Organizing your RV
How To's and Why Not's, RV Organization, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, RV Upgrades & Mods

The Best Tips for Organizing Your RV Stuff

Are you new to the full-time RV lifestyle? We have hit our 6-year mark of living and traveling in our RV! It has taught us so much about what works, and what doesn’t work in an RV. Below are some really helpful organizing tips and hacks of things we use, and some things that were a total fail. We hope you find some great items you might not have thought of. The things that worked and things that definitely did not! Please understand these are all our personal choices and preferences. What worked (or didn’t) for us. It will, undoubtedly, be different for everyone.  This might be a lot to take in, but I promise, these are some items we truly value as full-time RVers.

Travel or Stationary?

Do you travel full-time, or are you stationary? Do you have a home base where you store or “switch out” things from time to time? The answers to these questions make all the difference in our opinion. Yes, you still want your RV to be organized when you’re out on the road, but if you have a sticks and bricks house that you return to here and there, you may not need every inch of your RV maximized for optimal space. Either way, we hope you find our ideas useful. 

How Do We Travel?

Our advice comes from the way we travel. We are full-time RV “travelers”. Owning our dream home was a beautiful experience. Deciding to sell it was a choice we made. There are no regrets! Even seven years later. Everything we have fits inside 39 feet, which takes a lot of organizing and hoping that you don’t have a mess to clean up when you get to your new destination

Here Are Some Top Suggestions

Always have a First Aid KitEven if you decide to put one together yourself, please make sure you have one!

Tension rods are your best friends!

I use these for everything!                                                                       

  • Tension rods hold things from falling out in our refrigerator
  • They hold our wine and our wine glasses
  • They keep our medicine cabinet organized and keep things from falling out
  • Double RodsThese are supposed to be used for a refrigerator?! They were not wide enough for me, but I did find them very useful in some of my cabinets! 
  • THESE tension rods are what I used the most! These are small and fit in most cabinets. Order more than one set! You’ll use these for so much!

Stackable can organizer

Adjustable chrome shelves in the pantry – LIFESAVER for storage! See the picture below!  

Bungee cords to hold food in place. See the picture below! This keeps my stuff stored on top from coming out during traveling. 

Pantry

LED Lights Stick-on anywhere – 2022 Update. We have purchased more of these in different sizes. We use them in cabinets, under cabinets, in our closets, etc. We couldn’t be happier with these.

Refrigerator deodorizer. No explanation is needed. You will need this! Small spaces ya know! You can easily buy a box of baking soda, but it’s big compared to these, and if every inch is a concern, you’ll love these.

Let’s talk RV mattress’ — Ok, so everyone complains about the RV mattress. In our sticks and bricks house, we had a mattress that was just over 15 years old. YES, time to replace anyway. So when we first checked out our RV mattress, we thought it was pretty nice! So we decided to keep it and just do a few upgrades to it. After a year of sleeping on it with the below 2 upgrades, it’s one of the most comfortable beds I have ever had! We highly suggest if you are keeping your RV mattress, think about adding these two items. We love them! Click on the links below to view and purchase.

Mattress Topper

Quilted Mattress Pad

2024 UPDATE: Look at this! We purchased these two items above for our bed back in 2016. We still use them today! Our bed is so comfortable!

Bed Band sheet holderThese have saved us so much money! RV mattresses are just a tad different in size, and our sheets kept coming off. I didn’t want to buy new sheets, as the ones I had bought were super high quality, which came with super high prices. I was happy to find something that works to keep them in place. And a year later, we still love them!

Let’s talk vacuums! I have a Labrador. That should answer everything if you’ve ever owned one. Oh, she’s cute alright! And she sheds only when she’s breathing. I sweep up “puppies” almost daily, and so I needed a vacuum that would really work well on dog hair, but also be really small and easy to store. I got online and researched, and asked in groups of fellow RVers, and I’m so happy to say this is seriously the best vacuum I’ve ever owned. Hands down! Even better than the one I had in my sticks and bricks house.    Shark Rocket Vacuum

We’ve used this vacuum for over seven years now. TIP: We blow it out (filters and all) often with an air compressor. We still have that same yellow Lab, and she sheds beyond belief. You can’t go wrong with this vacuum, but I highly recommend keeping it clean.

Speaking of dogs, why do they have to take a bite of food and then look around? Letting it all drip on the floor! YUCK! The best thing I ever bought for this dog of mine was the below mess-proof dog feeding system!

Another 2024 Update – We still use this. What we love best is that on travel days, her water isn’t all over the floor when we arrive at our destination. If it splashes out, it’s contained.

Neater Feeder      

Dog/Cat food storage containersNo mice! No ants! And in bear country, no bears! Even if you stay in RV parks 100% of the time, you’ll eventually get a mouse. It’s not fun! But these containers mean that mice and critters will not be able to get in your pet food. Ants are not something I’ve had to deal with (yet), but I see them all over our RV groups. These will save your life! Ha Ha! You can certainly buy cheaper, non-airtight containers, but you’ll regret it the first time you get ants or a mouse in there. 

Padded car seat cover for pets. Did I mention our dog sheds? This really helps keep the hair off the seat. 

Command Strips (please click the link below) Pretty sure I need to own stock in this company. I use these for everything. Here is a sampling of what I have used. We all know about Command Strips so get a bunch! You’ll need them!

Collapsible Dish Drainer – let’s talk about this for a moment. I have seen those super cool little drying pads out there. Small, and easy to fold or roll up and put away! Right? Well, the first time I used one, my coffee pot (which I balanced on a spoon) rolled off and completely shattered on the ground. So unless you have amazing Tetris skills, get this awesome collapsible dish drainer! It has been very convenient and I put it right between my back couch and the wall. 

It’s another one of those “I still use it today” items! This dish drainer is perfect for us. It fits between our couch and a little side table on travel days!

Coffee filter dispenser – Works like a charm! I love it!

Coffee Cup holder – It works great! Please measure the area you’re putting this in, to make sure you can still get them out of the top, or it won’t work for you! You might want to try this if stacking doesn’t work for you.

Silicone Cup Lids – Who would have thought? I love these things. When we were in Montana, I couldn’t sit outside without flies or mosquitos hovering. These saved my drinks 100 times, if not more, from bugs in my drinks. 

Onion Keeper – This does much better than I even expected. Not only does it keep the smell in, but it keeps the cut onion fresh for a very long time. 

Cutting Mats – When we left on our full-time journey, I had cutting boards. I wasn’t going to spend the money on something new. I quickly learned how valuable these cutting mats are and how much more efficient and easy to store and use they are. 

Collapsible salad spinner – We just didn’t have the storage for the salad spinner we had in our house. When I found this, I was more excited than anything! I had planned just to eat wet salad all the time!  

Collapsible laundry basket – Aside from the obvious of it being a laundry basket, I also use this for washing hand wash items. It holds water well, and I liked the square one vs. the oval one. The oval one is hard to store in a square closet. Yes, I use every inch of storage.  

Dinner plate holder – Love this! This is truly one of our most loved items. It allowed us to use the space well! And as you can see, we purchased this back in 2016 and still use it today! We are lucky enough to have a small section in our trailer that is made for storing dishes separately. But they only gave us enough separators for three plates. Strange … I know. And believe me, I tried to buy more from the maker. I ended up getting this, and it also holds all my paper plates as well. 

Magazine holder for foil, plastic wrap, baggies, etc. I have 4-5 of these that I use for the storage of these types of items. There are other typical foil/baggie holders you can get to fit your space as well! I always find going vertical is the way to go in most RVs. But you may have a short long area that would be better for the 3rd one below.

Shelf liner – I struggled with this stuff until Justin came up with a genius idea! So these shelf liners are great, but they do not stay in place as you would think. We would drive, and I’d come in and open a cabinet, and everything that was on the shelf was shifted. Usually slid forward, and we’d have the liner all bunched up in the front. So I got frustrated because I bought this stuff to keep everything in place. Justin mentioned putting velcro dots on each corner. It worked!!! We use velcro dots often. They also hold our remote to the bedroom wall! 

