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Breaking free from the Rat Race. How a Couple Found Happiness Living Full-time out on the Road


In early 2016, John Hebard and his spouse Laura realized they had been caught in a vicious cycle that many People have discovered themselves in, caught in an infinite rat race working jobs that had been actually solely doing one factor for them, serving to them pay the hire.

They realized this was no solution to stay, so that they bought every little thing, purchased a truck and a 41-foot fifth wheel trailer, and headed out for all times on the street.

Hitting the Street to Discover a Higher Strategy to Reside

Hebards Travels

Are you able to inform us slightly about your self and your life-style?

I’m a medically retired Infantryman. After eight years within the Military and three deployments, two of which had been invasions, I went civilian. I received married, discovered work, went to highschool and earned two levels in regulation enforcement. Work, college and “Name of Responsibility” saved my thoughts off the PTSD and feelings at bay, however finally, regular life started to crack, and my marriage was struggling. I missed touring, the journey of dwelling everyday, and the group I had within the Military. Realizing we had been happiest on trip, we bought every little thing, purchased an RV and hit the street full-time.

What’s it like being on the street?

My spouse Laura and I started documenting our adventures on YouTube, and thru this, we met many different full-time RVers. It’s a really giant group of principally great individuals.

Life may be more durable in some respects although; for instance, most individuals have by no means needed to cope with their very own sewage! However, I now not need to sustain a garden and cope with an HOA. I really feel it’s a good commerce.

Additionally RVs are infamous for mechanical failures. You’re all the time having to repair one thing! It’s worthwhile to be useful to stay this life-style, or else independently rich. Most individuals can study to be useful alongside the way in which, so it can save you cash by doing your individual repairs, which is definitely actually satisfying. Having some expertise and instruments – for automotive, electrical (12v and 120v), woodworking, and plumbing – is useful, and also you’re by no means removed from a {hardware} or auto retailer to select up instruments and components you could want. Most of us are ‘YouTube licensed’ grasp techs.

You by no means know the place the RV life will take you. We see all types of locations on our travels, and meet all types of individuals. In the future, we had been contacted out of the blue by a movie producer all in favour of telling the full-time RV story in a documentary model movie. He discovered our YouTube Channel, watched our movies of the ups and downs of life on the street, and favored our story.

One factor led to a different and we had been solid in RV Nomads – the Film, an unbiased, full size characteristic movie premiering October 20, 2018 at a theater in the midst of nowhere – Wellington, Texas – about 100 miles from Amarillo.

I had the chance to study hands-on, what it takes to make a film and labored on manufacturing as lead grip and third cameraman. We shot the film with about 20 different solid and crew members in Wellington, Texas and Salida, Colorado from Could – July, and realized a lot. It actually was an important expertise, so will probably be superb to look at the film on the massive display this weekend at NomadFEST – an occasion the place 500 RVers are getting collectively to boondock for Four days. There might be concert events, BBQs, seminars and a convention, and naturally, we’re all there to look at the RV Nomads movie premiere. As an unbiased movie, it received’t be in main theaters, however it is possible for you to to stream it without spending a dime on-line from November 15.  You’ll find out extra at: www.rvnomadsthemovie.com

It’s thoughts blowing what number of profitable individuals we’ve met on the street which can be actually grabbing life by the horns and making it what they need it to be. We so hardly ever meet anybody that’s bored or depressed, I truly can’t bear in mind the final time. Present me a cul-de-sac in suburbia the place you’ll be able to say the identical!

Are you able to inform us about your RV and should you’ve needed to customise it to suit your life-style?

Our RV is a 2016 41-foot Forest River Cedar Creek 36CKTS fifth wheel. We’ve custom-made it by including a big photo voltaic and battery system, weBoost Drive4G-X cell booster, TPMS system on the tires, heavy-duty stairs, and 4 completely different water filters.

