RV Life

Whether you are a full-time or weekend warrior, breakdowns are a dreaded reality for many hitting America’s magnificent roadways. However, with a little preparation ahead of time, you can save yourself and your loved ones a lot of headache in the unfortunate event of vehicle issues.

Listing out tried and true gadgets that with not only help keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of a breakdown, RV Love provides real-world advice to you navigate your way through this frustrating part of RV life.

“First tip, use the safety gear you have.”  States Marc Bennett as he recalls his very own recent RV breakdown.

Watch RV Love cover these 7 must have items below:

Click here for RV Love’s Free ‘Safety Checklist’

This is one of those wonderful moments that every RVer (now matter how clean) has (or will unfortunately) experience at some point full-timing… You crawl into bed, finally get perfectly cozy for the night and then it happens…

Cue the sounds of adorable yet highly destructive little feet tap dancing in the ceiling of your RV. Now what?

If you’re like me, your next step (after immediately verbalizing some sort of profanity) is to jump directly on the internet and search for tried and true methods to quickly rid your home of these devilish little intruders. But what if you are out of service range for your phone or mobile hotspot?

It’s time to get creative.

With a little knowledge beforehand as to what mice like and conversely dislike, you can solve this potentially major problem rather quickly with one powerful magic weapon and unleashing your inner MacGyver.

Before I get to the magic ingredient you should keep stock of on your rig (and no I am not selling it here), I would like to give a shout out to that ‘those’ friends we are always discount and brush off. You know, the ones that are always touting the plethora of benefits pure essential oils provide and trying to convince you that you can replace this or that with a special cocktail of said oils. Yeah… They are 100% right on at least one of the oils. That magical ‘wonder oil‘ being pure peppermint oil.

So without further ado, here is how I was able to resolve my mouse issue quickly and effectively before it became a bigger problem.

Supplies used for mouse eradication:

  • Essential Oil Disfuser
  • 100% Pure USDA ‘Organic’ Peppermint Oil
  • Paper Towel Torn into Strips (One Strip for Each A/C Vent)
  • ‘Shoebox’ Sized Plastic Tote/Organizer with a Lid
  • Broom
  • Drawer
  • Box of Random Items
  • Dog Food

After calming down and realizing that cursing heavily was not enough to entice my furry intruder to leave on his own, I sprung to action with the knowledge that rodents hate peppermint with a passion. I grabbed my peppermint oil from the my container of essential oils and tore multiple strips, then placed one drop of oil on each strip. Additionally, I fired up my diffuser and loaded it with peppermint oil for good measure.

Note: You’re probably wondering if my rig smelled like Christmas threw up at this point and the answer to that question is yes, yes it did.

The next step I took was to take the paper towel strips with the oil and to place them in each A/C vent (making sure there was a portion still hanging out that I could grab when it was time to remove them) then to close the vent. I repeat this step with all but one vent.

My last step took a little more creativity, this step was to create an irresistible trap.

For my ‘trap‘ I elected to use the humane option of a shoebox sized plastic container with a lid and dog food directly under the remaining vent that was left open to tease my furry nemesis… But how was I going to keep this firmly adhered to the ceiling? The solution was surprisingly easy.

(The lid being easily accessible is important as you will need it to ‘seal’ the trap later.)

I grabbed my broom and placed the base of the inside of a random box, then set that box on an open drawer to give it tension with the broom’s handle against lid of the container. My trap was now set.

See Below:

Ok… I know, this trap looks pretty ghetto. But it was seriously effective.

Within less than five minutes I noticed my furry nemesis poking his tiny little nose out of the enclosed vent and at that point it was game over. Once my intruder smelled the mouse equivalent of a free Thanksgiving dinner he jumped into the box. I moved the broom and quickly sealed the container with the lid to ensure he did not go back into hiding.

Naturally, I was relieved and promptly set an additional trap just in case but luckily for me Baron von Whiskers was the singular stowaway hiding on my rig.

So now that you know how to trap a mouse in a pinch, here are a few methods that may help deter furry invaders to begin with:

Mothballs: It is widely theorized that rodents hate the smell of mothballs due to the pungent odor emitted by the active ingredients naphthalene and (or) paradichlorobenzene. While a majority of pest control companies have posted blogs disputing the effectiveness of using mothballs to repel rodents (likely because they just want your business), there are many individuals that swear by this method.

