What does it take to uproot your life and go on the road?

Good question.  Everyone’s path is different depending on your circumstances, but this is ours, so hopefully it helps you figure out what is takes and determine whether it’s worth it or if the idea sounds better than the reality. 🙂 We don’t have children and we chose not to have anymore pets after our beloved furry friends passed on last year, which makes the path to life on the road a bit less complicated. Note that there is a LOT of information in this post, so bear with me.

Here is the quick rundown:

  1. Do I have the means to take time off or do I need to have a job where I can keep working on the road?
  2. How long can I afford to do this?
  3. What mode of living and transportation do I need and what can I afford?
  4. I have a house.  Do I rent it, sell it, have someone house sit?
  5. What will I need to take with me when I go on the road and what do I do with the rest of my stuff?
  6. I’m quitting my current job.  When do I give notice and how do I time my exit?
  7. How do I deal with taxes?
  8. What about insurance?
  9. And how do I get mail?
  10. Finally, what skills do I have, and what skills do I need to gain before I head out on the open road?

Means to and end

I have a finance and accounting background, so of course one of the first things I did after fantasizing about all of the places we could go was create a back of the envelope budget.  You can call it a “mini budget” or “budget lite”.  It was nothing too complicated, but enough to give us a sense of what it would cost to maintain this trip for a year.  Here are the categories I used:

Budget:

  • Mortgage
  • House insurance
  • Auto/RV insurance
  • RV loan payment
  • Health insurance
  • Gas
  • Food
  • Campground fees
  • Cell phone/internet plans
  • Misc  

Along with understanding your everyday payments by looking at your monthly bank statements, if you rely upon credit cards to pay for a lot of your expenses, you can access your annual statements to see what your annual spend was in each of the credit card company’s spending categories.  Will you be spending money on the same things while on the road?  How will your spending shift, and to what?

For example, being at home during the pandemic, I did not travel hardly anywhere, so my spending on gas was next to nothing.  Obviously that was going to change drastically being on the road.  Things like the mortgage, insurance, and RV payments I will dig into later, but here are some guidelines for the other categories.

Gas: Understanding what’s happening with gas prices, having a rough idea of how much mileage you’ll be racking up and how many miles per gallon your rig will achieve can help you gauge your gas spend.  I found a helpful gas price index here.  Next, I wrote out a list of places we wanted to check out and started plotting it out in google maps to see what sort of mileage our travel plans would entail.  Our initial estimate is around 1300 miles a month.  Finally, depending on what your rig is, likely your mileage will be pretty darn low when hauling all of that weight.  We are conservatively estimating 8 miles to the gallon.  So, 1300 miles divided by 8 miles to the gallon times $2.85 per gallon average for 2021 gave me roughly $5550 per year in gas.

Food: This is a very unique area of decision making. I personally love to cook and going on the road is not going to change that.  I do a lot of meal planning, working within the parameters of what we can store in our current mobile home, and so I looked at my credit card spend on groceries to get a sense of what that would cost us.  My partner loves to eat out, so I added in dining out a few times a week for a fairly generous food budget, knowing we can always pare this back if we are going over budget elsewhere.

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Campgrounds/RV Parks: Depending on how high on the hog you want to live while on the road, this can cost a lot or a little, so your budget is really dependent on your wants and needs.  There are many resources, of which I will barely touch the surface: from free camping to resort-like clubs, from basic camping guides to rv-specific guides, and discount memberships to help make it all more affordable.  DISCLAIMER: We are only providing resources we have heard about…we have not used all of them, so we cannot attest to how “great” or “not so great” these resources are.  Hopefully, others who read this can share their experiences. 

Free camping: Especially out west where BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) is prevalent, there are options for free camping.  There are also parking lots you can stay in overnight when you’re in a pinch, in a long haul situation on the way to a final destination, or just plain exhausted.  

