What To Do When You Get Sick on the Road

What To Do When You Get Sick on the Road

August 15, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert


When you get sick on the road try to go to family member’s or friend’s homes or check into a hotel and rest — if you can. Sickness is a sign that you are doing too much and not taking care of yourself.

Not eating the proper food is the #BiggestCulprit for sickness. I know this first-hand when I became housebound and bed-ridden 12 years ago at 50 years of age. Read my blog post “The Awakening.”

You have to find the balance. I don’t believe in doctors. They are quick to name something a disease so they can start treating you for something — where you will probably have some type of #SideEffect and end up on even more medications. 

Doctors also know very little about #Nutrition. At 62 I go in for my regular checkups and make sure my ‘numbers are in range’, but after that, I engage in HOLISTIC and NATURAL practices to stay healthy.

Personally, while being out here on the road, I will still be eating the same foods I ate in my ‘Sticks and Bricks’ dwelling and will only mostly be STEAMING and JUICING foods to eat so I can get their total nutritional value.

There is a reason cancer is the 2nd largest killer across every community. It’s mostly because we are sitting down at the table three times a day and eating foods that have NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE.

I rarely eat out and haven’t turned a stove on in 12 years. You have to continue to eat, good, clean organic foods, drink good water, take daily supplements, get regular exercise, get plenty of sleep and do regular detoxifications – even when you go on the road.

Being on the road you are exposed to HEAVY METALS from pumping gas, exhaust fumes from your car and other cars when you are driving or parked, and especially from Chemtrails in the sky from the Air Force.

It’s important to engage in a regular detoxification (‘detox’ for short) programs or “Body Cleanses” to keep these toxins especially HEAVY METALS — exiting your body.

You are constantly getting these ‘heavy metals’ from the food you eat, air you breathe and water you drink. Your motto should be “Bad Stuff Out, and Good Stuff In.”

Stop listening to doctors and get entrenched in #HolisticandNatural communities. They are in every city so look for these as you travel around the country and enjoy yourself. 

Many RVers that are stationary or even those traveling, grow herbs and other veggies in their vehicles. Learn more about how to stay healthy on the road by checking out my line of health books at my Empowerment and Publishing Company, AngelsPress.com.
Here are my 6 health books and I am working on two others:
Follow us on our journey at SimpleLifeRVing.com and join the groups below to keep Car and Van Dwellers, RVers and other minimalists healthy on the road. 
Facebook Page: 
Cathy’s Patreon Subscriber Page: 
YouTube Page:
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


Meet Someone On the Road – Get Out of Your ‘Comfort Zone’

Meet Someone On the Road – Get Out of Your ‘Comfort Zone’

July 30, 2019

by Cathy Harris, Love Coach and Advice Columnist

Most of you know that I am also a LOVE COACH and ADVICE COLUMNIST at DearCathy.com and the author of “Love After 50: Love Questions from DearCathy.com After Hours.” The book is about saving your libido as you age gracefully.

I also have my own dating website at BlackMatchmakerClub.com. With so many people being online today because of social media, the internet is the best place to meet someone. Several people  – including me — have found love on our online website so check it out.

I know most of you have seen online where I have been posting articles on my NEW BLOG at www.SimpleLifeRVing.com.

I am preparing to go Full-Time RVing in a couple of months. However, after extensive research on RVing, I am also thinking about #VanLife (#TeamVan vs. #TeamRV).

My new blog will show you how to do all of it – live in your car, van or RV and successfully travel the country, while you meet others, see some beautiful sites and make some wonderful memories along the way.

Meet Singles on The Road

As a single person just remember a lot of these Car and Van Dwellers and RVers will be in your area at one time or another so these are great opportunities to get in these communities — especially if you enjoy traveling and meeting others.

If you have yet to join the traveling community as a Car or Van Dweller or RVer, you can always attend events in neighboring states — if just on holidays or on weekends.

The goal is to get out of your ‘comfort zone.’ If nothing exciting is happening in your area then go to the next state over. You can travel either solo or with a group of friends with very little money by riding on www.Megabus.com.

You can attend single events, wine tastings, festivals, educational conferences, symposiums, town hall meetings, etc. Many of these events will be posted at www.Meetup.com so join this social media group today — especially in your city.

RV Clubs for Solo RVers 

There are many Single’s Clubs out there in the RV community such as:

-National African American RVer’s AssociationThis group was founded to promote camping in recreational vehicles as a way of life and as another means for families to have fun and explore the outdoors.  

-RVingWomen  – This is a community of women, 18 and older, who travel independently. Some are retired and travel full-time while others are still working and join up on weekend rallies.

If you are new to RV travel you are invited to come to one of their rallies where you can meet other women, see their rigs, and hear how they travel.  There is everything from tents to big motorhomes.  There is a member directory for support.

Many travelers especially women, probably want to be a solo traveler – at least for a little while. You can become a part of their tribe and when you want to be alone, you can go your own way.

-Loners on Wheels – Loners on Wheels is an RV Club of legally single men and women who enjoy traveling, camping, RV caravanning and the lifestyle of singles. This is not a matchmaking or dating service. Companionship and support are what they’re all about. Although love does bloom at times!

-Wandering Individuals Network – This group is an RV Singles Travel Club.  WIN RV Singles is the premiere RV club for singles. They are an active, adventurous club for single campers and travelers. WIN RV Singles has circuits across the US, Canada, and Mexico and are open to all legally single adult travelers.

WIN is an active club. With an average of 80 caravans, circuits, and gatherings each year, they provide activities for all single travelers — such as hiking, biking, sightseeing, kayaking, zip-lining, boat tours, museums, plays, factory tours, etc.

Everything is planned by the members. WIN provides free or inexpensive camping spots, detailed destination information with GPS coordinates, and experienced hosts who know their way around the RV world. If you’re looking for an adventurous singles RV traveling club, then WIN is for you!

-Escapees SolosThis group has a mail forwarding service for RVers out of Livington, TX. They usually hold a big New Year’s celebration in Quartzsite, AZ and other events so join them today. Community is at the heart of their Club. Escapees form enduring connections with other RVers — who share their passion for travel, exploration, and independence. 

-RVillage – This is a very active online group with subgroups of every category.  I am a member and highly recommend it. You don’t have to have an RV yet — to meet travelers on this site so it’s a great way to meet others traveling in and out of your area.

There are RV Clubs that are not just for singles — but more based on the vehicle you are RVing in.  This is a really good list of RV Clubs, but most of them are vehicle specific.  If this is something important to you, by all means, check it out.

If you are traveling alone and would like a safe place to park overnight then BoondockersWelcome.com is for you. Not only will you make new friends, but you will sleep soundly knowing you are in a safe place. 

Facebook Singles Groups

  • 50+ Single RVers Connection – This is a closed group for SINGLE RVers over 50 in NORTH AMERICA to connect with other RVers. If you would like to join this group, please be in NORTH AMERICA, have a current photo of yourself, an indication that you are SINGLE, and photos of your RV so that they can tell you are a SINGLE RVer! It is a DATING site….so no one should be in a relationship or married, and don’t post any sexually explicit posts. If you’re interested in a profile you see, please connect with a private message. Have fun!
  • RV Singles – RV Singles is for people who enjoy RVing and happen to be single or flying solo, are widowed and looking to meet other RV singles on the road either just for friends or possibly a little romance. All members are welcome. We do not discriminate in this group!
  • Traveling Solo & RV Camping
  • Traveling Singles RV & Camping Dating Edition 
  • East Coast Single RV Dating Site 

Meet Car and Van Dwellers at ‘Van Builds’

Van Dwellers have van builds all over for Car and Van Dwellers to gain ideas on how to build out vans. This is a great opportunity to network and meet others to travel with.

Upcoming Van Dwelling events include:

Join Caravans for Car and Van Dwellers and RVers

There are so much excitement and adventure on the road, whether you travel by car, van or RV.  Check out my article on “How To Live Successfully in a Car or Van.” 

You can also join Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving.com “Caravans” at www.Meetup.com/Caravans

These caravans are for Car and Van Dwellers and RVers — anyone traveling on the road with any type of vehicle. Meet others and travel with them and build lifetime relationships.

Attend the Yearly Rubber Tramp Rendevous (RTR)

Most RVers hang out in Quartzsite, AZ from October to April so it’s known as the ‘Snowbird’ capital of the world.

Every year they have their famous gathering of RVers, and Car and Van Dwellers. The event founded by Bob Wells is called the – Rubber Tramp Rendevous (RTR). The event is usually held in Quartzsite, AZ, but in 2020, they are looking at California.

There is usually anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 in attendance. Next year in 2020, the location might be 50 miles from Slab City, CA instead of Quartzsite, AZ. The location will be announced soon.

The event starts off with women Car and Van Dwellers and RVers coming together in workshops for 4 days starting on Jan. 4 – Jan. 8, 2020, then everyone will get together for around 2 weeks.

If you only have a car then come to the event with your tent if you don’t wish to sleep in your car. There will be plenty of portable restrooms everywhere so all you need to bring is food and a tent or turn your car or a larger vehicle into a camper or come in your van or rent a van for the event.

After the RTR everyone usually head into Quartzsite, AZ for the “Big Tent RV Show,” Jan. 18 – 26, 2020 — one of  — if not the largest RV show in the U.S.

After these events, many Car Dwellers, Van Dwellers, and RVers that met during these events — usually head off to explore and camp with each other.

Love is in the air. Traveling and meeting your potential mates can be a great idea. Remember that he or she is not going to just ‘knock on your door’ so put yourself in a setting where you can meet other singles — and get out of your ‘comfort zone.’

Remember, there is more than one way to travel across the U.S. and set yourself up to make money on the road and meet potential mates so read my articles entitled:

How To Live Successfully in a Car or Van

What You Need To Know Before Starting #VanLife

Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs on the Road

Join me at the following groups below and tell others about my NEW PLATFORM at SimpleLifeRVing.com and don’t forget to “Live, Love and Enjoy the Journey.”
Facebook Page: 
Cathy’s Patreon Subscriber Page: 
YouTube Page:
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


Jobs, Jobs and More Jobs on The Road


Jobs, Jobs and More Jobs on The Road
July 14, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist


Do You Already Have A Paycheck or Paychecks Coming In?

What would it take for a person today to head out on the road and never work again? Well if you have some type of paycheck coming in such as a Retirement, Social Security, Disability check, etc. or some type of savings or other funds, then you can do this very easily.

For others, it is possible to get on the road and make a living. You can live cheap and invent ways to make money on the road. 

Have You Ever Inquired About Working Remotely?

Are you working in a cubicle on your job? Are you driving a 1 to 2-hour commute to work everyday? Have you ever asked your boss if you could ‘work remotely’ from home?

There are a lot of benefits to being an employee. Things like healthcare, paid vacation, and of course, having a steady paycheck.

But if you’re sick of being stuck in an office, how can you convince your boss to let you work remotely. Whether you’re ready to take off and see the world, looking to cut down on your commute, or if you’d just like to have extra time with your loved ones, ‘telecommuting’ is the solution.

And while the business world seems to be coming around to telecommuting, you may still be facing an uphill battle to convince your boss to let you cut the cord.

So how can you convince your boss to let you work from home?

  • Work Out the Logistics Ahead of Time: If you want your boss to take your proposal seriously, make sure you’ve got all the details worked out before you bring it up.
  • Arm Yourself With Research: Make sure you’re ready to back up your claims with actual data. Fortunately, you’re not going to have any trouble finding research to support your claims. There’s a growing mountain of research papers proving that employees and employers benefit from remote working.
  • Focus on the Benefits for Your Company:

    If you work from home, you’ll be saving the company over $10,000 each year. Studies have shown a 13.5% boost in remote productivity over office-based productivity, and remote workers are also more likely to take ownership of their tasks.

    If you work from home, you will be able to spend more time with your family and friends, avoid the commute, and have fewer distractions when you are trying to get stuff done. It’s a win-win for you and your boss.

Many people who work remotely are still trapped in a type of 9 to 5 workplace mentally, where they need to be available during these hours, however, many employees can get their jobs done at other times — and this is actually the best way to go. 

Where Do You Start?

If you are not currently working for a company that you can inquire about remote work –then start looking for one that offers it.

Remember you might have to give up certain benefits such as a ‘full-time’ paycheck. Many will elect to downsize their paycheck or work part-time in order to work in remote jobs. But in return, they will have time to:

  • Create a business of their own.
  • Save money on clothing since they are not going into the workplace everyday.
  • Save money on gas since they are not commuting.
  • They are able to travel and see some beautiful sites.
  • They can meet great friends along the way and spend time with family and other friends.

To find these opportunities start with where you are. Use ‘old-fashion’ networking. Start talking to family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Ask them if they know of any ‘remote job’ opportunities and provide your resume to them.

Don’t forget churches and other places where you frequently go. Remember you are not going in there and asking for a job, but you are establishing yourself as someone who has value. 

Then check online in groups like LinkedIn.com, which caters to entrepreneurs.

7 places to find remote jobs include:

  • LinkedIn.com 
  • Flexjobs.com
  • Upwork.com
  • Fiveer.com
  • We Word Remotely
  • Remote.co
  • Angel.co

Don’t Ignore Your Own Skills, Talents, and Passions

There is a BIG CHANCE that you can use your own skills, talents, and passions and get paid for it. Remember, everyone has some type of skill or talent, which is of value to others, so prepare to use your skills, talents, and passions on the road.

There are all types of jobs on the road and as a business owner, you can create services and products on the road. Don’t wait until your current situation gets so serious that you won’t be in a position to set yourself up on the road in a car, van or RV.

Make your vehicle work for you on the road or think about trading it in for an SUV,  mini-van, cargo van, camper van, bus, boat, RV, or another larger vehicle.

You can work on the road on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop in a car, van, RV, bus, boat, and do the same type of job or the same type of work you do now. Or you can finally use the other skills that you have been dying to use in this lifetime.

Just some of the jobs or businesses you can set up on the road include:

Join Escapees.com: The popular mail forwarding services for RVers out of Livington, TX, Escapees.com, has a list of jobs at www.RVerJobExchange.com.

Sell on Amazon: You can sell products on Amazon.com. Many Amazon employees work for 3 months around the holidays and make enough money to live off of and travel the rest of the year.  Some of these Amazon jobs are called ‘Camperforce’ jobs and like many of the camp host jobs, will also help pay your fees at RV parks. More on Camperforce Jobs.

Sell Products on eBay: Ever since eBay.com appeared on the scene, people have been purchasing items and reselling them online for a profit. Some people shop at thrift stores to find rare or collectible items, while others shop box stores for steep discounts on brand new products. Doing this doesn’t require any special skills, just patience and a bit of luck.

Counseling/Consulting: Many just use the internet and do jobs like counseling or consulting on skype. They do bookkeeping on skype and train others in webinars at GoToWebinar.com, Zoom.US, etc. 

Business Consultant: You spent your life gaining experience in a particular industry — now it’s time to share that knowledge. Consultants and coaches are paid to impart wisdom and provide outside perspective to companies, and your golden years is the ideal time to do that. Use the connections you’ve built over the decades and find a company that could benefit from your expertise. The earning potential for consultants is limitless.   

Firearms Shooting Coach: If you are safety-conscious, a good shot and good at giving instructions, then a firearms/shooting coach could be a great business for you.  

Because of the economy — people are looking for ways to stay safe, especially women. You can provide your clients with professional and highly personalized guidance.  You can offer workshops to learn how to shoot and take care of weapons — in small groups, individual instructions, group outings and in informational seminars.      

Basic Mechanic Classes For Women:Did you know most women never open up the owner’s manuals that come with their cars? It used to be a rite of passage for men to teach their sons all about vehicles.
Now especially in this fallen economy, these sons need to put their skills to work. Even though cars have changed with all the new technology, there are plenty of opportunities out there for men and young males who are knowledgeable about cars.
Men and young males who are good with vehicles can set up several potential businesses and workshops to assist women. Women will pay you at least $30 to $50 for workshops on the weekend to show their daughters what’s under the hood and how to change tires.

  According to car experts, African  American women pay on average at least $6,000 more for a new car than others; African American men pay $4,000 more; White women pay $2,000 more; but  White men pay $2,000 LESS.

Become a Gardening Coach or Consultant: You can become a Gardening Coach or Consultant and teach your clients and customers how to grow foods. You can hold community classes or classes at their homes and check on what they are growing once a week.

Make Money Writing:There are several ways to make money writing. Some people choose to write and sell ebooks, paperback, and audiobooks. You can become a Speaker and get out on the road and teach in seminars, workshops, and webinars.

You can help people put together resumes and cover letters, or even keep it super simple by doing transcription work. The sky is the limit for anyone with great writing skills. 

Writing/Editing: Many people are trying to start businesses but have trouble writing or putting words together. You can create a writing and editing business to help edit material. You can do this for websites, e-newsletters, etc.

Make Money as A Blogger: You can write blog posts for others or monetize your own blogs using advertisements, sponsors, and affiliate links.

Market Yourself on YouTube.com: Many Car and Van Dwellers and especially RVers, even the ones living off the grid, have their own YouTube.com channels. Once you get over 1,000 subscribers on youtube.com, you can start getting paid for your videos on YouTube.com. 

Start A Patreon.com Page: Join my Patreon page today. Patreon is a crowdfunding site, which is similar to a subscription service. You can provide ‘great content’ and get a group of supporters and have them support your content. 

Become a Traveling Nurse or Contractor: Many traveling nurses and contractors live in Vans or RVs on the road. Others that are Doctors, Speakers, etc. travel around the country all the time in cars, vans or RVs. 

Caregiver Jobs: With a large Senior population today, there are plenty of caregiver jobs out there where you can also use their driveway to stealth camp in a car or van. Check out care.com, eldercare.com, and caregiver.org.

RV Transporting: There is a big need for RV transporters to deliver RVs to dealerships and back to buyers after being sent back to factories and repaired. To drive the bigger RVs, you will probably be required to get a CDL license, but not for the smaller RVs.

Cell Phone and Internet Installers for Vans and RVers: Many travelers are going full-time and looking to stay hooked up so they can run their businesses. If you have the knowledge of phones and the internet, then you should have a thriving business. Join traveler’s websites or social media forums to find customers and clients.

RV Inspectors/Repairmen: There are many skills needed to assist these Car, Van or Bus Dwellers, RVers and the Tiny House Movement such as carpenters, electricians, RV repairmen, RV inspectors, etc.

In the summertime because of the SHORTAGE of RV mechanics, many RVers have to wait days, weeks, and months for repair. And many Car and Van Dwellers are looking for companies to help build out their cars and vans for traveling and camping.

RV Solar Installers: Many travelers are looking to buy solar for their cars, vans and RVs. If you have this knowledge, you will do great as a Solar Installer or consultant. You can start your own school for this also.


Jobs with RV Parks: People at campgrounds are always looking for a fun activity, and if you can capitalize on their boredom, you can make a few extra bucks even after you’ve retired in your RV.

If you have great skills, many of the RV parks will hire you and give you FREE RV parking for days, weeks and/or months as long as you work with them. These include skills such as using drones, building websites, and marketing their RV parks. So offer up your services and products at these RV parks. Many are building new RV parks today because of the demand to go Full-Time RVing so there will be even more opportunities for you.

Course Instructor: Become a course instructor. A retiree who was a college instructor in a previous life, but after retiring, he created a five-day course to show people how to maintain and repair their RVs. He charges $1,644 for tuition and has people signed up for courses in 10 different locations.

Seasonal Retail Employee: The best thing about working at your favorite store during the holiday season is that you don’t have to make a lengthy commitment. The second best thing is the store discount comes in handy when you do your holiday shopping.

Most retailers take on seasonal employees during November and December. It’s easier to get a job during this time frame, and you can reap all the benefits of working at your favorite store without signing on for the long haul.

Traveling Salesperson: When you’re living in an RV,  car or van, it’s possible to earn thousands without getting stuck in an office. One RVer started selling water filters for recreational vehicle plumbing systems. He sold 1,300 filters for $30 each, creating a tidy profit to live off.

Become a Work Camp Host: Just remember that some of these RV parks are desperate for work camp hosts to help them monitor gates, sign in guests visiting in cars, vans, and RVs.

Some of the jobs are remote for those who enjoy getting off the grid. Many work camp hosts can park their RVs for FREE and work for 2, 3 or up to 6 months at an RV park.

At many of these jobs, you only work for 3 days a week and for only 5 hours a day. Check out the below ‘work camping jobs’ if you plan on coming out here on the road:

California Land Management (CLM) Services: There are jobs available every year around May at CLM Services in the California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado area. Places like Yellow Stone Park even have housing for their employees.

