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It’s Time to Rise and Shine Ladies and Gents

Is This the End of My YouTube Channel?

Preparing To Go Back West

What You Should Know About Sleeping On the Road

The Beauty Around You – Library Drive, Flagstaff

Leaving BLM Land After Memorial Day Weekend – Flagstaff, AZ

Van Lifer Reach New City and Gain More Power – Jackery Portable Solar Panel

Van Lifer First State Park Visit

Letting Go of Fear On The Road

First Police Knock – Police Stop – No Tags – Houston We Still Have a Problem – #StealthCamping

Van Dweller Frustrations On the Road

New Van Lifer Freezing in Van – Why?

New Nomad Picking Up Bed

New Nomad Bought A Van

#TeamVan vs. #TeamRV

Simple Life RVing – Trailer

What Nomads Need To Know About 5G

 

Has 5G Been Made Safe?

This is How They Had Planned on Killing or Controlling Us in The Future with Depopulation and Mind Control

This is How They Were Going To Expose Everyone to Toxic 5G Radiation

They (aka “The Government”) were on a path to do this, to purposely expose us to more radiation, however, supposedly since we are going into a new era (aka “New World”) — everything has changed so we need to watch this carefully and #QuestionEverything.

I was told by workers at T-mobile and Verizon that all the cell towers are being upgraded and within 6 months to a year, ALL PHONES, no matter which carrier you have (Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile/Sprint) — you will need to upgrade so they can communicate with the new 5G cell towers being installed everywhere.

This means that these phones will be full of 5G radiation, which is a heavy metal so they (aka “The Government”) will probably be in a position to zap us at any time to make us sick or even kill us — especially if you get out of line (#FreeSpeech).

So your phone won’t work if you don’t upgrade it. The goal is to learn now how to reduce the amount of radiation (aka ‘Heavy Metals’) you currently receive in your body by eating certain foods, drinking certain water, and taking certain supplements. Special Report coming soon.

What You Should Know About Cell Phone Towers

Supposedly, all the new 5G towers have been weakened and set to heal us instead of zapping us with more radiation.

The widespread use of cell phones in recent decades has led to a large increase in the number of cell phone towers (also known as base stations) being placed in communities.

During the shut-down these were placed in and around many, many neighborhoods, children’s playgrounds, schools, hospitals, etc.

These towers have electronic equipment and antennas that receive and transmit cell phone signals using radiofrequency (RF) waves.

Cell phone towers are still relatively new, and many people are understandably concerned about whether the RF waves they give off might possibly have health effects.

At this time, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects. However, this does not mean that the RF waves from cell phone towers have been proven to be absolutely safe.

Most expert organizations agree that more research is needed to help clarify this, especially for any possible long-term effects.

How Do Cell Phone Towers Expose People to Radio Frequencies

Cell phone base stations can be free-standing towers or mounted on existing structures, such as trees, water tanks, or tall buildings.

The antennas need to be high enough to adequately cover a certain area. Base stations are usually from 50 to 200 feet high.

Cell phones communicate with nearby cell towers mainly through RF waves, a form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum between FM radio waves and microwaves.

Like FM radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and heat, they are forms of non-ionizing radiation.

This means they do not directly damage the DNA inside cells, which is how stronger (ionizing) types of radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet (UV) rays are thought to be able to cause cancer.

Cancer is the second largest killer across every community so look for cases of cancer to increase in the future.

My Phone Service

I am a Nomad. I travel around the country in my 2019 Promaster Cargo Van teaching from the road at www.YouTube.com/SimpleLifeRVing and www.Instagram.com/SimpleLifeRVing.

My topics are Health, Business, Minimalism, and Happiness. I am also a “Spiritual Intuitive,” and a “Dating” and Love Coach” at www.BlackMatchmakerClub.com.

Because many Nomads (RVers, Van and Car Dwellers) will be living and working in remote jobs, their phones and internet service will be key for them.

It’s extremely important that most Nomads and everyone else, be able to make a phone call, especially in case of an emergency.

I use T-mobile for my phone service and I have the Verizon Mi-fi to get on the internet. I had a big, big interest in what is happening with both carriers.

