The most uncomfortable place to sleep is with a bad deal, nothing is worst than knowing you paid too much for the benefits received.
I almost refuse to talk about prices of airplanes with friends or family, normally they paid 100-1000 dollars too much. They will not learn, therefore why tell them they paid too much, better to listen silently.
I needed to charge the second battery in my van, so I decided to pay the 5 USD to enter, and the 17 to sleep in my van at Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana. I woke this morning, it is wet, and cold, and I surrounded by people the same age as me, yet much older. I could have paid the five dollars and enjoyed all the true benefits of the park in May, it is just too cold to enjoy the sleeping in the park. Generally, I would pay this much for the benefit of talking with people, but there is nobody in the park, and it is too quiet to be sociable, unless you are over the hill, and coasting.
Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana has a beach, but really only good after Memorial Day, more or less the 29th of May.
There are tons of 25 U.S. Dollar Hotels in Indiana.
This would be a better deal in May.
I have to try harder to Couch Surf...
It is not a contest, the quality of sleeping is always better in a Hotel, than Camping, I knew there was a reason why I never camp. Yes, I am sleeping in a van, I have full size twin mattress, it is quite comfortable. I sleep great, but the quality of life when I leave the van is what I want to be great, if I am sleeping well, it does not mattter where.
I must try harder to Couch Surf...
It has only been a week, but I feel like I have been traveling in the USA for two months. There is not a day that goes by, when I do not think about flying to some third world paradise. I could fly to Europe, which is hell compared to America.
OK, I am a smart man, I can solve all these problems and somehow find a way to enjoy this USA Road Trip.
I left the USA, because the social life abroad was better, I think I need to be married to live in the USA.
I Love the USA...
Only because I am from the USA, only because I was born in America can I travel the world, for that, I will forever be grateful.
The price of food in the super markets in the USA is cheaper than anywhere I have ever been on the planet. Therefore the food is benefit of living here.
I think the problem is electricity.
OK, Andy --- do not talk about social life or girls, you know the reason you have lived abroad for 14 years is because that is better.
Yet, the I do believe it can be great living in this Astro Van, or being a Van Dweller as some call it. Yet, I have to solve this electricity problem, I do not want to wake every morning and drive to McDonald's to use the electricity. I thought I was going their for the Internet, but I know now, I was going there for the electricity, yet only 3 in 4 have plugs. In Angola, Indiana the one McDonald's does not have electrical plugs, and the Burger King now has WIFI, but no electrical plugs. This is as bad as airports.
I have Internet in My Van
I have this MIFI Internet thing from Virgin Mobile, I am going to go to Best Buy though and try to get a refund, I cannot use it when it is charging, it cannot be unlimited. I need a thumb drive one, but I suspect the Verizon thumb drive is the way I will go.
OK, I am lying in the back of my van in Pokagon Stake Park, and I will publish this using a Virgin Mobile connection. I have paid for electricity, therefore an extension cord is running into my van. Yet, if I had enough batteries, I could maybe charge once per week, and live anywhere.
Regular Readers Know I do NOT Like Tourists
I am a tourists in ways, but generally, I am a "Traveler," and travelers generally learn to avoid tourists or we would stop traveling. Here in this State Park I am surrounded by Tourists, or something new. There appears to be about 25-50 percent of the people living here, who are using their RV or Motor home as a second home, now this seems wise.
Tourists spend money for entertainment, they are like gamblers in Vegas, they get a thrill out out throwing money up in the air and seeing it blow away. I think they dream continually about being rich, and they go on a two week vacation to be rich for a couple of weeks a year, then return to the job, and volunteer to live for 50 months a year as hostage to their poverty.
I like to Rich 52 Weeks, 12 Months, or 365 Days per Year.
The people who do not work are rich, therefore in my opinion, the people in the under-developed countries, like Ghana, Thailand, and often Guatemala are rich, while the 15 percent of the countries like England, USA, Japan and Australia are extremely poor.
The under-developed countries are rich in time, they are free to not work, while all the so-called rich countries NEED to work. Nothing better in life than being in a country that suffers the "Resource Curse." --- hehehe
Anyone can be rich in time, just stop buying all the crap, all the stuff you do not need, stop being a slave to your temptations.
I Earn Money with Electricity
I fund my travels by the utilization of electricity, writing and the advertising on my Internet pages. I need electricity to run my business, or at least 12 volt electricity. Now, with a van, I do believe I can live off the grid.
