Tribal Living: One for All, All for One

I’m reading one of the best books I’ve ever read titled Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (get it from Amazon here: I am simply blown away by how wonderful and powerful his reasoning is. This is the main point I take from it:

During the millions of years that humans evolved to be who we arebnow, it was tribal living that determined which branch of early hominids (pre-humans) lived and died. Whole tribes (and therefore the members of that tribe) survived and were selected by their ability to stick and work together. Tribes that behaved as a cohesive whole and adopted an ethics of generosity and mutual support made it through the hard times and those that were the most individualistic, did not. Fifty people working together like they had one beating heart could endure almost anything, whereas a small group of individuals working independently had no hope.

He presents an idea that I had never heard before, that those pre-humans who were in tribes that were devoted to mutual support evolved in such a way that dopamine and serotonin levels in their brain were elevated by that kind of human connection. In other words, it felt good to be so interconnected to other humans. Because it felt good, they did more of it and their tribe survived. Tribes that did less of it died out.

By serving you, I made my survival and happiness much more likely.

As a modern example, he cites men at war who have the “Band of Brothers” effect. It’s common knowledge that when we go through a severe and lengthy trauma with a small group of people, there is a connection developed among them that surpasses nearly any other, a connection that is based on utter devotion and self-sacrifice to the other members of the community. Each was gladly willing at any moment to give anything and everything (including his life) for the others–and therefore more of them survived.

Basically, the hunter-gatherer tribes that held generosity and sacrifice for each other as their highest moral value (and selfishness as the greatest evil) survived everything nature threw at them and also did it with the most joy possible. (At the bottom of the page, I’m going to include a quote from the book about this I think is the most brilliant things I’ve ever read about human behavior.)

He says that attitude of mutual dependence and service for others developed among some branches of human evolution and not among others. In our branch, Homo Sapiens, it developed the strongest–therefore we survived while the others died out. Nature selected us to be mutually supporting and self-sacrificing people.

I call that an attitude of “One for all, all for one.”  You don’t have to choose between freedom and individuality versus the group as a whole–by following our instinctive DNA we can easily have both. That’s my goal in everything I do, to build a tribe of people that treasure freedom and individuality, but equally supports each other, not from duty, but from the sheer joy of being mutually connected.

I’m going to get many letters condemning this thinking as liberal, socialist or communist. I’m none of those things, I reject them all and have adopted Tribalism instead.

There is nothing natural about our extreme individuality and hatred for tribal living (just the opposite, evolution made you to be tribal) the reason so many of us hate that kind of thinking is that modern religion has indoctrinated us with the poison of the Puritan ethic of “If he won’t work, he shouldn’t eat.” That attitude is 100% opposed to your evolutionary DNA  and explains why those people are so unhappy and have to attack and condemn everyone who thinks differently than they do. (I will also be attacked as an atheist–I am not! I 100% believe in Intelligent Design. I simply reject all modern religions and have adopted the spirituality of our ancient ancestors instead–Animism.)

There’s a reason why I bring this up now–one of our tribe has fallen into hard times and needs our help. I’m going to let her explain her situation here by reprinting her blog post. To get to know her better, check out the video I made of her at the last RTR at the bottom of the page.

She has set up a account and I encourage each of you to consider making a small contribution towards getting her out of her predicament. Here is her blog post in italics:

This is perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I’ve been vacillating over it for about five weeks now.

As some of you know, I’ve been a Nomad for almost thirteen years living mostly in mid-sized SUV’s. In all that time, the most help I’ve had to ask for was assistance to change a tire once, and a big push when I got stuck in the worst kind of wet clay in Nine Mile Canyon, UT. My most recent SUV was a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and her name was…wait for it…Mitzi! She is the star in most of the posts I’ve published on this blog up to August 2016. You may notice that I’m talking of Mitzi in the past tense, that’s because Mitzi’s life has come to an abrupt end, and it’s left me in a very difficult situation.

For the past two years I’ve been considering getting a vehicle/home with more space. In part this is because I’m getting older, but also because I have some injuries in my spine that may require surgery in the not-too-distant future. These injuries have made it difficult for me to work and save money, so I’m not exactly rolling in dough, but I’m not able to get disability yet. It’s a tough spot to be in.

Roxy at home in Mitzi.

Anyhow, in order to buy another vehicle I needed to sell Mitzi, but I was living in herand I needed her to use while I was looking for a replacement vehicle; It was a logistical nightmare. So a dear friend agreed to loan me the money to buy a vehicle with, on the understanding that I would pay him back as soon as I sold Mitzi.

So on July 26, my friend drove me to Denver International Airport in Mitzi so I could fly to Austin, TX, to look at an AWD Astro Van that was a steal compared to prices in the Front Range area of Colorado.

I hopped on the plane, flew to Austin, bought the van, and drove it back to Estes Park all in a couple of days, oblivious to what had happened on my friends drive back to the mountains.

The new Astro van.

When I got back to my friends house on the 27th, I noticed Mitzi was parked at an odd angle in the driveway, and that’s when he told me the story:

Apparently she had just died on the interstate, with no warning at all. He managed to roll onto the shoulder (barely), but she wouldn’t start. He had AAA+, and had her towed all the way to Estes Park where she was resting. I was horrified by this news, as was my friend; the timing couldn’t have been any worse, it was almost impossible to comprehend.

I was very surprised by this failure, which appeared to be the timing belt, because I’d had a new tensioner and timing belt put on just three years prior and a ton of other work (and still owe money on). I got in touch with the garage that had done the work, hoping it would be under warranty, and three weeks later I learned the truly bad news. It was the BOLT that held in the new tensioner that had broken, and it wasn’t a warranty part.

After replacing the timing belt again,  we learned that the damaged belt had bent the pistons, which damaged  the valves, which had destroyed the engine!

My little road warrior had suddenly turned to a heap of useless metal and plastic, and I was left with a loan I have no way of paying, and which is due now.

I considered all the options, like replacing the engine, but after doing all the research and considering the expense, it just wasn’t worth it financially. I wouldn’t gain a thing.

Roxy in her new Astro van home.

So now I owe my friend money; Money I promised to pay him back quickly. His kindness in helping me has turned into a nightmare for him as well as myself, and I want to fulfill my promise to him, and pay him back as much as I possibly can. It would take me ten-years or more to pay him back otherwise, because I’m not able to work full-time.

I’ve considered selling my new van and paying him back, but that would leave me entirely homeless. If I didn’t have the back injuries I have, I’d probably welcome moving into a backpack, but I can’t carry one right now, so it’s simply not an option. I’m facing an uncertain future with regards to my ability to work, so having long-term debt is not an option for me.

So this is where YOU come in, and where my request for help comes to play.

I want to pay my friend back as much as I can, and keep my home on wheels, so I’ve created a GoFundMe account, and I’m asking for your help in dealing with this financial nightmare.

I know that many of you are on tight budgets like myself, but if you can spare just $5 it will all add up. Anything you can spare will help, and in return I promise to pay-it-forward in any way I can. It may not be financially, but I will do what I can to help others, whenever I get the chance. This is something I truly believe in, and live by.

I’ve been told that one of the hardest things to do is to ask for help. I can confirm that it is true, and I thank you for your understanding of my situation, and send a HUGE thank you ahead of time to all of you that make a contribution to this cause, and if you’ve helped anyone is the past, thank you for that also.

I have made a YouTubeVideo of this request also…


Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature

  • Here is the link to the GoFundMe Donation Page:
  • My request on YouTube:
  • Here is a link to my for sale post on Craigslist where Mitzi is for sale. If you know anyone that might be interested in buying her for parts, or can fix her for themselves cheaply, please share. I’ve been offered $90 for her from a scrap yard, it would be nice if I could sell her for a bit more than that:

Meet Roxy:

I’m making Videos on my good friends James YouTube Channel. See them here:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.


A quote I love from Tribe: on Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger:

“When a person does something for another person … they are rewarded not only by group approval but also by an increase of dopamine and other pleasurable hormones in their blood. Group cooperation triggers higher levels of oxytocin, for example …. Both reactions impart a powerful sensation of well-being. Oxytocin creates a feedback loop of good-feeling and group loyalty that ultimately leads members to self-sacrifice…. “

“Hominids that cooperated with one another–and punished those who didn’t–must have outfought, outhunted and outbred everyone else. These are the hominids that modern humans are descended from.”

This quote explains why modern, civilized people are so full of misery (want proof, look at the wars, hatred, addiction, depression, suicide, abuse, obesity, stress-related diseases and too many more societal ills to list). We are the most alienated and individualistic people to ever live and by living that far removed from our evolutionary path and DNA we are guaranteed to  end up miserable and lonely people.

For the first time, it also explains to me why I am so happy to devote all of my energy and almost every moment of my life to spreading the word of nomadic, tribal living–the flood of dopamine and oxytocin that comes from it make me very happy and gives me a sense of well-being I am hopelessly addicted to!


I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

167 comments on “Tribal Living: One for All, All for One
  1. Kelly S says:

    Please consider posting this in the forums so that it gets maximum visibility. (Apologies if this comment is out of line.)

  2. Whitey says:

    Bob,you’re obviously a man of integrity and compassion. Please understand that this isn’t an attack on anyone though it does come across as a bit sharp.

    Many of us who enjoy your forum are still in the working world doing jobs we might not enjoy,or even hate, but are delaying our gratification so that we can fund our own freedom, just as you did up until your pension kicked in.

    Bailing someone out so they can continue their life of Riley while we’re still under the yoke…well you get the idea.

    I don’t profess to understand the American disability system but it appears that a lot of able bodied people qualify for it. I’ve met a few who live overseas quite comfortably on that teat. Their disability doesn’t seem to hamper their abilities to ride motorbikes, run, drink or carouse with young women.

    Surely a person who can sit behind the wheel of an SUV and galavant around the country could manage a few hours of employment behind a desk to adequately fund that lifestyle. The “loans officer ” of this sad tale is sure getting a life lesson. If the banks won’t touch someone there’s usually a pretty good reason for it, so your “loan” is best considered a gift. I hope the good Samaritan’s credit score isn’t affected by this debacle because that Beacon or Fico number matters a hell of a lot once you leave the BLM sites. A high price to pay for keeping Bohemian friends. Oh well, at least the “tribe” approves, which leads into…

    This talk about “approval of the tribe” also worries me deeply. Substitute the word “congregation” and you’ve got a recipe for people drinking kool aide in the Guyana jungle.

    Thanks for the many insights and all of the information you’ve so kindly given. I hope to shake your hand and say thanks in person one day, but I will never join any kind of group or tribe. Group think terrifies me and tribes are too small a place for a person to retain their autonomy. Re read “Lord of the Flies” and you’ll see what I mean.

    A couple of other good books are “Empire of the Summer Moon” to give people an idea of how the Commanche really lived and why negotiations with them usually failed; “The Social Contract” by Jean-Jaques Rousseau and the essay I recommended in the last blog post “The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” by Boetie which is actually a simple yet powerful piece of literature. I’m an uneducated man and got through these books quite easily so if I can do it,just about anyone can. I will also make a donation to your friend and I hope things work out for her.

    • Patrise says:

      I’ll gently suggest an alternate viewpoint, that in a previous version of our world, say for example the Victorian extended family, a group would take care of one of their own. I believe this is what Bob is espousing – not a cult model, but a family.

      I base this opinion on the idea that not all ‘congregations’ (those who congregate) are manifesting a negative.

    • June says:

      Whitey thanks, it’s about time someone added a reality check to the missives here.

      Like yourself, from what I’ve seen, disability is one of the most abused social programs out there.

      As well, this skewed concept of “tribalism” is intellectual cheery-picking at best since the definition could also include groups as widely varied as Boku Haram, white supremacists, or the cosa nostra.