I always wanted to just deal specifically with Verizon because, for years, many of us heard it had the best service. However, for Nomads, many of us have figured out — that it depends on what part of the country you are located in.

Three (3) Phone Carriers

There are currently only 3 cell phone carriers, which are Verizon, AT&T, Sprint/T-Mobile. Sprint was acquired by T-mobile in 2018.

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.

Most Nomads seem to have Verizon cell service and everyone has discussed 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 Nomads 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 Nomads 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 traveling 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 a 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. 

Read my 6 health books to learn more about what has happened to the food supply system and why it is imperative that you grow your own food.

Check out my two links and initiatives for growing foods:

www.VirtualOrganicGardenClubs.com and 

www.BrothersBuildingGardens.com

 
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

 

 

 

How I Got Rid of a Mice In My Van

Feb. 22, 2021

After over a year in my van and after reaching another city, Orlando, FL, I realized that I might have picked up a mice in my van.

I had reflectix under my bed so a couple of times, I thought it was raining outside, but found out instead something was walking on the reflectix.

Shortly after buying the van when I was in Houston, one night after Stealth Camping and dosing off to sleep, I had heard a mice in the van then. However, because the Van was so new and clean, the mice jumped out after one night.

The goal is to keep the van clean and your food in an airtight container. I had made it a point not to park near dumpsters, where these critters hang out, but they had still made their way into my van for the second time.

The first thing I did was to stop and just clean out everything. I did find a couple of pieces of rotten fruit such as an apple and watermelon, which might have attracted them in the first place, so it is important to account for everything – every piece of food — that you bring in your van.

If something falls on the floor in your van – make sure you retrieve it and start looking throughout your van every week or two to take inventory of everything you have in there.

I had done this practice since buying the van, however, because I was passing into a cold city and area, Atlanta, I had stopped looking through everything.

Once I heard the mice walking on the reflectix, I had found droppings (urine) on a stack of toilet tissue and paper towels – that I had stacked on one side. So I believe I had made myself a target by carrying so many of these items in my van.

Once I threw everything out – I cleaned out everything and now I can see all the way under my queen-sized bed.

I took three (3) steps specifically to get rid of the mice in my van and ensure that it stays out:

-First of all, I put out a bowl of cotton balls containing peppermint essential oil. If mice can’t smell they feel they are in danger and that is also how they find food so they have to be able to smell.

-Secondly, I bought Irish Spring soap – cut it in half, and placed it in every corner of my van. Again, the soap will block their ability to smell.

-Thirdly, I bought the Mice/Rat Glue traps from Home Depot and put peanut butter instead of cheese in the middle of it.

So far, I believe all these methods have been working in my van after I heard a mice or two in my van one night. I believe they did the job and again, I have a ‘peace of mind’ as I travel with my #VanLife.

 
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

 

 

 

Top Secrets for Staying Warm in a Car, Van, RV or Your Home

 

Feb. 23, 2021

Hello Everyone:

I grew up in rural Georgia so I had to deal with the cold early on as a child. I guess that is one of the reasons I have been okay out here on the road as a Van Dweller.

However, initially, when I started Van Life, I found myself unprepared a couple of times and had to endure the cold just like I did in the military, which back then was part of the training.

You want to take the following steps to keep warm out there in a Car, Van, RV, or in your home:

Eat Chocolate: For some reason, chocolate will warm up your insides so it was recommended to me by other van lifers to eat chocolate. I did and it did work.

Drink Hot Chocolate/Cocoa: I learned from a survival expert at the yearly event for RVers and Van Lifers to drink hot chocolate or hot cocoa instead of drinking hot coffee or hot tea. He said the effect of the coffee and tea would not last as long as the hot chocolate or hot cocoa. I believe he was right. I always keep hot chocolate in my van.

Buy Sleeping Bag: Most people never think about just having a sleeping bag (or two or more) at home for emergency purposes, but this is a wonderful idea. I would even buy two of them and use the one on top like a tent to bring in instant heat when you get under there. Walmart sells them for $15. Make sure it is 20 or 30 degrees below. Even if the zipper breaks — if you buy a cheap sleeping bag, the sleeping bag will still serve its purpose.