Gate Jobs in Texas: Singles and couples can get a job as a Gate Guard at Timekeepers Inc. and find a gig and earn $100–$175 a day in the state of Texas.

There is a $250 sign-on bonus. They will give you a generator, water, and pump out your sewer in the desert. Usually, a 30-90 day commitment is required and these gigs don’t want kids or pets around and prefer couples instead of singles.

On some of the jobs, you only work for 2 hours a day. If interested please call 830-431-1627. You can also call Val @ 830-428-4154.

Check out these books on Work Camping Jobs:

Also, check out my two business books “How To Take Control of Your Own Life (A Self-Help Guide to Starting Your Own Business” (Series 2) and The New CEO: 185 Easy-To-Set Up Businesses for Youth and Adult Entrepreneurs.”

Read the below articles and figure out how to ‘work remotely’ while driving around the country — seeing family and friends, making new friends, seeing some beautiful sites, and creating memories while driving in a car, van or RV. 

How To Live Successfully in a Car or Van

What You Need To Know Before Starting #VanLife

Packing Up Essential RV Supplies and Hitting the Road

Facebook Page: 
Cathy’s Patreon Subscriber Page: 
YouTube Page: 
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


What You Need To Know Before Starting #VanLife

What You Need To Know Before Starting #VanLife
July  10, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist


Are You Ready for #VanLife?

Bob Wells, from CheapRVLiving.com, has been educating travelers for years on his website and onyoutube.com on how you can successfully live in a car, van or RV and be totally content. 
I love what he is doing and it did inspire me to continue some of his work also with my NEW PLATFORM at SimpleLifeRVing.com
He has stayed in a van for over 15 years after initially going through a divorce and trying to pay for two households. 

Why You Should Choose #VanLife

Everyone needs to introduce 
#VanLife in their social networks and motivate everyone to get out on the road and live their lives to the fullest. 
Caravan Carolyn has 10 reasons to live in your van. Other advantages of living in a van include:
  • You get better gas mileage with a van. 
  • It’s quick and you get great mobility so you can get up and go.
  • it’s great for stealth camping. You can park vans anywhere you park cars. You can do this without anyone knowing you are inside.
  • Unlike bigger RVs, you can engage in “Driveway or Mooch Surfing/Parking, where you stay at family members and/or friends’ homes — sometimes called “CouchSurfing.com.” Many youtube.com supporters will also offer up their places for you to stay also.
  • Vans can go into the back country and woods and stay there for weeks. 
  • You can strip out a van yourself or have a professional do a #ProfessionalVanBuild for you for around $5000 to $10,000. The biggest fees will probably be the solar, batteries, inverters, and refrigerators. Many use the smaller Dometic or Whynter refrigerators from Amazon.com or they just buy a small refrigerator at Walmart, Lowe’s or Home Depot. 
  • There is a demand for a smaller type of RV that can go to more places. The Class B Van and/or RV is one of the most expensive RVs starting at prices of $70,000 for used to $150,000 for new. So in many cases, it will be better to buy a good used van and have someone build it out with a #VanBuild or you can build it out yourself.
  • Regular vans are more affordable than a Class B Van, Class B plus (also called ‘Class C’), Class A’s, Travel Trailers or Fifth Wheels.
  • You can get a used van for $3000 to $5000 on facebook marketplace, eBay, or craigslist or even cheaper from a personal seller. 

Top Mistakes of #VanDwellers

#VanLife is trending all over social media. You’ve seen the Instagram photos and features in Outside magazine. But life on the road isn’t all epic adventures and Pinterest-worthy decor.

And while most of the stories in the New York Times or ESPN focus on the freedom and glamour of living on the road, it’s time to get real.

There are things to know to make van life ‘sustainable’.

Anyone can live on camp food for a week or go a few days without showering, but if you’re really considering making a two-ton rolling heap of metal your house, here’s what you should consider before it becomes your permanent hiking base camp.

Just some of the mistakes that #VanLifers are regretting include:

  • Invest in a Good Van: Invest in a good van from the very beginning. Have someone or a good mechanic look over the van. It doesn’t make sense to invest in a van that is going to break down, especially after you pay for a #ProfessionalVanBuild.
  • Roof Height: The roof height does matter so go with a van with a higher roof height. No one wants to continuously have to bend down all the time. After a while, it can get pretty uncomfortable.
  • Weight: Make sure you balance the weight on both sides or it can cause your van to lean to one side.
  • Insulation: Don’t skip putting in insulation even if you don’t plan on being in cold weather. Without good insulation, your van will get ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold.’
  • Wood/Gas Mileage: If you plan on putting wood in the ceilings, walls or any part of your van, make sure the wood is not too heavy, which can cut down on gas mileage. Also, use the correct wood for your flooring.
  • Solar Panels: Don’t skip solar panels. Get at least 400 watts to charge your ‘battery bank’ and run everything.
  • Mobile Grid: Try to invest in a ‘mobile grid’ (solar, batteries, inverters, etc.) big enough to handle your van and lifestyle. Many never think about how many amps or watts an electronic device used. To put it simply — you’ll want as much power as possible to try and maintain the lifestyle you had before.
  • Controls: It’s easier to put all the controls in one place.
  • Light Switches: Make sure light switches don’t automatically come on when the door is opened. Put LED lights in your van especially over the stove for cooking. 
  • Storage: Put drawers in instead of having to throw pillows off to reach storage. The more drawers or storage space sometimes the better. Leave room for sporting gear – kayak, bike, etc.
  • Sinks: Get a bigger sink and countertop if you like to cook. For others don’t make your sink too big. You can use a water jug instead of a faucet so you don’t really need a faucet in your van. Get a system where it’s easy to fill the fresh water tank and you can automatically drain the gray tank when sitting in a good spot. 
  • Oven/Microwave: Put in an oven or microwave if you want these items. However, many will choose more foods that don’t need to be prepared with heat. Having juicers and steamers work even better.  
  • Propane: Many #VanLifers take this advantage not to use propane at all in their new home. You can use the Mr. Buddy heater in the winter months or the Olympian Wave 3 heater instead or just become a Snowbird and follow 70-degree weather around the country. 
  • Shower/Bathroom: Put a shower in if you want this item. Whether a bucket, bag, or bottle, you need somewhere to take care of business when nature calls at 3 a.m. Figure out which option is most comfortable for you, but make sure you have at least one ‘go-to’ for any emergency.
  • Fan: Your van is going to get hot so invest in a good Fantastic Fan or Maxxair Fan. Also, get a topper for the fan so that it doesn’t blow off when you drive. Many Van Dwellers choose to put in two fans to get a cross-breeze, especially if they don’t have windows to open. 
  • Windows:  Make sure you have windows or being in the van all the time and not being able to see out  –can be depressing. There are different types of van windows. Some go out and some slide open. Get the ones that slide open so they won’t blow out, especially when you drive. And this way you will have more ventilation with your fan.  
  • Table: Invest in more expensive table mounts. Make your mounts big enough to hold tables and other items and don’t make these items too big.
  • Drawers/Cabinets: Try not to put sharp edge handles that stick out that will injure you, especially at your head or knee level. Make cabinets easy to open with hinges and easy to close with magnets during travel.
  • Hooks: Get plenty of hooks. You will use them. Put them especially closer to the door to air and dry out big coats.
  • Walkways: Try not to have narrow walkways. It’s best to put the refrigerator toward the front of the van or closer to the kitchen cabinets.
  • Off-Road: If you plan on taking your van off-road invest in a good winch to carry along with you in case you get stuck. 
  • Be Stealthy: Many get into this life just so they can stealth camp and park anywhere where cars can park. Put a partition wall instead of curtains for stealth camping when separating the front part of the van from the back part. Or cover the windshield and front windows with blackout curtains or some other material. There are several companies that make blackout curtains — just for van windows. 
  • Bed: Try to replicate your home when making your bed or you might end up uncomfortable so invest in a good bed. 

Estimated Cost of a Van Build

Most #ProfessionalVanBuilds can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. However, you or a family can do this yourself at a much cheaper price. Watch the van build shows on youtube.com or go to a van build in person.

Here is just one estimate of a #VanBuild:

  • Window – $290
  • Fantastic Fan – $150
  • Insulation – spray foam – reflectix – $575
  • LED ceiling lights – $45
  • Color changing led light strips – $35
  • Pine for ceiling – $56
  • Shellac on walls – $122
  • Laminated wood flooring at Costco – $104
  • Subboard – $69
  • Roof rack $500 (Some cost $3,000)
  • Solar panels –  Two 100 watt Solar Panels with wiring and controller – $494 
  • Two 100 AGM batteries – $200 each
  • Renogy 200 watts Inverter – $678
  • Control panel – $112
  • Cabinet plywood – $132
  • Steel studs to frame out benches – $76
  • Swivel for table – $189
  • Ikea walnut countertop – $209
  • Sink – $227
  • Faucet – $224
  • Water pump – $60
  • 2 burner stove top – $256
  • Propane tank – 5 lbs – $50
  • Two 60 gallon fresh water tank – $45
  • 5 gallon grey water tank – $25
  • Grey water value – $35
  • Dometic refrigerator – $619
  • Natures head composting toilet – $950
  • Nuts, bolts, drawer slides, adhesive – $304

= Estimated Cost Around – $5,000 to $10,000

Odds are this won’t be your life for the rest of your life. At some point, you’ll probably tire of the life and decide to inhabit a more immobile dwelling — maybe.

So enjoy your time as a nomad—even when you wake up in a pool of your own sweat. Or hear people fighting close to your walls or when you bump your knee on some protruding feature in your small living space.

Because ultimately, the things you’ll experience as a result of making this jump are the type most people work a lifetime to do in two weeks of an annual vacation.

Join van groups online to learn more about #VanLife: 

For places to park as a Van Dweller check out the blog post entitled “How To Live Successfully in a Car or Van.” 
Hopefully, you found this blog to be educational. I do love sharing info as an #InformationJunkie so don’t forget to share my info and links below and be an active part of my NEW JOURNEY and blog at www.SimpleLifeRVing.com.
Facebook Page: 
Cathy’s Patreon Subscriber Page: 
YouTube Page: 
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


How To Live Successfully in a Car or Van – (VIDEO – How To Buy A Car)

How To Live Successfully  in A Car or Van
Van Lifer Educates On How To Buy a Car for Your Nomadic Life – #CarDwelling
July  8, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist


People are struggling to be comfortable in their cars today as they go back and forth and live their lives. But what if they had to literally live in their cars?

 Bob Wells from Cheap RV Living on youtube thinks that once the government sees how many people are living in cars, vans, RVs, etc., due to the homeless situation, it will propel the government to take action to take care of them.  

However, I believe the government (along with the medical and pharmaceutical industry) only cares about ‘population control’ and ‘killing folks off’ because there are too many people in the world. So it’s up to all of us to take care of each other.
Why Many Travelers Are Living in Cars and Vans vs. RVs
I know most of you read the article I wrote entitled  “The Truth About The RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World” and why as soon as you buy an RV, you need to be ready also to do your own repairs even if you have an ‘extended warranty’ or be ready to pay top dollars to get others to do these repairs for you. 
This is so true. I am sure many of you found the article to be ‘very problematic’ – like me – especially with what has happened at Camping World  — being on the verge of bankruptcy because of their ‘unethical’ practices.
Even Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving.com has said on many occasions in his videos that living in an RV can be a #MoneyPit. After conducting months of extensive research — I agree totally.
All of my research in the RV industry opened the doorway for me to also educate everyone on why living in a car and/or van or a similar vehicle might be a better way to reinvent or change your life than buying an RV.
Many won’t be in a position to live in an RV or Motorhome or do these expensive and extensive repairs, especially many women, so they should think about living in a car, van or similar vehicle instead. 
Many travelers, especially women, with Travel Trailers or Fifth Wheels, which can be dangerous to get out of and hook up at times (from ‘man’ and/or ‘beast’), have decided to downsize to #VanLife instead. So again, living in an RV might not be right for everyone.

Remember, you can save a ton of money while Car or Van Dwelling also, so look at these options, if you need to pay off bills and save for the future. 

Who Should Think About Car or Van Life?
Who seriously should think about Car or #VanLife?
  • Save Money Quickly: Those individuals who need to save money quickly should consider moving into a car or van.  If you are attempting to do #VanLife then move into your car until you have enough money saved. If you need to find an apartment then move into your car, van or a similar vehicle until you have enough money saved. If you need to buy a house, then move into your car, van or similar vehicle until you have enough saved.
  • Students Going Off to College: Not all students that go off or try to go off to college have supportive parents. Many college students today are trying to find ways to cut down on tuition. They can live in a car, van or a similar vehicle and cut down on dorm fees. 
  • Abused Employees: Over the years as a ‘Discrimination and Workplace Consultant’, I have watched tons of women and men lose their homes due to wrongful terminations and discrimination on their jobs. Many walked straight from their homes to the streets. They had no other choice but to get involved in prostitution or selling drugs and/or ended up homeless or in jail.
  • Abusive Spouses: Others, especially women, out here in the Car and Van Dwelling community have had to run away from ‘abusive spouses’. No one should be forced to live in a relationship with anyone where they are not happy. Did you know most Domestic Violence hotlines are flooded with calls for help from women after the holidays (especially in January) once the bills come in?
  • Sickness: Just remember the NUMBER ONE REASON that most people lose their apartments or homes is SICKNESS, so it’s important to take care of your health. I don’t know if I would choose to get out here on the road if I was sick (probably not), but getting out here on the road can help you in the long run from getting sick. You can take care of yourself better by being out there on the road because you can afford #BetterFoods (#OrganicFoods) and breathe in a better quality of air, especially if you choose to camp out on BLM.gov or National Forest land. Also, if you can’t afford the high cost of medications, think about living in a car, van or a similar vehicle. 
  • Homelessness:  Having too many bills can make anyone sick or homeless in a heartbeat. Many women and men have these big ’empty’ homes and can barely keep their heads above water because of all these high bills. They are underwater on their mortgage and don’t have a way out. So these are the individuals that need to consider moving into a car, van, or similar vehicle, especially if they are looking at becoming homeless. Land is the most valuable commodity you can have so don’t think I am telling you to just give your land away — because I am not. Unless you take care of yourself and your land and especially pay your taxes, the government is going to take it anyway. So do something with it or turn it over to family members who can. You can turn your land into an RV park or allow others to rent part of it to grow foods. When buying a house, only buy a house that does not have Homeowner’s Association (HOAs) fees because you probably won’t be able to grow foods in the front yard. If you need a break from it all, take a break and come out on the road and build a new life for yourself. 
Any of these situations can cause even the sanest of people to come unglued — physically, mentally and spiritually — and this is what is happening today. So consider leaving it all behind and get out here on the road. 
How To Fix Your Car Up to Live in It

Since RVs are made so poorly with cheap material and can break in half 20 miles down the road, you need to consider converting other vehicles for your traveling pleasures.

Keep in mind that Camper Trucks and Vans are also called “RVs” and/or “Motorhomes.” Many travelers today because of the economy and just to be able to travel and see some beautiful sites are living in small and large cars, SUVs, trucks, mini-vans, camper trucks, camper vans, box vans, cargo vans, old bread trucks, converted Federal Express and U-haul trucks and horse trailers, buses, etc.  The sky is the limit in what type of vehicle you can live or camp out in.

No one really want to live or sleep in their cars, but many are making it work today. Many families sleep in their cars when they go camping — so why not live in it full-time?

Despite what you might think living in a car, van or a similar vehicle can be safer than living on the streets. Our ancestors used to live in caves, so why are we as a society looking down on anyone for sleeping in their cars — whether they are ‘homeless’ or just want the luxury of being mobile to travel around the country and save on gas?

Many with jobs and businesses do utilize their vehicles to work in, but a majority of people who sleep in cars, vans, RVs and other vehicles — LIVE OUT of their vehicles.

They spend their time during the day out of the vehicle engaging in activities, while returning to the vehicles at nighttime for sleep.  

Many Car and Van Dwellers believe RVers look down on them for sleeping in a car, van or similar vehicle. I am sure they look at Car and Van Dwellers as being ‘primitive’ because many don’t have running water, bathrooms or toilets.

However, we are all the same — #OneCommunity of ‘Wanderers, Gypsies, and Nomads’. Again, this is a #Kind and #Brave community so let’s take care of each other.

If you live in a car, you can sleep in the front seat, passenger seat or back seat or remove the front passenger seat or back seats for more comfort. It all depends on the size of the person and which angle you will find most comfortable. 

Once you lay the driver or passenger seat back, for many this can be a comfortable position. You can remove the front passenger seat and put a board or plank down from Home Depot or Lowe’s — get an inflatable camping bag, pillow and sleeping bag and you should be quite comfortable sleeping in your car. You can also use an air mattress.

Or you can lay down the back seats or remove them totally and fix the area up like the front passenger seat with your legs extending in the trunk area. These two positions should allow you to be quite comfortable living in your car or a  bigger vehicle.

Why You Should Buy A ‘Toyota Prius’ To Live in 

Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving.com also recommends a ‘Toyota Prius’ as the type of car many should buy. There are Prius groups on facebook, especially a group for women Prius owners.
You can start any car type group on facebook and hold events at meetup.com or join “Bob Wells Caravans” at www.Meetup.com/Caravans.
Many of these caravans are near towns — where you can still shop and/or use your phone so don’t think you will be out there in some isolated area. Caravans are a great way to meet others on the road – build relationships or even travel together.
You can get a ‘Toyota Prius’ and save $1000 a month on rent and do your work at McDonald’s, Starbucks, Libraries, Panera Bread, and other businesses with FREE wi-fi.
Some even park in front of libraries, Target, McDonald’s, etc. and stay in their cars and use their wi-fi for free. You may or may not need a ‘wi-fi extender’ for this, however, ‘the sky is the limit’ on how you can work on a ‘remote job’ or run a business from your car, van or a similar vehicle and be quite happy as you travel around the country and meet great friends and see some beautiful sites — or just survive as a ‘Car Dweller.’
Living in a Car vs. Living in A Van
Living in a car is no different than living in a van. Of course, living in a car will not give you as much space as living in a van, but you can be totally happy living in either of these. 
Reasons to travel by car versus a van or RV:
  • It’s quick.
  • Great mileage. 
  • Great mobility so you can get up and go.
  • Great for stealth camping. 
  • Most families already have a car so start with what you got. It’s more affordable than a Class B van, Class B plus (also called a ‘Class C’), Class A, Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel.
  • You can get a used car or van for $2000 to $5000 on autotrader.com, facebook marketplace, eBay, craigslist or even cheaper from a personal seller.

If you only have a car and not a van, then set up your car and travel around the country and prepare to have fun. You can add tents to your car to extend your living area and space when out camping.

What you need to live in a car or van successfully:
  • Food
  • Bottled Water
  • Eating Utensils (Folks, Spoons, Bowls, Plates)
  • Paper Towels/Napkins
  • Wet Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Trash Bags
  • Bed/Sleeping Bag (Inflatable Camping Mattress and/or Air Mattress)
  • Pillow
  • Knife/Swiss Army Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Mini Travel Umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Pee Bottle/Toilet Pot (Collapsible Toilet)
  • Small Fans (in the summertime)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Ice Chess/Cooler (Coleman Extreme Cooler – will keep ice for up to – maybe a week) or an Ice Chess that runs on a 9 or 12-volt battery. Many van dwellers have the Yeti coolers and there are iceless coolers by Igloo.).
  • Inverter/Generator, which you can charge while driving and run your phone, computer, iPad, blender, steamer, etc.
You can wash off with wipes, buy a pop-up shower tent, use Solar Showers or take showers at gyms such as 24-hour fitness, Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, YMCAs, etc. 
You can also take showers at CouchSurfing.com, truck stops, state and county parks, hotels, at friends and family member’ homes, etc. In places like Florida, they have showers on beaches along with potable water.
While in your car you can watch movies on Netflix.com, Amazon.com, and Hulu.com on your phone. To live in a van (minivan, SUV, camper van or some type of other larger vehicle than a car), you want to go ahead and purchase a good house battery, inverter and solar so you can work inside of the van on a computer, iPad, etc. or watch TV. There are also portable solar kits for those living in their cars.
Car and Van Dwellers – Sleeping or Camping in Tents
If you are sleeping in your car and/or van, you also should have a tent with you. Springbar.com has the best quality of tents that lasts a while. The tents are really sturdy and can hold up in high winds.
Genji Sports Instant Camping tents are a great quality ‘pop-up’ tent, which means you can put it up and take it down in a hurry.
Ozark Trail tents are another good tent, but it was made in China, which means it might blow away in high winds. Kodiak Canvas tents are another tent used by Car or Van Dwellers.

