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In 2007, but mostly 2008, the wizards of Wall Street created sub-prime mortgage market crash that grew into a full on banking meltdown that spread internationally. There's a lot of documentaries, some on YouTube, of what happened, including the bankers flying their private jets to get money from the government for the bailout. Meanwhile, many American's lost everything, some right away and others over time. This really started a movement that was coming anyway for the baby boomers, and that is down sizing their large homes to smaller ones. As people lost their homes and found themselves broke or nearly broke, their homes gone, their jobs gone, their 401k's erroded (for those that were lucky enough to have 401ks), they were seeking alternatives. The most common was to move in with relatives or into smaller homes, cheaper neighborhoods or even mobile homes. This desperation actually started a movement that has been growing ever since, even with those who aren't in financial crisis. The most prevalent of these is the nomadic RV (home on wheels) movement and the tiny house movement. Below I focus on these two specifically because they have grown from a movement into a defined way of living that in some cases is almost a science. Many of these people became YouTuber's to share their story, but in the end they also made some additional income that allowed them to do something they may not have expected - retire and, for many, retire early and live a great, free, awesome life that they thought they would never be able to achieve.

Granted, many people can't or won't live this way. The only way they would is if their only other choice was to be homeless. However, after most (overwhelmingly most) people get into the nomadic or tiny house life, they love it. They live on less money, many work only half a year or not at all, they are able to travel, they develop closer relationships than they had in their "sticks and bricks" house, they feel less stress and worry and they are happier. Some are forced into minimalism (another growing movement), some choose it as a different life style, but the vast majority are happier having shed the things that held them down. And younger people, those who can't find a full time job or fulfilling career, those who can't afford their first home, are opting to begin their life living simple and cheap. Below are selected YouTube videos of different individuals, different types of people, showing how they live and thrive. Many of the links on the Oblivion home page are the channels of these people (Oblivion is the parent site for this page). Below are selected videos to give you a good overview without spending too much time watching everything. Many people won't continue on to watch the videos because they have already decided that the tiny house or RV/mobile living is not for them; that actually may be true, but I hope you keep an open mind and give the content below a chance. Even if you aren't interested in living this way, there's a lot of content on all types of RV's and travel trailers if you're looking to rent or buy just for the purpose of a short term vacation. The best perspective you can get on how good a RV or trailer is will be from someone who lives in them 24/7. Look at and listen to the people who are doing it, why they are doing it and what they did before and why they love what they are doing now. Even if it's not for you, the videos are interesting and fun. I hope you find this useful and that it gives you ideas and options you may not have considered before.

One more thing before diving into tiny and/or mobile living. As of this time it's July 20, 2018 and Tinyhouse Prepper (described below) just put out a YouTube video that explains all of this very well in a single video, so I'm going to link it here. That video is What if the crash of '08 had never happened? They go into how they ended up living small and how that had the 2008 financial crash never happened, they would still have endured issues with the plan they had in place for their lives and ultimate retirement.

 Tiny House Living
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Live Simple, Live Free - Tinyhouse Prepper  One of our favorite YouTube Channels is Tinyhouse Prepper, which recently changed names to Live Simple, Live Free - Tinyhouse Prepper because they sold their small travel trailer and bought a very small house in the winter of 2020. Even though they still live in a "small" house, it's not that tiny any longer. This couple culminates everything Oblivion website represents - prepping, tiny house living, RV living (because they do all of that). This couple tell's their story of how their lives fell apart in 2008 crash and how now, living small, they are so happy and enjoying life. The husband was able to "retire" in January 2018 and they bought a small hybrid camping trailer so they can travel (technically not retired, he and his wife make money from their YouTube channel and videos and their Thrive Life home business). Therefore, the video that explains the most I will link here, Our Story. They are pictured above in the middle right most photo standing in front of their 35' travel trailer. Something else that they showcase is how you can make money by following your passion - they both make YouTube videos with thousands of subscribers and have a Thrive Life freeze dried food business being consultants. This is what allowed the husband to retire from his truck driving career early and still earn income doing what he loves to do. Their YouTube channel simply started out sharing videos of their travel trailer renovation with friends and family and it caught on with people needing to do something similar, and their Thrive Life business came about because they are preppers and you store what you eat and they eat Thrive Life as part of their normal diet. I did want to mention that they had one video that went somewhat viral (as of this time 1.3M views) and it pulled in many subscribers, including myself. That video is -10 degrees (F) in our RV Tiny House.   Tinyhouse Prepper Channel.
  • Live Simple, Live Free (Financial philosophy): Video   Tinyhouse Prepper couple went from having 4 houses to living in a travel trailer and recently moved to a small house in Virginia. In their words, "Live Simple Live Free is the basic philosophy that we use for all of our financial dealings. It allows us to remain totally debt free and have the savings (cash) that we need to do the things that we must, or that we want to, without using credit. It makes us free from stress and from the bondage of debt. "
Tinyhouse House Giant Journey  This is one of the very best channels featuring tiny house living. Jenna (pictured above, middle left) does an awesome job of interviewing individuals living in tiny houses and touring their homes as well as ideas for different features of a tiny house and a few videos on the costs and savings. In her own words, "I live minimally, in a self-built Tiny House, so that I can travel the world! I make videos that promote alternative lifestyles on this channel." The best video to showcase this channel is the Channel Promo. I also wanted to include her video on the cost of tiny house living that she describes very well in Tiny House Cost: Total Price & List of Most Expensive Items.   Tiny House Giant Journey Channel.
Fy Nyth  Fy Nyth is Welsh for "my nest". Ariel is a single woman in her late 20's living in the western mountains of Wyoming. This young woman is one of the most amazing women I've ever seen as she is totally independent and has learned how to live off grid in a tiny house on her own. She is also very talented as she shoots the most amazing videos and takes wonderful photos that she shares on her blog. I've selected the video where, after 3 years living in a tiny house, she was able to quit her job, How My Tiny House let me Quit My Job. I also wanted to include her blog as it has an abundance of information and those beautiful photos, plus she shares her bio of how a person so young can live life debt free and own her own house.
Fy Nyth Blog..   Fy Nyth Channel.
Starry Hilder (Homesteading)  One of the first channels we ever went to for living in a small house, and off grid, was this channel, and it also is one of our favorites. Starry Hilder is one of the most entertaining and happy individuals out there and her (nor former) husband is a "mountain man". They had lived in Wisconsin, sold everything and moved to Idaho to live off grid and debt free. She's a nurse and her ex-husband is a taxidermist. Although they had lived a debt free and for awhile a less stress life, it doesn't mean life won't hand you a challenge. Around 2016 she had a mountain biking accident and had to have surgeries and a long recovery, but her subscribers and friends pulled together and helped her through it. In April 2018 she unfortunately announced on her channel that she and her husband have gotten a divorce and she had to say bye to the homestead. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and she struggles through this latest life event, but it does showcase that even if you prepare for the worst in terms of the country, economy, inflation or whatever, things happen in your personal life or family that give yet another thing to overcome. She pulled off some videos from her channel, at her ex-husband's request, that have him shown in the video. She does have great videos that she did herself; most of the time it was just her, so still worth watching. She was diagnosed with cancer several years back, and in May 2019 she changed her journey from a homestead to an RV, but has different living situations as the years go on. Her channel has moved from off grid living to more of a Christian spiritual channel. The best video to showcase this channel (at least to what it started out as to live off grid) is Living Off Grid, Living Free Everyday!.   Starry Hilder Channel.
Fouch Family Off Grid  A wonderful channel we came across was Fouch Family Off Grid. They haven't posted a video in several years, but the content is still good and they haven't taken it down yet. In their own words, "Off grid since 2014, our family of five used to live in a 314 square foot yurt in the Boise foothills. But we're building our off grid timber frame dream home. 'Fouch-o-matic' is the nickname of carpenter and cabinet maker Nick Fouch (rhymes with couch). Videos are mostly made by Mrs. Fouch-o-matic, Esther Emery, who wrote the memoir 'What Falls From the Sky.' Part of Amazon's summary of her book they state, "What Falls from the Sky is Esther's fiercely honest, piercingly poetic account of a year without Internet - 365 days away from the good, the bad, and the ugly of our digital lives - in one woman's desperate attempt at a reset." In the TEDx talk she gives (link below), the last sentence of her talk she states, "Someone asked me the other day why we put ourselves through this [living off the grid, no Internet]...all I could say was I choose this, I choose quiet and I choose small because it's real and I choose real." Esther's mother, Carla Emery, wrote the homesteading and self sufficiency classic, 'The Encyclopedia of Country Living.'" It was difficult to select a single video to represent their channel - they have a lot of great content and videos documenting the building of their house like episodes and seasons of a TV show, about 50 in all and still growing as they finish adding things to their small house. Esther Emery, the mother who does most of the videos of the channel, was invited to give a TEDx talk, so thats the video here, I'm off-grid and I'm not crazy | Esther Emery | TEDxBoise.   Fouch Family Off Grid Channel.
Note: If you are considering a tiny house, there are considerations that vary from location to location and tiny house type, and these are building codes, financing, insurance and zoning (where to put the tiny house legally). There are many videos out there about living tiny legally, but there is one that stands out, Living Tiny Legally, and Tiny House Prepper has several videos which should be helpful: Legal vs Illegal Tiny Houses, Tiny House Insurance and Options for Tiny House Living. Fy Nyth also has a good video on Tiny House Loan where she bought a Tumbleweed tiny house. I also want to mention briefly Park Model Homes, which are essentially smaller versions of mobile homes. So I have two videos that briefly introduce park model or modular/prefab homes, Tiny Homes - Park Model Homes $50,000 or $439 per month but then it's not just the cost of the home, it's all the added fees which this video describes, Modular and Prefab Home Price Per Square Foot. One other alternative some do is buying a shed and fixing it up as a Tinyhouse. One video in particular is very insightful about a man and his daughter who did this entitled Shed Converted to Tiny House - Jim's Journey To Bliss..

