We’ve been full-time digital nomads in our Bliss Mobil / LMTV rig since April 2018, a little over four months as I write this. Time for a “What we’d do differently” post. I get this question often from others either building something similar or at least thinking about it. So this is for you…Please reach out to me if I didn’t answer your question and I’ll add it, or answer your question in the comments.
Disclaimer: As full-time RV digital nomads, our needs are different from someone who would use their rig on weekends and holidays. Just because we decide against a feature doesn’t mean there’s really anything wrong with it – I really love what we’ve done with the LMTV, Bliss Mobil box and trailer – it’s just not what we need or want at this point. Your mileage will, most definitely, vary.
I’ll start this post with the “Life” section first as it’s food for thought for anyone thinking of going full-time in an RV, whether it’s a rig like ours or not.
And I’ll end the post noting that we are selling our awesome adventure trailer! Contact me if you’re interested.
Take time off to adjust! We leapt from living/working at home, to living/working in the RV – no break and very little change in routine. We should have taken at least a month off from working to get adjusted to the new #rvlife – this might be the single most important piece of advice if you are planning to live full-time and work as a digital nomad.
It’s the journey, not the destination! We’re living examples of this. We spent a lot of time telling people where we were hoping to go and only some of that has come to pass. Alaska: no, all over the Western U.S.: yes! We are slow travelers and typically don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow, and definitely not next week or next month. So what I’d do differently is spend less time discussing maps and destinations and more time shrugging.
You may already know what kind of full-time traveler you are, but if not, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly!
The Bliss box is awesome! Not only is it a high quality design and build, but the support from Bliss has been outstanding. We would still choose this as our living quarters, but we’d consider the following changes:
- Three of us in the 15’ Standard unit is tight – we often find ourselves doing a little do-si-do dance to get around each other. I’d probably go with the 18′ Standard on a 6×6 M1083 FMTV truck. However, one disadvantage of the 6×6 is less space around the frame for storage boxes but, believe it or not, the extra three feet of living space would probably make a big difference.
- Choose a “high bed” model – this wasn’t offered when we purchased ours but it basically has a bed in the ceiling that drops down over the dining table area. In our case, we make a bed for our son every night at the table – it only takes a few mins but when we’re tired it would be nice to just drop a pre-made bed and he could flop in.
- No roof-top terrace – we haven’t used it.
- We have three 120v outlets: one under dining table – good; one in entrance-way – ok; and one in toilet – no! I’d like a 120v in the main bed area, a second outlet in the dining area and one in the garage (storage area). I’d probably also request a 12v outlet in the garage for good measure.
- Composting toilet – dumping black water is no fun – AFAIK, Bliss Mobil doesn’t offer this option but they should!
- Storage boxes in garage – the boxes are cool but take up space and are not dust-proof. I’d rather stack some compact dust-proof storage boxes in the same space.
- More BTU’s for the A/C! It struggles in really hot weather (90 degrees F). This is purely a comfort feature but would be a “nice to have”.
Our LMTV truck platform has been stable, reliable and easy to drive. I still believe it’s the best choice to carry the Bliss Mobil box. I really love the features of our truck, like the storage boxes and roof rack. That said, I’d probably make some changes:
- 6×6 FMTV (see above). As noted above, with the 6×6 you sacrifice space for storage boxes.
- No winch (probably) – haven’t really needed it and hope not to. Maybe I’ll backtrack on this if/when we use it.
- More sound-proofing, insulation, instrumentation and creature comforts in cab (e.g. what Acela is doing with their truck cabs).
- An RV generator installed in the subframe area – there’s so much room there and I do end up using our portable Honda 2000 when we camp in the trees for extended periods.
- Dakar style lights. They look cool but we decided early on not to drive at night and don’t require that much lighting. The LED light bars on top are good enough.
- I just installed an awesome Cradlepoint cellular/wifi system (post coming!) – I should have spent some time researching this before we took off and we could have started with it. Might have solved some of our “crappy cell” situations and subsequent argument…
The short answer is “it’s not you, it’s me”. The trailer by itself is super cool and would make a great adventure trailer behind a truck, jeep or similar. But it has turned out to be more trouble than it’s worth – the “cons” list in my original M1102 post were dead on. The time I backed this giant rig down a narrow, curvy forest road for 1/2 mile or so was when I realized we could probably do without it! I don’t want to talk about what we were doing on that road in the first place…maybe that’s a future post.
But probably most importantly, the trailer encourages us to carry way more “stuff” than we really need. We’re trying to “simplify”…
All that said, it’s still really cool and capable! But we are in the process of unloading the trailer and it will be for sale soon. Contact me if interested!