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Benefits of Parking on BLM and National Forest Land vs. Urban Areas

Cheated Twice On The Road

How To Find Traveling and Camping Groups on the Road

My Van Build and Nomadic Jobs and Businesses

Taking Advantage of Local Walmarts

Why I Had 25 Pair Shoes for Van Life

Why You Need An Emergency Fund On the Road

Create Your Own Happiness Project Especially on the Road

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

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My 20 Year Itinerary and Why I Love How I Live — #Nomadic

At 64 I am in the third tier of my life so I am closer to meeting my maker than I was 20 years ago. Therefore, everything I do must matter. Can I sustain a Nomadic lifestyle like this for the next 20 years? It all remains to be seen.

I wanted to write this blog post so that I could answer some questions that many interested parties might have about me.

Since my 21 months on the road — living and teaching from my van on the topics: 1) Natural Health/GMOs, 2) Business, 3) Minimalism, and 4) Happiness, many men have reached out to me.

Many men want a woman like me in their kitchen, living room, and especially their bedroom, but they need to understand up-front that that won’t be enough for me. 

I wanted them to see up-front my goals and ambitions for living this lifestyle so they would not distract me or waste their time pursuing me.  

Making Plans for the Future

My youngest daughter always tells me I make too many plans. However, I think it’s important for those around you to get a general idea of the direction you are going in, so they won’t think you have totally lost your mind.

Setting goals whether they are short-term or long-term to me is a very good thing. When I started this Nomadic lifestyle 21 months ago, my initial goal was to do this for the next 20 years.

Then my goal was to buy some land, a tiny house and grow some food and live out the rest of my life. In my 21 months, I would say that I am still on track to achieve my 20-year goal.

Whether it turns into a 5, 10, or a 15-year goal – that remains to be seen. If my life changes – it would have to be a significant reason for it.

Evaluate Your Current Situation

At 64 years of age, I am not the type of person that needs to be in a relationship to be happy.

I left my last relationship 2 years ago because I just did not like where it was headed. I had actually gotten off the road – traveling — very happy and content — living in nature — to be with this man. 

But when you get that #TravelingBug or #TravelingItch — something will have to give and for us — it was our relationship. 

A majority of the time my partner spent his time watching TV, especially CNN, instead of eating good foods, being active, and making plans to travel or be with me in nature.

I did not watch TV and wanted to be closer to nature traveling and it was so important to me at that point in my life that I live in this manner. It was as important to me as breathing in fresh air.

So, therefore, I left the 4-year relationship and moved to another city and one year later bought a van and started traveling in my new Nomadic lifestyle.

I have no regrets about my decision to move on. When you have outgrown a relationship and when you feel like you can no longer breathe in a relationship, either mentally, physically, or spiritually,  it is definitely time to move on.

The goal is not to have any regrets in your life, and you should never feel that you are wasting your life – because you are staying in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere. Life is just too precious.

Listen To What Potential Partners Say To You

When men tell you, they have traveled enough in their lifetime – believe what they say. They are telling you up-front how they really feel.

And if it is your plan to spend the foreseeable future traveling then you will not waste your time with potential mates — who are obviously not on the same page as you.

Sometimes you will get all of this from their first conversation. Do not linger for months! Try to have these conversations up-front. Conversations on the phone need to start – not just conversations online.

Listen to everything in the background especially his attempt not to even turn down the noise on the TV — while he speaks to you. This is a sign that this person spends the majority of their time watching TV.

And you have to ask yourself especially since you have found peace on the road – can you allow all this noise to occupy your thoughts and well-being again. The answer for me is an unequivocal ‘No’.

Why Men Do What They Do

Many men want a relationship but they are not willing to put in the work. At 64 I am ‘old school’ and I still believe that men should pursue women.

I was in the military for 3 and a half years and I worked with nothing but mostly men for over 25 years at U.S. Customs so I have spent a significant part of my life around men. Therefore, I understand many times how they feel about the opposite sex.

As a dating and love coach at, I still watch a lot of men and I see how they pursue women. 

Men are very visual. They will watch you online and they especially are looking for full-body pics and/or videos of you.

If they like what they see, they will take it to the next stage to reach out online. The next step would be to ask for a number, but many will spend weeks approaching the opposite sex online instead of asking for a phone number.

And when they do get your number – all many want to do is text. There is nothing like hearing a person’s voice to determine if they are a potential match, but men have yet to pick up on this.

