How To Stay Cool in An RV or Van

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

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

FREE Places To Park RVs, Vans and Cars When Traveling

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
 
Do’s:
  • Purchase items from Walmart.
  • Pick up after yourself.
  • Pick up after pets. 
  • Do park far away from each other.
Don’t:
  • 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.

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.  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

Keeping Safe While Camping – Reposted from Facebook #CarandVanDweller Group

by Paul Robertson

There are many people who will rob or harm you in the wild. There are bears, cougars, boars, wolves, snakes, and gators that are hungry.

  1. Get a Concealed Weapons Permit (if required in your state) and carry a small pistol in your pocket at all times. A .22 will make enough noise to make someone run, but you will need a 9mm or .40 with a well-placed shot to kill a criminal or wild animal. Get trained and practice on a regular basis. This can also come in handy if attacked by a bear, wolf, snake, or cougar. A pistol will cost $150-$500.
  1. If you are on a low budget, you can get a scary looking pellet gun at Walmart for $20- $80.

This will not kill anyone but you could blind an attacker if you were good enough to shoot their eye. The hand cockers are fun to shoot, but may not scare a criminal away. I would go for a $50 CO2 model and keep in pocket.

  1. A $1 folding knife from Dollar Store.
  1. A $10 Pepper Spray on your key ring or in your pocket from Walmart.
  1. Several $1- $10 flashlights. I have one shaped like a billy club that is by my driver’s seat at all times ($24 Walmart). Lights in the eyes at night will confuse a criminal or animal. Go for the brightest ones.
  1. A $1 whistle on key chain or in pocket will confuse a criminal or animal.

7 A $15 compressed air horn on key chain or in pocket will confuse a criminal or animal. These can be found in the Walmart Boating department.

  1. Take a self-defense course or Judo. Sometimes it’s free in local communities.
  1. Use an ink pen or screwdriver. If you thrust into the neck or eye can slow down a criminal or animal.
  1. A double sock full of $10 worth of pennies or nickels (or a $10 hammer) can do some damage when swung to hit the head of a criminal or animal and the impact does not hurt you like hitting them with your fist.
  1. A $15 jogger’s alarm allows you to set off a loud noise.
  1. Many electronic remote key fobs have a panic button on them.
  1. A dog can be worth their weight in gold.
  1. A $15 Solar powered motion detection light for your home can sit on you dash or hood and may scare off a criminal or animal if you are in the woods.
  1. Put a Marine or Army sticker on your front and back bumpers. No one wants to pick a fight with a well-trained VET.
  1. A $330 Taser or $40-$120 Electric Shock Flashlight is a non-lethal way to stop an attacker.
  1. Know your environment and neighborhoods. There are parts of some towns I would not drive my vehicle through in broad daylight, let alone overnight. There are some places in the wilderness that are frequented by some people that may not be friendly.
  1. Park in a manner that won’t allow you to be blocked in by another vehicle. Be able to drive fast in forward or reverse to rapidly escape. Know your surroundings and escape routes. If you feel uncomfortable, listen to your gut. Lock up at night and have a designated place for your keys. While stealth is great, don’t park in a hidden place. Put gear away in the vehicle when not in use. Have defensive tools accessible.
  1. Bear Spray can be used on both 4 footed and 2 footed predators.

Remember, the average response time to a 911 call is 30 minutes or more.

The average response time of a pistol is 1400 feet per second. You can stop an attacker in less than 5 seconds.

The bottom line, you have to be able to protect and defend yourself when camping.

(Wasp Spray is only a defense against Wasps not attackers – google it)

Practice using all the above so you are comfortable, prepared, and are safe camping.

I am not paranoid but I also believe in being prepared. Google the following:

– 11 campers have been murdered on the Appellation Trail.

– A man was murdered in his tent with his 2 little girls watching and 10 other campers shot.

Whether you are in the woods or the city, there are still some crazy people in the world that will rob, rape or murder, regardless of the location.

It is better to have something, and not need it than to NEED SOMETHING and not have it.

I carry a can of Fix-a-Flat, spare tire, and fire extinguisher for the same reasons.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU USE?

LIST BELOW FOR OTHERS TO LEARN.

Happy Trails to YOU!

