What do I do About My Crippling Fears

I get lots of emails and some of them strike a cord deeply in my heart. This one did:

Hi Bob,  I am a 56 yo woman and will be living in my car soon.  I’m scared to death.  I have a Toyota and I believe all my things will fit with a little room left for me to sleep. How can I get over this crippling fear?  The economy has left me without many resources. Thank you,

This post is my answer to her, but because so many of us find ourselves in her situation, I wanted to share my answer with all of you.

I know it is counter-intuitive, but I believe the best way to overcome fear is by embracing it. Fear is a good and healthy thing, we need it. In fact, you are doing something that appears and feels so extreme, that it is normal and healthy to feel that fear. Fear is a gift to keep us safe and I think it’s best to be grateful for it.

So I suggest you assume that the fear is a loving message from a friendly Universe that wants only the best for you. Instead of seeing it as crippling enemy, see it as a love message sent to keep you safe. Just like the ghosts that came to see Scrooge in the Dickens book, “A Christmas Story,”, these are warnings to tell you what could happen, but they are not written in stone, in fact, their purpose is to give you the chance now to take steps to see the happiest possible outcome to your new way of life.

Just like Scrooge had to make changes after he saw the dreams, you too must do work and cooperate with the fear. Make a list of all the negative things that the fear is telling you about living in the car. But instead of seeing them as a reason not to do it, see them as a loving warning message of things you need to be extra cautious and sure of.Starting with the biggest fear, take a very realistic look at what bad things could happen. But instead of being terrified of it, imagine it happening in your mind and look for all the things you could do to prevent it from happening and for all the ways you could minimize the harm that could come from itSome potential  fears:

  1. Running out of money
  2. Breaking down
  3. Being assaulted by a bad person
  4. Car accident
  5. Being lonely
  6. Being embarrassed and ashamed of living in a car
  7. Feeling like a failure
  8. Health problems

Now use the full power of your imagination and try to see yourself with each of those things happening to you, and not just once, but often. Go so far as to actually meditate and ponder how it might happen and what will it be like afterward. Then, answer these questions:

  1. How do you feel when you imagine it?  Don’t run away from the feelings, just sit with them.
  2. How likely is to really happen? Is it a real risk, or an imagined risk? Do research and study to see just how unlikely any of it really is to happen
  3. What can you do to prevent it from happening? Visualize taking concrete actions on a daily basis to see it never happens!
  4. If it does happen, how can you prepare for the worst so it does you minimum harm?

Picturing it in your mind should take away it’s power, but more important, it should allow your imagination to find ways to prevent it. Knowing how and why it could happen should give you ideas to take to prevent it.Next, and most important–DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE PARALYZED! Remember, these are love messages from the Universe to prepare you so you can take concrete ACTIONS now, before they happen, to prevent them, and if they still do happen, will do you little harm.

Starting today, make a list of specific things you can do to address each fear. I’m going to throw out some ideas, but don’t feel obligated to them, they are just brainstorming ideas  to get your creative juices going:

  • Write a budget and stick to it. (Running out of money)
  • Start looking for jobs to supplement your income. (Running out of money)
  • Be faithful about all preventative maintenance on your car. (Breaking down)
  • Build up an emergency fund (Breaking Down and Running Out of Money)
  • Get AAA roadside assistance. (Breaking Down)
  • Take a Self-defense class (Being Assaulted)
  • Carry a Whistle and Bear Spray (Being Assaulted)
  • Develop Situational Awareness. (Being Assaulted)
  • Follow and develop your gut instinct (Being Assaulted)

Those are just a few ideas I’ve thrown out there for you, but for each fear, there are dozens or hundreds of real steps you can take to minimize your risk. Your job is to start doing intensive research on the best ways to prevent your fears from coming true. But research isn’t enough, you MUST take actions!!! START METHODICALLY DOING THOSE THINGS!!From now on, when the fear assaults you, embrace the fear! Sincerely thank it for such a loving warning! Then go-over the list of things you are doing to take away the risk from living in a car.The way to overcome fear is with Faith and Confidence!

You are going to build up faith and confidence in the concrete actions you are taking to keep you safe!

Be sure and check out my YouTube Channel 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.



