Frequently Asked Questions

All About the RV

They protect the blades from the sun and help them last longer. Similar to covering your tires.

We have Progressive for our full time RV insurance carrier. We have found it to be the least expensive for us. In the first year, we paid $1900 for full time coverage, and last year it increased to $2100. Not all insurance companies cover full time RVers, so if you plan to go full time, make sure you have the right coverage.

Shop around for the best rate. When we went full time, we had USAA for our vehicles. They do not cover full time RVers, so they referred us to Progressive. The rate they quoted us was more expensive than the Progressive rate outside of USAA.

We used an Insurance broker the last time we shopped for insurance. It was so much easier to find the best rate. We used Twyla Kaduce from FCIS Insurance, and she did a great job for us. You can reach her at We are not affiliates and will not benefit from you using Twyla. She did a great job for us, so we are passing her name on.

Ruby is a 35 foot Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA (rear engine diesel)

Lack of counter space, lack of storage in the basement, and the tiny bathroom are all items we would change in a perfect world. Every RV requires some compromise, and these were ours.

YES!! We love our washer and dryer. Or maybe I should say we hate the laundry mat! We have the Ariston Splendide stackable washer and dryer. We have discovered if we give the wash an extra 16 min spin on the highest RPM, it cuts our drying in half.

Yes, we love our Tiffin. Our experience with maintenance at Tiffin’s repair facility has been great. Each visit was less expensive than we expected, and their customer service has been top-notch.

We purchased our 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED a year old with 10k miles for $189,000.

RV repairs are just a part of life for the full time RVer. Little things and big things break after miles of bumping down the road. Staying current on RV maintenance is the best way to prevent some of those problems. Download our free RV maintenance spreadsheet, so you never forget your PMS (planned maintenance systems).

We purchased Ruby a year old with 10,000 miles.

All About Us

Briana is married to Rusty, who is on active duty in the Navy. They currently travel where the Navy takes them. Our son, Andrew, is also in the Navy, following in his parents’ footsteps!

In this video, you can see Briana and Rusty as he graduates from Recruit Division Commander training in Great Lakes, IL.

Meet Briana and Rusty in our location video.

For safety reasons we don’t give out our exact location.

Stacy has several benign nodules on her thyroid. She has been followed for almost 20 years for this condition. It is only cosmetic. . It is completely cosmetic.

When we hit the road, Phil worked full-time as a remote Navy contractor, and Stacy was working full time as faculty for a local nursing school. Phil is hoping to snag another contract in the future.

Currently, our main income source is Phil’s military retirement and disability. We also have income streams from You, Me, & the RV, including YouTube and small fees from our affiliate links.

Our affiliate links

Disclosures: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. These programs are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and other affiliated sites. It does not cost you anything to use these links.

Phil started his career as an undesignated seaman. Which means he was an E-1 without a specific job. He worked his way to BM2/E-5 (Boatswains mate), MACS/E-8 (Master at Arms), and retired as a Mustang LCDR/O-4 Security Officer (military police).

Our bands are made of silicone. We started when we were gym rats to prevent pinching and calluses. Now we wear them because they are fun and we never worry about losing our wedding bands.

Yes, Stacy served for 5 years in the Navy as a Data Processor. She chose to leave the Navy to pursue a nursing career.  

Stacy completed the recertification for her nurse practitioner license in September of 2020 and will not need to recert again until 2025. She is required to complete 1000 hours of direct patient care as an NP and 100 continuing education units before 2025 to maintain her license

Stacy had planned to conduct in-home patient physicals and assessments while in San Antonio, but COVID canceled those plans. She will either complete a few temp NP jobs or work for free with a couple of doctors to complete her required hours.

Of course, we miss family and friends. But we view this a little differently than others. After 27 years of Navy life, we have learned how to overcome the distance between us and our friends and family. Even though we are far apart, we never really feel away from them.

As an added bonus, we have actually visited our family more now than we ever have before.


Gizmo is a 12 year old American Eskimo and Shih Tzu mix.

RV temperature is the biggest safety concern for Gizmo. To keep him safe, we use the Govee thermometer to ensure the rig stays at a safe temperature when we are away. It is connected to our wifi so we can read the temperature on our phone at any time. It will also send alerts if the temperature goes below or above our safe temperature settings. For more, check out RV Pet Safety: Keep Them Happy and Healthy.

Yes, we leave Gizmo alone in the RV. The RV is our home, not a car, so we feel comfortable leaving him for a time while we explore an area. But we do take precautions to make sure the temperature stays safe for him with our Govee thermometer. For more information on keeping your pets safe in your RV, head to RV Pet Safety: Keeping them Happy & Healthy.


