"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mobile Kodgers

Open road on a rainy, snowy day

I watched a documentary on www.topdocumentaryfilms.com called "Without Bound."

It's about people who live in vehicles -- from vans to RV's and everything in between. There was one young couple, Josh and Meisha Manwaring (www.vagabloggers.com) but most of those featured are retired, not looking for work, live on their social security. Some had retirement from past employment. Some have art to sell.  Many are writers and have figured out various ways to make money from their blogs.

It was clear to me that these folks have the answer to stress free living. It's frugality and simplicity. They live cheap, most for under $700 a month, once they get their rig. They don't accumulate much because of space limitations in their mobile dwellings. Plus, they have figured out what their individual needs are.  Freedom is at the top of their list. They do as they please which doesn't appear to be much, other than enjoying every moment to the fullest.  They wake up in a new place anytime they want. They go wherever their heart desires -- well, almost.

It appears that "mobile dwellers" aren't welcome everywhere. One of those featured alluded to a need for stealth, knowing where it's safe to park and where it's not, especially in cities.

In another video, The Summer of Family Love, a young couple and their three youngsters took a road trip along the West Coast. They were living in a VW van, recording their daily lives in order to make a  beautiful and fascinating two hour video about living in close quarters, being on the road, looking for places to safely spend the nights. I'm not sure where they were, but they were asked to leave a national park. It seemed to have something to do with their VW van.  They didn't understand but they went peacefully.

So apparently "mobile dwelling" is viewed differently than "being on vacation." So if I or anyone else were to find themselves in a position to give this a try, research would be in order.

The Manwarings had come to a cross roads of sorts in their individual careers and decided to try something different.  They expressed interest in challenging themselves by living frugally. They have become mostly vegetarians because it's cheaper to eat without meat, but they also don't have to store it. 

So many beautiful places to see

Mobile dwellers stop in out-of-the-way places as opposed to RV parks, partly because of the cost, and I'm sure, they just prefer to find the more magnificent vistas off the main roads. They take advantage of BLM land when they can. That land belongs to the federal government, is wild, and it's open to anyone to stay a while. Ranchers use it for free grazing in some areas.

Because most of the mobile dwellers are connected through the internet, they arrange to meet up in various places, but it sounded like some of them see one another very seldom.

Another really attractive thing about Mobile Dwelling is in living frugally, you're not contributing so much to the status quo. Its the freedom from the responsibility of owning a home (that great American Dream that handcuffs us to the grindstone, gobbles up our freedom, and makes others richer in the process).  With Mobile Dwelling there are no outrageous  property taxes to pay every year or  sky high utilities every month. There is no maintenance on the lawn to suit the neighbors and city code, aka, mowing and trimming. One of the women in the film remembers  mowing and trimming her lawn for too many years. "What did that get me?" she asks.

Most of those featured in "Without Bound" don't have families. At least not in the traditional sense. Some of them chose mobile living when they ended up with no other recourse, but then they fell in love with it and have no intention of going back into the rat race.

We've been sold on the idea that "owning a home" -- which for most people never really comes about because as soon as they build up equity, they sell it and buy something bigger and supposedly better, most assuredly, more expensive, which ties them to that mortgage payment for another fifteen years minimum. So off to work they go with little hope of ever being debt free -- much less -- just free.

Randy Vining has a blog with many fans, www.mobilecodgers.blogspot. com  

I found lots of interesting reading on Randy's blog. His perspective on life and living is so down to earth and refreshing. Be sure and check it out.

Bob Wells, also featured in "Without Bound" has a great website, cheaprvliving.com where I found all  kinds of information on mobile dwelling, from how to stay cool in the desert to how to protect yourself from 4 legged predators. There is also an invitation to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in January 2016. Bob has some amazing photography on his site. 

The film maker of "Without Bound", Michael Tubbs had this to say about why he named the film as he did:  "In mathematics, 'without bound' is used to describe something that either increases or decreases infinitely. I encourage you to think about how that applies to your life. What is increasing? What is decreasing? Is the balance of the trade-off tilted in your favor? Are you happy?  Is there a better way?"

We have pared down expenditures around here and are living quite comfortably, yet frugally ourselves. Good practice.

I was so charmed by these folks and their individual stories, I started the "what if I could do that?" train of thought. I looked on Craigslist for "something" I could live in, within my price range.

But I have decided the open road is not for me.  Not right now, anyway.  I'm Seth's only grandparent.  If I left, he'd grow up without me. He starts kindergarten this year. After he learns to read and write, I might give mobile living a try - and take my family with me. That way he'd learn what life is really all about -- while he's young enough to really "get it."

Rubber Tramp Rendezvous -- which I believe has gotten bigger.


  1. wow..what an amazing view of a road in a rainy day. it seems like you are another happy traveler on earth who love sharing awesome things. I will bookmark your blog for sure.