Because of the previously noted pungent odor emitted from mothballs and possible health risks associated with their active ingredients, this method should only be used in the outdoor storage compartments under your RV. To use this method, try placing mothballs in small containers with vent holes in the under storage compartments of your rig to deter rodents from entering.

Seal Off Anything Safe to Seal Off: Rodents are opportunists, be sure not to give them an opportunity to enter your RV if you can help it.

While completely sealing off all possible entrances is virtually impossible, you can make intrusion more difficult for this pesky freeloaders to take up residence. One highly effective best practice in rodent prevention is to insure that your storage doors are always fully closed when you are not accessing the contains underneath your RV. Additionally, make sure any small openings (that are not intended to be left open for ventilation or drainage) are properly sealed and replace worn seals to storage doors and slides if there are noticeable gaps developing.

For small gaps and openings, steel wool or fine mesh wire make for effective rodent roadblocks.

Do Not Unknowingly Offer Free Meals: Again, rodents are shameless opportunists so it is imperative you do not unknowingly offer them a free meal. Whether you are full-timing and dropped your rig off at the shop for a few days to have service work completed or you are a weekend warrior and you are placing your rig in storage, it is a best practice to remove inciting dry-goods (such as bread, cereal, rice, beans, flour, instant potatoes, etc.) from your cabinets.

To protect your pantry from these furry-terrorists while you are occupying your RV, be sure to store your dry-goods in airtight containers.

Have a pet? Make sure to keep their food in airtight containers as well and make sure to pick up that food bowl after meal time.

Keep it Clean: Good housekeeping is an imperative step in rodent control so use this as extra motivation to stay as tidy as possible… Wash those pesky dirty dishes sitting in your sink now and save yourself a headache tomorrow.

In addition to the the previously noted tips, sweeping the kitchen floor and taking out the trash nightly, as well as wiping down countertops after every meal will help make mice get the point that the ‘Kitchen is closed.’

More things to consider on the topic of keeping things tidy, mice love shreddable nesting materials such as old newspapers, napkins, paper towels, they also love to build nests in wood piles, BBQs, etc. With this in mind, be sure not to leave nesting materials close by your rig and check your covered BBQ regularly.

Have tried and true rodent control methods of your own? Share with us in the comment section below.

Looking for a truly unique RVing experience? Watch Drivin’ and Vibin’ review their stay at Flying Flags RV Resort in Buellton, California.

Located roughly one hundred miles away from Los Angeles in the beautiful rolling hills of Central California, the Flying Flags RV Resort feels worlds apart from the busy and often hectic daily grind California is well known for. Featuring a long list of amenities at the resort itself, Flying Flags RV Resort is also conveniently located near a plethora of truly unique tourism opportunities.

Staying 6 nights at the beautiful Flying Flags RV Resort, Kyle and Olivia experienced the many local wonders near by from the world famous Andersen’s Pea Soup, to the charming Danish village of Solvang. Enjoying locally produced wines in the surrounding community, Drivin’ and Vibin’ also explain what makes Flying Flags RV Resort one of the most memorable stays they have experienced on their full time journey.

Watch Below:

John and Laura Hebard of the YouTube Channel Hebard’s Travels had a rough week. It all began when their dually began showing signs of problems with the rear differential. Anyone who hauls a Fifth Wheel RV knows this is a big, big problem.

John took the truck to a local Chevy dealership in San Antonio to get it all diagnosed. The truck was left overnight for an inspection of the differential to see the extent of the work that would need to be done, as well as to gain an understanding of whether or not their warranty would cover the work. Work that will likely be very costly.

This morning, as John reports it, the Hebard’s should have gotten a call with news of the differential. They were hoping for good news, of course. An ideal outcome would have been that the work wouldn’t take long, would be covered by the warranty and wouldn’t cost anything out of pocket.

The call came, but it wasn’t the news they were expecting. The dealership called to inform the Hebard’s that their vehicle had been broken into as it sat overnight at the dealership. Their vehicle along with several others.

The Hebard’s describe the situation in full detail on their vlog update.

While having a stereo system stolen is terrible (one that included their back up camera), it could have been much worse. The Hebards had a large tool box in the vehicle as well as a generator on board at the time of the theft. The thieves appeared to be making quick work to steal stereos from multiple vehicles and move on.

Yes, the stereo would be covered by insurance. That said, there is a high deductible involved and a scenario that should have ended with differential work covered under warranty is going to end up costing the Hebards hundreds and hundreds of dollars in deductibles.