Phil retired from the Navy, so our insurance is through the military. We have chosen Tricare Select so we can choose our own physicians without a referral. Our copays are a little more expensive, but we prefer to keep Phil’s surgeon, so it is worth the extra cost. We have not used the VA for medical benefits.

Stacy has several benign nodules on her thyroid. She has been followed for almost 20 years for this condition. It is only cosmetic. . It is completely cosmetic.

All of our physicians are located in San Antonio. We return every 4-6 months for appointments. Phil has chronic issues with his back and knee that require frequent appointments and procedures. We make our travels work around these appointments.

We use Walgreens for our prescriptions as it is the pharmacy contracted with our insurance company. When we need a refill, Walgreens will transfer our prescription from our home location to any Walgreens in the country.

Although our insurance encourages mail-order prescriptions, we do not use it because it is too much of a pain to worry about the meds getting lost or running out because we move so frequently.

**Please be aware that not all prescriptions are transferable include some pain meds and narcotics. Check with your pharmacy to see if your scripts are transferable.

Our Toad

When we started full time RV life, we had two cars paid in full a 2015 Acura TLX and a 2014 Fiat 500. With the many full-time life expenses adding up, we chose to dolly tow one of our cars.

The Fiat did not work well on the tow dolly. The wheelbase was so narrow if we were just a few inches to the right or left while loading it, the car could slide off and fall between the ramps. I hated driving up the dolly in that car, especially while slipping and sliding in the rain.

The Acura did not work because it sat too low on the dolly. The Acura was so low when we drove it up on the dolly, the ramps would hit the spoiler, causing a lot of damage. We damaged the driver’s side door when the wheel cover dug into it when we got stuck at a gas station. Although Phil loved that car, it was just not practical to drag around behind our RV.

The tow dolly took up a lot of space at our campsites, especially small state parks. The dolly could also be hard to move around the site on hills, gravel, in the rain, on and off concrete pads. It just was not for us.

If you plan to flat tow, never trust anyone on a vehicle’s ability to be towed 4 wheels down. Always check the owner’s manual. The Dinghy Towing Guide is another great resource.

For more detail about why we ditched the dolly check out this video.

We answered many questions in the comments of Divorcing Dolly in the video below.

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. There are many pros and cons to both. Some RVers opt not to bring a car at all and use public transportation. In the following video, we outline the pros and cons of each.

If you plan to flat tow, never trust anyone on a vehicle’s ability to be towed 4 wheels down. Always check the owner’s manual. The Dinghy Towing Guide is another great resource.

Our flat tow setup includes the Air Force One braking system and the Blue Ox tow bar. We were lucky to already have the air compressor for the braking system installed on Ruby by the previous owner, which is not included in our costs.

We had the tow bar and the braking system installed on our Jeep at Texas Rv Supply in San Antonio, TX, for $4800. We had 3 quotes for install ranging from $4-6k.

If you plan to flat tow, never trust anyone on a vehicle’s ability to be towed 4 wheels down. Always check the owner’s manual. The Dinghy Towing Guide is another great resource.

Switching to flat tow from a dolly was a major change for the better in our full time RV life. I wish we had done it much sooner for so many reasons! Check out this video for more.

We chose a used 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk as our tow car. It was a compromise as Phil wanted a Jeep Wrangler for off roading, and I wanted a better ride for day to day driving. I actually wanted nothing to do with a Jeep, but after having it for a year, I have realized it is PERFECT for RV life, and I love it!

One of the main reasons we chose a Jeep is for the ability to flat tow. We were sick of the tow dolly and couldn’t wait to unload it. Now we don’t have to worry about having room for the dolly at our campsite, or if today is the day, Phil pulls his back out pushing it around.

If you plan to flat tow, never trust anyone on a vehicle’s ability to be towed 4 wheels down. Always check the owner’s manual. The Dinghy Towing Guide is another great resource.

Random Questions

Yes, eventually we will purchase a sticks and bricks somewhere. We don’t know where or when that will be….someday.

Our current memberships include

  • Harvest Host: We love this program for beautiful overnights, beer and wine tasting, and meeting new people. (We are affiliates)
  • Boondockers Welcome: We love this membership! We can boondock in quiet, beautiful locations for one night or multiple nights. (We are affiliates)
  • Escapees: We joined this group for our domicile and mail forwarding. We have been pleased with them. Great customer service. (We are not affiliates)
  • FMCA: We joined this group for one reason. It is the FMCA’s Emergency and Travel Assistance plan.  (We are not affiliates)

The hardest park of boondocking is doing it for the first time. We were just as nervous as everyone else our first time out. But after a few times, we realized how easy it really is! Just monitor your electric and water usage.

