Our adventures have quickly taken us to Florida, where we are going to be traveling down to the Everglades. Our plan was to get there before it’s too full of bugs. Once we’ve explored the Everglades, we will slowly make our way up the Florida coast line, then back West and wherever we may want to go.
So, since we’ve been hastily driving our way through the U.S, we haven’t been able to do any of the real camping that we’d like to do. Walmart parking lots have been the most reliable and safest places for us to park and sleep over night. We have now become so comfortable with sleeping in the parking lot, we have even cooked dinner and made coffee a couple times just right there where we’re parked. No one ever says anything or asks us to leave.
Showering or keeping clean is still a task, living so tightly neither of us wants to smell bad. While we know truck stops are an available option, it’s not really an affordable option when living on a tight budget and showers cost $11-15/person. We have been fortunate enough that one RV park let us shower for free and we only paid $5/person for showers at another RV park. We bought a ‘camping shower’ prior to us leaving Idaho, which is really just a bladder with a hose and a nossle but we haven’t found too many secluded areas yet without getting completely lost in unfamiliar land. So, baby wipes and the sink in public restrooms when no one else is around is working for now. It’s only been two weeks, so I’m sure we’ll become pros before too long.
Refrigeration is another issue to tackle. As we’re traveling in areas with warmer climates and humidity, we’re going through ice like crazy! We only had a few things in our cooler like eggs, condiments, cheese, lunch meat for Jeff, coffee creamer, etc. We tried dry ice once thinking it would last longer, but all did was make a mess. A block of ice is what we want but can’t find it anywhere. We asked at one store and they looked at us like we were nuts! So, I gave up my coffee creamer and switched to the powdered creamer (yuk!) and we decided not to buy anything needing refrigeration unless we’re going to cook / eat right away. And no more big tubs of yogurt either! ( We had a little incident with the yogurt breaking open and ruined most of the food in cooler, not fun.)
Sleeping in the van with these hot muggy temps, we didn’t think about how warm the back of the van was going to get. Lately before bed with it being too warm to even think about sleep, we lay in the dark with slider door open and cross our fingers for a little breeze. We have A/C for the front of the van, but that’s not something we can run all night. So, now we’re on the look out for a fan to use in the back.
We’re getting settled into this new lifestyle and slowly evolving into van dwellers, nomads, transients, gypsies or whatever label you may want to put upon us.