If you arrive in your car or van as a ‘campground host’ or when you just go camping, bring a tent along especially if you need to take a break from sleeping in a car or van. 

Also, know up-front that many campgrounds require those arriving in cars and vans to bring a tent along.  They require you to sleep in the tents or you can set up the tent ‘as a disguise’ — for safety purposes — and still sleep in your car or van.
Remember that most of these camps are empty during the week so this will be a great time to stay there — hassle-free. On weekends you can go to other places or do #StealthCamping in urban areas.
Some camping areas charge $5 to $25 a day for cars, vans, and RVs. Some have a limit of 14 days then you might have to go to another camp area, but can come back to that same spot in 14 to 30 to 45 days. And many of the camps are right next to each other.
If you are going camping in a car or van bring a head lamp and/or Luci Light (powered in the daytime by solar), fire starter and proper clothing. Try to bring more than one coat. 
For cooking when camping or when living in a car or van, you can also use these items:  
  • toaster oven
  • induction plate (could interfere with cardiac pacemakers) 
  • instant pot
  • air fryer
  • blender
  • steamer
Know the regulations and laws wherever you are. You can also bring chairs and tools along. You can tailgate off your truck or the back of your car. 
FREE Places to Park Cars or Vans While On the Road
If you need a place to park, you can go on Craigslist and put an ad in it and offer $100 a month (or less) to park in someone’s driveway or on their land.
If you do this, the goal is to show up after dark and leave before daylight. I am sure homeowners, especially the elderly, who have houses and land would love to make this ‘extra money’ every month and you will have a safe, ‘hassle-free’ place to park.
Make sure you google ‘FREE parking’ in the city you are in. Other FREE places to park your car, another larger vehicle or a van include:
  • Rest Areas
  • Truck Stops
  • Walmart (24 hours)
  • Kmart (24 hours)
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Bass Pro Shops (also own Cabela’s) allows Van Dwellers – maybe Car Dwellers.
  • Cracker Barrel allows Van Dwellers – maybe Car Dwellers.
  • Tribal Lands (You ask permission from a tribal council. And pay a permit fee)
  • Casinos also check out CasinoCamping.com
  • National Parks and Monuments
  • State, City or Community Parks (Look for signs that say 24 parking)
  • City, County or Regional and Private Campgrounds
  • BLM.gov Land (It’s everywhere but mostly on the west coast). Camp on BLM land with small or large groups of people to be safe, especially if you are a solo female traveler or join Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving.com Caravans at www.Meetup.com/Caravans). 
  • You can do “Driveway or Mooch Surfing” (also “Couch Surfing” — staying on someone’s couch) in a family’ member, friend or someone’s driveway. Cars and Van Dwellers can do this easier than larger RVs.
  • Residential Areas (Respect “No Parking Signs.” Do not park on private property. Somebody is always watching).
  • Apartment Complexes (There is usually street parking there too. Google or go to Craiglist and look for apartments for rent. Big apartment complexes ‘without gates’ are a great idea, especially for Car and Van Dwellers).
  • Community College parking lots (Check hours of Campus police. It’s usually 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.).
  • Strip Malls or Shopping Malls that are opened 24 hours, but they might have security guards.
  • Car Dealerships (Go to the service area especially if they work on the type of car or van you drive)
  • HarvestHosts.com allows Van Dwellers and RVers (not Car Dwellers). These are wineries, farms, breweries, etc. Memberships are $50 a year. (Owner name is Joel). They only take up to 5 RVers or Van Dwellers a night so you need to make reservations. You need to buy wine, cheese, and other products, while you are there.
  • BoondockersWelcome.com allows Van Dwellers and RVers (not Car Dwellers). Also, check out Boondocking.org.
Popular Apps for Car and Van Dwellers
Again, a van will give you more space and you can set it up just like an RV. Most vans can also park anywhere an RV can park. They have ‘Class B Vans’ which is the same size as regular vans so vans are also considered RVs and Motorhomes.
To Find Campgrounds Use These Apps
Apps That Cost
  • US Public Lands (Worth the $2.99 cost).
  • Ultimate Public Campgrounds (Over 40,300 in U.S. & CA) (Cost $3.99).
  • OvernightRVParking.com (Subscription is $24.95).
  • AllTrails (To find hiking trails. Subscription is $29.99 a year).
Apps To Monitor Gas
You will save gas as long as you stay in one location so if you stay weekly or monthly, you will save gas.
Apps to help you monitor your gas include:
  • Gas Buddy
  • Fuelly
  • Gas Guru
  • Gas Cubby
  • GasPricesTriple.com

Weather Apps

  • Windy.com (gives you 3-hour updates, wind speed, wind directions, wind gust, and Hurricanes forecasts)
  • The Weather Channel
  • Weather
  • My Radar 
  • Weather Bug

It’s up to you whether you camp out or live in a compact car, a larger vehicle or a van. Remember to start with what you have. If that is a car then get in your car and get out here on the road and enjoy yourself and/or save your sanity. 

Read my article entitled “What You Need to Know Before Starting #VanLife.” Even though you live in a Car, Van, a similar vehicle or RV, you can truly still live “The Good Life” by getting out of your COMFORT ZONE and putting one foot in front of the other and say the words — “No more struggles, no more pain, no more headaches, no more heartaches. I am building a new life and I am doing it now.” Welcome aboard the #FreedomExpress!

Find out more great info on Car Camping and Car Living in these groups:

Share this info with the people you love and don’t forget to ‘Live, Love and Enjoy the Journey’ and be an active part of my NEW JOURNEY, new community, and blog at www.SimpleLifeRVing.com.
Facebook Page: 
Cathy’s Patreon Subscriber Page: 
YouTube Page:
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


#ChasingHappiness – My Happiness Project

#ChasingHappiness – My Happiness Project 
June 16, 2019
by Cathy Harris, DearCathy.com
Don’t be afraid to #ChaseHappiness. That is the true meaning of life. Many, like myself, just want to live an #Adventurous and #Mobile
lifestyle and it’s nothing wrong with 
Everyone knows exactly what makes them happy so the goal is not to settle for a life where you feel will take your inner soul. 
Many are ‘taking the bull by the horn’ or doing something difficult in a brave and determined way — and creating a life that they can truly love. 
For the rest of their lives and on their death beds, they will have a #brainbank ‘full of memories’ with stories to share with the people they truly love #WhatALife, #ChasingHappiness.
It’s no wonder this is the year I decided to go Full-Time RVing. I started off the New Year reading a book entitled “The Happiness Project.”
The book suggested I do my own “Happiness Project” so I wanted to REPOST my happiness project steps I am taking throughout the year to bring even more happiness into my life, especially as I embark on my new adventures as a Full-Time RVer (or #VanDweller).
Just some of the steps that I put together in “My Happiness Project” include: 

Listen to Music More

Music stimulates the part of your brain that causes happiness. Listening to music can create peak emotions, which increase the amount of dopamine, a specific neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain and helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.       


I am a  big believer in ‘Meditation’. It makes your mind sharper and alert along with reducing stress and enhancing positive energy.

Some schools are even using meditation to help kids deal with stressful situations. You can find great meditation music on youtube.com or download a Meditation App on your phone or computer.
You can meditate sitting up or lying down. You can meditate from the comfort of your own home for 15 to 30 minutes every day or find a meetup.com group or another meditation group in your community.                                                                                              
Do Yoga
Yoga, like  Meditation, is extremely good for the brain. They both are actually two of the best exercises for the human brain.
If you have never done yoga before then start now. Not only will it increase your flexibility, but it will prevent middle-age spread. This is an exercise the entire family can do.
You can do yoga from the comfort of your home by downloading a  Yoga App on your phone or computer or watch it on youtube.com.     

Engage in ‘Laughter Yoga’

Yoga is an exercise that is extremely good for the brain. It’s true that laughter will bring in even more laughter. In my last city, I learned about ‘laughter yoga.’ These laughter yoga groups are located on meetup.com or form these laughter yoga groups your own self.

Replace Negative Thoughts with Good Thoughts

To be happy you have to think positive thoughts. This will take some practice, but it can be done. It helps when you surround yourself with positive people and positive things (memories).

Every time you get a negative thought in your mind, replace it right away with a positive thought. This is why it’s important to have great information in your brain bank. 

Do Hypnosis

I actually had a hypnosis session for ‘sleep issues’ in my last city and it worked. A professional told me how to do an exercise when I had trouble falling to sleep. Sleep is extremely important so hypnosis for bringing more happiness into your life probably could work.

Keep a Food Diary Journal

Most people don’t have any idea what they eat during the day, so therefore, keep a food diary. Certain foods can actually make you sad.

I only eat blood type foods, which not only make me happy but give me energy as well. There are Vegan, Vegetarian, Blood Type, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Keto, and other diets.

The problem is most folks today eat the Standard American Diet (also called “SAD”) and that should tell you something. The diet is full of processed foods with no nutritional value and can actually cause you to be sad and depressed.                                         

Eat At Home

When you eat out, you have no idea what ingredients are in your foods, which can cause an allergic reaction or these foods can make you sad.     

Sing In the Morning

Mornings set the tone for the entire day so sing in the morning and be happy. Most people are more productive from 8:00-12:00 p.m., so sing and just be happy.     

Stop Watching TV

Television is negative today and it does nothing but forces you — just like Hollywood – to think negatively about your life. It does nothing but ‘robs your soul’ of fun and happiness. 

Try especially to avoid turning it on in the mornings — your most productive time of the day. Instead, listen to laughter yoga, or motivational speakers on Youtube.

No one pays for cable anymore. You can easily rent movies on Netflix.com, Amazon.com, Hulu.com, etc. You can receive all your news from independent media by email so subscribe to independent media websites and turn off the TV.  


Exercising releases feel-good endorphins. It is a great way to change your mood so make sure you exercise several days a week or find a hobby that is physical, such as walking, hiking, swimming, tennis, etc.                   

Get More Sleep

You should get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night. Children ages 18 or younger, need 9 or 10 hours of sleep.

Most people don’t know it but if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t just be in a bad mood all day, but you can cause issues in your marriage and family, and make you crave bad foods. 

So invest in a good mattress and pillow. The goal is to go to bed at the same time every night and get up the same time every day — even on weekends.         

Give Up Alcohol

Try to take #BabySteps and give up alcohol. Not only does alcohol make you sleepy, but it can make you SAD. It has a negative effect on the brain.   

Hang Out With Enthusiastic Friends

Make time for friends — but stop gossiping. Having strong social bonds is a key to happiness. People get a mood boost from contact with others.

However, select good people to be in your circle. No one wants to be around negative, ‘doom and gloom’ people, so hang out with others that are enthusiastic about life.

As I travel around the country, I make it a point to visit friends. Many are now elderly so I guess you can say I do welfare checks on my friends especially the ones that are still enthusiastic about life.     

Watch What You Say To People – #WordsMatter

Many people are on edge today so watch what you are saying to people. Even when you make posts on social media, just watch what you are saying to people. Try to choose nice and uplifting words.    

Don’t Focus on a Bad Mood

Try not to focus on a bad mood – it will pass. Go for a walk or engage in an activity. Men are better at this than women. Women continue to focus on a bad mood so this might take some practice for women.           

Use Your Good Dishes

Use your good dishes. Why set aside these things you might never get to use, therefore, use your good dishes.                                       

Clean Up Clutter

I started my career off as a secretary, so in order for me to be able to write every day and be productive, I need a clutter-free environment.

So clean up your space, place, and throw stuff out especially clothes that you no longer wear. If you have things in your closet that you know you are not going to wear — get rid of them. If you have clothing with sentimental value, keep it somewhere else in your house.             

Tackle A Long-Delayed Chore

 Once you complete a chore that you have been putting off, it will bring more happiness.                         

Act The Way You Want To Feel

Smile and act happy and somehow you will get there. Children smile hundreds of times a day, however, adults only smile 4 to 17 times a day – so smile more.            

Do New Things

People who do new things are apt to be happier than people who continue to do the same things day in and out.

This is why I travel to new cities and meet new people. It brings so much happiness into my life.         

Do Fun Things

Books are fun for me. Selecting them and reading non-fiction books are so much fun especially ‘self-help’ books.

Also, I love going to meetup.com meetings and meeting new people. I also enjoy traveling, photography, surfing the internet, crocheting, sewing, dancing, watching movies and going to the gym.  

Be More Generous

Do things like helping others think big. Give other people great suggestions. Doing good deeds brings happiness and remember the best way to make others happy is to be happy yourself.                                                                 

Bring People Together

Introduce people to other people. Set up a high school reunion or another event. Hold events at your home or hold a meetup.com meeting in your community.                           

Do What You Love

If you are in a  job that you no longer enjoy, get another one — even in another city, go back to school or start a business.  Do what you love and allow your kids to do what they love – youth business ownership.      

Downsize Your Living Arrangements

At 62 I was seriously thinking about obtaining a “Tiny Home” to live in until I came up with the idea of Full-Time RVing. I am currently living in an Efficiency/Studio apartment so downsizing my living arrangements have made me much happier.

Because I am saving money from downsizing, I now have more funds to eat better foods and travel, which is more important to me than buying ‘shiny things’ – so live a #MinimalistLifestyle. 

Visit Libraries

Many people today don’t even step into libraries anymore. Libraries are a great place to find interesting information and people. As I travel around the country, I always visit as many libraries as I can.

Female University Student Sitting on a Library Floor Reading a Book

Most have a bulletin board to see local events or find out what events are being held in the libraries. I always ask if I can hold my own events in these facilities (seminars and workshops). I also check out library books and read magazines or just bring my laptop and work on my other projects there.    

Start A Blog

You can start a free blog at www.Blogger.com or www.WordPress.com. Find some way to put down your thoughts that can possibly turn into a  book project. A blog or journaling will work. Blog about what you are passionate about. Try to blog every day or at least every other day. 

Happy People Make Good Marriage Mates

Men are not attracted to women who are not happy. Happy people find it easier to get married and stay married.

Get An Outdoor and Indoor Game

Couples should have an indoor and outdoor game in order to keep interests in their relationship.  

Hug Your Spouse More

It’s important to practice hugging more especially your spouse, mate, significant other or partner and especially your children. It will make a big difference in how you view the world and how it views you.       

Don’t Ignore Your Spouse

Many people end up less considerate of their mates. Have date nights with your spouse and spend quality time together. Show each other love and put each other first. Be nice to each other and treat your mate better than you treat others.          

Don’t Dump Minor Issues On Your Mate

Couples do pick up on the mood of their spouses, so, therefore, it’s important not to dump your minor issues on your spouse.

Don’t allow nagging and petty issues to ruin your relationship. Be happy, stop complaining and blaming your spouse, mate, significant other or partner for petty issues.     

Read Books on Happy Relationships

There are tons of great reading material out there for people in relationships. Men and women approach relationships, especially intimacy differently because “Men Are From Mars and Women are from Venus.”  Read the book “Love After 50” so you can keep an active sex life as you age.    

Children Bring Happiness

Children do bring more happiness to relationships. You might have ups and downs when you have children, but overall, people are happier with children. If you can’t have children today because of GMOs, contact surrogacy programs, do IVF or adopt.       

Keep Happy Memories Alive

Keep happy memories around you because they will make you #Happy. I keep pictures of myself and my children close to my work area. My photo albums are not far away.

Send photos to family members, but be careful posting pictures online especially pictures of your children with all the pedophiles collecting these pictures today. I also kept all my daughter’s memorabilia from their schools and presented it to them when they were grown.  

Take Time for Family Projects

Sometimes the happiness comes from planning a family home project. I made sure my family had cakes, balloons, and cards for their birthdays. I even took pictures for 18 years of both my daughter’s birthdays. Family projects excited me especially when I knew everyone would get a kick out of the work I put in. 

Go Off the Beaten Path

Get your creative juices going by doing different things. Everyone has skills and talents which are of value to others so do things that excite you. Learn to cook, sew or shoot a gun. Create your own meetup.com group. 

Take Time to Be Silly

Let your silly-side shine through. Most people don’t know that I have a very ‘comedic side’ that I used to have in school growing up. As I get older and as life gets easier as a Senior, it is definitely coming back to me.  

Feel Right

Try to feel right by living the life you know you are supposed to be living. Don’t think you will be happier in the future than you are in the present.      

Choose Joy and Happiness

You have to wake up and choose to be happy. I do this when I spring out of bed every day. First thing I do is juice green foods which release ‘feel-good’ serotonin in my brain, which helps me feel good.  Then I go and work out, which releases ‘feel-good’ endorphins in my brain. So get a ‘feel-good’ routine for you and your family.  

Being happy can help you:
  • Be more productive.
  • Makes you more helpful.
  • Makes you more likable.
  • Makes you friendlier.
  • Makes you a better leader.
  • Makes you physically attractive.
What I did after listening to the audiobook “The Happiness Project” was to listen to it again for the second time. Then I recommended it to my two daughters and other people that I care deeply about. 
I also started a happiness box, which was recommended by the author. In this box, I place things that automatically make me  #Happy when I open it. 
Practice the steps in this article and share them with the people you care deeply about. Make this the year you stop being selfish and start sharing great information with the ones you love. Love yourself and become even happier this year. You deserve it! Good luck!!!
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