How Men Can Step Up Their A-Game and Find the Woman of Their Dreams

There are many good men out there and many good women so don’t give up hope. Because of 2020, many men now more than ever have become lazy when it comes to pursuing the opposite sex.

If they sat around for the better part of a year doing very little exercise and eating GMOs or Processed Foods, then these foods did nothing but turn off their brain and made them lazy.

The sooner they understand that and start taking the steps below – the quicker they will become a good, potential mate for that special woman.

Do the following daily:

-Smile more (Just like men like women to smile more — so do women so fellas show those pearly whites)  -Eat good, clean organic foods
-Drink good clean water
-Take daily supplements
-Exercise regularly
-Get plenty of rest
-Get plenty of sunshine
-Do regular detox programs
-Breathe in good air (Remove masks)

What Men Need To Know About Women

There are many potential things that men need to understand about women such as:

Let her breathe after a past relationship: Fellas if you are getting with her after she is just coming out of another relationship, it’s too soon. Let her breathe first. Try to find a way to stay in her life. Do small, little things for her to let her know you are there, but she is just not ready to fully commit after leaving another relationship.  

Don’t pull her away from her dreams: If she is traveling, or on a spiritual journey, or just doing something that she always wanted to do when you meet her, step back and try to meet her out there on the road. If you pull her off the road too soon or away from her dreams too soon, that is trouble down the line. She will always think about how you pulled her away from her dreams.

Take care of yourself first and foremost: The benefit of being with someone is that you both take care of each other. What is really attractive to women is men who take care of themselves — physically, mentally, and even spiritually. Most women, especially seasoned women, biggest fear is having to be a ‘nursemaid’ to a man that she just met a few years earlier. Caregiving can cause major depression for a significant other so many women might walk away from you — especially if she just met you and you haven’t had a life-long commitment. 

-Be careful what to say in a relationship: Just remember that relationships take a lot of work and once one of you stop trying — the relationship is basically over. There will be quarrels and upsets in relationships, but the goal is to #FightFair and continue saying #KindWords to each other. Sometimes it’s no going back so watch what you say to each other because the other person will never forget what you said. Just remember that a  woman can and will walk away from a relationship when she is still in love with you. So again, #FightFair.  

Keep the romance department strong: All women like to be romanced — no matter what they tell you. Most like flowers, cards, other trinkets, etc. but mostly your affection and attention — so make sure you keep the romance department strong.  Plan nights to be alone or trips away together. Just keep showing her you appreciate her for being in your life. 

-Set her up an area in the home where she can relax: It doesn’t have to be a she-room, a spa in the other bathroom with a garden tub, but those would be nice accommodations to set up for her. Remember that women do so much in the home, therefore, they need a space where they can do yoga, meditation, listen to music and just relax. The benefit is she will come back fulfilled and ready to please her man.  

Meeting Potential Partners on the Road

There are plenty of opportunities out here to meet potential partners on the road. The fact that they are traveling like you — as a Nomad — can be very attractive to a potential mate.

Read my article “Meet Someone On The Road.” I live on the road so for anyone to pursue me – they need to do more than to scroll up and down my online presence, reach out to me online, or even call me on the phone.

They need to meet me on the road or even travel with me on the road — in their own vehicle – of course.

Even though I say I will be on the road for the next 20 years, there are potential men that I would probably alter my lifestyle for and I will know when I meet that man.

Meanwhile, what is really attractive though is men who realize that I am not just living my best life on the road, but the way that I am living is why I am who I am and no matter what he does – if he tries to take this from me, he will never get the whole person.

What I Really Do On the Road

I don’t know if people even understand what I do out here on the road riding around the country in my van #StarShip — and why it makes me so happy.

As the author of 26 non-fiction books at, parking in nature has allowed all my thoughts to flow freely again so not only do I have a great traveling blog at, but I have also started back working on non-fiction books again after giving up writing initially to do my videos on youtube at I post daily also to my Instagram page at

I initially came on the road to – 1) Meet family on the road, 2) Meet new friends on the road, 3) Do welfare checks on my family and friends on the road, 4) See beautiful attractions on the road, and to 5) Hold my health and business seminars and workshops on the road.

The year 2020 altered many things in my life but many times it sent me in directions that brought even more happiness into my life.

Hopefully, starting in a few months when I get to Vegas and once my van is built out by the end of winter 2022, I can get back on track and continue to create a beautiful Nomadic life for myself — with my ‘face-to-face’ seminars and workshops.