Campendium is a great resource we have used to find anything from free camping, to state or national parks, to rv-specific parks.  Navigation is a bit clunky, but it is very helpful in giving you the breadth of options in your area and is a great place to start exploring.

We were recently gifted a membership to Harvest Hosts, which is limited to one night per place, but is free.  You stay with local farms, wineries, breweries or similar, and can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area and support local purveyors at the same time.  We are excited to utilize this as part of our journey across America and meet people who live in the area.

Sekr (formerly TheVanLifeApp) is another resource for free camping recommended by good friends of ours.  We have yet to try this app, but will likely be using it soon.  Our friends swear by it and the community of people within it, and we trust their judgement.

One more resource for trip planning and compiling maps of free public land to camp at is The Dyrt.  We have not signed up for a pro membership, so anyone who has experience with this resource, please let me know what your experience has been like using this service.

Camping/RV parking guides: There are oodles of these, but here are a few of the more widely known ones.  

CampUSA is great if you like and are familiar with the KOA campgrounds you see frequently on roadside signs.  Not everyone likes to go off the beaten path, so this may be a good option, especially if you just need to find a place to park for a night or two and it doesn’t have to be “the most amazing place you have ever camped in your life.”   

If you want the basics without all of the glamour shots, there is ParkAdvisor.  It runs the gamut from parking lots to stop for the night, to picturesque public and private parks.  

Similar to this is RVParky, which in their words is: “an RV Park directory built by a full time RV’er with the help of the RV community to help fellow RV’ers on the road.”  You can plug in a destination, then filter to your heart’s content to hone in on what you want.

And finally, for the more resort-like experience with central amenities, there are memberships like Thousand Trails.  If you prefer having things like swimming pools, fitness centers, built in markets, cafes, laundry, shower services, golf courses nearby, etc., this may be for you.  

Discounts: Here are just a few memberships you might consider that provide discounts at campgrounds and RV parks across the country.  

Passport America provides discounts on places more off the beaten path, but have more restrictions on weekends and holidays.

Good Sam discount club has a wide membership base, and if you already shop there then it’s a bonus.

There are also discounts through Escapees, which I will talk more about when I share our mail forwarding service experience thus far. 

Cell phone/internet: Your desire for connectivity will depend on your need to work on the road and your ability or desire to disconnect. 🙂 We are in the tween stage right now, me having quit my job, my partner still working, but going on sabbatical.  His return to work will in part depend on how well we can or cannot remain connected on the road.  For the time being, there are a variety of resources to help you navigate this to the extent that you want to.

First off, there is no true unlimited plan.  Once you reach your data cap, you WILL get throttled.  😦 

Right now, we are using 3 different data plans with major cellular carriers: AT&T, T Mobile and Verizon to optimize coverage across different parts of the US.  

An additional resource being used is a cellular routing device called PepWave Max Transit, which you can load two SIM cards on for redundancy of internet coverage. This device is supposed to combine WiFi and cellular service and is often used on public transportation…hence the name.  The jury is still out on its capabilities as we just started using it, but you can get more information at https://www.mobilemusthave.com/.  

We are also using a couple of hotspots to fill the gaps.  One is through AT&T (our main plan) for 100 GB per month, which runs around $50/month for us. The second hotspot is through the Calyx Institute, where you can make a donation for $500-$750 a year, depending on your equipment needs, to become a member and it is supposed to provide unlimited Sprint service and falls back on T Mobile when that doesn’t work.

Finally, your go-to resource for everything internet-related is https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/.

We wish you luck and may the connectivity Gods be with you! 🙂

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Misc: This is where you take a long, hard look at all the “other” stuff you buy or spend money on.  Again, review your bank statements and annual credit card spending reports to obtain details on your purchasing patterns.  What’s in this category that you will continue to spend money on?  What spending will go away once you’re on the road?  What new things will pop up that you haven’t spent money on before (e.g. new memberships or services, camping gear, and who knows)?  Make a broad, conservative estimate of this spending category as it can add up fast.  Right now, I have it as our highest spend area, believe it or not!  Hopefully, it is smaller, but little things add up fast, so don’t ignore this part of your mini budget.

