In this week’s edition I interview an expat family living in the Netherlands. The talk about their life abroad and a recent RV trip they took along the French countryside, using their equivalent of America’s Harvest Hosts, called France Passion.
In this episode I talk about our second voyage as RVers, where we visited Peace River Thousand Trails. Also our plans for the Great American Eclipse Road Trip and the RV upgrades I’ve made for that trip.
I have been making many upgrades and modifications. As you probably know I modifies the area where our TV used to be into a wardrobe closet. I also bought a Tire Pressure Monitoring System which works great. We replaced our faulty Atwood on demand water heater with a Truma AquaGo. Look out for this video this Sunday.
Change of Plans
While nothing is set in stone about our August road trip to see the “Great Eclipse” we have been toying with the idea of changing plans and going a little further west, towards the Kansas City area. Good weather probabilities are a lot higher there.
Peace River Thousand Trails
For our second voyage we went to the Peace River Thousand Trails because we got invited to a new member appreciation even that turned out to be a potluck.
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Last weekend we spent some time at Sebastian Inlet State Park. The highlight of the trip was the most beautiful sunrise, preceded by a very faint new moon moonrise. The park is a great place if you are into fishing or boating. The are also supposed to have very good snorkeling. But we didn’t have much fun there. First the park was very crowded on the weekend. The we got struck by a horrible thunderstorm, and the park lost electrical power and water. We were basically boondocking with an empty water tank.
Pelican Island National Wildlife Preserve
While we were there we also visited Pelican Island NWP, which is very close to the state park. We were the only people there, and the wildlife consisted mostly of very voracious mosquitoes. I think Florida mosquitoes have become immune to deep. The preserve does have the great significance of being the first National Wildlife Preserve, established by president Theodore Roosevelt in 1902.
Mike “Living Free”
In this week’s interview I chat with Mike O’Connor, a YouTube creator and full time traveler. We get his perspective on the freedom of living on the road. His favorite place is Rife Lake, in Washington. He documents his travels with his dog named Sober on his YouTube channel Living Free.
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We discuss the pros and cons about the types of RV he’s driven. The Class A was comfortable inside but he hated having a toad. His current campervan is nimble and stealth but not totally self contained. I think we agreed that for both of us the best compromise would be a wide body Class B for him, and for me even a small Class C.
Favorite part of RV travel
Having the feeling of coming home every time, that you don’t get if you stay at a hotel.
Least favorite part about RV travel
The persistent stigma about full time RVers in society. Also the fact that there is always something breaking no matter the age of you RV.
Workamping and other work on the road
There are plenty of jobs, just not plenty of good paying jobs. One of the best choices for James had been a ultra temp service.
When we talk about visiting places far from Florida, our only options up to now have been one of the major RV rental companies. There is, however, a new option. RV share lets RV owners rent their RVs, and that is a great choice for people who want to try before they buy.
Full disclosure: I am an affiliate, but that only means I get a commission if you decide to use RV share by following one of the links below. To rent an RV To offer your RV for rent
I talk about my own experiences, but for the definitive guide I will differ to the definitive article on Living the RV Dream
The Great American Eclipse 2017
Here’s a link to the article I mentioned that lists some of the best places to experience the eclipse.
Here’s a link to the article about expedition vehicles.
Well, as I hinted before, I no longer have my “day job”. I am going to dedicate 100% of my time to the podcast and my YouTube Channel. I will definitely be taking a pay cut, but I’ll be able to grow my media business at a much faster pace. As I leaned from John Huggins, the secret is multiple sources of revenue. I have the YouTube channel, which has been a hobby for almost a decade, and only about 3 years ago, it started showing promise. Then came the podcast, and I am eternally grateful to John Huggins for thinking of me when he decided to retire from it.
Then, I also have my music. As you probably know I compose the music for all my YouTube videos. Most of that music is for sale everywhere music is sold or streamed. While I’m not getting rich any time soon, it does make a little money. I also have physical CDs for sale, a double CD set with 30 tunes for $12.99. I also sell stickers for $5, and a CD/sticker combo for 15.99. FreeinmyRV.com is the place to get those. So the idea is to increase the number of videos per week, the length of the podcast, and maybe start offering more valuable content by having guests regularly. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Lion Country Safari
I am also going to talk about our recent trip to West Palm Beach. We stayed at the West Palm Beach / Lion Country Safari KOA. Very well maintained campground right next to the Lion Country Safari. Sometimes you could hear the Lions’ road from the campground. If you are not familiar Lion Country Safari is basically a zoo, but with the peculiarity that the animals roam free as you drive through the park. The do insist that you keep the car windows closed as some wildlife like the ostriches and the rhinoceros can be dangerous. The lions are behind a fence just in case. Very cool park, lots of animals to be seen especially if you arrive when they open at 9:30am, when it is not too hot yet.