Here are the before and after of my liners with and without the velcro dots. And we tested it … travel day was great! Nothing moved! 

Ice Genie  – Have you seen these great things? PERFECT for the RVer!

2024 Update: We finally bought an ice maker! We love it! It doesn’t use a lot of power when we’re boondocking and it’s been awesome to have. Here is the one we have!

Silicone Ice Tray  I have 2 of these, and they do exactly as they say! I can turn them any which way, and water does not leak out. I’ve used these for over three years, and they are still working perfectly!

Luci Lights  & Luci Lights in Color  –  These are so perfect for the RVer! If you’ve never heard of Luci Lights, you’re missing out! They are on the pricy side, and even though I’m a very thrifty person, I found these lights really worth the money, and the space-saving is wonderful! Tip: On travel day, collapse them and set them up on your truck/RV dash, and they’ll charge while you drive.

USB Charging Ports – These are SUPER easy to install! Let us know if you need some advice and help, and we can certainly help answer questions. Justin put these in 3 places in our bedroom to charge our devices. Super helpful! I don’t think RVs come with enough of these.   

Do you boondock? If so, I found this very helpful! It sits in my bathroom, and in the middle of the night, I can have a nice soft light! And the colors are fun for kids too. Easy for them to use to see! Dimmable LED Nightlight  

Water Bladder  – If you boondock, this will be very convenient for you! Who doesn’t always need a little more water? We’ve been using this now for over five years and have never had any problems. Make sure you rinse it with a couple of caps of bleach/water mixture before storing it. It keeps it clean.

Plastic bins – I would highly recommend getting sets of these all in the same size. We use these for all of the below items.  I used these labels to also write on each bin even though they were see-thru (you can call me an organization freak … I’m ok with that, HaHa) Measure … measure …. measure. Get the most of your space with the sizes you can. 

Magma nesting pot set – Ok RVers … these right here will change you! We had the hardest time making this purchase because of the price, and after six years on the road, I couldn’t be happier with these pans. My only complaint is they didn’t somehow incorporate a pancake pan. Ha Ha Keep in mind, that there are several options, so purchase the ones best for your cooking style. The ones we got were the exact link I sent. They are the non-stick ones. These are the best pans we’ve ever owned and take up such a small amount of space. 2022 update – We are still using this same set. We cook at home every night, and they are fantastic!

De-humidifier – I would never have thought I needed this! Never! Our goals were to spend our time in 70* year-round. Well, the first time it rained for five days straight, our pictures were falling off the wall, and we had so much moisture on the inside of our windows, that it was literally dripping. Of everything we bought for our RV, this was one of the top things I have enjoyed having. It makes living in a small space more comfortable when it’s humid outside. This is the one we bought. It works very well and has been very easy to store when we aren’t using it. You may not need one this large, but we have the room for it. There are much smaller options out there.

Foldable step stool – I’m short! I always need an extra 11 inches! 

Plastic container for dry goods #1 and Containers #2 – You know when you order a set of storage containers, and they send you one normal size one and ten that you might be able to fit a grape into? Well, after our mice fiasco, I put most of our food in plastic containers and was determined to find some that real food could fit in. I was not disappointed with either of these purchases! 

Something that did NOT work for usthe spice racks everyone seems to use. I did buy them. I did not like them. First off, we are spice hoarders. So taking up the room for 6 or 12 spices wasn’t going to work. They did not stay on the wood finish I have. I tried the alcohol wipes, gorilla 2-sided sticky tabs, velcro, everything I could think of. Fifteen minutes and they were falling off. I threw them away. If they work for you, great! I have my spices just in my cabinet by the microwave. We do ok with them just like that. 

Peppermint essential oil – I do diffuse oil as well. However, I defuse the high-quality, brand-named oils. I do not diffuse this brand of peppermint oil. Did you know Peppermint oil is a natural disinfectant? Mice/critter repentant? It is! And after having an issue with five little field mice, and lots of food of mine they thought they deserved to rummage through, I now am a firm believer in Peppermint Oil. I use it for many things.

  • In a spray bottle, mix two tsp of peppermint oil with two drops of liquid dish soap, and fill the rest with water. Spray under your trailer all around. By the way, this is natural, so you can use this in a National Park or National Forest. I recommend once a week or so. Using often keeps spiders and ants away as well! And everyone around will wonder where the nice Xmas smell is coming from. 
  • Peppermint-wicking pots can be made really easy. I bought a package of the wicks for tiki torches and cut them to about 4 inches (depends on the container you’re using. I used an old potato salad container). Cut an X on the top of your container. Insert the wick touching the bottom, and mix two tbs of peppermint oil with about half a cup of water. You can also add a drop of soap and stir. The soap keeps the oil and water from separating. Put these wicking pots in your food cabinets. Or under your bathroom/kitchen sink. 

Whew! Did you take all that in? If you aren’t too tired – check out part 2 of this list here. We hope it was helpful. I understand there are so many more things out there and so many more things for us to add to this list. Share your favorite tips! We would love to hear them! Thank you again for your support, and we appreciate you using our links. 

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean, who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Oregon – Our Top Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures and all with GPS coordinates. 

Oregon is … simply put … EYE CANDY. If you blow through Oregon fast, this is one state you’re really missing some phenomenal things. Spend some time here! You won’t regret it. The Oregon Coast is one of the most amazing drives in itself. Make sure you spend some time driving the coast if you can. 

Some of the popular things in this state, I still have to highly recommend. Have you seen Thor’s Well or hike around Crater Lake? The Columbia River Gorge with the Multnomah Falls looks so picture-perfect, it’s almost fake! Cannon Beach and Mt. Hood National Forest are definitely the more popular things not to miss. But that’s not why you’re here! Let’s get to the Off the Beaten Path stuff!


Here are our pick’s for the unique and different finds.


Sea Lion Cave

Located 11 miles north of Florence on U.S. Highway 101 – The Sea Lion Caves along the Pacific coast in Oregon are a connected system of caverns where Steller’s sea lions (also known as northern sea lions) gather every spring and summer to breed and give birth to a new generation.

If you arrive and see no sea lions, it’s still a really cool place to see. At sea level, the ocean continually washes into the main chamber of the caves. The walls of the cavern are stained with a rainbow of colors because of the lichens and algae that grow in the dark, wet space.

Painted Hills

An unusual combination of a brutal high-desert climate mixed with the gentler lowland environment creates a setting for one of the most scenic landscapes in Oregon. Turn north to Burnt Ranch Road from Route 26 in Oregon, and it is impossible to miss them. This reminded us of South Dakota’s “Bad Lands” area. 

Octopus Tree of Oregon

Located in Tillamook – The Octopus Tree is believed to be around 300 years old. The tree itself extends from a central base that is nearly 50 feet around, and instead of shooting straight up with a central trunk, the body of the tree splits into a number of smaller trunks. The bizarre arbor has long been an attraction but the origins of its odd shape are up for debate.  

The Wreck of Peter Iredale

100-year-old shipwreck you can walk up to at low tide. The Peter Iredale was a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore on October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en route to the Columbia River. It was abandoned on Clatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River channel.

The wreckage is still visible. Take SW 9th Street West from Warrenton proper and turn north on NW Ridge Road. Turn left/west onto Peter Iredale Road and follow it all the way to the beach, where there is a lot of parking about 200 yards from the wreck.

Crack In The Ground

MEcrackrock

I’m guessing coming up with a name wasn’t top on the priority list for this. Ha! This volcanic fissure is over two miles long and up to 70 feet deep – Simply called Crack in the Ground. There are 2 places in my travels I have found where I feel the most peace. Peace with everything and a calmness comes over me that it’s just hard to explain. Those two places are walking through a slot canyon, and next to a waterfall. Some people love the beach, I’m more of a waterfall girl. This crack in the ground is really amazing to walk through. It’s like a slot canyon and really is something to see. It’s over two miles long and up to 70 feet deep. If you can’t walk the whole thing, at least step inside a few feet of it if you can. It is located in the Deschutes National Forest. Hikers can walk the length of the main crack and explore its tributaries.