The end of your means

Now that you have figured out roughly how much you are going to spend each month, now it’s a matter of figuring out how long you can afford to do this and whether you think it may be worth it to supplement your income on the road, where possible.  Everyone’s savings, spending patterns, and ongoing expenses are different, so this is a real wildcard.  I know several people who get jobs, save up money, quit their jobs and go travel until they need to re-up their savings and then do this all over again.  I have also been hit up recently with opportunities that are remote, so you may want to check out those opportunities.  This place recently reached out to me about remote accounting opportunities, and they seem to have a wide variety of job offerings for a wide array of professions.  DISCLAIMER:  I have not worked with this agency, so I cannot attest to the type of experience you may have if you choose to establish a relationship with them.

One positive of the pandemic is that it has seemingly made it easier to travel and still work on the road.  The bigger challenge is where you domicile and how you handle taxes in those situations.  One resource we found was the Tax Queen, who is a certified tax specialist who also happens to live on the road. You can schedule time with her to figure out unique tax situations, or obtain advice on how to work from the road and stay within the bounds of the law.  This is a very personal decision, based on your comfort level with change, instability, adventure, etc.  Do what works for you and don’t let anyone else tell you how to handle it!  It’s not their life, and they don’t need to live with the consequences.  You do!  Go with your gut and have a back up plan in case things don’t go the way you expected.

Living on the road

Your mode of living on the road highly depends on your comfort level and desire for mobility vs comfort.  Now living in an RV park, we have seen a wide variety!  

Many people really like the van life; however, not only can it be expensive to find a rig to outfit, but they are in high demand and you may be waiting a long time, which could delay the start to your travels.  If you have personal experience outfitting a van or know someone who does, good on ya and more power to you, especially if you have the time it will take to work on this project and aren’t trying to act on your desire to hit the road quickly.  Van life may also not be all you imagine it to be, so wherever possible talk to people with experience before you hit the road to get their take on the realities of living on the road in a van.  If you’re a tall dude, think about your sleeping quarters and whether they will be big enough to meet your needs.  And, um, pooping?   Do you want a composting toilet in your rig, or are you ok doing without certain bathroom luxuries?  Again, cost is a big consideration here along with how you wish to use the space.

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Others go for the all-in-one RV bus similar to tour buses you see for bands and professional athletic teams.  Some choose to travel with the equivalent of a small apartment, aka a “5th wheel” and tow it with a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck.  Many, like us, choose to get a 1/2 ton truck and tow a travel trailer.  And yet others, go even smaller.  We have seen everything from trailers under 21 feet, A-frames and teardrops, to pop-up trailers and truck campers.  Determine what you can and cannot live without before making this decision.  It is a very important one!

Here is our experience and why we decided what we did and when: Our reason for hitting the road, aside from exploring the country and reassessing our careers, is to determine if we want to come back to Portland or move elsewhere.  We can’t make that decision without spending time in places we are looking at potentially living down the line.  And, we can’t spend time in those places without being mobile.  After deciding the van life wasn’t the ideal option for us, we decided having an agile and capable truck was the next best thing.  We can find a place outside of town to park our rig and then explore with the truck.  

That sounds easy enough, but there are an overwhelming number of options to choose from.  We wanted to have some national park options, so didn’t want our rig to be too big lengthwise, and we didn’t want it to be too small so we wouldn’t be going crazy in such a small space, considering we were planning to spend a year on the road, if not more.  We tried to be reasonable with our wants vs needs list and settled on what is considered a fairly average length travel trailer, around 32 feet.  Add on a bike rack and we are 35 feet, and then add the hitch and truck and we are around 55 feet!  Yes, you can unhitch the truck and there is usually extra parking space for your vehicle, but it’s a lot to consider as far as your comfort level with driving and towing a large or small trailer, and how easy it will be to park your rig.

