Last Update: 8/22/2017

Take Down, Replace ALL Civil War Statues!

Lately, every asshole’s got a fuckin’ opinion on takin’ down Civil War statues. Specifically Confederate statues. Vanholio says take ‘em all down, Confederate AND Union. Here’s why …

It's my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. — Mal, Firefly

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

Vanholio says Mal called it right. Fuck all them generals and politicians. They didn’t do the dyin’ and bleedin’! They caused the war! They don’t deserve no fuckin’ statues of ‘em!

The Civil War Was a Leadership Fuckup

Accordin’ to the Civil War Trust, “Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War.” That don’t even count the civilians dead or starvin’, or the horses, dogs, and other critters killed.

Why!? What was that fuckin’ war about? I know, I know — endin’ slavery, states rights, preservin’ the Union — take your pick. All worthy on paper, for both sides. But fact is, they shoulda worked all that out through talk, not murder.

And after all them dead, was it worth it!? Blacks got free, sorta. Until Jim Crow. Still an improvement, no doubt. (I sure as hell wouldn’t wanna be no chattel slave!) Overall, though, poor folk, the ones who did the bleedin’, Black and White, didn’t get no richer nor more powerful.

But the bigshot politicians and generals who pushed the whole fuckin’ thing stayed in charge mostly — on both sides. Some a them made fortunes!

Replace the Civil War Statues With Somethin’ Worthy

So here’s what Vanholio proposes: Take all them statues down, Northern and Southern. Yes, even Lincoln! And put them in a new DC museum, The National Museum of Will and Folly.

Then if towns need somethin’ in their places, how about this:

A statue with two brothers, one Confederate and one Union, dead and embracing. The artist should make it unclear whether they’re huggin' or if they killed each other fightin’ hand-to-hand and died that way. And kneeling beside them is their mother, her hands coverin' her face in sorrow and shame.

That’s the only fuckin’ statue worthy of the Civil War. If God is just and loving, it’d be the only statue not an idolatrous abomination to Him. Unlike the shit worship of warmongering, murderous sommbitches we got now. Might as well be statues of Cain!

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Last Update: 8/18/2017

'Nomadland' – Book on the Dark Side of Vandwelling and US Capitalism

vans and rvs lined up in Quartzsite, AZ, mountains in back. Men in foreground getting water from public spigots.
Journalist Jessica Bruder's new book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," is all about the ugly side of van life. She gets into how people takes to it 'cause they're strugglin' to get by.

Now, Vanholio loves van life. But if ya think it's about sexy yoga poses afront of your pimped out classic vanagon, think again. It ain't that way for most. Lots a nomads take up the life 'cause the system fucked them over. Worst stories is retirees who can't get by on Social Security. That shit just ain't fair!

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

Some a them same people love van life. I met 'em, an' they told me. Life gave 'em lemons, and they made some fuckin' sweet lemonade. But that don't change the fact that folks is gettin' lemons while the 1% is gettin' fatter'n prize hogs.

book cover of Nomadland
Click to buy at
Vanholio ain't read "Nomadland" yet. But van life blogger Alan Christensen at The Rolling Steel Tent has. Al has high praise for Bruder and her book.

I did read Bruder's article on Harper's, "The End of Retirement: When You Can’t Afford to Stop Working." Damn good shit! The book's an expansion of the article. I'm gonna read that book soon as I get my hands on it!

'Nomadland' Blurb Off

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” 
On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others―including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May.
In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy―one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.  

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Last Update: 8/15/2017

5 Ways Your Job Don't Pay Good as You Think

Dollar bill with George Washington bug-eyed surprised and his hands on his forehead
Ain't nothin' costs ya more than strugglin' to make a buck. Drains your wallet in a bunch a ways, too. Gotta ask yourself: Is your job worth it? Would van life be better?

Here's part a what I learned long time ago from "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. It totally change Vanholio's direction and got him into van life – eventually.

This here is part of one of the nine steps in the book. It'll get ya thinkin' ...

