Frequently Asked Questions

Truck

While there are arguments for any brand of truck, when truck shopping we were between the RAM and Ford. We've owned both brands before so we were comfortable with both. In the end, we just liked the Ford better. We liked the camera system, power mirrors (extension and folding), door keypad, etc. that RAM doesn't offer. But we're not brand loyalists with a “my brand is best your brand sucks” mentality. Lot's of good options out there across all the brands. You just have to do your own homework when it comes to towing a large fiver and NEVER trust the sales guy when it comes to the numbers. Study the specs yourself and check out our towing video.

Category: Truck

We initially wanted to get the Ford Trailer TPMS to have everything in the dash. But the more we dug into it, the more complicated it got.

First, the sensors have to be installed into the rims (replacing the valve stems) and there was a lot of confusion about the size of the valve stems and compatibility with our wheels. Second, the system is not completely wireless with a simple repeater like the TST unit. For some reason, it requires wiring to the trailer. You can see the kit and all the wires here: accessories.ford.com/kit-tpms-sensor.html

On top of the complicated install, it’s much more expensive than the TST and doesn’t monitor temperature (only pressure). The bottom line is, it was more complicated and more expensive for a less capable system that can’t be easily moved to a new trailer.

Categories: RV, Truck

Our Changing Lanes Logo mud flaps are from a great US Small business, DuraFlap! duraflap.com/

They, of course, sell non-customized stock flaps as well and are VERY solid and durable. They hang about an inch off the ground when towing and are a much nicer (in our opinion) option to something like rock tamers. Tara invoked her Veto option on rock tamers. 😳

Category: Truck

It's a 2017 Ford F350 DRW (Dually) with the 6.7 liter PowerStroke Turbo Diesel V8 (with 3.55 axle). Crew Cab and full size (8′) bed with Reese 27K hitch (ford branded accessory). We've also added sulastic shackles and Loadlifter 7500 XL air bags (with the wireless air controller) to help make the ride smoother. We go over the truck and towing in this video.

Category: Truck

The toolbox is a Better Built 77213014 Deep Shotgun Tool Box. It has shotgun latches that don't interfere with the tonneau cover! Unfortunately, the SLE line from Better Built is being discontinued, but we hope they will change their mind. It's the only crossover / saddle style box we've found that plays nice with a tonneau cover! We found ours on eBay here: www.ebay.com/itm/Better-Built-77213014-Deep-Shotgun-Tool-Box/202651644681 If that listing is no longer available, search by part number on google.

Out tonneau cover is the Access Toolbox Edition Soft, Roll-Up!: changinglanesrv.com/tonneau

This cover pairs great with the shotgun toolbox!

Categories: Products, Truck

We've been using the Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam Dual (amzn.to/2zky3yb) with the GPS Suction Cup Mount (amzn.to/2Y2cBbK) since the day we hit the road full time.

This camera records in 1080p both inside and in front of the vehicle. It records to micro SD card and creates a new file (one for inside and one for outside) every 5 minutes (configurable), deleting the oldest file as the card fills up. With a 64GB card, this equates to about 5 hours on the card, and it can accommodate a 128GB card.

We like the added peace of mind that if there is ever an accident, we have a record showing where we were, how fast we were going, and what was going on inside the cab (paying attention, etc). Note: this camera is strictly for security purposes. We have a different camera for recording for our videos. See: changinglanesrv.com/faq/?Display_FAQ=1752

Category: Truck

The device mounts we use in the truck are from ProClip. See the full article and DISCOUNT!

On the bike, we use the Rokform handlebar mount and case. Very solid!

Categories: Products, Truck

For our first year (2018), we used the CoPilot GPS app on our iPhones. It stores maps locally and allows you to input RV dimensions and weight in and will route accordingly. However, after an update to the app this year, it started doing some really crazy routing (get off this exit, do a U-turn and get back on, etc). Coincidentally, the next week, Eric from TechnoRV asked if we wanted to try a new GPS. So glad you asked!

Since February (2019), we've been using the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS and LOVE it! Great big display, voice prompts (that aren't overbearing), and it finds rest areas, service stations, etc along our route with ease! We will have a full review coming out soon!

Categories: Products, RV, Truck

We get about 8.5mpg @ 65mph, which is our max speed. In cases where road conditions warrant a slower speed of 55mph, we've seen as high as 9.4mpg. I've verified with raw calculations twice that our mileage computer is accurate, so now I just trust it.

Category: Truck

Our F350 DRW is 4WD. We have needed it on a few occasions, like Lone Rock Beach (youtu.be/IVJx2T1WJC0), and even one state park. Four wheel drive isn't necessary most of the time, but it's one of those things that you don't need it till you NEED it. If we ever find ourselves in snow or ice, we might also want it. We like having it and do recommend it as a just-in-case. But, if you're only going to be in RV parks, it might not ever be needed.

Category: Truck

Our 1 Ton F350 Dually is not exactly a luxury ride! To help improve things (even just a little), we made 3 mods to the truck:

  1. Airbags – We had the Air LIft 7500XL (amzn.to/2PNOXKT) with the AIR LIFT 72000 Wireless Air Leveling Compressor (amzn.to/2WxAsh1) installed. This takes some of the force off the springs and shocks.
  2. Helper Spring Stop Removal – Once we had the airbags, we really no longer need the helper springs. But removing them or replacing the leaf springs is a pain. So, I just removed the stops for the helper springs.
  3. Sulastic Shackles (amzn.to/2TshyI2) – These put a rubber shock in between your leaf spring and frame to help dampen the forces between the springs and truck.

These three things definitely help some. But, it's still a rough ride compared to any normal vehicle.

If we were made of money, we would get a full air suspension replacement installed. Something like Keldemann.

Category: Truck

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (as well as about half of the other states) does not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial drivers license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes.
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.
All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

Categories: RV, Truck

Short answer: It depends on the state.

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (our home state), as well as about half of the other states, do not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver's license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes. (www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/specialized-areas/commercial-vehicle-enforcement/recreational-vehicles/)
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.

In regards to Federal CDL Requirements, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/383
Question 3: Does part 383 apply to drivers of recreational vehicles?
Guidance: No, if the vehicle is used strictly for non-business purposes.

Here are a few articles that discuss the topic for each state:
www.campanda.com/magazine/rv-special-drivers-license-requirements/
www.outdoorsy.com/blog/guide-rv-drivers-licenses-requirements

All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

We cover some of the CDL issues here if interested: youtu.be/EY0GfrZIxxs?t=496

Categories: RV, Truck

RV

When we first started RV shopping, we had tankless water heater as a desired item and thought we might upgrade to one. However, after using our standard electric / propane tank (12 gal) water heater for over a year full time… we've never run out of hot water. Even with visitors staying with us. So, the Truma tankless fell to the nice to have but not necessary category. I have enough projects on the to-do list… 😀

Category: RV

The 399TH was a strong candidate, making the top 2or 3. But on the 399, there were a couple of things that we weren't keen on:

One issue was internal accessibility with the slides in. We wanted to be able to get to our fridge, bathroom and bedroom at rest stops or the occasional location where we can't put out slides. On the 399 only the one rear bath is accessible and only if it's not blocked by something in the garage.

Another issue was the washer / dryer prep. We knew we wanted stackable units versus combo, and we wanted the dryer vented to the outside. In the 399TH, the W/D prep is in the middle of the garage making venting difficult. There are also controls on the wall above the prep, meaning they'd need to be relocated, or some sort of cabinet build around the washer/dryer. All doable but a lot of extra work. Plus we really like the W/D in the bedroom.

The third issue was the patio on the passenger side and all of the nice big windows being on the driver side, which has a lovely view of the front of our neighbors or, better yet, the back of their rig and poop hose. 😳 We also weren't sure how much we'd like the patio since it really only holds 2 people. If you want to watch a game or something outside and have more than that, some will be on the ground looking up over the rail. In reality this never happens as it's usually just two of us. But it was something we thought about.