    • brattydog says:

      “Many of us who enjoy your forum are still in the working world doing jobs we might not enjoy,or even hate, but are delaying our gratification so that we can fund our own freedom, just as you did up until your pension kicked in.

      Bailing someone out so they can continue their life of Riley while we’re still under the yoke…well you get the idea.”

      This is a valid point. While it appears that the generosity of the readers here will quickly bail her out of this financial mess by purchasing the new (used) van for her, I have questions about sustainability and judgment, among other things.

      This blog talks about emergency funds and staying out of debt, yet I note that she had not yet paid off the previous repairs/maintenance to the Mitsubishi from several years ago before borrowing more money for the replacement van, even flying on a plane to another state to get it- a luxury most could not even endeavor. It doesn’t sound like “cheap rv living” to me but rather debt-fueled nomadic exploring.

      I am not passing judgment, but just trying to understand the situation. The post raises more questions than answers for me. The generosity of strangers is remarkable, but I wonder what lessons will be learned from this.

      • Bob Bob says:

        This is an issue we all have to figure out for ourselves.

      • Roxy says:

        I’m still working, while in pain, and making my injuries degenerate even quicker in doing so. I do not get any government assistance at all. I may be living the life of Riley in some ways, but not the way you are implying. I live the life of Riley, because I’ve found a way to be able to live a good quality of life, on a very small income (even less than poverty level), and still enjoy the things I love doing, like taking pictures and spending time in nature. In order to do this, I do without…I do without A LOT! I love my life, despite the struggles, it is the right choice for myself. By the way, at the risk of sounding defensive, I flew to Texas to get the van, and saved around $2,500 by doing that, because prices down there were considerably better than in the Denver area. AND You do not know how much money I had paid off for the work I had done on Mitzi, and how much the balance was. That I was able to pay off anything was incredible, because Mitzi broke own during the floods of 2013, when I lost my job and the town was cut off from the rest of the world. You see, there is always more to most stories than one thinks…I hope this helps you to understand it a little bit, but of course I can’t go into full detail here. Things are rarely as black and white as they seem, and even these explanations barely touch on the complications you have no knowledge of. Remember that saying….walk a mile in my shoes…. ~ Namaste ~ Roxy

    • Bob Bob says:

      Whitey, I guess she left it out of her blog post because she was writing to people who follow her blog and know her. She does work and she does support herself.

      However, her physical disabilities strictly limit how much, how long and when she can work. Perhaps you just think she is a liar and a cheat which is what this paragraph very strongly applies:

      “I don’t profess to understand the American disability system but it appears that a lot of able bodied people qualify for it. I’ve met a few who live overseas quite comfortably on that teat. Their disability doesn’t seem to hamper their abilities to ride motorbikes, run, drink or carouse with young women.”

      While there is no question that this paragraph does occur, if you are making the leap to it always occurs and you disdain everyone on disability, I find that very highly offensive. If that’s not what you mean, why would you bring it up in this post? There must be some reason to say it here!

      It’s very sad, but we have stopped thinking about individual humans in this country because we have convinced ourselves that while we shouldn’t hate an individual, it’s okay to hate a group. So we lump everyone together in categories and hate them all as a group. If anyone even slightly fits that category, in they go into the lump and they get hated too.

      It appears to me, that’s what you have done to Roxy. You don’t know know anything about her as a human being, nor did you try to find out about her. Instead you are lumping her in with this group and judging and condemning her. I find that terribly sad.

      We have a very different view of the world. Mine may be wrong and yours may be right, and since neither of us are prepared to change, I think we should just drop this conversation.

      I have merely stated my viewpoint and I have no desire to condemn or change your viewpoint. I hope you will extend that courtesy to me as well.

      • whitey says:

        Hi Bob, I stated “a” point of view, but not necessarily “my” point of view. The observations were mine and I was curious about what inferences people would make from my statements. The poison of hatred left my life long ago. If some of the responses to my comment in this thread are any indication, a few people have a long way to go.

        Have you ever heard the saying “Philosophize with a hammer”? Nietzsche is heavy and not for everyone.

        To add further confusion, I’ve sent Roxy a donation and my best wishes. Those were sincere and I hope she has a long and joyous life.

        This was never about money. It’s about accepting personal responsibility for where we are and how we got there. A message that is rather unpopular amongst the geriatric children playing hooky on the public lands.

        No need to show me the door, I will find my way out now.

        • Vagabound says:


          You said, “No need to show me the door, I will find my way out now.”

          I think that would be a shame. And a loss. For the group for sure, and maybe for you as well.

          However, an equal shame is that no one here has said that other than me. That fact doesn’t reflect well on the understanding and valuation of true diversity in this tribe.

          The more common meaning associated with the use of the word “tribal” today is negative. And there’s a reason for that.

          Please reconsider.


          • Bob Bob says:

            Perhaps you disagree with my definition of tribe, “All for one, one for all

            If a person comes into the tribe and instead of adopting that thinking adopts the thought “One opposed to all” how strongly should he be welcomed?

            If this was a debating club, where we we’re merely speaking words, then he should be strongly welcomed. If this were a club of actions and not words and thoughts, and if some of the actions are life and death for some of the members, then he should be removed quickly.

            This isn’t a place for theories, this is a place for actions. People with theories are welcome, even with opposing theories, but anyone here to actively hurt what I’m trying to accomplish is not welcome.

    • Sam says:

      (: Thanks! Agree!

  3. Vagabound says:


    Prudence tells me to stay out of this … but I never much liked prudence. Sounds too much like “prude”.

    I am a very judgmental person, but that’s not what I’m doing here. In this comment, I’m trying to understand only.

    Let’s leave aside the issue of whether I agree with your post above or not. In your post, you spent many words explaining why this whole idea of tribe and donating isn’t a positive or healthy one. And speaking of method only, you were very skillful. However, you contradicted it all in the last sentence.

    You don’t have to do so, but I’d like to understand the logic of your last sentence if you don’t mind explaining.



    P.S. – Thanks for more good reading recommendations.

    • Whitey says:

      “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes” Walt Whitman

      I’ve been up the creek when I was young and was bailed out, but by a loving family member. It wasn’t as bad as this woman’s case and not from jetsetting and living the debt fueled dream (as brattydog clearly states it) but I’ve been there and have some compassion. I also share brattydog’s reservations about what this jetsetter will learn from all of these handouts.

      The donation is to help the “loans officer” though and I hope he/she learned their lesson or grew a spine. The power of the word “no” is a tremendous thing. You don’t jump into the water to save a drowning person, especially if you’re a weak swimmer.

      When are you starting your blog? I’ll subscribe. Your posts here are articulate and make me think.

  4. ColoRockiesFan says:


    Your negative comment “Surely a person who can sit behind the wheel of an SUV and galavant around the country could manage a few hours of employment behind a desk to adequately fund that lifestyle” totally misses the point. There is a huge difference between funding a lifestyle by maybe working a few hours a week and coming up with thousands of dollars to pay for another car/home when things go wrong. How many of us have that kind of savings? Whether we live in a house or a car, bad things happen. Anyone of us can be stricken with a disaster whether a flood, tornado, accident, illness, job loss, etc. When they do, instead of judging what someone could have done (or should have done in your opinion) perhaps you can try compassion. It appears Roxi was doing just fine with her self-supporting lifestyle. More power to her!

  5. Patrise says:

    I’ve experienced plenty of earned rewards, bestowed with the of approval from said culture (good grades, good jobs, promotions).

    I’ve also experienced the rejection, alienation and disempowerment from the judgement of mass culture: I don’t conform to the ideal of what women should be in this culture. Never interested in childrearing, not that interested in romance, I’ve pursued my independence for its own sake.

    In the process of 60 years I’ve learned that even creative loners have tribes, and I learned to create families of choice (just as people do when they marry) that arent built on sexual connection and reproduction. We’ve connected on another wavelength, via what I think Junger, and Bob, are referring to as ‘tribal.’

    The impulse to care for our own does create the best and the worst in us: if we focus on ‘us verses them’ the extremes yield bigotry and violence. if we focus on what makes us whole and kind, we grow into better people.

    Just my 2¢ worth!

  6. Rob says:

    Helping out a friend, an acquaintance, a fellow tribe member isn’t hard if I’ve some to spare. For me, this is the case right now.

    I have needed help in the past, gotten help from total strangers during what was the worst time of my life. The help was needed & gratefully accepted.

    If you don’t believe in helping others, if this plea for help bothers you down to your soul, I understand. I really do, don’t.
    If you’re in a position to help a fellow tribe member with a buck or five consider it paying it forward or paying it back.

    From time to time we all need a jump to get our van started.

  7. Lynn says:

    A perfect example of a modern day tribe, look at the Amish. They stand together as a community first, as individuals second. If a neighbor’s barn gets destroyed in a tornado, the community comes together to put another one up in under a week. That’s a tribe.

    Some of us like to think of ourselves as modern day pioneers. Jump in the van and drive off into the sunset, beholden to no one, relying on no one. In reality, the pioneers that settled the west did depend on each other to a certain extent. They knew where their nearest neighbors were even if it were miles away from their homestead.

    We’ve become so individualistic and so “keep other’s at arm’s length” that we have completely forgotten the concept of tribe, neighborliness. No one has a big front porch, but lots of people have sprawling decks to keep their immediate family in and the “outsiders” out.

    Jeez, I hate modern life.

  8. The profound naivety, lack of knowledge, and presumptions towads disability reflected in the folowing statement, is exactly why people like Roxy need our help:
    “I don’t profess to understand the American disability system but it appears that a lot of able bodied people qualify for it. I’ve met a few who live overseas quite comfortably on that teat. Their disability doesn’t seem to hamper their abilities to ride motorbikes, run, drink or carouse with young women.”

  9. Jeff says:

    Thanks for posting this Bob.

  10. Ed says:


    I’ve read the book, too and it was outstanding. It also had a lot to do with isolation of the current human world due to technology and the mental health detriment that has and will continue to have. Especially, when people can comment on blogs and forums under near anonymous conditions and express their unwillingness to understand someone else’s point of view.

    The book does an outstanding job of pointing out how healthy individuals are that are part of a community. That includes helping strangers and having their social needs met. America used to be a country of communities. Now, with the advent of technology, humans can communicate with anyone around the world and still not be a community. You have total isolation of many humans and the lack of in-person social interaction. In my opinion, this leads people to believe that they can spew forth easy negative opinions online because there is no repercussion and total anonymity. Online humans now feel they HAVE to tell other people how to live, even when they are asked not to. That is the low end problem of online isolation. The other end of the spectrum of isolation is the prevalence of mass shootings in the civilized world.

    When I read the book, I immediately thought of you and the “community” feeling one gets when hanging out with the RTR tribe. I have seen and participated in the helping of other people in the tribe with carpentry, mechanical problems, food, kindness and the other fabrics of a community. Matter of fact, there is more sense of community in those “tribes” than in most suburban and urban parts of this country. Those are only good things. There is no reasonable way that can be described as negative.Helping each other without expected compensation is not Liberal or Social idealism. Where I was raised, you did that because it was the right thing to do. As in, were all in this together.

    Finally, people that read a blog for whatever reason, should be smart enough to know they don’t have to give to a gofundme account or any social crowdsourcing effort. To me, replying to a blog with ignorant statements and considering the author of such as “liberal, socialist, or communist” is asinine. You are mature enough to make up your own mind and decide if you want to contribute. You don’t need to give your anonymous opinion.

    Keep the torch burning, Bob !!