Airplane Home

Airplane

If you’ve followed along, you know how much I love strange homes and mystery castles with a story. Well … how about Airplane Home in the Woods? This man lives in a converted Boeing 727 parked out back. The aircraft’s owner, Bruce Campbell has been living in the airplane for six months each year since purchasing the plane in 1999 for $100,000. Equipped with water, electricity, and sewage plus 1,066 square feet of interior space, Campbell’s airplane home is pretty plush for all its eccentricities. This private residence is on private property, so check out his website for a tour if you’re interested. Campbell is happy to offer tours of his airplane in the woods.  Email: bruce@AirplaneHome.com

Elowah Falls Bridge

Elowah Falls (also called McCord Creek Falls). This reminds me of The Hobbit. Ha! I am sure you’ll feel the same way when you check it out. It’s on our list of places to see! So if you get there first, send me a picture or 5. Ha! If you allow us to post the pictures, I’ll give you credit!

2021 Update! One of our readers sent us this beautiful picture of Elorah Falls Bridge. Thank you to Holly for this picture, and you can follow her on Instagram @adventureswithholly. I highly recommend following her. She has some amazing and beautiful places to explore, not to mention incredible photography!!

Photo By Holly – IG: @adventureswithholly

Pillars of Rome

Located in Malheur County you will find these awesome and unique rock formations. Driving on Highway 95 South to Rome, then go west from Rome station the south for a little over a mile and you can’t miss this. Millions of years of weather erosion have given us an amazing sight to see. 

Natural Bridges Cove

Located on Hwy 101 along the southern Oregon coast, it holds many interesting natural wonders, including Natural Bridges Cove. Just before the CA border, there is the town of Brookings. This cover is just a couple of miles north of that. Just breathtaking. 

Salt Creek Falls

I mentioned my love of waterfalls, right? Salt Creek Falls is one of 7 Waterfall Wonders in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Region. Cascading 286 feet, Salt Creek Falls is one of Southern Oregon’s most powerful falls. A steep trail from the platform to the waterfall’s base is short but is not wheelchair accessible due to numerous stairs. The best viewpoint is halfway down this path. Salt Creek Falls Observation Site is 23 miles southeast of Oakridge and approximately 5 miles west of Willamette Pass. From Highway 58 look for the signs, turn onto Forest Service Road 5893, and follow the signs.

UPDATE! We visited the Oregon Coast this summer and found more for you!

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Have you been to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse? We visited this really unique lighthouse, with a really great story! Take the tour! It’s free! The beautiful scenery around it, is just as amazing.

Oh … A little advice!! Traveling down the Oregon Coast? Don’t feed the sea birds. Even if he or she looks you in the eyes, begs and promises to be alone. Don’t ask us how we know that!! If you decide your story will be different, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Ha!!!

Looking for RV camping in Oregon? Click the button below where we share all our free boondocking plus paid campground and membership camping areas.

We think you’d love these other blogs too!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

We hope you find value in our information! Thank you for checking out our website, and please share your favorite Off The Beaten Path places with us! We’d love to hear from you!

Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Wyoming. Our Top Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below, too. Each series will include a link to all the amazing free places we have stayed. And there is no shortage in Wyoming!

Hell’s Half Acre

Located 40 miles west of Casper. This geologic curiosity comprises of deep crevasses, caves, rock formations, and hard-packed eroded earth. Even though it’s called Half Acre, it’s actually over 300 acres of mysterious beauty. 

Travertine Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs

This place is incredible! I know I say that a lot, but our country just amazes me, and though this place is possibly on the border of being popular if you go at the end of summer, it’s quiet and peaceful.

mammoth-50102_1280

  It’s ever-changing and one of those things that make you feel you’re on another planet. 

Smith Mansion

Ok, so you all know I love castles or strange houses, but mostly I love the history behind them, which is usually kind of mysterious and bizarre. This is no exception. Wyoming’s Smith Mansion has many rumors surrounding it, but the truth is that it is simply the work of a man who could not stop building.

Smith1me

I’ll let you read this interesting, strange story and the myths surrounding it today. Location: 2902 North Fork Highway, Cody, Wyoming, 82414 TIP: There is a RV Park so close to Smith Mansion, you could probably walk. 

Buford, Wyoming

Buford

Buford is the smallest town in the United States. Just fun to drive through to take a picture of the sign. Don’t forget to check out “Tree in the Rock”. The population is 1. 

Intermittent Spring

Located at the foot of a mountain just outside of Afton, Wyoming, Intermittent Spring (otherwise known as the Periodic Spring), is one of only three springs of its kind in the world that start and stop every few minutes for a reason science can only speculate on.

Researchers have not pinpointed exactly what causes the surprisingly regular ebb and flow of the spring, but they believe it has to do with an underground siphon effect. The water at the spring site is said to flow for 18 minutes straight before stopping for another 18 minutes. TIP: Follow the signs to the gravel road and drive 5 miles up. Hike an amazing 3/4 mile hike to the spring. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Don’t forget to explore the more popular things too. They are never less beautiful or less amazing. We love to travel to these more popular places, too. But we tend to do it more off-season and during the weekdays because we can! Wyoming has endless beauty. 

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Highly recommend exploring The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. And of course the National Parks! Our country is breathtaking. This is a more popular place, but it was worth a mention!

World’s Largest Hotsprings

Thermopolisme

Located in the town of Thermopolis, you can find the breathtaking hot springs. The Hot Springs are located at 168 Tepee Street.

Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway

Yes, you can drive through the three tunnels with your RV in tow. The tunnels are 14 feet high. So know your height, but most RV’s can make just fine! It’s definitely worth the drive! The Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway begins in the town of Shoshoni at milepost 100. Following U.S. 20 north through Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Indian Reservation, the route ends just north of the city of Thermopolis at milepost 134. Without stopping, the total drive time is about 40 minutes. 

Thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet. Let us know some of your favorite hidden gems in Wyoming! We’d love to hear from you!

Check out our amazing free camping in Wyoming! Click the button below!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Arizona

Top Hidden Gems We Bet You Didn’t Know About in Arizona.

Arizona is just packed full of popular, fantastic things to see. Of course, The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and the Wave. Not to mention Horseshoe Bend, Havasupai Falls and The Petrified Forest National Park. If you’ve never been to these places, don’t miss them! But we’d like to share some unique and different places you might not have heard of. 

The Mystery Castle

What a crazy, sad, unique, and finally happy ending story. I’m not going to spoil it, but we did make a video that touched on the story a little bit. We loved this tour and the eclectic mind of the man who built it for his daughter. Not only is it really odd and interesting, but the story behind it is fascinating. We were lucky enough to have Juankarlo Gastelum as a tour guide. His father was a groundskeeper for over 40 years, and he basically grew up in and around the castle. It was really fun listening to his personal stories. If you have kids, bring them! They will love this quirky place! Check out our short video below. 

Hole in the Rock

This is a natural geological formation in Papago Park, a municipal park of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona. This is a fun, short day trip. We took lunch and enjoyed a small hike to the top. Then we hiked a little more to do some geocaching. If you don’t know what Geocaching is, check out our blog here. The views from The Hole are beautiful!

HoleinRockAZ1

Kartchner Caverns

This is a beautiful state park located in Benson. After their discovery in 1974, these limestone caverns were kept secret for more than a decade as a way to preserve their untrammeled beauty. Seeking undiscovered caves in the mid-70s, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts discovered evidence of a secret cave: the two felt warm air emanating from a crack at the bottom of a sinkhole they found in the Whetstone Mountains of southern Arizona. The men slipped through the crack and discovered a network of pristine caverns with spectacular rock formations, including massive stalagmites and stalactites. They would return on several occasions over four years, discovering 2.5 miles of passageways and chambers while keeping their find secret. I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of stuff I think is fascinating. Can you imagine finding something like this and having it all to yourself for years?