 RV/Mobile Living
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Cheap RV Living  Probably my favorite channel is Bob Well's Cheap RV Living. He has a personality and style that is very captivating and after less than 1 year having his own channel, he reached 100,000 subscribers by the end of 2017, January 2018 had 121,000 and as of mid-2022 has almost 600,000. Bob is an older man who has been a nomad for about 15 years, with the last several years living in a van (his home of choice) until 2022 when he bought an ambulance and built it out (ambulance tour). His videos focus a lot on interviewing and getting tours of other nomads (nomads being people who have chosen to live in a car, van, RVs of all types, campers, trailers, 5th wheels and more) and the videos are done extremely well. Bob also started the RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) held in Quartzsite, AZ every year in January where nomads from all over the world (many fly in and rent an RV) get together for about 10 days to meet, greet, have seminars, get jobs, share knowledge and much more. It started out with a few individuals and in January 2018 they had roughly 3,500 nomads show up. Videos of the RTR are included on his site. Bob has videos on topics such as: jobs for nomads, solar power, internet on the road, which state of residence to choose, which state for driver's license, how to get mail on the road, several van builds, where to live rent free and much more. There are so many videos that it is difficult to select which would be representative, so for the main introduction there was a documentary heavily featuring Bob on how to live like this called Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living. It goes into different individuals who have chosen to live a mobile life and showcases many different types of people and mobile options. I'm also going to put a few videos below of interviews and tours from different demographics that should be helpful.   Cheap RV Living Channel  Channel Promo.  Website.

