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Category: Off-Grid Living

RV Living: California Coast Has Plenty of Paid and Free Parking

Ocean, breeze, no crowd…what more can you ask for?

The best part about RV living between San Diego and Los Angeles is that there are plenty of beaches to park. The only thing that’s a bit annoying (besides gas prices) is that there are virtually no truck stops on Interstate 5 or the Pacific Coast Highway in this area. That makes it difficult to empty black and grey water, along with refilling fresh water tanks. Truck stops are also great overnight parking spots that are easy to navigate in a large vehicle.

There are obvious conveniences that RVs offer that vans and Class B’s do not. But the one thing you have to get used to is not being able to just park where ever. A lot more planning and logistics are necessary with an RV, particularly those over 35 feet long. Many California cities have street signs everywhere saying its illegal to park vehicles 30+ feet long. Regardless, there are more than enough places to park for free. But even the paid beaches only cost between $15-$20 for 24 hours. read more

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40 Acres and A Van: 3 Simple Tips For Buying Remote Land Out West

June 19, 2016

You’ve all seen them: large plots of land that seem too cheap and too good to be true. I’ve just purchased my second one, this time in Nevada. Its 45 acres in the middle of nowhere, but perfect for several projects I have in mind. A small cabin came on the property, and I’ve installed 500 watts of solar, along with satellite for internet and drilled a well. This will potentially turn into a spot where a “Vanpolooza” can be held, but really its just a great off-grid place for an escape from Phoenix weather and cities in general. read more

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Arizona Van Dwelling: Basics For First-Time Phoenix Campers

I’m leaving Phoenix until at least November of this year. I’ve lived there for a good portion of my life while in a van, so know the ins-and-outs. Its best to avoid all together in the summer months, which, heat-wise, span from April to October. But for whatever reason, some van and RV folks love the heat and will live there all summer. More power to you. March and April are still bearable months however, so this guide will help anyone traveling to the desert capital find a few parking spots, amenities and other friendly spots. read more

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Emergency Comfortable Showering For Vandwellers

Shower

SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA — When you haven’t showered in three days and you don’t feel like dealing with traffic and other Monday B.S. that comes with locating a gym to shower, this is an effective alternative.

Find a deserted spot, put on the shower shoes, two gallons of room temp water, 24 ounces of boiling water, generator for shaving/trimming tools, and shower away. Crazy the average American shower lasts eight minutes and uses 17 gallons of water, per one source. But two gallons is more than enough for your pre-wash spray down, then wash yourself with whatever you use (I’m a body wash guy), and use the remaining water to rinse. read more

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Kansas Shortcut Between Midwest and Southwest

The van is now approaching that 200,000 mile[stone]. Interstates are always best as far as speed limits, amenities (i.e. 24 hour rest areas, truck stops, etc.), lighting, smooth pavement and everything else that makes living on the road for months at a time more comfortable. But in most cases interstates are not the shortest route to your destination.

Those who have traveled a lot between the Midwest and Southwest (for me, Des Moines to Phoenix) have probably used the I-80 to I-25 in Denver route until you get to I-40. The scenery in Colorado, along with the atmosphere, is always worth the trip. But that route extends 1,600 miles. I decided to try the Kansas route that is only 1,410 and takes two less hours than the interstate/Colorado route. You also still avoid Texas entirely (albeit by only about 2.5 miles). read more

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Cheyenne Frontier Days And Yellowstone National Park

Sunday, August 31, 2014
@Scribewilkins

Yellowstone

The four days spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming were completely spontaneous (like much of this trip) after pretty much being forced to stay by the locals.

The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.
The first rest stop when you enter Wyoming from Fort Collins, Colo. via Interstate 25.

It just so happen to be the time of year for the town’s annual Frontier Days, which was described as the largest rodeo in the world by several individuals there. Now I truly understand the saying “this isn’t my first rodeo.” No matter how many of those things you see depicted in cartoons and television shows, there’s absolutely nothing like seeing one in person…for numerous reasons that are not the subject of this article. Despite the fact some moron backed into my generator and ripped up its outer casing at a truck stop in Cheyenne, Frontier Days was pretty awesome…and pretty country! read more

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Quick Blurb: Oregon/Washington Border

August 23, 2014
@Scribewilkins

Oregon Ducks

First things I noticed when crossing into Oregon from Washington via Interstate 5: 1) You are immediately in Portland; 2) the first two exits off the freeway are MLK Street and Rosa Parks Avenue; 3) I stopped to get gas and a guy walked up to my driver side window. I immediately just handed him a dollar, thinking he was homeless or something. But in Oregon, its ILLEGAL to pump your own gas. All stations are full service. He was the pump attendant.

Also Wal-Marts use paper bags in Multnomah County, Oregon. read more

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