Wear Long Johns: There are plenty of long johns out there, but the best brand to really keep the cold out is ‘Cuddl Duds’. They are available at Walmart.

Buy Electric Blanket: If you have any type of power source then Walmart has a $15 electric blanket, but again, you need some type of power source such as a power box, inverter, or generator to plug it up to. Most people prefer also not to go to sleep in an electric blanket because even on the low setting, they can get too hot. Many just use it to lounge around — before they go to sleep for the night.

Wear Layers: Instead of putting on one big layer — wear layers of clothing so you can take items off if you get too hot. 

Wear Socks/Gloves/Mittens: Wear socks to lounge around in. Many people can’t sleep in socks especially if they are in a sleeping bag. The goal is to keep your hands warm because if your hands freeze then you can be at risk for frostbite so keep them warm by wearing gloves or mittens or just put socks on your hands for warmth if you don’t have these.

Wear Hats/Scarves: The goal is to keep your head warm because most of the time warmth exits your body through your head and feet. Make sure you wear hats and/or scarves, which cover your ears and neck. The goal especially is to cover your chest area. 

Massage Your Shoulders: If your feet get extremely cold and you don’t have warm water to dip them into then try massaging your shoulders with some type of oil such as olive oil. It will warm up your feet.

Snuggle Up: Make sure you snuggle up with your mate/spouse, children, or an animal. You can put a tent over the bed and create a wave of heat under the tent. An extra sleeping bag unzippered would work the same way as a tent over the bed.

Check On Seniors: Make sure you check on Seniors especially elderly neighbors. Most Seniors die due to a lack of air conditioner in the summer and heat in the winter. Make sure the services in charge of checking on Seniors are actually doing their jobs.

The weather is an uncertain today so you need to have survival items at your place of residence at all times – whether you are living in a car, van, RV, or in a home such as:

-Extra water

-Extra food

-Extra clothing (coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, long johns, socks, etc.)

-Extra wood if you have a wood stove or fireplace.

-Power boxes (Jackery.com), inverters, generators, solar panels (small and large), etc. Remember any type of solar panel might not work if there is no sun out so be prepared.

-Sleeping bags 

-Electric blankets

Just because you made it out of this winter – not needing any of these items, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need these items in the near future. It could mean the difference between life and death – so be prepared and stock up. Good luck!

 
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

 

 

10 More Facts I Learned About #VanLife During My 6-Month Journey



1. Will You Be Mobile or Stationary? Remember there are several types of Van Dwellers and RVers. Some move every 2 to 3 days, which can be costly (gas). Others move every 2 to 3 weeks, and others every month or two or every 6 months. However, a large portion of Van Dwellers and RVers are what you call stationary. Many times they are stationary due to their health, to be around family or they might have a job that doesn’t allow them to be mobile, so figure out early on what type of traveler you will be. Personally, I enjoy moving every 2 to 3 weeks. I like exploring and checking out one area at a time to see if I can come back to that area when I need to relax.

2. Have Some Type of Protection With You: It doesn’t matter what type of background you have. It is not safe to be out on the road with no protection. You might need a taser, pepper spray, bear spray, gun, pellet gun, knife, whistle, jogger’s alarm, take a self-defense course, etc. Read the article I wrote “Keep Safe When Camping.”

3. Get Regular Maintenance on Your Vehicle: You need to get regular maintenance on your vehicle especially if it is new. This might just take paying attention and keep a maintenance log. This way especially if you travel a lot, you will have your favorite places to get maintenance on your vehicle.

4. Carry Emergency Supplies With You: I believe some people just forget to carry the orange cones in case they break down on the freeway, fire extinguishers (at least 2), CO2 detectors, and plenty of batteries. Many new van dwellers and RVers end up getting on the road without these.

5.  Clean Your Van Everyday: Remember living in your van is just like a house so it is important that you clean up everyday so you don’t attract flies especially in the heat. Also, try not to park by a dumpster because this is where rats hang out at – which can also get into your van.