  • new  82 Year Old Nomad Gets Inspired in a BelAir Truck Shell: Interview & Tour "After his wife's death Gene found he had a mountain of debt and was also losing his home. He slowly bought everything he needed one item at a time as he planned for his life on the road. Gene's shows us that you can do this too! You can get on the road at any age while facing any circumstances."
  • new  Incredible Use of Space in a Tiny Transit Connect - AMAZING Van Build!: Interview & Tour Added this recently as it is one of the best van builds I've seen. "Milo [has] desinged an incredible build of his Transit Connect! Dottie, ( Milo's van), is a 2013 XLT Ford Transit Connect with a tall roof. He has has made a beautiful COZY, tiny cabin on wheels! This van has 2 sliding doors which has allowed him to create the most incredible small garage I have ever seen! Milo works in IT and has lived in it periodically as a stealth parking vehicle in the city, but is now getting ready to go back to full time van living!"
  • Solo Female Living 3 Years in a Ram Promaster: Interview   Tour "'Radar' is an adventurous woman who has been living in a Dodge Ram Promaster for the last 3 years that she converted herself." This is a great story of a very happy woman who did it herself and shows you can too. "You are going to be inspired and get a lot of great ideas from this Tour!"
  • Young Speech Therapist Living in a 5th Wheel: Interview   Tour "There are many amazing opportunities to travel in the medical field. Most of them do require specialized college degrees, but surprisingly, some do not. You can get in with as little as a 2-Year AA degree." This young 20's woman lives in a 5th wheel she owns outright while working and saving the bulk of her money.
  • Young Speech Therapist Living in a 5th Wheel: Interview   Tour "There are many amazing opportunities to travel in the medical field. Most of them do require specialized college degrees, but surprisingly, some do not. You can get in with as little as a 2-Year AA degree." This young 20's woman lives in a 5th wheel she owns outright while working and saving the bulk of her money.
  • Solo Woman Joyfully living in a Class C: Interview & Tour   This is my favorite RV of any that I've seen - the size, layout, everything. Bob says about this video, "We need to throw out all our old ideas about how little women can do--they have no limits! Meet Barbara who is proof positive that age and gender don't have to keep you from living wild and free in an RV."
  • Kathy Living in a $2500 Used Trailer: Interview & Tour   Bob says about this video, "You can live in an RV for much less money than you think! Here we meet Kathy who bought a small travel trailer for $2500! She moved into it and now boondocks so she pays nothing at all for for rent or housing. She supports herself by being a bookkeeper/accountant on the road. Wouldn't you love to live that cheaply and with that much freedom!? You can!"
  • Young Woman Living in a Transit Connect and Loving It: Interview & Tour   This is a very young woman, not too far out of high school, who chose to live minimal, cheaply and travel. Bob says about this video, "Jen, a young woman vandwellern who refuses to obey her corporate masters and live a life of slavery, but instead chooses to live as freely as possible in this terribly unfree world! She does it by living very simply and minimally in Ford Transit Connect!"
  • Family of 5 Living in a 26' Lance Travel Trailer: Interview   Tour This is an entire family of 5 living in a travel trailer. Bob says about this video, "Jason and Mandy live in a 26 foot Lance Travel Trailer with their 3 young sons. They had enough of the rat race and knew there was a better way to live for them and for their children. They boldly took a leap of faith and went full-time in their RV--and they are so glad they did! They are all happier than they have ever been!"
  • Disabled Full-Time RVer: Interview   Tour Bob says about this video, "Jim was forced out of his 'normal' life when he was struck down by a disability that is slowly paralyzing him. Rather than sit at home waiting to become fully paralyzed, he sold everything he no longer needed and moved into a very nice Ameri-Lite Travel Trailer and hit the road to live the life of his dreams as a full-time RVer and Boondocker. It's never too late to live the life of your dreams!" Bob also has a few videos of Jim talking about how he gets Internet on the road as he has become the goto expert for nomads.
  • Be Safe - Secret Prepper, Food in a Van: Video   Bob gets a little bit political here in regard to him being a nomad and prepping. He says, "With 'Once every 500 year' natural disasters becoming routine, should you have a month or more of extra food onboard your car, van or RV? In todays video I walk you through how I once carried 2 months of food on board my van, and another 4 months in my cargo trailer. It wasn’t as hard or as expensive as you may think! I used Mountain House freeze dried foods as well as other freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. I emphasized foods with high carbs, general nutrition and minimum cooking times. For example, powdered eggs and milk and pancake mix. But you don’t have to take it as far as I did, just adding one of the 30 days supply of food in a bucket will give you peace of mind and security knowing you are prepared to survive a short term disaster."
  • Retired Pharmacist Living in a T@B Trailer, Towing With a Jeep: Interview & Tour   A T@B trailer is a smaller trailer that can be towed with almost any vehicle. It's 12' long and 5' 9" tall at the highest inside, but this small trailer has a wet bath (shower, toilet, sink), a refrigerator, sink, a/c, heater, microwave, CD/DVD/Radio with flat screen TV, fantastic fan and more. Bob says about this video, "Sharon is a retired Pharmacist and wanted to make her 'golden years' truly shine so she became a Nomad. She lives in her T@B trailer and tows it with a 4-Door Jeep, traveling and seeing our beautiful country! She loves her life and I can understand why it's great! No matter how cheap your budget, you can learn something from this video about vandwelling and how to turn your car, van, caravan or RV into a surprisingly cheap and mobile, tiny house on wheels! Then you can live the life of your dreams by adopting a minimalist, simple and frugal life of travel and adventure as a gypsy, nomad, traveler or even a prepper by dropping out of the Rat Race and becoming a full-time Vandweller or RVer."
  • Justin and Kirsten's Skoolie (with 5 Kids): Interview   Tour   This is a more recent video (Oct. 10, 2018) that showcases a family of 7 living in a school bus. Many people say they can't do it because they have many kids, but other people show that it can be done. "Justin and Kirsten who are living full-time in a school bus (skoolie) with their 5 kids! In this interview, we learn all about why they ended up living in a school bus, how they support themselves, where their kids go to school (they're home-schooled) and what they all think about their lives as free-range humans. Even with 5 kids they have plenty of room and Justin did an incredible job of building their wonderful Tiny Home on Wheels"
  • Finding Hope in a Tiny Trailer: Intro   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   This is a new video in a new series on finding hope in a tiny trailer that Bob posted April 2018. It highlights the affordability for those who have very little to start a nomadic life and different methods and ideas that perhaps you may not have considered. Bob says about this series, "This is the beginning of a series of videos about people who either want or need the smallest, lightest and cheapest trailer they can possibly find to begin their new nomadic life. Many are forced into it by economics, job situations, health or even a family crisis. Others choose it as the ultimate simple life of freedom and travel. Whatever your reason, in this series we'll look at several manufacturers of tiny and ultra-light trailers that you can probably tow with your car. It's my greatest desire that this series will offer you hope, inspiration and information to live your best possible quality of life no matter your circumstances. No matter how cheap your budget, you can learn something from this video about vandwelling and how to turn your car, van, caravan or RV into a surprisingly cheap and mobile, tiny house on wheels! You'll learn everything you need to know to live in a car, van or RV. Then you can live the life of your dreams by adopting a minimalist, simple and frugal life of travel and adventure as a gypsy, nomad, traveler, vagabond, tramp, hobo or even a prepper by dropping out of the Rat Race and becoming a full-time Vandweller or RVer."
  • Jobs for Nomads: Playlist of Different Jobs   This is an awesome series of videos for anyone considering becoming a nomad or living a mobile lifestyle. The first video is the best as Bob describes how life as a nomad, someone who chooses to live in an RV or some other option, is a wonderful option and he clearly describes how many people are struggling living the so called "normal" life. I've included this playlist because it is so insightful and shows how jobs are available for nomads; typically seasonal jobs. These employers often attend Bob's RTR in January and hire for the year by setting up a booth and signing people up. Many people work only 1/2 a year and the rest of the time is their own. In Bob's own words, "Can you afford to become a nomad and live full-time or part-time in a car, van or RV? Yes, you can!! In this series of videos, we show you how you can earn the money to live as wild and free as possible in such an unfree world. Today, we want to find the balance of living happily in the moment, but also planning for your financial future--you can do it!" The playlist link above did not capture all the job videos, so I am linking each below.
          • Jobs for Nomads, Part 1: Intro: Live for the present, not future
          • Jobs for Nomads, Part 2: Campground Hosting in National Forests
          • Jobs for Nomads, Part 3: Working the Beet Harvest
          • Jobs for Nomads, Part 4: Working at Amazon for the Holidays
          • Jobs for Nomads, Part 5: Traveling Poker Dealer
          • Jobs for Nomads, Trucker Part 1: Interview with a nomad trucker
          • Jobs for Nomads, Trucker Part 2: Tour of a nomad living in a conversion sleeper
          • RTR Seminars: Nomad Jobs: Work Camping Seminar 2018
          • RTR - Getting a Job: Getting a job at the Big Tent at Quartzite, AZ
          • Work Camping Jobs: More on Campground Host and the Beet Harvest
          • RV Delivery Jobs, Part 1: Delivering RVs around the country
          • RV Delivery Jobs, Part 2: Update on changes in RV delivery
          • Working as an Expediter: Haul small, time sensitive loads
  • Going to the dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico: Caravan Carolyn Part 1   Part 2   Campervan Kevin   Bob Wells had the best video on going to Algodones for dental, vision and perscription medication, but it has since been removed. I found one from Caravan Carolyn and another from Campervan Kevin (linked here) to put in it's place. I saw a news report once entitled "The Southwest's Best Kept Secret" and it showcased snowbirds (those retiree's who live back East and migrate to Arizona for the winter months) going to Algodones, Mexico to get some of their medical and dental needs taken care of since it is so close to Yuma, Arizona. I couldn't find the initial news report I saw, but NBC Nightly News had a report, America’s Dental Crisis: Thousands Cross Into One Mexican City For Treatment . The first time you tell someone about "dental in Mexico" they cringe away at the thought. Even though Bob's video is gone (maybe it will come back), he said about the video, "If you are on a tight budget, you should give serious thought to going to Algodones, Mexico for Dental, Glasses, and Medications. It's extremely easy, safe and most importantly, very inexpensive to walk across the border and get high-quality dental, glasses and prescription medications. You MUST have a PASSPORT to cross the border but you do NOT need a prescription for medications." I did find the information and the table of his medication costs he showed in the video on his website at Annual Quick Trip to Algodones, Mexico from February 2016.
    CAUTION: Just beware of dentists in Mexico, referring to the reaction above about individual's cringing at the thought. A friend of mine's mother went to Mexico to get two teeth fixed and when she was under they put dental veneers on all of her teeth and she has had problems ever since and will have dentures because of what they did. And there is no recourse like there is in the United States. So just like in the US, buyer beware. When I was in college we had an inexpensive dentist and the work he did on my teeth was inadequate. Once I started working and making money and had insurance, we went to a reputable dentist and he had to spend over a year fixing what the other dentist had done. I should have known something was odd when my inexpensive dentist told me one day he wanted to be a welder.
    Los Algodones, Mexico Dentist - Free Shuttle from Phoenix for Dental Work This video highlights a service that Dayo Dental provides where you can take a free shuttle from Pheonix, Arizona to Los Algodones. Follow three people take the trip on the shuttle to Mexico to get their dental work done, including the dental procedures themselves and interviews. This video is provided by the Dayo Dental YouTube channel; they have other related videos there as well. I cannot endorse this channel or business because I'm not familiar with the them other than the content on their site, but it does provide a perspective. However, be prepared, so ABC15 Arizona did a news report in 2017 on What you need to know before you go to Mexico for dental care. Also YouTuber's Gone with the Wynns, whom I've mentioned here already, did a video review Mexico for Medical - What you need to know
A Guy, A Girl, and A Campervan  This channel changed and is now called Back To Reality because the guy and the girl (a married couple) ended up paying off their debt and buying a cabin in Canada and the channel title didn't fit, so their new videos are more on cabin life and homesteading. However, they have a playlist of 63 videos from when they spent 2 years living a nomadic life in a campervan. I will put a link to the playlist, but there's another YouTube Channel called Exploring Alternatives that featured them in an wonderful interview, Van Life - Couple Survives 2 Canadian Winters Living in a Van!.
Back to Reality Channel.   Campervan Playlist.
Exploring Alternatives  This is a nicely done channel that explores all kinds of alternative living styles, from tents to vans to RVs and tiny houses. They focus on mini-documentaries and inspiring stories and the format they have used works very well and is professionally executed. Their playlists break out their content by tiny houses, vans, RVs, etc. Since the current topic is RV living, they have several videos on RV life, but one seemed to really stand out, which was   Couple Living in an RV in Winter & Living in a Van in Summer.   Exploring Alternatives Channel.
Carolyn's RV Life  Carolyn purchased a very large Class C RV used that ended up requiring tons of repairs until recently when she researched and purchased a smaller Class C that she really loves. She and Bob Well's of Cheap RV Living are good friends and often are featured in one another's videos. In her own words, "I'm a single (solo) woman traveling, living and working in an RV with my dog Capone. My videos are as much about my life and my 'path to personhood' as about RV Living and adventures with Capone than trying to formally teach or instruct. My goal is to inspire, to demonstrate how anyone who has the desire and the wherewithal can make this - or any dream - come true. I will be 100% unapologetically Carolyn. My opinions may not be popular, I may drop an F-Bomb here and there and I may royally screw up and make an ass of myself. But, that is all part of the adventure!" Probably the best video to showcase her channel is the first one,   Why I Live in an RV: A Single Woman's Story of Full Time RV Living.   Carolyn's RV Life Channel.
Caravan Carolyn  Carolyn (different Carolyn from above) has a really wonderful channel. As of this time she is up to 51K subscribers and just a joy to watch. I started watching her channel early on; I was introduced to her channel from a interview/tour Bob Well's of Cheap RV Living did when she purchased her van. What's really nice about her channel is that she posts often and she is actually part of a caravan of friends, most of whom (if not all) are fellow YouTubers. Her videos are fun to watch because she just talks to you as she drives, as things happen, when she meets up with her friends - it's just a relaxing, enjoyable time to watch. In her words, "Retired cop, animal lover, full time van dweller. Medical retirement after 20 years due to Multiple Sclerosis, could not afford to travel so sold my house and moved into a cargo van, which I 'built' out. A very simple build that anyone can do. Loving life with no stress or anxiety." She did end up having stress and anxiety from stalkers and haters who trolled her YouTube channel, which is one reason she got a permanent spot to park. She ended up buying a 5th wheel in the summer of 2019 and parking it in a RV park in the Phoenix area, but still makes really nice videos. Even though she lives in a 5th wheel now, two of her videos are a great showcase for her channel because she talks about why she selected to live in a van -  Ten Reasons to Live in a Van and Van Living - What I Would Do Differently.   Caravan Carolyn Channel.
Canadian RV Life  This is a channel I recently came across that has wonderful interviews with people who have decided to leave their traditional homes to opt for RV Life (Canadian Style). The format and interviews are really awesome and the people share their life and story with the aspect of living in Canada and dealing with the cold temperatures while at the same time being nestled in the beautiful Canadian wilderness, landscapes and vistas. The majority of interviews on this channel are people who have retired (or retired early) to give up their high maintenance homes for live in an RV, and often very large and luxurious RVs. The interviews are also laced with tours and peeks of different parts of the individual's RVs. There's not many videos on this channel, but the one's that are there are beautifully done with pleasant background music.   Canadian RV Life Channel  Channel Intro.
  • Canadian Couple say the Right Attitude is needed for RV Life: Interview   "Hear this Canadian Couple talk about their full time RV life in a Montana 5th Wheel and how attitude is 80% of life. This couple has been RVing for the last 10 years. They started in a tent trailer when they were RVing with their kids, and now they live in an awesome 5th wheel and do the majority as boondockers. Like many on this channel they love the RVs with the slideouts which really expands the living space. They bought a piece of land and put a storage unit on it while they are away on travel, so they didn't have to downsize everything.
  • Canadian Couple Living Their Dreams Now - Why Wait?: Interview   "Meet Mike and Louise as they share their advice to live your dreams now, because you don't know when your expiry date is going to come!" They had a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house that required tremendous maintenance. This couple sold everything to live in their beautiful Class C RV.
  • This Canadian Couple says - Just Go For It!: Interview   "This Full Time RV Canadian couple say Just Do It and don't think about it too long!" They both boondock and utilize RV Parks with full hookups. They explain the freedom and ease of living in an RV. They had a 5th wheel for two years and it burned down, then went to a 40' Monaco Class A with 3 slides in it.
  • Downsizing to move into an RV - This Can Help!: Interview   "All the Stuff! Downsizing - Is it all it's cracked up to be? Exhausting decisions to be made." This couple shares the experiences they had and how they got rid of the majority of their belongings and personal treasures to find alternatives living in an RV, from using Kindle E-Reader to storing DVDs in a portable DVD case.
  • RV West Article: Video   Canadian Couple says "Don't Let Doubt Stop You!" RV West Magazine has written an article about this couple who do Canadian RV Life channel. They too watched the documentary mentioned above Without Bound which prompted them to take the plunge into living in an RV.
  • 10 Minute Look - British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan: Video Tour   "From watching the seals at Pedder Bay, BC to the Langham, SK storms, and the winding roads of the Okanagan, we travel from Alberta to British Columbia and Saskatchewan. A look back over the last year in 10 minutes." This is just an enjoyable video of the sights and sounds of a people's travels for a year compressed down to a few minutes.
Elsa Rhae  Elsa Rhae has a wonderful channel that, as of now, has 216,000 subscribers. The thing about this channel that really pulled me in was the high quality videos she and her partner Barron make and that they are both millennials living simple and cheap. They started out wanting to get a tiny house but ended up living in a extremely small 13' Scamp Trailer. This channel is a must for young people who want to see a couple, with their dog, living life to the fullest on a very small budget and having the time of their lives. They have the love and support of their families whom they showcase on a few videos. Their life is such an adventure that most American's will never experience in their own lives. The best video to showcase this channel is Why We Chose to Live in a 13ft Scamp Trailer. But one of their videos I really love because of the music and imagry is We Live in the Forest // 13ft Scamp Trailer.   Elsa Rhae Channel.
Slim Potatohead  Slim Potatohead is a small but very well done YouTube Channel focused only on a guy and his Aliner Tailer who recently updated to a small "egg" trailer (see From A to Egg: My Trailer Changeover). Slim has also recently purchased a fixer-upper cabin in Canada and includes videos on renovating that project, which are really interesting. The focus here is his use of an Aliner and all the things he did to make that a cozy place to go camping. Aliners have changed dramatically over the recent years to where they now include dormers, bathrooms, skylights, etc. The advantage of Aliner is that they are small (really good for just camping part time, but some people do live in them full time), they can fit in a garage (especially if there are neighborhood covenants preventing having a camper or trailer parked outside), they are affordable, they are very tall in the middle (even the ultra-small ones; I toured a small used one today that was $6,000 and I'm 6'2" and could stand up in most of it), they are light weight and can be towed by small vehicles and you can add vast improvements. Slim Potatohead has many videos on improvements he's made to his Aliner, even adding a toilet and shower to one that didn't have it. In his About section of YouTube he says, "I'm the kinda guy that loves nature, traveling and sharing my ideas while on the road. I own an older model Aliner Trailer, which I enjoy taking around US, Canada and even Mexico. I hope to share my thoughts, ideas, favorite camping spots and frugal innovations with all who share the same interests. Some videos take longer than others, so please don't hold me to exact schedules. My dream is a world without deadlines or itineraries, free to explore, investigate, and appreciate. Always go where the road takes you !!!". His videos are excellent. The best video to showcase his channel is Adding More Space to an Aliner Trailer.   Slim Potatohead Channel.