We also visited West Palm Beach. Many viewers and listeners had recommended we visit Peanut Island, just north of Palm Beach, at Riviera Beach. Besides the beach, the camping, snorkeling and many more things to do, the island was the site of a cold war era bunker for John F. Kennedy. It was built during the Cuban missile crisis during the course of two weeks, to take the president to safety during a nuclear attack. The even tried to build a tunnel from Kennedy’s estate to the island but it collapsed, so they had to settle for speedboat or helicopter. The place is totally cool as is the tour of the historic Coast Guard Station. Visit before November, because after that date the maritime museum will relinquish the site to Palm Beach county and nobody really knows what’s going to happen to the place.
West Palm Beach
We also visited downtown West Palm Beach and had lunch a very trendy place called Avocado Grill. They had very loud house music with a conga player and a trombone player playing over it. The food and the beer selection were very good.
We also visited the historic and iconic The Breakers Hotel, which is practically a symbol of Palm Beach. The hotel was founded by Henry Flagler himself in 1896, although the original structure burned to the ground twice. The current palatial building dates back to 1926. We also drove around the exclusive oceanfront residential neighborhoods. As the day came to an end we drove by the famous Mar-a-Lago Club, where President Trump stays often. There were two demonstrations, one in favor, one against Trump. Check out the video of this trip this coming Sunday at YouTube.com/TravelingRobert
Living the RV Dream episode 15. In this edition of the podcast we talk about Class B vans, and we continue our chronicle of the epic trip we took on the 4 corners region: Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
I received an email Vivian Oliva about Class B camper vans but I think I will dedicate a whole future episode to Class Bs and the pros and cons, also go into some of the B+ units we’ve been looking into. In a nutshell, build quality aside, there are very few comfortable or innovative floor plans, in my humble opinion. There are all kinds of configurations and different length models, mainly on the Sprinter and Promaster platforms, but they all boil down to the same thing. Galley on the passenger side, bathroom and closet on the driver side, an ultra narrow hallway in the middle, sofa bed in the back, rinse and repeat. I have only found two units with a permanent table, and a permanent, or at least semi-permanent bed. One of them is the new Hymer Aktiv, formerly the Grand Canyon. The other one is the Winnebago Travato. Still both units seem a little cramped for more than one person full timing, but I’ll try to interview owners of both in the future and get their opinions.
The Wild West Part 3
I the second segment of the program I continue with the last leg of our Four Corners road trip to the Wild West. We left off as we were arriving at Page, Arizona. This small town can be the home base to visit many points of interest in the area, mainly Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend. Here we deviated from our original plan to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in order to enjoy this area a little more.
We took one on the cruises offered at the Wahweap resort, which covered the Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon and Navajo Canyon. Overall is was a very pleasant trip, and very informative, if a little expensive at around $70
Antelope Canyon is divided in two parts, three actually if you count the underwater part on the lake. The two parts are the upper and the lower. The upper is more accessible and wider, but you must book your tour at Page, Arizona, and they take you by Jeep. Lower Antelope Canyon is just a crevice in the ground, but you can just show up, pay your fee and follow the guide down a set of steep stairs. The slot canyon is of incredible beauty.
This iconic place is just a deep meander of the Colorado River. There is a little bit of a hike to get there, but the views are truly breathtaking.
After our stay at the Wahweap RV Resort, we continued towards Bryce Canyon. The canyon is full of these rock formations called hoodoos, that almost look like people standing in formation. A truly otherworldly place this is. There is a network of trails you can take, either by foot or on horseback, but we just didn’t have the time to do any of them. We had to content ourselves with admiring the breathtaking views from the many viewpoints.
Capitol Reef National Park
Our next destination on this action-packed day was just driving through Capitol Reef National Park. Here we also had the ambition to hike to one of the arches, Cassidy Arch to be exact, in which you can stand on top of the arch, and take that Instagram perfect selfie. Of course we didn’t have time.
Our last stop in Utah was Goblin Valley State Park. The valley is covered with all these mushroom shaped little hoodoos, some of them resembling giant Hershey Kisses. Another very interesting place that used to be an ocean in prehistoric times.