Paul Robertson

Car, Truck and Van Camping, Livin https://www.facebook.com/groups/vehiclecamping/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1037043999780600/

 

Read These Articles:

Top Mistakes I Made Starting Out in #VanLife https://cathyharrisinternational.com/vanlifemistakes/

What You Need to Know Before Starting #VanLifehttps://cathyharrisinternational.com/vanlife/

How To Successfully Live in a Car or Van https://cathyharrisinternational.com/carandvandwelling/

The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World  – https://cathyharrisinternational.com/the-truth-about-the-rv-industry/

 
 
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.

 

Top Mistakes I Made Starting Out in #VanLife

Oct. 23, 2019

Okay everyone some of you might be interested in my exploits up until now. On October 1, I left my home of 1 year in Orlando, FL, my senior apartments to start my #NomadLife at the age of 62 …now 63.

The first thing I did was to check in on my two daughters. Kids even adult children will tell you they are okay, but you need to physically go to their cities and check in on them.

Once I found out they were okay, it was time for me to enjoy my new #FullTimeNomadLife. I celebrated my 63rd birthday on Oct. 6 and had my 45th class reunion on Oct. 5.

After buying my vehicle, a new 2019 Dodge Ram Promaster 3500 in Atlanta, my 2nd city, the only thing I could think about was #Her (aka “My Bed).

I did not want to try to do a #TemporaryBuild until the bed was in it so 3 days after purchasing the van, I left Atlanta to retrieve my bed out of storage in Orlando, Fl. Yes… back again in Florida.

Because I had left in the middle of the day, I did not make it there until midnight. I was so tired when I arrived that after knocking on the door of the two guys who put my bed in storage, I went in the van and passed out on 3 feet of clothes in the middle of the van.

I did not sleep well that night because all I could think about was #Her (aka “My Bed’). I had been without her for three weeks. The next day the two guys and I went to retrieve the bed out of storage and the ‘gates of heaven’ opened up to me as I watched them load her up.

By then I was so tired, I drove around to a cool spot under the shade at the apartment complex and went and laid on the bed, but it was too hot to sleep.

It was cool in Atlanta and cool where I was heading – Houston, but it was still hot in Florida, but with nice nights. So eventually, I got up and started folding up clothes – putting them in piles or in places under the bed. However, I did not have any containers yet, but still I was able to see my van floor for the first time since buying it so that made me feel pretty good.

Then I told myself after seeing my progress that this thing called #VanLife could really work, but I was still so very, very tired. That night I had the best night sleep of my life. After 3 weeks of #NomadLife, I was united with #Her (aka “My Bed”). It was like a match ‘made in heaven.’

I know you guys are going to say from the picture that she is too big (Queen 58 by 76) to have in a van and that she is taking up too much space, but that is the reason I bought the Ram Dodge 3500 Promaster in the first place and sleep is very important for my #NewLifestyle, #VanLife. We will discuss further when I am rested.

I got up the next day after one of the best night’s sleep of my life and headed out to Houston, TX, my new #HomeState. After 11 hours, I stopped about 20 miles from Lake Charles, LA and stayed at my #FirstTruckStop as a #Nomad, Love’s, but it had a #Pilot/FlyingJ — across the street so I heard trucks all night and early morning, so next time I will rethink about using truck stops especially when I need to rest.

When I got to Lake Charles, LA it was cold, unlike Florida, so I was digging in bags of clothing to double up what I was wearing, but it worked out well because I rather it be cold than hot so I was okay.

I got up and drove for 2 and a half more hours and landed in Houston so the #Starship had landed. Without knowing it I had actually gave my NEW VAN a name #StarShip.

Some of the #Mistakes I made by waiting to have my bed in the van was not buying the following:

A Piss Container: I had a container that looked exactly like my #AlkalineWater so I ended up pissing in a new half bottle of Alkaline water. Don’t do that especially if it is your last bottle of water in the van. I should have had more water with me.

A Painter’s Bucket: HomeDepot.com has the painter’s bucket that you can buy for $5. Then they have the pipe foam that goes around the top or you can buy the $11 camper’s toilet seat from Walmart . So for a small fee you can be all set to use the bathroom right in your own vehicle along with of course buying some 4 gallon garbage bags. Just double up the bags after use and throw in any public waste garbage can the next day.