Note: Aliner has a model with a built in shower and toilet. Several of them come with a small waist high toilet; this has an enclosed shower and bathroom in a model with dormers that is uniquely designed. It's the RV 2018 ROCKWOOD A214HW.

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Another type of RV and travel trailer is Airstream. They've been popular since the 1930's and have a distinctive design. One of the things I have found looking at Airstreams myself is how expensive they are, even used ones. They hold their value. I looked at several the other day and was amazed at the wonderful amenities. "The principle reason Airstreams are expensive is the Aluminum body they are so famous for. The shell of an airstream is made from a high quality 'aircraft grade' aluminum alloy riveted over a steel frame. The all metal construction means it is incredibly durable. Airstream does all its own cabinetry and furniture is made from high-quality materials made to fit the trailer's unique shape." ~ Trailer and Hitch

Below are some selections of YouTube videos by type of mobile solution. This is to save time of searching for specific things if you just want to get an idea of how others are living life in different situations. Or you may find that living in a car definately does not appeal to you, or a camper, but a Class B or C would be ideal (personally, I would prefer a Class C but that is more money than a trailer). So this list will give you a good summary of the different solutions to mobile living. Bob Wells from Cheap RV Living also did an interview panel with some other nomads who had different rigs they live in, along with detailed information on the different options, so I'm including the link here to How to Choose Which Type of RV is Best for You? The other thing you may want to look at before even considering buying an RV, is looking at Don't Buy An RV! - Lehto's Law Ep. 45 where he talks about "why you shouldn't buy an RV - or what you should know before you do. Recreation Vehicles are very different from cars when it comes to how the law protects you." Steve Lehto followed up with another video a year later, What You Need to Know Before You Buy an RV - Lehto's Law Ep. 3.19 where he states "I have warned of the problems that come with RV ownership but I know many people are intent on buying them anyway. In that case, here is what you need to know and what you can do BEFORE you buy an RV to protect yourself.".


Living in a Toyota Prius

You can Happily Live in a SUV

How to Live on $250 a month Part 2: Van Tour

Paula Living in a Jeep Cherokee

Tour of an Isuzu Truck Converted to 4X4

Living Off-Road in a Dodge 4x4 and Off-Road Trailer

How to Live in Your Car, Save Money and Be Free

Suanne Shows Her Toyota Prius

Kathleen Living in her Car

Fearless Retired Woman Living in a Lance Truck Camper

How to Live in a Toyota Tacoma Camper

Young Couple Living in a Truck/Camper

Living in a Four-Wheel Camper on a Toyota Pick-up

Tour of a Nomad Living in a Truck

Couple Gets Free Truck Camper From Craigslist

Living in a Truck Camper - Full Hookups

Living in a Four-Wheel Pop Top Camper Full-time

Couple Saves $18,000 a Year by Living in a Camper Van

Why I Live in a Van: Vandwelling Philosophy #1

Living in a Roadtrek Class B

Disabled Woman Living in a Van!

Living in a Transit Connect--and Loving it!!!

Solo Female Moving into a Van

Woman Living in a Van for 3 Years

How Carolyn is Living as a Vandweller and Loving it!

Trying out a Crazy $100K Camper Van - Full Tour

Tour of a Tiny Trailer: Mary Beth Loves Her Life

Karen Living in a Casita Travel Trailer

Living in a Casita Travel Trailer

Meet Wayne, a Retired Nomad Living in a Travel

Healing in Nature: Tour of a Life-Saving Trailer

Randy's Trail-Cruiser Travel Trailer

Kathy Living in a $2500 Used Trailer

Living in a Scamp 5th Wheel Tour

Boondocking in a 5th Wheel

Adding More Space to an Aliner Trailer

Joe, Living in a Winnebago Class C

22 - I Bought an RV!

Tammy In a Searcher Class C

Tour of a Born Free Class C

Jeannie Living in a Lazy Daze Class C RV

Living in a Toyota Class C RV

Casey and Sharon Class C Winnebago Tour

Tour my Winnebago Itasca Class C RV, Full time RVing

Maxine Exploring the USA in a Class C

A Newbie Living In A Class C With His Dog

Meet Roy the RV - Our New Home On Wheels

Fulltime Living in RV Motorhome

Tour of a Vintage GMC Class A Motorhome

RV Living Full Time - Tour of our Motorhome

Tour Our Motorhome

Steam Punk Steve Living in a Skoolie

Living in a School Bus that Only Cost $5000

School Bus Converted To Off-Grid Home

Young Family Lives In Nice School Bus

Family Live & Travel in School Bus

Nelson Tiny Houses Winter Wonderland V House

They Created a Luxury Tiny House to Travel the Country

Tiny House Village in Oregon Welcomes Tiny Housers

Tiny House Community Located in Portland

Her Whimsical Tiny House Looks Like a Fairytale

13 year old builds a Tiny House for only $1500!

16 year old builds tiny home to guarantee mortgage-free future

70 Year Old Builds Innovative Off-Grid Tiny House For Debt Free Retirement

Towing  One of the aspects of living mobile is having an adequate tow vehicle. If you have a car, jeep or small SUV, you will be limited on what type of trailer you can legally and safely tow. There are tow guides available for the past several years that show vehicles tow weight limits. One of the best is Trailer Life Towing Guides that provides, by year, a guide to all kinds of cars, vans, SUVs, trucks, etc. and their weight limits. The files provided are PDF, such as the 2020 Tow Guide. You can pick the year for the vehicle you have, or you can simply Google your car year, make and model followed by the words "towing capacity" and it will show you the maximum weight your vehicle can tow. AutoGuide.com provides a video on the very basics of How to Tow a Trailer. However, one of the better videos is by Smart Drive Test YouTube channel on How to Tow a Trailer Correctly and Safely.