  11. Nancy Bee says:

    the comments people left on roxy’s gofundme page are very heartwarming. Page after page of large and small contributions with good wishes attached. That people can care about each other and act towards that caring gives me hope for a joyful future.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Nancy, that kind of caring and compassion for others is in all of us crying to get out–it’s just modern society hates it and fights against it. Hopefully, it’s winning! Bob

  12. Doug Rykerd says:

    Bob, just wanted to say thank you for spreading the word about Roxy’s need. I saw her go fund me come across my Facebook feed and immediately thought, “she is someone who definitely fits the criteria Bob laid out for when he would post these”. I was going to forward the info to you and sure enough, you already had it and a post going. Thanks again for all you do for the tribe. Like most people, we probably wouldn’t agree on every jot and tittle regarding politics and religion, but that’s ok with me. If we did we’d probably not have much to talk about. What’s important to me is that a person’s heart is in the right place and that they treat others with respect and integrity. In all of my interactions with you you have shown yourself to be a caring and honest person and I respect that immensely. So thank you.

  13. Camilla says:

    Thank you so much Bob for posting this an allowing me to help fund Roxie. I need all the good Karma I can get ?

  14. 2WOLVES says:

    Tribe it’s not often Bob would make such a request. The request is simple if we can help another member please consider doing so. If you can’t help don’t! Let’s not judge Roxy or the decisions she’s made. I’m sure if Bob has ask us to consider helping than Roxy needing help is legit. Bob would not have ask if he didn’t believe it was necessary. I’m very thankful for Bob and all he does for each of us on the blog. I don’t know about you, but I’m happy I’m in the position to help another tribe member!!! Keep us posted Roxy. Thank you Bob for all you do!!!

  15. Larry Stone says:

    Having observed the CRVL “tribe” for two plus years as an east coaster I am truly astonished by the lack of any pride or shame. From my perspective anything west of the Rockies is dizz knee land and has no actual relevance to the morality and character of the citizens who reside in the midwest, northeast, and the southern areas of the United States.

    • Rob says:

      I’m guessing your ‘observation’ didn’t include any actually observations, just what a few people have written?
      FWIW that’s my observation, well one of them anyway.

      • Steve says:

        Larry Stone, what you say is very interesting. Especially the third rail comment that you made about CRVL being that third rail. I would be interested in knowing exactly in detail what you mean by that.

        I myself at one time lived in a motorhome for about 5 years and gave it up to live in a brick and stick. Since that time I’ve been very irritable and itchy to get back out on the road. And I’ve tried to do that in every way possible short of buying another motorhome, and substituting other things such as what is on this site, as van trailer even living in the car. And I’ve been a very uncomfortable and doing that and I actually felt like I short changed myself shall we say on what I really want which is another motor home and that type of Lifestyle.

        So my question to you is, is the fact that trying to live the life that is portrayed on this site completely different then the real RV living lifestyle? And could you explain that and its differences?

        • Larry Stone says:

          My remarks have nothing to do about the 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 wheels under your feet. They are more aimed toward achieving a hybrid style of S&B and OTR (over the road) combined lifestyle. Any type of rational discussion that does not conform to just one man’s completely skewed take on civilization gets deleted with no chance of any logical dialogue.

          The full time lifestyle as approved by the CRVL Klan of elders is that of one real miserable existence. What kind of advise can be called good if you have to travel to Mexico to pay cash for prescriptions and medical care, when if you are domiciled in a state with good social welfare benefits and the expansion of medical assistance you would not have to leave your area of residence for the best medical care that is totally free.

          And this life is for those that have already achieved some monetary wealth and have paid their fair share as a younger man/woman to the betterment of society which contributed to the health and welfare of those that are older and whose existence is in decline.

          If you are young and able-bodied you need to get a job or start a business right now while you have good health, energy, and strength vs. buying a jalopy, getting an SSI check monthly, moving out west to smoke legal weed, drink Coors, and sit around the campfire with a guitar singing Kumbaya until dawn.

          Now back to the existence part of the propagation of hunkering down in one location until whatever law enforcement officer eventually comes along to force one to leave the area. This is where the third rail statement comes into play.

          Typical Rv’ers are two groups that are mostly dependent on the timeline of their retirement. The young retirees like myself travel part time of the year and actually visit new places and entertainment venues as they travel and as one gets older a more settled live in a seasonal RV resort with all the amenities with an active social scene.

          But here at the third rail, the philosophy in the winter months is to squat on land that resembles a moonscape, fight 50 mph dust storms, while watching satellite TV in 60 square feet. If one wants that kind of existence they could just stay in a conventional 500+ square foot home and have hot & cold running water, a flush toilet, and bathtub, a central heating/AC system, and on-grid electric.

          • Bob Bob says:

            How sad must your life be that you have to go out of your way to find people who have chosen a different way from yours and attack them?

            You’re done, you aren’t here to contribute or even offer an alternative view point. You are only here to attack and insult.

            I’m deleting all your future comments.

      • LivingandLearning says:

        I’m wondering, Larry, if you have so much disdain for the members of this particular CRVL tribe and the people who do find this life satisfying, why you come here. I’m not saying this to be rude necessarily, but it feels like you and Whitey are trolling. If you think the “right” way to live a mobile lifestyle is to live in a stick and brick and go out in your rv for recreation there must be many forums and groups that feel the same way as you do. You could probably start your own offshoot group if you wanted.

        The fact is, this lifestyle and the people I know through this group, are an amazing, loving, selfless bunch of people who have made the decision to live the way they want without bothering the the rv park crowd I suspect you are part of. You could give us the same respect.

      • June says:

        “If the tribe only consisted of those with actual pensions from actually working and SSA retirement and disability recipients who actually paid into the system it would be a class act.”

        Larry, have to say I agree.

        • Steve says:

          June, all what you agree on with Larry about this site being a class act if it only had the people that worked and contributed to our system here in The USA, would be well and good EXCEPT THAT….the CRVL Klan of elders that Larry mentioned agree with the statement from Bob himself that says…. “Drop out and do as little as you can to contribute to it”.

          So from what I have been reading lately on this site is, that it is suggested that everyone should take as much as you can from the systems of our country and government and put back as much of “nothing” as you can.

          Our country didn’t get to be the greatest nation in the world by draining it dry and contributing nothing to it. A modern successful society doesn’t work that way.

          Thank you Larry and June for guiding this discussion in a more enlightened and realistic direction.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Larry, no you’re right it didn’t get to to be the greatest nation ever without an army of wage-slave automatons to create it. Of course by every measure we are one of the unhappiest nations ever, but that doesn’t matter, we live lives of luxury and that’s the only thing that counts.

            One problem, this country is on the edge of creating an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that will radically harm every human on the planet for millennia to come (yes, it’s all the industrialized nations causing it, but we are the leader and by far the worst and the only one actively fighting to continue the environmental destruction).

            My advice stands whether you agree with it or not.

            More importantly, why are you here? If you disagree with everything I think, why are you here? Are you here just to argue and prove me wrong? If so, I don’t have time or energy for you.

        • Bob Bob says:

          It’s nearly impossible for me to put into words the contempt I hold this in.

    • Roxy says:

      Thanks for your understanding….

  16. bullfrog says:

    If I make it through a day fearing nothing and feeling none of the hatred that fear brings, stay warm and ain’t hungry, then it’s been a great day and I probably have more than I deserve. What really makes my day is when I am able to do something that helps someone else have the same great day. Someone who doesn’t expect or maybe even deserve help. You see it’s not about them, it’s about how it makes me feel about me. In fact it’s probably selfish and self centered because many times I enjoy helping strangers at the expense of the people closest to me, after all I could be helping them more.

  17. bullfrog says:

    Speaking of tribes if you lived on the res for very long you might get strange ideas about possessions. The way it was explained to me is a tribe is no richer than it’s poorest member and the better off richer members are obligated to help the poorer members have more so that the tribe as a whole becomes better off. So when something goes missing from a richer member the person who made the items go missing did not steal he only was helping the richer member be the person he should be.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Among nomadic tribes, possessions were a burden, they kept you from traveling easily. That was true of the American Indian before the arrival of the horse. Basically, all your possessions had to be carried on your back–so they were few and insignificant.

  18. Vagabound says:

    Hi all,

    Before I forget to say it, Bob, thanks for sharing the ideas from your latest book. I want to read it and give it more thought. Whitey, thanks for explaining your logic. I’m not sure about starting a blog. At the moment, it’s still on the “want to” list which often loses out to the “need to” list. Thanks for the kind words.

    Even though “gentle” isn’t my forte, I’ll borrow what a wise commenter here once said and “gently suggest an alternative viewpoint …” 😉


    It ain’t just about skin color and spicy food. It’s mostly about ideas. Diversity in appearance only or in substance. One is either for substantial diversity or just another shallow fashionista.

    I feel a strong sense here, and in the forums, of a group ethic against condemnation. In this case, a desire not to condemn Roxy, but rather to help. I think that’s great. However, if that concept is to be consistent, it needs to extend to Whitey and those with other views as well.

    From where I sit, the expected course of comments to an article like this would have been a long string of regrets and well-wishes. And that would have been OK. But just OK. However, because Whitey had the courage to share his viewpoint, and do it publicly, this conversation can now be much more useful and engaging … if it isn’t wasted.

    In my opinion, there are positive and negative aspects of the “tribe” concept, just as with most concepts. I’d suggest that we all try to follow the words of the old Sam Cooke song: “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”. But I’m talking about tribal aspects, not dissent. More on that below.

    Most aspects of the tribal concept, as described by Bob and others here, appeal to me intellectually, ethically, and practically. So I understand why Whitey and others would contribute to Roxy. On the other hand, I do have mild “Koolaid” concerns, though for the most part, that likely stems from lack of face-to-face experience with the group yet. Still, someone striving to be broadly thoughtful would consider both.

    In the business world, products and projects often fail – some initially, and most eventually – for three main reasons: Bad design, bad implementation, or bad maintenance. The first two are mostly self-explanatory. Regarding bad maintenance, it is easy for people to get all hyped up about any new thing and give it lots of effort to get it up and running. However, maintenance is hard, sweaty, unglamorous work, and so it is second nature to quickly neglect the now operating thing and move on to other new things. When that happens, as it often does, it typically leads to inefficient operation and then premature termination.

    A major weakness of groups (tribes or congregations) is in the area of maintenance. Either failing to understand that it is a group responsibility, or failing to do it, or both. They often neglect _careful_ consideration of group ethics and behavior, followed by not making the necessary modifications for it to work better. For example, such groups often have no feasible way to handle _substantial_ diversity. Instead, the tendency is spears all facing out, stabbing anything that looks and sounds different. In the beginning, as a unit, and then later as smaller sub-units. In other words, it happens within the group as much as without, and so, it typically leads to unresolved squabbles and fracture vs. introspection and improvement. This CRVL group seems to be much better than average, but it isn’t immune to the virus.

    This vandwelling lifestyle is not only an “alternative way” _in fact_, but also in ideology and in spirit. Why not extend that to an alternative way of interacting when it comes to dealing with ideas and our reactions to them? This goes way beyond “don’t be mean”. And it’s a tall order for sure. Even our colleges and universities, which used to be the guardians of diversity of thought and expression, are failing at it now with seriously bad consequences.

    If this group turns out to be just like most others — incapable of handling introspection and dissent — it’s going to be a real disappointment for me.

    All said, developing or furthering such an ethic and method would be a noble goal for a group such as this, and if achieved, a group accomplishment to really be proud of.



    The Coddling of the American Mind:

  19. Michele says:

    Bob I can’t wait to read this book!

    I’ve longed for community… a tribe. Being connected to like minded people, helping one another out. We have all been given different gifts. It makes sense that we would come together. I believe that humans are created for relationship.

    However, i have often felt ashamed of this desire, at times. Our individualustic culture certainly doesn’t encourage it. And I wonder why? Because if we relied on one another then we wouldn’t be stuffing the pockets of the few elite rich minority of the US population!