Kartchner Caverns

Tonto Natural Bridge

Driving near Pine, AZ? Tonto Natural Bridge is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world is nestled in a small canyon in central Arizona.

tonto-natural-bridge-987223_1920

This 183-foot-high bridge is beautiful from every angle. The three hiking trails in the area bring you all the way down to the 400-foot-long tunnel. If you are not afraid of slipping on some algae, you can make your way through the tunnel to one of the other trails. Tonto Natural Bridge will not disappoint any visitor. There are viewing points from above so those not in the hiking mood can still enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Lake Havasu’s London Bridge

The old London Bridge was carefully dismantled, and each of the stones was numbered. Once it was broken down to its pieces, they were shipped to California through the Panama Canal, and then driven down to Arizona. The bridge was then just as carefully put back together again, and Arizona’s own London Bridge was opened in 1971. Near the bridge is a little walkway. Past some little shops, ice cream stores, and a few others. We found walking down the path pretty far was actually more thrilling to us than the bridge itself. Of course, we stopped for ice cream, so maybe that was more of our thrill. Ha! 

The Desert Bar

Located in Parker – and yes, it’s the Desert Bar, not the Dessert Bar!

deseet_bar_31

So we don’t really hang out in bars much, but this is more than a bar. The road to get there is an experience in itself. You just have to visit this really neat, unique, and totally run on solar power bar in the middle of the desert. It’s only open on weekends. Most people drive off-road vehicles to get there, which is half the fun, but you can certainly take your regular vehicle. We drove our dually. It’s just one of those interesting and unique places, and I have to say, though on the expensive side (because they can … there is nowhere else to go Ha) the food is actually really good. Humor yourself and get the gigantic pretzel. But ensure you have someone (or 5 someones) to share it with. Read the story of how the owner created this, and why he decided to go forward with it. Super fun place!! 

“The” Corner in Winslow AZ

Everyone who loves The Eagles needs to go stand on the corner in Winslow Arizona. Just sayin’! (Now you can thank me! The song will be stuck in your head for hours. In my case, days! Ha Ha!)

Slide Rock State Park

Located in Oak Creek Canyon just seven miles north of Sedona.

Slide Rock State Park is home to a smooth, natural water slide. It offers a fantastic place for cooling off on a hot summer day. Visitors can slide down the slickwater chute, wade in the cool waters, or soak up the sunshine along the creek.

Grand Falls

Grand Falls after monsoon rains

Located in the Navajo Nation, this seasonal waterfall flows a rich chocolate color after the annual snowmelt or after any significant rain! Most of the time, this is a dry river bed. So if you want to see the flowing water, make sure you are close by and schedule your time to go right after a monsoon. If you can get to this in March or April that is the best time to see it. The snowmelt will give you more opportunities to see it. There is also a short period in the summer that you can see the falls due to the monsoon season, but the window is short and is highly dependent on the weather patterns that year. FYI, this is on Navajo land, and you need to obtain a permit to be on it. 

The Town of Oatman

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The town of Oatman, AZ – OH what fun!! This is a quirky, fun place. Unique shops, and wild donkeys roaming the town. I mean ruling the town. While we were there they would often try to get into the shops because some of the shop owners have favorites they feed on a regular basis, and the donkeys know this. Also, the gunfighter wild west show happens every day in the middle of town at noon. The street is blocked, and it’s about a 15 minute, very humorous thing to see. The area close to the town of Oatman to boondock is also stunning (Boondocking information below). 

Sitegreaves Pass

Don’t miss this beautiful overlook near Oatman. The views are amazing. And the drive is even better!

Hiking

If you love hiking, you just have to check out the Arizona Hot Springs.

The hike is 7 miles round trip, and it pretty much kicked my butt with the rock scrambles. I am thankful for friends who didn’t mind pushing my butt up (literally) when I needed a little help on the rock scrambles. But we did it, and it was so worth it! After we completed the hike, we ran into some other friends a few months later who told us we could have kayaked right up to the short trail to the hot springs. Well … that would have been nice. But I wouldn’t trade that day for anything. We saw some beautiful sights and spent some amazing time with some friends. 

Another amazing find is Lake Powell. We haven’t made it there yet, but it’s on our list for next time! 

Boondocking / Free Camping

There is no lack of boondocking in Arizona. Here are our top picks in Arizona. What are your favorites?

SEE PICTURES FOR GPS COORDINATES

  • Sedona AZ – Forest Road 525. 
  • Oatman, AZ – Topic Dispersed. We loved this place. Beautiful area. 
  • Table Mesa Rd Boondocking near New River, AZ. 
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Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the internet! We truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read our blogs. We’re honored you spent the last few minutes with us!  If you aren’t signed up to follow us, please do! You’ll be notified of our new blogs when they go up. We’d love to hear your unique finds in Arizona. What hidden gems have your found?

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Off the Beaten Path Series

Off the Beaten Path in Indiana. Our Top 10 Secret Finds in Indiana!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series, where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and taking that road less traveled. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too.

Indiana – Who knew we’d find so much to do there? So much, I’m only scratching the surface in Indiana. I was writing and writing and realized it was going to be just too long of a post, so I picked out just the ones I hoped would be fun for everyone. There are so many more. 

Gravity Hill

I’m sure this isn’t much of an “off the beaten path” find anymore, as it’s become a little popular, but it’s still a really unique and interesting thing to see! Located in Mooresville is one of the most strange stretches of roads in the entire world. Locals nicknamed it “Gravity Hill” as drivers have reported rolling up the hill backward when they park their cars in neutral at the bottom of the hill. Go see for yourself. The hill is located about a mile off IN-42 on Keller Hill Road. Mooresville’s famous Gravity Hill is actually an optical illusion, but it is a strange one. If you were to place a ball in the road the hill will immediately start to pull it “up”  – wait … up?

Yes! In the wrong direction, according to gravity. Again, it’s a strange optical illusion. You’ll have to check this road out! It’s pretty strange! Definitely messes with what you think you’re seeing. There is kind of a creepy legend about this road. Go check it out, and let us know if you see “fingerprints in flour” on your bumper. Ha! Bring a little bag of flour if you’re curious!  Directions: Take exit 59 off of I-70 to Highway 39, then turn left on Keller Hill Road. Take the road to the dead-end, then turn around. One mile after turning around, you will find the hill.

Greensburg Tree Tower

This is a strange but interesting find. If you’re in the area, it’s kind of a cool thing to see. In the early 1870s, residents noticed something unusual was happening in the town’s main square.

A tree had sprouted on the roof of the county courthouse. Many years later, this small tree grew into a large tree, and more trees have sprouted on the roof throughout the years. Locals and experts are still dumbfounded how these trees managed to grow 110 feet off the ground but city officials suspect nature planted the original seed in the 1870s, by either wind or bird. However, the 50-year-old tree that hugs the clock tower now is a direct descendant. Definitely, something that makes you say “huh?”. 

Cataract Falls

I had to include a kayaking trip! Paddling Cataract Falls in Cloverdale, (Owen County) is a special treat with 2 sets of falls cascading 86 feet down. It’s only a little more than an hour from Indianapolis. It’s a short kayak day trip of only about a 3.6-mile trip. You also can hike from the lower falls to the upper falls before heading back.