I've been a full-time VanDweller since 1995 and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again! Check out Homes On Wheels Alliance (HOWA), our nonprofit that I co-founded. HOWA is dedicated to helping nomads in need. http://HomesOnWheelsAlliance.org

145 Comments on “What do I do About My Crippling Fears

  1. That’s a good one, the fear of running out of money (on a micro scale, just you personally and not everyone). I don’t reccomend this, but it might help you with that fear, after you have saved up, got a job lined up, trimmed down every item in your budget. Then if you are still afraid about money, think of this guy. I know a guy who panhandles when he is low on funds and nothing expected to come in soon. He says he gets the most when it is bad weather out, and he puts on all of his warm clothes and stands on the exit from Wal Mart by the nearest burger joint. He says he can get between $100 to $200 in about 5 hours of steadily putting himself out there. He is so bundled up that you can’t tell who he is, and he does warmly thank everyone who stops and he waves at those who don’t stop. He positions himself right by the curb so you can’t miss him. So be hopeful. That guy is worse off than you, and he just made $100.

    • When you are left with little options, your imagination will come to your aid. But like Bob warns, we can’t let fear paralyze us into giving up.

      • Hi Bob, great videos I am learning a lot from you and subscribed. I wanted you pass on some info I found after researching. There is a lovely lady from another Country you interviewed living in a SUV, very sweet. Both of you were puzzled as to what kind of velcro stick on’s can be used in a car or RV with the high heat issue. I think I found the answer before I gunk up my car with the wrong product_Coil n’ Wrap 71 Hook and Loop with High Temperature 3′ Sticky – They sell them on Amazon and probably other places also. I am ordering some tomorrow to see how they work. Hope you can let her know or post the info after you check it out : ) Bev

        Thank you for your

        • Thanks for the tip on the Velcro.
          I will be leaving Omaha June or July 2018, alone, and this is very helpful.

          I am very outgoing and plan on a website and community action page for all of us lonely vandwellers. Maybe I can help get us to meet sometimes.

    • Bob Wells, as usual, you have posted A GREAT article, thanks !!
      Bob, you’re missed on the blog…I know, I know U’re busy making videos, enjoy & make lots of them!

      My regards, Lucy.

    • Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of man as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen

    • Im kinda in the same boat middle age divorced few 100$ to my name but Im heading to the RTR in a couple of days.feel like the universe is pushing me In that direction. sounds like there will be allot of us dis placed homemakers there.:}

    • Hello everyone, I’m a 35 year old male that travels all over the USA for work. Same as many stories in this awesome blog, I decided to get a custom 7×14 cargo trailer to live in. My decision was based on the obvious financial reasons of saving tons of money by not paying for hotels and my love for skydiving, the trailer gave me the freedom from the status quo I longed for and the ability to move and follow great weather for skydiving.

      Many skydivers like myself live the nomadic life, that being said I read about some money concerns and there’s a few things I would like to point out. Skydiving places HOST FREE CAMPSITES, some have full rv hook ups and others don’t. You can also get temporary work there and get certified as an instructor which would give u the skills needed to bring in some extra cash and have fun at it also and if jumping is not for you, you can always learn to pack parachutes for extra cash.

      Before anyone says I’m too old for this or to old to start now, I have many friends ranging from 50s all the way up to 80-90s that just started not long ago, everyone of them loved it and haven’t turned back.

      Unknown to many the skydiving community is a big part of the van dwelling, car living, tenting, cargo conversion and outdoor living community. We love the freedom of piloting our bodies through the sky so it came natural to us to pilot our lives outside of the norms.

      I highly recommend going to your local skydiving place and if anything just to check out the community there and hopefully help boost your confidence on the changes you are going through.

      Blue skies to everyone ???

  2. Great post! I was scared too when I started to live in VR. After 10 years I’m still a little afraid but all that things can happen even if I live in the house too.

    • Elaine, so true, just by living in a sticks & bricks doesn’t give you the insurance you’ll be safe & sound…many things can go wrong !

      My regards, Lucy.

  3. I often give people the same advice, but in short “Imagine the worst case scenario and how you would deal with it, and if you can handle that……..” I would also encourage people to make a barebones budget, no matter your current financial situation, which lets you know the minimum required.

    Great blog, reading it just once won’t be enough. Bob, I appreciate what you do SO much! I get it!

  4. Great advise Bob! Who hasn’t experienced fear? I remember being paralyzed by it: Fear of success, of failure, cause paralysis! I see fear as a big scary black cloud. I give it strength and energy. When I walk through it, it just dissipates like a puff of smoke, then I can reclaim the strength and energy.