One regret we had was pulling the trigger on the truck purchase first instead of getting the desired trailer and then finding a truck with enough payload to tow it.  We love our truck, don’t get me wrong. We traded in Matt’s Jeep and got a Ford F150 hybrid with a built in generator to make it easier to enjoy off grid experiences, but the payload is limiting, for sure!  Our recommendation is to find the trailer you want first, then find the truck you will need to tow it if you aren’t going for a full RV or smaller trailer.

Finally, cost is definitely a consideration.  Given we were able to trade in a vehicle, that helped cut the cost down on the truck, and most trailers or RV’s come with financing options just like buying a vehicle, but determining your financial capacity for additional truck or trailer payments is important along with storage and ongoing maintenance.  If you have ever seen the quality level of most RV’s and travel trailers, you will understand more clearly that it’s not a matter of IF you will end up with maintenance costs, but a matter of WHEN, so add that into your max cost.  Determine your max budget first, then look at financing options before you start shopping so you don’t get in over your head.  You can check out current rates here and plug a rate into a loan calculator to determine monthly payments here.

As an aside, depending on the backlog at the DMV in your state, I HIGHLY recommend you start the process of obtaining and registering your new travel home of choice ASAP.  It took us 16 weeks to get our license plates!!!  We were very nervous about this given our first big trip would be out of state, and we did a little happy dance when our plates finally arrived in the mail.

Your biggest asset

Not everyone has to deal with managing a house.  If you rent, it’s a little easier to cut ties, determine where you are in your lease and what it would cost to break your lease, if necessary.  But for those who own property, there are a LOT of things to consider.  How attached are you to your home and do you plan to return to it after you’re done traveling?  How long will you be gone and what are the rental laws in your area?  How hot is the housing market right now and would it be worth selling if you are looking to cut ties more permanently and access more cash?  If you opt for renting, will you have the ability to manage it yourself or would it be worth it to hire a property manager?  So many questions, so many decisions!

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Here is what we decided: Although the housing market it really hot right now and we could easily sell our house at a high price, we decided to rent it out because we really don’t know where we are going to end up and when.  It felt like the prudent choice not to go “all in” and instead hedge our bets as to how well we would take to the road and how long we would want to continue this lifestyle.  If down the line we find an amazing place that we feel confident we will want to settle down in, we can always sell our property then.  Or, if we can afford it, perhaps we will keep our house as an investment property and buy a new house elsewhere.  Who knows?!?  We certainly don’t at this time.  

We looked at short term rental options like airbnb, but the laws in our area made it cost prohibitive and limited the time we would be allowed to actually rent to three months per year.  Plus, who would be doing the cleaning in between guests?  It just wasn’t cost effective for us.  

Having had a little experience renting out a property, we decided the best option was to hire a property manager since we wouldn’t always be in areas where we could easily be reached and because managing a property from across the country is difficult, to say the least.  We believe we can rent the property out for enough to cover our mortgage, the ongoing yard work and property management costs, but of course unexpected house repairs could derail this cost covering option, so we will need to keep some extra funds on hand to prepare for emergencies.  I recommend adding a buffer for large maintenance events to your budget as well, knowing the age of your house and understanding how quickly house repairs can add up.  Again, we are still in the process of making this happen, so stay tuned as we see how this plays out…

These are a few of my favorite things

A big concern when traveling around is making sure you don’t push your payload by making your rig overweight.  If you read about the dangers of pushing the weight limits on your truck, there is a lot of contention around this issue, but regardless we know that the more weight we carry, the more wear and tear it will cause to our vehicle.  