    But back to my main point which is community and connectedness. At the end of the day, that’s all that brings me joy and I want to belong to a tribe. A tribe that allows me to be me. And despite differences in opinions humans will have with one another, the common ground all humans have is survival.
    Survival needs can be met by various members of the tribe…emotional, spiritual, physical, financial, etc…

    I have sensed your heart for helping others in the tribe, Bob, and it’s truly beautiful! I see you as a kind, gentle, humble, and wise tribal leader. Thank you!

  20. allanb says:

    Whitey, as one who has pecked away for many years at a physically debilitating job, to earn a living and savings etc, I can very much identify with what your saying. “let em work and make some money by god”.
    But I have also gotten much, good, entertainment, info etc,etc, out of both bob and roxys writings. And do feel a need to belong, or socialize, etc with a tribe. So am happy to help out a bit when I can. Good luck Roxy, all the best

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Allan! And remenber, she does work, she’s just limited by her injuries. Bob

    • Roxy says:

      Thank you for your help and best wishes. Everyone needs help from someone at some point in their lives, I don’t think there are too many people who can do everything entirely on their own for their whole life. I’ve tried though…and it was hard to ask for help, it’s not what I do. I’ve been accused of being too independent for my own good, and recently I’ve come to see the truth in this. I have been seeing a therapist these past few months, to help me reach the point where I can forgive my abuser. I know that she will approve of the fact that I reached out for help, she will say “and about time too!” So thank you for helping me, and everyone else too.

      • Ssure says:

        Hi Roxy: I’m glad you wrote your posts of today and specially for explaining about the gofundme campaign . I know you didn’t have to but wanted to address questions that came up. Probably one from me. After reading your posts I think I understand a lot better what the back story is and I want to tell you I’m sorry for questioning your integrity. Obviously I was wrong (again!). It sounds totally on the up and up, and again, thanks for clearing that up. Sometimes I’m a cynical old basterd.

        If I’m not out of line, I’d like to comment on your above post about seeing a therapist so you can hopefully get to a place where you can forgive your abuser. This is a topic I happen to know a lot about. I would like to suggest you rethink the goal you set of getting to a place where you can forgive the abuser. That is a very difficult goal to reach and a better one may be to just get yourself to a point where you can fully accept that it happened. The problems that result from abuse are due to resisting total acceptance of what happened. You don’t really need to forgive in order to be at peace with it. In fact to many people forgiveness is an impossible goal that can never be reached because the abuse was just too terrible. But giving up the internal struggle that if it had it’s own words would sound something like “it shouldn’t have happened” “it’s terrible” “why-why-why” “betrayed by my…” “I want to kill….” “I hate….” etc.

        Whatever it is that is your resistance to fully accepting what happened, making peace with it and moving on, needs to be routed out and dealt with. Maybe for you, as it is for so many others, forgive ness is not in the cards. HOPEFULLY it is, because that would be the ultimate in healing. But you don’t need to forgive in order to heal, be at peace with it and move on. Forgiveness as a technique in order to feel less traumatized is cheap and hollow and can lead to all sorts of complications if it isn’t real.

        Therapy is a tricky thing and it’s difficult to find a trauma counselor you really click with. It’s not uncommon to switch counselors several times until the right one for you is found. So don’t be nervous about firing your therapist if it’s not a totally good match. If she’s a good one she’ll understand and support you in your decision to put yourself first and she’ll try to help you find another that you better click with.

        Good luck with that. I admire your courage.


        • Roxy says:

          Ssure ~ Thanks for your suggestions regarding my goal in therapy. However, I have accepted that this, because happened a long time ago. The abuse was about 30-years ago, so this is not new. What has surfaced is some anxiety now that my injuries have reached a point where they effect my ability to recreate in the way I like, and hold a regular job, or even do most jobs. I knew this was coming, as I’ve been monitoring the injuries for the past 10-years. At this point, I want to be able to move on, and for myself forgiving the abuser feels like the right thing. I tried it before, and I didn’t succeed, but this time around I have help (which I didn’t have before) and I feel I am in a better place to handle it and reach that point of forgiveness. I hope to get there soon, I’m getting very close. Thanks for your concern, I appreciate it.

  21. Steve says:

    I can’t believe the earlier comment that someone made about Roxy living the life of Riley. All you have to do is go back and look at some of the blog post about how she is living. True, she has a life of freedom and can do whatever she pleases. But that comes with opportunity cost. I know…. because I went out and lived in my vehicle for a very short period of time. And failed miserably because I just could not hack that type of lifestyle.

    When you live in a normal Sticks and Bricks house and your vehicle breaks down it’s an inconvenience. When you live in that vehicle and it breaks down it’s a catastrophe. Now you have no home your possessions are gone and you’re really close to being living in the streets. So, Roxy deserves all the help she can get.

    And as far as Bob running a cult I have to kind of laugh at that one. No one is forced to do anything and they come and go as they please. It’s just a tight-knit group and when one of the group gets in trouble no matter where they’re located he steps in to try to help them out. And since of course he’s not able to do that financially himself, he refers that help to the GoFundMe. Genius. Thank you Bob for your help.

  22. Andy says:

    I was looking through the Go Fund Me donations. It’s amazing. There are so many donations and some people who donated $500.00 and one person who donated $1000.00. That really is amazing and it is good to see that some people are so willing to help another person out.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Andy, this really is a tribe at heart.

    • Roxy says:

      Yes, there were donations made that made my jaw drop, from total strangers as well! However, those $5.00 donations all added up, and are appreciated just as much. $5, quickly becomes $10, then $20, $60 and so on. That is why having a tribe works so well. Alone we can only do a little, but together we can achieve great things!
      I cannot tell you how many times I cried happy tears, and tears of disbelief through this process. I cannot say thank you enough times…

  23. My viewpoint on this derives originally from growing up in rural poverty on the edge of Appalachia, and has been strengthened by various experiences and sources since then. In my childhood, all of the poor people helped all of the poor people, except those who abused that generosity. If a given person didn’t give back, the help dried up, leaving the abusive person in a very sketchy situation. Other than that, we helped each other whether or not we even liked each other. As my father explained it, “We’ll need them to help us another time.” That’s tribal living at its best to me.

    Today, I don’t live in the same tribe, although I’m aware it continues the same way. However, my religion is based on what I know or can reason out about hunter-gatherer cultures. The notion of the rugged individual does not withstand the known facts of any given age of man. The fact is, we need each other. Humans are a social species, and we ignore that at our mental and physical peril.

    I have noticed a series of comments that began with, “I don’t profess to understand the American disability system . . .” and proceeded to a merciless critique of it that is free of actual knowledge of either disabling conditions or the facts of the system addressed by the critique. I suggest the person gather knowledge before such a discussion.

  24. scrambler paul says:

    Bob , Keep up the good work ! It looks like Roxy will meet her goal, there are so many good folks in this world that a few nay say’ers only expose themselves for who they are and they are not worth getting upset about and missing out on a beautiful day

  25. margo says:

    i don’t know if this will posted or not because i knocked my computer off the table last night and it wouldn’t post after that, thank goodness. why is that a good thing? you ask. because it was the middle of the night and being old and groucy i was not kind,i forgot that people who attack feel afraid of what they are attacking. BUT i am really tired of people attacking without checking to see if the matter has been delt with before. anyway i am really proud of how everyone else used such grace and class when dealing with the matter. from now on when i realize that something is mean hearted and crappy i will stop reading and go on to the many positive things i can read and let the people on this site who have more kindness and tolerance than i deal with it.

  26. Izaak says:

    I look at this as a post that is focused on something positive, the power of human compassion and togetherness. I currently work a job I cannot stand in order to (hopefully) provide security for my mother who is a financial situation that grows more dire than the month. Every day–every freaking day–I wish I was out on the road, just leading a nomadic life and writing. But I don’t begrudge any of you who lead that life, I do not begrudge that my tax dollars go to fund it if you are on disability. Honestly, it pales in comparison to how many of my tax dollars are going in the pockets of multi-millionaire robber barons and wars that cannot–and were never meant to be–won. Some of you may be “running a disability scam,” but I am not going to let my view of vandwellers be tarnished by a small percentage of the group. Honestly, in my heart I am right there with you even if I spend the majority of my time here…in a job I cannot stand in a big city I am working to escape from…rock on, as the kids say…

  27. Steve says:

    “Larry Stone” There was no link in your post to leave a reply (probably a glitch in the site), so I am posting a reply to your post here at the end.
    I appreciate you taking the time to respond and explain things. I am probably the same type of traveler that you are in that I just couldn’t get used to the hardship of dwelling full time out of a vehicle living by my wits….sorta speak.

    I tried to make it work in this type of lifestyle and got lots of great advice on how to do some builds and modifications on whatever mode of living or transportation I was working on. But in the end I had to stay with the Stick and brick and over the road combo you speak of.

    Your thoughts and explanations do make sense in certain ways and now I am going to plan my trips with the temporary aspect in mind. Thanks for your insight.

    Now, in fairness to some of the people that are doing the “third Rail”, I can only assume that they yearn for the same pleasure of being on the roads the same as you and I. But they have the idea that the only way to do that is to sell everything and live in a vehicle full time because they don’t have the money or means to fund both stick and brick and over the road at the same time. It’s probably “either-or” for them.

    • JIM PETERSON says:

      We ended up with a house that we rent out cheap (probably $200 below market) — just enough to cover the payment and the water/sewer/trash. It’s a good deal for them *and* for us as our 12×16 storage shed, boat, and truck camper on a flatbed trailer are stored (for FREE) in the large back yard. Otherwise the yard is theirs to use as they please. We check in once or twice a year to help them do what little bit might be needed to keep the HOA happy. We camp on the BLM and anyplace else that is FREE. As of 9/13/16, we’ve been fulltiming for 326 days and have only spent $150 to pay for a place to stay — all of it discretionary. There are 1,000 different ways to live this lifestyle, but my advice remains, “Go cheap, go small, and go NOW!” Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us.

      • Steve says:

        Jim you have planned and made you brake away to the traveling lifestyle in a very intelligent and responsible way. I am sure that you worked hard all your life to get the house and other things you have. You just didn’t sell everything and walk away not worrying about the future.

        What is troubling to some is where people just throw everything down the tubes and say the hell with everyone and everything to get their freedom from responsibilities with no care for the future and no planing. Then when things go really bad and trouble strikes they want to be bailed out. But like you said, no one forces people to give them money. But…..if this would keep happening over and over again from others doing the same thing people will stop giving. Because then it becomes a repeat of the same type of situation only with different people.

        • brattydog says:

          “What is troubling to some is where people just throw everything down the tubes and say the hell with everyone and everything to get their freedom from responsibilities with no care for the future and no planing. Then when things go really bad and trouble strikes they want to be bailed out.”

          While living in a vehicle may be cheaper than rent for the working person, it is not exactly “cheap,” especially when repairs are needed, and they WILL be needed. No vehicle lasts forever, and there will always be at some unknown juncture a very expensive repair or replacement.

          When I look at the facts of this post, the first thing which jumps out at me is this is a person who cannot afford to be driving. If you cannot afford a car repair, you can’t afford the car. But then I note that the Craigslist post of the for sale vehicle boasts of a recent trip of 9,000 miles:

          “I just took a 9,000 mile road trip on my own, never once worrying that she would break down or have any problems…then…”

          That is A LOT of money in fuel. Certainly there are funds for traveling, just not for maintenance and repair. Or, is it simply a priorities issue?

          Taking into account the $7,750 goal on the Gofundme page, this is MUCH higher than the Blue Book value of the Mitsubishi. In EXCELLENT condition, the value is $2,087. I am having a problem with the MATH. What exactly does this $7,750 represent? Is it the total cost of the van? If so, where was the other ~$5,750 coming from even if the Mitsubishi didn’t blow up?