One of the reasons this is so important is you can end up buying a trailer that you think your vehicle can tow and find out later that it cannot, or it can tow it as dry weight (where the trailer is empty) but not after you add your stuff into the trailer, such as water, food, clothes, etc. That's what happened to Tinyhouse Prepper (his channel mentioned above) where he bought a truck, had to replace the motor in it soon after, and then realized it would not tow the trailer they had purchased. They shared their experience with their viewers in
We'll Get There...Eventually! If you want a bigger trailer, there are vendors who sell lightweight travel trailers that are big, but often at the expense of durability. The other day I found a brand new travel trailer that had a great floorplan and was nice inside and it was lightweight; however, I could press into the walls and see they were very thin and the construction seemed to be stapled. The sticker price was $16,888. I researched later and found it was an Ultra Lightweight Travel Trailer; it was the Sportsmen Classic 181BH. It was a 20' 6" travel trailer with a dry weight of 2,840 lbs. I then went to another dealer and they had a Lance Travel Trailer 1685 that had hard, sturdy walls (the salesman hit it with his hand several times), the bathroom door was hard wood, the furnishings were much nicer and real wood. It's price was $40,000. It measured 21' feet in length with a dry weight of 3,980 lbs, over 1,000 lbs difference. You can also specify the 4 seasons package in case you plan on doing any camping (or living) in cold climates. The cost of the Lance is over twice that of the Sportsmen, but they really serve two different purposes and target different consumers. If someone was going to take a travel trailer out once in awhile in the summer and didn't have a heavy duty vehicle to tow with, the Sportsmen might be a great alternative to save money and still hit the road (a great example is the Jeep Grand Cherokee that has a maximum tow capacity of 3,500 lbs - it can tow the Sportsmen but not the Lance). Whereas a consumer who can spend $40K on a trailer who may use it more or in fact may live in it (like the family of 5 above living in a Lance Travel Trailer above), the additional cost may be well worth it. Just be careful when buying a travel trailer, some are so poorly made that they leak and rot and have problems almost immediately. To see one first hand, view the video How Bad It's Made - Travel Trailers.

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Above you read the word minimalism several times. One of the important aspects of Living Life Differently, in a way as mentioned above, but also for anyone regardless of circumstance, is to live frugally and budget wisely. There is a wealth of information on the internet about personal finance (budgeting, spending, saving, retirement, etc.) as well as minimalism, so much so that it becomes difficult to decide which information is valuable and which is not. It can be overwhelming watching and listening to all the prevailing opinions and the latest rage over a new way to budget, a new way to invest or new investment options, the latest fad on cutting expenses, etc. This is one of the things they don't teach in school but should, although most people don't ever learn the basics of these values. It may not seem obvious, but minimalism and budgeting actually go hand in hand; minimalism at it's core is having very little while budgeting is reducing your spending as much as it is focused on saving money. You can reduce your spending and not collect a lot of useless junk that may seem important at the time but later on you end up storing in some closet or shed, or worse goes unused and is given away or thrown in the trash.

According to Trading Economics (based on the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis), "Household Saving Rate in the United States increased to 3.40 percent in February from 3.20 percent in January of 2018. Personal Savings in the United States averaged 8.26 percent from 1959 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 17 percent in May of 1975 and a record low of 1.90 percent in July of 2005." This means for every $100 in net (after-tax) income most Americans earn, about $3.40 is being saved for retirement, emergency expenses, and rainy-day savings. The typical American family spends just over 61% on housing, transportation and food. The remaining expenses are things like healthcare, entertainment, insurance, clothes, services, contributions and other miscellaneous items. The most savings can come from the largest three above, which means if you can reduce your housing cost (which is why many are opting for tiny or RV living), transportation by driving older vehicles that are paid off and keeping the food bill managed (food was just over 10% of net income), a tremendous amount of savings can be realized.
  • What a Well-off Couple Learned from Cutting Consumer Habits: PBS News Hour (03/2018)   This is a news report of an affluent couple who decided they wanted to retire early so for a short time they saved the majority of their income by living frugally. They now are in their 30's and not working any longer having reached financial independence by living smarter. The husband does now work at home for a small non-profit in order to provide insurance for the family. The description says about this report, "A software engineer and professional fundraiser in Boston decided four years ago to purge some of their consumerist habits to save more than 70 percent of their salaries. The result was a big move to rural Vermont and the release this month of the book, 'Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living.' NewsHour Weekend's Christopher Booker reports."

  • Downsizing - A Minimalist Outlook on Stuff - RV Living in Canada: Canadian RV Life (06/2016)   Couple downsizes 55 years worth of accumulation in order to live in an RV, moving from a 1,600 Sq Ft home filled with stuff, including a video editing room, mechanics tools, teaching gear, 3 vehicles and more. They found online groups to sell much of their stuff and within 5 months were able to downsize to fit into a RV, addressing the emotional element of getting rid of things that have been kept for years. It's a short video that provides insight to the process of downsizing.

  • Bad Spending Habits Rich People Avoid: Business Insider (12/2017)   This is just a cute little video of how the rich spend their money, or rather don't spend their money. This goes directly into minimalism. In their own words, "After studying hundreds of people both rich and poor, author Tom Corley says these are the bad spending habits that rich people always avoid." If you look at this video, take a look at the recommended or "Up Next" videos that appear on YouTube; you might find that advice on finances interesting as well.

  • All the Financial Advice You'll Ever Need Fits on a Single Index Card: PBS News Hour (04/2016)   This was one of the weekly Making Sense Reports of PBS News Hour. A Professor had a life crisis in 2003 leaving him with a disabled relative to take care of on top of his own family. He didn't know anything about finance so he dug in and reserached and came up with the basic ideas which all fit on a 3x5 index card (which is shown below). In 2013 he wrote down the 10 essential items on an index card and posted it online; it went viral quickly. This turned into a book The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to Be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack. The book gives more details around the 10 items, giving ideas and specifics about each one. The description says about this report, "At first glance, fiscal planning can seem more complex and time-consuming than it's worth. But according to Professor Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago, you can fit all the financial advice you'll ever really need on a single index card. Economics correspondent Paul Solman takes a look at Pollack's ten easy tips for simple and sensible money management."

  • Investing Strategies and Sources / 401k: There's a lot of information out there about how to invest in the stock market or manage/balance your 401k if you happen to have one (click here for information and history of the 401k). It's extremely disheartening that many employers and even financial institutions threw employees into the role of trying to manage their 401k's. To help employees (and also help themselves, more to the point) from calling investment firms to seek out advice on how to allocate their funds, firms have created Target Date funds that each have a particular date where the individual is expected to retire and the financial firm balances that mix automatically to go from high risk growth investments (like stocks) for dates far into the future to bonds and other low risk securities as the target date draws closer. There are many out there, which I will give an example, who really hate target date funds. Although it does help the investor to stick all their dollars into the fund and forget about it, the investment firm likes it because it can collect fees on the fund while reducing the number of questions their support center has to field. Having said this, I'm going to include the disclaimer before I provide links to information I have discovered.
    If you look at the history of 401ks, it started out as a technical adjustment to the tax code (section 401k) and was intended to impact high-earning corporate executives using profit-sharing plans. In the old days, with a rare few exceptions remaining today, companies provided pension plans to it's employees and the employee didn't have to worry about anything; once they retired they would receive a pension that would provide for their care until death. This often included not only a set of dollars each month but health benefits as well. Once 401k's came along, employers thought they could shed themselves of the responsibility of providing pensions as a benefit and instead simply match a certain percentage of whatever the employee puts into the pre-tax 401k retirement account. This took the burden and risk off of them and laid it at the feet of the employee, and that was back in 1978. Some companies don't provide 401k's, others do provide them but don't have any dollar percentage match (meaning, if I put in 6% to my 401k, they would often match 4% on top of that). Two companies I used to work for provided a high percentage in the 401k without me having to put anything in. For example, one company I worked for provided 12% of the employee's pay into their 401k each paycheck and also included a partial pension plan on top of that; after the 90's was over they cut the amount down to 6%, then in the mid-2000's they cut it down to 5% and six years after that they took away the partial pension plan for new employees and started laying off it's long term workers. The other company I had worked for provided (and still provides today) a combination of giving it's employees 6% into their 401k and matches an additional 4% if the employee puts in 6%; they removed their pension plan in the late 90's and now only provide the 10% total value. Another company I worked for gave existing employees the option in the late 90's to keep the pension plan or they could roll it over into a 401k, then any new employees being hired would simply get the 401k option. More recently I worked for a company who only provided a 4% match if you put in 6% (which seems to be the standard). For non-profit companies many offer a similar plan called the 403b. When looking for an employer, it may be a good idea to consider their retirement as part of the entire compensation package.

    Here's the problem. Once pensions went away and it was incumbent upon the employee to put their own dollars into a 401k, not everyone did it, even if the employer would match a certain percent. Many would tell me "I'm going to work until I die" and yet they close the door to have the option to retire (hence me creating this site). Even the people who created and initially pushed the 401k's (in a slate.com article) now think it was a bad idea. The same article goes on to say "The Center for Retirement Research currently estimates that about 52 percent of households are 'at risk of not having enough to maintain their living standards in retirement' with 'the outlook for retiring Baby Boomers and Generation Xers far less sanguine than for current retirees.'" Another article on CNBC states "401ks are an especially important retirement tool given that pensions are on the decline and Social Security 'could be insolvent by 2034,' and because an alarming number of Americans have little to nothing saved for retirement individually: A recent study by GOBankingRates found that 42 percent have less than $10,000 socked away." If you aren't fortunate to have a 401K or similar employer sponsored plan, you can still invest in a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA, each has it's advantages and disadvantages. I know of one person who quit a company and realized he had a small pension available (under $100K), so he rolled it over to a personal IRA because he did not trust his former employer to fund the pension properly or that they may raid the pension itself; also, there were restrictions on the pension whereby if he died 50% would go to his spouse and if they both died the dollars would go back to the company. Rolling it over allowed him the option to leave it to heirs in his will. However, his question was, once it was in the IRA, where does he put the dollars? I've had IRAs and have managed them myself and had paid the investment firm to manage them and it ended up we did about the same, except they charged me high fees to manage. So if you do it yourself, where to put your money?