A Basin to Wash Up: I should have had some type of container and extra water to wash up. A good sponge or birdbath could have kept me cool in Florida and fresh in colder weather. During my travels, I had been stopping and using the sinks in bathrooms to do a sponge or birdbath. Even though I could have taken a bath at the truck stop for $8 to $10, I was just too tired. Once I landed in my new city, my goal was to find a LA Fitness and also think about joining Planet Fitness as a backup. I could not believe that I went 7 days without a shower. Now before #VanLife, I took 3 tub baths a day so I had to get used to this new lifestyle. 

Small Battery Pack: This only cost about $20 at Walmart and does a wonderful job with charging your phone and tablet. As a matter of fact, I eventually bought two of them after waking up several times with my phone completely on zero. 

An Inverter/Power Box: Inverters come in different sizes. You can pay only $40 for a small inverter to plug things in such as phones, tablets, and computers. You can work on your computer in your car seat while you pick up free Wi-FI FREE from McDonalds, Starbucks, Pandora Bread, Target, Libraries, Lowe’s and other businesses. You can also buy the bigger inverter for around $100, $200 or $400 to run your refrigerator, blender, steamer, etc.  Make sure it is a Pure Sine Wave Inverter, otherwise, you are taking a chance on it messing up your computer. I ended up buying the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 (Cost $499), which I got on sale for $399, and it works great. 

A Light: It is a great idea to get some type of LED lights that won’t be plugged into anything and one that you can pop on and off. I ended up using a candle and the flashlight on my phone to see inside the van after it turned dark so I was fumbling around in the dark for several days — until I found my flashlight in my bags. I finally went into the camper’s section in Walmart and they had several options for lights that you did not have to plug in.

Containers: I should have bought these from the beginning so I could have started sorting things out right away instead of waiting on my bed to be put in my van.

I had thrown so much out and gave so much away when leaving Orlando the first time — that I regretted this decision because some of those things would have fitted nicely in my #TemporaryBuild such as my exercise mat, a fan, lights, etc. — so I should have put them in storage with my bed instead.

That first month of #Van or #RVLife is going to be extremely important so don’t make rash decisions. If you have a place that you can go to and do a slow #TemporaryVanBuild then, by all means, do that.

I will discuss other mistakes I made in later videos. I hope you enjoyed my exploits and I just wanted to give you guys a laugh. I am loving this life – #Nomadism101, #SimpleLifeRVing. Make sure you follow me on youtube.com.

Read These Articles:

What You Need to Know Before Starting #VanLifehttps://cathyharrisinternational.com/vanlife/

How To Successfully Live in a Car or Van https://cathyharrisinternational.com/carandvandwelling/

The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World  – https://cathyharrisinternational.com/the-truth-about-the-rv-industry/

 
 
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.

 

Thanks Florida – I Will Be Back – Living The #NomadicLife

 
 
Thanks Florida – I Will Be Back
Living The #NomadicLife
 
Sep. 6, 2019
 
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist
 
 
On October 1, 2019, I will be taking off for another horizon and #Adventure. I will be #GoingWest from Orlando to Oakland and will take 90 days to get there.
 
As I make my way slowly west, I will be seeing some beautiful sites, making great friends along the way and seeing family and old friends.
 
By the time I make it to California, it should be time for the yearly “Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR),”  a large gathering of RVers, Van and Car Dwellers in January 2020. This is a great chance to embrace the #NomadLife. So show up in a car with a tent if you have too. 
 
Texas (Houston) will be my #NewHome state and I will be going back there once or twice a year (more like every 9 months) for doctor’s visits and other personal business. However, as a Veteran, I can go to the doctor’s office in any state. 
 
I lived in Houston, TX over 30 years ago when I was still married as a young mother with two small kids. I did not want to return to Texas – not quite yet — after spending 1 year in Dallas and 3 years in Austin, but I guess we all need to revisit our past and move one.
 

I love this time of year around my birthday, October 6, (63) and other holidays, especially when all the leaves start changing colors. You got all the holidays back to back – my birthday (Oct. 6), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. I absolutely love it!!!

I go into some type of #HappyTrance during this time of year. The weather cools off and it’s also time for #BootSeason. I love wearing boots in cool weather. It’s also cool enough where you can wear a wig with comfort.

Despite being born in and living in the state of Georgia for 40 years, Florida will always be my #GoTo state. As most of you know I have been living in the Orlando, Florida area for one year after living in Austin, TX for 3 years and Dallas for 1 year. 