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

Real Wage = Gross Wage – Taxes – Work-Related Expenses

Most folks think their wage is what they earn. Well, maybe their wage after taxes. If they're real sophisticates, then they add in their fringe benefits. But that ain't enough. Ya gotta calculate in ALL the work-related expenses. Only then will ya get the real picture.

5 Work Expenses to Subtract From Your Wages

1. Showing Up and Suiting Up

For most jobs, ya got work clothes, commutin', lunches, trainin' (especially if college is involved!), dry cleanin' maybe, mobile phone service, and a host a things your expected to have. In some jobs ya got to keep up an image, and that makes it worse!

Ask yourself: Would I spend money on X, Y, and Z if I didn't have a job? For anything where the answer is "yes," subtract that expense from your wages.

2. Little Compensations

Hard work has whole lot a other tiny expenses. The harder I work, for example, the more I spend on eatin' out, coffee, beer, full-price books and movies, conveniences, and a whole lotta other services. 'Cause I deserve it!

But damn, them small luxuries can add up. And some a them ain't too good for ya in bunches, neither.

Subtract your "compensations," the ones you don't spend on when you're chill. They cuts outta your real wages.

3. Pay for Play

And of course, when you work hard, ya gotta play hard. Yep, need your downtime from all that killin' yourself for The Man.

Vacations cost big money. Hobbies and sports cost big money. All the fun that gets you away from your life costs big money. And it seems like ya got it to spend, too.

But don't forget to add it into the expenses of your job. Like the little compensations, it cuts into your real wages.

On the flip side, the more ya can make your life like a vacation, the less ya need to spend extra on all this stuff. Maybe that means workin' less. Or maybe that means makin' a livin' doin' what ya love or bein' where you love.

4. Escape Schemes

When your job sucks, you're lookin' for a way out. Often, you blow money on them schemes, too: risky stocks, lottery tickets, get-rich books, multilevel marketing programs, etc., etc.

If your gettin' soaked for dreamin', take that off your wages, too.

5. Poor Health

Lots a folks, 'specially if they're older, kiss The Man's ass for health insurance. But what's all that stress and humiliation costin' your body and mind?

Americans are drugged up on antidepressants, opiods, liquor, sleep pills, and all kinds a other shit 'cause work stress is fritzin' them out. Even things like cholesterol medication and such is sometimes 'cause folks don't got time to cook and eat right. And who has time to exercise?

If you're spendin' on medications and doctors and coaches 'cause your job keeps you wired up, stressed out, sittin' on your ass, and eatin' junk all the time, start subtractin' them costs from your wages, too.

Is Your Job Worth It? Can Ya Relate?

If ya done all that above, maybe it's got ya depressed. It gets worse. The second part is to divide your net profit into the total hours your job sucks up. That's your 40 hours plus commutin' plus doin' extra laundry plus drivin' to get your kids from the sitter plus all the other shit ya wouldn't do without that job.

So did ya start the math? Is your job lookin' like it pays pitiful? Does quittin' and movin' into a van look more attractive ... ? Comment below.

And check out "Your Money or Your Life." I promise: After the harsh steps, you'll start seein' the way out to financial freedom. No gimmicks. Just sensible progress.

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Last Update: 8/11/2017

Is Living in a Van Lonely?

Vanagon on a lonely stretch of desert dirt road, sunset coming
A reader asked me if it’s lonely living in a van down by the river. He’s considering OTR (on the road) van life, and it worries him. But no, Vanholio don’t find it lonesome. Here’s 4 reasons why.

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

4 Reasons Living in a Van Ain't Lonely

1. You Can Meet Up With Folks All Over

One of my favorite things about being an OTR vandweller is spending more time with friends and family all over the country. I’m not tied down by place-specific work, obligations, or housing. So it’s easy to visit my peeps, staying a week or more at a time.

As for meetin' new people, your best bet is to go to meetups and events designed for minglin'. Bob Wells at started the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous for just that reason.

And if you park your ass a bit, you’ll almost certainly get to know folks. Last summer, I stayed at a tiny RV park in the New Mexico mountains for a few weeks. Vanholio is an introvert, but little by little, I got to know my neighbors and chit-chatted a bit, without even trying. It’s natural.