Everyone has different priorities and there's no such thing as the “perfect” RV, just perfect enough for you. If we could have everything, our RV would be 75 feet long!

Category: RV

For us (and I think for most), the first step was finding the right floorplan for our needs. There were a couple of brands with similar floorplans but, to us, the Grand Designs just felt more solid with better construction than other's we looked at. Once we were leaning toward GDRV, we researched their warranty, customer service and support. We wanted to make sure that the warranty did not preclude full time living and also that they would work directly with us on any warranty issues, with a mobile tech or sending us parts directly. We also asked around on the Grand Design Owners Facebook page. All of that checked out and we went with it. We've not regretted our choice one bit! Our home has been wonderful and the minor issues we've had were handled directly as they promised.

If you're debating on which brand, what we recommend is to join owners groups for each on FaceBook, and ask the owners what they think. You'll get lot's of negative comments on every brand so be prepared for that. Any time you sell thousands of RV's you're going to have some haters. But I think you'll find that the Grand Design owners will also have lots and lots of positive to say.

Category: RV

Our decision to buy a fifth wheel toy hauler over a class A diesel pusher was primarily economic precipitated by weight. Bringing Lucile (our 2017 Indian Roadmaster) was a MUST.

Lucile weighs about 950lbs with fuel. Since we didn't want to deal with a trailer (and we wanted to flat tow a daily driver), we were looking at lift systems (like Hydralift). When you do the math on a 950lbs motorcycle plus a 400lb lift and factor in leverage based on the average distance from the rear axle to the bumper, it adds around 2000lbs to the rear axle. That put us in tag-axle territory, which starts getting WAY up in price. So, we had a choice between waiting another year to save more money , or investigating a plan B. So, we started looking at toy hauler options. The only Class A toy hauler we found was a Gas model by Thor. Nope.

Then we found fifth wheels! The more we looked at fifth wheel toy haulers the more we realized that, perhaps, it should have been our Plan A all along. A lot more living space when converting the garage to an office / guest suite, two full baths, kitchen with island, etc. And the financial aspect fit too. Class A option: Roughly $300K rig (tag axle) plus $30K daily driver plus around $10K for the lift, braking system, tow system, etc ($350K minimum). Fiver Toy Hauler option: $60K Truck plus $90K rig ($150K) AND we get more living space. That was an option we could fit in our budget and timeline. We've not regretted it a bit!

Category: RV

We initially wanted to get the Ford Trailer TPMS to have everything in the dash. But the more we dug into it, the more complicated it got.

First, the sensors have to be installed into the rims (replacing the valve stems) and there was a lot of confusion about the size of the valve stems and compatibility with our wheels. Second, the system is not completely wireless with a simple repeater like the TST unit. For some reason, it requires wiring to the trailer. You can see the kit and all the wires here: accessories.ford.com/kit-tpms-sensor.html

On top of the complicated install, it’s much more expensive than the TST and doesn’t monitor temperature (only pressure). The bottom line is, it was more complicated and more expensive for a less capable system that can’t be easily moved to a new trailer.

Categories: RV, Truck

When we just do a quick overnight stay, we generally stay hooked up if we have room for it. Makes for easy departure the next day. If we are already fairly level, I will use the Lippert hydraulic leveler system and level manually, taking care to not put any odd stress on the hitch (no side/side or lifting).

Category: RV

We shopped around and found Progressive to be the best option for us. It's Full Timers with Total Loss Replacement/Purchase Price (got this instead of GAP coverage) and costs us about $1500/yr. If you full time, be up front with the insurance company and get appropriate coverage.

Category: RV

They are both Splendide brand. Washer is ARWXF129W and the dryer is TVM63F. We DO like them a lot! Sure, they're not the giant full sized LG's we had in our sticks and bricks, but they do a very good job and it's nice to be able to do laundry in our own home. Note: the dryer is vented to the outside. We've heard a lot of bad reviews about non-vented combo units.

Categories: Products, RV

These are the tiles: changinglanesrv.com/fireplacetiles

I estimate I used about 10-12 tiles total (lots of cutting). I used our cordless circular saw with a masonry blade to cut them. Also, the tiles are self-adhesive, but I added a layer of 3M 77 spray adhesive to be sure we got a good stick. 👍🏼

Category: RV

We got tired of seeing sagging coroplast under the front half (drop-frame) of our RV. We even had one section come loose on one side at one point and had to re-attach it.

To fix the sagging and provide better support for the insulation under our RV, we used 1″ angle aluminum from Lowes as an added support mechanism. I cut it to a length to fit just inside the LED strips and bolted it directly to the frame using self-tapping stainless steel bolts. I pre-drilled holes in the angle aluminum and made starter holes in the frame.

Category: RV

Our awnings are Carefree brand, so we thought it best to buy the same brand of drop shade. This is the one we selected: amzn.to/2GotqEj

In comes in two parts with the short end (3′) connecting into the awning in the groove (just slides right in). That 3′ section stays on and gets rolled up with the awning. The long 9′ section sippers on and we bungee it down using stakes. It provides some extra stability in the wind and we only pull it down if winds are going to be over 15mph.

Installing the shade is super simple, but your awning does have to be designed for it. Most awnings have a channel built into the rolling part and the shade just slides right into it from either end.

Categories: Products, RV

For our first year (2018), we used the CoPilot GPS app on our iPhones. It stores maps locally and allows you to input RV dimensions and weight in and will route accordingly. However, after an update to the app this year, it started doing some really crazy routing (get off this exit, do a U-turn and get back on, etc). Coincidentally, the next week, Eric from TechnoRV asked if we wanted to try a new GPS. So glad you asked!

Since February (2019), we've been using the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS and LOVE it! Great big display, voice prompts (that aren't overbearing), and it finds rest areas, service stations, etc along our route with ease! We will have a full review coming out soon!

Categories: Products, RV, Truck

Simple. Command Strips! We stock up on these (amzn.to/2Q9hGdy), and use them for everything! Our pictures, WiFi Ranger Router, Hotspots, Ring Alarm Keypads, Ring Video Doorbell, all using Command Strips.

We have some pictures that have been hanging for two years now with no issues.

Category: RV

We have never used one, so we do not have any first hand experience. That said, we have seen images online of bent Andersen hitches, and a couple of viewers have sent us pics also. Our opinion on them is that we just don't trust it in a non-optimal situation like a hard braking or some kind of accident evading maneuver.

We started out using the Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel/dirt/ whatever. They are rated for 6K, but broke way under that load. That experience was enough for us to just not trust our entire home (RV) to their engineering.

Many people do love them and they are definitely an easy hitch to manage. It's just not for us.

Categories: Products, RV

These are the curtains we used for both the back garage door area (in front of the 3 season doors) as well as for privacy between the living room and garage / guest suite. All super easy to install tension rods and they stay up during travel. Except for on I-90 / I-80 in Indiana! (worst road ever!) 😎


✅ 3 season door tension rod: amzn.to/2xrcaZm 
✅ 3 season door curtains: amzn.to/2No1TZ0 
✅ Living / Garage door tension rod: amzn.to/2PJGmXl 
✅ Living / Garage door curtain (1 panel): amzn.to/2xmJ1j4

Categories: Products, RV

The red “cans” under out jacks in some of our videos are Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel / dirt / whatever. 

We've switched to RV SnapPads and love them. They don't help lessen the jack extension like the Jack Blocks did, but they don't break and they stay on the rig, which is great when setting up and breaking down camp.

We've been using our RVSnapPads for several months now and really like them. They are much less expensive direct versus Amazon. changinglanesrv.com/rvsnappads

Note: The same company (RVSnapPad) is going to be coming out with a new product that will integrate with the SnapPads to help with the jack extension / stability this year. We will be helping them prototype those and will do do a video on them when they come out. 