 
This is my 4th time living in the state of Florida. I lived in Tallahassee for 2 months before, Tampa for 6 months and Miami for 5 years and now one year in Orlando and all of it has been a #Beautiful experience for me.
 
Despite going through 11 years of workplace abuse in Atlanta, GA (TheCathyHarrisStory.com), I was the most happiest in my #WorkLife in Miami for 5 years with Customs more than any other location (Houston, TX, El Paso, TX, Miami, FL, Atlanta, GA) in my 27-year federal career.
 

Because I love to travel, I always wanted to call at least 3 to 4 states #MyHome. After driving around the country for a year in 2013, I had decided on Florida (Orlando), North Carolina (Charlotte) and Pennsylvania (Philly) – to be my #HomeStates. 

I always wanted to see California so I am on my way out there now (#GoingWest)  — so I can very well add it to the states I would like to call home. I can’t wait to see the water and scenery (#TeamBeach).
 
I have only lived in Charlotte for 2 weeks but other relatives and friends live in the North Carolina area so I have been there many times and always wanted to live in the Charlotte area.
 
North Carolina has the cleanest restrooms and rest areas out of all the states that I have traveled. I just thought I would put that in there.
 
For some reason, Florida has always been GOOD TO ME. I think the reason Florida is one of those states and areas that can get my #CreativeJuices flowing is because of its beauty. 
 
From the way the breezes rise off the water, to the way the sun comes up through the trees in early morning — what a beautiful, beautiful site. 
 
When I left Florida in 2014 after taking a 6 months break after being on the road for an entire year, I was really productive at that time also.
 
 
My goal back then was to travel to a new state every 6 months. I was going to sign a 6-month apartment lease or just move in with a roommate and just travel to a different state every 6 months and meet the locals, however, plans changed and I ended up getting off the road temporarily and moved to Austin and Dallas.
 
 
Back then I wasn’t thinking about RVing. I never explored the possibility of moving into a Van or RV until now. Sometimes in life, we have to stop and ‘smell the roses’ or just look at all our options.
 
I have been retired since 2005. Had I known this #NomadLifestyle existed back then — I know I would have acted sooner and embraced the #Nomad and #GypsyLifestyle.
 
I have always been a #Nomad and #Wanderer at heart, especially since the military. However, sometimes we are put in positions and sent to places to fully allow ourselves to heal and come up with #ActionPlans for our lives.
 
Had I never went to Austin, TX and lived with a guy who was a Sergeant Major, E-9 in the military, I don’t know if I could have faced my demons from the military or even have had the courage to finish my military book “Military Dirty Little Secrets: My Tour of Duty.” The book was so painful to write that it took me 40 years to write it and I am hoping it will be my #LastPainful book. 
 
Keeping a Strong Body as You Age 
 
Florida like most states has its issues. Eventually, I would like to move my doctor’s visits and personal business back to Florida. However, Florida has the worst VA.gov medical system that I have seen so far on my travels.
 
They call me a #TravelingVeteran because I had been seen at other VA.gov systems (Tampa, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Detroit, New Jersey, etc.). But the Orlando VA.gov level of care is something that needs to be investigated.
 
Like most states, they are not taking care of their residents — especially Seniors and Veterans. Read the article I wrote entitled “The State of Florida Is Dropping the Ball on Veterans and Especially Seniors.”
 
Despite having plenty of people around me, I pretty much went into isolation some days in Florida over the last year. This is because I still felt I had one more thing to do with my life (SimpleLifeRVing.com) and sometimes your elevation may require your isolation. Sometimes you need to turn your home into a #LearningCenter to feed your inner soul and spirit.
 
One thing I learned for sure in Atlanta in 2008,  three years after retiring from my job, when I ended up housebound and bedridden at the age of 50 years old, which started my natural #HealthJourney,  is that you have to take steps everyday to make sure your body, mind, and soul have what it needs not just to survive, but to function properly.  This is a daily task and unless you pay attention — your body, mind, and soul will give out on you.
 
Getting healthy and staying healthy is a struggle for everyone — including me. Because I was exposed to ‘second-hand’ cigarette smoke in my Senior apartments for one year, I had to struggle to stay healthy.
 
