Flashback: Lyndsay’s Van Life – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Lyndsay:

So due to MPI refusing to take an electronic title I was still waiting for the paper title, spent some time as a tourist, attached pleading signs to my van in hopes of avoiding tickets and towing, waited some more, lost out on a winter job in Vancouver, still had to drive a 1976 Econoline all the way back to Winnipeg with no guarantees that engine survived, got free drinks, met Crack Dealer Tony, and finally got woken up in the middle of the night by Crack Dealer Tony.

“Lyndsay! Lyndsay! I’m drunk! Let me get you drunk too so I can rape you!”

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Flashback: Lyndsay’s Van Life – Part 2

Lyndsay:

So I did all my research, bought my tickets, had my plan go haywire due to MPI incompetence before even leaving, got to California, picked up my baby, then lost a mirror in San Francisco and realized I was in the “everyone sues” country.
I immediately parked the van in the free spot where I’d spent the last night and sat with it for another night. By the way, watching the fog roll in in San Francisco is AMAZING. I made a call to the guy that was supposed to be getting the paper Title to see if it had arrived. Despite being express, it hadn’t arrived, but he said it would be there the next day. I sat on the side of the beach next to the van with some chicken wings and a beer watching people swim with seals. And threw chicken bones to seagulls.

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Sunday Review: No, you don’t need to repack your wheel bearings every year.

Notice: I had been doing additional reading and research well after writing this, as well as talked to some more people (these posts are usually written beforehand and then scheduled to be released). This is a very “backyard mechanic” method of maintenance. It does work, but with big caveats. If your hub rear seal is going or you pump the grease in too hard (more likely with an electric or pneumatic pump), you can blow out the rear seal and get grease on your brakes. This will ruin your brakes. If at all possible it is always best to do a full inspection on your trailer’s hub and brakes with regularity, which means pulling everything apart (future post). If you have a method of tracking your trailer’s mileage, it still needs to have the bearings repacked on the recommended schedule. It is especially true that a new RV should be checked properly after the first year in case of manufacturing defects (Chinesium axles), and a used RV from a private sale should be checked right away. This is all information only, based on what has worked for me. You could damage your RV if something goes wrong, and this summer I am fully pulling apart my wheel assemblies to check brake pads and replace seals. I used this method due to a difficult situation and may never use it again.

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Flashback: Lyndsay’s Van Life – Part 1

As I’ve said before, Lyndsay lived in a van and trailer for two years before we met. Her experience was very valuable helping us pick out an RV that would meet our needs. I was ready to buy a shell and do a build, but Lyndsay was insistant that we start with something livable and usable as she’d tried to do the build path and it was quite the mess.

Let’s take a trip back down memory lane a bit, to before Lyndsay and I even met. We’re going back to summer of 2013. These are Lyndsay’s words and her story.

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Sunday Review: Financing When Broke

Note: This is for very specific situations. We were stuck and had no other options but to finance from a dealer due to the difficulty of getting used RVs in our area – definitely none for a decent price unless it was too old to be allowed into parks. If you can get a decent RV without financing, that is always the better option.

Yes, you can get financing for an RV even when you are poor and/or broke.

First I’ll give you a quick rundown of what we did. Then I’ll go into some more details on what you can and/or should be doing.

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Getting Ready for the RV: Downsizing

Yup. That part of all of this. The worst part about moving into an RV. It doesn’t matter how you sort it or what kind of sentimental value it has; you will┬ábe selling, giving away, or throwing out most of what you own.

And the worst part? Sorry ladies, but it is mostly the things that you want to keep that will be going. This is one of those things that the Glitz and Glammers get right.

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Round 3: Cold

Let’s fast forward to our winter on Vancouver Island. We were short on funds and couldn’t afford skirting. We had to find creative ways to save on heating bills, do it one step at a time, and still avoid freezing water lines.

Step one was the windows. RV window frames are usually aluminum to save weight. This is, of course, completely useless for insulation. Put your hand on your window frame in summer on a sunny day and you’ll see what I mean. The same works in reverse; heat in your house goes straight out the window (frame). Most RVs also have single pane windows, also nearly useless on insulation.

Yes, this works.

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Sunday Review: Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba is one of those places that you just have to visit in Canada. The park is located on the Manitoba Escarpment and covers nearly 3000 square kilometres. The protected area covers three converging ecosystems; grasslands, upland boreal forest, and eastern deciduous forest.

The park itself is reasonably priced compared to other national parks, but if you are looking to save some money you can stay outside of the park and take day trips. The campground and RV park are very nice and you can also rent yurts and cabins for short term stays. Next to the main campgrounds is a quaint little town with a few small resorts and a public beach. Lyndsay liked the town and its little diners, bakeries and coffee shops. The laundromat is exceptionally expensive, however.

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