Categories: Products, RV

In many of our videos you will see a simplisafe alarm. We purchased that system thinking we could self-monitor, but simplisafe can only be remotely monitored, controlled, etc if you have their monitoring service. Alarm system monitoring is not possible when one moves every week or two, due to regulations around integration into the 911 system, etc. So, we couldn't actually arm it when leaving the RV. Sure, it would alarm, but there would be no way for us to be notified, no one to shut if off, and Daisy would go insane. We didn't know this when we bought it, so it was essentially just an expensive door chime for over a year

We've since switched to Ring for our security system and have a full article and video on that here.

Categories: Products, RV

The MSRP for our RV as configured (we opted for most features) was around $127,000. We paid around $91,000. You can typically get 25-30% off MSRP. Grand Design has a build and price tool that was very helpful. We used that to build out the RV we wanted, then shopped the build around to get the best deal.

Category: RV

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four tie-downs.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. This also allows me to lock it in and get off the bike without it falling over (one person operation).
We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

These are the straps we use: amzn.to/2VcIs8e
with these plush covers on the loops: amzn.to/2PfAsiR

Categories: Motorcycle, Products, RV

We use the AP Products Propane Tank Gas Level Indicators. Been using them since we got the RV and they work great. You can also get the sensors by themselves and use the phone app.

Categories: Products, RV

I use this Waterless RV Wash Wax Mop Kit and LOVE it! I can wash/wax the whole 44 foot rig in about two hours! Three hours if there are a lot of bugs on the cap. Maybe four, if I want to really detail beyond what I can do with the wedge tools in this kit. And it's a “dry” wash, so you can even use it in the majority of parks that don't allow washing, or charge extra to allow you to wash with water.

We've also had the rig cleaned twice at a truck wash. The first one was not a Blu Beacon and they scratched it up a bit (very light brush marks), after which we had it washed and waxed professionally to remove the scratches. Expensive mistake! More recently, the rig was VERY dirty from dust storms and we tried a Blue Beacon truck wash. That one did a great job on the rig AND truck for $44. Will use them again when we can, and maintain using our wash-wax-all kit.

Categories: Products, RV

This can be a hot button topic online. Many say “no big deal we do it all the time for years and years”. And some say “you're going to burn up in a fiery death”. Truth is, there's not a lot of data showing a preponderance of propane fires on the road. While it's obviously a safer move to shut off a fuel source while traveling, we traveled with our propane on for about a year before we upgraded our batteries with enough Amp Hours to handle running the fridge on our inverter for a whole travel day. Now, we run in electric via the inverter and monitor our batteries from the truck with the BMV-712.

Category: RV

No. We have the stock Dexter 7K axles with electric drum brakes and Westlake G rated tires. Well over 15,000 miles so far with no issues. We take good care of them and monitor them with a TPMS.

Don't mistake the Westlake G rated for “china bombs”. I watch this issue very closely online. The E rated Westlakes had the bad reputation and were dubbed the “china bombs”. So, now, some just consider all Westlakes bad, but they're wrong. The only issue I've seen with Westlake G rated was a curb job.

Category: RV

The thing about an RV GPS is it's designed to find the best route from point A to point B based on the criteria entered (size of RV, road type preferences, etc). And most GPSs do this dynamically based on traffic and can also re-route you if you make a wrong turn.

If you export a fixed route from any piece of software (RV Trip Wizard included), you are taking away the dynamic routing ability of a GPS and dumbing it down to just be a fancy map. Additionally, if the software exports a “trip” as just the start and end points, it's no different than entering the same destination on the GPS. So, not a lot of added value unless you have a lot of stops, or are exporting your entire vacation as one trip. But that just gets messy.

For us, a GPS “trip” is one day's travel. We put a ton of stays (usually several months out) into RV Trip Wizard, but are only worried about navigating to the next location for that day. So, we have the location entered into the GPS the night before and just click go in the morning. And, since we have the same location already in RV Trip Wizard, we use the RVLife App as a secondary GPS. Just click on the destination and go. Simple one-day navigation in both apps, backing each other up in case one gets wonky.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

We had originally thought we might want to install a dishwasher after seeing them in Class A RVs. It was one of those “let's see if we really miss it” kind of things. While it would be nice to have, we haven't missed it very much. Kind of keeps one motivated to wash them right away after a meal. We're not sure where we would install one even if we wanted to. Don't think it would fit anywhere.

Category: RV

Yes! You can't see our EMS because it's hard-wired inside the RV. We currently have the Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS (amzn.to/2NZSo1s) installed. However, we might be switching to this surge guard soon (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-hardwired) to review it for TechnoRV. It's newer and the remote display is a lot better.
Pedestal version: (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-pedestal)

Beware of the basic surge protectors. They are much less expensive but don’t protect against what kills most RV air conditioners, which is low voltage. And low voltage is more common than is should be in RV parks. A good EMS will protect against Open Ground, Open Neutral, Reverse Polarity, Over/Under Voltage, Accidental 240V, and Bad A/C Frequencies.

If you want to go really deep into the topic of RV surge protection, our friends Eric and Tami at TechnoRV have put together this fantastic in-depth article.

Categories: Products, RV

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (as well as about half of the other states) does not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial drivers license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes.
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.
All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

Categories: RV, Truck

Short answer: It depends on the state.

There's a lot of confusion on this topic. Yes, some states have Class A CDL or some type of non-commercial endorsement requirements for RV's over certain weights. However, Florida (our home state), as well as about half of the other states, do not. In Florida, drivers of recreational vehicles are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver's license. section 322.53(2) (d), Florida Statutes. (www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/specialized-areas/commercial-vehicle-enforcement/recreational-vehicles/)
Since every state honors the driving and license requirements of every other state, we are perfectly legal to drive in all 50 states under our standard Florida license.

In regards to Federal CDL Requirements, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/383
Question 3: Does part 383 apply to drivers of recreational vehicles?
Guidance: No, if the vehicle is used strictly for non-business purposes.

Here are a few articles that discuss the topic for each state:
www.campanda.com/magazine/rv-special-drivers-license-requirements/
www.outdoorsy.com/blog/guide-rv-drivers-licenses-requirements

All of that said, our personal opinion is that rigs as large and heavy as ours should require some type of extra certification or endorsement as well as training.

We cover some of the CDL issues here if interested: youtu.be/EY0GfrZIxxs?t=496

Categories: RV, Truck

Yes! However, we rarely use it for backing up. We use it primarily while driving to make sure we have enough clearance behind us when changing lanes and such. That said, be sure any camera you buy is not limited to just backing up. Furrion used to have an “observation” model (good while driving), and a “backup” one (just for backing). However, it seems they are all observation models now.

We have an older version of this one: amzn.to/3asrozS

These newer models now have versions with side cameras also, but we've not tried those.

Installation note!: Many new RVs come with the mount for the Furrion camera pre-installed. However, many (like ours), have that wired to an always hot 12v connection. This means it's powered 24/7 and can drain your batteries when boondocking, or in storage. We chose to re-wire it to our running lights. This way the camera is only powered when the truck is connected and our lights are on. So, it also serves as a reminder to turn our lights on when towing.

Categories: Products, RV

We were in over 45 locations last year all over the East coast of the U.S. and 20 or so out West. We've never had an issue finding a site, and we've stayed in Campgrounds, RV Parks, State Parks, COE (Army Core Of Engineers) Sites, etc. We just plan ahead and make sure to call each site and confirm they can fit our RV. We also use RV Trip Wizard, which has a lot of great tools to find locations. National Parks are a lot more size restricted, but there are always great campgrounds and RV parks outside the national parks. We’ve only been in one or two sites where we didn’t have room for the patio.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

OMG YES! When we first got our RV, we thought the mattress was actually pretty decent. That lasted about a month before it was super flat. We decided to try Mattress Insider‘s 8″ Luxury Gel Foam RV Mattress w/Organic Cotton. LOVE IT!!! It has the option of flipping it over for a firmer feel and that's what we use. We've slept on it every night for well over a year and a half and it's still as awesome as the day we got it! They have every imaginable RV size and can make custom sizes.

