Finally, Unrestricted Internet Access For RVers

Finally, Unrestricted Internet Access For RVers
Living and working on the road has tons of benefits. Unrestricted internet access for RVers usually isn’t one of them. Getting online to work and play on the web has always been challenging and expensive for RVers like myself, until now. A new cellular broadband plan with unlimited, unthrottled data for $99 a month is making getting online easier for full-time and part-time RVers, even when camping in remote locations.
The Internet keeps our wheels turning
When my husband and I hit the road in 2007, cellular broadband coverage was poor outside of major cities. Knowing that we wanted to work and go RVing, we purchased a roof-top mounted, automatically deploying mobile satellite Internet system to get us online. The hardware and data plans weren’t cheap, but it was the only way we could reliably connect to the web and work from the remote, off-grid locations we love.
Since then, cellular broadband coverage has improved in rural areas and we rely on our dish less than before. But as working wanderers know, Internet connectivity for nomads still has issues. For example, if you camp in a rural location near crowds or on busy holiday weekends, local cellular towers quickly become overloaded and connections are painfully slow. When you do get online, your so-called “unlimited� data usage is automatically throttled down once you’ve exceeded your plan’s monthly limit.
Many full-time RVers use multiple cellular broadband providers for redundant Internet connectivity. It’s expensive, and a hassle to roll over from plan to plan. This is why my husband and I still rely on our second satellite Internet system, the RV Datasat 840, as a backup method.
Since we often camp outside of broadband coverage to get away from crowds, our system comes in handy. The dish has even been deployed in big

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The Pie-O-Neer Pandemic Fallout, a Pie Town, New Mexico Landmark

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Her Solo Alaska Road Trip Wasn’t So Crazy After All

She checked the Arctic Circle off her bucket list. All images by Hotflashpacker.com
Her Solo Alaska Road Trip Wasn’t So Crazy After All
A solo Alaska road trip sounds like a crazy idea to many women, but not Lisa Marquardt. The intrepid van dwelling nomad is passionate about traveling to far-flung places on the globe.
Thoroughly skilled in the art of solo travel, neither bears, wildfires, or bumpy roads could discourage her from taking the trip of a lifetime. After 96 countries, a little road trip to the Arctic Circle was as easy as van life camping gets for this 48-year old insurance executive.
An Alaska highway van camping adventure
For the first time in decades, Alaska Highway traffic has all but disappeared thanks to the pandemic. With the Canadian border closed to recreation travelers, Lisa Marquardt is glad she hit the road when she did. In 2019, she took eight weeks off from work to fulfill her dream to van camp on the Alaska Highway.
With little more than a Halo charger for her electronics, a copy of The Milepost directory, and word-of-mouth recommendations, the ardent traveler departed from Seattle. In total, she drove 10,761 miles for her unforgettable North Country excursion. Along the way, her Ford Transit minivan ferried her to classic Alaskan destinations like the Salmon Glacier in Hyder, Alaska, and the scenic, affordable Alaska town of Valdez.
She drove over ten thousand miles and spent less than two thousand on gas!
Many Alaska Highway RVers and road trippers obsessively plan every detail of their adventure, but Lisa did the opposite.
“I literally just went where I wanted to go,� she explained. “I had a couple of bookings the first three days of the trip and then nothing after that.�
After deciding on a few bucket list Alaska destinations like the Arctic Circle and Denali National Park,

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Why We Are NOT RVing During COVID19

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Camping Dogs Can Make Great National Park Ambassadors

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The Biggest Full-time RVing Trade-Off

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Caretaking Jobs for RVers Are on the Rise