We pull it with a 14 Silverado 3500HD 4×Four lengthy mattress. I’ve custom-made it by switching to AT tires on the rear, putting in a 45-inch curved lightbar on the entrance bumper, a 40-gallon gravity fed AUX tank within the mattress, a 15cf instrument field between the gasoline tank and hitch, 20okay fifth wheel hitch, I wired it for a CB (I simply have to seek out one that may match inside), diesel tuner, upgraded all shocks, put bike racks on the roof, and altered all oils and grease to full artificial, which will get noticeably higher mileage.

One other noteworthy improve was having all eight tires crammed with nitrogen, which handles quickly altering temperatures and elevations significantly better.

Are you able to inform me about your setup? How do you energy your RV, what do you do for water, warmth, and communications?

Fifth Wheel Trailer

We love boondocking and staying off-grid, so we put in eight Excessive Tech 200w panels on the roof for 1600w of photo voltaic. We wired them into two units, entrance, and rear in case of shade. Every set runs right into a Morningstar Tristar 45-amp cost controller. We selected 4 815-amp hour Full River L16 AGM batteries for energy storage. Lastly, we put in a Magnum 3000w hybrid inverter/charger. The Magnum is run to the proper aspect of my breaker panel. We shuffled the breakers round to solely have the methods we would like powered whereas boondocking on the inverter. It was simpler than shopping for and mounting a sub panel.

For water, we have now an Aquatank II 65-gallon water bag and 12v switch pump to refill with out transferring the RV.

Now we have two small electrical area heaters and the built-in propane heater. Our batteries maintain sufficient that we are able to run electrical warmth provided that it’s above 55 outdoors. Under 55 we’ll run propane as wanted. We’re at the moment taking a look at a simpler propane heater.

We’re at the moment engaged on upgrading comms. I’ve put in the weBoost mobile booster, however we nonetheless want WIFI hotspots from Verizon and AT&T to fill in T-Cellular useless zones. I additionally have to discover a CB that may match within the cab; my truck may be very tight.

While you’re not driving, the place do you park and the way lengthy do you usually keep?

RV Trailer Parked on Public Land

We favor to remain on public lands. We discover the Bureau of Land Administration (BLM) and US Forest Service are often one of the best. Nonetheless, we’ve additionally discovered many free state parks. The size of keep all is determined by why we’re there… Typically it’s an in a single day, different instances we keep for the total two weeks allowed; then we transfer on.

Does anybody ever hassle you out on the street or once you’ve arrange?

We’ve by no means had anybody hassle us instantly. Nonetheless, a good friend of mine was attacked by some off-leash canines on BLM land earlier this yr. When she confronted the canine’s proprietor he shoved her and began yelling at her, and I needed to intervene. In any other case, we usually discover boondocking to be protected and really peaceable. Most individuals follow themselves.

Do you might have emergency backup plans in place for dangerous climate or anything which will go mistaken?

We feature an emergency NOAA climate alert radio. It’s going to sound an alarm when sure climate warnings are introduced. I like that we’re in a position to program it to solely alert us to what we wish to learn about. Then it’s not going off all night time for thunderstorm warnings.

If there’s a twister menace, we’ll depart the RV in a heartbeat and search a hard-sided shelter. The RV is insured for a motive.

As for different “stuff” that might go mistaken I’ve a number of pals from the military I’ve made plans with. I’ve additionally saved further provides in a number of areas across the nation.

Are you able to present some suggestions for people who find themselves occupied with doing the identical factor?

RV Trailer

Should you suppose full-time RV dwelling is just too costly, I’ve received information for you. We’ve met many full-timers dwelling out of older rigs they paid money for once they bought their homes. Spend a number of thousand on photo voltaic, and you’ll stay without spending a dime on public land a lot of the time – inside their guidelines in fact. When you eradicate your mortgage/hire, you don’t have to make almost as a lot cash to stay. Lots of people keep in full-time jobs working exhausting to pay for stuff they don’t even want, which may make you are feeling chained down. While you notice you don’t want all that stuff, you’ll be able to start to discover new methods to seek out your freedom.

