For our security and privacy, we don't make our travel details public. Just the general area sometimes.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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:
- 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.))
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
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
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.
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. ??
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.
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.