          I think it’s fine if people want to throw money at her, it’s theirs’ to spend as they so choose. I just have an issue with the details not adding up.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Brattydog, I’m always curious, if you fundamentally disagree with my basic ideas, why do read my posts? Do you feel a need to prove me wrong? Do you feel a need to condemn Roxy and myself for our choices in life? Or do you just enjoy argument and debate?

            Perhaps you think my ideas are so subversive you need to defend the masses from them? At least that would be admirable.

            Personally, I don’t enjoy the argument, debate or being condemned. If you think I’m wrong, I have no problem with that. But I do think it’s enough to say it once and let it go. Continual condemnation does not seem wise to me.

          • Steve says:

            That’s a good question about the money thing not adding up. But in rereading her plea for help I didn’t notice anything about costs and outlays for vehicles and such. The only figure stated is the GoFundme site that puts $7,750 as the goal.

            Of course there is the cost of the plane ticket and expenses on the way back. So I guess we just have to trust in that her figure of $7,500 is legitimate and takes everything into consideration. It probably would have been better if she would have listed the costs of things. No big deal.
            By the way….she now has $8,400. Almost $1,000 more than she asked for. Yea Roxy!!!!
            People’s generosities are great.

          • brattydog says:

            I am not sure what you’re talking about, Bob. I merely asked a few questions and made a few observations based upon what was posted. I’ve made a handful of comments total on your site. And, I don’t recall ever insulting you but you’ve just insulted me twice. That’s not a good look for you, in my humble opinion.

        • June says:

          Steve: There was no reply button on your post several replies back so I’ll say thanks here and I agree with what you wrote there.

          To your post directly above I also have to agree. I personally have seen two instances over the years where people (both woman) hit the road unprepared, had breakdowns and ran pot of funds and got stranded. It can be a very compromising situation to find oneself in.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Very good point June, one thing I stress continually is the extreme importance of an emergency fund. Unfortunately, Roxy’s had been depleted.

            However, given the choice of living in a vehicle without an emergency fund or live under a bridge in a cardboard box, I do believe the vehicle is a better choice. And sadly, that is often the choice people face.

          • Steve says:

            June, that is terrible about the two ladies that got stranded. Did they get things straightened out? I often wonder about some of the new people that are all geared up to get on the road then we never hear from them again.

            I wish the folks that are just starting out and making plans in their minds about becoming vehicle dwellers would do more research and especially do more hands on experience. Maybe take some extended trips in the vehicle that they are planning on using and see what it is really like. And I am not talking just a few days. At least a month would let you know if it’s right for you.

            Do that before throwing caution to the wind and giving up everything you have, including, jobs, houses, apts, friends, etc. Once you cut those loose it can be hard to start over.
            I am certainly glad I gave it a test to see if I could do it. It saved me a lot of trouble and expense.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Jim, sounds like you’ve struck a perfect balance, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments.

      • Roxy says:

        Well said, and by the way…thanks (you know what for) 🙂

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Steve. Bob

  28. JIM PETERSON says:

    To her detractors in this effort, I say the fact Roxy is now only $24 shy of her goal — eight hours shy of five days — speaks for itself. I say, “Rock On Roxy!” This is direct charity if you will — no middleman — doesn’t slurp up a penny from any taxpayer — doesn’t require the permission/endorsement of any government or church either. Money is being given directly from the hand of the giver to the hand of the receiver. There is no purer form of charity *or* easier way of helping others. If you’re too cheap to help others in their time of need, then don’t. Nobody is holding a gun to your head. But if you’re too cheap to help others, you better damn well hope that you never need any help yourself . . . because, in my perfect world, you would not be eligible for such help . . . and the Karma I know will NOT favor your life either.

    • brattydog says:

      “This is direct charity if you will — no middleman — doesn’t slurp up a penny from any taxpayer — doesn’t require the permission/endorsement of any government or church either. Money is being given directly from the hand of the giver to the hand of the receiver. There is no purer form of charity *or* easier way of helping others.”

      Not exactly. You forgot the VENTURE (vulture) CAPITALISTS (Accel Partners) who own Gofundme and take their cut of 7.9% + $.30 per donation (5% to Gofundme, 2.9% + $.30 to Wepay). They’re the ones really making hay.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I totally agree Jim! Bob

    • Having seen Karma in action over and over, I agree, Jim. If someone insists that everybody should be self sufficient, then in their own time of need, they’d better be ready to live out their words.

  29. Ron says:

    Well done Bob and Tribe! Roxy’s GoFundMe is fully funded!

  30. Vagabound says:

    After one fights dragons so much and so long, everything that makes a noise starts to look like a dragon. However, I believe that most or all of the “dragons” in this conversation are actually good-natured and sincere.

    It may not have been all bunnies and butterflies, but this turned out to be a more meaningful discussion than it would have been without the different viewpoints.

    On one hand, this is just a silly blog article that will get archived pretty soon. On the other hand, if people resist the “tribal” urge to form separate opposing camps, and instead take some time to consider the ideas that are different from their own, I think it can make the whole group stronger.

    Would that be such a bad thing?


    • Bob Bob says:

      For some this is a silly blog post to fight and argue over, but sadly for far too many others it’s the difference between the choice of living in a vehicle or live under a bridge in a cardboard box.

      When people start writing you and telling you their very sad stories, and you are their last hope, you no longer have the luxury of fighting dragons, suddenly you’re fighting hopelessness, going hungry and facing the elements.

      When society discards you, a tribe is your last hope. That means something to me–and it means something to them.

      • Whitey says:

        What happens when the tribe discards you? For non conformity no less!

        George Carlin was right about a system that “threw these people overboard 30 years ago”.

        You’ve convinced me to keep my paddle in the water and stay the course. Many of the people who write to you no longer have that option though and some never did.

        For those of us still longing for freedom it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff so when you ask for understanding you must extend the same to those of differing views.

  31. Bambi says:

    I am in awe of this way of thinking and believing and truly wish we could all feel the peace, freedom and joy of tribal living. I swear I was a gypsy in a former life and happening upon your site has me dreaming of returning to it and my tribe daily. Kudos to you and your tribe for helping one of your own. I just went to Roxy’s go fund me site and through the kind hearts of those who had the means to help she has surpassed her goal to continue her journey.

    I am still in the mortgage, cars, regular job cycle and have been told NO to nomad living by my husband (please dont think ill of him, he is a generous and kind man, just doesn’t have the same vision as I do but I’m working on him 🙂 but I hope to be able to one day. I will continue to follow your tribe’s journeys and wish you all well.

  32. June says:

    Interesting in a Book View Now interview the author of the book being discussed, Sebastian Junger muses over the concept of “tribe” and the internet where he declares:

    “internet groups are communities only in the most abstract and unhuman sense”

    and further says the idea of internet tribes is

    “doubly dangerous, not only does it not provide real community, is gives the illusion that it does”.

    • Steve says:

      I can see where an internet so called “community or tribe” would not be the same as a real community, in that they are not physically face to face. This does make it less human in real contact. But some of the people here on this site do meet up from time to time at the RTRs and even form sub groups to more or less travel with after the meetings.
      I personally have not been to any of them but have visited a campsite in the desert of where Bob and some of the people reside in the winter.

      I just visit this site CRVL now to get information on whatever I can to make my road tripping easier since I have given up the idea of full timing in a vehicle such as a van, car, or cargo trailer, etc. I’m not cut out for it for some reason or another.

      I personally have never looked at this site, or any other site with a close enough attention to be a “Community or Tribe” that I would belong to. I am not a “Tribe or community” person.
      I will look up that interview.

    • Steve says:

      I did watch the interview just now. and here is a link to it.

      I think it was very interesting and he brings up some good points. One thing in particular he said that stuck out to me was that you should never talk about anybody with “contempt”. It’s alright to disagree and argue a point but you should never treat another human being with contempt.

      I think everyone should watch this short interview…..very eye-opening.
      Thank you June for bringing that to my attention.

      • June says:

        Yes, that’s the one.

        It might also be noted that the real focus of this author’s book we’re discussing is the bond military men form under duress and their subsequent return home from war with PTSD.

  33. Whitey says:

    Hi Bob, the tribe didn’t like my comment but I donated $50USD (add 30 percent for my weak currency), so not just a token amount.

    How shall I be judged, by my remonstrative words or by my generous deed?

    • Steve says:

      Whitey, I just want to briefly say that when I made the statement disagreeing about what you said of Roxy living the life of Riley, I was only trying to get you to see that she does not live that great of a life(as far as I’m concerned.)

      I was not trying to show disapproval of what you said, but wanted to try to get you to see the difference between a so called “Life of Riley” and the type of life she really leads. I just couldn’t believe that people can’t see that.

      And at the same time I am not saying that living in an SUV, or van is bad. Some people are happy doing so. But I just wanted to bring attention to the idea that as far as I am concerned she lives a life that is precarious and needs all the help she can get at this time of trouble for her.

    • david says:

      Matthew 6:2

      So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be praised by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

      Something to consider, ‘Whitey’.

      • Something else to consider: some here are not Christians.

      • Vagabound says:


        Whitey wasn’t “trumpeting”. In order to get a little balance, he was finally forced to bring it up himself when no one else (except me) acknowledged his contribution, instead preferring to judge and condemn him.

        As long as we’re trading Bible baseball cards, my favorite from Matthew is 7:3-5:

        3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

        Despite its other problems, every once in a while the Bible nails it in one.


    • Roxy says:

      Thank you for your donation…I truly appreciate it, you and the others have helped more than you are aware. I will be paying-it-forward for a lifetime…perhaps one day I will be able to help you should you need it. That’s how it works.

  34. Rick Gordon says:

    Hi Bob,
    I actually looked up your blog of a dogs love and I remember when you sent it to me cause I misplaced it, well I just made a copy and I will need it for my counseling session with my fiancé . Thank you for writing a magnificent piece, but I doubt she will understand, my last gf or my x wife didn’t. But thank you anyways ,
    Rick & Penny

  35. Vagabound says:

    Hi Bob,

    Responding to your comments and question from Sep 14, 5:01am and 6:08am. No way to place my comments under yours in the thread.

    Editing: I’ve often wished for an “edit” button on these blog comments. Doesn’t exist, so despite the proofreading we all likely do, we’ve got to put up with typos, goofy grammar, and less-than-perfect thoughts being expressed. Things we all do from time to time.

    Silly: When I described the blog article, on one hand, as silly, I didn’t actually mean silly and that wasn’t the focus of my point anyway. It was quick shorthand. Maybe too quick. I should have picked a better word. I was trying to get across the idea that it is temporary, a bunch of 1s and 0s on someone’s website, and not what really matters. I did not at all intend to diminish its role in helping Roxy. Your blog article seems to have done a lot to make that happen.

    Definition: You said, “Perhaps you disagree with my definition of tribe, ‘All for one, one for all'” I’ll take that as a question.

    If you read what I’ve written, to understand my meaning, you’ll see that I said nothing of the sort. In fact, I’ve expressed a pretty consistent stream of things that should lead to the opposite conclusion. However, above any concept of “tribe”, I would always be loyal to the principle of fairness. Anytime I suspect that principle might be violated, I’ll typically speak up. Here or elsewhere.

    Debate and Thought: Though I was never really confused about it, I understand more clearly now that this isn’t a debating or thinking club, but is mostly for action. However, “action without thought” is just another way to say “chaos”. Preventing chaos, especially when your actions are vital, is highly practical vs. a waste of time.

    I assume that no one here would be in favor of real chaos, including you. And we all know from firsthand experience that thinking and debate happen here. So, that leads me to believe that what we’re really discussing now is who gets to think, about what, and how much.