  5. I have a friend who lives in her car and she carries a small cheap tent. This lets her move some of the stuff out of the car and gives her more space inside when she’s camped, and also looks less like she’s sleeping in her car.

    • Excellent idea and one I will put into practice soon. I just bought a Dodge Grand Caravan and am getting ready to travel for a few months to start and to decide if I will just keep going. Having so little space inside the van was a worry for me so I will give the “tent thing” a try. Thank you for sharing this idea.

      • Try Freecampsites.net or other sites like it that list cheap and free camping. I found 2 cheap and a number of free sites near Asheville with just a quick look.

  6. Starting out alone, is a big fear when you’re doing this for the first time. “Where do I go, and how do I make sure I have everything to survive?” In addition to the above recommendations, I would suggest connecting with people who are already living this lifestyle, and either camp or travel with them for a short time, until you acquire a little more confidence. Even for people who are perfectly comfortable being alone in a house or apartment, casting off alone into the great unknown can be terrifying.

    • Tammi, you are right on the money, girl !! So true, we can be nice, comfy & relaxed at home all alone, but once we get in our van & on a trip insecurity about the unknown can erode our confidence.
      Great comment Tammi !

      My regards, Lucy.

    • Hi Tammi, thanks for the post, it describes my fears. I’m currently sleeping in my car and just purchased a tent for space (haven’t used yet) although I want to start immediately. My biggest fear is camping alone–if not able to pack up quickly and leave like van dwellers can just drive off. I am very new to this site and this lifestyle. I have placed couple post, however haven’t found anyone to travel with yet. I think that would be very helpful to have other people traveling alone to meet-up with. I leave this week headed ourt. Any suggestions on how to find others in my situation?

      • Penelope if you’re on the East Coast I’d love to travel with you! I’m a 50 yr old divorce female scared to death as well. I don’t necessarily have to stay in NC and even considered going to Arizona to meet Bob. I watch all of his YouTube videos and I feel I’m about ready….just gotta get beyond this stinking fear.

      • I know your post is almost a year old, but I have wondered the same thing about meeting other women and traveling in similar area as they are when I first start out. I have a minivan and plan on doing a lot of stealth camping but have such a fear that I have not got farther than sleeping in it for half a night in my garage. I’m 66 and just want to travel and go where I want to go, but would like to be near or know other people close by. Does that make sense? I’m hoping to start in August after my grandkids go back to school. Please let me know how things are going for you.

        • I thought I was alone up until just now. I too am a single woman, late 50s, wanting to experience this lifestyle but just can’t seem to overcome this fear of the unknown. I live in Oregon and there are so many beautiful places to practice living in my RV. I just don’t want to be out there by myself. Having others that I know and can trust close by would be a game changer for me. The RTR caravan is something that Bob spoke of in one of his posts. It begins around the 1st of November meeting in Pahrump Nevada or at least that is the latest update I am aware of. Is there any place in for forums for people like us to post and support each other?

    • Is there a forum or some place that I can find people in my area thats full time van dwellers? I desperately need to meet others to build my confidence. Please advice. Thanks so much in advance!

      • Sandie,
        I, too live on the East coast, and want to start traveling, but just can’t get past that first try. I am 66, female, and bought a 2012 Honda Odyssey last Sept. I would love to meet up with a group of people that want to do the same thing. My problem right now is how to manage my three dogs (chi, Pom, and malt/terrier). They were rescue pets between 9 and 12, so I would never be able to leave them behind. I would want to stay in comfortable weather areas. My biggest goal is to go to the Redwood Forest. I did drive by myself to Ca. And back twice by myself about eight years ago, but I stayed in motels until I got there and then stayed with my daughter. I have never stayed alone in a car all night. My spouse gives me the okay to go, but cannot take care of the dogs because he works 12 hrs a day. I know you posted this a long last Oct. but if you have found a forum of any kind, would you please email me and let me know where to find it?

  7. I am living out of a 2001 Subaru Forester and selling off the last few things in my little storage unit to get the money to fix the brakes, etc before I take off. I live on the streets. I use black out curtains and pee in a jar.

    To deal with fear, I decided not to keep much stuff but instead make my bed area more like a sofa for when not sleeping. I have an old wooden stool for a “coffee table” and am making it cozy and pretty inside. I will be looking for a less public place to sleep when it gets too hot to leave the windows up.

    I also play calming music and smoke a little herb. It gets easier with time.

