Author: Carrie Hawkins
#joshuatree en route to PHX; my favorite stretch thx to my favorite plant. we spotted boondockers in the distance and I’m feeling more and more inspired to get out there.
Behind the scenes of a rockin’ #roadtrip. #Airstream in tow, #hkanderson pb pretzels, and #dogswhotravel. (This totally looks like product placement but you srsly gotta try those pretzels; best road trip snack ever.) #digitalnomad #fulltimerv #ontheroad
I was generally happy during my 6.5 years as a Las Vegas resident but I also felt trapped; I spent my spare time plotting how to escape and I’m pretty sure LV was the birthplace of our idea to full-time RV.
When we arrived in Las Vegas two weeks ago I had that familiar sinking feeling I had every time we would pull into town when we lived there. I joked with Zach by repeating “Get me outta here!” in response to everything when we first arrived.
But the last two weeks have totally changed my opinion of LV. Zach and I spent ample amounts of time visiting with good friends, eating at our favorite local restaurants, and enjoying the wealth of things to do. And it’s beautiful in its own way: tall buildings, interesting skyline, mountains and valleys.
Living there for a brief time with the opportunity to leave whenever I feel like it? That’s ideal. But isn’t that ideal anywhere? Another reason I love living the #fulltimerv life.
#digitalnomad #airstreaminmyrearview #thestrip #lasvegaslocals
Zach and I live on the go! Our entire life is portable so it’s only fitting that our workstations are compact and portable too.
As a full-time employee, one of my requirements for full-time RVing was an office space that I could easily set up and tear down. I want a comfortable work environment, but I also want to be sure that the RV doesn’t feel like all work all the time.
Zach and I (mostly Zach, I definitely benefit from his research) found a few amazing office supplies that perfectly fit this lifestyle; these supplies make for easy storage when the office is put away:
- portable monitor: this thing is slim, has a great picture, and is USB powered which means no extra plugs necessary!
- adjustable tablet stand: I’m not a fan of using the monitor case as a stand for the monitor, and this foldable stand is the perfect alternative.
- the roost stand: perfectly lifts my computer up to eye level and is super steady compared to how tiny it folds up.
- mini keyboard: I’ve had this since before the RV life; it’s as if it was meant to be.
My laptop plus all of the above mentioned items fit nicely into my Patagonia backpack and snugly into a cabinet. Which means I get to enjoy those sweet work-free moments with the office converted into a lovely, cozy lounge.
Merry Christmas from Zach and me. We wrote you a song. Xo.
A couple years ago I got the idea in my head that I needed to spend a summer in Rhode Island ✔️ and enjoy fall in the Great Smoky Mountains. ✔️
So, what’s next? June on the west coast, perhaps. xo.
I hadn’t been to Memphis nor seen family here since 2010. Too long. So today I’m thankful to be living a life in which Zach and I could purposely (/perfectly) route our visit to join their big Thanksgiving gathering. It’s obvious where Zach gets his good-natured (and v witty) personality when hanging out with his aunts and uncles and cousins. #digitalnomad #fulltimeRV #familytime #thankful
So, where exactly do Zach and I live? In an adorable little Airstream which is towed by an equally adorable mid-size truck.
Zach and I shopped and shopped for RVs for many years. In 2012 we purchased a RAV4 with a tow capacity of 3500 confident we’d buy an Aliner to tow behind it. When our dreams of owning an RV turned into living in an RV we started having doubts about what we needed. We’d spend hours browsing RVs at local RV events and local dealers. We liked a lot of styles and brands but I couldn’t stand completely straight in some or didn’t enjoy the dated interior in others.
And then we saw an Airstream and that was that.
Our next decision was the length; we quickly eliminated the 16′, were seriously debating the 19′, but we ultimately went with a 23′. We knew at the time of purchase that we’d be living in and working from the space full-time; we wanted to be realistic about our needs and I’m so thankful for those extra 4′ feet. I’m often amazed at how little our Airstream looks from the outside compared to how big and roomy it feels inside.
When we started our search for a tow vehicle, the Colorado was newly releasing its diesel engine (wait lists!) which made it the toughest mid-size truck on the market. (And also toughest to obtain! That’s a story for another time.) Zach and I hadn’t ever thought about buying a Chevrolet but given the specs of our camper and after crunching the numbers we knew that this truck was the only realistic way we could stay mid-size and comfortably tow our Airstream. But even then, everyone (aka the internet and my dad) said it wasn’t enough truck. People love overkill.