Benzene — the contaminant that comes from smoking can do a job on the human body especially the kidneys. 
 
So how do you counteract it:
 
  • Eat good, clean, organic foods.
  • Drink good clean water.
  • Take daily supplements.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Engage in regular detoxifications.

My first health book mentions many of these above  #ActionSteps and how to get there. The name of the book is entitled “How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days (Series 3).” 

I had two injuries while living in Florida during the past year and I am grateful and thankful that I had these injuries at this time in my life.

These injuries were nothing but lessons and a #WakeUp call for me to do what I needed to do, #StayOnTrack and pay even more attention when it came to how I treated my body.

I had a groin injury from lifting too much weight at the gym and when I took off to run one day because I had not stretched probably or enough, I pulled a butt muscle. It took 6 to 8 weeks each to heal both of these injuries.
 
The good part about it is that despite the fact that the VA.gov in Orlando, Florida had a bad medical system, it did have an adequate physical therapy department — where I was able to learn exercises that would strengthen my body for many years to come.
 
I was in the right place at the right time to get these lessons. And that is what life is. It is a lesson and unless you pay attention, your life could be over with  — in an instance.
 
Last Ride for Seniors – #FinalDestinations
 
We all must do our part and force politicians to do the right thing by Seniors. Remember we all will get old one day. We must do our part to make sure that as Seniors age, they can live out their lives with #Dignity.
 
If we don’t make these changes now or if we are not raising our kids, grandchildren and other relatives to be #Kind and #Compassionate — then who will make the changes?
 

The last time I was here in Florida in Tampa, FL for 6 months in 2014, I wrote the book “Golden Years: How To Age Gracefully and Take Care of Seniors” because Florida is FULL OF SENIORS. 

 
Many of you might not know it but when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, many found a new home in Florida so the state is extremely FULL OF PEOPLE — especially Seniors.  I guess the same will happen with #HurricaneDorian and the people from the Bahamas.
 
As soon as a new Senior apartment building is constructed in my area and they open their doors for business, they already have a 6-months to 1-year waiting list for Seniors desperate to find a home.
 
Even my Senior Apartments were once a hotel so they have had to turn buildings and other establishments into homes for Seniors in the state of Florida.
 
I have a one-bedroom studio/efficiency, however, they originally catered to prisoners and homeless people — 55 and older — then they started allowing other Seniors to move in.
 
I worked with men for over 30 years in the military and with U.S. Customs (TheCathyHarrisStory.com), but when I moved in these Senior apartments, I wondered why men here looked at me the way they did — like they wanted to jump me.
 
It was more than the usual looks and stares. Many seemed to have something sinister about them. One guy especially would talk loud outside my door as if he wanted me to hear him and come out outside.
 
I ended up in an argument with him for disrespecting my privacy and reported him to the office. Later I found out he had spent 17 years in prison.
 
Then I found out many of the men here had been in prison for up to 15 and even 20 years. When I found this out, I started carrying myself much differently – started being more safer, especially at night.
 
After my one year lease in Orlando, Florida living in Senior apartments, I realized that I needed more than ever to keep having ‘meaning in my life’ and living in an apartment or another dwelling was hindering me from ‘living my dreams’ of being on the #OpenedRoad. 
 
As soon as I signed the lease, it was like I just gave up my #Freedom — never again. I always wanted to live in Senior apartments to see if I could assist them in any way, but living here did nothing but made me want to go on more #Adventures and see even more beauty in my life while seeking out more fun, happiness and to be totally stimulated fully – mind, body, and soul.
 
It’s one thing to embrace your age and it’s another to completely give up on life. What I saw over the last year in my Senior apartments are people who had totally given up on life.
 
Not only where their fond memories of life behind them, they indeed had come to the end of their roads — many at the age of 55. I did not want that to be my story.
 
I heard them rejoice when the first of the month rolled around because they were paid. But by the 10th of the month, I heard them trying to borrow cigarettes from others because by then — they were #Broke. That’s no kind of life to live.
 
There was a beautiful park and a trail for walking or running next to our apartments, but many did not even bother to try to get on the elevator and come out and walk around the park to get some exercise.
Many would come out at least twice a day to walk their dogs so sometimes the dogs got more exercise than them. 
 