    You said, “… anyone here to actively hurt what I’m trying to accomplish is not welcome”. Perfectly reasonable. Judging that isn’t easy though, as this blog discussion has demonstrated. Seems presumption of innocence and good intentions should be assumed until you’re absolutely sure otherwise.

    I’m all for “tribe” when it means helping people and creating a safe haven for the _mostly_ like-minded on the fundamental issues. I am not for any mindless, unfair, or one-sided notions of tribe. You know more about my thoughts than I’m comfortable expressing here.

    Time will tell.


  36. John Bruce says:

    Funny that some folks bring up the worst examples of tribes or groups; Lord Of The Flies or Jim Jones in South America or whatever. But there are many many successful examples of good tribes. Any fraternal organization for example, or the current movement in some areas called the 100 Men or 100 Women who meet and discuss charities and then each individual writes a $100.00 check which all add up to a significant amount for that charity.

    The current culture of selfishness, which is very prevalent in our current society, is conditioned behaviour (Don’t think for a second that you made it up yourself!) and came out of Libertarian thought, Ayn Rand to be specific. It can’t work and is not sustainable. It is fantasy fiction.
    About a year ago I came to the realization that I am a hermit, but I am also part of several tribes, some at a distance. It’s just a matter of correctly perceiving what your social links amount to. And finally for the ones in denial of tribalism; come on in, there’s room for you inside.

    • Vagabound says:

      Hi John Bruce,

      Hadn’t intended to post again so soon, but you said two things that I wanted to highlight.

      You said, “And finally for the ones in denial of tribalism; come on in, there’s room for you inside.”

      Denial: Not trying to nitpick (considering my last post against that), but didn’t see anyone denying tribalism. There were several people, including me, questioning the nature of a tribe, by CRLV definitions. Healthy questions to find out what it is and what it isn’t.

      Big Tent: You said, “There’s room for you inside.” Bravo! That is what I was hoping someone would say, and actually, what I hoped the general group attitude would have been.

      Any group worth its salt should be able to tolerate some meaningful differences. After all, even the “Three Musketeers” — owners of the borrowed motto — bickered and argued. It is what they did in the end that mattered.

      And, if they’re allowed to develop, converts can be some of the strongest members of any group.


  37. Vagabound says:

    June: Thanks for mentioning the Book View Now interview with Sebastian Junger. The lack of personal connection and accountability of the Internet can be negative. The ability to reach and interact with many more people than we otherwise would be able to can be positive. I keep hoping that the latter will win out.

    Steve: Thanks for finding and posting the interview link. I agree with you that everyone, especially those who see themselves as associated with a CRVL tribe, should watch the interview. It was very interesting.

    I liked the entire interview and want to read the book even more now. The part of the interview that most spoke to me is below. While he was talking, I was thinking about replacing the word “nation” with “CRVL tribe”:

    This If you want to be a functioning … nation, a viable nation, you have to define ‘tribe’ to include the entire country, even people you disagree with. Disagreemet is great. Debate is great. Conflict is great. It’s how we all get better. What you can’t do is have contempt for your fellow citizens. That is destructive. [Having contempt for our fellow citizens] … is more dangerous to this country than ISIS is. Literally … more of a threat to our nation.


  38. Steve says:

    Vagabound Thank you for bringing up this thought “Any group worth its salt should be able to tolerate some meaningful differences.”

    I would think as long as someone is not blatantly harassing, calling someone a derogatory name, or being outright abusive, should be able to contribute to the conversation of a subject. The group or forum will be much stronger and effective.

    Too many times I have visited sites with blogs and forums that were so heavily moderated and controlled that it became bland and uninteresting. When you have everyone repeating the same things with the fear of being reprimanded, have their posts and comments deleted, or (worse)be banned or blocked, it makes for a very one sided structure.

    • Steve says:

      Also, when a site, blog, or forum gets to be so one sided and strict, people either leave or don’t come back. As far as I’m concerned the more visitors to a site the more successful it is.

      And…..if you have lots of visitors there is a better chance that more will purchase products from the businesses you have on your site.

    • Denise says:

      can’t agree more. In real life, discussing things while having respect for others, is just healthy. I have a couple of forums, for seniors, I belong to. I like the discussions on one, while the other, I don’t. The “other” I speak of allows personal attacks, and it got so bad I left. The one I like and drop in at least once a day usually, allows some rather heated discussions, but then most of the people there are very respectful.

      The world would be a better place if we were quick to see where others are right, admit when we may be wrong, or know we are.

      Anyway, I liked what you had to say Steve. I don’t want a world full of puppets or robots to mingle with. But I won’t allow toxic, or abusive people in my life either. Kind of an interesting place to visit, this blog. Glad to see it’s kept up, I mean people are posting here and now.

      I keep wanting to build a forum, but I’m better at just suggestions for one I think. Although, the cosmetic part is a blast, I’m really into design, Denise

  39. Denise says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, but I’m thinking of living out of my small truck. I’m a 63 year old woman, not disabled but a gypsy heart. I have all I need in my small town, beautiful apartment, a few things I need, even some I want. But being retired and staying in one place doesn’t appeal to me, but I’m not sure how “not having” a permanent address to come home to is for me.

    I also don’t care for the “establishment” but I need to have my healthcare, safe places to camp along the way, and my wifi, movies, and Nook reader, LOL!

    About this whole Tribe thing, I don’t like it. If I leave here to hit the road, it’s mostly because I “don’t” want to be part of another “city” or group. I want a social time with other campers/travelers, but then move on. If I wanted to be part-of, I stay here, join a church, go to city-hall meetings;)

    Good luck to all of you though, to each his/her own:) Denise

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Denise, you’re too new to know us but you’ve come to the right place, we have kindred hearts. Stick around and you’ll see there is an easy solution for each of the problems you listed, you can have the life of your dreams!

    • Steve says:

      Denise, be very careful and cautious about just getting rid of everything including a house or apt, to hit the road. Yes, the call of the road and road trip to see new things and places is strong. I take them all the time. But, after I did a few extended trips and lived out of a vehicle(a month or more at at time), I discovered that I was not cut out for that type of lifestyle on a permanent basis. I am glad I didn’t cut my ties and burn my bridges, and was glad I had someplace to go back to for now.

      My advice is if you are always itchy to get out on the road, take a few extended trips and live out of the vehicle for an extended time and then you will know better if you want to be out there 24/7 on a permanent basis. Try it before you buy it!!!!

      If you get a chance, do the Blue Ridge Parkway in October. It is beautiful. And they have campgrounds along the way that are pretty reasonable price wise. I think around $20 a night with bathrooms and showers on some of them.

      • Bob Bob says:

        That’s good advice. If you have the time and finances then taking practice trips is a great idea. But, for many of us that is not an option, either the call of the road is too strong or our finances dictate that we ACT NOW!!

        Whatever your situation is, I wish you the very best! Bob

  40. Becky says:

    So glad u liked the book, after my dad kept talking about it and I was reading it, I kept saying, ” this is what Bob says” I have kept him updated on your philosophy. That book is what convinced me finally to try the tribe thing:) I am liking it, thank u!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Becky, what stands out about this tribe is how flexible it is. I may only see you once or twice a year, but when we do see each other it was like I saw you yesterday. Our connections are like bungee cords, they stretch a very long ways but always bring us back to together eventually. And the whole time we are separated, we are still bonded.

  41. Ssure says:

    I was with the Roxy thing until I heard that the goal has been met plus $1000 and still taking donations. Am I wrong?

    Also, Bob, love what you’re doing and love the people in the tribe. I live in a trailer and I also have a truck and camper for roaming around. Anyway, I and others are very nervous of a tribal consciousness thing, I think, as we’ve seen. As a kid in the early 70’s I left home at 15 because I just couldn’t tolerate another moment of the family tribal thing. I had to do my own thing. I joined the army but learned that I don’t take orders well. I didn’t last long so I went back home and got involved with a bike gang because I loved the lifestyle and the people. Again, I washed out fairly quickly because I have such a hard time doing the tribe. Spent most of my life self employed and then ended up going back to school so I could do social work. Retired early because I just couldn’t tolerate another moment of the expectations of that tribe. I have great respect for tribes, but I just don’t fit in and they scare me a bit.

    But its a bit of a lonely life at times and this tribe, I think, gets that and allows one to pretty much take part as much or as little as they please. That appeals to me but I’m disappointed that all points of view can’t be tolerated by you and others. In fact it worries me that maybe this tribe will turn out to be like all the rest that I’ve failed at.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ssure, I haven’t watched the gofundme so I’m not sure, I would assume though she did exceed the goal. I don’t have a problem with that, people care about her and want to contribute to her, giving her extra is just part of that. If they give ateer the goals is met, they do it knowingly and gladly out of a heart of compassion and i’m 100% in favor of that.

      The tribes of the hunter gatherers had no rules, no leaders, no government. No one could tell another member what to do. The oldest and wisest were most respected, their voices carried the most weight, but no one obeyed them. If someone didn’t like what was going on, they walked away and joined another tribe or started their own. I suspect you’ve never been part of a tribe like that. We are. No one tells anyone else what to do or think or anything else.

      We are 100% independent, but at the same time very deeply connected.

      I don’t care what anyone thinks. But when you come to my blog with only one goal to tell me over and over again I’m wrong, I have to ask myself why? Why are you here if you disagree with me. Go start your own ribe that is based on your ideas. In the internet world they are called trolls–people who just love drama and want to fight. They are not welcome here, I don’t have time for them.

      If you have rejected all my ideas, go away.

      And they are not giving alternative views, they are preaching the party line that their parents taught them and they taught their children. WE ALL KNOW THE PARTY LINE!!!! THERE IS NOTHING NEW THERE. We’ve all been taught it everyday of our lives. Go to school, get a job, have a family, buy a house, get married, work for 40 years then retire and have your golden years. THERE IS NO VALUE IN MY LETTING THEM COME HERE AND SAY THAT ENDLESSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      It’s all a lie and I hate it. I have continually posted reasons why I hate it. No one needs to come here to defend it, because we’ve all heard it over and over and over and over again every day of our life.

      I have rejected the party line and just having people here to repeat it endlessly is totally counter-productive. It wastes my time and reinforces their lies.

      Sometimes people honestly want to debate it and are open to hear other ideas, but not very often. Most are here to spout it and it’s not going to happen.

    • Roxy says:

      The extra money that came in was mostly from my family overseas…they had waited until the end to see how close I would be to being in the clear, then made up the difference. Sadly, there are ‘fees’ and I hadn’t taken those into consideration when I posted the goal. Very few things are done for free in this day and age, and GoFundMe is no exception. They have overhead’s, and also have to make a profit so they can afford a stick and brick, and live the life society says they should live. It’s just the way it is right? At least the fees were less than e-bay charges, but they do add up. Like I often say, the reason behind doing certain things a certain way, it rarely black and white.

  42. Larry Stone says:

    THIS IS WHAT LARRY WROTE: “The following post to this thread was deleted from this so called discussion and will help to represent my message in the context it was intended to be delivered:”


    I deleted it before and will continue to delete it. Here’s why: while Larry may mean well and sincerely believe what he says, he is in fact here to preach conformity to societal rules. But he dresses it up like non-conformity.

    This is very simple, THIS IS NOT A DISCUSSION BOARD. IT IS MY BLOG, MY STORY, MY LIFE, MY IDEAS. I’ve worked tremendously hard to create this place and it’s impact. I did not do it so people can come here and preach what I believe are lies.

    Larry, in this country you are welcome to go do the hard work and create your own website and preach anything you want on it. But this is my house and my bully pulpit–I don’t owe you anything and I can’t understand why you think I do. You didn’t do the work, why should you get to come here and preach against me?