Caretaking jobs for RVers are nothing new, these positions have been around for decades. But thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are in hot pursuit of caretaking as a seasonal job opportunity.
Jobs for RVers Are Still Out There
As full-time RVers my husband and I have held down a variety of seasonal jobs to make money on the road. We’ve done organic farm workamping to animal rescue volunteering, ranch work to office work. Over 14 years we have explored different ways to earn a few bucks and save money on rent. One of our favorite arrangements was property caretaking in Southern Arizona. The absentee owners needed someone to look after the property during winter and do minor maintenance. In exchange we got free rent, relatively warm weather and desert solitude.
Our winter caretaking campsite in Southern Arizona. Image: LiveWorkDream.com
We haven’t looked into a sweet caretaking job like that since. But then the Coronavirus hit. We needed a shelter-in-place destination, so caretaking was high on our list of potential options. But then a friend generously offered us full-hookups on their property, so we jumped at the chance to park on their land. I haven’t stopped thinking about caretaking since.
Curious about how jobs for RVers are affected by the pandemic, I reached out to Gary Dunn, owner of Caretaker Gazette. Dunn owns the 38-year old publication that matches property owners to house sitters. Aparently, I’m not the only person that thinks caretaking is a good idea.
“We started noticing an up-tick in our business in mid-March when cities started locking down and homeowners were leaving populated areas to relocate to their vacation or 2nd homes,� said Dunn. In an email interview, he explained how demand for his service is exploding in the aftermath of COVID-19. “We also heard from property owners who

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POC Outdoor Clubs and Groups Bring Diversity to the Outdoors

Diversity hasn’t exactly been a strong point of outdoorsy destinations, businesses and events. But people of color (POC) outdoor clubs and groups are working hard to make sure that changes. Even in a COVID-19 world, these organizations are out there encouraging underrepresented Americans to get into nature.
POC Outdoor Clubs and Groups Build Connections to the Outdoors
Outdoor Afro builds diversity in national club events. Image: OutdoorAfro.com
According to the National Park Service, only 10 percent of Latinos and 7 percent of Black Americans experience America’s outdoor treasures. The U.S. Forest Service reports similar visitation statistics:
Blacks or African Americans, who make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 1 percent of national forest visits in 2010. Hispanics or Latinos, who make up about 17 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for less than 7 percent.” — Recreating in color: Promoting ethnic diversity in public lands
Outdoor groups for people of color are important. They build links to nature for people who don’t grow up camping, hiking and playing outside. This provides an important stepping stone into the mental and physical benefits of outdoor recreation. And the more people who appreciate beautiful, wild, places, the more those special places will be valued and protected.
As a Latinx Southern Californian, RV camping was a big part of my family’s life. We didn’t see many people of color pitching tents back then, but camping just made sense. It was the most affordable way my parents could take my four sisters and I on vacation. My mom and dad shared a love of the outdoors that they passed on to us. As a result, we grew up appreciating remote, beautiful places. Unfortunately, not all people of color have parents like mine. Not enough are introduced to the outdoors when they’re young, or even as adults.

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The Right to Live, Work and Dream in America

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Please Don’t Start a Wildfire in Beautiful Places

If you don’t know the proper way to start a wildfire, it’s about time you learned. After all, statistics show that humans are pretty good at burning down forests. Lightening causes less than ten percent of North American wildfires. The rest usually happen because of careless human behavior that looks like this:
Climate Conditions Make It Easy to Start a Wildfire
Most wildfires are caused by careless human behavior. Image: CALFIRE.gov
“Climate change has been a key factor in increasing the risk and extent of wildfires in the Western United States,” according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Changes in the Earth’s weather patterns create warmer, drier conditions. Today, snow melts faster, vegetation dries into tinder earlier and insects turn trees into matchsticks. It all adds up to dangerous forest fire conditions, especially in beautiful, wild places.
Although 2019 wildfires weren’t nearly as bad as those in 2018 and 2017, this year scientists predict particularly worrisome forest fire conditions. In 2020, above normal wildfire risk is expected in most of Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Northern California. “Already in 2020, Nevada has experienced 98 wildfires; 96 of which were caused by human activities that could have been prevented,” says the Bureau of Land Management.
If you’re camping in any of the at-risk states this season, it’s easy to boost the wildfire risk by doing the following:
Step 1: Go RVing without a Tire Pressure Monitoring System
TireMinder TPMS prevents RV blowouts
On a windy afternoon in July 2018, an unsuspecting RVer drove down Highway 299 in Redding, California with a blown-out trailer tire. The wheel rim scraped along the asphalt, throwing sparks that ignited the bone dry roadside vegetation. Had the poor soul owned a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), he would have been alerted to the sudden loss of tire pressure. A TPMS might have saved

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