Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

RV info and where to stay

In some ways, people who full-time in RVs have a wider variety of how they handle living than people who live in houses or apartments. Some move daily, others twice a year. Some follow good weather, some jobs, and some just explore.

Most of my research on RV living has been on the Internet. For discussions, the rv.net forums seem most active. They also illustrate how inferior forums are to Usenet newsgroups or mailing lists, but if you want to learn about a topic you need to go where the knowledgeable people are. They tend to be rather repetitive, and it's hard to figure out what you've read before due to the poor user interface. They of course follow Sturgeons Law.

Blogs I read more or less regularly

  • The Adventures of Tioga and George A retired single man, living in a 27' Class C. He's spent the past several years mostly in Mexico, but the archives have info on being in the western US. He gives information about the routine chores living in an RV, and various modifications done to the RV to make it more livable for him.

  • Travels with Miranda A single woman who travels around Canada taking various jobs. Her Class C is a bit bigger than George's, and she has a toad. (Towed vehicle) Has information on her RV modifications, jobs, and travel.

  • Technomadia A couple who live in a small travel trailer. This is more article style rather daily life. There is much good information, but not a lot on how to get jobs.

  • Small House, Big Backyard A couple with a Class A who haven't yet started fulltiming. Information on customizing the RV, and staying in Wisconsin area campgrounds. I mostly skim the family pictures and textile stuff.

  • Our Odyssey Retired couple in a converted bus, who volunteer with the Red Cross.

There are others I read as well, but those are the main ones that are both updated fairly frequently and have good information on how I plan to live.

Where to Stay

Medford, Oregon is where I plan to have my home base. This is where I grew up and my parents and remaining grandmother are still there. Oregon has no sales tax, so I can save that expense if I buy and register my RV in Oregon. Oregon does have income tax, so it might actually be cheaper to use South Dakota as my official residence.

It's possible to boondock many places in National Forests and on BLM land for two weeks at a time in any one place free. How far you need to move and how often you can return to an area seem to be up to the individual districts interpretation. There are also long term areas in BLM land where you can stay six months at a time for a fairly small fee. There is even "Slab City" where people have lived for years on public land.

Workcamping where part (or even all) of the compensation is a place to park an RV and utilities is a possibility. However, it might make more economic sense to pay for the site and get a regular job in many cases.

There are volunteer positions in many National and State parks where you can get somewhere to park an RV, utilities, and maybe a small stipend. This is something to stretch a budget and not something to live on with no other source of funds.

Some stores, truck stops, restaurants, and rest areas allow you to stay a singe night in a parking lot free. This is more for getting from one place to another rather than somewhere to live even for a short time. The gas to move around can cost more than staying in a campground.

Stealth camping on city streets is not something I plan on doing much. How legal this is varies, some places it's not legal to park an RV on the street or even in a private driveway.

A good article on places to stay free is here.