My boyfriend and I have been traveling in our R. V for about four months now; there have been many challenges and mistakes that we have learned from this new experience and we’ve realized that living in a house on wheels is much different.
Here are some tips to help your R. V travels go a bit smoother, these are the resources that we took advantage of while living on the road.
Boondocking is a term used for overnight parking for free in many areas. National Forests are the best places to boondock, as it is completely legal to overnight park in National Forests for nearly a month as long as your not disrespectful to the forest. Other things we looked out for were abandoned parking lots, or any lots that had no signage saying that they’re is no overnight parking in that area.
Some stores such as Walmart and Safeway were useful to us often, we spent a total of two weeks in an R. V park during our four month travel and saved a ton of money doing it.
During our travels, we shared a pay-as-you-go phone, our internet was limited, which we needed to look for work, email and my blog here! We’ve found that you can find WI-FI without a password in a lot of unexpected places. If we were parked someplace near a store, we would find internet almost every time.
Starbucks was a common place to go and use internet. We had tried other places, but found that Starbucks was consistent, with plugins, reliable internet and a coffee every time.
Many cities will actually have a free area to dump your sewage, make sure to look up if any city your traveling by has it, an extra $10 adds up if you’re needing it every week.
We ran into many situations where we had no water in our tank. In some ways, this is good; it did not weigh us down when we were driving and saved us gas money. I recommend emptying your tank before driving a long distance.
We made sure to keep our one gallon jugs we bought previously and refill them whenever we could for usually only about 40 cents. If we couldn’t get water in our tanks than we would use that water to drink, wash our hands, brush our teeth, give to our pets and any way we found need be.
Craigslist was our number one resource for finding work on the road. We could find one day to a few months worth of work all in one area where it is easy to communicate. A few times we would put up posts asking for a place to park our R. V, we got a few responses that led us to other helpful resources and even met some amazing people along the way.
Because we didn’t stay in many R. V parks, our showering situation was a little different. We are quiet the naturalists and for the most part would cleanse ourselves in natural waters, but we took advantage of free trial gym memberships often. Every new city we entered that we knew we would be in for a good amount of time, we would get free week trials, where we would use their equipment, pools, steam rooms and showers every day while we had it.
Not having it for so long would allow us to appreciate it even more when we finally got our free trial.
During our entire travels, we only used maps. Beforehand, we had gotten a state map for every state and an atlas. The atlas is what I most recommend for finding roads, but every map will show something that another doesn’t and goes unnoticed on a GPS. I recommend maps in general, rather than a GPS, as you can see where the next National Forest will be and any other natural areas to visit.
When we entered a new city, we would visit the visitors center with magazines on attractions and city maps as well. There are so many things that you can discover at a visitors center than you never knew existed.
R. V Travelers App:
There are some extremely useful apps to help travelers find the cheapest gas near them, let travelers know if a Walmart is okay for overnight stay or not. Not all Walmart’s are overnight stay like people say, but as long as they’re are a few other R. V’s there, that was enough for us to stay one night.
A few of these apps are GasBuddy and Walmart Parking App. There are plenty more useful apps as well, depending on what your looking for.