Last Update: 7/25/2017

Streaming GoT Over 3G in the Van

Holy fuckin' shit! Game of Thrones. I'm addicted! Thank gawd HBO and Amazon Channels team up to let me stream GoT over a slowish connection! It's a van life natural!

3G Connection Works Great for Vanholio

Vanholio's got an unlimited 3G Verizon MiFi (for now). For most a what he does in van life, that's decent enough. I ain't producin' video or nothin', after all. Mostly I just work with text and low-res photos.

But what about the Good Life? What about streamin' movies and TV shows on occassion? Is 3G fast enough? It is with a few services.

Streaming Services for Low Bandwidth Compared

I found that YouTube is good, especially on low quality settins. Even with crap connection, ya can be real patient and load up the video bit by bit.

The other one that works decent is Amazon movies, includin' their HBO service.

Don't know 'bout Netflix. But last time I tried Hulu, it SUCKED!

Google Play lets ya download movies ya rent, so that might be good. Don't know. Ain't tried.

Game of Thrones Got Me by the Balls!

Yeah, so a week ago last Sunday, I realized that GoT Season 7 was havin' its premiere. Was at a place where my 3G had plenty a bars.

So to scratch my itch, I signed up for a 7-day free trial of Amazon Channel HBO. Now I'm hooked in for the season at $14.99 a month. Ya can quit any time, but a course, I ain't quittin till GoT Season 7 is over.

Had I been usin' my brain, I woulda waited till the season was over, then signed up for my free week trial'n watched the whole thing in an orgy of GoT boobage'n slaughter. But no. Knowin' it's there now is like knowin' there's chocolate in the fridge.

At least Vanholio can also go back now and watch all first six seasons ta look for clues'n such. And I got to watch Episode 2 last Sunday, so there's that. Plus off Prime, I watched Iron Man.

What's Your Experience With Movie Streaming in the Van?

Help out your fellow vanners and rubbertramps. What streamin movie services been workin' out well for ya? Which'n have sucked donkey balls and turned your van life leisure to shit? Inquirin' minds GoTta know.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 7/21/2017

Free 'Dispersed' Camping – Key to Cheap Vanlife

dispersed campsite

In case ya ain't heard, here's a tip for ya about dispersed campin'. It's what makes vanlife so cheap. And it's good to know about if ya like campin' and ya like FREE, even if you're a housebound.

See, a good chunk of USA land is owned by the state and federal governments. On a bunch a that land run by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other entities, ya can camp for free just about anywhere ya want along a dirt road. For free!

Catch is that ya have to bring your own water and usually have to shit in the woods like a bear.

The usual rules are:
  • 14 days max
  • Bury your shit
  • Haul out your trash
  • Don't go more than 300 ft. off a marked road
  • Preferably use a site already used before

If you're in Canada, 'bout the same rules work on Crown Land.

Lots a vanlife folks an' other nomads just go from dispersed site to dispersed site, never payin' a dollar! No rent, no mortgage, no hassles.

I could go on, but all this's been well covered by others. Check out this article on Gear Junkie, "Camp For Free On Public Land: ‘Dispersed Camping’ 101". Or watch the video below by Bob Wells of Cheap RV Living.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 7/18/2017

Casino Camping for Cheap Rollers

Did ya know that many casinos will let ya stay overnight in your RV or camper? Many of them for free! Whole listins at

Last night, Vanholio was headin' north toward Colorado and started gettin' tired around Santa Fe. Was plannin' to stop over at a spot I know by Taos.

But then I pulled in to get gas by the Camel Rock Casino in Tesuque Pueblo. The pump was workin' away, and I headed toward the store to hit the head. And why did I see? A sign sayin' "RV/Camper Parking"!

plastic bag of trash with trasher picker-upper gadget
Payin' the rent!
Well, I asked the cashier girl what needin' doin' the spend the night there.

"Anythin' special I need to do?" I said.

"Nope. Just pull in and park."

So that's what I did! Slept like a baby.

Now, the Camel Rock Casino RV lot ain't all that fancy. Just a dirt lot with safety lights.

But some a the casino RV lots are real, real nice, like the "Las Vegas Circus Circus KOA campground," shown at top. (Photo by Mark Metzler, CC-BY-2.0.) They got hookups and all!

