Thanksgiving History

This Thanksgiving we are thankful we are not sleeping on the side of I-95 in near-freezing temperatures (and that’s a blog post for another day). And in honor of Thanksgiving, we’d like to take some time to talk a little about the real history of Thanksgiving that many of us never learned in school. Content warning: this post contains descriptions of violence and racism. It is presented in a way that we hope will be educational, but understand not everyone is in a place where they can safely read this material. We also mean no offense and any errors, omissions, or misspoken words are due to our own ignorance and welcome corrections by Native, indigenous, and non-white readers. Thank you. We recognize and respect that Thanksgiving has become a holiday where we celebrate the abundance and gratitude for the things we have in our lives. We’re certainly grateful and thankful …

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Bedside Cabinets

While we still lived in a sticks-and-bricks home and I had my wood shop, I did some last-minute cabinetry for our RV. Above the windows on each side of the bed was a space that had the potential for a small cabinet. The existing cabinets above the headboard had vertically-opening doors that were several inches away from the wall on each side. If I kept the cabinets shallow enough, they should fit. First, I drew up a plan for two cabinets, and then I made a wood cut plan. I chose poplar for the cabinets to keep the weight down, and to better match the other cabinets. There would be a single door and room for two shelves inside each cabinet, and a water bottle shelf. The shelves are large enough for things like average-sized pill bottles, small packs of tissues, eye drops, and lip balm. Rather than a plain …

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We finally hit the road! Does That Mean Major Truck Repairs or Just a New Battery?

Those of you who’ve followed our Instagram might’ve seen that we’ve officially left Arizona (for now) and are on the road. We have a schedule to keep to get to our Florida destination on time (more about that in a future post!), but not such a tight schedule that we can’t stay 2-3 nights in each spot, and we’ve limited our travel to 200 miles per day. So here is what happened when we landed in El Paso: The truck wouldn’t start! At least it waited until we were settled into an RV park, rather than the middle of nowhere. And in Texas, there’s a LOT of “nowhere.” We bought our 2016 Ram 2500 a year ago and it’s in great shape. It even came with brand new tires, but we suspected the battery was original from the factory. Anyone who has spent any time in the Arizona heat knows …

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Gluten-Free Travel

Finding gluten-free food on the road can be tough. This is not a post about finding gluten-free restaurants, or about all the magical gluten-free dining experiences a traveler with celiac disease might find if only they were brave enough or bold enough. I am a super sensitive celiac. I am more sensitive than the average celiac, and it takes me longer to bounce back than many of my celiac peers. Once, I was glutened so badly by a careless restaurant that it took me over a year to feel “normal” again. Consequently, we don’t eat out much. So this is a post about where to find gluten-free groceries while traveling. Even before RV life, when we traveled, we brought a suitcase for our clothes and a suitcase for our food. (The food suitcase was usually bigger.) RV travel has made eating on the road MUCH easier and simpler, but there’s …

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Determining Towing Capacity

The basic concept of calculating towing capacity isn’t exactly complicated: your vehicle needs to be capable of towing whatever it is you’re trying to tow, and you should never go over that limit because it’s dangerous (and potentially deadly). But actually calculating towing capacity and understanding the details to be sure you’re within safety limits gets a bit complex. It’s important to remember you can never have too much truck, when it comes to towing. Doing the calculations for towing capacity involves math, but it’s straightforward: some addition and subtraction and comparing two numbers. The tricky part is finding the data you need because there’s no single source for all things weight-related, and the only way to be sure you’re under capacity is by visiting a weigh station to have your vehicle and RV weighed separately. Here are the important terms and definitions: Vehicle curb weight, or dry weight: The …

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The RV Archives

There’s such a wealth of information about RVing and long-term camping online. We are constantly researching. To my fellow RVers, I encourage you to do what you can to keep your sites online, even after you lose interest in blogging, quit RVing, or switch to posting solely on YouTube or other “siloed” service. (A siloed service is one which can only be used or accessed through a specific app or other limiting factor, like Facebook, Twitter, and yes, even YouTube, where posts can vanish at the whims of the services’ owners.) Many sites fade away. There are still some decades-old gems out there though. One of my favorites is Two Penny Travels’s computer setup from 1999. As I write this post from a 4-pound laptop tethered to a smartphone hotspot (at speeds of 45mbps up and 23mbps down), I think about Sam and Alice (of Two Penny Travels) and the …

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RV Park Co-Ops

What is a coop? A co-op (or coop) as in a “cooperatively owned entity” is one in which everyone involved in the entity is also an owner. Companies can be coops (like REI, Ocean Spray, and Welch’s), but so can neighbors who have a collective stake in their communities and who want to build a better neighborhood. Residents of mobile home parks have been forming coops over the years, inspired by heartbreaking and heartwarming stories about landlords who raise lot rents so high that people are left homeless, and neighbors banding together to collectively purchase and run their parks. Just last week, VTDigger published a story about 4 mobile home parks converted into resident-owned coops. This 1986 LA Times article about a group of tenants who banded together to buy their home from their landlords is especially empowering, because their actions created a whole new category of government loans. Mobile …

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