    People all the time accuse me of being a cult leader and controlling people. I can assure you of this, if that were my goal I did a terrible job of choosing weak-minded people to manipulate!!!!!!

    The people who join my tribe can not be manipulated or controlled by me or anyone else (without force). I never, never try to!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you drive or how you live or your color or who you have sex with. Vandwelling is an attitude toward life. You have it or you don’t. I can’t define that attitude but at the heart of it is an independence that says I will be happy now, and I will live the way I choose to live. I’m sorry if you don’t like it–too bad. I will not conform to your ideas!”

    Larry, you have just the opposite attitude. You attitude is that we must CONFORM: “Your happiness isn’t important, being a good member of society is all important. Being happy in the present moment is unimportant, the only thing that’s important is your future security.”

    In other words with that attitude you can never be a true member of the tribe, they are here only to oppose it and preach brain-dead CONFORMITY. If you come to the RTR, you can say it all they want until you are blue in the face. You know why, because no one will listen to you!! Believe me, you can’t tell us what to do!!

    But my blog is a very different thing!! My blog is my story and my life and my opinions. If your a member of the tribe and come here to offer a different view that’s fine or to point out errors in my thought, you are welcome. THAT’S THE VERY HEART AND CORE OF THE TRIBE–FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You’re here to preach dependence and mindless, soulless conformity–they are anti-tribe. I worked very, very hard to create a website that impacts people and I did not do it so that lies like that will be preached from it. Or poison like that can kill it.

    There are plenty of blogs and forums dedicated to societal conformity and dependence for you to go preach to–go there!! You know why you don’t, they are boring and dead and unappealing. So you come here where there is vibrant life and independence.

    And what do you do. You do everything they can to kill what makes it so special. You try to turn it into another dead place of mindless conformity.


    • Ssure says:

      Hi Larry: I respect what you’re saying but I wonder if highly dependent people of any age would stick around here for long. Folks here seem to be pretty independent and able to take care of themselves. And for sure they are not stupid.

      My guess is that most takers, young or older, who are not interested in giving anything back, ever, would not flourish in this group and probably end up enjoying Slab City and other similar communities more.

      Also wondering if those with no income or survival skills who do come here and stick around because they like what they see, could not end up the biggest givers and respected elders in the future.


    • Larry Stone says:

      By deleting my comments you are trying to turn this blog into another dead place of mindless conformity not I.

      • Ssure says:

        Hi Larry: I enjoy reading your posts and I hope you continue to bring forward an alternative way of looking at things. I don’t really agree with much of what you write but it really gets me thinking and helps me learn. I hope you’re permitted to keep posting.

        I can see Bob’s point though. Obviously he’s put his heart and soul into this and has great success creating something really good here. And he’s like a mother bear when she imagines a human coming between her and her cubs in the forest. I also enjoy seeing that. Helps me to appreciate more all that he’s done here.

        He says this is not a discussion board. It’s his blog. However he permits comments rather than turns off that feature, so attempts at discussion are going to come from that. I have enjoyed this thread more BECAUSE of the different points of view. After reading it all,I, like I’m sure everyone else who reads the thread, will make up my own mind without anyone else’s help, about the tribe thing and what it means to me. Thanks.


  43. Ssure says:

    Hi Bob: You wrote ” But when you come to my blog with only one goal to tell me over and over again I’m wrong, I have to ask myself why? Why are you here if you disagree with me.”

    I surprised at your reaction. I have only commented a few times on this website in the past and I’m fairly new to reading it. I have been excited ever since I found your website – that there are other people around sort of like me. I have respect for you, your work and most of the members. Why am I here if I disagree with you? So far I only disagree with you on one point. That you want to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with you. I said I find that disappointing because I look up to you as sort of a pioneer and wise and experienced tribal elder / leader. True, I’ve never been part of a tribe like this and I want to become part of it. But not if I can’t speak my mind. Let me know if I should not come to RTR in Jan. Rick

    • Bob Bob says:

      Rick, we aren’t talking about the tribe, we’re talking about my blog, they are NOT the same thing. People all the time accuse me of being a cult leader and controlling people. I can assure you of this, if that were my goal I did a terrible job of choosing weak-minded people to manipulate!!!!!!

      The people who join my tribe can not be manipulated or controlled by me or anyone else (without force). I never, never try to!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you drive or how you live or your color or who you have sex with. Vandwelling is an attitude toward life. You have it or you don’t. I can’t define that attitude but at the heart of it is an independence that says “I will be happy now, and I will live the way I choose to live. I’m sorry if you don’t like it–too bad. I will not conform to your ideas!”

      The people you are defending have just the opposite attitude. Their attitude is that you must CONFORM: “Your happiness isn’t important, being a good member of society is all important. Being happy in the present moment is unimportant, the only thing that’s important is your future security.”

      In other words they can never be a true member of the tribe, they are here only to oppose it and preach brain-dead CONFORMITY. If they come to the RTR, they can say it all they want until they are blue in the face. You know why, because no one will listen to them!! Believe me, you can’t tell us what to do!!

      But my blog is a very different thing!! My blog is my story and my life and my opinions. If your a member of the tribe and come here to offer a different view that’s fine or to point out errors in my thought, you are welcome. THAT’S THE VERY HEART AND CORE OF THE TRIBE–FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      These people are here to preach dependence and mindless, soulless conformity–they are anti-tribe. I worked very, very hard to create a website that impacts people and I did not do it so that lies like that will be preached from it. Or poison like that can kill it.

      There are plenty of blogs and forums dedicated to societal conformity and dependence for them to go preach to–go there!! You know why they don’t, they are boring and dead and unappealing. So they come here where there is life and independence.

      And what do they do. They do everything they can to kill what makes it so special. They try to turn it into another dead place of mindless conformity.


      • TCDave says:

        An analogy to Bob’s point is as follows: Those of us that live in a “more friendly, freedom loving state or city” get really upset when people who come from a less freedom loving state or city and then try to change our state or city into the mess that they just moved from. We don’t like it. We live where we live because we like the freedoms here. Those that want to move in and try to change it to the place they just moved from can leave. Bob’s blog is his, don’t come here and try to change it. Like he said, go somewhere else where there are others like you who want to hear what you have to say. Those that read what Bob writes(I just started) do so because they agree with it, or at the very least want to learn more about it.

  44. Ssure says:

    Hi Bob: One of things I like the most about you is your passion. You and I see eye to eye, I think. I want to live the way I want to live. If you can’t handle that, leave me alone. Go away and find what makes you happy because I’m never going to change.

    I live in a trailer in my daughters yard even though they have a room for me in the house. I travel south in the winter toward warm weather and in the summer to see other family in different parts of the country. Most people in my life disagree with my choices but I demand, and they show me, the proper respect and leave me to it because they know I’m willing to pay the price for what I believe in and want. I am the family fringe dweller. I don’t fit in and that’s fine with me. Finding people like minded is exciting for me. Finally maybe I’ll fit in somewhere!

    So I think I get why you’re annoyed. I have nothing into this website or this group and you have years of hard work and heart in to it. This website is your baby and you obviously love it and are good at it. I can understand why you feel so protective. I would too.

    With respect I’d like to make a suggestion, if I may. Explain to your readers the issue as you see it, what you are doing or thinking about doing about it, and ask for their opinion. For many years I was a head coach and you want to try to give as much ownership to the guys as possible. You get better buy-in when the team is asked to participate a little in some of the process and decision making rather than just have it always imposed on them. The other thing is, rather than trying to shut it down, which causes free spirited, high functioning independent people to maybe relate back to the countless times in their lives when they’ve been told what they can and can’t see/do/think, you are asking people to participate and talk about it and get it dealt with one way or the other. Maybe the people don’t care and just skip over the replies they don’t like. Maybe they are really pissed off and want you to ban some of the people. I realize it’s all your website and you did all the work, but you invited the people in and asked them to sort of join in the success of it. Now may be the time to thank them for their part in it’s success by showing them you want their input on decisions that will affect their enjoyment of the website.


  45. Roxy says:

    There seems to be a lot of reference to disability in the comments, and I’m wondering if a few of you have assumed I’m on disability. So I’d like to clarify a few things…you will notice that I say that I only work part time and I am NOT able to get disability yet (third paragraph in my part of the post above (in italics)). In fact last year I worked so little that I only turned in $1,400 on taxes, partly because of my injuries and I also had an outbreak of Shingles that took months to heal from. During that entire period I didn’t get any help from the government, nor am I getting any help now, not even food stamps. As for disability, I cannot get the backup of my doctor to help me to apply for disability, even though he agrees I am disabled in some ways. He insists that we try a lot more things before he gives me his full support, and that will mean that I don’t even get a chance to apply for it for several more months, or even years. In the meantime, I have to live on the income I can make by working two days a week (or three days on occasion) during the summer months in my resident state of Colorado, which I cannot stay in during the winter. (I will have to get part time work elsewhere in the winter). I don’t know how others get disability, perhaps they can afford a lawyer, but for myself it isn’t going to happen easily if at all. In the meantime I’m living on very little, with no government assistance of any kind. If I didn’t live in a vehicle, I wouldn’t be able to manage at all.
    I hope this helps to clarify any misunderstandings. Thanks… 🙂
    ****On another note ****
    I’d like to make a comment about having a tribe; When I went to the RTR this past January for the first time and met My Tribe, it changed my life. I’d traveled on my own for the best part of 10-years, doing nearly everything alone (I’m an old-timer LOL). After the RTR I didn’t feel alone any more. I had a tribe, and that tribe is the closest thing I have to family because I do not have a single family member in America. Many of the friends I made at the RTR have stayed in touch with me. Even though I have been working in Colorado, and haven’t been able to hang out with any of them this summer, I know they are out there. I know that when my job ends here, there will be some people who will welcome me into their camp, and I don’t have to be alone all the time if I don’t want to be. For someone like myself, who has spent years camping on her own, this is truly a gift. The Tribe is a gift, and I appreciate Bob’s work in bringing us all together more than I can say, it has made a world of difference in my life, and other peoples lives too. This is a great way for people to start out, because going-it-alone can be scary for some, and very lonely, but because of Bob’s hard work, a person can start out at a gathering, and not be completely alone at the offset. That is a wonderful thing for many…truly wonderful.
    I also want to send a great big THANK YOU to Bob and all those who contributed to my GoFundMe. It was a great success! and I now own my home on wheels. I can now focus on getting healed, without the extra threat of being homeless or having an un-payable debt hanging over my head. (That kind of stress can make the pain of injuries much worse, and slow down the healing. Stress can be debilitating in itself).
    And so I say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU…The Tribe and other travelers made up the main bulk of the contributions, and with your contributions, five weeks of tears, worry and frustration was turned around in just five days!!! That is incredible, and I am blown away by the generosity of my friends and so many strangers, and yes my family, because I think of My Tribe as family.
    I hope that if we meet you will introduce yourself, so I can thank you in person. I sent out 234 thank you emails, but a face-to-face is always better.
    **** I have now ended the GoFundMe, and am no longer accepting donations**** You have saved me…. and I THANK YOU!