Simple Life RVing – Fabulous Fridays Promo – Take a Good Hard Look At Your Life

Simple Life RVing – Fabulous Fridays – Spring Is in the Air

Simple Life RVing – Fabulous Fridays – Making Friends on The Road


The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World

The Truth About the RV Industry 
What You Need To Know About Camping World
June 8, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Freelancer & Syndicated Columnist
This article was written in Jul. 2019 before I even got on the road to become a Nomad. In Oct. 2019, I decided I needed to go #VanLife instead of buying an RV.
My decision was based on the following:
-All the issues in the RV industry as you will see in this article.
-I wanted to be able to move fast.
-I wanted to be able to park anywhere a car could park.
-As a Speaker, Author and Trainer, teaching from the road, I needed to be able to go into neighborhoods especially subdivisions with very little hassle.
Three (3) years later (2022) — I am still very satisfied with my decision to buy a Van vs. an RV. Now I travel around the country teaching from the road in my 2019 Dodge Ram Promaster.
I can’t successfully write this article without first breaking down what has happened in the RV Industry and especially with Camping World, one of the largest RV dealerships in the country.
Everyone needs to be glued to Youtube especially if they are an RV or Motorhome “enthusiast,” or a person wanting to one day buy an RV. 
Watch the series of videos by Alan Warren, The RV Wingman, on a popular youtube RV show entitled “The RV Show USA,” who is a consumer advocate for RVers.
One of the best advocates in the RV industry is a newsletter at RVTravel.com, owned by Editor Chuck Woodbury, who has a list of monthly recalls in the RV industry.  The newsletter is the longest running and best newsletter about RVs anywhere. So subscribe today. 
Why Class Action Lawsuits Were Needed Against Camping World
Class Action lawsuits create changes in ‘policies and procedures’ and they gain major media attention. But how is this Camping World fiasco going to affect future sells of RVs? We all are hoping for the better.
Currently, there are 13 class actions against Camping World and several other individual complaints. Not only does it look like they are headed for bankruptcy, if RVers who bought from Camping World, don’t act fast they will lose even more thousands of dollars on their ESPs (Extended Warranty Protections). 
These fees can be up to around $6000 in some cases. Many RVers who did not buy through Camping World, still have these Good Sam’s memberships for road service and insurance so they too need to be concerned.
Once Camping World file for bankruptcy, which is right around the corner, RV owners who bought through Camping World will no longer have an opportunity to get this money back and don’t think because of Camping World’s ‘doom and gloom’, it will be the ideal time for you to buy through them — because it won’t. 
Understand that most of the RVs bought at Camping World is new. Camping World has the worst Customer Service for RVers out there — hands-down.
Not only do they go in and take over other RV national dealerships, but they also fire all the real ‘certified technicians’ and replace them with workers who are nothing more than ‘glorified’ handymen — according to Camping World Whistleblowers. 
And this is why when you need a repair with this company, it takes 3 months for them to get to you and another two months to order parts. 
Many facebook groups’ admins and moderators are trying their best to keep down all the ‘negative chatter’ on these forums in regards to Camping World, but this is the time for RVers to be ‘well-informed’ on the issues.
Those who bought RVs and Motorhomes through Camping World, need to apply for a refund on their ESPs (Extended Warranty Protections) before the company files for bankruptcy or before it’s too late. 
I am sure these admins and moderators on facebook and other forums are people who actually work or is connected to Camping World, but now is the time to educate all RV and Motorhome owners on what to look out for now and in the future, especially if the RV industry ever plan on getting back on track.
I believe because of the tenacity and boldness of the Class Action complainants to come forward, this will lead to an avalanche of current and future RV owners demanding better customer service and a better quality of RVs and Motorhomes.
In many states, the state’s Attorney Generals have had to get involved because of all the RV complaints so make sure you research the manufacturers and dealerships ahead of time on the website at www.BetterBusinessBureau.org. And don’t forget to look up online reviews and complaints at www.PissedConsumer.com
Camping World is encouraging buyers to finance through them instead of paying cash outright for an RV so they will be in a position to make more money on any deal.
They are even telling some buyers they have to finance through their dealerships instead of with their own credit unions or banks — and this is against the law. 
Many RVers trade in their RVs every 32 to 40 months, and that’s when many folks who bought at Camping World especially, find out for the first time how they were cheated by them.
One guy paid $12,000 for a camping trailer and 5 years later he still owed $25,000 on it. One lady said they quoted her a price of $53,000, but when she walked out she owed $75,000.
One person, a female, said she were prepared to pay thousands of dollars for an RV, over $200,000, but Camping World tried to charge her $20,000 for an ‘extended warranty.’
However, she ended up walking out and bought her RV somewhere else and paid $4,200 for a seven-year warranty with Wholesale Warranties, who supposedly always pay their claims. She said the warranty paid for itself in 3.5 years so this was another deal that Camping World lost because of their unethical practices.
Listen to the deposition of Marcus Lemonis, the owner of Camping World, (Part 1, Part 2), with his #SmugTestimony, as if what is happening at Camping World is not his fault. He has no shame for what he has done to people who have bought RVs there. He was supposedly thinking about running for President. I think not! RVers would have a field day with him. 
‘Wake Up Call’ for the RV Industry
What is happening with Camping World at this time was desperately needed. The RV industry really needs, aka “A Good Shakeup,” with back-to-back Class Actions, which would give them all something to think about.
We as consumers must demand “better customer service” and a “better quality of work” from any industry especially the RV industry. Let this be a “Wake Up Call” to everyone who works in the industry and who plan on buying RVs or Motorhomes in the future.
Like in the car industry where cars today are not made with as ‘good of quality’ as they were years ago, the RV industry is no different. However, the RV industry needs to be regulated like the car industry with #QualityControl.
There is no competition in the RV industry. There is no one or no other groups or countries challenging the RV industry and this is why RV manufacturers are finding a way to continue to make these poorly-made, cheap RVs.
It takes 3 to 4 days to build an RV and two and a half months for repairs so this alone should tell you something about where and how RVs are built.
Some of the RV factories only have 3 service reps because most of their workforce doesn’t actually use computers. Again, most RVs are made in Indiana and who lives in this area? There are big Amish communities in these areas that are not computer-savvy.
At the end of the day, everyone would like to purchase an RV with GOOD QUALITY, but this still won’t guarantee that you won’t have issues with it, whether you bought it NEW or USED, especially because they are coming off the assembly line SO FAST today. 
This is why it’s extremely important to hire an NVRIA.org Inspector up front on NEW and USED RVs.
And because many industries like the RV industry are hiring their family, friends, and neighbors on these jobs through nepotism, cronyism, and favoritism and refuse to fire them for shabby work, QUALITY CONTROL has been thrown out the door.
As a matter of fact, the CUSTOMER SERVICE and the REPAIR ISSUE is so bad in the RV industry, many RVers are jumping aboard Class Actions lawsuits filed against Camping World and I believe it’s just a matter of time before they go after other companies besides Camping World.
Also, I believe because of all the problems in the RV industry, especially with the HIGH REPAIR COSTS, many travel enthusiasts are skipping the headaches and just engaging in #VanLife instead.

RV Industry – Opportunities for Growth

Many have said the Baby Boomer generation was the best generation. As a Baby Boomer myself, I believe this to be true. Some have regular monthly incomes so they have been able to go RVing with their grandchildren and other family members and just relax — as they see more than just their backyards. 
Many Baby Boomers have been able to retire from jobs they held for 30 years so they have monthly pensions and monthly Social Security checks. Because of Baby Boomers, there is always a fresh supply of customers to buy RVs. 
As many employers today allow their employees to work remotely from their homes, the average age for RVers is 45 and these individuals are tech-savvy. However, today also many middle-aged women are fastly becoming the largest group of RV consumers out there.
Many Generation X’s, Millennials and Generation Z’s are being born into the RV industry and are benefitting from the growth and opportunities in this industry.  
The RV industry is not as dismal as many people think. There is a lot of opportunities in the RV industry for growth. However, this growth needs to be regulated. 
Many travelers still want to go RVing, not just as weekenders, and despite what has happened with Camping World, they still want to become ‘Full-Time RVers’.  
You have industries like Nascar that uses campers and RVs during their events so the demand for RVs and motorhomes will never decrease. 
The owners of Cracker Barrel Restaurants and Bass Pro Shops, who also owns Cabelas, who are RVers themselves, are offering up their national parking lots for RVers to park there overnight for FREE after their establishments close for the day. 
Other business establishments like HarvestHosts.com (665 Wineries, Breweries, Farms, and more) and Casinos (CasinoCamper.com) have partnered with the RV industry to gain customers and clients to build and grow their businesses so you can also park at these establishments for FREE, but is invited to partake in their services and products. Many other businesses are looking to also go this route. 
Many homeowners, especially those who register at www.BoondockersWelcome.com, who own land is welcoming RVers with open arms to park on their land and enjoy themselves for FREE. Other landowners are also looking to turn their land into hangouts for RVers. 
Despite the Camping World fiasco, many campgrounds and parks are being built because of all the interests in traveling Full-Time in RVs. There are tons of jobs being built and a major need for RV technicians (also called ‘mechanics’) and inspectors. 
Also, there are many opportunities to open up training schools or academies to educate everyone on the RV industry – how to buy; how to fix; how to inspect; etc. 
An RV Training Academy in Athens, TX – https://nrvta.com is a training academy outside of Dallas for people who own RVs. They will also help RV technicians and RV Inspectors get their certifications and start their own businesses. These are great business opportunities for all men and women. 
The training is a 5-day LIVE CLASS offered by this couple. They also offer an online class at a lower rate ($300). They even offer an RV park for RVers and for those arriving in cars, they have other places for them to stay or RVs for them to rent — while they attend classes. Many new potential RVers attend the classes even before they buy an RV.
This group is even working with FEMA (government contracts) to inspect trailers that they wanted to give to people who had experienced damages from hurricanes. This is what you call a lucrative career. This is how real business owners think and anyone can get into these types of jobs or businesses.
It’s imperative that we take #BabySteps and open up these schools and academies ourselves. We need to learn to do these repairs ourselves on our own RVs, even if we have ‘extended warranties.’
Or the only other choice RVers will have as they travel throughout the country is to google “RV Repair Shops” or “RV Mobile Repairers” in the area and take a chance on these repairers being ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘ethical’. 
Living in Cars, Vans and RVs Can Be What We All Need
With many families falling victims to eating GMOs  (aka “Processed Foods”) today, which turns off the brain, and are being evicted from their homes at an alarming rate, many should investigate the idea of living in cars, vans, and RVs. 
So again, this just might be the PERFECT TIME to demand change in the RV industry. Until the government put their hands down and say they will do better by all people, by first of all giving them a decent ‘living wage,” we have to look for other solutions to house, clothe and feed people.
Cities in California, where there is a major homeless problem is even declaring ‘war on the homeless’ and forbidding them to camp out in their cars, vans and even RVs overnight. Many car and van dwellers are turning to rest stops since being kicked out of many areas, especially in California.

My Dilemma

Personally, I am really upset at how Camping World treated their customers and clients. I am within 6 months of buying my FIRST RV. So the BIG QUESTION of the day is who else or what other RV dealerships have the same type of UNETHICAL PRACTICES as Camping World?

This dilemma has caused me to rethink my future decision to become an RV owner until I can get better clarifications on how to move forward. Meanwhile, as a former federal Whistleblower myself, at www.TheCathyHarrisStory.com, I do plan on supporting an RV industry Whistleblower, Kevin Frazer, Founder and Owner of Cheyenne Camping Center.

Another ‘outspoken critic’ against Camping World and unethical practices in the RV industry is the CEO of RV Sales of Broward, Gigi Stetler, who is the author of the book “Unstoppable.”

Not only did her RV company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL go up against Camping World, but she went even further and created “The RV Advisor,” (a group similar to AngiesList.com) to protect the rights of RVers. 

The RV Advisor is here to educate RV consumers before and after they purchase an RV. Their goal is to be the #1 resource for RV owners.

This is why they promote proper operating practices and maintenance of RVs, provide virtual mechanical support, and have reviewed the leading service providers’ programs to offer their members the best options at the lowest prices.

Not only is Gigi available to look at your RV contract from other RV dealerships, but she has even stated on “The RV Show USA,” that her company will fix an RV’s emergency the same day and if it is not an emergency, the next day. No other RV dealership has this type of service. At least I have not run across it in my research.

There is another ethical RV dealership,  a mom and pop business, RVStation.com with owner Cannon Combs, who has 7 locations in Texas (one in Oklahoma), who is offering FREE 2 hour monthly RV classes the second Wednesday of each month, even if you did not buy your RV with them.

They will be highlighted often on The RV Show USA. So again, there is a MAJOR NEED and NICHE out there for RV manufacturers, dealerships and even employees who are now Whistleblowers in the RV industry — to step up to the plate and set up these ‘ethical businesses’ to further educate RVers.

So between Kevin Frazer at Cheyenne Camping Center in Iowa, Gigi Stetler with RV Sales of Broward in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Cannon Combs at RVStation.com in Texas, what I really need to do is probably buy my RV from one of these dealerships — and call it a day — especially since all of them seem to be doing right by RVers and is not afraid to go up against Corporate RV giants like Camping World — #EthicalAndBrave.

Just know up-front what you are getting into when you purchase an RV. There is no such thing as purchasing the perfect RV. When you settle on an RV, it will probably only have about 80% of what you really want in it. 
Again, be ready to wait days, weeks and months for repairs, especially in the summertime when everyone is out vacationing and because of the SHORTAGE of RV repair shops or mobile RV repairers. 
The goal is to learn to fix these repairs yourself even if you have ‘extended warranties’ or start RV repair and inspection businesses. You can read my first business book to understand how business really works. The book is entitled “How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide To Starting Your Own Business” (Series 2).
The book discusses everything from ‘start to finish’ if you truly want to become a successful business owner and like all my books at AngelsPress.com, they can be read by 12-year olds and above.
Follow my youtube channel at “Simple Life RVing” www.YouTube.com/SimpleLifeRVing
I am also available to come to your area to teach about the NEW Gesara banking system, which is getting ready to be implemented globally.
You can read my articles and watch videos at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com or www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com. If you have any questions or to set up events in your city email me at AskCathy@DearCathy.com. 
Follow me and support my new blog and network:
Watch Below Videos To Learn the Truth About Camping World 
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.


A New Way of Living – How To Live ‘The Good Life’ in a Car, Van, RV, Bus, or Boat

A New Way of Living: How To Live ‘The Good Life’ in a Car, Van, RV, Bus, or Boat
  • Phase 1Getting The Right Mindset to Full-Time RV
  • Phase 2 – Purchasing the Perfect RV
  • Phase 3 – Packing Up Essential RV Supplies and Hitting the Road
May 30, 2019
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist
Hi everyone:
All it takes is one GREAT IDEA idea to change or transform your life. If you can pick up this idea and motivate yourself into action — your entire life can change in an instant. 
Pick Up the Torch Younger Generations
Some of you will read this article and say Cathy Harris has totally flipped her mind and others will say, she is a GOD for passing on this wonderful info and action plan. 
As a  #BabyBoomer  (at age 62), and as an elder, I am trying desperately to  PASS THE TORCH to the next generation as I advise them on some POSSIBLE OPTIONS for rebuilding their lives.
Therefore, stop and think logically and check out this ‘New Way of Living’.  Many people today especially on social media are too opinionated and they ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’. They refuse to listen to any good ideas or strategies to move their family and communities forward. 
Wake Up Before It’s Too Late
Hear me out on this  NEW WAY OF LIVING that can enhance all our lives. I haven’t owned a TV in quite a while and this is why I have been able to make good decisions in my life. 
Unlike most of you that watch TV and allow all that noise to get into your head, while you are bombarded with daily negative messages, I choose peace, harmony, and tranquility throughout my day.
Today we have to do more than just sit around hoping that Donald Trump get impeached or that we elect another president that will be about the people. 
The way the world is going today, it’s about to be  
#SurvivalOfTheFittest.  We need to look within our ownselves for the answers and take PROACTIVE STEPS  to build our own lives. For some, it will take #BabySteps so let’s be patient with each other as we embrace a NEW WAY OF LIVING. 
My Story – Born To Be A Wanderer (aka “Nomad”)
To keep excitement and adventure in my life, I believe in change. This is why as I age gracefully, I keep exploring what life has to offer and keep reinventing myself. 
On Jan. 2, 2013, I left Atlanta, GA after 20 years. Because I wanted to take advantage of my expertise, I created the”Cathy Harris Humanitarian Tour” and visited over 15 states. 
I put my belongings in storage, packed my car up and got on the open road. I drove around the country exploring the sites, meeting wonderful individuals and groups I had met online over the years, and I held these exciting
seminars and
workshops around my health and business initiatives. 
I felt like I  could no longer breathe in Atlanta.  I felt like the city was taking my ‘creative juices’ from me and if I did not leave, it would take my very soul.  You see — next to where I grew up at — 2 hours outside Atlanta for 19 years, it was the longest time I had stayed in ONE SPOT. 
Ever since I was in the military, I have always had that #Wandering spirit inside of me. So my entire body was aching to leave, aching to explore and I was just aching to show up fully in my life. 
The fact that I had already lost 15 of my closest friends at the ages of 45 and 46, including my ex-husband — my daughter’s father, I just knew it was time to close that chapter of my life and start another. 
Because I had driven a government vehicle on my job for over 20 years when I retired in 2005, I was very comfortable behind the wheel of a vehicle and even had had these recurring dreams from time to time that I was a race car driver in another life. 
Being on the road is the only thing that made sense to me.  That year on the road was a great lesson in “humanity.”  I realized because of my love for ALL PEOPLE — no matter what I did for the rest of my life — that I had to put #HumanityFirst. 
So now in  5 months I will be leaving the Orlando, FL area after one year and going on to the NEXT STAGE of my life — which as you should have guessed by now — back on the road.
My New Lifestyle in 3 Phrases (Phase I, Phase 2, Phase 3)

My new priority will be teaching on the road so what I am promoting is a NEW LIFESTYLE, A NEW WAY OF  LIVING, especially for the population that can be MOBILE. 

In 6 months to a year, it is my ACTION PLAN to become a  Full-Time RVer and travel and teach around the U.S., while I explore some great sites, see my family and old friends, and just gain the freedom that I so desire. 
This is truly living “The Good Life.” You too can live 
#TheGoodLife in a car, van, RV, bus, boat, etc. and travel around the world and back again. 
As I present  this #MinimalistLifestyle in 3 phrases
(Phase IPhase 2, and Phase 3, my NEW BLOG –SimpleLifeRVing.com will break down this ENTIRE PROCESS for you. Study it then go out and conduct your own research because you do have options today. 
Topics I will discuss while I assist RVers, Car, Van, Bus, and Boat Dwellers, other Minimalists and YOU on the road include:
  • Minimalism
  • Health/Gardening
  • Business 
These are my Phases as I see them:
  • Phase 1: Getting the Mindset of Going Full-Time RVing. 
  • Phase 2: Finding the Perfect RV.
  • Phase 3: Packing the RV and Getting On the Road 
My 3 movements – a  black women’s movement” The Essential Women’s Movement for African American Women,”  my  organic food movement Virtual Organic Garden Clubs” and my  business movement “Mobile Learning Clubs” will be downgraded from movements to initiatives, which  means all of these will still be very important in my  teachings  and  lessons  as I move on to another platform and teach from the road. 
Action Plan for Your Health
GMOs (aka “Processed Foods”), foods that have been altered from their original state or foods that you buy in packages, bags, cans, jars, etc. have completely devastated most cities today. 
GMOs, which have no #NutritionalValue especially causes #BrainIssuessuch as mental health issues, autism and babies born with smaller brains, bipolar disorder, depression, Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s, etc. and many other issues including nutritional deficiencies, immune problems, food allergies, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, blindness, accelerated aging – just to name a few. 
Even though at one time GMOs were mostly grown in the midwest, now they are everywhere. GMOs are grown in over 50% of America’s crops. Many, especially farmers, believe that figure can even be as high as 70%. 
Not only are they on your plate, they are ‘airborne’, which means you are breathing in GMOs when you go outside your home every day. To counteract this or to keep these poisons and toxins exiting your body, it’s important to eat good, clean ORGANIC foods, drink good water, take daily supplements, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest, while you engage in a regular detoxification program. 
Remember that EVERY CITY has a holistic or natural community. You don’t have to live in these areas, but it’s important to switch over to eating ORGANIC FOODS so look for these communities in your city or set these up your own self.
If you are sick – get better and get out here on the road with us and remember being out here will allow you extra funds to pay off bills — while you save money and eat #OrganicFoods.
Read more about GMOs in all 6 of my health books
at  AngelsPress.com and make sure you sign up for Jeffrey Smith’ e-newsletter at www.ResponsibleTechnology.org. Information is out there. It’s not hidden under a rock.  
New Health Risk Today – Mandatory Measles Vaccinations
Since GMOs are not taking families out fast enough, now the government (also the medical and pharmaceutical industry) is trying to make everyone take another measles’ vaccination. 
First, it was announced a few months ago in several media outlets that social media would no longer educate anyone on vaccinations because they say the information being put out it is not correct.
Now you see they were setting everyone up for this NEW MEASLES’ VACCINATIONS  to further take out the population.
The government is attempting to make adults born before 1989to take another measles vaccination. 
This includes my two daughters and it could very well be ‘the end of the end’ for many people who are not paying attention.   
I am pretty sure that the government (also the medical and pharmaceutical industry) are working to make these new vaccinations a requirement for those that receive state or federal benefits such as Veterans, Medicaid and Medicare recipients, etc.
When I left Texas 7 months ago, tons of folks were fleeing California to Texas because of their mandatory vaccination laws for children. 
Texas has a strong advocacy group that advocates against vaccinations so EVERY STATEneed to form a group similar to — “Texans for Vaccine Choice.” They were successful many times in keeping politicians who were pro-vaccines off the ballot.
The government is even preparing to send nurses to vaccinate adults in their homes. Vaccinations contain heavy metals, which renders your ability to use your brain or render you #Brainless (the same as GMOs, which contains ‘heavy metals’ from pesticides and herbicides) so it’s important to understand how to remove these heavy metals from your body if you are forced to take these vaccinations. Read my informative article entitled “How To Gain Back Your Mental Clarity After Eliminating Heavy Metals.”
Plan for the Next Recession
We have all heard the stories about how Amazon.com, Google.com, and Facebook.com employees are sleeping in their cars because they are not being paid enough money to be able to afford a roof over their heads. 
So know up-front that this article is not trying to glamorize sleeping in a car, truck, van or RV, especially if you don’t have funds to fix it up so that you can live there comfortably.
However, just know there are people sleeping in cars, trucks, vans, RVs, etc. that are traveling around the world and back again and building new #Minimalism communities so these individuals are quite happy and content with their lives. The goal is to always be planning for your future — not just for Saturday night.
For many of you who are not planning for another recession — you should be. Many believe it’s right around the corner. I witnessed the last recession first-hand in 2008, when I lived in Atlanta, GA and I will never forget the devastation and pain in the eyes of families — who had no action plan.
Many families never recovered from the 2008 financial crash. Our first way back to healing from this 2008 atrocity is to get Trump out of office — who has unleashed nothing but a trail of turmoil, which has sent families on a downward spiral of racism, depression, and hopelessness. 
After many families received  bank notices that banks were taking back their homes in 2008, instead of planning accordingly and putting their belongings in storage, many were so distraught and devastated that they just walked out of their homes leaving behind their beloved pets
(cats, dogs, etc.) along with other prized possessions.
On one side of the street there were lines of empty houses owned by banks and on the other side were tons of families sleeping in cars, parks, etc. 
Because many families were so ashamed of their situations, they did not even bother to put their belongings in storage and reach out to family members and friends — until the turmoil passed. 
When bank agents inspected the homes, there were tons of dead animals and personal belongings including memorabilia and other lifetime achievement awards including family photos albums left behind. 
Banks then spent not just days, but weeks and months holding garage sales to get rid of these families’ prized possessions left behind.  Unlike the people that I will discuss today in this article, who are living in cars, vans, RVs, buses, etc. and who have ACTION PLANS for their lives, these individuals and families had NO ACTION PLAN so many went straight from their homes to live on streets, park benches, etc.
Action Plan for Homeowners – 47% of Your Take Home Pay is for Rent or Mortgage
The average American spends  47% of their  TAKE
HOME PAY for a roof over their head. Houses, condos, townhouses, duplexes, and apartments are TRAPSthat we fall into. 
So if you can knock out that 47%and become
Full-Time RVers or even live in a Car, Truck, Van, Bus, Boat, etc., just think how great you can live and how you can see all the beautiful sites, make great friends along the way and have access to all the ORGANIC FOODS you want. Some RVers are even growing foods, especially herbs, which can take the place of toxic spices, inside their RVs.

