a year, it happened. They were out of Idaho, in Oregon, heading towards the Oregon coast. They were climbing a mountain, getting very close to cresting the top and headed down the other side, when all of the sudden, the engine in the truck burst into flames.
They pulled over as quickly as they could and jumped out of the truck. My dad wanted to run into the RV and start grabbing the essentials, but thought better of it in the event the whole thing exploded. Well, it never exploded, but it burnt, it all burnt. It took the fire engine over 30 minutes to get there as they were basically in the middle of nowhere on the highway. All they could do was sit by and watch.
A passerby tried to help my dad unhook the RV but to no avail. The flames had gotten too big, too fast.
They lost it all! The truck, the RV, their clothes, computers, literally, almost everything they had left. Worst of all, thousands and thousands of pictures from our childhood. They were bringing the pictures with them to give to use three boys. They were going to be visiting us all on their trip.
My parents have nowhere to stay since their house is rented out. They have no clothes aside from what they were wearing. No toothbrush, no toiletries, nothing. It all burned.
We are raising money to help them recover and buy come clothes and other essentials, to find a place to stay, and most importantly, to help them start preparing again for their RV trip. To prepare for so long, to be so excited for the trip of a lifetime, and then just a few hours into it, to lose everything. EVERYTHING. They are devastated. Happy to be OK of course, but totally devastated from all they have lost.
The three of us Sjodin brothers want to make it possible for our parents' dream of this epic trip to happen, and to do that, we need your support.
Anything you can contribute would be an immense help to helping them recover and to get back the spirit, and funds, to start over, to start planning, start preparing again so they can take this trip they have wanted to do for forever!