2. You Can Travel With Companions – 2 and 4 Legged

If you don’t have a significant other to join you full time, how about traveling with friends? Even for only short periods? Maybe your best buddy or BFF would want to fly out to meet you for his or her vacation and see a bit of the country?

And don’t forget about pets! Vanholio travels his Chihuahua, Ms. Barkley.  She's great company and a good burglar alarm, too. No one sneakin' up on Vanholio, I tell you what!

3. Social Media Keeps You in Touch

Vanholio is in contact with his peeps most, thanks to Facebook, Skype, email, Google+, and the rest. Plus phone calls. And you know what, Boys and Girls? We even still got such a thing as paper letters, sent via the Postal Service! Been keeping folks connected for centuries.

4. Solitude Ain’t Like Loneliness

Here’s the final kicker. Since Vanholio’s been vandwelling full time, he’s discovered that he ain’t hardly lonesome in the woods and mountains. Even when I couldn’t get internet, I’ve been happy as a pig in shit. The same weren’t ever true banging around the old apartment, which depressed the shit outta me.

I don’t know, but I figure the sounds, sights, and smells of nature are what we’re evolved for. Trees, wind, birds, running water, and the rest are kinda like company. They’re relaxin’, actually. In Japan, researchers have found that time in the forest makes you healthier. Whatchya know!?

No, Van Life Ain’t Lonely (Unless You’re an Asshole)

So get the hell out there! Van life ain’t any more lonely than any other kinda life. It’s up to you! Don't believe me? Here's a second opinion.

Also Read ...

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Last Update: 8/08/2017

'People' Who Smear Their Shit Around Public Places

swastika drawn on bathroom tile with shit -- real shit!
Posted before on findin' a turd on the toilet floor, plus other crap – literally. Turns out this is common. A slice a Americans do this for shits and giggles. It's a well-known thang by the survivors a campground hostin', retail (especially clothin'), and restaurants.

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

Shit Is Gettin' Spread All Over America!

Now, I ain't talkin' about folks as get diarrhea an' miss, then don't clean it up nor tell no one. That's gross, but understandable in a way. Who wants to admit to a thing like that!?

No, I'm talkin' about sick fuckin' bastards who sling their shit around on purpose! Psychologists call what these shitheads do "voluntary encopresis." They gots a name for it!

Don't know what more to say. Squigs ol' Vanholio out. So here's some stories to laugh, cry, or vomit over … (And do follow the links if ya can stand more.)

Shitty Tales of Shit Mishandled

Warning sign stuck on telephone pole about "Frank," who reportedly shat in the poster's kitchen. Sick!
Saw this on Facebook just this morning!
Shitty Retail Stories

"To everyone who thinks a job at Victoria's Secret is glamorous... Today I found and cleaned up poop in the fitting room #vsemployeeproblems" — Ashley Nyhoff, Victoria's Secret

“'There was a pile of clothes [in the Clearance section] that, like, three people could have slept on, it was so big,' she said. As she dug deeper into the pile, the first thing that hit her was the smell. 'Somebody had gone out of their way to stuff into the very center of the pile, not the bottom, mind you, but the dead center of the pile, a shitty diaper,' she said." — Amanda Atkinson, Old Navy

Shitty Fast Food Story

"Used to work at a Wendy's and we had a frequent douche that used to do this. The worst one was the time he shit into a wad of toilet paper and threw it on the ceiling. When you walk into the bathroom, there was this wad of shit on the ceiling with toilet paper ribbon-dancing down from it. Worst Halloween decorations ever." — Boner999, Wendy's

Shitty School Story

"our mad crapper was truly insane. they would drop deuces in the most random places, sometimes in locations that would be, ordinarily, impossible. hallways. the principal's miniature palm tree(while said principal was getting coffee ten feet from her office). assemblies. sporting events.

"the assumption was that the crapper had accomplices but nobody ever owned up to witnessing the maestro at work.

"never any notes, never any cute warnings or taunting the authorities either. the crapper was a ghost. a poo-terrorist that could strike anywhere. they had the school on edge for five goddamn years.

"as far as i know nobody has ever confessed. the only reason they ever thought it was just one person was the fact that, apparently, all the turds were consistent - roughly the same mass, length, girth etc.

