Gear Questions

The top on our Jeep is a Smittybilt Safari top. And while it looks cool, we can’t recommend it. We do, however, recommend Smittybilt because their customer service is amazing and they took care of us throughout the issues we had with the top.

Our trailer is an Intech Flyer Chase. It’s compact, sturdy, and perfect for our backcountry camping trips. The trailer has done everything we’ve asked it to without complaint. It has everything we need without a huge price tag.

We keep a list here of the gear we use and love. However, you definitely don’t need all the stuff we have to get out and enjoy camping. Our setup has been built upon for the last five years.

Backcountry Camping Questions

A combination of Gaia GPS, Google Earth, and a healthy dose of “I wonder where that road goes?” syndrome.

1. Ironwood Forest National Monument

2. Las Cienegas Conservation Area

3. Proctor Road near Madera Canyon

4. Mount Bigelow in the Santa Catalina Mountains

5. Mount Graham

We provide a friend with the coordinates of our location, carry GMRS radios, have a well-stocked first aid kit, and pay attention to the weather and our surroundings.

RV Living Questions

Our motorhome is a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery. It’s old and not even close to fancy, but we really lucked out. It’s been a comfortable living space with minimal problems.

RV life was originally a means to an end for us. It was an easy way to get ourselves and some of our stuff to Tucson without securing a place to live before we moved here. And while the pandemic unexpectedly threw our plans out of whack, we’ve thrived in a smaller space and learned to love RV living. Travel was never in our plans and that hasn’t changed. We live stationary in the motorhome and take our Jeep and off-road trailer out for short camping trips.

Our motorhome has a propane stove, cooktop, and a convection oven. We also grill outside and use our Instant Pot a lot. Overall, it’s not much different from how we cooked in our house. (Just with less counter space.)

We use the toilet in our motorhome. When we flush, it goes into what’s known as a black tank. When the black tank starts to get full, we dump it into a sewer line. It sounds weird when you’re used to a home toilet, but it hasn’t been a big deal. And if anything ever goes wrong with our motorhome restroom, the RV park we live in has clean facilities.

Just like we did in our house! We use the shower in our motorhome. Many people have told us horror stories of not having enough room, having to take “Navy showers” where you shut the water off while you’re sudsing up, and running out of hot water. That hasn’t been our experience. We’ve never run out of hot water, and showering is not a problem for us.

We enjoy each other’s company. We got along when we lived in a house, and we get along now that we live in an RV. When Levi travels for work, he looks forward to coming home and Nicole misses him while he’s gone.

The honest answer is that it depends. There are a lot of different ways to live the full-time RV life, and it’s all about your location and what works for you. We’re a bit different than a lot of other full-time RVers in that Tucson is our home and apart from small trips here and there, we aren’t on the road a lot.

We rent our spot at an RV park on a long-term basis, and it’s roughly $330 a month on a long-term plan. Water and sewer are included, and the only other thing we pay for is electric at .14 per kilowatt.

For us, it’s been a great way to simplify life, ride out uncertainty, and get out of debt.