Funding the Lifestyle

Making money to support living on the road can be done in any of several different ways.  One potential method is to live off your investment profile.  I am personally a big fan of dividend investing for a growing income over time, and maintain a blog on my efforts and thoughts in that arena.  Feel free to click here to learn more! Read more »

Hiking Knob Hill Trail Dallas

Knob Hill Trail is an 11 mile trail to the West of Lake Grapevine in the DFW area.  I hiked this fully for the first time last Monday afternoon and evening after having previously visited for a short one hour like just before sunset a couple of weeks ago. The first thing I noticed this trip is that in just the first half mile the trail was been completely rerouted since my original visit.  It was previously a hard packed – obviously long used – path with lots of ups and downs thru mostly dry creek beds.  Now this old path has been blocked off with tree branches, and a new much flatter path is open.  I don’t know if this is a permanent of temporary change, but I’m sure the offroad bikers will not be happy with this new more mellow path. Anyway, moving on!  After the first half mile the path rejoined what was clearly the normal hard packed path,  following this for another half mile it weaves thru trees and follows Denton Creek – which flows into Lake Grapevine.  Shortly after the first mile marker the path levels out and becomes very simple to follow, so for other Knob Hill hikers know that the first – and the last on the return – mile will be the most physically challenging. The walk is pleasant in general.  I’ll touch a few of the ‘highlights’ briefly.  At about the 2.5 miles mark it gets a little shady…and not in the cool sense.  Lots of empty beer bottles, trash, and a bench that looks suspiciously like part of a meth lab can be seen in the remote woods off the path.  While I wouldn’t want to frequent that spot in the dark, it is fine during the day.  Thankfully this rather ugly area only lasts for about a half mile and things improve again. At the 3.5 mile is a nice little bench on a hill.  You can sit here for a snack or a break and look out over Lake Grapevine.  It is not Grade A scenery, but a nice reward for making it out that far.  Knob Hill trail itself does go further, so do not head back thinking you are at the halfway point! One point worthy of note – the mile markers on this trail are marked on both sides – so you can tell both how far in you are and how far there is to go.  For example, when I got to Mile 4 the backside of the pole indicated I had 7 more mile left on my hike.  Shortly after mile 4 I was surprised to see another hiker – only the second person I had seen all day – materialize shortly ahead of me.  When I got to the point he had appeared I discovered there was another short trail joining the main path from a parking lot. The Knob Kill Trailhead is accessed by road from Hwy 377 just south of […] Read more »

Hiking – Perfect Pursuit for RV Dwellers

One downside about living in a Recreational Vehicle is that it can impose some limits on your hobbies.  Even the largest RV has only so much space for the various accessories associated with different activities.  Hiking, however, is the perfect passion for this lifestyle choice.  Both for reasons of freedom of movement and due to the minimal gear requirements of the hobby. In an RV you can easily go to the best hiking locations.  This is a huge advantage over stick home living.  Even if your house is in the most scenic location imaginable – Colorado perhaps? – there are only going to be so many hiking options nearby.  If you read about a great hike that sounds appealing half way across the country, it is going to be a really big deal to actually go out and experience it.  You’ll need to schedule time out of your regular routine, budget travel and accommodation expenses, determine how to get to the trail head, etc… With an RV, most of these issues go away.  See a great hike you’d like to go on in a far flung state like Oregon?  All you need to do is make a note of it.  Next time you find yourself out that way (maybe 6 months, or even 6 years later) you can make a point of stopping nearby to experience it.  If you are a really keen hiker, you can even plan your roaming across the country around the best hiking locations; the freedom of living in an RV is unprecedented in the advantages it offers in this regard.     Read more »

RV Holding Tanks – Fresh, Gray And Black

Dump Station Sign

Something that often isn’t thought about when people dream of living in an RV is how to handle the fluids we use – and wastes we produce – in daily living.  While not pleasant to think about, they are a fact of live and you need to consider them! If you are used to living in a stick house they you are accustomed to rarely having to worry about your water.  You turn on the tap – water comes out, you pull the plug on the sink or flush the toilet, and water and waste is whisked away.  Your chief chore is to pay the water bill once a month. Unfortunately, RVs require a little more thought about such things.  Don’t worry however; while it may not be pleasant to deal with wastes in a recreational vehicle, it really isn’t that difficult. First, some background.  Most RV’s have three different tanks for water.  These are the fresh water tank, the gray water tank, and the black water tank.  So, what does each of those do? Fresh Water Tanks for RVs The fresh water tank is pretty straight forward – it is like a big water bottle for your RV that supplies water when you are not connected to a permanent source.  Whenever you need water for activities such as showering, washing dishes, cooking, or flushing the toilet; it is drawn from your fresh water tank. The size of this tank will depend on your vehicle; on a small trailer like a Casita it may be at little as 12 gallons, while if you own a large Class A Diesel it may be 40 gallons or more.  Your RVs fresh water capacity can be a limiting factor in the time you can spend on activities like boondocking, but carrying extra potable water in your tow vehicle can stretch your supplies. RV Gray Water Tanks Gray water is non-sewer water that you have used in your RV.  Water that has gone down the drain in the shower, or in sinks in the bathroom and kitchen goes to the gray water holding tank. If you take long showers in your RV, you may find yourself filling this tank quite regularly. Owners of RVs with small gray tanks often purchase an additional tank to provide extra storage, which is connected to the grey water drain by a short hose.  These ‘blue boy’ portable tanks can get very heavy however, and even those with built-in wheels you may find are not particularly portable. Black Water Tanks Black water is the sewerage of the RV world.  When you flush your toilet the waste goes to the black water tank.  As you can imagine, problems with this tank can result in a big stinking mess; thus proper operational procedures are a must! Be sure to use appropriate chemicals in a black tank.  There are various enzyme based chemicals available on the market designed to break down your waste, and also remove smells.  A wise RV’er makes use […] Read more »