Thursday, July 4, 2013

Great Resources for Newbies to the Tribe.

Links of interests to vandwellers, car dwellers, campers, boondockers, etc.

I’ve put this post together to help newcomers to the tribe/lifestyle, in a effort to consolidate our community. There are many many smaller blogs and yahoo groups out there that touch on some of these topics, but I think these links will give you quicker access to the major works and resources.

2009_11_00_Wenatchee-zion 263 by Robert Wells - Maybe you were a gypsy, vagabond or hobo in a past life, but you think you could never afford to live the life of freedom you long for? Maybe you are a survivalist, or just want to drop out of society but don't know how. Perhaps you are just sick of the rat race and want to simplify your life. We have good news for you, you can, and we are here to show you how! The key is eliminating the single highest expense most of us have, our housing. We will do that by moving into our vehicle… by Bob Wells.

Blog_Headline by Robert Wells - My name is Bob Wells and I am the owner of, and   If you have ever been to those sites, then you know I have lived in a vehicle for over over 10 years and I absolutely love it! I have always had two goals for my sites, and in this blog they are the same:

1. Inspire others to break out of the rat race and embrace simple living by living in a car, van, or RV.

2. Teach you how to do it comfortably.


How to Live in a Car, Van or RV--And Get Out of Debt, Travel and Find True Freedom (an ebook) by Robert Wells - How and why to live in a car, van or RV, and learn to love it! There are two main reasons you might buy a book on living in a vehicle: 1) You're being forced into it by a bad economy, divorce, or unemployment, or 2) The "American Dream" has become a nightmare for you and you are dropping out of the rat race. Whatever your reason, this book will tell you everything you need to make it the best possible experience it can be. We'll cover details like: which vehicle to live in and how to find it, where to park, staying clean, going to the bathroom, how to cook in a van, get out of debt, survive any bad economy, travel on a budget, how to get your mail, how to stay comfortable in the heat and cold, how to get electrical power, and so much more I can't list it all here. By Bob Wells.


An Inspiring Vandweller – SwankieWheels’ Story by Robert Wells

I first met Charlene Swankie in 2009 at a get-together of the Yahoo group vandwellers. She had just bought a 2006 Chevy Express cargo van and was just getting started on her conversion. She realized the most important thing for her was getting adequate ventilation in the van. So she bought a FantasticFan and had us help her install it. I say "help her" in only the widest terms. She did every bit of the work herself and refused to let us do any of the actual work. Read more.


SwankieWheels - Kayaking America by Charlene Swankie (AKA SwankieWheels)

(updated 4/5/13) In 2002, I took an Alaskan cruise hoping it would help me get over loosing my husband in 2001. It didn't! Bad knees and extreme pain got worse and by 2005, I was shopping for a wheelchair. I also had high blood pressure, was on meds for that, plus meds for my stomach, my bladder, my joints, my migraines, my allergies, etc. I was a walking medicine cabinet. Now I have new knees, better health (off all meds) and a kayak. I've lost weight (about 80 pounds) and kayaked the lower 48 states. August 2013, I will kayak Alaska, my 49th state. Join me in May 2014 to kayak Hawaii and celebrate my 70th Birthday.

On this blog you will find help with projects, general information on my life and much more. Here are links to some of the highlights.

My 50-state kayaking and camping adventure.

The last five years… for Bob Wells – an overview for Bob’s potential update on me.

Getting Healthy On-The-Road Again: Day 1

Recent Art Work…. sketches for gasoline money!

Photographic Restoration Services

SwankieWheels’ Amazon Store - Support my Adventure by visiting my store.  I you buy something from Amazon, they will pay me a small percentage. ( I don’t know when that kicks in but so far I have not been paid ONE penny. )

Dances with Coyotes

This was a morning of uniqueness.  I woke feeling very congested from spending two full days in the lapidary shop and even though I wore a mask, my COPD is acting up.  So, slept in, and then drove out to a wilderness desert area and walked (and picked up rocks, of course).  After about an hour I headed back to the van.  Got almost there when a coyote began yapping.   So, I turned… tried to spot it… walked to the side a bit and finally caught a glimpse of it with the sun sparkling of its light tan coat. (continued…)

Colorado–First Month (May 2012) – First Camp Hosting job in White River National Forest near Rifle, CO.

I lost what??? 80 pounds???? Are you kidding.

Laid-Off and ON-THE-ROAD-AGAIN!!! Forest Fire closed my campground.

Index of States Kayaked by Charlene Swankie

Finding Freedom and Health, once again!

My Rig….

A Swankie Desk

A Swankie Roof Rack and Vent Fan

A Swankie Bunk (bed)

Bucket List by Charlene Swankie

Index of States I have Kayaked.
I have also created a table/index of all the places I have kayaked.  I hope to add things like the altitude, distance paddled, and other details.  There are blog pages for most of the states, but not all of them.  I hope to have a page for each state, with details of what I liked and what I would do differently when and if I return to that state.  Some states I don't plan to return to, only those I really really like.

Also on my Blog you will find a listing of “followers” of my blog, as well as Links to other Blogs I follow.  You should check out those other blogs.

It is our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… and I’m gonna give it my all. Life just doesn’t get any better than this, until tomorrow.


Happy 4th and Happy Trails.

(as of July 4th 2013 I have 84,647 visitors to my blog site… not as many as other blogs but I am thrilled)

Attention Boondockers, Travelers, and Vandwellers

I encourage all boondockers to go to this blog by Bob Wells, and read this post. Very important information. I also suggest that you post your comments/replies on Bob's site as it will be good to keep all the comments together and not have them deleted.

Not as interesting a beautiful grandkids, but just as important.



Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.