There is nothing like seeing people’s eyes light up, especially young people when they realize they can change their own lives.

Other activities which are extremely important to me as I follow 70-degree weather and move in and out of areas around the country in my 2019 Dodge Ram Promaster 3500 Cargo Van — include understanding the culture of the areas that I am visiting by going to art galleries, libraries, museums and seeing other attractions, along with attending fitness gyms and classes, spas, hot springs, hotels with saunas, parks, going on walking and hiking trails especially up mountains, and close to oceans, lakes, and rivers — and once I get the van built out, I am even thinking about buying a bicycle.

For inspiration, I make it a point to do FREE disperse camping and stay on and National Forest land and wake up in nature surrounded by oceans, lakes, and rivers, and especially mountains. I am still trying to figure out if I am #TeamMountain or #TeamBeach, but I am having fun doing it.

The sky is the limit when you live an active Nomadic lifestyle. This lifestyle can help you be your healthiest self yet — whether you are traveling this life solo or with a partner. All you have to do is embrace your life and count your blessings.

Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach, and Self-Publishing Expert, and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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





Should You Travel Solo or With Camping Groups?

July 1, 2021

If you are out traveling with RVers, Van Dwellers, or in Car Dwelling camping groups, I wrote this article to educate you on some of the dangers and to know when it’s time to move on.

When I first came out west in January 2020 to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) to learn this #NomadicLife, I hung out with 6 other women at the event.

Because me and another lady were the last to leave the area, the other lady thought that I was going to travel with her after the event.

However, I was more comfortable and had always traveled by myself. I did not know her so traveling with another person that you just met, whether a man or woman, can be quite dangerous — at least that is how I felt at that time.

I had an itinerary when I first came on the road and one of my main goals was to give my Health and Business Seminars and Workshops, which would have made it impossible for me to travel with others.

Later on, my reasons for coming on the road was –to meet family and friends and do welfare checks on them on the road, and just meet others and enjoy myself. 

When I did decide to travel with camping groups out here on the road in 2021, there were plenty of good times — but mostly lessons learned especially about how I will choose to travel in the future.

Will You Travel With Women, Men, or Just People You Know or Meet on the Road?

There are women who travel together, but many have said many of these groups of women are gossipers, so, therefore, many women rather travel with mixed groups of both men and women.

The group that I was with was men and women, which I prefer because I had met gossipy women on the road. In Flagstaff, AZ, there were 4 women and 4 men, but people came in and out of the group.

Beware of Caravan Leaders and Their Desperation to Grow a Traveling Group

The caravan leader had told us that he had recently left another group because of two gossipy women. And then he started another group but be wary of these caravan leaders that keep going from group to group. It might not always be others – it might be them. This is what I learned.

The caravan leader, which had only been in his van for 3 months, was so desperate to grow the traveling group as if this was going to be his claim to fame. 

Just remember that some people who hadn’t been fulfilled in their prior lives — will bring many issues out here on the road as a Nomad. Be careful — but sooner or later they will tell you what has happened to them – if you even care to know.

As an author I had left the group initially for several days because I needed my solitude as a writer and wanted to catch up with my youtube shows because most of the time the internet was spotty on and National Forest land – when I camped with them.

When I left the group for a few days, the caravan leader, who followed me on facebook messenger, urged me to come back to the group. He kept asking me — who pissed you off and why did I leave the group?

That should have been warning signs right there that there was something not right with him – but I did not pick up on it at that time.

That was the first time I had traveled with a Nomadic traveling and camping group in my 20 months on the road.

Basically, I left the group for a while because I just wanted some alone time. People can be quite nosy when you are traveling with groups. Sometimes they want to know all your business and I am a private person.

Look for Warning Signs Early On

Remember that in 2020 – everything changed. Many people got weirder and weirder. Many travelers in RVs, Vans, and Cars sat around isolating themselves because of COVID for an entire year and many became alcoholics because of that.

Others probably developed other mental health issues especially if they consumed mostly processed foods, GMOs, which can cause mental health issues because these foods are not real food.

Many people expressed how they had been alone for months, so again, be careful. Many men were ready to pounce on women so women especially need to be careful out there.

I have even had men come up to me at Walmarts, men that I had talked to briefly, and ask me if I knew any single traveling nomadic women — so men out here on the road can be desperate to find the opposite sex — especially after isolating for a year.

