Our First Month On The Road As Nomads

Our first month on the road as full time nomads in October 2017 was exciting for sure. It all went pretty smooth despite the fact that we jumped into our new journey head over heels. We finished our trailer renovation late at night the day before we hit the road.
The last two months before we left our home in New York City was a chaotic and intense time as everything was happening at once: we were still working at our workplaces until the last week while still continuing our trailer renovation, at the same time downsizing our belongings and moving out of our rental apartment into the trailer all while saying goodbye to our friends and family. Craziness.

New York City To Florida

Once we left, we had a whole month to get from New York City to Florida, and we had somewhat of an idea of a route but honestly we did not have the time to do too much research. Neither of us had ever towed a travel trailer or anything like it until the week we left. A friend of us who had much experience hitching up and pulling things was nice enough to teach us the basics and gave Damian a 2h driving and practice lesson. I/Eliane learned while watching Damian and then did my first towing practice in an empty lot on the third day of our journey. From then on we have both been towing the trailer and sharing the load. We knew we wanted to visit Shanendoah National Park and we wanted to do some hiking there for sure. Since we were newbies at driving a big vehicle, we double checked our route with an app called CoPilot that helps to navigate large vehicles and with that all went well even when driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was astonished, that after only a couple days we already managed to back up our truck and trailer at a gas station because we pulled into it without realizing that the turn was too tight to pull forward and out of it. Not just once. Twice. Yup. Fun stuff! Sweating bullets and tense moments for sure. But it all makes for a great learning experience and a good laugh when thinking back to those moments.

Our Route, October 2017:

-New York City NY
-Egg Harbor Township and Lakewood NJ
-Carlisle PA
-Waynesboro VA
-Shanendoah National Park VA
-Grottoes VA
-Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin VA
-Boonville NC
-Spartanburg/Gaffney SC
-Sparks GA
-Bushnell FL
-St Augustine and Anastasia State Park FL

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Travel Trailer Renovation for Full Time Living Before And After

See how we turned our tiny home on wheels from a brown box into a cheerful and colorful space. We replaced a few things to make it more eco-friendly, fixed a rotten floor and added bamboo flooring, a new kitchen countertop, a work desk and composting toilet. We replaced the dinette table, covered the sofa and dinette cushions with new fabric and painted the whole interior. We hope you enjoy our before and after tour!

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Remodeling Travel Trailer Interior For Full Time RV Living

When we bought our used travel trailer, the 2003 model was basically a brown box with a sofa and cushions that were sprinkled with American flags and Eagles. Not exactly our style! Since we were going to live in it full time, we wanted to make it into something homey, colorful and cheerful. During our cosmetic renovation  and remodel, we replaced a few things to make it more eco-friendly, but also changed some things to simply make it more pleasing to the eye.

Since we work remotely from our trailer and on location, we needed a solution to have 2 work spaces as well. The original trailer had a cabinet and a captain chair installed on the left side of the entrance, but the previous owner had already removed the chair, which was great for us, as it provided for the perfect place to add a work desk.

We replaced the dinette table with a simple built that has a slot to store laptops and hard drives so it can be used as a work desk and dining table while not having to shuffle around too much. We also replaced the fake-wood kitchen countertop with an inexpensive and simple butcher-block type wood and replaced the double sink with a small bar sink to get more countertop space.

As for the original sofa and cushions, the Eagles and flags are just not our style, so we covered the sofa with a simple fabric and added some color with pillows that we already had. And with only a few alterations we turned our old looking brown box into a modern colorful home.

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Installing Bamboo Flooring In Our Travel Trailer

When we bought our used travel trailer we decided to add bamboo flooring to cover the unattractive beige laminate floor that came with the 2003 original built. When we researched flooring options that were suitable for a travel trailer or RV, our criteria were 1. eco-friendliness, 2. light-weight, 3. water and scratch resistance, 4. low cost.

Although we loved the idea of using reclaimed wood, there were three main problems that came with it: 1. Finding reclaimed wood is hard to find if you live in New York City and don’t have a car to drive around and search for it, 2. wood is quite heavy and would have added a lot of weight to our trailer, 3. it can be more costly than some other options.

We learned, that Linoleum flooring would be a great eco-friendly option as the material is made of natural solidified linseed oil, pine resins, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, most often on a burlap or canvas backing. Linoleum flooring comes in different colors, is water resistant, lasts for up to 40 years and is low-maintenance.

Vinyl flooring is commonly mistaken as being the same as Linoleum flooring but the truth is far from it. Vinyl is a synthetic product made of mostly petroleum, a non-renewable resource. It is inexpensive, water resistant, wear resistant and easy to peel-and-stick to the floor, but we decided against it as it is not an eco-friendly option.

Cork flooring is another natural and eco-friendly option as cork is being harvested from tree bark of Cork Oak Trees, and the bark is growing back after stripping it. Cork flooring is great because it has a warm look, somewhat soft surface, helps to insulate the floor, it is waterproof, mold and mildew resistant. The eco-friendliness of the manufacturing however can differ greatly as well as the cost.

Recycled tiles are another eco-friendly option for a house, but not for a moving RV that is going through earth-quake like vibrations every time it moves.

Bamboo flooring has grown in popularity lately and for us it was the best solution for our travel trailer renovation project. Bamboo is a fast growing plant and much more sustainable than wood. We recommend to buy bamboo from a provider that is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. FSC is a global organization devoted to responsible management of the world’s forests. Another point to consider is purchasing a better quality eco-bamboo that is made with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) components.

We decided on bamboo because it is low-maintenance, water resistant, easy to install, somewhat light weight and affordable all while having the warm look of a hardwood floor.  We have been happy with our decision on the floor and it has held up well so far.

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