6. Park Your Van Level: Park your van level, otherwise, you will be rolling out of your bed at night. I did not invest yet in any type of levelers for my tires. I just make sure my emergency breaks are on every night and I try to park level on a flat surface.

7.  Download Weather Apps: Monitor at least 4 or 5 weather apps such as #Weather, #TheWeatherChannel, #WeatherNation, #MyRadar, #Windy, etc. You never know how the weather will change from day to day so take advantage of nice, breezy day — days where you can be comfortable especially if you only have a temporary build. At month number five (5), I made the statement that I finally feel like I am on vacation and the very next day, I literally almost blow away in my van. About 3 times I got up to go and find a building to park beside off that could block the wind off. So you have to be on your toes living in this lifestyle. You want to especially be careful on BLM.gov or National Forest land. It can be problematic if you fall asleep on this land and wake up in the rain in mud, so again, you have to pay attention. Also, one of the reasons I have not utilized it as much as I should is that I like being somewhere where I can get on the internet.

8. Birds Chirp All Night: I have been woken up all times of the night by the birds chirping. I do believe because of what has happened, we are moving back to nature and this is why you hear birds chirping at all times of the day and night.

9. Keep Changing Your Temporary Build-Out: I believe everyone who has a temporary setup will continue to make small or large changes to it. However, at this point, I don’t plan on spending any more money on my temporary setup. I did, however, go ahead and buy the portable solar panels (100 Watts) to charge up my Jackery 500 power box. That way I do not have to idle my car or drive just to charge up my box. 

10. Get Referrals for Your Permanent Build-Out: If you still have a temporary build-out and you do need others to help with your build then get around others that can give you referrals. Attend events such as the yearly Van Build in November in Parker, AZ, and the yearly Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) in Quartzsite, AZ. Also, join caravans at www.Meetup.com/Caravans. The good thing about caravans and when you find your tribe. When you want to be alone, it’s easy to just get up and leave.

Many people on the road especially those that live in cars and van are viewed to be homeless. As a former veteran and a person that loves traveling and who has traveled quite extensively in the U.S., I feel quite lucky as a #VanLifer to have several residences that I can go to if I need to get off the road. First of all, my family owns over 30 acres in Georgia so I can always go back there or with other family members or friends in other areas.

 
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

 

RV Industry Opportunities for Growth – Becoming an RV Inspector and RV Tech

May 4, 2020

My name is Cathy Harris and I teach Business Ownership through my line of Seminars and Workshops and I have two business books. I do believe these two professions, RV Inspectors and RV Techs will be in high demand especially after what has just happened in this country.

After the 2008 financial crash, many chose the Nomad lifestyle and turned to Car, Van, and RV living so I feel it will be the same this time, which will create many opportunities for RV Inspectors and RV Techs.

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. Many are retiring at the same time so the RV industry has always had 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 use 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. 
 
As an RV Tech, many RVers complain about the length of time it takes to fix their RVs. Some even have to sit out the entire season because of repair. Therefore, this profession has always been in high demand.
 
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. 
 
As an RV Inspector in order for others to find you and give yourself legitimacy, it might be best to be listed with a group of professionals, for instance, at https://nrvia.org/locate.
 
Because of the demand, some have even chosen to start their own RV Inspector and RV Tech schools, for instance, https://nrvta.com. 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 CLASSoffered 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’. 
 

Being stationary as an RV Tech has its perks, but so does being mobile. Marketing will be key for both of these professions. Not only should you market your business on the side of your vehicle, but also in local newspapers, RV radio shows and podcasts, but don’t forget to form relationships with Campgrounds and RV Parks, who can send referrals your way.

Let me know if you have any other questions on business ownership and don’t forget to 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.’ 