    You might ask, "What does this have to do with minimalism?" A lot actually. In a Cheap RV Living interview above titled "Young Speech Therapist Living in a 5th Wheel"; that is a young woman named Ashley living in a 5th wheel and stocking a ton of money away in her 401K, she said 70% of her salary. She indicated on the video that she was making $20 an hour currently (starting out), which puts her at about $42K per year (if she works fulltime), but she takes time off (she took a month off one year). So figuring taxes and having unpaid time off, we can assume she clears about $33K, which 70% of that is about $23K per year. She said she could retire in 10 years. Assuming modest increases in pay and promotions and a modest rate of return on investment, 10 years would put her at almost $500,000. If she continues living in a RV, then that would be sufficient to retire (reference 40 Years a Nomad video from Cheap RV Living where someone has been a nomad 40 years starting out with only $140K and he says he still has the bulk of it today). If she works an additional 8 years she would have over a million dollars. So living as a minimalist in an RV and saving so much, she can work half the time other people work and retire for life. If you spend all your money on housing and a certain lifestyle to have no money to retire on, then you will be forced to live minimalist and work to support even that in your old age. So better to plan ahead like Ashley has done.

    In struggling with where to invest 401k money, I consulted a friend many years ago and that advice has worked pretty well. In 2008 I did have a drop in my 401k, but I didn't bother with changing anything; I left it alone and it came back and surpassed my expectations. However, there are methods out there to reduce risk in investments that I've heard from 3 separate sources, so I wanted to share that here. This is just informational for entertainment purposes and what you decided to listen to and use is totally up to you.
    • Bullet Proof Nest-Egg Advice From Tony Robbins and Ray Dalio. Tony speaks with Steve Forbes about how to invest money based on Ray Dalio All Weather Portfolio (also known as Risk Parity) where it focuses on asset allocation. He talks about the concept of All Weather Allocation, something that can work in any market, bull or bear. The concept talks about having balanced risk so people don't lose everything during a market downturn like that in 2008. In 75 years this concept has been right 85% of the time and in the years where there were losses (like 2008), the biggest loss was 3.95%. The concept counters conventional wisdom, but they indicate that it has worked well for many years. I suggest your read the comments on this video as well as there are a lot of naysayers. Ray Dalio is the founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. Click if you more detailed information on Ray Dalio's Investing Strategy and Advice. Another individual who actually uses this strategy and comments on it, click here. The asset allocation mix in question is (here's the big reveal): Stocks 30% (VTI), Long Term Treasury Bonds 40% (20+ years, TLT), Intermediary Treasury Bonds 15% (7-10 years, IEF), SPDR Gold Trust 7.5% (GLD), Commodities 7.5% (DBC). If you're in a 401k with limited selections, you can see if there are any funds similar in composition. If you have an IRA or other open market investment vehicle, you can select these or choose similar ETFs or index mutual funds. Note: This is a volatile topic and many of you may disagree, which is why I suggested reading the video comments. Investment strategy is right up there with talking about politics or religion.
    • The Only Investment Video You'll Ever Need When I talked with a friend of mine who is an accountant and investor himself he mentioned the topic of leveraging ETFs as part of my investment mix. I then came across this video that explains how to do this in a simple way with only 2 ETFs. He explains it really well and lays it out very simply, and it's a variation on the one above by Tony Robbins and Ray Dalio. Where they have 5 ETFs in their portfolio, Calvin Rose (creator of this video) says you can use only two and he also used mentioned above, TLT and IEF. He maps out a conservative, moderate and aggressive scenario and shows the rate of return and drawdown of each. In another video he has, A Better Way to Invest - with just two ETFs or Mutual Funds, he suggests you can use SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) and AGG (iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF) in different percentages based on the risk or drawdown you are willing to tolerate. Calvin also has a video called I Hate Target Date Funds. He basically shows how the strategies he shows in the previous 2 videos out perform target date funds with lower risk. In this video he does a comparison with several target date funds. You can watch more of his videos from his site, Calvin Rose . He hasn't posted a video since 2017 and he has few subscribers, but I found his presentations to be highly educational.
    • An all ETF portfolio: Can it meet your needs?This is a video from Charles Schwab. I included it here because Charles Schwab is a large investment house and they show how you can have an entire portfolio using just ETFs and they give three different types - ultra simple, middle of the road and fine-tuned, with the latter being more complex mix. They also give the advantages and disadvantages of each mix.
    • The Dave Ramsey Show I'm finishing the 401k/financial topic with this site called The Dave Ramsey Show. His YouTube channel has almost 800,000 subscribers and he provides sound financial advice. Dave has a website where he tells his story, both in print and in a video. In his own words from his website, "I formed Ramsey Solutions in 1992 to counsel folks hurting from the results of financial stress. I've paid the 'stupid tax' (mistakes with dollar signs on the end) so hopefully some of you won't have to. I wrote the book Financial Peace based on all that Sharon [his wife] and I had learned, and I began selling it out of my car. With a friend of mine, I started a local radio call-in show called The Money Game, now nationally syndicated as The Dave Ramsey Show.". He has tons of videos you can watch for free and covers dozens if not hundreds of topics like paying off debt, loans, taxes, investing, 401k's, ETFs and many more. Dave also advocates getting yourself a financial advisor. With all of his knowledge, he himself has a financial advisor and explains the benefits of having a good advisor.

    I've provided all of this in conjunction with the minimalist movement as well as downsizing (or tiny house/mobile living) as an alternative to start saving money for retirement and that you don't have to be intimidated by so many investment choices. Again, if you have a 401k, they are usually limited in the number of selections you have and as of late I've seen about 40% to 50% of those selections are Target Date funds. If you don't want to chance using ETFs or manage your own investments, then I would suggested watching Dave Ramsey's videos and get yourself a financial advisor. Hopefully you find this information useful and investigate further.

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I hope you find this information useful. I'm in my mid 50's and one of the amazing things you gain is hindsight. One of the Mission Impossible movies has a song by Limp Bizkit called Take a Look Around and one of the lines in the song is "And there ain't nothing I can do, 'Cause life is a lesson you'll learn it when your through". You wouldn't think something so insightful would come from a group called Limp Bizkit, but that line has always stuck with me because it is so true. We live in a big house that is now hard to afford (thanks to layoffs) and hard to maintain (5 bedrooms, swimming pool, large lot/yard) and we will need to downsize, but now the house is full of people so downsizing won't work just yet. With all the money I have made working over the years, had I lived small I could be retired now. My wife and I had a small house at one time, but sold because it was too small for a growing family and near a busy street. Like many of us, we spend money on useless junk that we think we need and then spend money storing it only to have our survivors go through it later and throw stuff away, having done so myself with relatives who have passed on. In hindsight, wouldn't it have been better to live cheaply, even if it's just a small house? Wouldn't it be nice to be debt free and not have to work until life is almost gone? Perhaps you don't fit into that category; perhaps you made the right decisions and are reaping the rewards of being frugal, thoughtful and disciplined. I look at Ariel of Fy Nyth above and how smart she is for someone so young. Even the baby boomers who are now either retired or thinking of it are downsizing and heading out living life by getting a house on wheels and doing things they thought they would never be able to do because they were tied down by stuff.

If you are younger and not sure what to do, if you haven't collected a bunch of material things to weigh you down, if you don't have the money to get into a house or even afford a decent apartment (my kid's friends often live in unsavory apartments), if the future looks bleak because things cost too much, there is a movement out there people are flocking to in droves. Like Tinyhouse Prepper who lost 4 houses and had only a few thousand dollars after all was said and done, they found a new life in a 35' travel trailer where he and his wife are debt free, happy and he has now retired and looking forward to the future. They have no plans to go back to a regular, expensive house. Maybe you can just try it out like A Guy, A Girl and A Campervan and live that way while you bank all your money to buy something better, sooner - which is how they bought their cabin. Maybe you try it out and discover you actually love it and you only have to work 6 months out of the year and can travel and see the world the rest of the time, or see the world while you work. Maybe your retirement dollars that wouldn't pay for the house payment, let alone food, clothes, utilities, can now be used to pay for a house on wheels that leaves you with money in the bank each month. Maybe your stess is reduced and you can relax and enjoy life and head to Arizona in the winter and New Mexico in the summer like many of the nomads do - like the 2nd of Bob's videos above, Solo Woman Joyfully living in a Class C, does. She buys the inexpensive New Mexico Parks Pass and spends half a year traveling the 35 state parks near beautiful lakes, mountains and deserts. His most recent video as of this time (2/9/2018) is Granny Lives in a VAN of this 69 year old woman who bought a Class B van for $1,000 and put $1,500 in upgrades. She's been on the road for 4 months now and loves it and is planning to get the NM Parks Pass ($225 for out of state, $100 for residents) and living in NM for the summers. Maybe RV's and tiny homes don't appeal to you, but you could swing downsizing to a small house or condo that requires less maintenance and money. One YouTube couple I didn't mention above is Gone With the Wynn's who spent years traveling in Class A motor homes until recently where they are living on a boat traveling the oceans (their About Us video is amazing and inspiring).