Many have chosen to live this minimalist lifestyle after first being impressed with the  Tiny House

movement. I know that’s what got me to this point. However, tiny houses are not built for extensive travel — and I want to travel.
If you own a home, then your NUMBER ONE GOAL should be to grow your own foods in front and backyard gardens, and/or in pots and containers on rooftops, balconies, patios, porches, in your kitchen and other rooms with grow lights. 
Singles or couples should stop buying homes with
Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs)so they can grow foods in front yards also. 
If you are underwater on your house and you are literally dying from the pressure to keep your home, stay on a job that you no longer enjoy, stay healthy, pay off bills, and/or to make it from day to day, then you are the group that seriously need to look at this NEW  ACTION PLAN . 
Living in Communal Houses
Also, check out Communal Houses as a place to live and educate your family and community. Sometimes these Communal Houses can hold up to 8 to 10 people or more at a time (not all family members). 
Even if you don’t live there, many have rooms for rent to highlight your own natural and holistic products and services and many provide classes on what to grow and when to grow it. So if these are not in your community, you need to build them.
What Gentrification Taught Us
Gentrification should have taught everyone, especially African Americans, that the world cares nothing about the challenges and struggles of common people and this is why you need to get aboard with this  NEW PLAN OF ACTION to live “The Good Life” in a car, van, RV, bus, boat, etc. 
Gentrification has already displaced many black families in this country. Many people had to move across the country or even to another country after their communities were gentrified.
We no longer have communities that support us. We don’t know our neighbors anymore so why not give this new  #Minimalist lifestyle a try? Let’s create our own ideal communities.
The Reality of Job Loss and Homelessness
There is no job security anymore. When many employees are fired from jobs, many don’t even know they can go to the Department of Labor (DOL.gov) offices’ in their cities and draw unemployment for 20 to 26 weeks in most states until they can find another job. 
However, many states have stortened the length of time that they will give out these unemployment benefits, especially because of ‘anti-family’ politicians, which you need to vote out of office. 
Because of the terminations, in many cases, #WrongfulTerminations, many will be evicted from apartments within 30 days and homes within 2 to 3 months. 
Remember what just happened to federal employees when they had to go TWO MONTHS without pay. Many died and others who had disabilities, these disabilities went from being a TEMPORARY disability to a PERMANENT disability.
When many families lose their homes, they will go from their apartments or homes to living on a friend’s or relatives’ couch or even in a relationship with a man or women that they care nothing about — just to make ends meet.
Many will even turn to prostitution or selling drugs or start committing crimes. And many just END UP HOMELESS on the streets — unless they have some type of ACTION PLAN. This is the action plan!
Police Will Watch You Either Way
The police is watching black families whether they live in a ‘sticks and brick’ dwelling or is living in a car, van, RV, bus, boat, etc. so I am pretty sure that many black men or even black women don’t want to be behind the wheel of a vehicle because of racial profiling and police brutality. 
However, it still beats ending up with mental illness, begging and homeless on the streets. Just know up-front that the police will target you if are a black male with long hair, especially locs and dreads, when your pants are sagging, etc. so make yourself presentable and know the CORRECT WAY to interact with the police. Read my book “Police Interactions 101: How To Interact With the Police in Your Car, On the Streets, In Your Home.” Every 10 to 13-year old black male especially need to read the book. 
People Who Live in Cars Aren’t Always Homeless
Think about trading in your car for a van (minivan, cargo van, camper van or another larger vehicle, etc.) or buy an RV, new or used, from (RVTrader.comeBayCraigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or a dealership) and get a job on the road before it’s too late. 
People who live in cars are not homeless – not always. Today college students live in cars and vans because they can’t afford to pay for housing. They wash up in dorms even though they don’t live there so why don’t we call them homeless?
There are avenues and ways that you can fix your car up, especially larger cars like SUVs, minivans, cargo vans and trailers, old bread trucks, old horse trailers, old semis, buses, boats, etc., and have ALL THE AMENITIES of an RV and you can live there while you pay off bills, travel the world, or just figure out your next move. You can also have a PROFESSIONAL Van Build and/or become a #VanDweller. 
This is when you pay a carpenter and/or electricianto help you set up your van so you can live there. They have #VanBuilds all the time so look for these groups on facebook, youtube or at  CheapRVLiving.com on youtube.com.
Many people who live in cars or are van dwellers are not homeless. They are living this way because they want to live this way.  So don’t feel sorry for them. Instead, come out here on the road and join their lifestyle #Minimalism.   
Many just want to live an #Adventurous and #Mobile lifestyle. They are ‘taking the bull by the horn’ (to do something difficult in a brave and determined way) and creating a life that they can truly love. 
For the rest of their lives and on their death beds, they will have a brain bank full of memories with stories to share with the people they love. 
Jobs and Businesses on The Road
What we are doing is redefining the “American Dream.” This is the American Dream on wheels. Not only do we need to redefine the American Dream, but we need to redefine #Success. Many of us are successful, but we don’t have to share it with the entire world. 
What would it take for a person today to head out on the road and never work again? Well if you have some type of paycheck (retirement, Social Security, disability, savings, etc.) coming in, then you can do this very easily.
The RV, Car, Van and Bus Dwelling community is desperately seeking more carpenters, electricians, RV mechanics, RV Inspectors, etc.
You could make a killing in these fields by catering to the RV community, Car, Van, Bus Dwellers, and the Tiny House movement, which are EXPANDING
RAPIDLY every day as many families realizes this is the best way to live — #Minimalism, #Simplicity.
There are plenty of jobs all over the U.S. If you own a car, van, RV, bus, boat, etc. You can travel around the U.S. to all types of jobs so stop being tied down to your city or a particular area. 
Many are 
seasonal jobs where you can work 2, 3 or 6 months out of the year and use the rest of your time to travel and see some wonderful sites and just have fun.
Don’t wait until your current situation (you get too depressed or sick to take action) get so serious that you won’t be in a position to set yourself up on the road.  Check out these remote jobs and business links  in my NEW BLOG at “SimpleLifeRVing.com – Phase 1.” 
Bring Your Animals and Homeschool Your Kids On The Road
When you are on the road, the goal is to have all the comforts of home so feel free to bring your entire family and pets with you on the road. Your pets will feel right at home and will have plenty of room to roam free in nature. 
Not only can you live in a car, van, RV, on a bus, boat, etc., but you can 
homeschool your kids while you live out there and travel — with very little training.
Many use the Bob Jones homeschool program, but there are many other great homeschooling programs for you and your family on the road. Your kids will have first-hand experience because they are out there on the road with you — #Learning, #CreatingMemories, #HavingFun.
Plenty of FREE Land To Live On
Tired of driving – by the way there are plenty of FREE LAND in the U.S. (Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, California, and other states) to settle down on — where you can park your car, van, RV, bus, etc. for FREE, while you build a new life for yourself.
The land is called BLM.gov (Bureau of Land Management) land or National Forest land, which is owned by the government, however, you can live on this land for FREE. 
A majority of the BLM land is in the west, but there is land in other parts of the country also.
Check out the website and today because of technology, they have apps to help you find this FREE LAND such as FreeCampsites.net, Allstays, RV Parky, Campendium — just to name a few(More at Phase3)
You can live on this land by yourself or park around others who have already chosen this type of lifestyle.  There are plenty of caravans and convoys
all over the U.S. for women and men to be able to create their ideal communities.

SimpleLifeRVing.com – Phase 3 is the FINAL PHASE of our 3-step action plan to get you on the road living “The Good Life,”  features a list of apps to use on the road to find this FREE LAND, RV parks and campgrounds with and without hookups, and other areas to park your car, van, RV, bus, etc.  

Look Within Yourself for The Answers
Again, “We are the ones we have been waiting on” — and we need to look for our answers within. Life is about taking risks and chances. We, as a society, have become so complacent with our lives and even fearful of taking chances. 
We need to stop allowing SOCIETY to dictate
how we live our lives.  You are here for a reason and it’s not to hoard a lot of physical stuff so always be thinking #Minimalism. 
I don’t know about you but I am ready to join 
ANOTHER COMMUNITY, a #Kinder and more #Brave community of people who are truly living #TheGoodLife in their cars, vans, RVs, on buses, boats, etc. Just know up front that none of us are homeless, we just chose to live this lifestyle — #MinimalistLifestyle101, #Simplicity101.
See you in January at the Rubber Tramp Rendevous (RTR)in Quartzsite, AZ. These events,  Women RTR (Jan. 4-8, 2020) and the RTR  (Jan. 8-18, 2020) were founded by Bob Wells, a true visionary at 
Make sure you view his website and watch all his interviews on  youtube.com with others embracing the #MinimalistMovement and truly living #TheGoodLife in their cars, vans, RVs, buses, etc. 
Look for my upcoming youtube channel soon entitled  “Simple Life RVing” with Cathy Harris. Also, look for another non-fiction book -#27- “Simple Life RVing: How To Embrace Minimalism and Live ‘The Good Life’ by Living in a Car, Van, RV, or on a Bus.” 
Keep in mind if you attend the yearly RTR in Quartzsite, AZ, there will #WorkamperJobs that will be hiring on the spot so there is a good chance you will walk away with a job. Again, other jobs are posted in our FIRST  blog post at –  SimpleLifeRVing.com – Phase 1.

Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at  www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com .


List of Essential RV Supplies for RV Newbies

List of Essential and Non-Essential RV Supplies for Newbies
  • New Bed for RV: If you purchased an older RV, no one really wants to sleep on another person’s mattress if they can help it or if you are not satisfied with the bed in your RV, many RVers have taken the bed from their homes. Also some of the beds RVers are buying include nectarcasper, etc. 
  • Hypervent Moisture Barrier: Get hypervent moisture barrier to prevent moisture under your bed in cool or damp weather. You should not have an issue in the summertime. 
  • Sick Pack: Make sure you have chicken soup, crackers, and other supplies in case you get sick, especially if you are a solo RVer. You probably won’t be in a position to go into town and get supplies so it’s important to have these supplies on hand as you take a few days to rest and get better. 
  • First Aid Kit: Just like in a home, it’s important to have a good first aid kit in your RV.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Make sure they work well. Buy at least 3 and place throughout your RV. 
  • Spare Fuses: When your fuses go out and you are out there all alone, it’s important to have extra fuses to replace them with.   
  • Buy Items for Safety: Think about buying Guns, Tasers, Pepper Spray, and Bear Spray if you plan on venturing into bear country. The Bear Spray can even be used on people. Guns ARE ALLOWED on BLM land.
  • New Keys/Deadbolt Locks: Travel trailers and fifth wheels keys are very similar. Many of the baggage area keys, especially in older model RVs, use the SAME KEYS so it might be a good idea to have new keys made for your baggage area and front doors. Many RV doors today have a 4 digit code. To be on the safe side, you should get two deadbolt locks for your RV door, which locks on both sides.  
  • New Tires: According to most RVers, the first step to take after buying your RV, is to purchase new tires for it. Michelin and Good Year are the best brands and they will run anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 depending on your RV. 
  • Mud Flaps for Tires: These front and back mud flaps can save the wear and tear on your RV. 
  • Tire Pressure Gauge: It’s important to have the right air pressure in your towed vehicle and RV so check out this item. You also want to get your RV weighed at a weigh station after it is fully-loaded, to make sure it’s not overweight.    
  • Automatic Tire Pressure Monitoring System: This $500 investment is well worth it according to many RVers, but for newbies, it might need to be added to the non-essential list.         
  • Tire Extenders: Cost is $350. Add a valve stem extension and stabilizer to your inside dual wheel to make checking your air pressure or adding a tire monitor sensor easy.          
  • Red Anderson Levelers and/or Level Mate Pro with the App (for 5th Wheels and Trailers): It’s important to level off your RV after parking so you don’t damage the refrigerator or feel uncomfortable inside when walking throughout the RV. It can be quick and efficient by using these items.   
  • Wheel Chalk: Make sure you check out this item for your tires.                  
  •  Wheel or Tire Covers: If you have a towed vehicle to travel back and forth in and your RV will be parked for a while, make sure you protect your tires with wheel covers.            
  • Side Mirrors: You might need upgrades if you don’t have electrical side mirrors. They need to be electrical more than manual because on bumps they can get out of shape and it might be too dangerous, especially at night, to exit the vehicle to fix them.
  • Backup Cameras: Many newer RVs should come with a backup camera. The best backup cameras are wireless cameras. Some cameras can be added to your rearview mirrors and others you can lay in the middle of two front seats. It’s usually too big to place on the dashboard.      
  • Emergency Orange Triangle Cones: In case of a breakdown, it’s imperative to have these orange emergency cones. They also have the collapsible cones for easy storage.    
  • Garmin 770 GPS: Before you venture too far if your RV does not come with a Garmin 770 GPS so you can put the height and length of your RV in it to make sure you avoid low-clearance bridges and narrow roads, then you need to buy it. You also need to add the length of the tow vehicle. Cost is around $300. However, many RVers choose to use the Rand McNally Trucker’s App or the Co-pilot app, so check out all of these.     
  • Auto Code Reader: It’s great to have one of these just in case your engine light comes on. We know that many auto supply stores like Auto Zones, will check your engine and give you a reading if your engine light comes on in your car, but for RVs, it’s important to carry this item with you.    
  • Weather Radio: You need a good, quality radio with a weather band. The good thing about RVing is you can move around to avoid bad weather so it will be extremely important to keep up with the weather, especially during hurricane season.       
  • RV Power Adapters: Always use these to protect your electrical system in your RV. They are also called “dog bones.” You will need at least 3 (20, 30 and 50 amp).                       
  • Surge Protector: Surge Guard 34850 Portable Model with LCD Display – 50 Amp. This plug into your electrical outlet before you plug in at RV parks so you won’t fry your RV circuit.     
  • weBoost Drive 4G-X 470510 Cell Phone Signal Booster, Cell Signal Booster for Car & Truck: Boosts 4G LTE Cell Signal. If you don’t plan on being at libraries, coffee shops, and other places with wi-fi, then you want to invest in these. A 17 ft. antenna will go as far as 300 miles away. They also have the weBoost for home and office. However, before buying this expensive item, check out the section on Cell Phone and Internet in Phase 3.               
  • MiMo Antenna: This antenna is by Netgear and it can be better than the weBoost package to help with your data when hooking up with hotspots.
  • Mr. Buddy Prophane Heater: This is a popular heater with RVers and Van Dwellers. Many RVers uses Mr. Buddy Prophane Heaters, especially if they are constantly in cold weather. It comes in 3 sizes. Sometimes RVers rather run these portable heaters than their inside heat, which sometimes goes out and can be quite expensive to fix. These heat up pretty quick, but make sure the RV is vented if you use this heater.       
  • Olympian Wave 3 Heater: This heater will save money on propane. Some say they are better than the Mr. Buddy heaters because they space out your heat better and you can run them all the time. They also will shut off if they tip over.      
  • Gas Leak Sniffer Detector: This is a methane propane combustible natural gas leak sniffer detector. This detector allows the detection of leaks in hard-to-reach and confined spaces. You need a carbon dioxide and a propane detector in your RV. This is a must. Many RVs might come with these detectors.     
  • Rubber Gloves: You need these along with shoe covers and protective glasses for emptying your gray or black tank.     
  • Bleach/Sanitation Spray: Use these also for black tank dumping. Sanitize the faucet with beach spray when dumping the gray and black tank. 
  • Camco Sewer Extension: This extends the attachment height of your 4-in-1 adapter 3″ for recessed dump stations.  It comes with one pre-attached lug and bayonet fitting with locking rings. 
  • Drain Hose: Many times this comes in a kit with hose support.       
  • Camco 20ft Sidewinder RV Sewer Hose Support: They are made with sturdy lightweight plastic that won’t creep closed. It holds hoses in place.    
  • Rhino Blaster: Camco RhinoFLEX 20ft RV Sewer Hose Kit, Includes Swivel Fitting and Translucent Elbow with 4-In-1 Dump Station Fitting, Storage Caps Included, Frustration-Free Packaging (39742). This shoots water up to the black hose. Make sure you keep tanks closed until you are ready to dump because you can get a fly manifestation in there. Cost is $18.    
  • Fresh Water Hose: Get the Zero-G 25 feet. Buy two of them — long and short in length. You should not use the popular green water hoses for gardening. Camco has a 50 ft. drinking water hose. It’s 20 percent thicker than standard water hoses.     
  • Water Filters: Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector greatly reduces bad taste, odors, chlorine and sediment in drinking water (40043). The water coming from city water has hard water so even if you buy your own drinking water, you really don’t want this water in your sinks or showers.           
  • Pressure Regulator with Gauge: This connects to water pressure. Use a water filter and turn on water and flush it out.      
  • RV Toilet Paper: You can’t use household toilet paper for RVs. You need one that will breakdown quicker such as Scott (Rapid-Dissolving) for RVs and Boats. Many RVers even chooses not to put their toilet paper in toilets after use in fear of having some type of septic issue.     
  • Porta Pak: Get this dissolvent for your toilet to help everything break down quicker. It goes down your kitchen sink at least a day before dumping gray and black tanks.   
  • Garmin inReach Explorer +: You can use this hand-held GPS when you travel off the beaten path when hiking. Cost is $449.             
  • ResQLink: This is a ONE-TIME personal locator beacon. Some have a monthly fee, but you might not need all that. It’s made for ONE TIME USE only. They can see through the satellite and send out help. Only use in case of emergency (injury on trail, danger from an animal or human, etc.) Cost is $279.99.