We liked it so much, we got the 5.5″ queen for the guest bed.

If you use our LINK you will get 5% off your purchase. 💰😊

Categories: Products, RV

We chose to not buy an extended warranty. We knew we’d almost never be near our “home” dealer, so a warranty from our dealer (LazyDays) was out right away. When researching other warranties, it was a mixed bag of reviews. Mostly negative. However, KYD (Keep Your Daydream) recommends Wholesale Warranties (wholesalewarranties.com/rv-warranty/). While we have no experience with them, we do trust Marc and Trish on their assessment. Warranties sold by RV dealers are almost always WAY over-priced.

For us, we knew going into this that we wanted to learn everything we could about our home and fix everything possible ourselves. That was one major reason for choosing GDRV: they will work directly with us on warranty work, and send parts directly.

But, that's us. If you're not into DIY repairs, a warranty might be a great idea. If possible, be sure to get one that allows mobile techs even if you have to pay the service fee.

Category: RV

Products

When we originally purchased our 2000W Inverter in 2017, there was a fairly decent price jump from the 2KW to the 3KW and the 3KW did not include the remote display. Since 2KW was plenty for what we needed (TV, Computers, Coffee), we went with that.

Sometime in early 2019, our Inverter blew an internal component and needed to be replaced under warranty. When talking to support, we asked if we could pay the difference and upgrade to the 3KW. We still didn't really NEED 3KW, but the price difference had narrowed, and paying the difference now for the extra capacity seemed like a good option since it needed to be replaced anyway. As it turned out, GoPower said: “don't worry about the difference, we'll just send you the 3KW model as the replacement”. SWEET!

Currently (May 2020), the price difference is negligible even when adding the remote panel separately: amzn.to/3cZKbDk So, we recommend going straight to the 3KW if there's any chance you'll want that capacity at some point.

✅ Go Power GP-IC3000-12: amzn.to/2zOr29e
✅ Go Power GP-ICR-50 Inverter Charger Remote: amzn.to/2zRptaJ

Category: Products

First, a real quick note on using campground or RV Park Wifi, wifi boosters, etc. Don't waste your time or money. In our 2.5 years on the road thus far, we have never found wifi worth connecting to. This is why we use cellular exclusively.

Right now (July 2020), our entry-level recommendation is the Pepwave MAX BR1 MINI! At around $300, it's not much more than just a plain hotspot. Like you might have seen in our recent Internet video, hotspots are carrier locked and the wifi they generate can be inferior.

The MINI is NOT carrier locked, has much better wifi, and has an ethernet port for wired connectivity. It's Pepwave's entry-level device and it can accept SIM cards for AT&T or Verizon (and T-Mobile). In fact, it accepts TWO SIM cards at the same time, allowing you to switch back and forth at will, or set up automatic failover (fail-over can take a minute or so). Pair the Mini with an unlimited data plan and you've got a little more flexibility if you plan on using two carriers as we do, or if you might want two carriers in the future.

If you're not sure what to get, reach out to MobileMustHave (please click our link first) and they can help get you into a solution that fits your needs! 👍🏼

These are just a couple of basic options, but there are a whole lot more at Mobile Must Have! We'll be testing out some higher-end gear soon and, of course, there will be a video!

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four straps.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

Categories: Motorcycle, Products

They are both Splendide brand. Washer is ARWXF129W and the dryer is TVM63F. We DO like them a lot! Sure, they're not the giant full sized LG's we had in our sticks and bricks, but they do a very good job and it's nice to be able to do laundry in our own home. Note: the dryer is vented to the outside. We've heard a lot of bad reviews about non-vented combo units.

Categories: Products, RV

The toolbox is a Better Built 77213014 Deep Shotgun Tool Box. It has shotgun latches that don't interfere with the tonneau cover! Unfortunately, the SLE line from Better Built is being discontinued, but we hope they will change their mind. It's the only crossover / saddle style box we've found that plays nice with a tonneau cover! We found ours on eBay here: www.ebay.com/itm/Better-Built-77213014-Deep-Shotgun-Tool-Box/202651644681 If that listing is no longer available, search by part number on google.

Out tonneau cover is the Access Toolbox Edition Soft, Roll-Up!: changinglanesrv.com/tonneau

This cover pairs great with the shotgun toolbox!

Categories: Products, Truck

We got them from Crazy Al's Biker Helmets (changinglanesrv.com/helmets). We're on our second set of SOA Inspired DOT Beanie Helmets and LOVE them! First set just got beat up after a few years. VERY comfortable and DOT Approved. Yes, we know they don't offer the same protection as a full face helmet but it's definitely better than NO helmet! 😀

Categories: Motorcycle, Products

The device mounts we use in the truck are from ProClip. See the full article and DISCOUNT!

On the bike, we use the Rokform handlebar mount and case. Very solid!

Categories: Products, Truck

Our awnings are Carefree brand, so we thought it best to buy the same brand of drop shade. This is the one we selected: amzn.to/2GotqEj

In comes in two parts with the short end (3′) connecting into the awning in the groove (just slides right in). That 3′ section stays on and gets rolled up with the awning. The long 9′ section sippers on and we bungee it down using stakes. It provides some extra stability in the wind and we only pull it down if winds are going to be over 15mph.

Installing the shade is super simple, but your awning does have to be designed for it. Most awnings have a channel built into the rolling part and the shade just slides right into it from either end.

Categories: Products, RV

That is our Solo Stove Bonfire! This thing is so much better than a standard fire pit or campfire! It has a double-wall design with vents in the right places for maximum airflow. This means it burns super clean and is almost smokeless! We can now hang out by the fire without smelling like smoke and needing a shower after! We have a lot more fires now… The Bonfire is usually much less expensive direct versus Amazon: changinglanesrv.com/bonfire

Category: Products

For our first year (2018), we used the CoPilot GPS app on our iPhones. It stores maps locally and allows you to input RV dimensions and weight in and will route accordingly. However, after an update to the app this year, it started doing some really crazy routing (get off this exit, do a U-turn and get back on, etc). Coincidentally, the next week, Eric from TechnoRV asked if we wanted to try a new GPS. So glad you asked!

Since February (2019), we've been using the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS and LOVE it! Great big display, voice prompts (that aren't overbearing), and it finds rest areas, service stations, etc along our route with ease! We will have a full review coming out soon!

Categories: Products, RV, Truck

We have never used one, so we do not have any first hand experience. That said, we have seen images online of bent Andersen hitches, and a couple of viewers have sent us pics also. Our opinion on them is that we just don't trust it in a non-optimal situation like a hard braking or some kind of accident evading maneuver.

We started out using the Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel/dirt/ whatever. They are rated for 6K, but broke way under that load. That experience was enough for us to just not trust our entire home (RV) to their engineering.

Many people do love them and they are definitely an easy hitch to manage. It's just not for us.

Categories: Products, RV

So far, we just ride them out. We've been in bad storms with winds up to 60Mph with no issues other than it being super noisy. Luckily no hail to date (fingers crossed). We do keep a weather radio / warning system mounted behind our TV that's on all the time and we double check it if storms are coming. We also have a portable radio for the truck.

When we get to each new location, we also make note of shelters so we have a plan in the event of a sudden severe storm or tornado. In the event of a hurricane, we can just pack up and leave the area. We never travel with wind over 30mph.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Products

These are the curtains we used for both the back garage door area (in front of the 3 season doors) as well as for privacy between the living room and garage / guest suite. All super easy to install tension rods and they stay up during travel. Except for on I-90 / I-80 in Indiana! (worst road ever!) 😎


✅ 3 season door tension rod: amzn.to/2xrcaZm 
✅ 3 season door curtains: amzn.to/2No1TZ0 
✅ Living / Garage door tension rod: amzn.to/2PJGmXl 
✅ Living / Garage door curtain (1 panel): amzn.to/2xmJ1j4

Categories: Products, RV

Our primary camera is a Canon EOS R wth RF 24-105mm (amzn.to/2MYKdRz) with Rode Video Mic Pro Plus (VMP+) (amzn.to/2YWCaf6). We mount this on a DJI Ronin-S (gimbal) (amzn.to/2YU1YbD) whenever practical to get smooth footage.