Stressing their opinions, Zach and I spent a lot of time test driving other options. It was important to us to have a capable tow vehicle, while also having a truck that we felt comfortable driving on its own. We knew we loved the Colorado, but it wasn’t until we test drove — and subsequently struggled to maneuver — a Silverado that we officially decided to to take the plunge.
We’ve been so pleased with our decision and I’m so happy to have proven the concerns unfounded. Our little truck doesn’t struggle at all, has great control and handles the load so well. While towing we get around 16MPG, but Zach amazingly got 21MPG while towing from Asheville, NC to Nashville, TN. When we’re not towing we enjoy gas mileage that is far better than the small hatchback we traded in for it.
So, long story short, I am in love. Our years of research paid off because this is seriously the perfect set-up for our needs.
Zach has been doing a great job at plotting the locations we’ve been on a map. Considering we started our journey a mere six months ago and have purposely stayed in one spot a week or two (or a month or two), I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased at how far we’ve already traveled.
So, to celebrate those six months I decided to highlight six of my favorite things we’ve come across so far. Partly because I’d recommend these to anyone in the area, but mostly because I want to keep a record of these things so when I return I can do it all again. Plus, I recently wrote a postcard to my niece, Pepper, who loves lists and inspired me to write some lists of my own.
In order of appearance:
1. Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, NM
This was our first experience with an RV park and we’ve been in a lot of RV parks since. It’s not fancy, but it’s a good price, has nice views, large spots, and privacy fences between rigs. They pick up your trash at the curb every day, have dog runs and nice/clean showers. The more RV parks we visit the more appreciation I have for Hacienda. I expect we’ll be spending a lot of time at this RV park due to its proximity to Zach’s family. I’m OK with this.
Honorable mention: Zach’s favorite was the KOA in Saco, ME. Close proximity to Portland, forest-like feel in the middle of a city and the staff was outstandingly friendly. Nothing beats moochdocking with family though, followed closely by state parks.
Out of all of the states we’ve visited Vermont is one of the few that I hadn’t been to before. Those mountains, trees, towns; dreamy. Vermont has officially made its way to my list of favorite states ever, but this decision might’ve also been influenced by…
3. Maple Creemees, Creemee Stand, Wilmington, VT
Pro tip: there is no substitute for the real thing. Zach and I ate a lot of maple creamies/creamees/creemies during our stay in Vermont, but the very best we had was the frozen custard variety from the Creemee Stand.
Honorable mention in the category of creamy desserts: my sister-in-law’s homemade ice cream. She experimented the entire time we were in Rhode Island and had it down to a science about the time we rolled outta there.
4. Goodies Family Restaurant, North Stonington, CT
I consider myself a pancake connoisseur so when I tell you that I had the best pancake ever at Goodies, you better believe it. These pancakes were so good we scoped the area for rig parking so that we could eat there again on our way out of town.
Honorable mention in the category of great pancakes: Buttered Biscuit, Maggie Valley, NC
5. Durham, NC
If someone told me right now I had to pick one place to live forever out of the places we’ve visited so far (yes, realizing this is a silly scenario) it’d be Durham. I loved Durham the first time I visited in 2010. I loved it even more this time.
Honorable mention: Providence, RI which has always been my favorite littlest big city on the east coast.
6. Cocoa Cinnamon, Durham, NC
I’m married to an avid coffee drinker and tea lattes are my drink of choice when I’m trying to keep up with him. Way too many coffee shops make tea lattes out of powder (ew) or syrups (meh) but the tea lattes at Cocoa Cinnamon were made fresh. On our first visit I ordered a killer rooibos tea latte but I knew I was hooked after I ordered that harvest tea latte on our second visit. My only regret is I’ll never have anything like it again. And, confession, it was then that I started shopping for houses in the neighborhood.
Purchased a new outdoor rug for the #airstream which prompted a photoshoot with the world’s best models.
Also, let it be known that Dakota is such a good dog and I appreciate her so much. The simple necessities like a good meal and comfy bed please her to pieces. She’s adapted to life on the road better than any of us. Wherever we go, she loves that she gets to go home.
#fulltimeRV #digitalnomad #homeiswhereyouparkit #rvdog #dogswhotravel #labmix #pekingesemix #travelingdog