Bluespring Caverns

BLueSpring

FAVORITE PICK: Things like this are just fascinating to us! This is the longest navigable underground river in the U.S. and get this … home to countless blind and albino animals. The Bluespring Caverns were first discovered in the 19th century, and more entrances to the caves were discovered into the 1940s. The constant darkness has created a unique setting where blind albino species can thrive. In addition to bugs like crickets, beetles, and spiders, larger creatures such as salamanders, frogs, and crayfish all live under, above, and upon the flowing waters, many of them purely white or almost clear looking. There is even an extremely rare species of blind cavefish that swims the waters. Tours down the river are available, taking visitors meandering across the underground waters for about an hour, where sightings of albino wildlife are abundant. While I do wish humans were more responsible and could be trusted with such a beautiful find, and we could see these caves on our own, we are very happy that an organization is taking care to preserve this. It’s a must-see!!

Grave in the Middle of the Road

This might not be something to go out of your way to see, but very quirky! The story is kind of funny! And sad, at the same time. And … it’s in Amity, Indiana. Ha! Of course, it is! In 1831, a woman named Nancy Kerlin Barnett passed away and was buried on a hill near Sugar Creek. In 1905, officials planned to build County Road 400 right through Barnett’s grave.

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They changed their minds when Barnett’s grandson showed up with a shotgun and threatened them. To compromise, they built the two lanes of the road around the grave, making it one of the few known gravesites located in the middle of a road. Update: In 2016, the Grave in the Middle of the Road along Indiana’s rural County Road 400 got a makeover. The road has been divided around the grave since the road was constructed in 1905. The grave, which lies directly in the middle of two lanes of traffic, has caused numerous accidents throughout the years. Warning signs and concrete bollards were added, but that didn’t cut it. In 2016 archeologists from the University of Indiana were called in to excavate the 1831 burial of Nancy Kerlin Barnett so the road could be widened. Unexpectedly, the remains of at least seven other individuals were also discovered on the hill. Creepy! Very Creepy! I’ll have to follow up and see if the other seven bodies were ever identified. 

Jug Rock

Jug Rock is hard to explain, so you might just have to see it yourself. It is the largest free-standing rock formation in the eastern half of the United States. This rare rock formation is located within Jug Rock Nature Preserve, located outside the small town of Shoals. the intrigue of Jug Rock – standing alone in the midst of a forest, with no telling rivers, open fields, or companion rocks in sight.

Directions: North edge of town, on the north side of US Hwy 50. Drive slow. You’ll see a street sign for Albright Lane. Pull off the highway there and park in the tiny gravel turnoff. Only then will you see Jug Rock back in the trees and a tiny directional sign, “Jug Rock,” with an arrow, that you would never see at highway speed. A path leads through the trees to the Rock. You just gotta see this thing! 

Empire Quarry

Empire quarry

Did you know this abandoned limestone quarry in southern Indiana provided the stone to erect the Empire State Building? A large number of iconic American structures are made out of Indiana limestone, including the Empire State Building, the Washington National Cathedral, the Pentagon, and 35 of the 50 current state capitol buildings. The deepness of these pools and minerals from the limestone foundation gives the water an aquamarine color, which is just amazingly beautiful. 

Important Information: Note that this is private property, and if you’re caught here, you may be scolded by a grumpy man in a hard hat. As of July 2017, signs now read, “No Trespassing. Live Ammunition In Use.” To reach the quarry, you will have to follow these exact directions. Starting at the Dollar General in Oolitic, (seriously! Ha) you’ll want to take the highway heading out. Driving down, you’ll see a church. Take a left at the Church. Take this road all the way down past the brewery. At the end of the road, there will be a cemetery on the right on a rock road. If you get confused, stop in the dollar general and ask the cashier for directions to the Empire Quarry. They’ll know. Ha!

RV Hall of Fame

This was a great place! We really enjoyed it, and with the fact you can park and boondock/free camp in their parking lot for 2 days, it made it even more fun.

If you like to Geocache, check out the local (walking distance) Geocaches in the area too. Don’t know what Geocaching is? Check out our blog here.  When we were there in 2018, they were planning some sort of a big RV park it seemed. I’d love to go back and see what they are doing with that area. If you visit here after it’s completed, do tell! Would love to know! This is such a neat look into the history of RV’s and my really interesting “RV’s” like the one built for Mae West in 1931 while she was filming. There is also an archive of thousands of periodicals, manuals, and photographs all having to do with the RV industry up on the 2nd floor. This is a really fun place for kids too. 

Albany Shoe Tree

I was a little hesitant to add this to my “favorites” list. First off, there is an awful lot of shoes in Indiana. Corners where shoes are piled, streets where shoes are strategically placed. I’m confused, but ??? Though we are not ones that like to see people use nature as things like this, the “Shoe Tree” in Albany, Indiana, which started as a quirky tradition for local teenagers but grew to be embraced by the entire community.

There are just shoes everywhere. We don’t understand the point, but there must be one. The actual number of shoes hanging from the Shoe Tree fluctuates more than one might think. Again … we certainly don’t condone this sort of thing, but this one seems like a tradition here. The tree seems to be dead, which is sad, and we hope that the shoes weren’t what killed it. But instead, made it continue to live through “art”. Again, not something I’d go out of my way to see, but if you’re in the area, might as well stop and look at the different shoes. A lot of old shoes on that tree! Directions: Take Highway 28 to Strong Road, pass Strong Cemetery, and turn right onto Edgewater road. The tree is visible from the road.

New Harmony Labyrinth

Free, and hard to miss! Easy to get to! Easy to find. Super fun for the kids. There is some really cool and unique history behind this. I’ll let you read about it. 

Here are some more blogs we think you’ll love!

Looking for the best boondocking or paid campgrounds to stay while you’re traveling in Indiana? Check out our ever changing, always updating list! Click the button below to see our best RV Camping in Indiana!

We’d love to hear your suggestions for exploring the hidden gems in Indiana! Please drop us a line and share your favorite places!

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Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Kentucky. Our Top 5 Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. Exploring the popular sights is something we love to do too, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. We love to “Opt-Out of Normal”. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, complete with pictures and GPS coordinates. 

Ahhhh Kentucky! One of the states we are sure we could spend a year in. We definitely will be going back. There is so much to see, and do! Who knew? Most of our finds listed are going to be nature finds (as that’s what we like to do). We know there is so much more in Kentucky to see. The whole state is just a hidden gem in our opinion. 

Grayson Lake / Grotto Falls (Hidden Falls)

Grayson Lake Kentucky

The scenery at Grayson Lake is just incredible. The sandstone cliffs, the waterfalls, the rare eagle flying overhead and if you love kayaking, this is candy for you! You’ll love this lake and the hidden falls you can only get into by a narrow short rock cave where you can paddle through a crack in the sandstone to go into a secret cove in the back, where you’ll think you’ve left one world for another. It’s magical and unbelievable.

Grayson Lake, KY

 By far our favorite place in Kentucky (so far). Also dropping onto Grayson lake are many waterfalls. We kayaked so much of the lake and I’d bet we passed 10 or more waterfalls just cascading off the side. It’s just amazing!


John A Roebling Suspension Bridge

This might not be considered off the beaten path, but it’s just a really amazing part of our US history not to mention a beautiful bridge!

John A Roebling Suspension Bridge

This bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky. It opened on December 1, 1866. If you happen to be near it, or if you just like bridges, check it out.

Angels Window Trail

Double Arch Angels Trail Kentucky

Located in Daniel Boone National Forest. This is a phenomenal almost virtually unknown little gem. The bigger more popular arches here always win. From the forest service site: Angel Windows Trail begins at the Parched Corn Overlook off KY 715. The trail extends along a wooded ridge that leads under a high cliff to Angel Windows – two small arches clustered together at the end of the cliff. You will pass a number of overhangs and continue along the ledge. The official trail ends here, where there are some lovely views of the cliffs. Just beware of the drop-off to the right as you go past Angel Windows and use caution when exploring the area. Angel Windows Trail is located in the Red River Gorge in the Cumberland District of the Daniel Boone National Forest. 