And then there is the matter of space.  Not all rigs are built with lots of storage, so you may need to get creative to store your things.  We utilized every nook and cranny we could!  That being said, it really was an exercise is letting go of a LOT for us.  Here is what we did since we had several months to think about it:

Donations: First, we sorted through the things we knew we didn’t need anymore, donated them to a local non-profit and scheduled a donation pickup.  Our non-profit of choice was the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America).  I also donated a plethora of business attire to Dress for Success.  And toward the end of our move out of the house and into the trailer, we also made several trips to Goodwill.  All of these organizations can be found nationwide or worldwide.

Consignment: Second, I consigned as many clothing items as I could.  This is hit and miss, and I shlepped my clothes around a lot, so am not sure I would do it again.  However, I did sell some of my items at Modo Boutique, and their consignment platform was pretty easy to interact with, so overall I would recommend them for women’s clothing.  They didn’t take a lot, but they sold all but one item, which was a great result considering my experience with the other consignment locations.

Moving Sales: Third, we planned a weekend long moving sale, advertised on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and put out poster board signs in the neighborhood to direct people to us.  This was one of the most exhausting processes, pulling our house apart, sorting through what we would sell, staging it, pricing it, and trying to keep it organized and protected from the elements outside.  We also prepared by getting starter cash, a card reader from Square and using cash apps like VenMo to exchange funds with our customers.  People were roaming all over our yard outside, and on the main and basement levels of our house, and my favorite exchange was a man who pulled a jug of laundry detergent off our washer and asked how much he could buy it for, even though we didn’t price it to sell in the first place.  But, we figured why not?!?  So, we sold it to him. LOL.

The first day was really successful, with beautiful weather and lots of foot traffic.  We anticipated rain the second day, but considering how dry it has been this year, we seemingly got all of our rain for the summer that second day!  Despite this, we did still get some foot traffic and used Offer Up to continue to sell some of the bigger ticket items.   That app is really easy to use and we both had good luck with it.  

Disposal services: For environmental and practical reasons I am not a fan of throwing useful things away, so another round of donations was scheduled with the VVA.  Then it was time to start sorting through what would go in storage, what would come with us and what was still left over that would sadly need to get picked up by a junk removal service.  The service we chose claims to recycle or donate any items they can, so that eased my mind a bit, hoping that this was indeed true. 🙂  Later, I discovered a new service in Portland that I wish I had known about earlier in our move process, as I would have used them to ensure more items would get recycled rather than go in a landfill.  

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Storage: As for storing items, a friend of ours really stressed the importance of not storing things we could easily replace, because when you add up storage costs, you could have used that money to pay to replace the items in storage, or you may no longer want those items once you finally pull them out of storage.  So, we decided to store everything we felt was worth keeping in a pod that could later be shipped elsewhere in the nation.  What we kept was a combination of items that we wouldn’t be able to easily replace due to expense, uniqueness, or that it would be silly to toss if we would just turn around and buy them again.

The essentials: Finally, the process of sorting through what would come with us really boiled down to what would fit, what we would realistically use in the trailer, and new items to help us prepare for boondocking (dry camping) or ongoing repairs.  New items include solar panels, a rechargeable battery system, a small chainsaw to clear trees from roads, first aid, and extra energy sources, such as the truck’s built in generator and rechargeable lighting.  Keep your choices practical, pare down as much as possible and consider paring back even further if you have an opportunity to put more items in storage.  We will be circling back to Portland in late September and plan to do just that! 

After seeing what would fit in our little refrigerator, freezer and pantry, I donated more unopened pantry items to a local food pantry as one of our last steps.  Are you tired yet?  It’s an exhausting process and was one of the hardest parts of this transition for us.  I’m glad it’s done and really hope now that we have downsized, we won’t be acquiring a bunch of stuff later on, considering all of the stress and anxiety it caused.