"honestly i'm 90% certain it was the cheerleader who came back as an assistant coach and counselor. just because nobody could have ever suspected her and she had the physical access to pull off the crapper's big fifth year." — buttery_shame_cave, a high school

Shitty Summer Camp Story

Sign on subway prohibiting defecation on the subway
Is this sign necessary!!??
"I once stayed at a summer camp as a child. We lived in the dorms of a local private high school for a couple weeks. Some guy would poop into paper bags and leave them around the dorm in random places. I think in total we found seven of them over the course of 2 weeks. After the RAs made an announcement that whoever was doing this should stop, someone drew a square on the wall in poo.

"My friends and I couldn't figure out how he drew the square. Did he hold his own turd? Did he squeeze it in his butt and draw a perfect square with his ass? What would drive a man to do such a thing?

"The mystery of the Unidumper lives on." — [redacted], summer camp USA

What's Their Shitty Motivation?

"My main issue is that I become extremely frustrated with family members and the hospital. Sometimes to release frustration, I have resorted to urinating and defecating on Walmart bathroom floor. Maintenance closed the public bathroom. I laughed so hard and thought it was humorous. Then, my frustration was released." — aimlove_89, Walmart

"Sort of relevant: My friend worked in a fast food restaurant when he was young, and one day someone opened the soap container in the bathroom and put shit in it. So then people would start washing their hands and be like 'What's on my hands?!' and try to wash it off, only to put more shit on their hands. They never found out who did it." — cleanjudith, "a friend"

My Shitty Conclusion

I don't get this "voluntary encopresis." I don't want to get it. I don't want to see it. I wish I could forget everythin' I now know.

But if you're gonna get into van life an' use public bathrooms, ya need to be aware.. An' gawd bless ya if ya become a campground host or workkamper!
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Last Update: 8/04/2017

Living in a Prius – 4 Example Videos

White Prius with tent attached to open rear hatch
Thing about "van life" is that it ain't about the van. It's about minimalist, nomadic freedom. An' sometimes, your best vehicle choice is a car. A Prius, for example.

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

Here's four example videos for Prius living to compare and contrast. But you could just as easily live out've some other small car or SUV. The point is leavin' all your shit behind and just plain livin'. The "how-to" options is endless! Google around for car'n SUV setups, and you'll see what I mean.

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Last Update: 8/01/2017

What’s the Damage to My Van, Mr. Mechanic Sir?

damaged van undercarriage, broken transmission
When ya use a front wheel drive van with 5.1” clearance as a 4WD, underside damage is likely, almost certain. Vanholio’s done learned this the hard way.

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

Caused $2,000 Damage Last Year!

Last year, I spent almost 2 Grand gettin’ the oil pan and oil pump replaced on my Promaster City, gettin’ the front stabilizer bar straightened, and gettin’ new front tires. That’s because Vanholio just can’t help hisself …

See, I love gettin’ back on the back roads – them forest roads deep into the mountains. Mostly, they’re kept smooth by the Forest Service and such. But here and there, they get washed out an’ rocky. That’s when Vanholio should turn around, but he just keeps goin’. My van ain’t made for that shit.

After blowin’ $2K last year, I swore – SWORE! – I were gonna stick ta smooth trails. Well, I tried, but that lesson ain’t deep enough in my bones yet. So while I been more careful, I still been scrapin’ and bumpin’ the vans bottom here and there.

Gettin’ Van Inspected Today

This minute, Vanholio’s hold up in a Motel 6 while the van’s gettin’ looked over by a Class A mechanic. Oh, she’s drivin’ fine. Only thing indicators say she needs is an oil change. But that mechanic is checkin’ her head to toe to see if there’s a problem before there’s a problem. Keepin’ my fingers crossed!

He’s also installin’ a spare tire holder I got. The Promaster City only came with one a them Slime and 12v pump kits. So I’m rectifyin’ that situation with a real spare tire – full size!

Might Get a Lift, Too!