This is an important lesson for all RVers as John tells it. Never assume that because a large dealership appears to have its lots secured in well lit/safe areas that your vehicle doesn’t need to have everything of value removed before leaving it their. The same could be said for vehicles left at boondocking or “walldocking” locations. In the scenario the Hebards just went through there was no obvious sign that trouble could appear at any time.

Yet it did.

Be careful out there, folks.

Last Saturday we hosted an RVer gathering/meet-up just outside of San Antonio. We had an incredible evening of food, conversation, vlogging and social interaction. Those who came out included:

Some time ago I wrote at length about how RV Life provides for an escape from topics that serve no positive purpose in life. Such as pointless discussions about Hollywood rumors, fashion trends and the big one… politics. Of course, politics play a role in the lives of RVers. Especially when it comes to highway regulation, vehicle registration laws, income taxes, etc. But the whole “right vs left” nonsense is not really relevant. Maybe to an individual in a private setting of a voting booth, but not at the campfire.

Saturday there were ten of us huddled around the fire discussing everything from poop (what RVer meet-up is complete without hitting on the topic of poop) to rig weight, to favorite camping locations, organic food and everything in-between. I sat quietly and observed a lot of the dialog. I wanted to see where the discussions would naturally go.

It was all healthy social interaction. If the conversation topics weren’t designed to get a group of laughs they were built around ways to function better as an independent human. Discussions about how things break down and what the solutions are. How to minimize vehicle weight, how to shoot better video, how to market online, etc. All conversation on topics that serve an actual positive purpose in life. In the full time RV life.

You’ll occasionally see social media threads go haywire when a rogue RVer decides to unwisely inject politics into a conversation. But generally speaking, and as an overwhelming majority of scenarios, RVers know that today’s politics stand to divide us, not unite us. And as full timers… we seek to be united in our daily lives.

I have no idea what political affiliations the RVers who spent time with us have. I don’t care what they are. And none of them cared to share them. Because in those moments such affiliations don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if half of the group supports one party and the other half another. While there may be disagreements on that front, RV Life isn’t about finding areas in which we all strongly disagree and then focusing significant time building the momentum of such disagreements.

That act would be counter-productive and damaging to the healthy social interactions at work. So it’s incredible and amazing to me that unlike virtually any other community in our nation RVers have figured this out. It’s an unspoken code that politics have no place at the campfire. And when that code is followed everyone is united in a common set of principles, lifestyles and shared stories.

This is one of the aspects of the lifestyle I most looked forward to. I see what political divides are doing to society and I saw a community based movement that appeared unified in every aspect of RV living. How does it work? It works because unlike the rest of society RVers don’t mix the two.

As a result of this we all have a much healthier social environment. That in and of itself is very attractive to me. It’s profoundly compelling and lends itself to the organic power of the RV life.

What say you?

Eric Odom

If you’re RVing solo with a dog you might have a passenger seat that doesn’t get used. Not by humans anyway. And as all dog owners know, the little guy probably wants to be up front with you while on the move.

But how do you make it so the seat is comfortable for the dog and safe at the same time?

Full time RVer Pippi Peterson has a simple solution. Just build a dog driving seat!

Shoes for cold weather, shoes for hiking, shoes for the campfire, shoes for swimming… it goes on and on. Yes, some of us use a single pair for all of the above. Some of us might just carry a solid pair of flip flops for most occasions.

But sometimes we need multiple shoe styles for multiple scenarios. And we all know shoes can end up creating road blocks in the RV. So what are a few ways to better store shoes while living in an RV?

RV Camping Hacks has a great post up with a list of 4 amazing ideas to help better organize the footwear. As they explain…

Shoe Storage can be a real challenge in an RV. Handling what seems to be exponential growth of shoes in an RV can be a tricky proposition.  Here are 4 excellent options to go from climbing shoe mountain to grab and go convenience.

Here’s the list with links to the full explanation.

  1. RV Shoe Rack from PVC (Click here for full story)
  2. Hanging Shoe Storage for Under $5 (Click here for full story)
  3. Wall Mounted Rack for 6 Pairs of Shoes (Click here for full story)
  4. Wall Mounted Shoe Rack for Roadtrek Agile (Click here for full story)

Like this tip? Sign up for more like this below and be sure to share the post!

When we first started building our site we were amazed at how many others are running blogs, YouTube channels, pages and groups on full time RVing. The amount of experience and information available online is incredible.

And what makes it all even better is that the RV community is easily one of the most helpful, engaged communities out there. We see help requests answered, problems solved and ideas flourish on a daily basis. All for free and all right out in the open for everyone to learn from and/or engage in.

