We’re in our fifth week of full-time living in our LMTV / Bliss Mobil RV and are slowly adjusting to this new way of life. Read on for a deeper dive in to what I find to be the good, bad and the ugly (sorry Clint).
We are meeting friendly, helpful and all-around great people every day – differences in race, religion, or politics don’t matter as we all share a common love for being outdoors. A panelist at the recent Overland Expo West 2018 said that traveling (south of the border) restores his faith in humanity. Even though we aren’t yet south of the border, I echo his sentiment. Salut to everyone we’ve met!
We love our outdoor “living room with a view”. The awning is awesome! The outdoor rug ($20 from Home Depot) and Snow Peak furniture ($$$) make it homey. For the most part, the only time I’m inside is to sleep.
The outdoor kitchen has turned out to be essential to our daily routines – I’ve only used the indoor kitchen once to boil some water for coffee!
Dispersed camping. It’s what we love and seek. As much as we love people, we love even more being isolated and alone in the wild.
More of “The Good”:
- Great support from Bliss Mobil and Couch Offroad – we’re new to this vehicle and I have a lot of questions. These folks have been outstanding in patiently providing support.
- A super comfy interior. The Bliss Mobil interior is already very comfortable. Thanks to Lily and our friend Silema (@blackdahliadesign) it’s beautiful – pictures coming soon…
- Sleeping – the bed is cozy and I’m getting very good sleep, especially when it’s cool at night and we have the windows open.
- Sunsets and sunrises.
These are not “bad” – it’s really part of the experience – but to stay in line with the theme…
Chasing cell coverage and WIFI. Lily and I are both working part time and our son is using online resources for homeschooling. We are working out a schedule for “on grid”, “off grid” and “semi grid” but it can be contentious depending on who is chasing a deadline at the time.
Long driving days. The LMTV isn’t exactly a Lexus so a five hour drive day is taxing.
Back to back driving days. We don’t like it. It’s exhausting and doesn’t allow us much time to relax or work.
Strong winds (sand and dust). It’s hard to appreciate nature whilst having your eyeballs sandblasted. We’ve only had a few extremely windy days but they’ve been pretty epic.
We experience moments of crowding amongst the three of us but as long as the outdoor living room is usable (i.e. no bad weather), we are able to spread out.
Shit breaking. Our LMTV is a 12 year old truck that has been sitting idle in a military depot for a long time. Most of the rubber parts (hoses, tires, etc) have been replaced but we did experience our first failure: the starter. Thankfully it was a pretty easy and cheap repair – much gratitude to @motorheadrudeboy for doing the repair and for being an awesome human!
Arriving to our camp destination after dark. We’ve only done this a couple of times. Nopity nope.
We have a 100% custom rig and naturally have a custom sewer dump system. The first manifestation of the black water dump hose was, er, regrettable. Without going in to the details let’s just say I had to take a long, hot shower after using it.
The happy ending is that with help from my friend Steve B., we created a bulletproof sewer dump system from Shop Vac hoses obtained from the hardware store. No more hazmat suits!
We’re learning. We’re adjusting. The latter is perhaps the most challenging. But we’re still going! Stay tuned…
Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. Are you wishing you had a cassette toilet instead of blackwater tanks?
Greetings! So far I’m OK with the BW tank vs the cassette. It really hasn’t been a problem since I fixed the hose.
Living a life on the road is definitely an adjustment but IMHO the rewards are great! We very seldom travel over 200 miles in a day and almost always stayed 2 days at a stop. After the first year we slowed down and moved to what used to be a vacation schedule to a life schedule. We have had good luck using a WE Boost amp with external antenna mount utilizing Verizon primarily for service and ATT as back up. We have had only a few occasions where we couldn’t get service out west.
As I like to say….slow down and smell the trees, sage, and roses and home is where my butt is. Happy travels!
Our problem with Verizon is the monthly data cap – “unlimited” isn’t really unlimited. ATT has a better unlimited plan but coverage is spotty. We end up using up Verizon way before the month end and then struggling with slow ATT speeds. We do have the WE Boost but I’m looking at some other upgrades. I’ll do a blog post on what we end up with.
We only use data for email, limited browsing and a blog. We are using a pay as you go plans on both and only buy what we need. I am aware those that use high data suffer due to the cost and speed policies. Look forward to see what you are doing in addition to the booster.
Love you sharing on all aspects of the new life n the road. Super helpful, and thank you!
BTW-outdoor kitchen is the WAY TO GO so much more fun for the cook, and you don’t need to wash everything you own after things like Bacon gets cooked.
Maybe this is a separate post on to it’s self, but what system/s are you using for mapping the route and camp ground selection to get to the “off-grid” locations and destinations especially?
Thanks for following our travels! I totally agree on the outdoor kitchen. Planning our route is still a WIP but we are using a combination of paper map (atlas), campendium app on our phone, national park websites and, most importantly, people we meet. The latter has led us to more places than any of the former methods.
Nice Darrell! Im glad you are out there having fun, mostly! I’m only wishing I could do something like that. Everyone says Hi from LC!
Thanks Rob! Hope you’re well and tell everyone hi.