Turns out Mr. Mechanic’s inta offroadin’. He thinks a Jeep lift kit might work on the Promaster City. They might share the same suspension. He’s lookin’ inta it for me. If that’s the case, I might well get her lifted, maybe even get some bigger tires.

We’ll see what it costs, both in money and performance – if it’s even doable.

I’m hopin’ bigtime! I don’t feel much need for more power, but a few more inches clearance might save me some headaches. We’ll see what he comes up with …

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Last Update: 7/28/2017

Save Money, Gas, and Globe – Slow Down!

Elderly male driver flips middle finger. Text reads, “Yeah, I’m driving below the speed limit. Got a problem?”
Vanholio is now your worst fucking nightmare. I’m that geezer driving 10+ miles below the speed limit, blocking traffic. And it’s earning me $600+ per year!

I wrote them last words and the rest a this post a year ago. But it's still all true!

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

See, I’ve always been a pedal-to-the-metal kind of guy. In my bad-boy youth, going 100+ mph wasn’t unusual. Even in my more conservative middle age, I’ve consistently pushed that extra 5-10 mph above the limit – just enough to avoid a ticket.

But I’ve made a discovery: Driving slower saves lots of gas and cash.

After running the numbers on the MPG for Speed website, I learned I could save almost $300-400 in gas in one year. All I’d need to do is go a maximum of 55 mph highway and ease up on the acceleration and braking. I’d also be saving money on engine and wheel repairs (including tires).

Vanholio is a cheap fucking bastard, so I gave it a try. Goddammit! I increased my fucking fuel efficiency by 30%, from 20.5 mpg to 27.0 mpg! And that’s driving through the mountains and canyons of southeastern Utah.

Turns out, I’m going to save over $600 this year! That’s at $2.20 per gallon prices!

Holy fucking crap! Those are some serious goddamned negadollars, Hotrod.

That’s also 30% less CO2 warming the planet on Vanholio’s behalf. That’s another plus. I like the Earth as it is, more or less. I don’t really want a desert in Nebraska. You know, where we grow the food.

Do what Vanholio says: Slow the fuck down, Hotrod! It’s good for your wallet and our one tiny planet.

And if any of you leadfoots out there got a problem with my driving, you can kiss my ass.

Also See ...

Slow the Fuck Down to Reduce Roadkill
Save the World by Doing Less, or Nothing
Top 7 Ways to Reduce Your Driving Emissions without Reducing Quality of Life (How Stuff Works)
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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.

Also See ...

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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.

Also See ...

This article was originally posted at
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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.

Also See ...

This article was originally posted on
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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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This article was originally posted at
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Last Update: 6/30/2017

Why You Need 2 Roof Vent Fans on Your Van

shows van with 2 roof vent fans. Front fan blows out hot air, back fan blows in cool air.
If most got a roof vent fan on their van, RV, or other rig, it's usually just the one. Why? It's plain dumb. I'll tell ya why two is way better for van life.

2 Roof Vent Fans Gives Best Van Life Ventilation

With two reversible Fan-tastic Vent or Maxxair roof vent fans on your rig, you got airflow options for all kinds a situations.

Situation 1 – Hot Outside, Closed-Up Van

Fan-Tastic Vent Fan

Like the picture, get one fan blowin' in and one blowin' out. At high speed, that's a lotta air movin'. If ya got reflectors or shades up in the windows, that means a good breeze and no radiant heat. That'll keep ya cool most days, makin' for a more pleasant van life.

When Vanholio leaves the dog in the van, he sets up like this. Ms. Barkley's been comfy in +100 temps, at least in low humidity.

Situation 2 – Hot Outside, Opened-Up Van

Campin' out in the desert, I'll set up awnings and tarps to shade the van's sides like an old wraparound porch. Then I'll open up all the doors and windows, then get both my Fan-tastic fans blowin' out. Add a spray bottle to mist myself with water, and I been damn comfy in +100 desert days. In humid places, I'm good up to about 90.

Situation 3 – Sleeping When Warm

When it's warm outside, or at least in the van, – but not what you'd call hot – I'll open both vents, but just get the front fan blowin' out. With the doors and windows closed, the air displaced by the front fan will get replaced by air sucking in the back fan's vent. Way my bed's set up, that cooler air drops right on my face! Damned pleasant.