We’re a part of about 30 Facebook groups and pages. Nearly all of them are extremely helpful and valuable. But ten really stand out for their good-vibe community environment, engagement level and overall usefulness. Please consider joining these groups and let them know Open Road Today sent you!

Note: There is no particular strategy with the order here. These are not ranked nor are they ordered by any sort of filter. All ten are top notch!

Note #2: We a little impartial as we’re building our new Facebook group. If you haven’t already done so please go join our Facebook group now!

  • Xscapers – Xscapers is a lifestyle group of Escapees RV Club geared toward RVers who have not yet retired and who have already, or are aspiring to, hit the road pursuing a full-time or part-time nomadic lifestyle. Click here to join on Facebook
  • Full Time RVers – This group is designed to share your knowledge, information and experiences with other Full-time RVers and those who wish to become Full-Time RVers. Feel free to post pictures, links, or anything you want to share with the group as long as it is RV related and within the rules.  Click here to join on Facebook.
  • Living the RV Dream – This Facebook group is open to all people interested in the RV lifestyle. The group has now grown into a great resource for aspiring RVers as well as seasoned travelers. Click here to join on Facebook
  • RV Boondocking – RV Boondocking is a group to help others find great place to disperse camp aka Boondock.  Click here to join on Facebook.
  • We RV2We wish to make We RV2 into a great resource for all RV owners as well as those aspiring to own an RV in the future. A place to frequent and share your valuable knowledge and experiences. Tell everyone your thoughts regarding travel and/or directions, campgrounds, interesting sites to visit, RV maintenance tips and tricks, ideas, pictures, videos or just plain comments.  Click here to join on Facebook.
  • RV LifeStyle & Earning On The Road – Feel free to share about yourself; what your goals are in terms of what you want/need to earn and what you’ve thought about doing. This is a group that is geared more towards the entrepreneur side of earning money “on the road” – looking at ethical, and moral business approaches and ways to generate passive income flow with the ultimate goal of time freedom – after all TIME is the most valuable commodity we have!  Click here to join on Facebook.
  • Workampers – This Workampers group is only for discussing workamping jobs, seasonal work, and other temporary income sources for RVers. See the Files tab for helpful Resources and Blogs. Read the Posting Policy below for important details before starting a new discussion… Click here to join on Facebook.
  • Pet Friendly RV Life – A community for RV lovers traveling with dogs, cats or any other loving creatures you love to travel with 💕🐾 for full Rvers like my self or liveaboard boat families welcome too.  Click here to join on Facebook.
  • How to RV for Newbies – How to RV for Newbies. Help guide for beginners. NO RV SALES. Click here to join on Facebook.
  • RV Interior Ideas – Very strong group and a lot of super cool ideas! Click here to join on Facebook.

LATE ADDS – THESE WERE RECOMMENDED IN COMMENTS

FOR ENTREPRENEURS

We just launched our own little business group over at Open Road Entrepreneurs. If you run a business while on the road come on over and say hello.

Did we leave any out? Suggest groups in the comments below.

When I finally get out on the road full time I’ll have a very, very high energy dog at my side. He’s my buddy and keeps himself essentially attached to my hip at all times.

I know him well. I know his routine, I know his habits, his weaknesses and his strengths. But how well will he adapt to full time living in a small space? And how can I make his life a little better?

There are a lot of ways to answer that and we look forward to writing quite a bit about it here at ORT. In the meantime, though, HEBARD’S TRAVELS has a fantastic post and video out on the subject that I find well worth the watch. Some of the tips they offer may not be relevant depending on the type of rig, but this is still really good stuff.

From their blog:

If there’s one thing we’ve seen with RV’ers, it’s that they like pets. Dogs and cats are the usual, but we’ve seen people with birds and other exotic animals. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the RV’ers out there travel with pets. Since so many people travel with pets we thought it would be a good idea to show everyone how we do it.

