Off Grid Living
Main reason I do it: To live many different lives (experience different places and people) rather than just one life in one place and a one culture.
Lowest carbon footprint (barely) allowed in the USA except tiny home / Earthship; No generator or shore power required despite using
diesel fuel to move or heat; Governments won't allow sustainable, off grid tiny home or RV where want to live close to amenities
Live many lives / explore many cultural areas; beautiful campsite settings without dealing with nasty, inconvenient and expensive hotels
Meet new people
Nimble motorhome allows me to have all my stuff, take nap, cook, etc. anywhere I go; no worry about other place or vehicle
Save money by finding cheap or free overnight parking and campgrounds
Don't impose on anybody, have my own dwelling, need only small parking spot
Always had problems with neighbors; couldn't afford home in suitable neighborhood; hate apartments and landlords
Explore before things get even more crowded and expensive, especially regarding California
Usually don't have to make reservations when traveling; many overnight options
Survivalist; bug-out vehicle; quickly escape problem areas and natural disasters
Easily migrate to good weather
Toxic neighbor campfire smoke and other sources of air and noise pollution from generators, etc.
In free camp or parking areas, any jerk can pull right up to your vehicle and do what they want.
Filthy, crowded, expensive, inconvenient laundromats often located in ghetto areas.
People call police for parking near their residence, etc. during the day and evening. They lie, claiming I spent nights there. I tell the police to
go interrogate the complainer for wasting police resources.
Campgrounds are often full, inaccurate and incomplete online campsite, etc. info; can't practically book ahead due to other issues:
Medical appointments far apart in space and time
Incompetent postal service (all carriers); Amazon won't let me know carrier until shipped. About 20% of all mail is extremely!
difficult to receive and requires strategic, detailed planning. There have been many cases where the mail was attempted to be
delivered, but somebody made a mistake, didn't understand "general delivery", required a signature, etc.
Incompetent vehicle service centers, especially regarding a Mercedes diesel
Almost everywhere I park or camp is very unlevel / uncomfortable lean; often have to build up levels to an extreme; It's very annoying that I
often go to parks, etc. and am restricted to park in certain spots that are unlevel, filthy or no solar and I see a great place to park that is level,
I can get better solar, has grass for my dog, etc. but the rules won't allow me to park there. It's often the case I'm assigned to a campsite with
a bad neighbor (noisy, smoking, etc.) and I see a better place, but rangers won't let me move there. Many places I am restricted to park all I
see out my windows are reflections from vehicles, filthy people, etc.
Tiny living space; extremely limited storage (but also nice to have everything in reach, easy clean)
No DSL internet; some areas no service at all; most areas have 4G which is good enough, but get throttled down after using so much data;
throttle down is often very crippling until the billing cycle resets.
Earthquake conditions while driving; have to super secure everything
Everything / everywhere is getting more crowded, competitive and expensive.
No yard for dog; have to spend much time finding grassy area and waiting on the leashed dog.
Nomadic Lifestyle Surprises and Rants
Extremely difficult to make new, like-minded friends anywhere (in my case). They are too busy and distracted these days.
Extremely challenging, often impossible to find legal, free, long term overnight parking
All levels of government are very anti nomad; all land is tightly restricted by governments and private ownership
Many unimpressive (not in a scenic park, noisy area, crowded, no utilities, etc.) campgrounds are expensive
At least half of all campsites are terribly sloped; no effort to level them
Nobody makes levels large enough to accommodate many sloped campsites and parking areas
Upon reserving and marking a campsite, if not occupied by around 6pm, others try to steal the site almost every time
At least half of all campgrounds unsuitably located close to train tracks, highways and slopes (unlevel). The more expensive, private "RV
Parks" are almost always lacking in privacy and located in noisy areas.
Places that are rated by credible sources as being environmentally friendly are far, far from it in reality.
Everywhere I see trash in recycling bins and recyclables in trash bins.
It's astonishing how much product (over) packaging and shipping boxes with bubble wrap, etc. I have tossed in recycling bins or
trash bins if no recycling available nearby (which is common).
No manufacturer or distributor of products I use for innovative installations are interested in sponsoring, etc. Example: Solar powered air
conditioner (Frigidaire, Grape Solar have been contacted; no response)
The amount of trash I, one person, generates is astonishing due to how most products are over-packaged. Recycling is neglected due to how
people put trash in recycle bins and recyclables in trash bins.
There are some very expensive bridge and road tolls that don't make sense and somebody is filthy rich from
Southern CA, etc. claims to have indefinite severe water shortages. They should not allow new construction then! Also would help to fix the
millions of plumbing leaks!
I have lived on the west coast and Alaska for many years and never yet felt an earthquake. I am very aware the west coast is overdue for a
devastating earthquake likely worse than anything recorded before. Since I live in a portable all-in-one survival box on wheels that can
sustain shaking, I would most likely be much better off than those in houses; it would depend on where exactly I am during the event, road
damage near me and whether there are dangerous people near me.
Biggest Changes in Nomadic Lifestyle
Started by living in a Prius for a few weeks, then a minivan a half year, now the Sprinter van since Feb. 2016.
Before freshwater holding tank, lugged around 5 gallon jugs and went to Walmart, etc. to refill. Now have large holding tank and built in
Before the solar air conditioner:
I would drive around a lot looking for a shaded place to park with the consequence of less solar charging and annoying tree sap, bird
droppings, leaves and twigs on my paint, solar panels and windshield. Now I seek the sun for free air conditioning and less vehicle
washing and sap removal.
At first I used a generator frequently; now I don't have a generator
Used to drive around for long periods of time trying to find a self serve car wash this tall van would fit in. Now I have my own 50'
hose on a reel in a rear door box attached to my plumbing.
First two years focused on avoiding campgrounds and overnight parked in Walmart, etc. instead. Thereafter reverse trend: Try to avoid
Walmart and find good campsites.