  • Webetop Portable Power Rechargeable Inverter Battery Generator: This is 155Wh, 42000mAh, 100W. If when starting out you are not in the position to get solar, a house battery or generators, you can charge this rechargeable inverter while you drive and it will stay charged for several days for use with your computers, phones, and other household gadgets.     
  • Solar Panels on Roof: Most Van Dwellers have 200 watts and most RVers have at least 400 watts. Remember these can go out and they have to be cleaned so it’s better to have different sets along with attachments. They are even starting to make solar panels that are 325 watts. Check out Wind & Sun in Arizona, which has some of the cheapest solar rates.         
  • Portable or Mobile Solar Panels: You can place solar panels outside while placing your RV in the shade. Then plug it into your battery. It charges all day long in the sun.           
  • Rechargeable Lithium Batteries: You can use it to run C-pack. It has regular ports so you can plug in regular items. Plug it right into the cigarette lighter while you drive. When it gets down to 8% an alarm goes off. It will recharge everything for a week before you have to recharge it again. It’s cheaper than having solar put on roof. It’s $299.99.    
  • Motion Detector Solar Power Security Camera: This will focus on your front door and the surrounding areas of the RV and be connected to your cell phone.             
  • Walkie Talkies: You need these if one person (a spouse or children) wander away from the RV so you can stay in touch with them. Or if you are traveling around with a caravan and you don’t have cell service.        
  • Drone: These are great if you want to take shots of the area to use in your pictures and videos. Many RVers have the Phantom 3 Standard Drone. Try to use in an open field so they don’t crack on trees or fall in the water.    
  • Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 (Black with Plate): This clip will make it easier to carry your camera.         
  • Binoculars: It’s imperative not to miss a minute of the sites so buy a good set of binoculars. 
  • Flojet Portable Waste Pump: If you can’t call the “Honey Wagon” or a “Blue Boy” and pay $25 at RV parks without full hookups to have them come and empty your gray and black tanks. You can use this portable gadget if you have room to store it in your RV. It has a pump that can pump uphill. You can put a clear 45-degree elbow on it and aim it to go down then check seals. You can hook up your garden hose and connect 12 volts to get everything working. Many RVers who stay in driveways or who do #RVDrivewaySurfing, also call “Driveway Mooching,” use this. It holds 27 gallons.   
  • Instant Pot: Many RVers use these to prepare meals.        
  • Air Fryer: Many RVers also like this item to prepare meals.      
  • Blackout Curtains: You can use these to keep out light in the area that separates the front of your vehicle and/or just put on your windows.   
  • Bottle of Rechillable Gel Ice Cubes: When you want to have a cold drink, you can just get it out. It’s only $4.99 for 12 cubes.     
  • U.S. Sticker Map: It’s 11 inches by 17. You can track your travels. It’s 14.99.    
  • A Cup Cozy: You can use it like a little pillow or hold your cup. You can put behind your neck. It’s $26.99.  
  • Solar or LED Lights: These lights can be used for reading. They are also called a “globe light”. There are different patterns available. It has a solar panel. It gives you the prettiest ambient lights at night so make sure they are in sunlight during the day recharging. It can last up to a year and half for $18.99.   
  • Ferry Light (Rechargeable): This is a long string of blue lights. You can put in driver side window during the day to receive sunlight and charge up. They are only $12.99 and can last a year and half.      
  • Neck Light: It has a battery. It goes around your neck and lights up if you have to go out at night or read a book. It has different speeds. It’s good for stealth camping. Cost is $13.99.    
  • Luci Light: These are solar lights. 
  • Plastic Bark Lighter: You charge it on a USB port and it stays charged for weeks. You can light the stove, campfire, etc. with it. It’s $16.95.      
  • Rechargeable Hot Water Bottle: It’s full of a gel. If you have a sore knee or back or want to put something behind your neck, it stays warm for 8 hours so it’s good in cold weather. It has a little plug on it. After 15 minutes, it stays warm until it builds up memory. You can put it in bed at night. It’s $29.99.     
  • Blowout Adapters to Winterize RV: If you don’t become a Snowbird, know what you need to winterize your vehicle with these adapters.   
  • Reflectors: Camco SunShield Reflective Door Window Cover. This helps protect your RV from harmful UV Rays and regulates RV temperature 16 x 25 ” (45167). Cost is $40 at Lowe’s.   
  • Tent Shower: Take a shower outside with your tent shower.
  • RV Mat:  Mat to go in front of RV ($34 Amazon) ($48 Walmart).   
  • Chairs: Get the chairs that have cup holders and placement on the sides.       
  • Flag for RV: This flag can help you identify the location of your RV when you are in crowded RV park or campground or out hiking or boondocking.   
  • Box Fan: Many RVers said these box blow fans work great for blowing away bugs when sitting outside the RV or inside for cross breezes when windows are opened.          
  • RV Oil Based Paint:  If you have an older RV and would like to paint it, try to use an oil-based paint.    
  • Oxigenic Flower Head Shower:  This will help you conserve water because it will give your shower slower water flow.          
  • Rechargeable Desk Fan: This is the Opolar Battery Operated Rechargeable Desk Fan for Home Camping Hurricane, 9 Inch Battery Powered USB Fan with Metal Frame, Quiet Portable Fan with 5200 mAh Capacity & Strong Airflow.
  • Command Hooks: These are popular with all RVers to hang stuff.   
  • Canvass Shoe Pockets: These can hold your shoes. 
  • $8 Homemade Air Conditioner: If you do van life or even in an RV until you can afford more solar, another air conditioner or willing to chase 70-degree weather, this is a great cheap idea to keep cool. 
  • Coleman Extreme Cooler: Ice can last in these for up to 8 or 9 days.
  • Tents: Genji Sports Instant Camping tent has quality ‘pop-up’ tents. Springbar.com has the best quality of tents that lasts a while. Ozark Trail tents are another good tent, but it was made in China, which means it might blow away in high winds. Another tent is Kodiak Canvas tent.   
  • Camcorder with Screen by Canon: It has an SD card and scrap. You recharge on 110 plug and get 200 hours. You can purchase a wide angle len. It will zoom in and zoom out.     
  • Camera: Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera Kit w/EF-M15-45mm and 4K Video – Black.
  • Gorilla Tripod: JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit. Compact Tripod 3K Stand and Ballhead 3K for Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices up to 3K (6.6lbs). Black/Charcoal.
  • Smart Phone Tripod: Vastar Universal Smartphone Tripod Adapter Cell Phone Holder Mount Adapter, Fits iPhone, Samsung, and all Phones, Rotates Vertical and Horizontal Adjustable Clamp.
  • Camera Microphone: TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Shotgun Microphone Universal Cardioid Mic Compatible for Nikon/Canon Camera/DV Camcorder + extra furry windshield cover BLACK.
  • Smart Phone Microphone: BOYA BY-M1 3.5mm Electret Condenser Microphone with 1/4″ adapter for Smartphones iPhone DSLR Cameras PC.
  • Smart Phone Light: Arkon SPLEDRING Rechargeable LED Clip On Selfie Ring Light for Live Streaming Video Retail White
  • Laptop Microphone (for Audacity): Fifine USB Podcast Condenser Microphone Recording On Laptop, No Need Sound Card Interface and Phantom Power-K669




PHASE 3 – SimpleLifeRVing.com – Packing Up Essential RV Supplies and Hitting the Road

Phase 3 – Packing Up Essential RV Supplies and Hitting the Road
How To Live ‘The Good Life’ in a Car, Van, RV, Bus, Boat, etc. 
After getting the right mindset in Phase I and purchasing the RV in Phase 2, the ONLY STEP LEFT is packing the RV and getting on the road. Here is where you need to engage in #BabySteps
For many who still have homes, buying the RV and going back home to pack it up will be much easier than those who have traveled cross country to pick up the RV, and will have to figure out how to pack up the RV on the road. 
If you bought the RV at a dealership, it’s important before receiving your RV, that you were given a demonstration by a salesman or RV mechanic that is familiar with your type of RV. 
For many new RVers, you might need to do this twice so you might have to come back to the dealership for a second time. Just remember that dealerships are extremely busy, so once you drive away, they are not beholden to you whatsoever.
Many people will purchase an RV and go to the closest RV park with hookups, to make sure everything in the RV is working okay. They don’t feel comfortable taking the RV out of the area until they are sure that everything is working okay, however, you should be given instructions on everything before pulling off in the RV. 
Whether your RV was shipped to you, you picked up the RV and is taking it back home or you are on your way to an RV event, your first RV park, or parking on FREE Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or National Forest land, or some other FREE spot –only buy the things you will need right away because many of these RV ESSENTIALS can break the bank. 
You can also park your RV at homes of relatives and friends (called “Driveway Surfing” and “Mooch Surfing” for RVers), while you load up your RV. It all depends on what comes in your particular new or used RV.
Many of these essential items you might need to purchase before leaving the dealerships so know upfront what ESSENTIAL ITEMS and NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS you will need for your RV.
Meanwhile, continue to get rid of stuff that you have packed in the RV, because many of the RVs, especially the Class C, can become overweight pretty quickly. 
Where To Buy Essential and Non-Essential RV Items
I will break down a list of essential and non-essential items you will need as I set up my Amazon Affiliate’ page for full-time RVers so that you can buy directly through my page. It will be strictly up to you to purchase these items as you start your new RV adventure. 
Many of you will want to go ahead and purchase some of the items in the non-essential list from the very beginning. Just remember to be careful that you don’t end up stranded out there without the basic essentials of RVing.  
Most RVers buy most of their items from the following:
  • Walmart
  • Amazon 
  • RV stores
Items from Walmart and Amazon.com are probably going to be CHEAPER than RV stores. They have a Walmart in every area except in rural areas. There are many RV stores throughout the country. Beware of stores like Camping World, who is days away from bankruptcy. Their supplies in stores are extremely high. 
It’s important to have an Amazon Prime account so you can receive items quickly in one to 2 days from Amazon. The cost is around $117 a year or you can pay monthly payments of $12.99.  
Many of the RV parks will allow you to receive mail there especially if you will be there for an extended amount of time, more than a few days, but check with them beforehand.
You can also receive Amazon packages at UPS stores in the area or when ordering from Amazon, it will provide a list of their locker/boxes in your area. You have 3 days to pick up these items when you order them, otherwise, they will be returned. 
RV Bills
This is just a rough estimate for just some of your monthly bills living in an RV:  
  • $400 on Groceries: Depends on how many are in the family.
  • $150 on Gas: It all depends on where you go. If you stay stationary you will save on gas. Many RVers wear themselves out after the first year from moving every 2 or 3 days. Many just stay 2 weeks, one month, 3 months or 6 months in an area. 
  • $200 Camping/Dumping Fees: You can go to these RV parks and campgrounds just to dump black and gray tanks for $5 to $10. You don’t have to stay there. There are other places also to dump your black and gray tanks.
  • $30-$50 on Propane: If you are in a colder climate and need to run your furnace, it will be higher. It will be higher if you have to run your generator. If you have solar panels you can save money in warmer climates. You can chase 70-degree weather around the country and be a “Snowbird” to save on propane.
  • $95 RV Insurance: With Progressive. Get only liability on your car at home if you leave it behind or in storage.
  • $70 Car Storage: Monthly fees.
  • $140 on Cell Phone and Internet: With hotspot, it should be around $140 a month.
  • Entertainment: $30 on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Amazon Music.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: $25 
  • Miscellaneous: $150 
Cell Data Providers and Internet 
It’s extremely important that most RVers be able to make a phone call, especially in case of an emergency. Many will be working in remote jobs so internet service will be key for them.
There are 4 cell phone providers today in the U.S.:
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-mobile
  • Sprint
In 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for a $26 billion merger combining the two companies into what would be a bigger No. 3 network, behind Verizon and AT&T, but the merger never happened, Supposedly, it is still in the works.
Most RVers seem to have Verizon cell service and everyone has talked about having good service with it. Many use Verizon for their Data Plan and other companies such as ATT, T-mobile, Sprint, etc. for their cell service. 
All the cell phone providers also offer data access by cell phone signal. You can get a data plan for your cell phone, or you can get a data plan that works just on your laptop and doesn’t have a voice plan at all.
It has the advantage of being cheaper. You can get a friend and family plan for your cell phone, and a data only plan for your laptop.
There are two ways to get the signal into your laptop:
  • MIFI, this is a credit card sized device that receives the cell data signal and rebroadcasts it as up to five WIFI signals. That means that up to five other devices can use that data signal. For example, your laptop, Kindle E-reader, Apple iPad, etc. can all be connected at the same time and you can still invite two family members or friends to use it as well. The cost is around $50 a month for 5 Gigs of data, but they also have an $80 a month plan for 10 Gigs. 
  • Another device to get data into your laptop is a Data Stick. It is used for only one laptop at a time and most often connects by the USB port of your laptop, but you can also get them that slide into a slot in your laptop.
Both of these work well, but I think the MIFI (also called “Jetpack”) is a much better choice because it offers you a lot more flexibility. Try the above before going out and buying the expensive weBoost cell phone system that can cost more than $400. 
The reason weBoost is not as effective as an external antenna is the “Boosters” also add noise to the signal being boosted. This is not an issue with voice, but can severely slow down data transmissions. 
Remember that you can get better connections over “HOTSPOTS”. The weBoost is for sure better than nothing, but a very good MIMO antenna (cost is around $30), which most hotspots can handle, will typically yield BETTER RESULTS with your data needs.
Some RVers have added MIMO antennas, which allows them to use multiple carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. Even though Verizon is good for overall coverage, most RVers are reporting that Verizon and AT&T are better in the west and T-mobile and Sprint is better in the east, but many are using at least TWO cell and data services in order to be hooked up to cell and internet while RVing full-time. 
RV Parks Cell Service
Many of the RV parks or when boondocking, you will have a WEAK cell phone signal. Remember that cell phone bars don’t matter but speed does when it comes to making a call or using data.
Some of the campgrounds might charge you $8 a day for faster cell phone service, but it still might not work. When boondocking especially, if you don’t have cell signal, go somewhere where you can hike out at night in case something happens. And always point your vehicle toward the exit in case you have to jump in the front seat and exit the area.
If You Have A Tight Budget
You can use FREE wifi hotspots all across the country. There are businesses that offer free WIFI in order to get customers to come to their place of business (coffee shops, malls, whole and health food stores, libraries, book stores, etc.). So if you have a TIGHT BUDGET, that’s the way to go.
Usually, it is a very fast internet connection but also remember that it is not completely secure and can be hacked and your data can be captured. And there is not always FREE wifi nearby, you may have to drive some distance to find it and burn the extra gas or do without the internet. 
How To Care for RV Tires
RVs can sit in storage or RV yards for months or even years before purchase so the sun can break them down. Make sure you use wheel covers if your RV will sit for a while.  
When purchasing a new or used RV from a dealership or a personal seller, you still need to do your due diligence to find out more about your RV tires. 
Most of the time you need to buy new tires as soon as you purchase the RV from dealerships, especially if you are planning a long trip because the tires on the RV are usually of low quality unless you were able to put this into your packet upon sale. 
Tires are coming in this country from Vietnam, India, China, Taiwan, Brazil, and Mexico. There are 3 name brand tire companies.
  • Michelin and Goodrich are the same company.
  • Bridgestone and Firestone are the same.
  • Goodyear has 2 or 3 other brands.
Michelin has the Michelin Advantage Program for your tires. In Redlands, CA, they even have their own RV park where you can stay at while your tires are being worked on. They will even come and pick up the RV from the park. Now, this is service!
When you have work done on your tires, make sure your gray and black tanks are empty so they can access the proper weight for your RV, which will be key in putting on the right type of tires.
Your RV tires could cost anywhere from $1200 to $2000. Replace RV tires every 3 to 5 years. Some might last for 7 years. I believe Michelin recommends 7 to 10 years, but they might be only referring to their tires.
It’s important to keep a record on all your tires. Know when to rotate them versus getting rid of them completely. 
Check the tires for quality. RV tires AGE OUT before THEY WEAR OUT so wear and tear won’t be a good tool to see if your tires are okay. 
What to look for:
  • Look at the ‘date’ on the tire. Tires should have ‘4 digit date code’. First 2 numbers will give you the MONTH and second two — the YEAR.
  • Then look for ‘load range’. There is a rating on the axil, wheel, and tire. Make sure you have the right load range for your RV and the maximum PSI especially when it’s cold and especially if you have a Class C and A. Look on your rim for the PSI. What is the proper PSI? Try to go to a scale and measure. Add correct PSI that the RV suggested. You can also shift things around in the RV to balance out your load. Class C’s can become overloaded pretty quick.
  • Look at the sidewall and tread depth. Just remember a blow out can injure the RV like a “China Bomb.” 
Truck tires and trailer tires are different. A sidewall of a truck tire is not as good or strong as sidewall as a trailer tire. Trailer tires have a speed restriction of 65, which means you can go that fast. If it has an L or M, this is a higher range of speed. 
Towing a Vehicle
If your motorhome and toads (towed vehicle) are over 26,000 pounds, you might need to take a driver’s test in some cities. One of the pros and cons of driving a motorhome is that you don’t have to tow a vehicle behind you. 
The benefit of this is that it’s easier to drive a motorhome than tow a trailer. The downfall of this is that if you want to go somewhere outside an RV park or campground, you’ll need to rent a car, take a shuttle or taxi, or use Lyft or Uber.
There are 4 options to tow your vehicle: 
  • Flatbed Trailer or Enclosed Trailer: A flatbed or enclosed trailer is one of the easiest ways to tow behind larger motorhomes and fifth wheel RVs. This offers a larger space to bring a car, off-road vehicles, or even add more storage to your existing rig. This method will offer full support for your vehicle, along with its brake and light system. You’re able to bring a variety of vehicles this way. Being able to take any vehicle will set you back financially as investing in a flatbed or enclosed trailer will be more expensive. 
  • Tow Dolly: U-haul has a tow dolly that they rent out to new RVers who need to get their cars to certain areas. ‘Acme’ (cartowdolly.com) and ‘Demco’ make tow dollies with advanced braking systems on them. Most tow dollies range from $1500 to $3000 so check for used ones on facebook marketplace, e-Bay, craigslist or buy from Amazon, Walmart, etc.
  • Flat Tow or 4 Downing: The best vehicle to tow behind an RV is lightweight and can be towed with its wheels on the ground. Some RV dealerships are set up to fit your car for a flat tow when you pick up your RV. This will run anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 (click here).
  • Chasing: This is when someone is driving the tow vehicle. If you are not driving too many hours in a day, chasing works for a lot of RVers.
The disadvantages of chasing:
  • You can’t experience the view together.
  • You can’t be in the front or back getting work done. 
  • You can’t take a nap.
  • Sometimes the pets are separated.
  • You put extra mileage on the vehicle.
The advantages of chasing:
  • You can listen to what you want to on radio, podcast, etc. 
  • Your drive partner in the car can also look out for you in the RV.
  • The car can drive ahead and get food at the next rest stop and be waiting for you.
  • You can save gas by not pulling a car. 
  • You can save stress on the engine of the RV by not pulling a car. 
  • You don’t have to unhook when you reach your location. 
  • You don’t have any tow or dolly maintenance.
Cleaning Your RV
When it comes to cleaning your RV, you can use dawn dishwasher or a natural RV washer from RV shops, auto stores, Walmart or from Amazon.com.
RVs need to be cleaned especially when they start bleeding down the side. Just keep in mind that many RV parks do not allow you to wash your RV. 

Three (3) Types of RV Maintenance

To keep your RV in tip-top shape there are 3 types of maintenance:
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Scheduled Maintenance
  • Emergency Maintenance
Preventative Maintenance
First of all, if your RV needs to go into the shop for maintenance, make sure you take it there yourself. The key to having an RV in top condition is to watch for problems and get them repaired as soon as possible. 
Getting in the habit of taking care of these maintenance tasks will be well worth your efforts and lead to good benefits. If you don’t keep up on this, then issues can become quite expensive, dangerous and potentially undermine your living experience. 
Regular inspections are perhaps the most important thing so make sure you check or inspect your RV on a regular basis — no matter where you’re at.
Walk in and around your RV, climb up on the roof and check underneath the chassis on a regular basis to look for any problems that need your attention. This will help you discover issues and deal with them promptly before they get worse.
Noticing some of these flaws can be an easy repair, but others can be serious and require major repairs. After you’ve done your inspection, continue to eyeball everything.  
Scheduled Maintenance
They say you are supposed to bring your RV in for oil change at 20,000 miles, but many RVers say you should get it changed at 10,000 miles.
Look at manual especially the troubleshooting list. Might sure you have the 800 number readily available if you have issues or questions. Change the oil, windshield wiper blades, hoses, tires and check tire pressure, etc. Clean vents, test propane alarms get secondary backups, etc.
Goodyear and Walmart will check tire pressure for free. Lead-acid batteries need to be checked. Check oil level in the onboard generator. Protect rubber around window or slides.
Watch youtube videos to see what you need to check. Join facebook forums for your type of RV. Ask a neighbor. You can hire someone for RV maintenance. Just google “Nearest RV Mechanic” or “Mobile RV Repair Services.” There are deals in the fall and spring and make sure you have your own tools. 
Emergency Maintenance
Have an app on your phone. Have an 800 number. Look into roadside assistance, etc. Make sure your RV insurance stay up to date. Look for ‘Mobile RV Repair Services’. Look at google.com, yelp.com, etc. They might charge $40 to $250. Try to know your general location. If you breakdown use flashes, deflective cones, flares, etc.
Know your emergency exits in your vehicles, which are usually doors and windows. When driving at night, make sure headlights are adjusted so they won’t shine directly into the driver’s eyes in front of you. 
RV Repair Shops
If you are not taking your RV into the dealership where you bought it from, many RVers will recommend places to have regular maintenance performed on your RV. 

