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Ally & Alex H.

Hometown:

Dallas, TX

Habitat:

Mantis

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Tell us a little about yourself and why you own a TAXA?

Although we love Texas, the summers are brutal. Every fall and winter we would find ourselves venturing out to state parks and cool campgrounds where we made loads of great memories and had a blast with our boys.

Then the summer rolled around. The good news was we had access to some great water-based activities, but sleeping in a tent when it’s 103? No, thank you. At this point, we had resigned ourselves to burning money on Airbnbs every summer to get the best of both worlds. In the summer of 2019, we kicked around the idea of investing in a travel trailer, but we weren’t really interested in the conventional options on the market. That conversation was tabled and we went with the usual plan to make it back to fall once again.

Fast forward to Easter 2020 where we were sheltered at home, dreaming of when we could get back out again. Campgrounds were closed, so what were we supposed to do? We were pretty much living in the backyard, but it just wasn’t the same. At that point, Ally put the camper/travel trailer conversation back on the table. Alex didn’t take a bit of this seriously since she knew that her wife would spreadsheet them out of buying anything (as usual).

The challenge was finding something that wasn’t a house on wheels. The point of these adventures was to get outdoors, not sit on the couch in an RV and watch TV. We wanted something that would give the four of us a place to sleep comfortably, store essential gear, and allow us to bring along some creature comforts for convenience (aka AIR CONDITIONING).

While sitting on the couch after the annual Easter egg hunt, we found a random article that highlighted the Mantis. It was love at first sight. The bunk set up was such a game-changer and as silly as it is to admit, the overall aesthetics of the habitat were so much more appealing, unlike traditional travel trailers. Not to mention they were made in Texas with a focus on quality and we really vibed with what the company stood for. We both knew this was the one. Four days later, we got in touch with a dealer and locked down a Mantis of our own.

We really can’t imagine life without it now and are so excited for all the opportunities it opens up for our family adventures.

Where is your favorite place to take your TAXA? 

Hill Country (Texas) is our absolute favorite place to stay. In the few months we have had our Mantis, we have gone 3 times, with at least 2 more trips planned this summer.

Who do you explore with?

We explore with our two boys: Henley (7) & Luca (4)

What are your favorite outdoor activities?

We love hiking + exploring wherever we are. Ally likes kayaking & Alex likes to rock climb. We also just purchased mountain bikes, so that will soon be on our list!

Do you have any hacks or mods that you've done to your habitat to enhance your travels?

So far, we have added a cargo net that stretches from under the bottom bunk to the top of the trailer to keep our boys contained in their bunks. We also have a Zamp solar panel.

We also plan to upgrade to Lithium batteries and bump up to a new inverter/battery monitoring system.

Tell us your favorite unique habitat story.

Thus far, our favorite silly story happened when taking the Mantis on its maiden voyage to a killer, riverside RV park. This is hands down one of our favorite spots in Texas and we couldn't have been more thrilled to be there with our newly acquired mobile habitat. However, this great spot provided Alex some random anxiety, so around 2 am the first night there, she woke up asking if our trailer was going to roll back into the river. Evidently, she had laid there devising her plan on everything she would do when we inevitably found ourselves in the river. I'm happy to report that fear did not become a reality.

What's one place you'd love to explore?

We would love to visit Lake Tahoe & Yosemite National Park.

I can't leave home without my...

With it being summer, we never leave home without our gravity chairs, Ryobi fan (Texas heat, y'all), and our 50 quart Bison cooler. We're eagerly awaiting to break-in our new Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove to take our outdoor cooking to the new level.