The Ghost Ship

GhostShip
Ghost Ship in Petersburg KY

Abandoned in Petersburg, Kentucky, the ship that is now a favorite destination for kayakers was once an award-winning navy ship that served proudly during both world wars.  Fun Fact: It served as the backdrop in a Madonna video (if you’re old enough to know who she is Ha!). So how did this vessel end up abandoned in the river? I’m going to leave you to experience this! This is definitely a fascinating thing to see. If you’re looking for something different, definitely check this out. 

Mantle Rock

mantle rock, Kentucky

A very large natural sandstone bridge. Spanning 180 feet and 30 feet high, Mantle Rock is an impressive natural sandstone bridge. A very short hike from the parking area. It’s definitely something easy to access and it’s one of those formations that make you not quite understand gravity as you know it. 

I know first hand there are many more amazing things to do and see in Kentucky. Make sure you check out Mammoth Cave and all of the Red River Gorge hikes and rivers and cliffs and arches. There are so many! They are more populated and can get pretty busy in the Summer, but if you want to discuss some other areas that aren’t necessarily off the beaten path, send us a message and we’ll try to steer you in the right direction. Or … we’ll meet you there! We do plan to go back to Kentucky at some point in 2019. We’d love to hear your hidden gems in Kentucky too!

Boondocking

Ask any questions you need regarding the boondocking area shown. I’m including a map with GPS coordinates. 

(Daniel Boon National Forest Boondocking)

Paragon, KY boondocking
Boondocking in Kentucky

Thank you so much for visiting our little corner of the internet. We appreciate each and every one of you! Let us know where your favorite hidden gems are in Kentucky. We’d love to hear from you!

Here are a few other blogs we think you’ll love!

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Off the Beaten Path Series

Off the Beaten Path in Montana – Our Top Hidden Gems in Montana!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state.  Of course, we love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique and different to see as well. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. We live our name – Opting Out of Normal.

Summer is the perfect time to visit Montana. It gets a little warm in Montana, but most days are pleasant and comfortable.


Kootenai Falls & Swinging Bridge

Located between Libby and Troy, (mile marker 21) the swinging bridge is only about half a mile from the parking area located on Highway 2.

Swinging Bridge Libby Montana

There is a place to eat lunch and bathrooms too. It’s just downstream from Kootenai Falls, the bridge offers access to the other side of the Kootenai River, offering a better view of the falls and connecting to multiple hiking paths. Fun Fact: The bridge was featured in the hit movie, The River Wild. Fun Fact #2: Kayakers can use the bridge to gain access to the famous Super Hole and other river access points.

Garnet Ghost Town

Hidden high in the Garnet Mountain Range east of Missoula. This was one of the coolest things we saw in Montana. The history of this little town is unbelievable.

For a town built that was never intended to last, this is Montana’s most intact ghost town. The miners were more interested in collecting the riches below ground than building above. As a result, buildings grew quickly, most lacking foundations. They were small and easy to heat. Yet, a century after Garnet emerged, remnants of the town stand. If you do nothing else on this list, definitely explore this!

Garnet

The Boiling River

Boiling River flows into the Gardner River and is as natural as it gets.  Just two miles from Yellowstone National Park’s North gate. The hot water and the cool water flow together, meeting in small, stone pools that create natural hot tubs for soaking.

Boiling River

The water flowing from Mammoth Hot Springs is very hot, so be careful. This is public land, and free to use as long as you follow the posted rules. 

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The Ringing Rocks

This place is a crazy phenomenon in my opinion. I’ve seen piles of rocks that don’t “ring”, so these just don’t make sense to me, but it’s fascinating to go see. Pack some hammers for this! Different types, and sizes. You’ll figure it out when you get there! The Ringing Rocks near Butte ring melodically when tapped gently with a hammer. Some sound completely hollow.

Ringing Rocks, near Butte

This pile of rocks exists as part of the edge of the Boulder Batholith, a geological formation that reaches from Helena to Dillon, covering roughly 1,900 square miles. The rock’s composition and connection patterns create the condition that causes the rocks to ring when struck. Scientists say that once removed from the formation, the rocks no longer ring. Just go check this out! It’s really fun for kids too!  Beware though, the roads to reach the rocks are often treacherous.

Havre Beneath the Streets

This is really bizarre and we really love stuff like this! It’s a little on the shady side when you do the Havre Beneath the Streets underground tour. When a fire almost decimated the town in 1904, adaptable business owners moved underground.

Havre

Some shops opened in their basements, and together, they created a series of tunnels that stretched about a six-block radius. They carried on business as usual during the rebuilding of the town above-ground. There is a barbershop, a general store, a saloon, a bordello, and others. If you’re looking for unique, definitely put this one on your list.

Jim’s Horn House

Ready for this one? Ha! This is a collection of 16,000 antlers crammed beautifully into a small shed. It’s actually very beautifully displayed. Art!! For the last six decades, Jim’s favorite pastime has been to hike out into the Montana backcountry, braving the elements, for the sole purpose of picking up thousands of pairs of stray antlers.

Anthouse2

Since starting his collection as a 10-year-old boy, the “Antler Man” has amassed a grand total of 16,000 antlers, all of which are on display in one well-lit shed in Three Forks, Montana. His story is absolutely fascinating and touching. I won’t spoil it! If you’re lucky enough to get a tour, you’ll be able to hear his story firsthand. 

Antlerhouse1

Know Before You Go: Jim isn’t open as a business. But he does love to share his collection with you, but you must email him (yes, I swear, this is legitimate) and he will give you his address if he’s able to give you a tour. His email is 2jd3law4@gmail.com

Holland Lake

Holland Lake is a small glacier lake in the Flathead Valley National Forest. Yes! this picture is mine and it’s what we saw most days if we woke up early enough. Just gorgeous! We were lucky enough to work here over the summer last year as workampers. (If you would like to read our workamping blog, click here) It is a paid campground with no hookups, but oh the lake! Just wow!

HOLLAND LAKE, MT
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And the hiking as well is just something completely worth the stay. There is a beautiful, short hike to the waterfalls, and you can also take a longer hike up to Upper Holland Lake. But don’t go too early, as Upper Holland Lake is frozen until the middle of June. We normally are all about free camping and boondocking but I had to include this beautiful out of the way area on our list. It’s worth a stop! There is a day-use area if you just want to enjoy it for the day and take a hike from there. You may not be able to get into Holland Lake to camp (it’s off the beaten path, but it’s a very busy campground for the locals who usually head from Helena every summer). But, there is boondocking right next to Holland Lake (walking distance even) called Owl Creek.

Want to check out all our favorite boondocking locations in Montana? Click the button below for lots of great boondocking and paid campground information.

Morrell Falls

This might not be an “off the beaten path” place, but we hiked up to Morrell Falls and it’s worth a trip! The water that comes over the top of these falls is so intense, that it was hard to get pictures because as soon as we lifted our camera, it would be full of mist. We hiked in, sat in the beautiful spray of the water, ate lunch, and enjoyed a very easy hike back out.

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Here are some more of our travel blogs we think you’ll love!

Thank you for coming to our little corner of the internet. We hope you found some fun things to see and explore. We’d love to hear from you! Where are your favorite hidden gems in Montana?

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Vermont. Our Top Hidden Gems

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each blog post will include at least one epic boondocking area, complete with pictures and GPS coordinates. 

Aside from the really fun Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard, and the world’s tallest filing cabinet, there are even more amazing, cool, and unique places in Vermont. So many to choose from, but here are our favorite picks. 

Floating Bridge of Brookfield

I wouldn’t say go too far out of your way, but if you’re driving near Brookfield, we recommend this. It was closed to car traffic from 2009 to 2015 and has now been reopened. Either way, you can walk or drive it (unfortunately, the floating bridge occasionally sinks). The bridge, which is the only floating bridge east of the Mississippi River, was originally built in 1820. 

Floating Bridgeme

Craving Chocolate?

Got Chocolate? Lake Champlain Chocolates is a family-owned business since 1983. Chocolate tastings are available weekends with tasting guides, where guests can sample four chocolate profiles. YUM!