Situation 4 – Sleeping When Cool

Maxxaire Roof Top Fan/Vent
When it's too cool to use the setup in Situation 3, but I still want some airflow to keep from getting stuffy, I'll open both vents. Then I'll get the back fan blowing out on a low setting. The replacement air comes in from the front vent atop my feet, which are covered by the blanket anyway. It's enough air to keep it fresh without chillin' me.

Situation 5 – Wet or Damp Inside the Van

Dependin' on the amount of wet and damp inside the van, Use the setups from Situations 1, 3, or 4.

One time, a thunderstorm broke when walkin' the dog. We got back both soaked. After changin', I had wet clothes and wet towels draped inside. And the bed and everythin' else was damp to wet. Temps were in the 50s, so we was chilled.

I set up like Situation 1 – one fan blowin' in, one blowin' out – and in maybe 30 minutes, me and the dog, and all the bed linens and blankets, was dry. After that, we was comfy all night.

Another time, it was a warm, humid spring day. Then at night, a cold front blowed in and dropped temps into the 30s. The dew dropped fast. I woke up shivering with my blankets and clothes damp, and my skin feelin' clammy.

So I set up like Situation 4 – back Fan-Tastic Vent fan blowin' out, front vent pullin' in fresh air. After about 20 shivering minutes, me and the bed was dried up enough to get toasty and back to sleep.

2 Roof Vent Fans Better Than Cracking Windows

I hear ya. You say, "But Vanholio, I can do a lotta that with just one Fan-tastic or Maxxair vent fan by crackin' my windows. Why should I do two roof vent fans instead?"

The Advantages of 2 Roof Fans vs. Cracked Windows for Van Life

  • No mosquitoes, flies, or other bugs
  • More privacy
  • More security
  • Less hot sunlight

When keep your windows open, you let in all kinds of unpleasantness. Think how much more safe, secure, and comfy your van life will be with two Fan-tastic or Maxx Air roof fans!

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

Also See ...

Reflectix Insulation in Vans Done Right
Greenhouse for Winter Van Life Warmth
A Passively Cooled House in the Tropics (No Tech Magazine)
Read More »

Last Update: 6/27/2017

People and ATVs Ruined This View!

alpine field in carson national forest at the head of La Junta Canyon
I was fuckin' horrified to find the place crawlin' with people. Their camps was huge, and their quads sounded like Hellspawn. Half of 'em was Texans! Holy shit!

Well, Vanholio called this one wrong. See, he'd gone by La Junta Canyon (near Taos, NM) about a month ago on a weekday. The place were nearly empty of people. Perfect for a van-travelling hermit.

But then I returned on a June Saturday expectin' the same. Nope. The public was EVERYWHERE, packin' the campsites and stinkin' the place up.

Hopeful, I kept drivin' up Forest Road 76, higher and higher into the mountains, lookin' for a dispersed campsite without no neighbors. After 8 miles and at over 10,000 feet altitude, I give up and pulled off.

Well, my back view was that shot you see at top. Pretty. But the front view was an intersection of two forest roads.

All afternoon, till after 7 p.m., folks went tearin' by in their pickups and on their quads, tossin' out Bud Light beer cans as they went. Fuck!

So I left and drove down to Taos. More people there, true, but at least I expect them in their natural territory.

I shoulda known. Lesson learned. Where good weather, beautiful scenery, and a fishin' creek are side by side, you're gonna find Vanholio's No. 1 enemy – Joe Public.

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

Also See ...

La Junta Canyon-Carson National Forest (Southern New Mexico Explorer)

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Last Update: 6/23/2017

Jesus on Black Widow Spider's Abdomen

vision of jesus in the abdomen of a black widow spider
I done seen Jesus in the belly of the spider! Hallelujah!

The vision come to me in a New Mexico closet, right atop a box.

He has built his house like the spider's web, Or as a hut which the watchman has made. – Job 27:18

Alas, this miracle Latrodectus has now been squashed ...

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

Also See ...

