Most people who follow RV blogs read Wheeling It, where Nina and Paul share about their life on the road along with their fantastic boondocking site reviews.
We’ve met a couple times before, but this week we got to spend some quality time together, which led to this revealing Q&A:
Leigh: We were talking before you (Nina) came out, and Paul mentioned that he caught you looking at Airstreams online?
Nina: (laughs) Yes!
Leigh: What were you doing?!
Nina: Well, personally I’ve wanted to downsize for ages.
Paul: Since year one.
Nina: When we started, we didn’t know anything about boondocking, we didn’t know anything about state parks, national forests, we thought you get an RV, you stay in private parks.
Paul: Well partially because we got such a big rig we figured we’ll never get into these public places, so we didn’t even look at them.
Nina: So around the middle of the first year we discovered natural camping, you know, public campgrounds, and that’s when I started doing all the planning and now we aim to spend 95/99% of our time in public campgrounds. And the planning is tough in a big rig. It would be really really nice to be smaller.
Leigh: Are you really considering it?
Nina: Not yet.
Paul: I think it depends. I think we’re probably at least a couple years away.
Nina: We’re probably a couple years away. Ideally we may end up going part-time and then it would make total sense.
Paul: If we decided to go part-time, and we found a property in Oregon that we fell in love with, and it had a house on it, then we would definitely go smaller, and maybe real small. Like 20 or 22.
Nina: Right now, we know our rig, we know all the issues with it.
Paul: It’s paid for.
Nina: It’s paid for. I would love to be smaller for planning, but…
Paul: We’re not unhappy. It’s so comfortable.
Nina: (laughing) but a little bit smaller.
Leigh: Just so you can go more places.
Leigh: Where couldn’t you go that you want to go?
Nina: Here’s an example, this summer we’re going to go along the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and the whole Olympic Peninsula has tons of National Forest campgrounds. Lovely National Forest campgrounds, but all of them have a 30 foot limit.
Paul: We can’t fit in any of them.
Nina: And we just can’t get into any of them. Well, I found one where I booked a spot where maybe we’ll squeeze in.
Paul: We may or may not get in.
Nina: Yeah, but none of the others we can get into, so our only choice going along the Peninsula is private campgrounds. Whereas we’d really rather be staying in a National Forest campground.
Paul: Which is a double whammy too, it’s not just less privacy and less wild stuff, but on top of that it’s more expensive. So you get the double whammy, you’re not as happy and you’re paying more money.
Leigh: That’s a drag.
Leigh: What are your plans for 2014?
Nina: We have 3 volunteer jobs over 4 months. We’re going to volunteer at Cape Disappointment, we’re going to volunteer at Moran State Park in the San Juan Islands, and we’re going to volunteer at Cape Blanco. Then winter we’re not really sure yet.
Leigh: Are you considering Florida?
Nina & Paul: Yes. Possibly Florida.
Brian: We could tear up some tiki bars in Florida.
Leigh: Let’s end with your favorite cocktail.
Nina: For me it’s a margarita. I love margaritas, I’ve always loved tequila, I’m a margarita fan.
Paul: Rum and coke. Cuba Libre.
1 oz tequila
1 oz cointreau
1 1/2 oz lime juice
splash of agave
shake with ice
Paul’s Cuba Libre:
(mix almost equal parts Coke and Bacardi)
1/2 oz splash of Malibu Rum
squeeze of lime
(float the malibu and lime on top)
2014 Cost of Camping:
1 night paid camping
77 nights free camping
78 days this year
Total spent on camping this year: $97
Daily average cost of camping: $1.24