Huntington Gorge

During the summer I would say this is probably borderline “unique and off the beaten path” but if you are lucky enough to catch this amazing place in spring or fall, do it. This is one of the most dangerous places, because of its beauty, people get very distracted. Please! Be careful, watch your step, and then enjoy the beautiful strange rock formations. Sadly, there have been so many deaths here, they call it The Hungry Gorge. There are many different places you can stop to view this incredible gorge. Dugway Rd, Richmond, VT 05477. It has so many angles and facets to view. The rocks here are perhaps the best example of water sculpture in the state.

Warren Falls

Located in Warren, VT. Another incredible view of Vermont’s different and unique sculptured rocks. Another very busy summer area, but if you can get there during the fall you won’t regret it. 

Kayaking Lone Rock Point

Our Pick for kayakingLocated in Burlington, VT. Very close to Burlington’s beautiful waterfront is Lone Rock Point. A kayaker’s destination for sure.

Most people put in at North Beach (see attached from Google Earth). It’s a few minutes (not even a mile) over to reach Lone Rock. But paddling farther north along the shoreline into Appletree Bay gives you some sights such as forested bluffs, Leddy Beach, and Appletree Point. Don’t miss these! 

Lone Rock Point Put In

Smugglers Cave

Vermont is known for being the most amazing place in the fall. If you have a chance to visit Smugglers Cave (in Smugglers Notch State Park) it’s scenic, interesting history, and kind of eerie. Bring your bear spray. Vermont definitely has a lot of bears. The cave is located about 60-feet from the scenic road (known as the Notch). The cave is easily missed, hence the reason why in the 1920’s it was used to illegally smuggle goods.

There is beautiful camping at the State Park. Unfortunately, it’s not free! We like to boondock, which gets us out and about from structured campgrounds. But if campgrounds are your preference, they have beautiful sites there.

Japanese Garden 

Located in Hubbardton. You won’t likely stumble upon this spot in Hubbardton by accident. While it’s known to the locals, it’s easily passed over. It is a privately owned property open to the public year-round whose centerpiece is a Japanese garden. Kit Davidson passed away on September 29, 2016. The preserve is now managed by Alyssa Bennett. The address is 321 St. John Rd, Hubbardton, VT. GPS location: N43°41.099, W73°08.538.

Green Mountain Byway

A Perfect beautiful short drive – Green Mountain Byway is just 11 miles long. Along with beautiful scenery, a large variety of attractions for all ages. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and Vermont Ski Museum.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Historic Jericho

If you’ve never been to historic Jericho and you love taking pictures, this is such an amazing town. The old Grist Mill in Jericho is amazing. I’m not including a ton of information on Jericho, as it can get pretty popular at certain times of the year.

Knight’s Spider Web Farm

And … the most unusual place we would NEVER go. Stacy is deathly and ridiculously afraid of spiders! This would be such a huge challenge! Two garage-sized barns are packed with wooden frames, built-in grids, hanging from the ceiling.

spiderwebfarm

These square frames are ideal spots for spider webs, and the abundant orb-weaver spiders (typing this give me chills HaHa) that live on Knight’s farm make themselves at home. Actual spider webs are used to make his one of a kind artwork and he’s a great story-teller to keep your attention from beginning to end. Maybe I could at least just visit the retail store of his unique art. Might have to try it! This pictures is not mine. Haven’t been courageous to visit yet! 

Boondocking Suggestions:

National Forest Rd 71 – Any size, easy access // GPS: 43.060964, -72.987425 / 14 day max stay. Seriously, look this place up if you’re needing to do anything in the surrounding areas. 

GPS

Chittenden, Vermont GPS: 43.78686, -072.87901 Super easy to get to and some great hikes and dirt biking trails. Turn west off of route 100, once you past Knight Hill you should start to see campsites on both sides of the road. Sites are of all shapes and sizes.

Thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet. We’d love to hear your favorite places in Vermont that are off the beaten path and quiet.

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Boondocking / Dry Camping, How To's and Why Not's, RV Camping, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons

Finding Resources While Boondocking

We’ve been on the road and boondocking in a big rig for over 5 years now! You continue to see all our epic boondocking places. Now you’re wondering how we really do all the other stuff that surrounds boondocking. How do we find water, and where do we take our trash? Well, we’re here to break it down for you. It doesn’t stop at just researching and finding the most beautiful epic places we stay for free. There is more to it. And I’m here to share with you some information, ideas, and tips and tricks we have used. 

How Do We Find Water

Water is actually easier to find than you think.

  • Gas stations
  • RV parks (sometimes for a fee)
  • Cabelas
  • National Forests may have spigots randomly placed
  • City Parks
  • Fairgrounds
  • Chamber of Commerce buildings (in CO they had a dump and fill station)
  • Visitors Centers
  • Laundromats (usually have a spigot outside. Just make sure you ask)
  • Churches

Anywhere with a spigot. Look around when you’re driving. You’ll be surprised! Please make sure you ask if there is someone official around, or go into the business and ask. Sometimes there will be a small fee, but in over a year of traveling, we have only ever paid once for water. Here are a couple of things that are helpful in getting water anywhere. Water Thief (don’t let the name scare you Ha!) And Water Bladder. This is a little pricey but you will not regret this purchase if you have a bigger rig you don’t want to move to be able to get water. 

How Do We Dispose of Our Trash?

This is sometimes a very tricky situation. And frustrating at times, I know!  We often find ourselves picking up others’ trash. But where do we put it if trash facilities aren’t available? Our advice?

  • Walk into the grocery store, buy a few items you need and with your full arms of groceries go over to the customer service desk and explain you’re a full-time RVer, and could you possibly dump just a couple of bags of trash in their dumpster outside
  • Another idea is to use the small grocery bags and dispose at a gas station, or in front of a store.
  • A city park
  • Campground in the area (Please make sure you ask if there is someone to ask.)
  • Burning your paper products is another option. (Personally, we don’t have “real” fires much. We use a propane fire pit. We aren’t real crazy about burning our trash. With the glues and the dyes going into the atmosphere, we just don’t do it. It’s just our preference.
  • Highway rest stops usually have trash cans. Again, they can be small, so try using smaller bags.
  • Highway truck stops are another option.
  • Most restaurants have dumpsters, but again, go in, have a meal, and ask if it’s ok.
  • National Forest/tourist information places will have trash facilities. 

How Do We Find Propane?

We personally have 2 portable propane tanks that travel in our trailer, and then 2 extras we travel with. Some rigs have onboard propane tanks, so your resources will be different from ours.

  • We have found Tractor Supply to be the easiest to use. Because they are a chain across the United States. But not all of them sell propane. That’s when google comes in handy. Also, word of mouth. Always ask “well, then who does?”. People are more than helpful and give you information. 
  • Many gas stations also sell propane.
  • ACE Hardware has been lucky for us as well.

How Do We Find Places To Dump Our Black Tank?

There are apps and great websites for that! Here are a few of our favorites

Some other ideas:

  • A lot of welcome centers will offer a dump (some free, some not).
  • A lot of rest areas will have a dump for a small fee too. Bet you never saw them until you looked.
  • Campgrounds will usually charge you if you aren’t a guest, but here’s a situation we ran into last year. We found a city park with electric and water hookups for $11 a night. Free dump on the grounds for guests. And down the road was purely a dump station for $5. So for an extra $6 we plugged in, took Hollywood showers, filled up our fresh water tanks, stayed a great night in a little city park, and left the next day stopping at the dump on the way out. Sometimes you have to just figure out what financially works best for you.
  • Fairgrounds almost always have a dump station. Most of the time free, but sometimes there is a charge.  We do not have a composting toilet but know many people who do, and never have to worry about finding a dump station. 

Finding Resources Off The Beaten Path

A lot of boondocking locations are in rural, out-of-the-way areas. How do we find resources way out there?