What impact has the cellular life-style had on you and your loved ones? Is it simple to make pals or nonetheless have a social life out on the street?

We’ve made extra lifelong pals within the final two years of RVing than we’d made within the earlier 20 years. I’m shocked at what number of great individuals we’ve met on the street. I doubt I might have met half as many superb individuals if I’d lived the remainder of my life in suburbia. I may be engaged on my truck in an RV park and get a number of affords for assist from full strangers! Since many RVers are seniors and have been RVing for a decade or extra, I’ve realized it’s value listening to what they need to say. I really like how I can meet a complete stranger and sit down for an hour swapping tales about classes realized alongside the way in which. I discover them wanting to share their information and experiences.

What are a few of the challenges related to dwelling in such a small place?

The largest problem is selecting what to carry. In contrast to a home, you might have a finite quantity of area to retailer issues. And to make issues worse, RVs can solely maintain a specific amount of weight, so you’ll want to keep conscious of what you carry with you and deal with what’s most crucial to you.

Residing the RV life exhibits you what’s actually necessary and find out how to stay minimally with no need or wanting a lot nugatory stuff. It provides you freedom from over-consumerism and teaches you to stay extra merely.

What sort of challenges have you ever confronted, and should you needed to begin over is there something you’ll do otherwise this time?

Our first RV, which was bought model new, was a lemon that needed to be returned to the manufacturing facility for 2 months of rebuilding. It’s doing significantly better now we have now labored by way of plenty of the “points,” however I wouldn’t change a factor… The Lemon RV video collection we made has helped many different RVers, it grew our YouTube channel, and finally led to touchdown our position within the RV Nomads film!

How do you’re employed from the street? Do you might have any suggestions for individuals who want to make the leap however are nervous about how they will finance the approach to life?

fifth wheel and truck

I’m a medically retired disabled vet, in order that accounts for many of our revenue. We additionally run a YouTube channel about RV life and touring referred to as Hebard’s Travels, and now we’re engaged on the RV Nomads’ movie undertaking.

If you wish to go full time, it’s actually greatest to discover a line of labor you are able to do from the street and guarantee you might have a gentle revenue stream first. Then discover a aspect hustle and work on one thing you’re obsessed with, like documenting your adventures and life on the street by way of images, video, music or phrases. You’d be amazed on the alternatives that may come up.

You’ll be able to actually work from wherever, so long as you might have a WiFi sign. I read that by 2020, 50-percent of the U.S. workforce might be comprised of freelancers, and by 2022 the cellular workforce will account for 42.5-percent of the worldwide workforce. This new self-employed financial system favors different dwelling areas over the “McMansion” obsessed shopping for tradition of the American home-owner.

The RV Nomads solid represents 15 completely different {couples} and people who’re efficiently RVing, so I counsel watching the movie for inspiration should you’re contemplating life on the street!  You’ll be able to watch the film without spending a dime on-line from November 15 at www.epicnomadtv.com.

Do you might have any ultimate phrases of recommendation for these seeking to both go off the grid or do one thing just like what you might be doing? What ought to they anticipate, what can they do to arrange for the change in life-style?

Hebards Travel Adventures

My greatest recommendation is begin downsizing at present. Should you suppose you wish to stay in an RV, eliminating the additional stuff is step one. As soon as that’s achieved every little thing else may be achieved quite shortly.  Solely purchase objects which can be multi-purpose. As a consequence of your RVs area and weight restrictions, objects that can be utilized in a number of functions are key.

Something you wished you had realized or studied earlier than going off the grid? Or that you’d have gone again and achieved otherwise earlier than going off the grid?

I want I’d realized extra about boondocking, photo voltaic and tenting without spending a dime on public lands earlier than we began. Staying off the grid in our first yr would have saved us a ton of cash and stress. I’m simply glad we figured it out in our second yr. Tenting on BLM land in the midst of nowhere is so extremely peaceable and quiet. It’s actually taught me find out how to calm down and relax. Each of which have instantly helped my PTSD restoration and marriage.


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