 
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
 

 

Six (6) Months Van Anniversary – What I Did Wrong – What I Did Right

What I Did Wrong

  1. Not Obtaining A Piss Container/Bucket Up Front: This should have been the first item that I bought — once I became a van owner. However, I still woke up some mornings in the beginning and tried to make it to gas stations. After doing this a couple of times, I quickly obtained a piss container and a $5 bucket from home depot and a plastic toilet seat cover from Walmart. Because I was raised in the country in rural Georgia and never had an indoor bathroom, I had no issue with relieving myself in this manner. I made it a point to buy garbage bags and double or triple them up and just dump every day or two. I use baking soda for the smell and have went up to 5  or 6 days without dumping because of it. 
  2. Not Obtaining A Wash Basin Upfront: I can’t believe since coming on the road the last six months, because I go to gyms quick often, I haven’t had any desire to go to a hotel or a family member’s home to take a bath. Before coming on the road, I wasn’t a fan of showers and was taking 3 baths a day, but you will get used to your new lifestyle fairly quickly out here on the road. I feel really pampered when I go to the gym and as long as you feel you are nurturing and pampering yourself — you will be okay. After obtaining a piss container/bucket, buying a basin to wash up in will be essential. Having a clean body will make this lifestyle more doable. I did not go out and buy a wash basin until maybe a week. At first, especially when I traveled, I made it a point to use sinks in gas stations to wash up. I remember the first time I went 7 days without being in the gym or taking a bath. It was indeed a new day for me, but after growing up without running water and using a tin tub to wash up, I realized quite quickly that this lifestyle was indeed doable. I did not even want to take showers at truck stops initially, but now (at $8 to $15) — besides gyms, truck stops especially Pilots/Flying J’s, are some of my favorite places to wash up. 
  3. Not Buying A Power Box (Jackery 500) Upfront: I had been looking at different power boxes for months, even before I got on the road, but I was overwhelmed with what to buy. The reviews on Amazon and YouTube.com was so confusing until I actually put my choice on the back burner — while I concentrated on other things. This was a big, big mistake that I would regret later on. After 90 days (3 whole months), I had no other choice but to make this purchase. I had the money from the very beginning, but just did not know which to buy. After the Jackery 500 went on sale on Amazon for $400 instead of $500, I jumped at the chance to buy it. It took me a couple of more weeks to test it to see if the two main appliances (a “Blender” I bought from Amazon.com and my “Steamer” I bought from Walmart) would work with it.  I had my doubts after continuing to watch several more reviews. Both were very inexpensive so I felt I really did not have anything to lose, however, I knew I needed to change the way I was eating and eat more healthier. After trying both out I was quite surprised that they both worked and really happy that I would no longer have to depend on being around grocery stores at meal times and that I would be able to prepare my meals more naturally (juiced and steamed) on the road.
  4. Not Buying Lights Upfront: Before getting on the road, I had given away several lamps (small and large) before leaving my apartment because I did not know that I would be able to use these with my power box (Jackery 500). Not having a power box for 90 days also gave me a reason not to purchase any kind of lights. I had to literally depend on my phone flashlight the first couple of weeks of van life so I was fumbling around in the dark most nights and even tried to get everything done before dark. Eventually, I did go into Walmart to the camping section and found a great selection of camping lights that I put throughout the van. These looked just like regular socket lights back home on the wall so I was quite pleased with my purchase.
  5. Not Buying Containers or Plastic Drawers Upfront: I was inundated with so many decisions that I did not want to buy anything for the van until I got my bed in it. That decision put me back several days. I eventually had to make a decision and was just hoping it was the right one. Because my bed was so low to the floor, I would have had to buy special containers to put under my bed so that lead me to just purchase plastic containers and dressers to put upfront, until I was ready for my permanent build. This left nothing under the bed so luckily that space came in handy when I had to store more supplies for #Corona (toilet tissue, paper towels, more food, etc.).
  6. Getting Gas When Tired: One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was to pay attention to what I was doing especially when I got gas. Most RVers and Van Dwellers should get gas the night before if they plan on having a big trip the next day. So after I took a nap at a grocery store and was about to go into my #StealthCamping spot for the night, I got gas. Because I was tired, the backside of my van scrapped against one of the yellow barriers at the gas station. Again, the van was so big and long and it stuck out everywhere, so initially, I had trouble parking it. But after that fiasco, I paid more attention especially when I was around gas stations. Luckily the damage was not that bad.
  7. Not Knowing My Van Height: Well like most RVers or Van Dwellers, until I bought my van, I never paid attention to signs that tell you the height when you can drive. These signs are not just posted on freeways before you get to low hanging bridges, they are posted on most places where there is some type of cover — even at fast- food driveways and car washes. I went into a car wash one day and realized the top of a pole that they had there was scraping the top of my van when I came out. I got out and look around and figured out the last time I was there, I actually went in another side — that was higher. Luckily, it was a low-hanging pole that I don’t believe did any damage up there, but I won’t know until I have my Maxx Aire Deluxe fans or solar installed and then hopefully they will cover the damage. 
  8. Not Knowing Tag Procedures in My State:  I bought my van in Atlanta instead of Texas, but had my #HomeState address in Texas so that posed a big issue for me enjoying my van life initially. The tag office gave me the run around from the very beginning and because the car dealership where I bought the van in Atlanta had horrible customer service, my tag experience was not very well. The car dealership had to send temporary tags to me twice. The first time I ended up driving without tags  (expired tags) for a few days so I was at risk to get a ticket.  After I finally received the tags, I found out from the tag office that they would have mailed them to me if I had to move on to another state, but yet even after going to this office and calling on the phone, they never told me this. After spending 80 days in Houston waiting on my tags, which was the closest big city to Livingston,  TX, where my address was located, I just wanted to be out of Houston.