Off the Grid
I think today, I will buy my third deep cycle battery, they cost about 80 Dollars. And maybe I WIFI buy two, maybe I need three extra batteries. I do not know, I can only experiment until I have enough batteries to live for 1-2 weeks without charging.
I debate, I do not think there is any reason to connect these battery to the my van battery. I am only going to drive maybe 50 miles per day, that is not enough to keep them fully charged, I need to plug into normal house electricity or charge at a gas station.
I want to be stop and plug in my charger once every two weeks and have enough electricity to run my computers.
Well, that was a rant, I do know this, as a pro-traveler, as a nomad, as a Hobo, I must solve all these problems. Or, as Hobo, I will travel to a better place to live, where their I can make money easy. Nomad left area when the food was gone, they move to greener pastures.
Hobo travel to search for a job.
Nomads travel to search for greener pastures.
There are benefits of living in any location on the planet, to enjoy these benefits we need to find solutions to the problems. Travelers look for cost effective solutions, good value for their money, while tourist are rich for two weeks per year.
I know for a very few, the one in 100, they can be rich in time 365 days per year, if they can stop being a slave to temptations, and stop buying things they believe make them a higher social status. Time is free, things we do not need cost more than any human can afford, they remove the smile from your face.
Andy Lee Graham
Hoya from has written 15 comments
Why not charge your batteries with your van while you are driving?
It doesn't have too be complicated just 2 wires from your cigarette plug to your spare battery.
On a more complicated side, depending on the model of your phone, you could automaticly publish your location on goople maps maybe could meet more people that way.
www.aprs.fi It's not really that hard to do.
mike99 from has written 30 comments
Hi Andy well if you can find an Autozone then they will charge your battery for free but you will have to sit there for a few hours to wait.
So what is your recommendation for a cheap battery charger? How many amps is your current charger?
Ragnar from wrote 1 comment
Hey Andy, what's up, I'm looking for a year round getaway spot w/moderate climate, which means to me not below 60F, basically Key West, Miami, style climate, I don't mind Humididity, but prefer it to be below 100F most of the time in the Summer. I don't have a large appetite for risk or danger, but am fine with lower standards of living, and poverty. I really enjoy the Brit, Kiwi, Ausi sense of humor and would enjoy finding a third world paradise where I wouldn't be the only english speaker, but also plan to learn leanguage and immerse myself in the new culture, I just like to come up for air once in a while...I'm wondering if you've considered south spain or Portugal, and why you consider the EU to be hell compared to the US....Thanks for your comments.........Ragnar
Icebreaker99 from has written 5 comments
Hi Andy, I Have been "following" your Travel Reports for a while. I have have owned various Vans, fitted out for extended traveling, and know too well how important "powersupply" is. On my present Van (VW) I have added a solar panel giving me 135 watts p.hour charge to my 2nd Battery. This is enough for running a small fridge 12 hours per day,(but I turn it low overnight)I also have enough for my LED lighting, my Laptop with wi-fi connection,charging my cell phone and electric shaver. My car battery is used to charge Camera and video batteries while driving. My second (house) battery is charged from the solar Panel as well as the car's alternator. I do not run the car Radio unless I am driving. (It would run the Battery flat in about 3 hours)I use mostly a dynamo-solar Radio, dynamo torch and some cheap solar Garden lights as well. Never have to buy throw away Batteries. For solar panel purchase, check eBay, or Car accessories shops for best price. Even just a 20 watt solar panel is helpful to keep your Battery topped up. It's worth in the long run. Make sure any additional Car Batteries are secured safely (must be held in place same way as your car battery). Never charge up a Lead-acid Battery inside the car while you are sleeping next to it! deadly fumes escape while charging! to maintain a good charge, check often the water level and top up only with distilled water. I am also considering a small enough wind generator to add to my system, but have not found one yet with an affordable price. Continue with happy traveling, greetings from Icebreaker99, Australia
Gadget from has written 1,020 comments
Mike99, I talked to AutoZone and Oreily auto parts, and they said Free, I hope this means to top it off. I can wait 24 hours easily. ICEBREAKER99, I think the Solar Panel is for sure a long-term solution. The cheapest set-up complete with regulators has to about 250-350 USA. Which is feasible for me to live in the van all the time, but after 3-5 months I will go to Thailand. Yet, I am going to store the van, and maybe I can buy for next time. I do think two extra batteries, charging at autozone is going work great. I finally picket up my second auto-charging system for my computers. I have two of them, and do not have a fridge.