Date Caramel: gluten-free, vegan, free of allergens (unless you’re allergic to dates, of course)

We left Arizona last month. We’d planned to stay until the end of tax season, which was extended until mid-May, but by the end of March, we had to call it: it was too hot and we needed to leave early. We’ll be working our way back up to Crescent City, California, because we loved it so much last year. But we’re going slow this time: short hops and staying a week in each place. This gives us time to rest, work, and check out the local area. We had a nice week in Indio, California! We’ve passed through here many times with and without the RV, but never stayed a week. What a treat! Did you know they farm dates here? We stopped at a local market that advertised fresh produce. It was a cramped little convenience store with a bunch of produce— including beautiful juicy-looking dates! We got …

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Our Internet Setup as Full-Time RVers

We get asked this a lot, and it’s hard to believe it’s been over 2 years and we still haven’t talked about this! Internet access has become as important as access to electricity and water. As RVers, we rely on internet for everything from banking, to healthcare, to staying in touch with friends and family. We also require it for our jobs. Here’s how we stay online with our home and office on wheels: The first priority is some kind of cellular service. While many parks have wifi, and some parks have great wifi, they are the exception to the rule. It’s best to assume that RV parks will not have decent wifi, and even if they did have decent wifi, you should always use a VPN over a wifi connection shared with strangers. Connecting through a VPN can bog down an already slow connection. Cellular internet has become the …

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So what do we do, anyway?

One of the biggest questions we asked ourselves in the planning stages of full-time RVing was “how will we pay the bills?” We aren’t going to go into details of dollars and cents (there are tons of great posts out there about that, and despite blogging about our life, we’re actually fairly private people), but we’ll certainly give you a good overview of what we’re doing and how we got here. We did not have a house to sell when we decided to do this. We didn’t even have an abundance of possessions to downsize, because we’d already done that when we made a big move from Michigan to California about 10 years ago, following a fairly traumatic layoff. We are lower-middle class Gen Xers who have experienced poverty and housing insecurity a few times during our lives. We have shared one car for the last 7 years, and haven’t …

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10 of Our Favorite RV Gadgets

The more we do this and live this life, the more we learn. We learn, our needs change, technology changes, and new cool things come out all the time. We don’t buy the latest and greatest, and we prefer to live simply, so maybe this list is a bit lower-tech than you’re expecting. But here are 10 of our current favorite RV doodads, in no particular order: 1. Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment This stuff is amazing. It has no smell or added perfumes, it’s a simple powder that deodorizes holding tanks. We use this in our black tank, but we also add it to the gray tanks on occasion, if we notice any kind of odor. It works within a few hours, and lasts a long time. Now that we have a healthy colony of bacteria taking care of our black tank, we only ever notice a smell …

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The Red Ghost Sculpture, Quartzite, AZ

The Red Ghost sculpture commemorates a sad and bizarre story of a red-haired camel roaming the Quartzite region many years ago, who was found with the skeletal remains of a human tied to the camel’s back. No one knows who the human was, or what happened to them. I imagine this was quite traumatic for the camel. The sculpture is made of old wheels and scrap metal and lives outside Gem World, gem and mineral store on Main Street in Quartzite.

Magic River Campground, Long Beach, Mississippi

Magic River Campground is right off I-10 in Mississippi, and it’s a great little campground. We found it because of its convenience to I-10 and it was a very affordable Passport America park. We were surprised to discover not only is it a Passport America park, it’s THE Passport America park: it’s owned by the person who started Passport America! You’ll probably pass the PA office/headquarters on your way to the campground (it’s not on the same property). For $13/night with a PA discount, you’re surrounded by trees and wetlands, in a sleepy little spot with very friendly people. Most sites are back-ins. Electric is 15amp and 30amp, and three sites have 50amp service. Not all sites have sewer hookups. There’s a pool, showers, wifi, free firewood, and a little community area that had a fire for warm conversation in the mornings. Follow the park’s directions to get there! If …

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Foil Packet Dinner: vegan, gluten-free, easy

We always make two of these, one packet for each of us. Double/triple/quadruple as you see fit. If using an oven instead of a grill, preheat to 400°F. Ingredients (per foil packet) 1 potato, sliced in 1/4”-1/2” slices and rinsed: any kind of potato will do 1/4 cup vegan meat crumbles, lentils, or beans 1/2 of a 6-ounce can of sliced mushrooms, or 8-oz fresh mushrooms, sautéed, or any other veggies you have on hand. Frozen vegetables work well, too. Vegan cheese (optional) Salt and pepper Oil (we like avocado) Instructions On an 18” length of heavy aluminum foil (I love Reynolds Wrap’s nonstick foil, but use what you have), spray or brush with cooking oil, and lay down half the potato in a couple layers, seasoning with salt and pepper. If using vegan cheese, layer 1-2 tablespoons of shreds or half a slice on top of the potatoes. Layer …

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)

We recently bought a Ninja Nutri Blender to attempt to make our own nondairy milks. I have celiac reactions to oats, and the oat milk fad has contaminated all the nut milks we usually buy, so we’re going to try making our own. But first… chocolate pudding! I’ve been thinking about avocado chocolate pudding since we shared an amazing cup of it in Chico, California, at Live Love Juice. We’ve made this a few times. It’s best with nondairy whipped cream, but a few chocolate chips and Dandies marshmallows are also fantastic. Ingredients 1 avocado 1/4 cup coconut milk 4 tbsp maple syrup 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp vanilla (extract, paste, etc) Generous pinch sea salt Instructions Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. To save for later, the avocados will oxidize and the pudding will look less delicious. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and poor a thin …

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The Last Camp of Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Quartzite, AZ

We visited the Hi Jolly monument in Quartzite. Arizona. The photos tell the story of Hadji Ali (note the whitewashing of his given name), a Syrian Muslim camel expert who helped the US Army with a short-lived attempt to use camels in this part of the country as beasts of burden military purposes. Hadji became a bit of a legend around Quartzite, and when he died, they built the monument to honor him, and the town’s cemetery is named after him.