I watched these Seniors go from walking with a cane to using a walker to having to use a wheelchair. Many arrived in good shape — walking everyday, but once they saw everyone else with canes and walkers, they went and got one. So the type of people you hang out with does make a big, big difference — especially as you age.
 
Many did not even bother to get dressed everyday. They would just sit outside their doors in their nightclothes or be on breathing machines. So for many Seniors in my apartment complex, it was their #LastRide. 
 
Ambulances were here every week taking many Seniors away to hospitals or to their #FinalDestinations. So again, at 62, all of this urged me to seek out even more adventures in my life and to continue to live my life to the fullest. 
 
It’s time for all of us to come together and come up with a #BrainBank full of options to live our best lives ever. #Joy, #Peace, #Happiness.
 
I hope you join me on my new journey as I ‘Teach From the Road’ with youtube.com. Make sure you tell your family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues about my NEW JOURNEY. I hope my videos are educational as well as entertaining.
 
Again, Thanks Florida and I will definitely be back. Follow me as I travel around the country and ‘Live the Good Life’ in a car, van and RV
 
 
 
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.

 

My Gypsy Nomadic Lifestyle -#LivingFree

   
My Gypsy Nomadic Lifestyle:
#LivingFree
#BirthdayWishes
#SimpleLifeRVing 
 
Sep.  6, 2019
 
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist
  
 
Happy Birthday To Me
 

I have always had a ‘wandering spirit’ ever since I was in the military. So for my 63rd birthday on October 6, it was my plan to move into an RV and sign up for an RV class to learn more about RVs. However, since the classes are filled until next year, I won’t be purchasing an RV at this time. 

I can write a book in a week, make a man’s tuxedo for a sewing project in a few hours, take great photos and videos, crochet beautiful items, shoot a weapon perfectly, but when it comes to fixing stuff or being mechanically inclined, I barely know the difference between a phillips and flathead screwdriver. 
 
And as a #GirlyGirl, I am not really trying to learn these skills at this point in my life. So at 63, unless I have #TravelBuddy accompany me to take care of RV repairs, I decided to wait on purchasing an RV for now.
 
Oh there were plenty of offers or volunteers to ride along with me (believe me), but I wanted to get back on the road as a ‘solo female’ to renew my mind, spirit, and soul and connect with other women on the road, since my #TargetAudience for my empowerment and publishing business, AngelsPress.com, is #Women. 
 
Cars vs. RVs
 
After starting my RV research appropriately 7 months ago, it took me months to figure out that many in the RV industry also call a generator – an “inverter.” They both work hand-in-hand. The main difference between ‘inverter generators’ and a ‘conventional generator’ is the noise levels.
 

Amps, batteries it’s all confusing to me. I even have a #SisterBook (two parts) on cars “A Woman’s Guide to Buying a New or Used Vehicle: Everyday Secrets You Should Know”(Part I and Part II)

I really wrote these books because of how I personally have been cheated in the past by mechanics so I thought the books would help others — especially women — maneuver in this ‘uncharted territory’.
 
Part I of this book provides everything you need to know about buying a “new” or “used” vehicle. 
 
Part II of this book deals specifically with maintaining and caring for your vehicle once you buy it — so it will have a ‘good retail value’ when and if you decide to sell it or trade it in.
 
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 — while White men pay $2,000 LESS. This book will level the #PlayingField for anyone looking to buy a new or used vehicle – especially all women. 
 
 
So I have dabbled in trying to figure out the car industry, but the RV industry — it’s a totally different ball game. They make these cheap RVs and don’t even check them before they come off the line. They just shipped them to a state and then they go on the lot for sale. 
 
Cars get recalled too, but RVs are not regulated like cars so they can end up being a #MoneyPit. Unlike the car industry where cars are made in Germany and Japan, there is NO COMPETITION in the RV industry so they are free to do what they want. So again, I don’t want to rush into any decision to buy an RV or at least not until I feel comfortable that I can fix certain things.
 
I might also wait on this purchase to see how Camping World’s bankruptcy will play out over the next few months so read my article again “The Truth About the RV Industry – What You Need To Know About Camping World.”
 
Why I Will Also Be #CarCamping
 
The good thing about being a ‘Nomadic Gypsy Wanderer’ is being adjustable to make changes. I wanted to go ahead and educate you on another important topic before moving into an RV — living in a car or van. I wanted to make sure you were well-informed on living life as a Normad, Gypsy, and Wanderer in either of these.
 