What I Did Right

  1. Bought the Right Vehicle: Many RVers and Van Dwellers have regrets after purchasing either a van or RV. Many go on to another vehicle within the first 1 to 2 years, however, up until 1 to 2 months of getting on the road full-time and ‘teaching from the road’ in my new youtube platform, I was #TeamRV (Class C) instead of #TeamVan. I am very satisfied with my purchase. Many times I #StealthCamp and there are so many vehicles out there that look exactly like my commercial Dodge Promaster 3500 Cargo Van. So unless they are writing down tag numbers this has allowed me to be able to park at many more places.
  2. Do a Temporary Build First: Some people are fortunate enough to be able to obtain their van then build it out permanently before getting on the road, but I did not have this luxury. Despite conducting 7 months of research on youtube, google and reading books, I just did not have all the pieces for the puzzle to be able to build out my van permanently upfront. I needed more time to think about what I really wanted to include in the van so I am glad I waited.
  3. Bought the Hooks and Bungee Cords from Walmart: My expertise was never building anything out so I knew when it came to building out my van, there wasn’t much that I would be able to offer. However, one of the best — if not the best choice I made was buying the hooks and bungee cords from Walmart and putting them throughout the van. Because it was a Promaster Cargo Van, it already had the holes to place the hooks in so until I can get a permanent build-out (hopefully, by fall 2020) or a next stage setup — including 2 Maxx Air Deluxe Fans, Controller, 2,000 to 3,000 Watt Inverter, 2 AGM Batteries, and Refrigerator — my temporary setup will work just fine, however, I will need to follow 70-degree weather around the country. 
  4. Bought the Jackery 500 Power Box: There are all types of power boxes out there. It was a great decision to buy the Jackery 500 power box as my first power box. However, if I had waited I would have been able to buy the Jackery 1000, which would have been even better.
  5. Did Not Use Propane: I knew from day one that I did not want propane in my van. However, I just did not know how I would stay warm or even eat without it. It took 90 days for me to figure out the best and correct way to eat without propane when I bought my powerbox (Jackery 500) and I told you above how I spent many nights freezing because I refused to put propane in my van. Unlike other van lifers who use propane to cook with and to keep warm, many buy the Mr. Buddy Heaters (that comes in 3 sizes) or the Olympian Wave 3 (or 6) Catalytic Heaters, I wasn’t certain if propane actually leaked off some type of poisonous heavy metal. If you have to crack windows and let air in when you use propane and these types of heaters then naturally there is some type of toxin or poison in the air so this is what I was trying to avoid. My goal was to look at my new lifestyle and still incorporate my healthy habits and to me having good air quality around me was very important. 
  6. Put Reflectix Around My Ice Chest: Putting reflectix around my ice chest was indeed one of the better decisions I made. Now instead of getting ice every 3 to 4 days, I can actually do this every 6 days. 
  7. Put a Comfortable Bed in It: One of the first things a car dweller, vanner or even RVer should look at is their bed and ask themselves — “Will It Be Comfortable?” I am so glad I was able to bring my bed with me. I thought about it for months and had I gotten the type of RV (Class C) that I wanted, there is a good chance that I would have had to cut off the ends of my mattress. Once I went #TeamVan, then I had no doubt that I could bring my comfortable bed with me.
  8. Bought A Sleeping Bag/Long Johns: Because my lease at my Senior Apartments in Orlando ended on October 1, I had no other choice but to start my journey off in cooler weather. However, I do prefer cooler weather over hotter weather any day so I have no regrets starting out in the Fall/Winter months. The only time I really remember camping out was in the military over 40 years ago so because I was very inexperienced when it came to camping, I had no idea that a Sleeping Bag and Long Johns (Cuddl Duds) should have been one of my first purchases. It took almost freezing to death in Houston — to realize that so again if you decide to get out here on the road, a Sleeping Bag and Long Johns (Cuddl Duds at Walmart) are quite essential to this lifestyle especially if you start your journey off in cooler weather.
  9. Used the Verizon Mi-Fi (Jetpack): There were several options on the table for me to be able to get on the internet, but this one seemed fairly easy. My goal was to always be around an area (city or rural), where I could get online so I am satisfied choosing this option. I have had very little issues with not being able to use it with my laptop, tablet, and phone.
  10. Stockpiled Supplies: Even before Corona hit on Mar. 3, 2020, I was pretty much stockpiling supplies especially water, toilet tissue, paper towels, baby wipes, garbage bags, detergent,  bath cloths, batteries (double and Triple A’s), healthy foods, packaged foods for emergencies, vitamins and supplements, etc. so it is always good to have a fresh, supply of goods on hand.
 