As we crossed the mighty Rocky Mountains on our way back east, I decided to get off Interstate 70 and use US-6, the old road that goes over the continental divide at the Loveland Pass. I even suffered from some mild altitude sickness on the way up.
Echo Lake and Mount Evans
We spent the last night among the clouds at the Echo Lake campground, a fitting end to our road trip. This campground sits at over 10,000 feet above sea level, but this is just halfway up to the 14,265 feet that is Mount Evans, if we were to continue up on North America’s highest paved road. Unfortunate the RV is too long to travel on this road, so we decided to save Mount Evans for a couple of days later with a rental car. In the morning we descended onto the Mile High City, Denver, emptied our holding tanks and returned the RV.
In this week’s edition we talk about Mesa Verde National Park, the Four Corners Monument, Monument Valley, Page Arizona, and the Navajo Nation. It can all be summarized as the Wild, Wild, West if you think about it.
We begin where we left off in the previous episode, in which we drove from Denver, Colorado to Moab, Utah and visited Arches National Park. We spent the night at the town of Cortez, Colorado, at the Sundance RV Resort.
Mesa Verde National Park
Cortez, Colorado happens to be very close to Mesa Verde National Park. The main reason I wanted to visit this park is because of the cliff dwellings abandoned by the Ancestral Pueblo Peoples about 700 years ago. The actual reasons why the abandoned this area remain a mystery to this day. The ancestral pueblo people built this amazing dwellings, almost like apartment building on the side walls of the numerous canyons. If you want to visit the main structures you must make a reservation at the Visitors Center before you enter the park. We reserved a guided tour of the Cliff Palace, one of the largest and more accessible of the structures and were very impressed.
After our visit to Mesa Verde National Park we continued towards the Four Corners Monument. It marks the point where the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico converge. This is the only point in the United States where the boundaries of four states coincide. It is also the only time we area going to step onto New Mexico soil. I didn’t add NM to my sticker map because it doesn’t really count.
Goosenecks State Park
From here we continued deeper into the Wild West. We spent the night at Goosenecks State Park in Utah. At night, thanks to the lack of light pollution, I was able to see the Milky Way with the naked eye for the first time in my life.
Monument Valley: The Wild West
On the next day we visited Monument Valley. The place that epitomizes the “look” of the Wild West thanks to movie director John Ford. It was his movie Stagecoach starring a young John Wayne that put Monument Valley on the pop culture map. We had to take the very expensive tour of Monument Valley because RVs are not allowed on the dirt road, for good reason. Here we also eat some unimpressive Navajo stew and honey fry bread.
In this edition of Living the RV Dream with Traveling Robert we talk about RV upgrades and modifications, and one of my favorite road trips in the United States. This road trip involves the Four Corners region, more colloquially know as the Wild, Wild West.
Last weekend I spent my Sunday making some more upgrades and modifications to Minitini the Trailer. First of all we finally took care of an underused space above our refrigerator. We found a net that fit the opening of this space and now we have a bit more storage.
While I was doing this my wife noticed a large gap behind our television set. We hardly ever watch our TV so I said, what if we get rid of it and the enclosure behind it. While we are at it let’s get rid of the shelf below it, and voila. Now we have enough room for a coat closet. All we need now is a matching door, and a closet rod. Something tells me the closet rod will be a lot easier.
Four Corners Road Trip (The American Wild West)
The main topic of this episode is the first leg of our second road trip in an RV. By this time we were a lot more confident, as we had already read many books on RVing, including John Huggins’ So You Want To Be an RVer. We had also attended the Tampa show once and we were pretty sure we would get a small gas class A. How things change with time!
We flew from Miami to Denver, Colorado, and rented a 28-foot class C from El Monte. The first leg was a breathtakingly drive on I-70 crossing the Rockies. We spent the night at the Colorado River State Park, at the Island Acres campground, near Grand Junction, Colorado.
Arches National Park
In the morning we continued into Utah, and we took State Route 128, another beautiful drive. It goes through the Colorado River Gorge, and Castle Valley. In this area we began to see the type of landscape that Hollywood epitomized as the Wild West. We spent the better part of the day visiting Arches National Park. While in the park we did the Delicate Arch trail, which is in my opinion a must if you are in decent shape. It is a moderately strenuous hike.
After a quick visit to the neighboring town of Moab, we continued driving south towards Cortez, Colorado, which is the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park. See some pictures below and listen to the podcast for more details.