For out and about stabilized footage, we use a DJI Osmo Pocket (amzn.to/2KsuBVh) for B-Roll and some vlogging. But the field of view is a bit narrow for vlogging, so we also bring a DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) for that.

We use the GoPro Hero7 (amzn.to/2KEJBhY) for some vlog-mode shots and as a secondary angle camera when using the Canon if the light is good. When we're walking around filming something like an RV show, the Canon / Ronin, and Osmo Pocket are what we use most.

On the motorcycle (Lucille), we use three GoPro Hero7s (amzn.to/2KEJBhY). One mounted in a Karma Grip (amzn.to/2Kr9JOc) (Tara manually filming), and two mounted in various locations using Go Pro Jaws Flex Clamps, as well as the DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) mounted directly on the handlebars.

For aerial shots, we use the DJI Mavic Pro (amzn.to/2KqpR2u) (we have version one).

For voice audio, we have two Zoom Digital Multitrack Recorders (https://amzn.to/2GV1tnF) with lavalier microphones. We've also just added this Sarmonic wireless lavalier mic kit: amzn.to/37FmI7T

All of our camera equipment is here in our Amazon store (changinglanesrv.com/amazon-camera-gear) also, including things that we don't use anymore (things we started out with) but still recommend.

The red “cans” under out jacks in some of our videos are Andersen Jack Blocks. We don't use them anymore because we've broken NINE of them (6 we bought and 4 replacements they sent us). Simply unreliable. The bottom edge would break off and they'd sink into the gravel / dirt / whatever. 

We've switched to RV SnapPads and love them. They don't help lessen the jack extension like the Jack Blocks did, but they don't break and they stay on the rig, which is great when setting up and breaking down camp.

We've been using our RVSnapPads for several months now and really like them. They are much less expensive direct versus Amazon. changinglanesrv.com/rvsnappads

Note: The same company (RVSnapPad) is going to be coming out with a new product that will integrate with the SnapPads to help with the jack extension / stability this year. We will be helping them prototype those and will do do a video on them when they come out. 

Categories: Products, RV

In many of our videos you will see a simplisafe alarm. We purchased that system thinking we could self-monitor, but simplisafe can only be remotely monitored, controlled, etc if you have their monitoring service. Alarm system monitoring is not possible when one moves every week or two, due to regulations around integration into the 911 system, etc. So, we couldn't actually arm it when leaving the RV. Sure, it would alarm, but there would be no way for us to be notified, no one to shut if off, and Daisy would go insane. We didn't know this when we bought it, so it was essentially just an expensive door chime for over a year

We've since switched to Ring for our security system and have a full article and video on that here.

Categories: Products, RV

I'll get to the point… It's not cheap! But, it's also much less expensive than it was even 6 months ago with Pepwave's release of the Max Transit Duo! Prior to that, dual modem cellular embedded routers were double or triple the price. That said, here's what the prices are today (2020-Jul-29):

Ultimate Road Warrior Bundle with MobileMark Antenna (Our Kit): $1345
MMH Dual Carrier Unlimited Data: $189 (First Month) $250/mo thereafter
Pepwave AP One AC Mini (Interior WiFi Access Point): $149
XPOL High Gain LTE MIMO Antenna: $182
WeBoost 25′ Telescoping Mounting Pole: $130
✅ NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE Switch: (amzn.to/3id7oVZ): ~$80
✅ APC 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector: (amzn.to/2BhLLTY) : ~$65

Add in maybe $100 in miscellaneous costs like ethernet cabling, roof junction, etc… We're looking at around $2300 initial investment and $250/mo for data. That's a lot and we get that. But we, like many others on the road full time, use the internet for our livelihood. Considering we're talking about home-like internet strapped to a box that moves all over the country, that's not too bad!

Another consideration is, you don't need all of this stuff at once. We did, so we could test all of it. One could easily start out with just the main kit and data plans for around $1500, and add the rest on later, if ever.

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four tie-downs.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. This also allows me to lock it in and get off the bike without it falling over (one person operation).
We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

These are the straps we use: amzn.to/2VcIs8e
with these plush covers on the loops: amzn.to/2PfAsiR

Categories: Motorcycle, Products, RV

We use the AP Products Propane Tank Gas Level Indicators. Been using them since we got the RV and they work great. You can also get the sensors by themselves and use the phone app.

Categories: Products, RV

I use this Waterless RV Wash Wax Mop Kit and LOVE it! I can wash/wax the whole 44 foot rig in about two hours! Three hours if there are a lot of bugs on the cap. Maybe four, if I want to really detail beyond what I can do with the wedge tools in this kit. And it's a “dry” wash, so you can even use it in the majority of parks that don't allow washing, or charge extra to allow you to wash with water.

We've also had the rig cleaned twice at a truck wash. The first one was not a Blu Beacon and they scratched it up a bit (very light brush marks), after which we had it washed and waxed professionally to remove the scratches. Expensive mistake! More recently, the rig was VERY dirty from dust storms and we tried a Blue Beacon truck wash. That one did a great job on the rig AND truck for $44. Will use them again when we can, and maintain using our wash-wax-all kit.

Categories: Products, RV

We never leave her unless we're on full hookups and can leave the AC / Heat Pump on. No different than when we lived in a house. However, RV park power being what it is (sometimes unreliable), we use MarCELL to keep an eye on Daisy's environment when we're not home.

It monitors power, temperature, and humidity. It does require service, which is $99/yr. You set thresholds (high and low) online for both temperature and humidity and define notification methods (text / email) all online. Then, when anything is amiss with anything, both Tara and I get emailed and texted immediately. You can also check the temp and humidity online.

However, we're hopeful that Ring or someone will come out with a device that integrates with our Ring security system. When that happens, we can get rid of the MarCELL and it's separate fees.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Products

Yes! You can't see our EMS because it's hard-wired inside the RV. We currently have the Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS (amzn.to/2NZSo1s) installed. However, we might be switching to this surge guard soon (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-hardwired) to review it for TechnoRV. It's newer and the remote display is a lot better.
Pedestal version: (changinglanesrv.com/ems-50-pedestal)

Beware of the basic surge protectors. They are much less expensive but don’t protect against what kills most RV air conditioners, which is low voltage. And low voltage is more common than is should be in RV parks. A good EMS will protect against Open Ground, Open Neutral, Reverse Polarity, Over/Under Voltage, Accidental 240V, and Bad A/C Frequencies.

If you want to go really deep into the topic of RV surge protection, our friends Eric and Tami at TechnoRV have put together this fantastic in-depth article.

Categories: Products, RV

Short answer is.. meh. It's an okay kayak. It colapses nicely for storage and is very sturdy. It tracks well and we stay dry. But, there's just something missing. It's not as solid as a hard shell, and paddling over the inflated sides is not as easy as a hard side kayak. Long story short, those little things make it not quite as fun, which leads to us just not using it very much. Additionally, at some point while sitting in the bed of our truck, it got a hole in it. It's a simple patch to do, but the motivation just isn't there to fix it and take it out.

That said, we do have our eye on a replacement, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. These are two we're considering:

Sea Eagle Razorlite: www.seaeagle.com/RazorLite/473rl

Oru Haven: www.orukayak.com/products/the-haven-tadem-folding-oru-kayak-oru-kayak

Both of those seem to fit the bill, but are expensive! So, we're still “thinking about it”. 😊

Category: Products

Yes! However, we rarely use it for backing up. We use it primarily while driving to make sure we have enough clearance behind us when changing lanes and such. That said, be sure any camera you buy is not limited to just backing up. Furrion used to have an “observation” model (good while driving), and a “backup” one (just for backing). However, it seems they are all observation models now.