Vanholio done showed his gratitude to Tesuque Pueblo by pickin' up about 20 gallons of trash this mornin' before he left with his Grappler "Extended Reach & Pickup Tool". Didn't clean up all the trash other assholes left behind, but it's a dent. Sorta makes up for not gamblin' at the casino.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 7/14/2017

5 Reasons NOT to Camp by Water

Class B van camper is by lake, has big red X over it
It's a damn iconic scene: a tent or camper by a creek or lake, campfire smolderin' away. Or maybe the same on a beach. It's probably your dream van life scene. Well, let Vanholio tell you why that's bullshit!

1. Crowds

Traveling Mailbox ad
You think it'd be great to park your van by the lakeside? So does every other dumbass! Especially on warm holiday weekends, the lakeside gets fuckin' crowded. Same with the creeks. Same with the seaside.

Wanna hear some other asshole's blastin' music? Wanna smell rottin' fish guts that got thrown on the shore? Wanna hear screamin' kids? Wanna smell fryin' bacon ya won't get ta eat? Well, go for it. Better you than me.

2. Parasites

Guess what else loves water? Mosquitoes! That goes for lakes, ponds, marshes, creeks, rivers, seashore, bays, and the rest. Water equals mosquitoes. It's a simple goddamn formula.

Oh, and if there's the least foliage around? Ticks! I fuckin' hate ticks! Nasty little fuckers. I guaran-damn-tee you that shady, wooded spot by the river with all the pretty flowers is fulla goddman ticks awaitin' to suck your blood and give you lyme disease. Blech!

3. Scavengers

Humans and the only critters that love to go by the water. So do rats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, stray dogs and cats, an' every other kinda scavenger ya can think on. Why? Where else they gonna get a heapin' of human-type food and a good drink, too? Yeah, that's right.

Skunks are the goddamn worse of the bunch, in Vanholio's considered opinion. First, they don't give a fuck about people and'll just come in near anytime at their leisure. They ain't hardly coy about it. Second, they stink, even when they don't spray. Ya can always tell when Peppie le Pew is about!

4. Humidity

I done talked before 'bout how humidity makes the cold colder and the hot hotter. Well, air is more humid by bodies a water for some reason. Ain't that a shock! Better to be further away in dryer air.

'Course, sometimes that nature works ta your advantage. Say, when you're on the leeward side of a lake on a hot day. Then the lake water cools the breeze before it hits ya. Or sometimes, too, it's nice to get by a cold, shady creek on a hot, sunny day. But camp by them places? You'll wake up wet and cold in the mornin'.

5. Flooding

This is sometimes a risk. It's less guaranteed, sure, an' ya can watch the weather. But gettin' flooded out stinks. And, no, I don't just mean if you and your get washed away. That's rare. What's more common is findin' yourself peelin' out tires in marsh-wet mud. How 'bout them apples!?

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 7/10/2017

Podcasts for the Van Life Lifestyle

Closeup of microphone with podcast definition behind. Text says, “Vandwelling Podcasts? I’ve Got a List!”

Living in a van down by the river? Wanna be? Want podcasts on the car, RV, digital nomad and vandweller lifestyle? I’ve collected this huge list of van life-related podcasts!

Did I overlook some? Are some of the links defunct? Comment below, and I’ll update!

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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Last Update: 7/07/2017

Van Life Warmth and Cool More Than Temperature Control

military gal adds water to WGBT measurement device

Temperature ain’t even hardly all that matters to feelin’ warm or cool. Think “WGBT” when you gear your van or choose your van life camps.

What Is WGBT?

WGBT initializes “Wet-bulb Globe Temperature.” It considers how temperature, wind speed, humidity, and infrared radiation (usually sunlight) affect your body to create a perceived temperature. In a way, you already know this shit. It’s common sense, really.


Thermostats in houses got folks thinkin’ about temp only, like it’s the most important thing. Then when they move into vans and RVs, they can focus too much on heatin’, coolin’, and what the thermometer and weather report say. Gotta think bigger!

Wind Speed

A breeze generally cools ya down. Unless ya just came out from AC and hit a hot wind. The same is true for your van.

