Here at Battle Born Batteries, we value getting out there and staying out there with your family. The Hooper family feels the most at home on the road, traveling the country in their Keystone Montana. Our team loves to see what the Hoopers are up to and where they will go next!
Meet the Hoopers:
Andrew and Janelle of Home with the Hoopers have been journeying for the past four years with their two sons, Corbin and Wyatt. Andrew’s love for travel and the outdoors was fostered at a young age. He grew up camping and lived in a camper during college for a few years instead of a dorm. Janelle had little to no experience with RVs or camping before meeting Andrew until the two of them started going on weekend trips that just kept getting longer.
When the Hoopers were first checking out trailers, they walked into the dealership with the goal of looking, not buying- but they ended up driving a new Keystone toy-hauler of the lot that same day.
Andrew and Janelle don’t consider themselves to be planners, they just follow their gut feelings. When they first toyed with the idea of living tiny full time, they gave themselves six months to be on the road. A few days into their two-week trial run they ended up putting their house on the market. They knew that this lifestyle was the one for them!
The first place they stayed at was an RV park, and they bounced around between different Texas state parks. As part of the state’s Park Host Program, they were able to live at the park while assisting with visitors and helping the park rangers with operational duties.
Now, the Hoopers feel very blessed to have the opportunity to travel and work remotely. Andrew works from the road as an accountant and Janelle has a background in pediatric nursing. In many instances during their travels, Andrew would have to fly back home and work for some time apart from the rest of the family.
“Being full-time on the road is a very involved process, but it’s also really fun,” Janelle said. “Last summer we spent some time in Alaska and I left a piece of my heart there.” As for Andrew, his favorite places include Yosemite, Grand Tetons, and any place with natural, unpaved hot springs.
The family just came back from a trip to Sedona, where they spent a week and a half in Red Rocks Canyon. They were in the town during the time of the nationwide shutdown earlier this year and were able to return and spend more time hiking and seeing the iconic canyons.
Their favorite activities as a family are spent outside hiking, geocaching, and exploring the local sights, which are far superior to staring at screens all day! Andrew makes it a top priority to get the family immersed in as much as possible when visiting a place, whether it’s checking out top-rated restaurants on Yelp, or a small-town independent bookstore. Their most recent YouTube video showcased a fun family outing where they went sand sledding at White Sands National Park in New Mexico during the summer!
Their kids love being in nature as well, with Corbin’s favorite hot springs being “the ones [in British Columbia] that were super hot!” The entire family enjoyed visiting British Columbia and traveled up the Dempster Highway, a road that is commonly used by ice road truckers to travel cross-country.
“We tend to take the camper places that a lot of people would usually be nervous to,” Janelle said. “But we’ll try anything once, we’ve done it all!”
The family loves to coast from park to park, and originally had the goal of spending the entire year boondocking and traveling the West Coast when the national shutdown occurred. They spent several weeks stationary and admitted to feeling, “very stir-crazy” during that time!
Andrew and Janelle suggest keeping a positive attitude and being prepared, especially during the time of the pandemic. They know all too well anything can happen on the road so being prepared with all kinds of tools for every type of situation is not something they recommend skipping out on. The Hoopers joked that they often have had to MacGuyver things on the rig when they broke and got creative with solutions.
One example is the time their camper accidentally flooded while going over a rocky road from Canada to Alaska.
“The road was so bumpy, it accidentally turned our kitchen faucet on,” Janelle said. “We ended up draining about 50 gallons from our rig, so we’ve experienced a lot.”
They also advise people to follow their gut feelings because they’re usually right. It’s how they were able to take the leap to get out there and stay out there in the first place.
“We’ve learned so much over time and as open books, we love to share our experiences so we can help make it easier for people who are just starting out,” Janelle said.
What’s in their System?
Here’s what Andrew and Janelle have in their 2020 Keystone Montana 3855 BR Legacy Edition, nicknamed Eleanor:
The four solar charge controllers are connected to 1,760 watts of solar.
Their battery system is so strong, Andrew and Janelle can run Andrew’s parents’ motorhome and all their power draws as well. Whether it’s running the television, hairdryer, or microwave, their extended family can have all the comforts of home even if they’re miles away from it! While they have a small generator that they used the first time when boondocking, they believe their system is more than enough to support their power supplies.
Since Andrew’s parents own a Keystone, it helped influence his and Janelle’s decision to upgrade the family into the newest edition. The family loves being ambassadors of Keystone Montana, a company we partnered with last year to launch the Super SolarFlex power system!
Their son Corbin loved to help with the generator, and it was his job to turn it on and off whenever the family needed it!
The Hoopers recently purchased land near their hometown in Texas, and plan to have a barndominium (a barn style house) built on the property for them to use as a home base. They want to be close enough to Andrew’s family, and having 58 acres makes it nice to be back home.
Andrew has been working in the office more, so the family will eventually move towards being part time in the rig. They’ll still go on trips when possible while being close enough to take care of the cattle on the property.