    • Rita, I don’t live in my car, but if’s fair to say that I have observed more & more people living in their wheeled-homes. As hard times increase more people will take to the streets; rents are sky high & buying a stick & bricks is unreachable for millions of people. So is ok to live on wheels & pee in a jar, why not ? we all have to do… what we have to do. We have to live !!
      Bless be. Lucy.

      • Based on my personal retired perspective, the rental situation has turned predatory in recent years and deposits that are supposed to repair tenant damage are now regularly being charged for landowner maintenance and refurbishing charges. It is illegal but you have to sue to get it back. There is a definite appeal to be free of landlords and to easily move on if you decide you want to find another neighborhood. 🙂

        • I’ve noticed this in the Denver area over the last couple of years. There are apartment cartels now, and that’s part of what is driving up rents. A month-to-month lease used to be one month’s notice, and that has changed to two month’s notice or even more sometimes. It seeems like there are more questionable things going on with landlords now. And that might be one of the issues making RVing seem attractive. Renting in Denver used to be an ok option. I was paying.$500/mo. for a 1 br. in a nice location, until a few months ago. Then, new owners doubled it, and I moved quite a distance away. I was tempted to try living in a van but chickened out.

    • Hi Rita, I’m in the same situation–living in car, traveling alone. Still selling items in storage. Finding places to sleep is sometimes challenging. Tired of Walmart’s, need nature. What state are you in? I’m in California. Maybe when can meet-up?

      • Hi Penelope, was a little curious about Walmart. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your experience with Walmart? Was it uneventful or were there problems?

  8. I am five days into my new life and loving it. So far I haven’t had any run ins with mean folks or anything like that. I think we manufacture a lot of our fear. We also get so caught up in trying to control every aspect of our existence that we end up freezing up.

    I’m north of Cottonwood and west of Sedona at the moment. If anyone is close and wants to meet up that would be fun. I’ve been exploring the forest roads for the last few days and it’s beautiful around here.

    • Joe S:

      Glad U’re enjoying your mobile life. It’s been stated by guru Bob Wells that it’s much easier to live off towns where we have more chances to encounter ‘ bad, nasty guys’, than living up on the open road.

      My regards,Lucy.
      PD: keep on having fun!

      • Wish I could of met up with you Steve. I was on 525C for a while then went east to the Mogollon rim. My dog passed so I decided to leave the road and took a job on a remote ranch in Utah. Best of luck, I couldn’t be happier.

  9. Interesting post Bob and on point as usual. I meditated a lot on my fears when I first moved 1000 miles from home. It appears my fears are more anxieties when I get to the heart of them. Every time I think I will need to relocate I panic. “I can’t pack my things back in the van in time, not everything will fit, I’ll never get where I need to be in time!” But it turns out all of that is always false. So now, when I start feeling them I can reassure myself and say no, it will all be fine because it always is. This is just another step on the adventure!

  10. I also am a 56 year old woman. I travel in a 2011 Ford Fiesta. I sleep in the back. It’s tight, but I find it easier than putting up a tent in every new place. I feel safer in a locked car, and the weather is easier to deal with under a solid roof. I live this way by choice–sold my stuff, took early retirement, mystified family and friends. I have an emergency fund, but live off of $600/mo. (Don’t get caught up in the gotta haves, like solar power or cell boosters. You don’t need that stuff!)
    I got over my fears by educating myself about this lifestyle (Thank you, Bob, and many others), and by taking short camping trips every chance I got over a 1-1/2 year period before I could retire. When I went full-time, I felt confident in my skills.
    Ultimately, taking control of my own life is the most euphoric, empowering thing I’ve ever done, and I did it just for me!

    • Love it, I have been sleeping/traveling in everything from my old Ford Explorer, minivans and now a Class B and always loved it. Now serious health issues make it impractical to be on the road full time but I will be as much as I can.

    • Thanks.. I am trot to move in this direction and need to retire early but that means living off of $240 a month and wonder, worry it can’t be done.

    • Wendy, I absolutely love your story. I am 57, on disability and thinking a great deal about living on the road. I do have 3 dogs, super small, medium and large. I am looking at Class C motorhomes. I will have to get a personal loan to do this, but this is my long time dream. I’m going to make it happen.