I can tell you the part we dislike the most is laundry! I hate taking our clothes to the laundromat! We have several videos about boondocking if you need more help. Check out our playlist.

We have completed two camp host jobs since we started full time RVing. We have a ton of tips on Camp Host: Everything You Need to Know. There may even be a few important things you haven’t thought about.

We spent almost 2 years purging before we hit the road full time. We started slow and picked up speed as we got closer to putting the house on the market. Starting early eased most of the stress of departing with all of our stuff. We were able to do it a little at a time. Check out Purging for Full Time RV: Tips to Purging Stress Free to see how we did it.

We use over the air channels a majority of the time. We also use Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, and the Disney Plus bundle for streaming. We have used Dish off and on. It is a month to month plan that allows Phil to watch more of his beloved sports.

This has not been easy for us. There are so many temptations on the road we gained the full time 15 or 20!

We prefer to ride our mountain bikes and hike as often as we can. But that is not always possible. We also have a membership to Planet Fitness and use it whenever there is one close by. We also use military gyms if we are camping on a base.

Now that we can no longer use the gym due to COVID, we have been using bands, adjustable weights, and online videos more often.

Recently, we started a keto diet with intermittent fasting. Stacy has lost her full time 25, and Phil is close to hitting his 15-pound mark.

We were lucky enough to know the camp hosts who were working at both of our locations. Both occasions provided us with unique experiences, and we loved meeting all the RVers coming into the campgrounds. We do not know if or when we will camp host again.

For everything you want to know about becoming a camp host, check out Camp Hosting: What You Need to Know

We use Escapees out of Livingston, TX, for our domicile. It was easy for us because we were already residents of Texas. All we had to do is change our address and update our driver’s license and voter registration! Done!

We have only been worried about safety on one occasion. It was while preparing to overnight at a Walmart. Both of us had the hair stand up on the back of our necks and something just didn’t feel right. So we didn’t stay. We drove on down to the road and found a different overnight location. We have never felt unsafe in any other boondocking location. But we are always aware of our surroundings and of others around us.

We have never felt unsafe in any campground. But we always keep safety in mind and lock up our valuables when we leave the campsite. No need to tempt anyone!

Yes, every chance we get! Military campgrounds are usually cheaper than the surrounding area, and they usually have full hookups. Check out Military Campgrounds: 5 Reasons We Love Them for more.

We do not miss having a traditional home. Our RV has become our home, and we love it. 

We consider San Antonio our homeport because that is where we go for our medical appointments. But we do not own a house in San Antonio.

RV Gear

We have the Progressive Industries EMS-PT50X RV surge protector. We purchased an external surge protector even though our RV has one onboard. We want to make sure the pedestal is safe before we plugin. There have been a couple of occasions in which it found a bad pedestal. Thank goodness we didn’t plugin. Who knows what could have happened.

RV Electrical PSA: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS turn off the breaker before plugging or unplugging your RV. It prevents arcing and pitting of your plug.

We have used several different RV specific GPS devices and have found they all screw up eventually! Things like sharp turns, crazy routes that don’t make sense, and mountain roads that we should not be on. I was even told by several professional truckers that even their rig friendly GPS has failed them.

So always check your route before you roll. Look for bridges, tunnels, tolls, and dirt roads. Here are the GPSs I have tried.

  • Tiffin in Dash: used only for Phil to see the overall route. It is the most painful to update, so we don’t!
  • Garmin 770 (Latest version Garmin 780): This is our main navigator
  • RV Life App: We have used this app several times without a problem.
  • CoPilot App: We used this when we caravaned with Life Beyond the Burbs, which worked great.

Don’t run out and buy everything you see YouTubers using. We all RV a bit differently, so you may never need some of the items I consider a must! Start with the basics as you hit the road.

Figure out how you like to RV. Do you prefer boondocking, full hookups, or a combo of both? You will figure out quickly what gadgets will make RV life easier for your preferred type of RVing. Don’t make our mistake and buy stuff just because someone said it was a must!  

These are just a few of the basics we recommend to get you started.

This really depends on the RVer, your current boondocking setup, and your needs. We choose to upgrade to Battle Born batteries first to use all of our appliances (coffee pot, instant pot, etc.) without turning on the generator. We also have a great onboard generator, so we have a way to charge our batteries.

