Just passing through......

Musings of a lowly pilgrim

RV Living

1. Free parking! Casinos, truck stops and rest areas are great when you don’t need wifi. You can purchase wifi at some casinos and truck stops, although, if you want a good night’s sleep you have to be able to sleep through raucus partiers and trucks stopping and starting. Some large gas stations will allow you to park overnight and you can sometimes get their wifi free of charge. Some hotels, especially near airports, will charge a small fee to park in their lots. Supermarket lots are another option, and you can usually tap into their wifi as well.

2. Free wifi. As stated above, gas stations and supermarkets are an option, but remember that anywhere you get free wifi without a password, it isn’t secure. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s (in Canada) and Chapters (also in Canada) are usually reachable from the parking lot. Public libraries are great during service hours.

2. Don’t wait to clean all those bug guts off your unit! Do it regularity or you will find you need to climb up with a scrubbing brush and do it manually. Trust me on this. It’s not worth the few dollars you save by procrastinating.

3. If you travel like I do, hoping to find free parking with wifi instead of paying to stay in an RV campground, make sure you charge all your electronics before you leave, or have some kind of charging device that doesn’t need to be plugged in. There are solar ones on the market now, and can be found at RV supply stores and truck stops. No good having free wifi if your batteries are dead. I charge my laptop as I drive with a Kensington auto power inverter.

4. I can’t recommend Boondockers Welcome enough! They are a fantastic community of people who are willing to share their parking space, wherever that may be, and maybe even supply you with water, electricity and wifi. I have even been given fresh picked plums by a very nice gentleman outside of Vancouver, B.C. and the offer of an Americano in the morning! Even when I haven’t been able to stay, I find these wonderful people to be very generous and helpful. There is a fee to access host information.

5. Harvest Hosts is another option, also with a fee. You can tap into wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums and the likes where you can stay, but the expectation is that you will patronize the business. Still, if you want to plan out your trip through North America, this is a great way to do it.

6. Not all Walmarts are the same! Some Walmarts will NOT let you stay in their parking lot. It is best to check with the store’s customer service lest you find yourself driving around late at night, after security has asked you to leave, looking for a place to park.

7. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, as I was when I couldn’t find anywhere to park in downtown Vancouver. A few blocks away from the hub there was FREE parking with no restrictions!