    • Hi Wendy, thanks for the encouraging post! I can’t wait to have the confidence and experience to go it alone (although would be much nicer to have people to meet-up with occasionally). Just took early retirement and still adjusting. Until then,
      Peace & blessings

    • Just joining this site and I read your comment just now. I’m 62, started on my SS retirement and have decided to GO!
      My BIGGEST issue is getting rid of my “stuff”. I’m not a hoarder, but I AM a saver and a junker from way back. I love my stuff and getting rid of everything is what scares the heck outta me.
      What about my photos? Mamaw’s fire-flamed curling irons? Momma’s favorite tea pitcher? You know…THOSE things!
      Peace and safe travels…
      Oh, and smudge your camp sites!

  11. Love this post! All of life is uncertain, and overcoming fear is part of the process. It reminds me if a book that was famous in the 70’s “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I’ve always subscribed to that…and I do carry a lot of fears. I’m also a huge believer in positive affirmations. Much of your life can be changed by your mind, and positive affirmations can re-wire many of those fear brain-connections we all carry. They helped me overcome near crippling depression and I still do them everyday. Wonderful post!


  12. Thank you! I am dealing with fears continually as I prepare to make RVing a reality. I just wrote out all of my fears, imagined them, and then wrote positive affirmations (I will…) of what I can do to prevent and work through those situations. I have a tight feeling in my chest but the weight is off my shoulders and I know that I can make this happen.

  13. Thanks Bob for another great post and everyone else for the helpful comments. Conquering fears is easier said than done. We all have fears and anxieties and we all have different triggers for these. In addition to many of the fears listed here, I have a particularly difficult fear for a prospective van dweller and traveler. I have gephyrophobia, which is the fear of crossing over or driving over bridges. For me it’s large bridges, especially over water. I’ve been through therapy, and I’m trying hard to conquer it. Anyone else have this particular fear or phobia?

  14. There is a youtuber “Paul from Cleveland” who talks about this in a video “MGTOW Leave the system”

    He gives an excellent shoutout to you at the 11:30 mark. Says you are trying to help people escape the rat race and haters heap the abuse on you for it.

  15. Thank you again Bob. Well this topic of paralyzing fear is me. In fact I was just thinking that if you looked up “paralyzing fear” in the dictionary it would have my picture. This month is the first month I have had to go to the food bank here locally. I keep thinking and watching your videos and yet I am frozen. Oh I have taken steps, watched your videos, sold stuff at a local consignment shop, changed cell carriers to lower my expenses. From backpacking and hiking I have gear. My target date is June to hike a long trail, that would take 6 months; then living in my car might be an upgrade. ha.

  16. Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal.
    That was great wisdom I saw on the back of a sweatshirt one time.
    I saw that at 7yo when my family lost everything and had to leave Denver Colorado for California. My mother was terrified my father saw it as an adventure. I have always identified with his sense of adventure.
    I have lived on sailboats and in RVs on very little money for 30 years. Some are horrified about the way I live others are wistful and envious.
    It’s all in how you see life.

  17. I look at it this way… when I retire do I want to sit on the front porch and watch Life go by or do I want to sit in my van and watch scenery go by? And I decided that I want to watch the scenery go by while I’m traveling to my next overnight campsite. In this day and age with drive-by Shooters coming through neighborhoods who’s to say where the safest place to be is. You can’t live your life with what ifs.

  18. I was just reading here about fears of the unknown when I realized the rocking motion of my office chair was not of my doing (this was confirmed by glancing over at the curtains next to my desk, they were doing the dance). earthquakes are common here in Ecuador but an accepted risk just as it is in California, where I am from and where I am returning in a few weeks for my six month stay in California and Oregon. I was thinking of all the things in life we take for granted and how we put ourselves in harms way and not really give it much thought but when we step away from our normal everyday routine and escape to the wilderness we can imagine a wild animal behind every-tree that is not occupied by a crazy person. I have traveled many thousands of miles perhaps crowding the several hundred thousand mile mark- I’m not sure, I’ve never kept track- but I know I’ve worn out quite a few good vehicles and I have survived mechanical break-downs and economical short-falls and have found there is always a way, always a solution. I discovered along the way that a trip to Alaska with out a mechanical breakdown and-or other challenges was disappointing on some level, although at the time it was not welcomed but when it was resolved I felt I triumphed over adversity, I won my merit badge so to speak.I will admit that the Gods can be unkind as well as kind but short of a disaster we all come through what life gives us or takes away. Kindness of strangers can happen when you are in need and it can come from the most unlikely source. I once had a fuel-line failure at a gas station and I was alerted to it by a person that I would possibly avoid because he was a little rough around the edges. This man assured he was a trained professional, then directed me to drive up on a curb alongside the gas station and was able to squeeze under the front end and reattach the fuel line. He came out covered in dirt, grease and of course gasoline but when I offered to pay him he refused saying he had done so many wrongs in his life he now is devoting his life to make up for those misdeeds of his past. Sometimes life has a magical side to it and it seems when you take a leap of faith the unexpected happens, you just have to expose yourself, be vulnerable, but be careful; at times you can let your guard down and let people help when you are in need. Don’t be too proud to accept their offer; there are good people out there that will feel the need to help others in their time of need. When it happens it also means you can pass it on to the next person in need, It doesn’t mean you have to look for someone to help but be ready when the time comes. I am 75 years old and have many miles left in me as I love traveling and love the adventure of it all and I like meeting people and learning from them their life’s experiences. We all have something to share.