When you sit around the campfires at night, or just in a circle, or just meet people online or face to face that you are traveling with, try to pay attention to the backgrounds of these people.

Look out for the ones that always want to talk as if they have had the best experiences and they constantly repeat these experiences.

These people can potentially be some of the people who will turn mean or even violent in the future. And many of them will be the gossipers of the group so stay clear of them.

Don’t change any habits you had before coming out here and living or camping on the road. If you don’t like texting, talking on the phone or posting in facebook or groups, drinking beer or alcohol — then by all means don’t change any habits you had before coming out on the road.

Especially if you had healthy habits because there are going to be so many people around you drinking a ton of alcohol and pouring garbage down their throats — 24/7. Just be yourself and continue with your good habits!

I have seen people start conversations and they will sit there all day talking without eating or going to the bathroom, so again, don’t form bad habits dealing with these people. You should be eating at least every 3 to 4 hours — keeping your blood sugar regulated.

If they make a text group or facebook messenger group, posts on or groups — follow the conversations on there without participating much yourself.

See who in the group tries to lead all the conversations on or offline and if the group wasn’t made by the caravan leader of the group, avoid the group all together especially if you have never met the person.

Sometimes these caravan leaders like delegating powers to people who were part of the group before, but if you have never met these people just keep down your conversations with them. Some can be gossipers.

Why I Ended Up Leaving My First Traveling Group

For the first time in my 21 months on the road in my van, I traveled from the state of Arizona to the state of Colorado with 3 other people.

I felt safe in Flagstaff, AZ because I had spent 6 months there last year in 2020 and I was waiting to start my buildout in a couple of weeks there.

The problem that started with me was when we had to move out of the area to Colorado because of the Arizona fires in 2021.

I only left because my female friend from Canada, 74, agreed also to go to Colorado. I had known her for 2 years and I would not have followed these two men to Colorado without other women being present.

In Flagstaff, there were about 8 of us — 4 women and 4 guys so I felt comfortable being around other women. However, I did park away from the group and kept to myself especially when I saw that one of the males was going to be problematic because he enjoyed doing all the talking and some women had started to complain about him also being sexist and verbally abusive.

He often talked about being homeless at one point and he often bragged about being highly educated. He and another guy, both in their 60s and both heavy drinkers, were almost fighting over my 74-year-old friend from Canada that I had brought to the group so I felt responsible for her.

It was very obvious from the time she arrived that they both wanted her attention. They convinced her to go to Colorado but after one night there, she was smart and turned around and came back to Flagstaff because she said she could no longer stand to be around the man — who refused to allow others to talk.

She also left because they made fun of her on the text platform because she enjoyed parking at Walmarts because they had good internet and she still had to work online.

Remember many people are going to be traveling differently than you and no one way is the right way. Some Nomads will still need to work or hold down a business so just learn to respect others and embrace their differences.

The 5-hour trip from Flagstaff to Colorado seemed like 12-hours to me because I never followed anyone out here on the road. I was so tired that I did not take the 5 hours trip back to Flagstaff with my friend.

I decided to stay and take pictures and videos of Colorado since it was my first time there. I did do as much as I could because something in the back of my mind told me to get it in because I too — might need to leave especially since I was the only female left in the camp. However, I was there with 2 men and I felt I could take them physically if I had to.

The problem was the caravan leader of the group told me several women were on their way back to the group and that the new person in a van across the road was a woman, but it turned out it was another male.

By then one of the guys had also arrived in his travel trailer from Flagstaff so when I arrived back at the camp one night at almost dark, I saw that there were 4 men there and me.

I had seen the women’s conversations online, who had actually been at the camp before, and they did not say they were coming back so I was very suspect of the leader of the group from the very beginning. He was actually on his facebook group begging the women to come back.

By the time I figured out he was lying about the women coming back, I was surrounded by 4 males, 2 that were heavy drinkers so I felt for safety reasons I needed to leave the camp two days after my friend left. 

Take These Steps and Monitor When It is Time for You to Leave a Group

Don’t touch everyone: I do agree that we need to get back to hugging again, but I do not touch people because I have a very sensitive system and I can’t tolerate others that wear perfume, colognes, or other smells.  