We have an older version of this one: amzn.to/3asrozS

These newer models now have versions with side cameras also, but we've not tried those.

Installation note!: Many new RVs come with the mount for the Furrion camera pre-installed. However, many (like ours), have that wired to an always hot 12v connection. This means it's powered 24/7 and can drain your batteries when boondocking, or in storage. We chose to re-wire it to our running lights. This way the camera is only powered when the truck is connected and our lights are on. So, it also serves as a reminder to turn our lights on when towing.

Categories: Products, RV

OMG YES! When we first got our RV, we thought the mattress was actually pretty decent. That lasted about a month before it was super flat. We decided to try Mattress Insider‘s 8″ Luxury Gel Foam RV Mattress w/Organic Cotton. LOVE IT!!! It has the option of flipping it over for a firmer feel and that's what we use. We've slept on it every night for well over a year and a half and it's still as awesome as the day we got it! They have every imaginable RV size and can make custom sizes.

We liked it so much, we got the 5.5″ queen for the guest bed.

If you use our LINK you will get 5% off your purchase. 💰😊

Categories: Products, RV

Motorcycle

We got them here: www.militarypoloshirts.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30&products_id=130

The web site is straight out of 2003, but the product is excellent! Have your DD-214 when you're ready to order. 🇺🇸

Category: Motorcycle

We got those from PPI (www.thepropad.com/stainlessmounts/). Very high quality and the owner, Mike, is a great guy. We met him at the Sturgis Rally.

Category: Motorcycle

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four straps.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

Categories: Motorcycle, Products

We got them from Crazy Al's Biker Helmets (changinglanesrv.com/helmets). We're on our second set of SOA Inspired DOT Beanie Helmets and LOVE them! First set just got beat up after a few years. VERY comfortable and DOT Approved. Yes, we know they don't offer the same protection as a full face helmet but it's definitely better than NO helmet! 😀

Categories: Motorcycle, Products

We use a WheelDock (wheeldock.com) and four tie-downs.
The WheelDock has a piston you trigger with your foot to lock in the wheel versus having to rock it in and out. This also allows me to lock it in and get off the bike without it falling over (one person operation).
We don't bolt it in at all, it just sits on the floor and I strap Lucile down on the front forks and rear bars.
We demonstrate it a bit here youtu.be/_X-LAY8Fwlw?t=1341,
then later here youtu.be/uPXNmS0IBRQ?t=1268
and even more here: youtu.be/f56_8ecCTaI?t=777

These are the straps we use: amzn.to/2VcIs8e
with these plush covers on the loops: amzn.to/2PfAsiR

Categories: Motorcycle, Products, RV

Mobile Internet

First, a real quick note on using campground or RV Park Wifi, wifi boosters, etc. Don't waste your time or money. In our 2.5 years on the road thus far, we have never found wifi worth connecting to. This is why we use cellular exclusively.

Right now (July 2020), our entry-level recommendation is the Pepwave MAX BR1 MINI! At around $300, it's not much more than just a plain hotspot. Like you might have seen in our recent Internet video, hotspots are carrier locked and the wifi they generate can be inferior.

The MINI is NOT carrier locked, has much better wifi, and has an ethernet port for wired connectivity. It's Pepwave's entry-level device and it can accept SIM cards for AT&T or Verizon (and T-Mobile). In fact, it accepts TWO SIM cards at the same time, allowing you to switch back and forth at will, or set up automatic failover (fail-over can take a minute or so). Pair the Mini with an unlimited data plan and you've got a little more flexibility if you plan on using two carriers as we do, or if you might want two carriers in the future.

If you're not sure what to get, reach out to MobileMustHave (please click our link first) and they can help get you into a solution that fits your needs! 👍🏼

These are just a couple of basic options, but there are a whole lot more at Mobile Must Have! We'll be testing out some higher-end gear soon and, of course, there will be a video!

I'll get to the point… It's not cheap! But, it's also much less expensive than it was even 6 months ago with Pepwave's release of the Max Transit Duo! Prior to that, dual modem cellular embedded routers were double or triple the price. That said, here's what the prices are today (2020-Jul-29):

Ultimate Road Warrior Bundle with MobileMark Antenna (Our Kit): $1345
MMH Dual Carrier Unlimited Data: $189 (First Month) $250/mo thereafter
Pepwave AP One AC Mini (Interior WiFi Access Point): $149
XPOL High Gain LTE MIMO Antenna: $182
WeBoost 25′ Telescoping Mounting Pole: $130
✅ NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE Switch: (amzn.to/3id7oVZ): ~$80
✅ APC 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector: (amzn.to/2BhLLTY) : ~$65

Add in maybe $100 in miscellaneous costs like ethernet cabling, roof junction, etc… We're looking at around $2300 initial investment and $250/mo for data. That's a lot and we get that. But we, like many others on the road full time, use the internet for our livelihood. Considering we're talking about home-like internet strapped to a box that moves all over the country, that's not too bad!

Another consideration is, you don't need all of this stuff at once. We did, so we could test all of it. One could easily start out with just the main kit and data plans for around $1500, and add the rest on later, if ever.

The mobile internet landscape (plans, devices, etc) is constantly changing and impossible to stay on top of. That's why we VERY highly recommend the MIA (Mobile Internet Aficionados) membership in the Mobile Internet Resource Center. Check out the Full Blog Post here (with DISCOUNT CODE!)

Category: Mobile Internet

Miscellaneous

For our security and privacy, we don't make our travel details public. Just the general area sometimes.

Category: Miscellaneous

We have memberships with Xscapers (Escapees), Good Sam and KOA. They pay for themselves fairly quickly after a few nights. However, weekly and longer rates are almost always lower than the discounted nightly rate. But sometimes a combination of weekly and nightly can be used when not staying an exact multiple of 7 nights. 

We've looked into Thousand Trails, but it seems you have to use them a LOT for it to make sense and we don't want to base our travel around Thousand Trails locations.

Category: Miscellaneous

We get asked fairly often about how to get the music in our videos. We use EpidemicSound.com, Musicbed.com, and Artlist.io for all of our music under a creator's license (royalty-free). We know that some of the tracks are in iTunes, but many are not. The best way to find out is to use the Shazam app or ask Siri “what's this song” (Siri uses Shazam) as the music part plays in our video. If it's available, Shazam should recognize it and show you where you can download it.

She's the cutest kind, thanks for asking! 😉 Daisy is a “Morkie”, which is a mix between Maltese and Yorkie. She's hypoallergenic (doesn't shed), and very rarely barks. She's the perfect little travel dog at 3.5lbs!

Category: Miscellaneous

So far, we just ride them out. We've been in bad storms with winds up to 60Mph with no issues other than it being super noisy. Luckily no hail to date (fingers crossed). We do keep a weather radio / warning system mounted behind our TV that's on all the time and we double check it if storms are coming. We also have a portable radio for the truck.

When we get to each new location, we also make note of shelters so we have a plan in the event of a sudden severe storm or tornado. In the event of a hurricane, we can just pack up and leave the area. We never travel with wind over 30mph.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Products

We have memberships with Good Sam and KOA. They pay for themselves fairly quickly after a few nights. However, weekly and longer rates are almost always lower than the discounted nightly rate. But sometimes a combination of weekly and nightly can be used when not staying an exact multiple of 7 nights. They are also good for overnight stays while traveling.

We've looked into Thousand Trails, but it seems you have to use them a LOT for it to make sense and we don't want to base our locations around Thousand Trails locations. Additionally, the few times we've stayed at a Thousand Trails park by coincidence, they have not been the nicest parks.