Hot Fried Quail ... Those Dirty Birds!
Shrine of the Miracle Tortilla (Closed) (Roadside America)
PHOTOS: Unusual Sightings of Holy Figures (ABC News)

"Jesus Spider Vision" first published at
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Last Update: 6/16/2017

Zero Cleanup Omelette? Boil in a Ziploc Bag

Omelettes cooked in Ziploc, one on a tortilla with Cholula hot sauce

The problem with cookin' scrambled eggs on the go is cleanup of your mixin' bowl and pan. The boil-in-bag method gets around that! Perfect for van life or trucking.

Vanholio's made hisself omelette's this way sittin' on the edge a his bed in the van – without no mess. Real convenient in tight spaces.

WARNING: Cooking in Ziplocs might not be safe.

How to Cook an Omelette in a Ziploc Bag

1. Gather your ingredients.

two eggs, cheese, seasoning salt, and bacon bits, unmixed, in a ziploc bag
Eggs, etc. added to Ziploc

In this case, I did 2 eggs per bag, a piece a cheddar, season salt, and bacon bits. The fake bacon bits suck up some egg juice and add a salty, umami flavor. I don't add no water nor milk.

2. Put eggs and extras into the bag, then zip shut.

With a bit a finesse, Vanholio can crack an egg, then pour it inta the bag without spillin'. Get everything in there. Then zip it shut without much air. That's important 'cause what air's in there'll expand during cooking. Don't wanna pop that bag!

eggs and other ingredients mixed up in a ziploc bag, ready to boil
Eggs, etc. mixed up in Ziploc
3. Gently mix up your eggs.

You don't wanna bust your Ziploc. So massage that huevo sack like you would your own (or someone's you love). Gentle, gentle, gentle, until they're all scrambled.

4. Put Ziploc in pot of water and boil.

Ziplocs of eggs ready to boil in
Max Burton Portable Stove to Go
Vanholio uses his Max Burton Portable Stove to Go. I put the bags in a pot a cold water, shut the stove up, and set it to 250° F (. 'Bout the time the water's boilin', the eggs're done. You could also get water boilin', then put in the bags a eggs.

5. Shake the eggs outta the Ziploc to serve.

The omelette don't stick none to the plastic. That makes it easy.

Is Cooking an Omelette in a Ziploc as Good as Pan Frying?

No, not quite. But it ain't half bad, neither. You miss some flavor and consistency from pan fryin', but there's no funky plastic taste. Better than most restaurant eggs, IMHO. It's a van life winner.

Is Boiling Eggs in a Ziploc Bag Safe?

That warnin' at top got ya worried? Well, you can always use them pricey oven bags or the new Ziploc Zip ‘N Steam Cooking Bags. Or else go back to usin' a pan. But Vanholio ain't personally worried none (which maybe ain't too smart, but there it is).

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

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Last Update: 6/09/2017

Human Beings Are Fuckin' Disgusting!

Campground among pine trees has been strewn with trash by trashy campers.

In general, I enjoy campground hostin’. But the dark side is dealin’ with the public. Lots of campers leave their shit lyin’ around – literally!

Here’s a list of body wastes I had to fuckin’ deal with just this week:

  • One fucker left a solid turd semi-smeared on vault toilet floor.
  • Few days later, another fucker smeared his shit on the wall of the toilet, right by the toilet paper.
  • Some perv shot fresh cum in the toilet corner. Still glistening when I saw it.
  • Lots of guys and gals just miss with their pee, diarrhea, and monthlies.
  • Used toilet paper gets left all over the floor.
  • Someone this week didn’t even bother with the toilet. He (or she) shat by the creek where kids and everyone walk.

More trash I had to fuck with this week:

  • Most can’t seem to camp without leaving trash behind, especially:
    • Bud Light cans
    • Water bottle tops
    • Cigarette butts
    • Plastic utensils
    • String and rope
    • Any kinda wrapper
  • One group dug a hole, dumped their waste food in, then didn’t bury it.
  • Trout heads, skins, bones, and guts – anywhere and everywhere.
  • Dog shit – anywhere and everywhere.
  • Unburnable trash got stuffed in the campfire rings.
  • A couple dipshits hacked the bark off half way ‘round a tree. Probably killed it. Why!?