    • Kathleen Dittmer says:

      I’m so happy you got the funding you need, Roxy. Some people who do not have disabilities may look down upon those who do and who seek government assistance to survive. My outlook is different. I don’t know your story, but disabilities vary widely. Here are a few tips: Find out if there is a non profit agency in your area that specifically assists people with disabilities. They can be an excellent resource to you in so many different ways. Ask locally who is the best disability attorney in your area. Call that person for a free 10-15 minute consult. Write down all your questions in advance. Call as many attorneys as you wish until you get your questions answered. Attorneys DO NOT CHARGE for the work they do on your disability case. They only get money if they win the case at the time you receive your disability award and funding. Unless you have a terminal illness you will have to wait for a period of time before your case is decided. But if you win, you will receive funding from the date you first apply for disability through your local Social Security office. The attorney gets a percentage, which is 25 per cent in the state where I live. Getting the BEST attorney is critical. There are two forms of disability awards: one that is for people who have not accrued enough points in a certain time period, so they qualify only for SSI, which has numerous restrictions. People who have enough points in the designated time period qualify for SSDI, which is much less restrictive. These are questions you can ask the attorney. And it sounds like you may need to change to a doctor who is more supportive. The right medical records are essential in winning your case. I know this is not a forum on disability, but I want to assist you in knowing that there is help out there for you if you need it due to your injuries. I’ve spent a great deal of time dealing with these issues, and live in a state where the National Disability Conference is held annually. It is a truly remarkable event. Best wishes to you in your recovery.

      • Bob Bob says:

        Kathleen that is such great information thank you so much for providing it. That took you a lot of time and it just shows what a kind person you are. Thank you!

  46. Scott says:

    To Roxy,

    That is great news Roxy! I’m so glad that you had the courage to reach out and that the Tribe (and others) not only had the opportunity to help but that you were able to gain a loving family in the midst of your troubles. A double blessing and a truly inspiring event! I have the proverbial warm fuzzies all over and I wasn’t even involved. I am not a nomad yet (I’m in the research stage) but I hope to meet you one day out on the road or at an RTR.

    To Bob,

    Thank you for hosting this site and for your help given freely to all who are living or to all who might be thinking about living this lifestyle. What a truly awesome resource this is! And to think that it may include a community that I could be accepted into, in love and in mutual service towards…well…that is just way beyond cool!

    My eyes were opened about the nature of tribes when I read the book “American Spartan” by Ann Scott Tyson about U.S. Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant’s essay about and engagement with the Pashtun tribes in
    Afghanistan. Here are some of the more interesting quotes that I found.

    “Given such a deep shared lineage and connection to particular patches of land, no matter how barren or remote, tribal life fulfills every one of the five strata of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The tribe provides food, security, love and belonging, self-esteem, and an understanding of one’s place in the world. Simply put, Jim believed that the eastern Afghan tribes offered Pashtuns everything that a person could want.”

    “Long before modern democracy, communism, or socialism, Ibn Khaldun (in 1377 AD) proposed that these peoples fell into just two categories-tribal and urban…Dogma did not divide men on any level in nearly the manner that their chosen way of life did.”

    “Tribes, whether settled farmers or nomadic herders, are autonomous. They live off the land, growing the crops they need to eat and raising the livestock necessary to sustain the group.”

    “As tribal economies are based on subsistence, not surplus, there is little value in growing more food or slaughtering more livestock that the group can live on. Material personal possessions, beyond the necessity of weapons to defend the tribe and protect its natural resources, are few.”

    “What little wealth there is in a tribe is invested in relationships…The extra food or goods brought back from the marketplace are then used for hospitality and communal feasts, not personal consumption. Gift givers are highly esteemed, and power is reflected in a man’s ability to live simply, not in his ability to hoard.”

    Many of the concerns about communities raised by others on this thread are valid and to be wary of. There always seems to be someone or some group that comes in and tries to manipulate the “tribe’s” behavior or there becomes an issue with group think…I don’t see that happening with this tribe. Just a government crack down.

    More to say, I have to go to work now…

  47. Hugh says:

    A few observations. Just about all members of your ‘tribe’ seem to be dependent on the US govt social system in one way or another. I would love to try the lifestyle and I am intrigued by the blog and responses but I feel strongly that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to ones own future and immediate family are more important. Some people are irresponsible with their income and life choices. Should we celebrate that those who live wisely and plan should be made responsible for those who do not? I view the issue on a timeline. In my opinion too many people leave the timeline of responsibility simply because they can in our system…and unfortunately it is seemingly encouraged. When our financial system collapses, and it will unless there is a drastic return to responsible behaviors and economics, I have a feeling this ‘tribe’ will quickly fall apart. In other words, when those gov’t checks stop all the ‘freedom’ of the tribe will screech to a halt. I expect many will be pursuing ‘gofundme’ or some other handout to live from day to day. Its sounds so good to espouse ‘freedom’, but you really aren’t free when you depend on a gov’t and that, my friend, is a great deal different than depending on the rest of the tribe. None of those tribal members in the Junger book contemplate what would happen if their gov’t checks stopped. You are comparing apples to oranges. The two questions I ask anyone dependent on the govt (SSI, SSD, whatever) are 1. Where does the money come from? and 2. What happens when it stops? Soon the music is going to stop and a great many people will not have a chair. While you have said you denounce socialism, it has real similarities to your present day ‘tribal’ mentality. As Margaret Thatcher once paraphrased, “Socialism is a great idea … until the other guy’s money runs out”. I have studied american indians and tribalism. In a tribe of the past, it would be unheard of for 30-40% of the tribe to adopt the attitude that they would have a ‘free’ lifestyle and be supported without reciprocal responsibility to the remainder of the tribe. With original tribalism there were no handouts; no checks; no support. A member of the tribe filled a measure of responsibility to the tribe or the remainder of the tribe responded – usually with lethality. The reason Junger’s examples of the tribe is so appealing is that everyone in the tribe worked and contributed to the tribe! There is just no example of 60% of those indians working while the remainder camped by the river and bathed under their horses. : ) All while expecting and indeed depending on the 60% to provide a portion of their efforts and work. In fact, all non-contributing members of a tribe were cast out or worse. Lets get the facts correct on a tribe of yesteryear versus a virtual shell or make-believe tribe of today. ‘Tribe’, no way; its more accurate to say camp friends. In the Pashtun tribes, everyone contributes or you are no a member of the tribe! And within that contributing mentality they love support and heal one another. On that note, I am ‘all in’ but find me a tribal example wherein a large percentage of the tribal membership is unproductive to the tribe and they remain a welcomed tribe member.

    I am not trying to be a ‘bad guy’ here and in fact I look forward to meeting everyone in a few years, but I have the responsibility of being sure that I will not be dependent on our gov’t to get out there.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hugh, you raise a lot of good points and I understand and respect your point of view. Answering all of them would take a very long time so I will only respond to a few.

      1) A surprisingly large number of us are young and get nothing from the federal government–including me.In my 14 years as a nomad, I receved nothing direcctly from the federal governmnt, not a penny. I am getting a tax refund this year, but I still paid them plenty!!! We work and support ourselves just as you suggest. But because we live so cheaply we get to work less.
      2) I’d guess the majority of us are living on Social Security (I will be next year). But if you are somehow suggesting that is shameful or we should be embarrassed and stop, I think you are 100% wrong. Stunningly wrong. If I pay into an investment system all my life, how does it make me lazy or bad to collect on it? Especially one that is mandatory! If I put money into an IRA all my life am I evil to take it out? Do good moral people refuse Social Security and only bad people take it? That kind of thinking is beyond me and I can’t even discuss it with you.
      3) A small percentage is on Disability, I assume you think they are evil as well? I disagree but I can’t change your mind or heart. The archaeological evidence suggest that many tribes did care for the old, weak and infirm. We’ve found burial sites of people who could not have lived that long without having been cared for by others. That seems to be an innate desire of human beings and even some pre-humans. Now, we know as long as it was possible, most native american tribes did take care of the old, weak and infirm, but in extreme times, there was an understanding among all members that they would take their own lives, or simply be left behind for the good of the tribe. The tribe came first. Are you suggesting we are in extreme times now so we must take extreme actions and we need to ask the old, weak and infirm to take their own lives? If so, then I am going to have to disagree with you there as well.
      4) If the government collapses and the dollar is worth nothing, everybody loses everything. The only ones who come out of that are homesteaders and farmers, but they will all be killed by roving bands of the hungry anyway. I know many people want to live their lives as preppers planning on the TEOTWAWKI, but I’m not one of them. I do make common sense, basic preparations for short term emergencies, I even have some gold and silver stored at my moms, but i’m NOT building my life and my philosophy of life on it.

      Thanks again for your thoughts, they were well-written and well-thought out.

  48. DrJean says:

    Just a newbie wanting to say hi… and thanks Bob for all you do. I’ve been reading your blog and viewing pic for a short time (2 months maybe?) and have enjoyed the videos of vandwellers. Amazzzed

    For those who have issues (but who of us doesn’t?) I usually say, “there’s therapy for that.” (tongue in cheek?)

  49. Hugh says:

    Thank you for your response. I take no issue with those who pay into social security and enjoy the proceeds at retirement and I meant no disrespect to those folks. I hope to be a recipient myself soon! However SSD, food stamps and other easily obtainable benefits are far different for me. Hardly anyone disagrees that these are the most abused handouts available. Literally walk in, sign up and enjoy. Are there great examples of truly needy people being helped? Sure. But the percentage of abuses rise every single year and more and more people become ensnared by the govt each year. It used to be if you went on the dole you tried to quickly gain stability and come off. We now have generations of families enjoying these tasty nuggets of cultural imprisonment. A quick search of ‘SSD abuse’ will highlight my point. More oversight and meaningful penalties seem to be possible solutions, but that wont happen. The govt values and encourages dependency. Its the elixir of the powerful regardless of party preference. The more people become dependent on govt assistance, the more the govt extracts our freedoms. In other words, govt dependency = loss of freedom. Thats my whole point. I actually agree with many of your responses to a point. You and I will indeed enjoy SS but if our mindset becomes ‘spend everything along the way cuz the govt will care for us later’ we are then owned by the govt. Should those societal members who make good financial decisions and future planning be penalized and robbed to support those who do not? Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is tough, dry reading but it is crystal clear. He certainly appears prophetic based upon the landscape of today’s culture and govt.

    Tribes did indeed care for the old and infirm much more than we do today, and older members are highly valued and respected, so I am completely with you there. And of course I dont take the extremist view that the old, infirm or truly sickly should ‘off’ themselves. Thats silly. Im speaking of the overbearing extreme abuses that are sucking the life from the good psyche of the workers and producers of our culture. There was no tolerance for noncontributing or working members of an indian tribe – particularly among the more nomadic plains Indians. I certainly wish we could meld time and cultures. I would be very comfortable with how they would handle what is happening today. It is likely now the majority of those on SSD. Somehow I think it would be a hard sell to convince those hardworking peoples of the Sioux or Apache that ADHD, obesity, fibromyalgia and other perceived ‘disabilities’ are good reasons not to contribute and to be dependent on those who produce! We both know there would be far less people abusing SSD because under their tribal structure it would not be tolerated – and those Indians wouldn’t refer the lazy members to counseling or a good dose of Zoloft!

    Perhaps we can enjoy an adult beverage around the campfire one evening and bounce these opinions around. : ) Debate is good – unless you disagree with the other guy – then its ‘hate speech’ and prohibited. But that’s another beverage and campfire!

    • Bob Bob says:

      I suspect the amount of abuse their is of the disability system is much less than you claim. And if you think you just walk in and say “I can’t work” and they start throwing money at you, then you are incredibly misinformed.

      Are there some who cheat the system, almost certainly. But the idea that we just let the rest of them rot and die seems like an unspeakably horrible answer to it.

      There was no tolerance for noncontributing or working members of an indian tribe – particularly among the more nomadic plains Indians. I certainly wish we could meld time and cultures. I would be very comfortable with how they would handle what is happening today. It is likely now the majority of those on SSD.

      Extraordinary claims (half of SSD recipients are liars and cheats) require extraordinary proof. You’ve just judged and condemned millions of good decent Americans of being liars and cheats. I’d like to see some proof of that, real statistics from legitimate organizations, not your favorite hate-filled blogger.

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