Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mobile Living On A Budget.... The Queen Of The Deals

I like to travel and live in a 18' Amerigo Travel Trailer I just bought. It's a 1970 Amerigo with a hard sided fold out bed. My Amerigo cost $600, the tow vehicle is a 1998 Ford e250 with a V8. The tow vehicle cost me $900. It is an extended body van so it offers loads of storage.

Since I am on a limited income, I have to make good choices regarding my expenses.

I have a smartphone I purchased used on eBay. It was $25 for 2 smartphones including shipping. They work fine. I use one and have a second one as a back up.

My cell phone service is from Straight Talk Wireless. $45 a month unlimited calls, text, web.

My internet is with Millenicom.
there is a one time set up fee of $49.99 and a device charge of $99

I bought a gps device used at a flea market for $25. After the initial purchase price, the gps service is no charge. I also found a TomTom frozen behind a Wendy's in NJ. after thawing out, it works just fine. So I have a gps and a backup gps device.

I found a non working canon camera at flea market. I also bought a few other non working electronics. The Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS was easily fixed by adding a battery from another non working Canon camera. My cost for my digital camera was $10.

To be compliant with many states laws, I have a Motorola BlueTooth handsfree device so I can call for directions or any other reason. 

Another device I consider essential is an Eton Fr360 Solarlink radio. It is radio that includes weather, am, fm, and has a led flashlight, usb charger. It is charged by either turning a crank or solar.

I also purchased a 12 volt compressor to inflate tires. It was $10 at Family Dollar. I've had a flat tire at a dispersed campground once before. A friend had the 12 volt compressor that allowed me to inflate the tire so I could get to a local tire shop and purchase a tire.

A camping stove or a propane grill is a very useful item. Not only do I cook on a propane grill, but I can also put two bricks on it to retain heat and curl up next to it in a camp chair.Alcohol stoves and rocket stoves are also handy items and there are many designs on youtube to show you how to make them. Alcohol stoves and rocket stoves should be used outside.

A "luxury" item is a solar shower that I purchased for $12. Solar Showers are similar to the old hot water bottle. You fill it with water and lay it in the sun. When it is warm, you put it up above your head, and it has a clamp to release or stop the water. I suggest wetting down with it, using your soap and shampoo, and then releasing the clamp again so you can rinse. A  shower is both a way to get clean and it does feel like a luxury. Yes, you can get clean with wet wipes or a washcloth and water or rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. But, the shower is a good thing.

Heavy duty tarps, lots of bungee cords, and several lengths of clothesline (cotton) make up part of my gear.

While this is not a complete or comprehensive list, the items on this blog will be generally useful to most.

You do not have to be rich to enjoy RVs or camping. You also do not have to do without some conveniences. 

The change in my lifestyle seems to make my MS less bothersome. The lower stress, slower paced life is good for me.