If your batteries are working well and you use low energy appliances, you may choose solar over lithium. We recommend everyone assess their needs first and then choose what will improve your boondocking the most.

It is not required to upgrade both to lithium and solar. You can upgrade to lithium batteries only or keep your current batteries and only upgrade solar. Many people never upgrade to lithium but fill their roofs with solar.

We have the XP ebikes from Lectric eBikes. We love them and wish we could ride them more often. Prices start at $899 for this company. But I have to warn you they are very popular and on backorder a lot!

We have purged the RV many times since we moved in back in 2018. Here are a few of the bigger items we’ve unloaded.

  • Corn hole boards
  • Portable awning
  • Gas Buddy
  • Food Saver

We have a 10-inch drop/rise accessory receiver, which allows us to flat tow the jeep and attach our bike hitch for our mountain bikes. We are using the Pro Series double mount bike carrier with the heavy duty bike cover. Our first bike cover was shredded pretty quickly. It is worth the extra money for this heavy duty cover.

We store our ebikes in the back of the Jeep right now, but we are considering a hitch to mount on the back.

RV Trip Wizard is our preferred RV trip planning software. I started using this software even before we went full time! I love it. I have created a video that will walk you through it RV Trip Wizard. We are affiliates with RV Trip Wizard.

Absolutely!! Battle Born lithium batteries have been a game changer for us. Boondocking is easier, and we don’t have to hear that generator all day! We also save on our diesel because we use the generator so much less. We love them!

The initial cost of our Battle Born lithium deep cycle battery is higher than a lead-acid equivalent. But when you divide that cost by the battery’s entire life, our Battle Borns were cheaper than a lead-acid battery. They can run for 3,000 – 5,000 cycles and can last most people 10-15 years.

RV Travel

For safety reasons we don’t give out our exact location.

This is a difficult question to answer in just a few sentences. I have detailed the process in RV Trip Planning: Step by Step.  

We love to wing it. As a matter of fact, it saves us money. Initially, I planned and reserved every single night of our travels. Once we hit the road, we found we couldn’t be spontaneous if we had a strict schedule. Every time we changed our reservations, it costs money. So now we wing it most of the time. We have never had a problem finding a place to stay. It may not get our first choice, but we always land somewhere!

We usually choose a set waypoint that is 3-6 months out. The waypoint will have set reservations at a campground or event. Then we work our way to that point. For more information on how I plan our RV trips check out: RV Trip Planning: Step by Step.

Staying Connected

We are currently upgrading our Wi-Fi system. We will provide an update as soon as it is completed.

You, Me & the RV

Our lag time varies a lot! It can be anywhere from a few days to our longest, which was 8 weeks. We don’t usually get too far ahead because we can go days without picking up the camera.

I use Final Cut Pro to edit all videos.

I edit on a MacBook Pro 15 inch laptop. It has a 2.3 GHz 8 core intel processor with 16 GB of memory. I back up all of my footage on external drives. I have an 8 terabyte external drive for storage and a 2 terabyte external drive for current projects. 

We used Phil’s iPhone X and a gimbal exclusively during our first year of You, Me & the RV. Once we knew we would continue the channel, we started adding to our camera gear.  Below is a list of what we currently use to film our videos.

Don’t spend a lot of money when you get started. Use your phone and a gimbal for stabilization to find out if you even enjoy it. Some people find it takes too much time, energy, and they don’t like the process. I would hate for you to invest a lot of money in something you hate doing.

Don’t do it for the money. Youtube is tough, and it can take you years to earn your first dollar. Even now, we don’t make enough to live off our YouTube channel. Well, I guess we could sit in the desert for months at a time, but that is not our style!

If you are not having fun, put down the camera. I do this a lot! It becomes a job, and sometimes I just need a break from thinking about filming.

Videos take much longer than you might think. Our location videos have taken as much as 60 hours to edit. Our how-to videos may be quicker to edit (20-40 hours), but they take hours to research and plan.

I learned to edit first through iMovie and then upgraded to Final Cut Pro. I watched (and I still watch) tons of YouTube videos on how to use the editing software. I have also watched many videos to help improve my editing skills. I am constantly learning and hoping to continue to improve.

No, not at all. When we film a location, we look at details that we might miss if we were not stopping to film. We want you to feel like you are there with us, so we tend to pay more attention to our surroundings. Anytime we need a break and want to enjoy the moment the camera gets put away.

I created everything myself through Siteground and WordPress. It was (and still is) sometimes frustrating and stressful, but thankfully there are many resources out there to help walk me through the learning process, including YouTube and blogs.