Wanna keep the van feelin’ cooler on a hot day? Look for a breezy spot. Cold day? Park outta the wind.

Then of course, think on roof vent fans. If ya wanna get cooler, get fans blowin’ the air around. That’s what they’re for!


Moist air makes the hot feel hotter and the cold feel colder. Vanholio’s walked around in dry, Colorado air at 20 F, comfy in just a sweatshirt. Same temps in Maine such that he can’t seem ta get enough clothes on!

Here’s where them roof vent fans, open windows, and anything that improves air circulation helps keep comfy. They’ll keep your own breath an’ cookin’ moisture from buildin’ up inside the van. Plus, if ya pull in extra moisture, say by gettin’ in the van all wet, fans’n such’ll dry things out and blow the wet outside.

Flip side is that if you’re in hot, dry places, ya can add moisture – spritz yourself with water, wet your sheets, hang a wet towel by the fan – to suck in extra heat from the air. It’s like a cheap swamp cooler.

Infrared Radiation (Sunlight)

Ya got enough brains to sit in the shade on a hot day? Good! Do the same with your van.

Put up reflectors, awnings, and tarps. If ya can park under a tree or in the shade of a cliff or buildin’ on a hot day, awesome. Go north in summer to where the sun is less strong, if ya can. Camp on the east side of a mountain so the sun disappears earlier.

In winter, go to sunny places if ya can. Park in the open. Point your van’s nose south so that the front windows are like a greenhouse. Park on the south side of a buildin’ or cliff where you’ll get sun and the wall behind’ ya gets all warmed up.

Let’s Think Bigger Yet!

Now that you’ve dipped your toe, check out some a these articles on low-tech, old-fashioned ways folks kept warm and cool – without throwin’ energy-intensive heaters and AC at it. Then apply their lessons to your van life.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

Also See ...

Why You Need 2 Roof Vent Fans on Your Van
Greenhouse for Winter Van Life Warmth
Reflectix Insulation in Vans Done Right
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Last Update: 7/04/2017

Verizon Ending Prepaid 3G Unlimited Data?

Verizon $5 prepaid data refill card

Have one of those shady Verizon $5 per month unlimited 3G data Mifi's? Looks like that angle's comin' to an end. I ain't absolutely sure, mind you, but signs point that way.

Here's How It Worked

If ya don't know what I'm talkin' about, here's the deal. Third-party sellers would buy an old Verizon mobile with a grandfathered $5 per month prepaid unlimited 3G data. Then they'd extract the code and flash it onto a Mifi. That way, the Verizon network *thinks* the Mifi is the old phone with the grandfathered plan. These they sold online, many on eBay.

The end user of a flashed Mifi would then buy $5 Verizon data cards – often from Walmart online – and call in to a Verizon toll-free number to prepay each month. Some have been doin' this for years.

Yeah, that's definitely against the user agreement and maybe illegal. But dammit, it was cheap, and it worked! Verizon didn't seem in too much hurry to ferret out the abusers. But now it looks like we're gettin' cut off.

What Just Changed

Verizon is disconnectin' heavy data users in rural areas. That's been covered in the press. But there's another wrinkle to the story. They're makin' hard to refill those grandfathered $5 unlimited plans, too.

Today, I went to Walmart's website per usual to buy my monthly Verizon $5 data card. Suddenly, they no longer sell 'em. Neither does Best Buy. Shit!

I did manage to buy some on eBay – marked up to $6.29 each. But it definitely looks like the jig is up!

This's Been Comin'

Mind you, Verizon announced years ago that they was phasing out 3G by 2021. I noticed already that 3G networks are gone from some bigger cities.

On the other hand, 4G LTE ain't in some rural and wilder areas Vanholio roams. It's only 3G or, worse, 2G or 1X. But that ain't many places, really.

Now, I suspect Verizon is still gonna support legit 3G users with monthly accounts till 2021. At least thems that don't use crazy amounts a data. But prepaid? It looks like they're cuttin' us loose.

Probably ain't too many legitimate users left anyway. And Verizon'll likely offer the few mad ones a deal.

But for scammers like ol' Vanholio? After the leftover data cards sell out, we're SOL.

Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.

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