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
 

Top 20 Steps To Stay Cool in a Van or RV


Mar. 26, 2020

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 part or full-time adventures is not what RV, van or car dwelling is about.

Tips to keep RVs and Vans cool include:

  • Point RV or Van 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 or Van dark and much cooler. It 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 or Van.
  • 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 RV 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, 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, 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 or Van 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.
 
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

 

Don’t Join the Gym – Do a Detox Program First


Cathy Harris Educates on Staying Healthy on The Road – Van Life Health Playlist

Don’t Go to the Gym – Do a Detox Program First!

(Excerpts from “How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days”) Series 3

Did you know that many people will start the New Year off by joining a gym and by the month of March (some by Valentine’s Day) they will already be out of there?

Why You Should Engage in a Detox Program?

If you are apparently overweight with very low energy, then don’t go to the gym but instead engage in a detox program first. This process will take anywhere from 1 to 2 to 3 weeks depending on the type of detoxification program you choose from a health food store.

Remember your health begins in your colon so a colon cleanse (detox) should be a priority while you work your way up to a liver and kidney detox.

Detoxification (detox for short) is a natural healing process needed more than ever in today’s toxic world. Just as the outer environments in which we live can become polluted with trash, violated with industrial chemicals, our inner environments (our bodies) can become filled with toxic garbage as well.

Many of these toxins come from our diets, drug use, and environmental exposure. By engaging in a detoxification program we are actively assisting and supporting the body in its own natural cleansing actions to help in ridding the body of substances that may be detrimental to our health.

Learn how to find all the health food stores in your neighborhood and the type of detoxes you should purchase by reading the article at the end of this article or the health book.

Couch Potato Lifestyle

It’s estimated by many experts that this will be the first generation that WILL NOT outlive their parents. The main reason is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) found in 90% of foods in grocery stores which have no nutritional value and leading a sedentary (sitting posture) lifestyle.

A sedentary lifestyle or “the couch potato lifestyle” has contributed to over 200,000 PREVENTABLE deaths a year. The leading causes of death for people with heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes are most strongly influenced by lifestyle.

What to Do Before Starting an Exercise Program

Before starting any type of regular exercise program see your doctor first to make sure your body can take working out. Remember to always start off slow (start off walking) then work yourself up over the next few weeks and months to a more intense form of working out, if and only if, you are in shape for that type of workout.