Just some of the services and training that RVers have recommended include:

How To Stay Cool in An RV
The reason many people buy an RV instead of becoming a car or van dweller is so they can have more space and all the comforts of home. Not staying cool while you are out there on your full-time adventures is not what #RVLife is about.
Tips to keep RVs cool include:
  • Point RV west when you pick a spot especially when boondocking.
  • Try to park near grass versus near blacktop.
  • Install a second air conditioning unit and make sure the air conditioner is tuned up. 
  • Avoid opening the door as much as possible. 
  • You can camp by the ocean and get the breeze coming off the ocean.
  • You can camp in the mountains where there are higher elevations and you will be cooler.
  • Use a humidifier. Remember that humidity is the enemy of RVs. It destroys RVs. 
  • Use more ventilation. The more ventilation — the better. 
  • Run a fan (or two) as well. It makes a big difference.
  • Get ahead of the heat. Keep windows opened at night if there is a breeze and run a fan before it gets too warm in the day. This could trap cool air in an RV.  
  • Use blinds, curtains especially blackout curtains, and day-night shades and/or black out your windows with reflectix. Home Depot has some foil lined bubble wrap that works extremely well at blocking heat and sunlight or use the silver insulation from Lowe’s to cover your windows and keep the heat out. You have to cut it to size and it will make your RV dark and much cooler. Works great in cold weather too. Also, get reflectix for your skylight.
  • Use blackout curtains to separate the cab from the rest of the RV.
  • Always cover the windshield.
  • Put aluminum foil in your vents on your roof, which will reflect the heat.
  • Take a garden hose up on top of your rig and wash the radiator inside and out and remove all debris from your unit.
  • Ask to park in the shade at campgrounds and parks. Park your RV in the shade when you can, unless you need the solar on top to power your RV. If you have portable solar, park RV in shade and place solar panels in sunlight. 
  • Try to get in a pool at campgrounds and parks or go to local gyms, LA Fitness, YMCA, etc.
  • Use RV awnings to block out the sun and add more awnings by using shade-cloth. Put a second awning on the other side of RV and small awnings on windows. You need an awning on the side where the refrigerator is located to keep cool air in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t cook indoors. You can use a butane stove outside.  
  • Use micellular cleansing water to keep cool. Keep it in the fridge and use it on arms and legs. 
  • Use freezer ice cubes.
  • Until you can buy enough solar to run one or two air conditioners, become a Snowbird and chase 70-degrees around the country.
RV’s Electrical System
DC vs. AC Power

Try to understand your electrical system. RVs will have 2 different sides of the equation — the ‘DC side’,  which is the 12 volt where you can turn on your lights and the ‘AC side’ where you can plug into sure power, through an inverter. 

The 12-volt is wired from your house battery and it handles:
  • lights
  • slides
  • electrical awnings
  • jacks
  • roof fans
  • cigarette lighters
  • wall sockets
  • fridge (electric and propane)
  • water pump and heater 

110 volt power – must go through an inverter/generator and it handles: 

  • fans for heater
  • household plugs
  • microwave
  • coffee pot
  • toaster oven
  • induction plate
  • instant pot
  • air fryer
  • blender
  • television
  • hair dryer
Power Adapters
You will need all 3 of these power adapters. 
  • 20 amp (standard household amp)
  • 30 amps
  • 50 amps
Some RV parks might sell them or lend them out, but it’s important to have your own up-front. Some of the power adapters are called “drybone” adapters because they look like a dog bone. 
The electrical pedicle will be on driver’s side of RV and will run down to a grey box and you will have 30, 50 and 20 amps. You should have a 30 amp unit.
Surge Protectors
Make sure you have a surge protector to test before plugging in your RV to a power source at parks, campgrounds, or someone’s home (“Driveway” or “Mooch Surfing/Docking”).
Plug your power cord to a surge protector and you can run a hair dryer, TV, microwave, toaster oven, etc. Your air conditioner and hot water heater can overload a circuit.
Your breaker might say 50 amp. If you have an issue like a blown fuel, go to the fuse box. You have the AC side and the DC side. The fuses will be on the DC side. Make sure you take extra fuses with you.
How To Charge RV House Batteries
If you are going to be camping for long periods of time, you need to know how to get power. You still need to have power to get things done.
Inside the car, van, or RV, you will have a car battery. In the van or RV, you will have 2 batteries, which are ‘house batteries’. You need to monitor the house batteries. 
These are 4 ways to charge house batteries:
  • They will charge while you are driving. 
  • Run your generator. If you charge for a couple of hours, you will get a good charge to run the blender, pressure cooker, blow dryer, microwave, etc. A generator sucks up your propane and it’s noisy so in many places don’t run the generator (be kind to your neighbors).
  • The best way is to have solar panels. You can mount 400 watts on the roof or get a mobile or portable solar panel that you place in the sun during the day. 
  • You can charge house batteries with a hookup at an RV campground or park. 
Never waste any power. Plug everything in while you are driving. Then plug in devices that can charge everything. Try to get away from a single-stage converter, which is bad for batteries. It will boil them if you leave them in the converter too long.
Get a smart converter, which can charge batteries faster and will keep you from overcharging batteries. You can then charge a leaf blower, electric toothbrush, etc. 
When you are done driving everything should be charged up. Get some battery banks for $10.00, which is a good backup. Always go for products that are rechargeable.
Types of RV Batteries
Make sure you have a good “battery monitor.” A good battery monitor can tell you how much power you have left. SG 200 battery monitor is around $200. There is another one for $18.
A lot of equipment in your RV runs on batteries. This is why you want to update and maintain your batteries regularly. It is important that you keep notes of the dates that batteries are installed and keep an eye on how they function and how well they work. 
If the lights start to dim or have problems then you need to look at the water levels on the batteries. If they are not okay, then you need to consider getting new batteries. However, not all batteries require water so make sure you know what type of batteries your RV has. 
Batteries without water are known as ‘closed batteries’ (or lithium batteries), which can be more expensive, but last longer and don’t require as much upkeep.

What are the options for batteries?

  • 12 Volt Batteries: You can buy from Walmart. It’s easy to buy inexpensive batteries around $75 with 75 amp hours. Don’t let these batteries get below 50% before recharging. Many RVers buy 2 batteries. They are lead-acid batteries so you have to keep these batteries in a position to be vented and you need to keep the water level going.
  • 6 Volt Golf Cart Batteries: They are taller batteries. Don’t take these batteries passed 50% before recharging. The cost is around $125 for a 235 amp hour. You need to keep the water level up and these batteries need to be vented.
  • AGM Batteries:  They are sealed and don’t need any maintenance. You can mount in other positions so they store better and charge faster. Don’t let the battery depth go down below 50%. Try to keep it at 80%. Cost is around $250 a piece for 1000 cycles. 
  • Lithium Batteries: These batteries have 100 amp hours. Get two of them. They are lighter around 29 pounds each. You can stack them on their side and they require no maintenance. You don’t have to vent them, but you don’t want them getting too hot or cold so they can’t be on the outside of the RV. They will last for 3000 cycles and charge 4 times faster. You can take them down to 100% before recharging. They cost around $1000.
If you are off-grid a lot, you should buy lithium batteries. Lithium is the best battery. You don’t have to check the water level, but many RVers go with AGM batteries probably because of the price. 
RV Generators
The best inverters are the ‘pure sign wave inverters’ at 3000 to 4000 watts. However, 1500 watts might do the job you need. Everyone will have different needs.
A generator isn’t needed if you have solar unless there are many cloudy days. People will steal generators and don’t forget you have to carry gas for generators. 
Popular RV generators are Yamaha, Honda, and Champion. To keep your generator running functional, you need to run it at least twice a month. Don’t run your generator all day or night.
Benchmark has a Honda generator for $1000. A 2000 watt generator is $430. It is easy to handle. Some air conditioners will run on it and some will not. 
There is a Champion generator, which has a similar engine to a Honda 3000 inverter for about half the price. A Honda generator can jump-start your car or RV engine, if you don’t have another car and/or jumping cables around. 
Pros of a Honda generator include:
  • It one of the more quieter generators under full load.
  • It’s doesn’t lose voltage.
  • It’s RV ready and does not need an adapter.
  • It’s super easy to start with a push on button.
  • It has a 30 amp plug.
  • It has a place for 12 volt and breakers.
  • It is easy to change the oil.
Solar Panels
If it gets cloudy or rainy, it will affect how you live in RV. If you don’t have solar panels, you might need the generator to run for an hour or two, which can be noisy for you and your RV neighbor. 
RVs have an onboard generator, but sometimes these end up going out. Even though lights inside don’t use a lot of energy, always be charging and try to use solar at night instead of inside RV lights.

People love solar panels because it’s silent (unlike a generator).  There is a lot of competition today with solar. The solar panels come with mounting brackets, wires, fuses.

Most charge the controller with their blue tooth. Make sure you have a good “battery monitor.” The solar panels do good in Arizona and other sunny climates because it’s sunny.
Turn off every possible thing you can turn off and just use solar lights. You can use solar lights and put up black-out curtains. You can then listen to music or have your computer going.

Solar panels will be extremely expensive. You don’t need to buy these up-front but you do need to have a set of good batteries and an inverter to run your appliances. 

Until you figure out which type of RVer you will be, you can buy the portable solar panels in a suitcase and put them directly in the sunlight, while you park your RV in the shade, if you plan on boondocking mostly. 
You must recharge batteries everyday. Let solar recharge batteries during the day and use generators during the night if you need too.
Now you can get 320-watt panels by Sun Power. Just make sure you buy monocrystalline solar panels. You need 600-800 watt solar to run an air conditioner, but more is better. 
Most folks purchase at least 400 watts, but to run your air conditioner and be comfortable you need at least 1000-1200 watts or more. Minimum 600-watt can run air conditioners with a good battery, but you can’t run anything else. 
With 750 to 800-watts, you can run your air conditioner and everything else. 750 watts can run one air conditioner and 1185 watt will run two air conditioners. So this is my goal.
I might choose to buy a second air conditioner.  There are portable air conditioners or window air conditioners. Walmart has a window air conditioner – Frigidaire 5000 BTU for $178. You can use it with a low surge generator at 800 watts.
Check out  www.JimDenver.com or “Solar Boondock” on youtube.com for help with installing solar panels. You can buy the Inverter/Generator by Sportsman 800/1000 watts at Home Depot and run it from 11:00 a.m. in the morning to 7:00 p.m. at night. It will take a half a gallon of gas. But buy the Honda 1000 generator if you need to run it more. 
Propane is a lot cleaner than gasoline. It has cleaner emissions and sounds a little quieter. Propane won’t produce as much power as gasoline. You have to get propane during regular hours. It’s easier to store propane than gasoline and gasoline has to be treated.
Where to buy propane:
  • Walmart
  • U-haul stores
  • Hardware stores
  • RV stores
  • Campgrounds
  • Tractor Supply Stores
  • Google “Propane Refill Stations Near You”

Propane is used for:

  • refrigeration (Most RV refrigerators use both electric and propane. You can also have a regular home refrigerator installed in RVs).
  • cooking (top burners and ovens)
  • heating
  • hot water heater 
  • barbecuing outside

Most RVers air on the SAFE SIDE when to TURN OFF the propane. Many turn off the pilot light on stoves every day and many don’t.

RVers should turn off propane when:

  • When they are driving.
  • When they get gas.
  • When they go on a ferry.
  • When they go through a tunnel.
However, many RVers do keep their propane on as they drive, but I will be turning mine off. Most RVers got 20 pounds tanks, which holds just under 5 gallons. Two 30 pound tanks can hold 7 gallons of propane. 
You need to learn how to monitor your propane: 
  • If you have a Class A and Class C RV or motorhome, you have to DRIVE to get your propane tanks filled up. Many who drive these types of vehicles, usually don’t like for it to drop below 50%. Class C and A will have a gauge to monitor how much propane is in there. 
  • If you have 5th wheelers and travel trailers, you can TAKE YOUR PROPANE TANKS with you in your car, truck or another vehicle to have them filled or just buy other propane tanks at Walmart, U-haul stores, hardware stores, RV stores, etc. With 5th wheels and travel trailers, they have auto switches, which switches over when one tank is empty or owners can do it manually. They are simple to change out.
RV Heaters
Many RVers unless they are staying in extremely cold weather, forgo using the inside furnace. It seems that eventually many of these furnaces go out and are extremely expensive to get fixed. 
Many RVers use these two portable heat sources instead of the inside furnace and heater.
These are: 
Mr. Buddy Propane Heater
They come in three (3) sizes — small, medium and large. The medium size (4000-9000 Btu) is almost perfect for a van.
If your van or RV is well-insulated, after about 30 minutes, you will probably have to turn the heater off because it gets too hot. But for most non-insulated vans, it should be just about right.
They are cheap, light and easy to start. They work off the little green propane bottles or you can buy an adapter hose and connect it to a 5-gallon propane bottle, which makes it tremendously cheaper to run. You are not supposed to leave it on at night, but many people do. Just make sure the van or RV is well-ventilated. 
Olympian Wave 3 Heater
Another option is the catalytic heaters made for camping by Coleman. Many people are very pleased with these heaters. If they are tipped over, they will shut off automatically.
If you carefully follow the instructions in the owner’s manual you will be safe. It will tell you exactly how much ventilation you need and what to leave for clearances around the heater. 
Read those instructions carefully and if there is anything you don’t understand, call the 800 number provided and ask for clarification. Then enjoy your heater with a peace of mind and safety.
RV Water Heater
Your water heater is heated by propane and electric. It heats quicker with propane than it does with electric. The size of hot water heater matters so if you travel with a big family, you should get a bigger hot water heater installed in your RV.
Don’t plug up pores on the backside of the refrigerator and hot water heater. You don’t want bugs getting in there either. That’s where the exhaust is coming out. You can put a screen on it to keep bugs out.
Every campground has different water pressure so you’ll want to ALWAYS keep a regulator on the spigot to help avoid coming home to a flooded rig.
Many folks debate on forums whether or not to leave the hot water heater on all the time. I don’t know if there is any real reason other than to conserve electricity and maybe help to prolong the life of the heating element, but I will probably cut mine off as needed.  
It just seems silly to have it running when we’re away from the camper exploring for hours. It will help you decide when you end up in an RV park with only one 30 amp plug and have to pick and choose when and what was using electricity.  
Also, another hot water heater tip, if you drain it make sure you give it time to fill back up before turning it on or you’ll fry the heating element.
Many RVers drain every bit of water out of the camper before they move to lose as much weight as possible. So, therefore, you have to give the tank time to fill back up before turning it on.

RV Refrigerator

When you first buy your RV, just make sure you turn the refrigerator on for 24 hours before stacking it with food. This should give it time to cool off. Your RV refrigerator is TWO WAY, which means they run off both electric and propane. 
Every 4 to 5 months you have to clean your RV fridge. Most fires are started in the RV because of the fridge and if you have a travel trailer or 5th wheel, this is why it’s important to LEVEL YOUR VEHICLE at the end of the day, otherwise, it will cause refrigerator issues.
Your foods in your refrigerator should still stay cool even if you are traveling for up to 10 hours a day, however, many people do use their generator while traveling, especially if they have a family in the back of the RV when driving down the road. Running your fridge off an inverter is doable also. 
As soon as you stop for the night, if you have full-hookups, switch the refrigerator to the electric side. Don’t waste your propane if you don’t have too. 
It took many RVers a few months before they realized they had to actually open the vent for the microwave hood on the OUTSIDE of the camper for it to work right.  
They would turn it on and it made the fan sound, but it wasn’t sucking the air out at all. You have to turn the little tabs or slide them (depending on your model) to allow the vent to open. You can leave it opened until a windy day, which might make a lot of unnecessary noise. 
RV Oven
Many complain that RV ovens don’t work properly and many forgo using RV stove tops and ovens to prepare foods period. Many RVers are afraid to use propane for cooking so they will prepare foods in other manners such as using:
  • microwave
  • toaster oven
  • induction plate (might cause cardiac pacemaker issues)
  • instant pot
  • air fryer
  • blender
  • butane stove (to cook outside)
RV Detectors

Make sure you have a propane detector. It should be low to the floor. Keep your family safe from the potential harm of carbon monoxide with an RV carbon monoxide detector also. 

RV Newbie Rules To Follow
Just a little bit on RV etiquette for newbies. 
  • #1 – Don’t cut across someone’s else campsite. 
  • #2 – Never interfere with others’ peace and quiet. 
If you see RVers sitting in chairs, ask if you can come over to their campsites. Just remember that a lot of RVers like the isolation so maybe they just want to be out there and read books or engage in some type of other activity, especially with a spouse, partner or mate. You can respond to others with “Maybe later — I am working on something.” 
People do like to do a lot of things alone. You might just get together at night around a campfire or just get together for coffee in the morning time. If they say they are going to play cards just say “No thanks.” 
Other RV campground etiquette:
  • Never fail to read campground rules.
  • Never spread out your traveling group.
  • Never overflow your space.
  • Never block the roadway longer than necessary.
“Nevers” for RVers camping with dogs:
  • Never let your dog loose.
  • Never leave a loud barking dog behind.
  • Never leave a dog waste behind.
  • Never leave waste in a fire pit.
Hooking Up at Campgrounds or RV Parks 
Rigs are getting bigger and most need 50 amp service.  Many parks, especially state parks, don’t always have 50 amp hookups, but will probably have two 30 amp plugs. 
Many RVers uses a pigtail, it is two 30 amp plugs that connect to a 50 amp plug. This allows you to hookup just as if you had a single 50 amp outlet. At only $40 I think it should definitely be part of your must-haves.
Setting Up and Packing Up

Eventually, everyone gets their own rhythm or routine down when setting up or packing up. 

Some of the reminders can include:
  • Be sure to double-check that you have room for your slides to extend before leveling and unhooking. You can just use tape measure if you are unsure if there’s enough room. Measure it twice and unhook once. 
  • Take the time to sweep off the roof and slides before packing up especially every few weeks if you don’t move that often.
  • Have a routine (and even better a checklist, specific to your coach) when getting ready to pull out and even while setting up. 
  • Before you pull out of the campground, stop and just do one more double-check that everything is how it should be, especially if packing up felt rushed. Remember it’s better to take an extra 25 minutes to make sure everything is done right than to pay dollars down the line for your mistake. 

RV Parks

If you are RVing full-time or for an extended period of time, you quickly learn that RV parks and RV campgrounds can get PRICEY. Add in a financed RV and a financed car and you’ve got yourself a mortgage payment!
If your RV and vehicle are already paid for, that is awesome and is hopefully a great example of keeping things within your means and being smart with your money #Minimalist101.
If you are traveling to the east, it might help to get a pass so you don’t have to wait in line. You can park for one night, week, or one month with full hookups (electric, water, sewage dump, etc.) in RV parks ranging from $200 to $1200 a month with SHORT and LONG-TERM parking. 
The longer you stay the cheaper it is. They have RV parks throughout the U.S., but because many are getting OVERCROWED especially on holidays and in the summertime, many are choosing other ways to camp out when RVing full-time. 
Before making reservations at these RV parks make sure you read reviews. There is a place you can park for 30 days outside Sedona, AZ for $350 a month with full hookups. Who would not want to stay in the Sedona, AZ region for 30 days to explore? Again, parks and campgrounds like these are all over the U.S.
Many chose to utilize RV parks and resorts 100% of their time if they are full-timers. Many of these parks might be populated and will have other designated areas to send you, so make sure you make your reservations on time just as if you were staying in a hotel. 
And if you can’t find your destination or will arrive late, make sure you reach out to the RV parks or campgrounds to let them know. You will be penalized like hotels for not showing up when you said you would and might get charged anyway. 
Also, just like a hotel, if you are staying only for one night, you will have a check out time for the next day usually around 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 noon. 
Remember you can still go to all the RV parks and campgrounds even if you are not staying there and pay $5, $8 or $10 to dump your black tank (sewer) and grey tank (dishwater and shower water) and get fresh water for dishes, shower, and toilet. 
Where To Get Water for an RV
Instead of drinking water from an RV sink, many RVers choose to buy their own drinking water because you really don’t know what you are picking up in the water systems in RVs around the U.S.. 
In the U.S., most of us call an indoor valve (in the kitchen or bathroom) a faucet, and the outdoor one a spigot. A spigot is a faucet or a device to turn the water on and off.
Before you connect your water hose in any new area you are staying, you want to turn on the main faucet and run water for a minute or two. Then put some water in a paper cup so you can smell it and look at the color before taking a small taste. 
Make sure you get an expansion ($8.00) to hook on. You should also have a smaller (short) water hose along with a larger (long) one to reach the spigot. This will help your RV reach spigots at different locations. 
Places to fill up include:
  • Fill up at an RV campground or park. You can pay at RV campgrounds and parks for a hookup to get laundry done, and get water, etc. 
  • You can go to gas stations and look for a spigot. You should ask inside if you can top off your water. They will say go ahead but don’t block any traffic.
  • You can go to U.S. Forest Campground. When you go near bathrooms, you will see a spigot. These campgrounds are everywhere in the mountains. 
  • You can obtain water in State Parks. You can get a State Park pass for $60. They have campgrounds there.
  • You can go to truck stops to get water. Go to the commercial truck area. Just wait for truckers to leave. It’s right next to a gas pump. If you have a gas engine, go ahead and fill up then get water. The water is potable (fit or suitable for drinking) and it’s free.
  • You might find a spigot outside of a laundromat also.
  • City parks and businesses might have that spigot outside of a building so just ask. There is water everywhere.
  • You can obtain water at U-Haul businesses. Just ask them for water when you fill up with propane. Ask if you can top off your water. It might be well water so you can only use for baths.
 Popular RV Apps
Many RVers and especially truckers don’t trust GPSs. They have even told stories about how they had to back up on highways to keep from going under bridges that they couldn’t fit even after posting it in GPSs. 
So your best bet is to use one of the other two apps below by putting in your height and length:
  • Trucker’s App by Rand Mcnally 
  • Copilot GPS 
  • GPS 770