Transition planning

The level of notice you give at your job is a personal decision and is dependent on a lot of factors.  How integral are you to your organization’s business?  How easy will it be to hire a new person for your role, and possibly train and transition your responsibilities?  What kind of relationship do you have with your company and co-workers?  Though I had only been at my company for three years, I had a role that was intertwined with all departments across the company and required a lot of training for a smooth and successful transition.  As such, as soon as we secured our travel trailer, I gave nearly 5 months notice to get this process going.  Overall, I think that transition went well, but only time will tell.

Paying the pied piper

Everyone’s favorite subject…taxes!  I briefly referenced this in section 2 regarding affording your life on the road and will expand on it a little more here.  Depending on what state you live in, your taxes can be a lot or a little.  We looked at a state-by-state tax guide when checking out different places to live as a point of consideration.  The map visual on high vs low tax states is a bit misleading in my opinion, but the information is still useful.

Oregon is a high income tax state, so it would be ideal for us to domicile elsewhere, but until we have a better sense of what’s next for us, it would be a questionable move with the taxing authorities.  After talking with the Tax Queen, we decided to keep our house as our permanent/physical address and use a mail forwarding service for everything else.  For those of you who are interested in domiciling elsewhere, here are some of the details on how to domicile in another state and what to watch out for so you don’t get in trouble with the taxing authorities. 

Risky business

Everyone’s second favorite subject…insurance.  As mentioned in the last entry about how to domicile in another state and what to watch out for to try and keep everything above board, your insurance can drastically change if you choose to domicile elsewhere, specially health and auto insurance.  This was a challenging area for us for a variety of reasons and I’m sure we aren’t done dealing with those challenges, as we haven’t completely transitioned our health insurance yet. I predict another blog post about this down the line…

Our first challenge was getting the travel trailer insured.  The insurance company we had existing house, auto and umbrella policies with wasn’t so friendly once we no longer fit into their nice, neat boxes, so we had to transition all of our insurance policies away from their company.  They would not insure our travel trailer if we used it for more than occasional use.  And later on they wouldn’t underwrite our landlord policy because we didn’t have a new physical address, so be sure to investigate this ahead of time and be prepared to make some changes.

We ended up using Progressive for all of our insurance policies so we could bundle them together, but if you are only in need of a travel trailer policy, this guide discusses the best choices and why.  It is good to note that a lot of the recommended companies are third parties using National General as the actual insurance provider, so depending on your insurance or other service needs, it may make sense to work with them directly.

The most onerous part was reducing confusion surrounding what state in which to insure our trailer, vehicle, and landlord policies.  Our mail forwarding service (stay tuned for more on this next), provided us with a Texas address, but our trailer, vehicle and house are all registered or exist in Oregon, so we had to be very clear about this when going through the process of obtaining insurance policies.  You need to make sure your license plates, registration and insurance are all under the same state!  

As for landlord policies, if you are working with a property management group, reach out to them to make sure the policy will match their requirements and be prepared to sit on the phone for a LONG time answering questions about your property and potential renters…

Finally, health insurance can be obtained on the open market through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Alternatively, you can look into your company’s COBRA options, which will provide an additional 18 months of coverage on your existing health plans.  However, it can be expensive, so it’s important to find out just how much your COBRA plan will cost through your company’s human resources department beforehand.  This can be a difficult choice or an easy one, depending on your health situation, so know your options ahead of time.  Plus, depending on when in the month you make this decision, the transition to a new plan can take up to 6-8 weeks!  To minimize the time in between plans, sign up for new plans either toward the end of the month, or on the 1st of the month.

Snail mail

Although there are steps you can take to minimize the amount of mail you receive, like signing up for paperless billing, paying for services on the spot, etc., inevitably you will need some sort of way to obtain mail.  After looking at a variety of options, we went with the service that was recommended by people we know and that have been doing this for a long time and have the experience to handle it appropriately.  That service is through Escapees.  So far, it has been working out well.  You will need to get your paperwork in order ahead of time, and will likely need a notary service if you aren’t signing up with them directly in Livingston, TX, but the turn around process for obtaining a mail forwarding address was less than a week in our case.  Their online portal to schedule mail deliveries works well, plus they have a mail scanning service so you aren’t sent mail that you need not pay postage on.