If you have been sedentary for some time, try exercising in water. Water aerobics are excellent for those who are overweight or who find walking or running difficult.

Some easy ways to add physical activity to your daily routine include:

  • Park the car farther away from your destination.
  • Get on or off the bus several blocks away.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Take fitness breaks instead of cigarette or coffee breaks. Walk, stretch or do some office exercises.
  • Perform gardening, yard work, heavy house cleaning, or home-repair activities.
  • Exercise while watching TV. For example, use hand weights, a stationary bike or treadmill, stretch, or perform body-weight exercises such as crunches, push-ups and squats.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office. You’ll be ready for activity wherever you go.
  • Walk while doing errands.

Know the Dangers of Working Out in a Gym

Many people will start the New Year off by joining a gym and by the month of March they will already be out of there. Why? Because they should have engaged in a detox program first so they could gain the long-term energy they will need to pace themselves.

Did you know you can freeze your membership at most gyms if you don’t plan on attending for a while? Fitness gyms have memberships for $20 or $30 a month and you don’t have to sign a contract (LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, YMCAs, etc.). But be careful when working out in a gym.

Some of the dangers of working out in a gym include:

-Underqualified staff or physical trainers (untrained staff members pretending to know what they are doing)
-Bacteria on equipment (including exercise mats so bring your own or clean off mats) and in showers (always wear shoes)
-Faulty equipment (many persons have been paralyzed from using faulty equipment at gyms so pay attention and don’t exercise when you are sleepy or too tired).

Wear the Right Equipment to Work Out

It’s very motivational to have on the right equipment when you are working out especially your shoes. If you plan on starting a walking program then invest in walking shoes.

Sports Authority has a great selection of workout clothes and tennis shoes for under $60. If you have a foot injury then chances are you will stop working out altogether so invest in expensive socks so your feet can feel comfortable.

If you plan on starting an aerobic program then buy cross-trainer shoes. If you plan on running everyday then invest in running shoes.

Don’t forget that water bottle so you can sip water throughout your workout. Wearing the right equipment will help you feel good about yourself and will help you get results even sooner.

Warm It Up

Make sure you warm-up before exercising. Your warm-up is just as important as your workout, however, with busy schedules, people forget to stretch and heat up their bodies. Many just settle for a few toe-touches which can leave them in pain or injured.

A good warm-up will provide increased flexibility and will activate the necessary muscles for training and competition. It also speeds up your blood flow and causes your core temperature to rise, which will prepare you to train at your highest levels. Good preparation makes for a great workout.

Preventing Soreness When Exercising

Getting sore after exercising will not only keep you from continuing to exercise, it might make you stop all together. Therefore, to prevent soreness remember to use natural remedies for soreness versus the over-the-counter creams that can leak into your blood system and cause your body to become toxic.

For instance, always keep Epsom salt by your bathtub to use when you go home from the gym and for muscle cramps rub pure, unprocessed olive or flaxseed oil into your muscles before and after strenuous exercise.

The Right Way to Lose Weight

In order to lose weight, you must exercise. When you look at the people that are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, they are active, plain and simple.

Being overweight is caused most often by overeating and under-exercising. Excessive weight can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, diabetes, and gallstones.

Get Some Type of Cardiovascular Exercise

The more fit you are, the longer you are likely to live. Being fit usually means you engage in some type of “cardio” or “cardiovascular” exercise. Cardiovascular exercises are any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and keep it up for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Everyone should be engaged in some type of cardiovascular exercise (fast or power walking, running, aerobics, swimming, bicycling/spinning, etc.) at least 3, 4 or 5 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes.

Learn more by reading my health book “How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days” (available as an e-book or paperback book at www.AngelsPress.com) or read the e-article below.

How To Engage in A Complete Detoxification Program
– E-article by CathyHarrisSpeaks.com

Amazon
BarnesandNoble.com
Smashwords.com

 

 
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

 

RV Club and Van Memberships and Apps

 
Popular RV and Van 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

FREE 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 checklist 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

Just some of the Memberships and Apps for RV and Van Dwellers include:

  • 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.
 
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