Our friends Jason and Rae (Getaway Couple) have a few videos in favor of Thousand Trails: www.youtube.com/results?search_query=getaway+couple+thouseand+trails

And, our friends Phil and Stacy (You, Me & the RV) have this one against: youtu.be/5zQxKYDD2OQ

Category: Miscellaneous

I was active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1986-1992. I worked as an AT (Aviation Electronics Tech) on E2-C Hawkeyes (big frisbee on top) in VAW-120, then VAW-124. In VAW-124, we deployed on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Category: Miscellaneous

Our video files are super important to us. Not only the videos waiting to be edited but also our past source media and project files. Sometimes we talk about a place or event long after that video is released and it's nice to have access to that footage for B-Roll in a current video. But that's TONS of data (currently about 25TB and growing constantly) and we live on cellular data. It's definitely a challenge making sure we always make sure we have two copies of everything in separate locations. This is the process we've come up with:

  1. After every shooting day, the contents of our SD cards are copied to our 16TB NAS (RAID-5 drive redundancy – 12TB effective). Files are organized as:
    /YYYYMMDD-Location(or Event)/MMDD-Event/CameraName (e.g.
    20190523-MesaVerde/0525-RideToDurago/(GoPro1, GoPro2, Canon, etc.))
  2. The NAS (stays in the RV) is synced to a 10TB External drive (using Chronosync), which is placed in our truck after sync. If something happened to the truck or the RV, we'd have a copy in the other.
  3. Once the footage is used for a Location, it is copied to a Dropbox folder on my local hard drive AND an external 4TB drive “Archive X” and deleted from the NAS. Still two copies. Our dropbox folder structure is organized into 4TB chunks to match the external drives – Archive 1, Archive 2, and so on…
  4. Dropbox will eventually sync the folder to the cloud (we have an unlimited business account with Dropbox). Once it's in the cloud, I can mark that folder as “online-only” on my local hard drive. That deletes the local copy leaving just an empty shell identifying the file. This free's up space for the next round.

What we're left with is all of our unused (newest) media on the NAS and 10TB Drive, and our archived footage in the cloud (Dropbox) and a local hard drive.

What we really like about this approach is that all of our archived media (currently over 18TB) still appears to be on my local drive that's only 500GB (Tara's editing laptop has 2TB SSD). I can search for any old footage we might want to use as if it were all local. Then, we have the option of marking the file local (to download it) or grabbing the Archive disk for that folder, which is usually the fastest option.

We recently had an archive disk go bad and it was a simple matter to replace the drive, download it from dropbox to a new drive. Yes, it took a couple of weeks to get all 4TB downloaded, but we lost no footage.

One last note: Before archiving our FCPX file, we prune it by deleting all render files, optimized media, and proxy media. All of the info that is the “edit” remains as well as the source media. The rest can all be recreated by FCPX very easily.
We archive both the original footage AND the FCPX project file which has exact copies of most of that footage (but buried in the FCPX project file with our folder structure removed). When Dropbox does it's sync/upload, it's smart enough to recognize the source media files buried in the project are duplicates of the source media in the Location folder and does not upload them twice. Rather, it makes a link on the back end in dropbox so there appears to be two copies of the files, but there is really only one and it was only uploaded once.

There are several online mailbox options for full time RVers who need a real physical address for license, domicile, etc.

We use Traveling Mailbox. All mail that arrives gets scanned (just the front of the envelope) and shows up in our Inbox online. From there, we can request an open and scan, so the contents can also be viewed online. Or we can have one or more pieces of mail forwarded if it's something like a check, vehicle registration, etc.

We can have packages sent there also, but it doesn't make sense to pay postage twice. So, when we order from Amazon Prime (or whatever), we just have things shipped to wherever we are. If we're a couple days from moving camp, we just ship to our next location. About half of the places we've stayed have packages waiting for us when we get there.. 😊

If you require an address in your home state, you may have to shop around for a mail service that has an address in your state. If you can “move” because your employer doesn't care where you live, or you're retired, many chose to move their domicile to a tax-friendly state like Florida, Texas, or South Dakota. Escapees has a great article on how to accomplish that.

Category: Miscellaneous

We get asked all of the time about how to find telecommuting jobs. But, since my job was already telecommute for many years, we don't really have any experience in that area. That said, you might try flexjobs.com. Also, Tom and Cheri (EnjoyTheJourney.Life) have a great video on making money while RVing here: youtu.be/x3jDWgYGjZ8

Category: Miscellaneous

The thing about an RV GPS is it's designed to find the best route from point A to point B based on the criteria entered (size of RV, road type preferences, etc). And most GPSs do this dynamically based on traffic and can also re-route you if you make a wrong turn.

If you export a fixed route from any piece of software (RV Trip Wizard included), you are taking away the dynamic routing ability of a GPS and dumbing it down to just be a fancy map. Additionally, if the software exports a “trip” as just the start and end points, it's no different than entering the same destination on the GPS. So, not a lot of added value unless you have a lot of stops, or are exporting your entire vacation as one trip. But that just gets messy.

For us, a GPS “trip” is one day's travel. We put a ton of stays (usually several months out) into RV Trip Wizard, but are only worried about navigating to the next location for that day. So, we have the location entered into the GPS the night before and just click go in the morning. And, since we have the same location already in RV Trip Wizard, we use the RVLife App as a secondary GPS. Just click on the destination and go. Simple one-day navigation in both apps, backing each other up in case one gets wonky.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

We have not done a video on that topic. Primarily because we're not very good at budgets. 😳 When we started out, we wanted to keep our nightly average around $35, that average including everything from $120 a night to free. Our first year, that turned out to be closer to $43. That's just RV Parks and such and does not include fuel, maintenance, etc. Someday, we might dig through our quicken data and make a report and do a video on it. That said, here are some things to consider about full-time RV expenses…

Prices for RV parks, campgrounds, state parks, etc vary greatly and there are lots of choices if you're willing to stay farther away from prime locations in prime season, or go places offseason. Staying longer and getting weekly or monthly rates can help too. There are also a ton of free camping on BLM (Beaurou of Land Management) land, and the like, if you're willing to boondock (no hookups).

There are also ways to stay free and even get paid at some places as camp hosts. These require varying degrees of work and stay durations, but it can take expenses to almost zero if you're willing to work within those parameters. We've made friends with people who jump from gig to gig and save a lot of money in the process.

In regards to travel expenses like fuel and maintenance, those can be variable also by just staying longer in each place and not moving as often.

Our point in all of this is that expenses vary greatly depending on the style of travel and camping you do. 👍🏼

Category: Miscellaneous

We never leave her unless we're on full hookups and can leave the AC / Heat Pump on. No different than when we lived in a house. However, RV park power being what it is (sometimes unreliable), we use MarCELL to keep an eye on Daisy's environment when we're not home.

It monitors power, temperature, and humidity. It does require service, which is $99/yr. You set thresholds (high and low) online for both temperature and humidity and define notification methods (text / email) all online. Then, when anything is amiss with anything, both Tara and I get emailed and texted immediately. You can also check the temp and humidity online.

However, we're hopeful that Ring or someone will come out with a device that integrates with our Ring security system. When that happens, we can get rid of the MarCELL and it's separate fees.

Categories: Miscellaneous, Products

We were in over 45 locations last year all over the East coast of the U.S. and 20 or so out West. We've never had an issue finding a site, and we've stayed in Campgrounds, RV Parks, State Parks, COE (Army Core Of Engineers) Sites, etc. We just plan ahead and make sure to call each site and confirm they can fit our RV. We also use RV Trip Wizard, which has a lot of great tools to find locations. National Parks are a lot more size restricted, but there are always great campgrounds and RV parks outside the national parks. We’ve only been in one or two sites where we didn’t have room for the patio.