There's nothing that says we have to follow what everyone else does (although, it's funny that so many are becoming nomadic and you'd be following them); but nothing that says we have to live in a big house with a white picket fence and a swimming pool with two new cars in the garage and a lush green lawn out front. There's nothing that says we have to take on an 8-5 job or, as I've experienced before, a job that requires 10, 12 or more hours per day and often weekends to achieve corporate goals that will mean very little on your death bed, or perhaps mean very little right now. The one thing I know is that it's better to learn the lesson before life is through. It's better to learn it before you are nearing a retirement you may not be able to take, or be forced to live that way because all your money went to houses, cars and things and left you with nothing. There was one video by Bob Wells of Cheap RV Living where he introduced a new 12 part series on how to live rent free and he talks about this topic very clearly. He explains how people are living only on social security and not having enough, or don't make enough money to pay all their bills, so he shows us how to live a great life cheaply. Just a side note, several of the nomads who have found happiness living the life they have now critize Bob Well's for telling others about it because it will get too crowded, swamped and mess things up for them. He addresses this concern in a video The End of the World - Ehrenberg is Being Enforced. Ehrenberg, AZ is a place where many noamds, RVers and snowbirds go in the winter to live for about 6 or so months. Prior to December 2017, anyone could stay all the time with no BLM (Bureau of Land Management) interference as the policy for BLM land is that you can stay only 14 days and then have to move 50 miles (or so, varies) and stay there 14 days. The overall intent is that it's a recreational and camping area, not a place to move in forever or for months and years, and it's a shared resource for all the public. In the End of the World video link above Bob addresses this concern, saying he will continue to share this information with others to help them out and that there is so much land and so many different places around Ehrenberg that it should not be an issue.

Most people are not like Ariel of Fy Nyth. Most have to learn lessons the hard way. They don't learn from reading or watching or from lessons of those who have gone before. In my career I've created a lot of documentation and training materials that I later learned were never looked at again, or in those rare cases a few individuals did read through to learn something and not have to guess. Most people don't read instructions, don't listen to elders or experts, don't take the time to understand. Our culture is filled with people who are prideful, stubborn and feel they know more than anyone so no one else has anything of value to bring to them. This is true for many younger people, but it's in most everyone. It's a cycle. They will get old, learn lessons the hard way and end up trying to tell their children what they learned only to be told "no thanks". What's nice about our Internet generation is that information and lessons are so widely available and free. Although you have to be mindful that there is some bad and incorrect content out there, you can find a lot of good information online. To drive the point home, I'm going to list a few YouTube videos below that should be a wakeup call for people, especially those just starting out. Know how some people ended up may help you to avoid the mistakes they made.
  • The Death Of The American Middle Class (2011): This is a short documentary showing how middle class in America has been dissolving over the years. There are individuals out there, like Ben Shapiro, who disagree that the middle class has been reducing over time, but there's enough stories out there to show people have been negatively impacted. The popularity of layoffs from corporations and jobs going over seas (my own job went to India in 2016), people who once made decent incomes have to settle for lower pay just to stay afloat (a reality that I and many of my former co-workers who were laid off are facing now). Just for definition, "Pew Research says the middle class runs from $42,000 to $125,000 (before tax). They define middle as a household of three with an income that falls between two-thirds and double the median income." The Pew Research study shows the middle class is shrinking because some are becoming more wealthy (earning above $125,000) while others are falling below $42,000; their assessment is that "With around 120,000 people declared bankrupt each month, many of the squeezed middle-class see the American dream slipping away. The national trend is clear - the middle class is losing ground as a share of the population, and its share of aggregate U.S. household income is also declining." In regard to this video, Death of the Middle Class, "Our national myth is changing", explains author and journalist Thomas Hartmann. "Whereas hard work was once seen as the route to prosperity, nowadays the best most people can hope for is a lottery win. Three generations of farmers in Vermont ring the changes of the past fifty years."
  • A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance: I've included this video because it showcases that for those of us who are or were in the middle class often spend money on things that become clutter. Since one of the trends, and one that is required for tiny or mobile living, is to reduce "stuff", it seems appropriate to point out all the junk we as a society collect and save; that's why there are TV shows like "Hoarders". For this video, "Follow a team of UCLA anthropologists as they venture into the stuffed-to-capacity homes of dual income, middle-class American families in order to truly understand the food, toys, and clutter that fill them."
  • ABC's 20/20 - My Reality: A Hidden America: A 20/20 Documentary that shows families considered middle class who have been strugling and living paycheck to paycheck.
  • PBS Frontline: Inside the Meltdown: This is one of the documentaries on what happened that led up to the 2008 financial meltdown. This documentary investigates the causes of the worst financial crisis in 70 years. This meltdown is what triggered Tinyhouse Prepper to lose 4 houses and find alternative living in a 35' travel trailer and ingrain in them the will to never get in debt again. This is similar to how our grandparents (or great grandparents in some cases) lived life after the crash of 1929.
  • Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price: I almost didn't include this because it is controversial. Wal-Mart is often the one store that has low prices that helps Americans, but it comes at a cost as well. "Everyone has seen Wal-Mart's lavish television commercials, but have you ever wondered why Wal-Mart spends so much money trying to convince you it cares about your family, your community, and even its own employees? What is it hiding? Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price takes you behind the glitz and into the real lives of workers and their families, business owners and their communities, in an extraordinary journey that will challenge the way you think, feel... and shop." However, I should mention that Wal-Mart has been the friend to nomads in that they allow nomand's to spend a night or two in their parking lot all across the United States.
So, if you find this information useful and it sparks a fire or a thought that you consider, then that's awesome. I hope you find it worthwhile or, at least, if you ever find youself in a situation where you can't afford to live, you remember this and know there are alternatives.

I've come across many other good channels that I would like to include here. These are one's that stand out and have really good content that you might find useful as well as entertaining. They range from large channels with almost 1M subscribers down to one that has less than 400, but all have really great videos.
Walden: This is the free audiobook of Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854). Many of the people above mention reading Walden and how it had a profound impact on their decision to live simply and mobile. "The book describes two years of his life living alone at Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He recounts his daily life in the woods and celebrates nature and the individual's ability to live independently of society."
Kirsten Dirksen: Kirsten has as of this time almost 800,000 subscribers. Her videos are awesome. They are "about simple living, self-sufficiency, small (and tiny) homes, backyard gardens (and livestock), alternative transport, DIY, craftsmanship and philosophies of life.
Living Big In A Tiny House: This is actually a very popular channel with almost 900K subscribers. This guy focuses on tiny homes, downsized designs and sustainable living and the videos are incredible. Bryce says "Join me on my travels as I journey to find the very best tiny homes, alternative dwellings and stories of downsized, eco-friendly living. I'm not just watching from the side-lines though! I also get stuck in with my own small space builds."
We're the Russos: A great 80K subscriber channel of a couple who live in a campervan with their awesome dog. "We're Joe and Kait. We travel full time in a van and share our journey and what life is like living in a van. Currently, we produce a weekly travel series about camper van life published every Wednesday. Our Class B RV is a Hymer Aktiv 2.0 based on the Ram ProMaster chassis."
Dylan Magaster: Dylan Magaster lives in a Chevy G20 van and does wonderful videos. In his own words, "A digital nomad and filmmaker, Dylan has been making documentaries about the people he meets along his journey, focusing on alternative living environments. He's made films about converted vans, tiny homes, off-grid homes, even a home made from a jetliner in the woods of Oregon."
Dan & Jen Nevada: This small channel just went over 5,000 subscribers; a couple who live in their Class A motorhome. Their videos are well done and informative, and their interaction with one another is very entertaining. They say "we retired early and kicked our two boys out of the house...we mean, raised them to be self-sufficient, productive members of society. Our plan was to travel and explore our little part of the world but that's all changed. [We bought] a motorhome and hit the road full time at the end of 2017. We're taking you along for the ride. We post on Mondays, Wednesdays and/or Fridays."
Long Long Honeymoon: This is a very small channel now but they have some really great videos. "Long Long Honeymoon ('Loloho') celebrates travel and outdoor adventure. Sometimes we tote an Airstream (RV) travel trailer; sometimes a backpack. [We have] RV camping tips & tutorials, International travel tips & tutorials, Gear and product reviews, Airstream specific tips, Travelogues and [even] cats playing piano."
RV Joey: A young woman with her dog and 8K subscribers, she travels in her Class C RV with a caravan of friends.
Bex Cat-herder: Another woman with her cute little dog and also 8.5K subscribers, she travels in her 13' Scamp trailer. She produces some really nice videos and footage as she shares her journey. She has had to endure some really tough situations and yet she has come out of them very well, from getting her car and all her computer and camera equipment robbed from her in San Francisco to have her trailer fall apart while she was stopped at a stop sign.
Average Alice: This is a very small channel, less than 400 subscribers, but I really like her videos. Her and her husband travel in an "Aliner LXE 2018 with double dormers and cassette toilet/shower and cool cat A/C, hauling with a Toyota 4Runner TRD off road premium, 2017, with all terrain tires added."
Live and Give 4x4:A couple out on the road in a very unique 4x4, they give a unique perspective as they travel around and video their adventures."
Ultramobility: This channel specializes in Campervan Reviews. "Ultramobility is all about the mobile lifestyle: living, working and traveling in your class b camper van. I review RVs, do head to head comparisons, give buying advice and answer viewer questions weekly. Check out all my playlists covering everything about camper vans and tune in to my weekly Live Stream. I love the idea of a small, self-contained home of wheels. I own a 2017 Pleasure Way Ascent that I use primarily as a mobile office and weekender.
Princess Craft: An RV deal who produces some really detailed, wonderfully produced videos of different RV's they sell. "We've been a RV Dealer in Texas since 1968 and are located in Round Rock, Texas, just 25 minutes north of Austin. Princess Craft Campers specializes in the sale of truck campers and lightweight trailers. And when it comes to Lance Truck Campers, the #1 Selling Truck Camper in America, we are the industry experts."
Workamper News: Jobs and Information for RVers. "Workamper News is here to help you learn about and live the Workamping lifestyle successfully! Not only can we help you find, research, and apply for RVing jobs all across America, but you can also learn about getting started with the RV lifestyle itself."