Websites Not Apps

  • Google Maps (Google maps might send you to low clearance bridges so be careful).
  • FreeCampsites.net
  • Allstays (They have a page listing Walmarts you can stay at).
  • RVParky
  • Park Advisor (RV parks and campgrounds) 
  • TollGuru (Trip & Toll Calculator – car, truck, etc.)
  • Ultimate U.S. Military FAMCAMPS (For active duty military, military retirees and 100 disabled vets only)
  • Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds (These campgrounds are for everyone). 
  • Free Roam (Boondocking campground locator)
  • KOA (Kampgrounds of America, Inc. – Search for campgrounds)
  • The Dyrt (Find campgrounds and reviews by states)
  • iOverlander (Browse places on maps and update your travel history)
  • RV Dump Sites (Free campsites with dump stations)
  • Pilot Flying J
  • Love’s Truck Stop
  • USA Rest Stop Locator
  • iExit (Your roadtrip pitstop finder)
  • Good Sam Camping Club (They have camping discounts and tow services)
  • RV Checklist (A check list of steps to check upon arrival and leaving parks or campgrounds)
  • FindFriends (An app to help you can keep up with friends in RVs).
  • RVillage.com (To find other RVers in your area).
  • RVTravel.com (RV magazine with recalled RVs)
  • RVLife.com (RV magazine and campground reviews)
  • RVTrader.com (To find used and new RVs)
Apps That Cost
  • US Public Lands (Worth the $2.99 cost).
  • Ultimate Public Campgrounds (Over 40,300 in U.S. & CA) (Cost $3.99).
  • OvernightRVParking.com (Subscription is $24.95).
  • AllTrails (To find hiking trails. Subscription is $29.99 a year).
Weather Apps
  • Windy.com (gives you 3-hour updates, wind speed, wind directions, wind gust, and Hurricanes forecasts)
  • The Weather Channel
  • Weather
  • My Radar 
  • Weather Bug

Apps To Monitor Gas

You will save gas as long as you stay in one location so if you stay weekly or monthly, you will save gas.
Apps to help you monitor your gas include:
  • Gas Buddy
  • Fuelly
  • Gas Guru
  • Gas Cubby
  • GasPricesTriple.com

FREE Places to Park RVs

Most folks will be parking at RV parks and campgrounds, but today they have become overcrowded. 
Other FREE places to park include:
  • Rest Areas
  • Truck Stops
  • Truck Weigh Stations
  • Gas Stations
  • Walmart
  • Kmart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Brass Pros Shops (also own Cabela’s)
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Casinoes (Also check out CasinoCamping.com
  • Warehouse districts are great. Some people feel comfortable around truckers. To find google warehouse spaces.
  • State, City or Community Parks (Look for signs that say 24 parking)
  • National Parks
  • City, County or Regional Campgrounds
  • BLM.gov (It’s everywhere but mostly on the west coast). Camp on BLM land with groups of 20 or more people to be safe especially if you are a solo female traveler. 
  • You can do “Driveway or Mooch Surfing” (also “Couch Surfing” — staying on someone’s couch) in a family’ member, friend or someone’s driveway as long as it is approved by city/county, Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and neighbors. Cars and van dwellers can do this easier than larger RVs.
  • Medical Offices Complexes
  • Hospitals
  • Strip malls in big cities. Strip malls or shopping malls that are opened 24 hours, but they might have security guards and will probably kick you out. 
  • If you live in a car, van, or even RV, you can go on Craigslist and run an ad that you will pay $100 a month (or less) to park in someone’s driveway or on their land. Tell them you will only show up at dark and leave during the daytime. 
Where Not To Stealth Camping
  • Respect “No parking signs.”
  • Do not park on private property. Somebody is always looking.
  • Avoid residential neighborhoods.

What You Need To Know About Parking An RV at Walmart

The app “Allstays” will list Walmarts that allow RVers to stay overnight. Because of the homeless situation, some car and van dwellers and RVers are actually living in Walmart parking lots.
Parking at Walmart is a “Right of Passage” for RVers. Walmart parking is called “Lot Docking.” It might be noisy on Friday and Saturday night. 
Many RVers have stayed at a Walmart at one time or another especially when:
  • They are traveling continuously and it will be easier to get back on the freeway. 
  • When they don’t reach their RV parks or campgrounds before dark. No one wants to try to go to an RV park or campground after dark especially when they are miles off the highway. You never know what might be lurking around if you try to hook up after dark (snakes, alligators, strangers, etc.)
  • When they run out of funds for the month and need to park somewhere for FREE. 
Many truckers have already stopped parking at some of the Walmarts. Walmart is redefining their space. Some Walmarts are no longer allowing RV parking so look at signs then talk to managers or call managers ahead of time. Over 50% are still allowing it but still obtain permission. 
They might have local ordinances and many are being passed not to allow parking at Walmart for RVers. The tow signs are the ones with ordinances. The further you go out in the country, the less they would have passed these ordinances.
Because boondocking on WalMart’s parking lot is a hot issue in many towns, following the below simple rules, which will help keep these places open to travelers who want a good night’s sleep before moving on.
Disregarding them, especially making your area look like you’ve moved in for a lengthy stay, is what gets local RV park owners up in arms. They see RVs in a Walmart or other parking lots as revenues they should have had. 
Below are Do’s and Don’t of Walmart Parking
  • Purchase items from Walmart.
  • Pick up after yourself.
  • Pick up after pets. 
  • Do park far away from each other.
  • Don’t stay for more than one night.
  • When you stay overnight don’t take advantage so be kind to neighbors and don’t run your generator.
  • Don’t set up camp or have a party.
  • Don’t pull out your slides.
  • Don’t pull out your awnings.
  • Don’t put down hydraulic jacks.
  • Don’t park crazy. 
  • Don’t pee in a bottle and leave it.
There was an alcoholic family member that ended up killed by the police after camping out in a Walmart parking lot and getting into an altercation. 
What You Need To Know About State Parks
You pay $225 for a New Mexico State Park pass for an entire year. It is a hot state so in the winter it will be in teens. However, you can get 7 good months of nice weather. You can stay for 14 days at one site then leave for 6 days then come back to that same site. Some of the sites are right next door to each other.

You can pay $4.00 a day for electric, $8 per day for full hookups (sewer, water, electric, trash, showers, etc.). Out of 30 state park campgrounds in New Mexico, 25 have FREE showers. Nevada also has state park passes.

RV Club Memberships and Apps
  • Escapees/Xscapers: Escapees is the popular mail forwarding services for RVers. They have several big events a year so subscribe to their e-newsletter and join their group. Membership fees are around $39 a year and they have a $10 sign up fee. Escapees is more about community than it is about savings. This RV club offers get-togethers to help RVers connect. It also offers ongoing education courses, a job board for finding work on the road, and, of course, discounts at about 1,000 parks nationwide. This membership is best for retired and full-time RVers. You need to be staying at RV parks for a good chunk of the year to get the most out of its benefits, as the majority of what you’re paying for are community-based activities and not discounts.
  • Good Sam: $27 a year with $10 off. They have 26 campgrounds. Good Sam is the biggest name in the RV industry, with over one million members in The Good Sam Club. It includes a 10% discount on over 2,000 Good Sam parks. In addition to its RV club, Good Sam offers roadside assurance and insurance programs (sold separately). Like many larger organizations, however, its reputation is a bit tainted. The reason mostly concerns the legitimacy of its famous “Good Sam Rating” it gives each of its parks.
  • Passport America: $44 a year. You get 50% off 1600 campgrounds in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and they have a referral program. Passport America partners with campgrounds willing to sell campsites at half price during non-peak seasons in order to maintain capacity year-round. With most RV sites in the US costing over $30 a night, it only takes a couple of stays a year using this pass for it to pay for itself. The downside to this discount camping club is that most of the parks willing to sell sites half off aren’t exactly the best kept. This is exacerbated by the fact that Passport America has no user reviews for listings, so choosing a park through them can be a leap of faith.
  • Happy Camper Half Price Camping Club: $39.99 a year and you get 50% off 1200 camping grounds in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Explore RV Club: $60 a year and you get a discount on your insurance and roadside assistance.
  • Recreational USA: $44 a year and 10% off camp grounds.
  • RV Golf Club: They have over 400 locations so you pay $99 bucks a year.
  • Thousand Trails: Thousand Trails membership is $575 a year. It takes a fresh approach on how RV clubs operate. Instead of requiring a small annual fee for discounted rates, it asks for a significant investment of nearly $600 in exchange for free camping at their parks all year. Similar to the KOA Value Kard, this membership is only really worth it if you love Thousand Trails campgrounds, which tend to be more luxurious (good for glampers). With just 86 parks across the country and reviews being hard to comprehend, however, staying at a Thousand Trails campground can be hit or miss. This group can bring down the cost of campsites. 
  • HarvestHosts.com:These are winery, farms, breweries, etc. Memberships are $50 a year. (Owner name is Joel). They only take up to 5 RVers a night so you need to make reservations. You need to buy wine, cheese, and other products, while you are there.
  • Unique RV Camping:  Membership is $49.00 a year. You sign up one time for a year. Then you get another list and app for wineries, organic farms, and museums where you can stay overnight for FREE. Some take two to four RVs a night and this place is great. It will help you see more places and see more people. 
  • Army Corps of Engineer Camp Grounds: You get 84 to 100 ft long camps at Army Corps of Engineers. There is a one to 2 weeks max in each park so stay there and move on. It gives 50% off for Seniors and is opened to everyone. 
  • KOA Value Kard Rewards: They are $40 a year.  As the oldest campground network in the industry, KOA is known for its family focused parks available near basically every metropolitan area. KOA parks generally have more amenities than the average campground. Though its campgrounds are normally expensive, their discount card allows you to stay at upscale parks for more affordable rates. However, with a discount of only 10% off, it can take a while to pay this card off unless you’re staying at KOA campgrounds exclusively or are RVing full-time.
  • Specialty RV Clubs: These RV clubs differ from the traditional models above, offering alternative ways to save money.
  • Boondockers Welcome – ($30/year). This membership, as the name entails, is built for RVers who prefer to boondock, or camp without hookups. By paying the annual fee or hosting yourself, you can request to stay at private residences across the country for free. Local hosts that share their properties also tend to know the top attractions in the area. Spots are generally in the driveway of homes, although some are even larger.   
  • RoverPass Unlimited – ($50/year, $30/month). The newest membership for RVers, Rover Pass Unlimited is the perfect pass for RV renters and full-time RVers alike. The pass earns you free bookings through our reservation software with over 6,000 campgrounds across the US. RoverPass was made particularly for RV renters who aren’t necessarily as familiar with the process of reserving RV sites. Our software was made to alleviate a lot of the frustrations they commonly experience, like playing phone tag with front desk employees and, in the worst case scenario, never hearing back at all.
  • Disability Pass: Get an “Access Pass” from “America The Beautiful” website. Cost is $12 a night. You need a disability rating. So show proof especially if you are a Veteran. You can save 50% at National Parks, State Parks and Army Corps of Engineers Parks.
  • Senior Pass: You can get an “America The Beautiful” pass. It is no longer FREE. You must pay $80 for a lifetime membership. If you can’t afford lump payment, just pay $20 a year.
Boondocking 101
“Boondocking” means camping in your RV with no hookups. You can boondock as long as your on-board resources hold out. Boondocking is also called “Dry Camping” and “Disperse Camping.” 
There is basic equipment for dry camping (without hookups) and adding a few optional items can extend your boondocking stays. 
How To Look for a Spot?
  • Go to Freecampsites.net
  • Google Earth (Zoom in to look at the spot)
  • US Public Lands App (Then look for U.S. Public Land for Boondocking)
Two Types of Boondocking
  • One type is parking in more out-of-the-way places, usually for several days or even an extended period of time. Public lands offer many opportunities for boondocking.
  • The other type of boondocking is often referred to as “blacktop boondocking.” That is when you camp overnight on a Walmart or shopping center parking lot or in a truck stop. Some call it “dry camping” since you are not in the “boonies.” 
RVers choose to spend the night on parking lots because of convenience. They don’t have to drive miles off the highway to a campground. Other RVers boondock because of budget reasons.
Many can’t see paying $20 or more a night to stay in an RV park or campground when they are traveling from point A to point B and won’t be using the amenities the park has to offer. 
Whichever type of boondocker you are, these guidelines will help you (and your neighbors) have a better experience.
Blacktop Boondocking
  • Get permission from the manager.
  • Purchase dinner, fuel or other items as a thank you.
  • Park away from other vehicles, along the sides of the parking lot. In a truck stop, if there is no designated area for RVs, park off to the side or to the back away from truckers. Truckers will appreciate you not taking their spaces, plus it will be less noisy for you.
  • Do not get chairs and barbeque out, nor put out your awning. Avoid using your slideouts if possible too.
  • Stay only one night.
  • Pick up any trash you have generated.
  • Escapees.com RV Club provides “Boondocking Etiquette Cards.” You can download and then leave on an individual’s windshield who is not following these guidelines and jeopardizing the rights of other RV travelers as well.
Boondocking in the “Boonies”
When we think of regular boondocking, we think more of camping in wilderness areas, often on public lands. Campgrounds in public lands generally do not provide hookups. The USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also allow camping outside their designated campgrounds. 
Serious boondockers modify their RVs so they can take advantage of free camping in pretty places. Solar panels and an inverter keep batteries charged. A catalytic or ceramic heater is more efficient than the regular RV heater and doesn’t draw down the battery. 
Boondockers may have a Blue Boy®, a portable waste holding tank, so they can take blackwater into a dump. They carry water jugs to haul water to their fresh water tanks. 
Boondockers learn how to conserve both power and water so they can extend their stays and may even use solar ovens for cooking and heat water with the sun.
Most campers are here for a wilderness experience. They enjoy the peace and quiet. Following these guidelines will help all enjoy their stay as well as protect the environment:
  • Park in previously used areas. Do not create a new road or parking spot or run over vegetation.
  • Park away from other RVs so each can enjoy the peace and quiet. If you do have a generator you plan to run, park far away from other RVs and limit your use to an hour or so in the morning and another in early evening. Generator noise carries and is not part of the wilderness experience.
  • Respect quiet hours. Do not run generators or play TVs or radios loudly after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. (RVers Quiet Hours). Some areas may have different quiet hours so check with the agency.
  • In some areas dumping grey water on the ground is permissible. Always check with the agency first. Dumping black water on the ground is NEVER PERMITTED.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Dispose of trash in a trash container after you leave.
  • Read and follow the agency’s rules regarding fires, collecting firewood, and quiet hours. Respect time limits, which are typically 14 days.
RV groups meeting on public lands should choose an area large enough to accommodate their group without damaging the environment and should respect the rights of nearby campers that are not part of the group. 
They should also educate their members, who may never have boondocked before, on ways to extend their battery power without constantly running their generators and on ways to conserve water.
For many RVers, boondocking is the true RV experience. The ability to camp without hookups is one of the advantages of RV ownership. You can camp free of charge and use the systems that were designed to be self-contained. 
Using courtesy and common sense can make your boondocking experience, whether on black top or in the wilderness, a good one for you and other RVers.
Websites for Boondocking include: 
  • Boondocking.org
  • BoondockersWelcome.com (You can join them for less than $40 a year. Some have land and full hookups or you stay in front of someone’s home. If you have a place for RVs to park, then you should become a host).
Key areas for Boondocking include:
Do’s and Don’t of Boondocking
Look at their websites for rules. Every region might have different rules. They might not enforce it.
Dos – 4 Rules:
  • Know rules, areas and time limits.
  • Obey “No Trespassing Signs”; respect the land; there are hunters, hikers, RVers, etc. so stay on road, don’t mess up vegetation, leave no trace, don’t chop down trees; leave only footprints, etc.
  • Pack in what you pack out. Don’t leave your mess for someone else to clean up.
  • Go out and have fun and explore. To help find your RV in parks or while boondocking, many RVers choose to put a flag on their RVs.
Don’t 3 Rules:
  • Don’t ever block a dirt road. Try to point your vehicle toward the exit and try to reach your site early.
  • Do not dump gray water. Most gray water is 20 to 30 gallons and it will be going in ONE SPOT. Don’t dump it while boondocking. It will change the eco system. It’s illegal and not good for the environment.
  • Don’t rely on cell signal. If staying in touch. Get a personal locator. There is Inreach, Spot. etc. Have a paper map to maneuver out further when boondocking because your GPS might not work. Print it out ahead of time.
When you shower you use a quarter of a tank so take “bird baths” or “sponge baths” when boondocking. If you run your generator for 3 hours a day, you should be able to work on a computer for 8 hours. You need at least a 200-watt solar system to start.  
Plenty of FREE Land To Live On
Tired of driving – by the way there are plenty of FREE PUBLIC LAND in the U.S. (Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, California, etc.) to settle down on where you can park your car, van, RV, bus, etc. for FREE, while you build a new life for yourself.
The land is called BLM.gov (Bureau of Land Management) land or National Forest land, which is owned by the government, however, you can live on this land for FREE. 
A majority of the BLM land is in the west, but there is land in other parts of the country. Check out the website and today because of technology, they have apps to help you find this FREE LAND (See above app section). 
You can live there by yourself or park around others who have already chosen this type of lifestyle. There are plenty of caravans and convoys all over the U.S. for women and men to be able to create their ideal communities, especially on this land. Check with Bob Wells on CheapRVLiving.com on these caravans and convoys.
Many Snowbirds, people who follow the weather, put solar panels on Vans or RVs and use the good weather to totally power their vehicles, while they live their daily lives and travel around the U.S.. 
You should consider leaving cold climates and become a Snowbird and see what it is like to always live in good weather as you travel around the world and see some great sites and meet some great people on the road. 

It’s time for us to think as pioneers did back in the day when many people went out west on wagon trains to Oregon, California, etc. to make better lives for themselves. 

Just some of the places to live include:

Quartzsite, AZ: Quartzsite, AZ is the home for RVers. The month of January RVers converges onto the area for 3 BIG RV events which last all month — the Women Rubber Tramp Rendevous (RTR), Rubber Tramp Rendevous for men and women, and a big RV show afterward. The group Escapees.com celebrate a big New Year’s celebration there.

Some of the places might be limited to a 14 day stay, except LaPosa long-term stay in Quartzsite, AR, where there is a fee. However, for that fee of $180 a year (or $40 for two weeks), you can stay from September 15-April 15. After April it gets too hot so many RVers head back home or to higher elevations to stay cool.
Yuma, AZ: You can pay $80 for the year in Yuma, AZ. Depending on what area you are in, after 14 days
you might have to move. In the state of Arizona you need to move 25 miles away from that spot after 14 days. 
Colorado: In the state of Colorado you need to move every 14 days at least 45 miles away. But after 14 days, you can go back to that SAME CAMPSITE or area.
New Mexico: In New Mexico you can pay $225 a year for up to 7 months of nice weather. They have 25 shower facilities on the land so if you live in your car or van, that’s all you need. 
Like other BLM or National Forest land, you just need to move around every 14 days in some cases. Some of the spots might be right next to each other.
Why, AZ: You can also pay $550 a year to live in a place two (2) hours outside Tucson, AZ called Why, AZ. You can stay in tents, cars, vans, RVs, on buses, etc. on BLM or National Forest land. 
You will have access to FREE water, FREE showers, FREE wi-fi, and trash pick up. There is a dumpsite or you can use a portable ‘blue boy,’ to dump your gray and black tank. There are also services that can come out and dump for you.
From September to April the temperature can be bearable in Why, AZ. There are no FREE power hookups and temps can get up to 110 degrees so everyone usually has at least 200 watts of solar or they run generators to keep cool. Remember in RVs at least 25 feet long, many do install a second air conditioner.
Three Lakes: You can camp for FREE from September to March in three lakes, which is southwest of Disney about 90 minutes. 
Too Old To Travel
If you get too old to travel, Livington, TX, the home of Escapees.com RV mail forwarding services is offering Assisted Living for RVers. I suspect many of these services will pop up as many car, van, boat dwellers and RVers embrace this minimalist lifestyle.
See you on the opened road — SimpleLifeRVing.com with Cathy Harris.  Coming soon – SimpleLifeRVing.com Facebook, Instagram, Patreon, and Youtube pages. Let’s “Simplify and Go.”
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is www.SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com