Most useful van gear, and more

We’ve been on the road nearly four months. Time to look back at the most and least useful items in the van, camping costs, and more.

How Red Delicious Has Changed



Here are a few more reflections for you, plus…photos!

States Visited So Far: 11

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi (doesn’t really count since we only stopped for lunch)
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee

Campsite & Shelter Costs: $969/month on average

Definitely beats our mortgage, but still much higher than we’d like. It’s an average of ~$31/night, which is high for campsites but low for Airbnbs — both of which are included in the calculation.

We also got motel rooms when the weather was predicted to be in the 20s and when Holly started to go downhill, which messes with the numbers a bit. Every month has gotten cheaper because we learned to:

  • Avoid pricey private campgrounds
  • Find motels without pet fees, like Red Roof Inn
  • Book Airbnbs at a weekly, not nightly, rate

Still haven’t camped in a Walmart parking lot. Maybe we will soon.

Memorable Experiences


South Carolina

Smiling faces, beautiful places


Chris Lake Keowee

Chris looking out over Lake Keowee


Keowee Toxaway sunset

South Carolina sunset


Red Delicious at dusk

Red Delicious at dusk


Adventure Maze

Mirror maze we stumbled into in downtown Greenville, SC


Chris collecting firewood

Gathering firewood after an afternoon at work on our laptops


Falls Park Greenville

Falls Park in downtown Greenville, SC


Tamara swamp rabbit trail

The Swamp Rabbit Trail


Tamara cooking

Me, in a rare moment of cooking


Sulphur Springs Trail

Sulphur Springs Trail in Paris Mountain State Park



  7 comments for “Most useful van gear, and more

  1. 2015-04-16 at 4:17 am

    Love hearing about your adventures in good ol ‘Murica! Have you tried parking on national forest land? It is free but no amenities. 🙂

    • Tamara & Chris
      2015-04-16 at 4:50 pm

      Not yet! There is a LOT of free camping that we’d like to do. Here’s the challenge we’re dealing with: a lot of those places are way off the beaten path which is awesome for camping but NOT awesome for working. We’ve stayed at campsites with minimal cell service and been fine, because we were a short drive away from a town. Perhaps we could just do it on weekends… 🙂

  2. 2015-04-28 at 3:51 pm

    Listen guys, I am loving the photos you are posting. I am also always excited to tell anyone who will listen what you two are up to, and how gutsy it is live that lifestyle and how neat of an opportunity you both have.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Tamara & Chris
      2015-05-11 at 5:22 am

      Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

  3. vintageserenity
    2015-05-26 at 10:04 am

    LOVE following your adventure but have really enjoyed the videos about your set up and gear. We like to van camp from time to time…on vacation. Thought I would share our set up with you…hope you can pick up an idea or two. Here is the link…scroll down to the 10/25/2011 post.

    • Tamara & Chris
      2015-05-29 at 5:13 am

      Thank you so much for sharing! Your van has a great set-up and I love the creative ways you repurposed items. Happy travels!!

  4. 2016-08-10 at 8:41 am

    It’s so cool to see that you’ve been to Greenville, SC. I live not far from there. It makes me feel like my dreams are possible too! (:

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