Be careful traveling with people who don’t have good grooming habits: When traveling with others, you quickly will learn who has good grooming habits and who does not. Especially stay away from people and their animals that don’t look clean. One guy’s fingernails were always dirty and his van was always unkempt too so I avoided him. He also had a nasty little dog too so I avoided the dog too. Listen to what people say. One lady, who was traveling with a cat, told me she had tons of flies in her van. Don’t park near these people and especially don’t accept anything from their vehicles — especially food. I have run into several people who complained that they had severe diarrhea for several days. This is usually a sign that they have worms and parasites and these people and their animals can be contagious. Doctors won’t test you for parasites unless they see them crawling under your skin, in your eyes, or witness them coming out of your anus area. 

Park away from people initially and just observe people: You will see the ones that have alcohol and anger problems and the ones that are caring and loving. When a group becomes too controversial leave the group.

Be careful of people joining your group just to beg for money: Be careful, however, of people begging for money. I am not talking about donating money to those that really need it and helping the homeless, but some will say “well I am down to my last $10” — expecting you to rally the entire group and give them your hard-earned money so they can travel off to some unknown place. Remember that many of these Nomads were scammers before they got out here and many are still scammers.

Be careful of the places you camp: If you have been on the road longer than the leader of the group and if you are questioning some of the things he is doing — especially the places he picks for camping – it’s time to leave the group.

The caravan leader had only been out on the road for 3 months before starting the group so he barely knew what he was doing.

Many times I questioned his actions. For instance, one time in Flagstaff, he moved us next to a Gas Plant where we all could hear a bugging noise every night, which probably omitted some type of unhealthy EMF signal.

I believe it was just an unhealthy decision to pick a spot like this. At the other location, 4 out of 8 people at one time or another ended up going to the hospital.

So you have to take care of yourself out here on the road especially if you are going to be out here for a long time.

Is the Caravan Leader a good leader? Remember that good leaders – lead. Especially pay attention to the caravan leader of the group. See if he tries to keep the group in line when their behavior becomes abusive or violent especially against women.

Is the Carvan Leader protective of women? See if the caravan leader is protective of women or just trying to flirt with them himself.

Is the Caravan Leader lying to you? Remember that women like to join groups where there are other women. See if what he is saying is true and other people, especially other women, arrive as he said. Otherwise, he might be lying to keep you there. Also, these men will pretend to know how to do something on your vehicle — just to keep you there. I eventually heard the caravan leader ask another guy about amps and wattage so I realized he had been lying to my friend — when he said he would help her with something.

Check the Caravan Leaders’ messages: Again, view the caravan’s leader’s conversations in text groups, facebook groups including facebook messenger groups and at groups. If he has favorites and openly demeans or degrades anyone in the group — on any of these public platforms — then it’s time to leave these groups. If they stay off the traveling topic too much and too long discussing absolutely non-sense, it’s time to leave the group.

Is the Caravan Leaders begging people to join the group: If the caravan leader is begging people to join his camp or group, again, that is a sign for you to leave the traveling group. A good traveling group will gain a reputation without the caravan leader having to beg others to join them.

Stay Stocked Up and Be Ready To Move at the Drop of A Hat

Stay stocked up at all times and put your chair in your van every night so you will be ready to leave at the drop of a hat.

You might have to leave your rug, a table, or chair behind especially if you feel threatened or just can’t take their non-sense anymore — so be prepared to leave these items behind.

At the very beginning when you arrive at a new location and you are traveling with others — scout out other locations in your area.

Look for local Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, other, or National Forest land – in your area,  especially in the next towns over — in case you must leave the group and park somewhere else — especially for safety reasons.

Sign up on the ‘Life 360 App’ so family members and friends know your location at all times. Remember you don’t owe an explanation to anyone for leaving a group so be ready to block everyone on text, facebook messenger,, and groups because these people will keep bothering you to come back to a group that you have obviously outgrown.

Supposedly, Bob Wells, from, will start the caravans again this fall. So for now many of the traveling groups get together at his virtual platforms at and on facebook at 

Remember ladies that many men could be using the above links as a dating app so be careful. But you as a traveling Nomad, whether you are traveling by RV, Van, or in a Car, need to make better decisions about who you are meeting on the road.

Again, if something does not seem right, it is probably not right — so be ready to leave a group at the drop of a hat.

Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert, and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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





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 and

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

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: and

Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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




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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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




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 (, 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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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



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 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 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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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


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 (665 Wineries, Breweries, Farms, and more) and Casinos ( 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, 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
Because of the demand, some have even chosen to start their own RV Inspector and RV Tech schools, for instance, An RV Training Academy in Athens, TX – 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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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


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 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 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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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

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 She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at 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