Jump To: Tiny Houses  | RV's  | RV Types  | Minimalism  | Additional Thoughts  | The Dark Side  | Top
I should also include the dark side (or perhaps the unwilling side) of tiny house and mobile living. You see it in news reports and headlines about the all time high of homelessness and the decline of the middle class, as some of the videos above depicted. If you watched the Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living documentary above, you heard Bob Wells state that someone living in a van (or car, RV, whatever) is not homeless if they choose to do so, but someone who is forced to do so is homeless. In the United States today millions have been left with little option other than to live in hotels, with relatives, in RVs, vans, cars, tents, shelters and some just out in the open. You simply go to YouTube and search "mobile living" and you see the gambit of lifestyles, those who love and choose to live a mobile or small lifestyle and those that have no choice; one video I saw come up on the first few selections was "The Mobile Homeless". If you Google just the word homeless you'd find tons of statistics and information and how it's gotten worse over the years, especially in California. In December 2017 the New York Times reported "More than one-quarter of the total homeless population nationwide lives in California, roughly 114,000...[and] about 1.6 million households are considered to be living in 'worse scenarios'...living with low-wages and spending more than half of their income on housing. That number has ballooned continuously through much of the last decade, while wages have remained flat."

Many of the videos you find on the YouTube sites above will have stories of people who were forced to live tiny and/or mobile, only to find that they love it or at least enjoy it very much. They are able to save all that money that is not going for housing for the first time and they may not work as much, if there is a need to work at all. Not everyone falls into this category, of course. Which is why I am going to include a few videos below that show quite well the situation many find themselves. I'm only including a few links; there's so many more that you will see recommended or referenced when you go to those. For some it comes down to attitude, for others they can not even afford to have a RV or camper and have to make due with what they have or what others will provide to them. One of the issues that stop people from even considering living in something small like a van or RV, or even a mobile home with many bedrooms, is the stigma we as a society have attached to people who live this way. Even Tinyhouse Prepper has a video talking about how they are not homeless, but several YouTube trolls have called them homeless or other phrases because they live in a trailer. Perhaps in the end it does come down to attitude; is the glass half full or half empty? Am I cursed for not having my nice home or blessed to have a roof over my head?

One last thought...the majority of these people in the next few videos probably never even envisioned themselves in the situation of being "homeless" or losing so much they had worked for in their life. In the Our Story video of Tinyhouse Prepper linked above, she makes the statement that we are taught if we work hard and try to get ahead we will have a good life in the end, but it doesn't always work out that way. In fact, lately, in most relatives and friends I know, it's not that way at all. That's why I have the Oblivion prepper page, and why I have created this list. The tiny house or mobile living life may not appeal to you whatsoever, and that's fine; I love living in a nice house myself. But at least it's good to know there are alternatives and know "how to" do it the right way before finding out the hard way.
  • 60 Minutes - Hard Times Generation: Families Living in Cars: (Nov 2011) Scott Pelley brings "60 Minutes" cameras back to central Florida to document another form of family homelessness: kids and their parents forced to live in cars. This video is from 2011 and the unemployment rate back then was extremely high; in 2009 it was 10%, by 2011 it went down to 9% and by March 2018 it was at 4%. So it has been getting better, but even if people go back to work, the time spent with no job has left many struggling financially. However, that's the U-3 unemployment rate (called the "official rate") that does not take into consideration many other factors like low paying jobs, part time jobs, long time unemployment and more. Based on the more accurate U-6 rate, the 2009 unemployment rate was just over 17%, 2011 it went down to 15% and March 2018 the value is 8%.
  • How the Mortgage Crisis Forced Thousands of Americans to Live in Their Vans: Mortgage crisis forces thousands of Americans out of their homes with little to no money or options left open to them. Even though the title says vans, it shows people living in cars, RVs and other options.
  • End of RV Living: Why You Shouldn't Go Nomadic: This video from Tami's Nomadic RV Life Channel is from a female RV nomad's perspective. She talks about the dangers and threats of being on the road, sometimes all alone. She talks about having to deal with a stalker as well as someone who slashed her tire. In other videos on her channel she gets into dealing with all the temperature variations and having to deal with snakes, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, mice/rats and larger preditors such as bears, coyotes, etc.
  • 10 Harsh Realities of RV LIFE: "Join us (His and Hers VLOGS) for a Studio Session about 10 Harsh Realities of RV LIFE. Topics include; camping, Quartzsite, weather, laundry, buying a RV, and dealing with rodents." This video showcases a couple who have lived in their RV for 2 years and have developed a list of things that mobile dwellers have to deal with.
  • The Hard Cold Reality Of Being A Nomad: This is a video from Little House on the Road, a small YouTube Channel of a couple who (until recently) lived in a popup camper. In April 2018 someone burned down their popup camper in a national forest while they were away; they ended up building their own "cab over", a truck bed camper he made from wood for about $600. In their own words, "After years of working 60 to 70 hours a week and never taking a vacation, Carolyn and I decided to quit our job and begin our full time RV'ing. We bought a 1970 Starcraft pop-up camper and fixed it up. We may buy something more substantial later but we are quite excited starting our adventure in this pop-up. [However] sometime you just run into scary people living as a nomad." Just like when you have an awful neighbor while living in a regular house, you can have someone at the same camping area who are troublesome. Most of his videos are what I would call negative, but he would term as realistic. Just looking at the glaring video titles in a stark red and yellow font, a sample of titles are "Scary!, Fail!, Bad Idea, Hate This, Not Enough Money, Now What, Terrible Day, Lie" and more like that. They run into a lot of sutations others have not, so they do give a great perspective of the pitfalls you can expect while living on the road.
  • An unsuccessful story - from Millionaire to Homeless: And this is a story about a man who was a millionaire in Great Britain and who is now a homeless living in a caravan somewhere in Lisbon, Portugal without money and family. Comunidade Vida e Paz is a nonprofit organization in Portugal dedicated to providing the poor and homeless of Lisbon with nutritious meals, clothing, and assistance in the transition to employment and life off the streets.
  • Colorado Is Forcing Off-Gridders Back on the Grid, Bans Camping On Private Land: "Throughout the country, local zoning officials have made it impossible for people to go off the grid, in many cases even threatening them with jail time for not hooking into local utilities. Because of zoning laws that target the off-grid lifestyle, many off-gridders have moved to areas in the Southwestern United States to escape overzealous zoning officials. But this week, off- gridders were dealt another blow in an area of the country that has become a magnet for people looking to live a more self-reliant lifestyle. Costilla County, CO Bans camping on your own Land; Zoning Officials attempt to make people hook back into the grid."

Updated May 30, 2022
05/30/2022 - Added 2 new videos to Cheap RV Living, updated content and info for many items as channels have grown and changed over time.
02/28/2020 - Added video Solo Female Living 3 Years in a Ram Promaster, updated Tinyhouse Prepper info and added content, fixed navigation links.
06/01/2019 - Added CBS Sunday Morning banner link featuring Bob Well's interview, added many Jobs for Nomads links, made content full justify.
05/27/2019 - Added Bob Wells new video, updated Caravan Carolyn and Starry Hilder's channel descriptions, updated Towing Guide link to 2019, added advertisement for Stratagems book.
10/26/2018 - Added Dave Ramsey's show, link and info to financial (minimalism) section.
10/19/2018 - Added a new Bob Well's video, Justin and Kirsten's Skoolie (with 5 Kids); added NBC News link for dental in Los Algodones.
10/14/2018 - Added "Investing Strategies and Sources / 401k" to the Minimalist section.
09/23/2018 - Moved Caravan Carolyn's channel from Honorable Mentions to the main selection and expanded the description. Wonderful channel.
08/19/2018 - Added video link to the Dark Side topic, Tami's Nomadic RV Life, expanded Little House on the Road info below her link.
08/12/2018 - Added entire section, YouTube Honorable Mentions. Updated Tinyhouse Prepper description to clarify and expand on their situation.
07/20/2018 - Added video near the top "What if the crash of '08 had never happened?" from Tinyhouse Prepper.
07/13/2018 - Added additional information and content to "Going to the dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico" section; added a video from Canadian RV LIfe, RV West Article; added Note below Slim Potatoheads section about an Aliner with shower and toilet.