As an #InformationJunkie, my mind is always working and coming up with GREAT IDEAS to put out in the universe. So what will I be doing after my one-year lease is up at my Senior apartments in Orlando, FL in October 2019, I will be moving into my car – #CarLiving and/or #CarCamping along with staying with family, friends (couchsurfing.com), and at hotels — as I travel west (#GoingWest) to Bob Well’s or CheapRVLiving.com
–  Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) in Jan. 2020.
 
 
 
I am so looking forward to my #NewAdventures on the road. Living in a CarVan or RV can be a wonderful life. I want the experience of doing all three – #CarDwelling, #VanDwelling, and #RVing (SimpleLifeRVing.com). 
 
And remember this will be my first time driving to the west coast — so I am so excited. By the time the RTR gets finished in January 2020, I will decide if it will be #TeamVan or #TeamRV.
 
A lot of you have seen me do some challenging things since being on my mailing list in 1998 and at 63, this might just be one of the most ‘out-of-the-box’ decisions I ever made — to #CarCamp.
 
But remember #LeadersLead by example. Leaders venture into ‘uncharted’ territories and help others transcend boundaries and create options. And that is what living in a CarVan or RV is all about – #Options and building a #Kind and #Brave movement.
 
Just know when I do #CampCamp, I will be doing it with a ‘sound mind and body’. It can be hard on building relationships especially if you live in a Car or Van, but remember these are #YourAdventures, you are not on this earth to please anyone else.
 
Many individuals are loving this lifestyle, saving money, eating organic foods and seeing some wonderful sites and making great friends along the way. What a life!!!
 
And I do have two daughters up north in dwellings that I can visit — especially when I feel like I need to relax in a bathtub. However, I will be getting a hotel probably weekly — just to recoup from my travels. 
 
I have an 800 credit score so I can go out tomorrow and move into another apartment complex, condo, duplex, townhouse or even buy a house. But none of those are what my desires are — at least not at this time in my life. So again, understand up-front, I will be #CarCamping of ‘sound mind and body.’ 
 
This should be no issue for me because of the following: 
  • I was born in the deep woods of rural Georgia as a #Survivalist. As a ‘black-sheep‘ child with 8 siblings, I grew up as a ‘loner’ for the first 17 years of my life and nature was indeed my friend. We did not have running water in the house until much later on and we never had an indoor bathroom. I had to learn to defend myself early on in life not just from society, but from my own family.
  • I am ex-military, which means I am used to traveling.
  • I carried a weapon for over 25 years on my job and was an ‘expert shot’.
  • I drove a government vehicle for over 20 years on my job so I enjoy driving.  
  • I traveled around the country by car to 15 states for one year in 2013 and stayed at hotels, with family and friends, so I am used to traveling.   
  • I go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week so I can still squat, bend and lift stuff. 
  • I am 5’8′ inches in height and usually sleep balled up on my right side so I can deal with cramped spaces.
  • I just lived in a Studio/Efficiency apartment for one year so I should be okay living in a small space. 
  • As a Holistic and Natural Healer, and Non-GMO Health Expert, I haven’t turned a stove on in 12 years so preparing meals in a small space should be easy for me.
What I want to do before I buy my first RV is to show my audience — YOU GUYS — how you can successfully live in a car or van and be TOTALLY HAPPY with your life’ choices. 
 
My Nomadic Lifestyle – #BeFree
 
Camp camping for me could be a way for me to conduct research for a new book on #CarDwelling or it just could be a way to show others how to survive.
 
I always wanted to be one of those persons that were a ‘ray of sunlight’ or a ‘beacon of hope’ for the downtrodden – #Humanitarian. After all — without hope, what do people really have?
 
For those who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I want you to know that your life will indeed turn around for you again. You just have to get out of bed everyday and put one foot in front of the other and first and foremost – #EmbraceChange and #ChaseHappiness. Just remember, however, that change starts with you.
 

Remember, even though I will be #CarLiving and/or #CarCamping as I #GoWest, I will be spending a majority of my days OUT OF THE CAR. My goal is simply to connect to #GoodPeople and nature again. My mind, body, and soul have been missing both for far too long. 

What I really would like to do is help Bob Wells from CheapRVLiving.comwho is around my age, create a #KindMovement. Not just a #KindMovement, but also a #BraveMovement.
 