  • Aside from Google, Ask! You might run into others staying in the same area as you. Ask them where they got their water, propane, etc.
  • Locals are another great information source. We have simply been getting fuel and asked the gas station attendant questions about where to find resources. They love to share helpful information about their town!
  • Local gas stations or small convenience store clerks will most likely be from the area and usually are happy to share their information. We once were at a gas station when the local postal worker came by. Who better than the postal worker to ask where to find something. People love to share information about their town. 
  • Apps are your friends! There are so many great apps for RV travelers. If you missed our blog on the best apps, check it out here. Most of the apps we use are free, but there are a few we use that cost a very small amount of money (one time) and they are truly helpful. 

How Do We Know Where We Can Camp/Boondock?

What if it’s not listed on a typical free camping app?

  • We use a paid app for that, and it’s so worth it. It’s called US Public Lands. It’s currently $2.99 and helps us find public lands that are ok to stay on for free. It’s an app designed by full-time RV’ers who have traveled for about 12 years now. Excellent app!
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  • We also stop and ask for maps at information offices inside the national forests.

We promise, once you do this a few times, you will be a pro. As we’ve always said, we will make memories and mistakes. The memories outway the mistakes, and you’ll learn from the mistakes.

Here are a few blogs we think you’ll love!

We love hearing from you! Please let us know in the comments what you use for your resources. We love it when we learn new things, and it will benefit everyone. 

Here are some of our Boondocking Videos we hope you enjoy!

Thank you so much for visiting our little corner of the internet. Each and every one of you is appreciated. We hope you found some value in our content. Travel safe! Be well!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

How To's and Why Not's, Rv Solar, RV Tips, Tricks & Lessons, RV Upgrades & Mods

10 Myths About Boondocking – Debunked! Yes, We Do Take Showers!

Boondocking/Dry camping isn’t for everyone. For us, it’s everything. Not only does it allow us to see something other than the RV slide next to us in a campground, but it allows us to see amazing beautiful places we wouldn’t normally see at all. We are here to debunk some of these myths and hope that if it’s something you’ve wanted to do, but are too frightened, you try it, and let us help you. 


Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure


Boondocking Myths:

My RV is too big to go boondocking – We travel in a 39 foot 5th wheel and I can tell you this is not true. We have good friends who travel and boondock in a 44-foot 5th wheel. It is not impossible. Like any size, it still takes planning and navigating. 

Utah

Myth #2

You can’t boondock without solar – I’m here to tell you first hand, we did it for 8 months very successfully. We did however equip our 5th wheel with 6 lead-acid batteries and 2 generators to help with the important things like blow drying my hair, and running the vacuum. Ha! Small, lead-acid batteries are not too expensive. A few years ago we did upgraded to lithium batteries, and wow! What a great upgrade that was! We also opened an RV solar installation company and can help support the life you’re working to create! Check it out here!

Myth #3

UsDrone copy

You’re cut off from society and there is no internet. – Both completely untrue. As I sit here today I’m running off the hotspot – click here to see how we stay connected. Which is 4 bars, LTE. I’m sitting up on top of the world in Colorado, surrounded by about 12-13 other friends streaming Netflix and working remotely. We gather in the evenings and enjoy each other’s company while watching the beautiful sun go down over Colorado. 

2022 update: We bought into Starlink a few months ago, and though we still have our same hotspot, this was certainly a game changer for us. They now offer roaming for the Starlink!

Myth #4

It’s too hard to find boondocking spots – Today with the 10-15 different apps specifically for finding campgrounds and boondocking sites out there, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. But it does take some planning. You can’t just call and ask if there is room for you, or if your rig can get in that place. You have to take a little time, read reviews (on more than one site), and make sure you have done your research and will be comfortable staying there. 

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Myth #5

It’s dangerous – I’m not going to tell you it’s all rainbow and unicorns every time. Not even all campgrounds are that. But the most wonderful thing of all is your house has wheels. If you don’t feel right, you go to plan B. That’s why our biggest advice is to have a plan B and then lastly a local Walmart to stay for the night. Don’t get discouraged. It’s a learning curve and once you’ve got it down, your planning and arriving will be faster than sitting on the phone trying to make reservations at a campground. And … you don’t have to check out by 11am. Ha! In the year and a half, we have been on the road, there was only one place we didn’t feel right in. We were completely safe, but I was just not feeling the area was somewhere to leave a very big, very expensive rig for the day while we go exploring. So, we ended up going about 15 miles down the road, loved it so much we stayed 9 days. 

Myth #6

Here’s a big one: You can’t take a shower every day – I can guarantee we take a shower every day. Both of us. Sometimes 2 depending on what we’ve done that day. Do we let the water run for 15 minutes? No! But we thoroughly wash and thoroughly rinse. We also use a water bladder (click here to see) that we go get water in, and fill up our tanks. Only once in 15 months have we paid for water, and even that was a very small charge. 

RainbowTwinLakes copy

Myth #7

Water/dump station is hard to find – Again, a huge myth. Easy to find, and even a lot of the apps online have started listing local dump stations and water stations. Also, our number 1 piece of advice is to talk to locals. Grocery stores, gas stations, they all know where these things are. And usually very eager to share. (Check out our top 18 apps blog here)

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Myth #8

We can’t fit in all boondocking places – Correct! You will not fit in all (depending on your size) but you will fit in most. There are open fields, and flat areas to venture into, along with steep cliffs and mountains to climb. We travel to some pretty epic boondocking places, in a 39-foot, Grand Design, 3 slide 5th wheel. Take it slow and know your own rig’s limitations. Go where you are comfortable going. 

Myth #9

I can’t cook if I’m not plugged in – Another complete myth. I realize I might be a little different from some now that we have solar, but I cooked every day before solar using my Instant Pot, my stove, and my oven. We tried some fun cooking outside in foil recipes over an open fire and also used a little tabletop grill. Don’t let this stop you from trying. There are options. 

SedonaMorning copy

Myth #10

Boondocking is too expensive – I never quite understood this one. Boondocking is generally free. To the people who have said this, I have to wonder if they weren’t referring to the misinformation of thinking they need solar to boondock. Campgrounds generally cost $25 to $75 a night. Depending on where and your wants and needs. I am writing and releasing this blog on the 30th of June, 2018, and so far since January 1st, we have spent a total of $48 in camping fees for 2018. (Update! We ended 2018 spending exactly that amount! You can read that blog here)

DroneAZ1 copy

How is that expensive? We will do what we need to do, but our personal little hope is to be less than $500 for the year. We may actually make it … you think? Ha Ha, Maybe we can be less than $100 this year. I do understand the cost of gas to run a generator all day. Depending on how much you spend per day doing that, I think maybe this is where the “too expensive” might be coming from. If upfront you can sink a little into the batteries, you won’t have to run your generator all the time. Just to charge your batteries. We ran on just batteries for the first 8-9 months and running 2 generators parallel we still didn’t spend the amount it cost to stay in a campground.

KY

Because we don’t spend this money on campgrounds, we are able to go out to dinner a few extra times, maybe take a tour of something we’ve wanted to but thought it was too expensive. It really gives us such freedom. After boondocking for over a year, it’s now something we find fun to do. 


Where will we find the next epic spot? Who knows! Make sure you follow us or maybe come join us sometime. Every picture you see is from a free boondocking location. And we have so many more we’d love to share with you. 

UPDATE!!!! We ended the year 2018 spending only $48 on camping fees. Yes, we have solar. (Added solar December 2017) Yes, we have batteries. And no, they weren’t cheap. But we have recouped our money spent already, and enjoyed the epic scenery we saw instead the RV slide next to us! No regrets! No Pedestal – No Problem!

Here are a few blogs we think you’ll love!

So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!

Thank you so much for coming to explore our little corner of the internet. You are so appreciated, and we hope you found value in our information. We’d love to hear your boondocking myths, and we’d love to help you through your fear of boondocking. Contact us with any questions you might have!