Categories: Miscellaneous, RV

Changing Lanes

We used Design Hill to make our logo as well as recent modifications to it. It's a pretty cool platform where you outline your specifications in a contest, then a bunch of designers will send you mock-ups to try to “win” your business. You get to interact with your favorite designers and, in the end, pick one to make your final design. If you're interested, we do have an affiliate link for them where you get 15% off: changinglanesrv.com/designhill

Category: Changing Lanes

We get asked fairly often about how to get the music in our videos. We use EpidemicSound.com, Musicbed.com, and Artlist.io for all of our music under a creator's license (royalty-free). We know that some of the tracks are in iTunes, but many are not. The best way to find out is to use the Shazam app or ask Siri “what's this song” (Siri uses Shazam) as the music part plays in our video. If it's available, Shazam should recognize it and show you where you can download it.

Between the two of us, we have 2.5 full-time jobs. 😳 I (chad) work in IT (systems integration and automation development) and have been with the same company for 18 years and have telecommuted for the last 9 of those years. Both of us work on our channel – Tara does all of our editing, which is a full-time job, and I also spend about 30 hours a week on it also. Nomad life is a great fit and we're so happy we can share it through our content!

Category: Changing Lanes

Our primary camera is a Canon EOS R wth RF 24-105mm (amzn.to/2MYKdRz) with Rode Video Mic Pro Plus (VMP+) (amzn.to/2YWCaf6). We mount this on a DJI Ronin-S (gimbal) (amzn.to/2YU1YbD) whenever practical to get smooth footage.

For out and about stabilized footage, we use a DJI Osmo Pocket (amzn.to/2KsuBVh) for B-Roll and some vlogging. But the field of view is a bit narrow for vlogging, so we also bring a DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) for that.

We use the GoPro Hero7 (amzn.to/2KEJBhY) for some vlog-mode shots and as a secondary angle camera when using the Canon if the light is good. When we're walking around filming something like an RV show, the Canon / Ronin, and Osmo Pocket are what we use most.

On the motorcycle (Lucille), we use three GoPro Hero7s (amzn.to/2KEJBhY). One mounted in a Karma Grip (amzn.to/2Kr9JOc) (Tara manually filming), and two mounted in various locations using Go Pro Jaws Flex Clamps, as well as the DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) mounted directly on the handlebars.

For aerial shots, we use the DJI Mavic Pro (amzn.to/2KqpR2u) (we have version one).

For voice audio, we have two Zoom Digital Multitrack Recorders (https://amzn.to/2GV1tnF) with lavalier microphones. We've also just added this Sarmonic wireless lavalier mic kit: amzn.to/37FmI7T

All of our camera equipment is here in our Amazon store (changinglanesrv.com/amazon-camera-gear) also, including things that we don't use anymore (things we started out with) but still recommend.

Editing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of running a youtube channel for sure! Editing will take more or less time depending on how particular one is about audio, color grading, timing, etc. Most professional editors will say about 1 to 1.5 hours per minute of edited video, and that's about right. For us, a 30-minute video takes about 40 hours of editing. If you don't know, Tara does all of our editing and takes great pride in the quality of our videos. She has gotten faster over the last couple of years, but it just takes a lot of time to make a good video! I've seen Tara spend a whole day just finding the right music! But, editing is only part of the equation when it comes to an overall channel.

Every video starts with a plan. That plan can take between an hour and up to several hours depending on the detail and research involved.

Follow that with several hours of filming, depending on what it is. Sometimes the filming takes place over several days for projects and such. Sometimes the video is filmed while we're out seeing a new place, going on a ride, etc. Even that takes time to set up. We run 4 cameras for every ride! Then the “talk” portion has to be filmed also.

Once everything is “in the can”, Tara starts the editing process to tell the story of what we're trying to convey. That part is a real art, and she has gotten better and better over time in my humble opinion! That process usually includes 2-3 watch-thru sessions with both of us, making tweaks, then a final watch before uploading.

After upload comes writing the blog post and description for youtube, adding all of the metadata, links and so on. Then, the video, blog post, and social media posts are written and everything is scheduled for release.

Once a video is released, we read every comment, reply where appropriate, answer emails, comments on social media, etc. That part goes on every day, but is most busy on Monday, after a video release. About 20 hours a week is spent just managing social media. More if we make posts during the week.

Those are just the things related to a video. There's a lot more involved on the business side (partnerships, etc).

Long story short, when we're not out doing “stuff”, we're working on the Channel. Always trying to do just a little bit better than last week! I (chad) work a 9-5 during the week, working on the channel on breaks, lunch, and after work till around 9 or 10 at night. Tara gets up way before I do 😳 , and works all day editing, resting when she needs to (for her chronic Lyme). All told, we put over 100 hours a week between the two of us into the channel and we hope to make it our primary income at some point where I can quit the 9-5 and focus on the channel. 😀

Category: Changing Lanes

Our video files are super important to us. Not only the videos waiting to be edited but also our past source media and project files. Sometimes we talk about a place or event long after that video is released and it's nice to have access to that footage for B-Roll in a current video. But that's TONS of data (currently about 25TB and growing constantly) and we live on cellular data. It's definitely a challenge making sure we always make sure we have two copies of everything in separate locations. This is the process we've come up with:

  1. After every shooting day, the contents of our SD cards are copied to our 16TB NAS (RAID-5 drive redundancy – 12TB effective). Files are organized as:
    /YYYYMMDD-Location(or Event)/MMDD-Event/CameraName (e.g.
    20190523-MesaVerde/0525-RideToDurago/(GoPro1, GoPro2, Canon, etc.))
  2. The NAS (stays in the RV) is synced to a 10TB External drive (using Chronosync), which is placed in our truck after sync. If something happened to the truck or the RV, we'd have a copy in the other.
  3. Once the footage is used for a Location, it is copied to a Dropbox folder on my local hard drive AND an external 4TB drive “Archive X” and deleted from the NAS. Still two copies. Our dropbox folder structure is organized into 4TB chunks to match the external drives – Archive 1, Archive 2, and so on…
  4. Dropbox will eventually sync the folder to the cloud (we have an unlimited business account with Dropbox). Once it's in the cloud, I can mark that folder as “online-only” on my local hard drive. That deletes the local copy leaving just an empty shell identifying the file. This free's up space for the next round.

What we're left with is all of our unused (newest) media on the NAS and 10TB Drive, and our archived footage in the cloud (Dropbox) and a local hard drive.

What we really like about this approach is that all of our archived media (currently over 18TB) still appears to be on my local drive that's only 500GB (Tara's editing laptop has 2TB SSD). I can search for any old footage we might want to use as if it were all local. Then, we have the option of marking the file local (to download it) or grabbing the Archive disk for that folder, which is usually the fastest option.

We recently had an archive disk go bad and it was a simple matter to replace the drive, download it from dropbox to a new drive. Yes, it took a couple of weeks to get all 4TB downloaded, but we lost no footage.

One last note: Before archiving our FCPX file, we prune it by deleting all render files, optimized media, and proxy media. All of the info that is the “edit” remains as well as the source media. The rest can all be recreated by FCPX very easily.
We archive both the original footage AND the FCPX project file which has exact copies of most of that footage (but buried in the FCPX project file with our folder structure removed). When Dropbox does it's sync/upload, it's smart enough to recognize the source media files buried in the project are duplicates of the source media in the Location folder and does not upload them twice. Rather, it makes a link on the back end in dropbox so there appears to be two copies of the files, but there is really only one and it was only uploaded once.

No. See our announcement article for more details.

Category: Changing Lanes

Subscribe on Youtube!

Instagram


Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 2 to be an array, object given in /home/changi76/public_html/wp-content/plugins/meks-easy-instagram-widget/inc/class-instagram-widget.php on line 294

Warning: usort() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /home/changi76/public_html/wp-content/plugins/meks-easy-instagram-widget/inc/class-instagram-widget.php on line 303

Subscribe to our Blog! (FREE!)