Like Bob what I believe is — if we don’t get back to a more ‘primitive style of living’ or living a natural or #HolisticLifestyle, we all are going to perish off this planet. And that has been my message from day one — throughout all my platforms – AngelsPress.com, CathyHarrisInternational.com, SimpleLifeRVing.com.
 
I will be holding Strategy Meetings, Think Tanks and Masterminds for women as I travel from Orlando to California for the next 90 days. Reach out if you want me to stop in your city and work with your group.
 
I will also be seeing some beautiful sites while meeting some great new people and seeing my family and old friends along the way. 
 
 
 
Join me as I #HeadWest and start ‘Teaching From the Road’ in my NEW PLATFORM at SimpleLifeRVing.com.
 
I am what they call a true #Nomad, #Gypsy, #Wanderer, with a ‘freeing’ and ‘caring’ spirit. It’s actually in my blood. I will be showing you ‘first-hand’ how to live ‘The Good Life.’
 
You can follow me at the below links and make sure you share these with all your family members, friends and others that you truly care about. I appreciate all your support. Love you, love you, love you.
 
Facebook Page: 
Instagram:
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.
 
 
 

#GoingWest To My Dream State – #California

#GoingWest To My Dream State – #California

September 5, 2019
 
by Cathy Harris, Syndicated Columnist
 
 
 
Road Trip anyone??? We all have dreams of places we want to see or go one day. At 62 I really don’t have a #BucketList. However, as an avid traveler, it’s been my dream though for a long time to drive out west to California to my #DreamState to see the scenery and water — not just Cali, but the entire west coast. 
 
 
Wouldn’t you know it — just when I prepare to #GoWest, they start having earthquakes again. When I went on the road for an entire year in 2013 to 15 states, after about 8 months, I realized I would not make it to California so I took it off my states to visit.
 
Back then I had given myself one year to be on the road, but now I realize it’s my dream to live ‘Full-Time’ on the road. It’s funny how your dreams change and how you need to keep adjusting your expectations and #ActionSteps so you can continue on a path to bring total happiness into your life. 
 
I have flown into California on at least 7 occasions before, however, at those times I held speaking events so I went straight to hotels or to the events without having time to explore the area. 
 
I wanted to start this journey as a continuation of my last “One Year Journey” and since I wasn’t able to go to the west coast at that time – #GoingWest will be my motivation and inspiration to start this new journey on Oct. 1, 2019  — #SimpleLifeRVing.
 
I have fallen in love with the #VanDwellers and their experiences online so by the time I make it to California or to the Rubber Tramp Rendevous (RTR) in January 2020 in Quartzsite, AZ or California, I will probably decide if it will be #TeamVan or #TeamRV —  #MoreAdventures.
 
 
Most of you really don’t know why it’s important for me to #GoWest to California. Some people on facebook even accused me of wanting to see #MovieStars. I saw plenty of movie stars while working with Customs for over 25 years and I also saw plenty of them during my 20-year stay in Atlanta.
 
I could care less about movie stars especially today after most people have turned #RealityShow stars into movie stars. Plus I haven’t watched TV in over 3 years so I don’t know who people are anyway. Others are asking me why go there because people are leaving there in droves.
 
 
Besides wanting to see the beauty in this country, the “One Year Journey” in 2013 wasn’t just a ‘One Year Pilgrimage’ for me or a chance to see beautiful sites, see old friends and family members, and/or to build my network by holding seminars and workshops, it was to look up certain individuals in the media, who assisted me in my fight against my job – TheCathyHarrisStory.com
 
I wanted to be able to look these individuals in the eyes before I left this earth to tell them “Thanks”. Several of these individuals are out west and I still need to tell them “Thanks for having my back.” 
 
These are just some of my #Heroes and #Sheroes — strong black men and women that had my back when I went up against a giant (aka “The Federal Government”). Because of them — I am #StillStanding. 
 
I am finally on my way west to see my #DreamState
 – #California and to #PayHomage to those who have paid homage to me — #BraveMen, #BraveWomen, #WarriorSpirit, #FreedomFighters.
 
Follow me on my journey out west with our blog at SimpleLifeRVing.com, subscribe to our youtube channel and join the groups below:
 
 
Facebook Page: 
Instagram:
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.

<