And the video… (couple bonus videos below)

 

Note: The following was submitted by Jennifer Leigh at PeaceOfThePath.com

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Over the past few years I’ve written thousands of stories. I’m a journalist who has been tear gassed during riots in Ferguson and I’ve listened to bombs drop just miles away on the border of Syria. I’ve seen a lot. And </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve written a lot more</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This is, however, the first story to hit my new website here at </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Peace of the Path</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. And I have to say… it’s an extraordinary challenge trying to figure out where to begin.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I suppose I’ll start with the obvious. Yes, I’m in the process of selling off everything I own to close out life as I know it and hit the road for a new life of full time RV’ing. It’s a process that is both terrifying and profoundly enlightening.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’m a </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>just-entering-my-thirties</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> woman with a beautiful and absolutely perfect Belgian Malinois named Ruger. He and I have been through thick and thin. We’ve had our adventures, our ups-and-downs and we both connect with each other in magical ways.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>But while we have our adventures (both for business and pleasure) I just can’t shake a vibe that has plagued me for the better part of a year now.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”><em>I’m programmed</em>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>To understand what I’m about to say let’s first look at the actual definition of the word program.</span>

<strong>PROGRAM:</strong>
<ol>
<li style=”font-weight: 400;”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>provide coded instructions for the automatic performance of a particular task.</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400;”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>arrange according to a plan or schedule.</span></li>
</ol>
<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve traveled around the world. I’ve seen the best and the worst of humanity. I’ve seen ancient ruins and climbed the heights of some of the newest, most modern buildings in the world.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>One way to look at this is that a lot of the people I know may never get the chance to see what I’ve seen, do what I’ve done and experience those kinds of experiences. When I look at it that way I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I don’t want to come off as someone who gets to do things a lot of people don’t and I don’t  appreciate it. That’s certainly not the case. But the truth is each of my adventures comes with a reality that I can’t ever shake.</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>They end</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>And because they end, they’re programmed while they occur. My trips are always scheduled. I have an arrival time and a departure time. I must fit what I want to accomplish between the two. I must pick and choose what experiences I can go through and which I must cast aside due to time constraints.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This creates a mental environment where I can’t actually relax, slow down and soak up the experiences themselves. I’m constantly looking at schedules, calendars, reservations, events and my watch. And I have that nagging feeling in my mind that keeps reminding me that in a finite number of days or hours I have to board a plane and head back home.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It makes the entire concept of a vacation feel very programmed. Which, considering that a vacation is supposed to be a time of no programmed life, defeats the purpose.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Speaking of programmed life… that’s a bigger part of this subject. I recently realized that I go to the same restaurants, the same movie theaters, the same grocery stores, the same gas station, the same coffee shop, the same car wash and the same park every week. While it may temporarily feel like I’m living an active and enjoyable life, the reality is it’s all very, very routine. It’s a cycle that doesn’t change.</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It’s all programmed</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve always heard people refer to others as cogs in the wheel, but until this year I never felt as though I was actually one of the many cogs. Now, however, I very much feel like a cog. My routine, my program if you will, exists almost entirely for the simple task of keeping someone else’s wheel turning.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I work to pay for a nice townhouse downtown that I cannot fully enjoy because of my </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>schedule</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. I have paid for </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>things</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> such as furniture that I don’t really use because there are spaces that needed </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>something</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> to keep them from being empty. I have bills I pay that only exist to support a home I don’t utilize because of a demanding schedule.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>What is the point of the daily grind if its only true purpose is to create infrastructure that supports the daily grind?</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Something has to give. Something drastic has to happen.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’m young. My dog is young. I make decent money and I can work from anywhere. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I love, LOVE seeing new places, breathing in mountain air, watching the sun set and sitting by campfires at night. Why settle for a grind that might let me enjoy all of that two weeks a year? Why not just do that EVERY day? Why not make THAT my life?</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>WHY NOT?</span></i>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Once I let this all sink in for a bit an overwhelming sensation spread across my core being. It was so obvious. It was so pure.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I can live anywhere I want, any time I want. I can see whatever I want for as long as I want.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I can live in an RV full time.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I hope anyone who reads this will consider following along as move forward on this journey. I’m just getting started (very early stages of selling things/working on timelines) and there is a ton to do between now and go time. But I plan on documenting all of it. The ups, the downs, the why on earth did I do this moments… All of it. I plan on soaking up as much as I can from others who have been doing this for years and those just starting out. I plan on sharing my experiences with anyone interested in breaking away for the path commonly travelled and I long for the day I get out there and hopefully meet others doing the same.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This is a HUGE step for me. It’s a big decision for anyone! But I’m ready.</span>

<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/peaceofthepath/”>Follow me on my brand new Facebook page by clicking her</a>e and/or subscribe to my newsletter below.

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading!</span>

OH! And if you have thoughts or comments please, PLEASE add them below. I need all the help I can get and any advice out there would be greatly appreciated.

Check out Jennifer’s blog at PeaceOfThePath.com.