AT THE SAME FUCKIN’ TIME, the fuckin’ shitheads act like I slapped their mommas when I tell them to pay the $8 camp fee or put their dogs on a leash.

If I’d had the Big Red Button in fronta me last night, Ida nuked every human bein’ on this here planet Earth. No bullshit!

At least one nice guest bought me a 6-pack of 7.2%. Time to go get fuckin’ wasted ...

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

Also See ...

Van Life Tax-Free Income, Courtesy USFS
Shit in Woods Goes Gross to Nightmare
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Last Update: 6/02/2017

Planning to Die Soon

Photo of cemetery with ironic street sign in front marked, "Dead End."
No, Vanholio don't plan to kick the bucket in the near future. This is 'bout a practical program of "carpe diem" (seize the day). Plan to die in six months, then live accordingly.

In a previous post, I done told you all about askin' yourself, "What would you do if you only had six months to live?" That's what Vanholio does. And that guiding star led him to the glorious van life he leads now.

But that ain't been good enough lately. I *still* find myself obsessed with Shoulds and Oughts. Good Ideas and Sensible Plans start takin' over my brain.

Fuck that shit! Vanholio's takin' it the next level. I'm actually planning my life as if I'm really gonna die this New Years Eve. Well, at least if the chance were 90%. The plan does include provision for a 10% chance stayin' on.

So what does Vanholio's last few months look like? Headin' to Manila for hookers and blow? Climbing Mt. McKinley? Punchin' Trump in the nose?

Nah, nothin' so excitin'. I'm pretty happy with the life I got now. But here's what I come up with so far:

  • Plan my estate, including living will, pet provisions, and naming a literary executor. Boring, but I been draggin' my heels on this shit.

  • Take more and longer walks with my dog.

  • Blow off some projects that don't matter for shit.

  • Unsubscribe from a buncha crap that fills up my Inbox.

  • Visit people I care about. Was already plannin' the visits, but now I wanna jazz em up somehow, say with barbecues or parties, make 'em extra special.

  • Write some letters tellin' certain folks how much they mean to me.

  • Visit El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum in Santa Fe.

What about the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll, you say? Shit, like I said, I'm pretty happy with my life now. But I do want to figure out some more fun activities. Also wanna figure out what kinda writing projects ta tackle. Maybe some books ta read and movies to see, too.

Again, though, gotta plan for the 10% chance I live. So I'll need to be smart with my savings. Also do some setup for future income. It ain't all "Fuck you, World!"

We'll see how this exercise works out, or if I even stick with it. Vanholio tends to get distracted ...

What would your 6-months-till-checkout plan look like? Any ideas? Wanna plan it seriously, too, and see if it don't make your life better?

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

Also See ...

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Last Update: 5/26/2017

Recipe: Noodly Peanut Chicken Sausage Gumbo

model of flying spaghetti monster

Even a blind hog gets an acorn once in awhile! Even when Vanholio's the blind hog. Even when he roots out groceries at Family Dollar! Easy, tasty, cheap!

It's a real simple recipe, makes 2-3 servings:

I ripped open two packets chicken ramen. Then I broke up the noodle blocks into the pan of my Max Burton Digital Stove to Go. I sprinkled in just 1 of the chicken seasonin' packets (savin' the other for rice maybe.)

Then I poured in the can a Campbell's Chunky Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. I filled the empty can with water and poured that in after, getting all the stuck bits out.

Finally, I dumped in a couple good globs a crunchy peanut butter. I'd say about 3-4 TBS.

I plugged in the Max Burton Digital Stove to Go and set it to Heat for … shit, I don't know. Maybe 30-45 minutes? I just checked the readout. When it got to about 230 F, I checked the stew. The noodles was swelled and all was simmerin'. 'Course, I stirred it around to make sure the peanut butter got spread out in the stock, makin' a African-style gravy.

Damn! – Rich! Fillin'! Meaty! Spicy! My only complaint was the dogs beggin' for extra shares.

Maybe Vanholio should start a cookin' show on YouTube called "Dollar Store Cookin'." Waddya think?

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

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