Escapees will require that you become a member to take advantage of their mail forwarding service, but they have been very responsive and have a lot of great resources to help you on your journey, including discounts, events, a large built in traveling community, job resources, and more.

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You will also want to set up mail forwarding through the US Postal Service as well and will want to do this for any and all names you have used…your business name, professional name, married or maiden names, etc. NOTE: There are a lot of scammers out there, so make sure the information you are entering is being done through the USPS site and not a copycat. If you are being asked to pay more than $1, then you are likely on a scammer’s site.

As an aside, but an important one, you may also need to consider changing your banking relationship. Not all banks will allow you to change your address to a mailbox number as opposed to a physical address, likely because they don’t want to be party to tax evasion. Make sure to change your address with your banking institutions as soon as you can and have a back up plan in case they take issue with it.

The next area to consider is where you are staying while traveling and what sort of mail you can receive at each location.  CALL AHEAD as not every RV park or campground offers the same services and you can’t assume you will be allowed to receive all delivery services there.  For example, our current location can accommodate UPS and Fedex deliveries, but NOT USPS.  If you need to receive mail via USPS, ensure you set up your mail forwarding address correctly and that the local post office will accept your packages through general delivery.  Not all post office locations can accept general deliveries.

Finally, if you can control the method used for shipping, Amazon Lockers are a convenient option to get items shipped close to your current location if you cannot obtain items locally.  If you CAN find items locally and support your current local community, this is always the best option, especially if you have enjoyed your time there.  Support your local community, wherever that may currently be! 🙂 

Skillz!

We are getting close to the end!  Like I said, A LOT of effort went into preparing for this adventure, so hopefully these resources are helpful as you make the decision of whether this is something you’d like to do and to what extent. 🙂

Aside from checking out tips on YouTube shared by full time RVers, we talked with people we know who have done this and got their advice.  And a lot of it you just figure out on the road!

More technical setup details can be shared by my partner, but he did outfit our trailer with a solar system to supplement our power grid to optimize our dry camping experience and take advantage of free camping options and also not be dependent on full hook ups everywhere we go. The site he found most useful was Adventurous Way.  Here is the section on solar.  And because he has experience with electrical, he felt comfortable following the blog’s recommendations on switching from lead batteries to rechargeable and an inverter system to link it to the existing electrical in the trailer.  DISCLAIMER: Working on an electrical system can be very dangerous, so I do NOT advise you do any electrical modifications unless you have the appropriate level of experience.  

And then there are all the gadgets!  We installed a temperature control system we could operate with our smart phones called ecobee.  The monitoring device for the electrical inverter setup is provided by Victron Energy along with a lot of the component parts to the whole system.  We also started using other monitoring systems for tire pressure, propane tank levels, and a leveling app to help us level the trailer at each location we camp, which is often necessary for proper refrigerator operation.  These make the set up and break down a little more efficient, which can make an already long day just a little easier.

Photo by JACK REDGATE on Pexels.com

Finally, aside from reading up ahead of time and checking out different recommendations, the true test is just to go on a few small trips and test EVERYTHING.  We did 3 trips…one to de-winterize our trailer’s plumbing system, another to test out off grid camping and the battery and solar setup, and another with full hook ups to get used to that process of set up and tear down.  There is a lot more I could share, but this is already a really long post, so let’s stop here. 🙂

I promise not all posts will be this involved, but getting ready for life on the road WAS an involved process, so I wasn’t going to beat around the bush about it.  Good luck with your future travels and may they bring you joy, rest, excite your curiosity and sense of adventure.

4 thoughts on “What does it take to uproot your life and go on the road?

  1. So many things that go into this process! It’s fun to hear all the details. Sounds like you guys make a great team getting everything working smoothly. Looking forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

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