    • Diane Ely, you’re right, Bob has not made an entry on the blog in a looo00ng time & we wonder / worry about him. I’m sort of inclined to believe he’s busy making videos & having ‘ too much fun ‘ LOL.

      My regards: Lucy.

      • Yes, undoubtedly Bob’s busy with full-timing matters and we’ll hear from him soon.

        If I may, I’d like to ask if anyone knows the current status of another full-timer – Jim Melvin, of the blog “Jimbo’s Journeys”. Jim hasn’t updated his blog since last October. Actually he had purchased a tiny house in Oregon and was scaling back to being a “part-timer”, but I thought he was going to keep his blog going. In March I posted a comment there, expressing concern for his well-being, but this has gone unanswered. Does anyone here know about Jim?

      • I’ve been concerned, too, so came to comments to see if anyone had already checked in. I’d like Bob to post at least an “I’m OK” note. Or someone who has seen him recently can post a note saying something along those lines.

      • He’s been doing lots of van building and he mentioned his mom is sick so he’s moving to east coast for a year or so

  19. Thank you Bob for sharing your insight and wisdom and creating space for like minded people to come together. Admits a web of anonymity and anger, I am delighted to find this peaceful place where everyone is so respectful. We have a Ford Transit Connect that we are hoping to convert into a weekend haven and are grateful that it lead us to this page and community.

  20. The best tool I know for overcoming fear is The Work, Byron Katie’s method, which you can find described more fully on line.
    You ask yourself four questions, in writing, and answer them in writing: Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (If your answer to the first question was “yes”) How do you feel when you think that thought? How do you feel without the thought?
    There’s more, which you’ll find on line, but the best resource is her book, Loving What Is.
    This has been of huge value to me for many years.

    • I also love listening to Dr wayne dyers books on tape eg EXCUSES BE GONE! He’s the dad i ways wished for…may he RIP.

  21. I feel so fortunate to have found this site/blog. I am a 64 (almost) year old women and looking forward to becoming a full-timer when I retire next year. I’ll be soloing it and a newbie so my first stop will be the Rubber Tramps Rendezvous. Looking forward to meeting new friends and overcoming fears just by “doing it”.

  22. I have just found this wonderful website/forum and am in total awe! I have ALWAYS wanted to do this sort of thing with my life – and now at the age of 57, I feel that if I don’t do this now – I will soon perish, never knowing the true feeling of being free.

    I have read several comments that Bob has made inviting new-comers to join him in order to “learn the ropes” of living this Nomadic lifestyle. Does anyone know how I would contact Bob to find out specifics?
    I would greatly appreciate any help forwarded my way!

    • Michelle:
      there is a E-mail address listed on this blog, it’s Bob’s address, check this page, is in it somewhere. I believe the the legend is: ‘ stay in touch with me ‘


  23. Greetings from Canada! My husband and I are considering selling everything and living this alternative lifestyle. I am disabled and need quite a bit of medication which I worry about paying for. It is a big jump for us to take at our ages (60 and 65) but we need to do it. Thank you for all your great info and encouragement! Love this site.

    • Cheryl, van dwellers find medications crossing the border & buying needed medications at Algodones, Mexico; it’s been said they are MUCH cheaper than in the US.

      My regards: Lucy.

  24. I am getting ready to live in a van for a few months. Does anyone have advice as to how to cool the van while sleeping in it? Are there any portable air conditioners for this? Opening the windows won’t work for me. Thanks, Kim

    • Kim….re: portable A/C
      I purchased a portable A/C a couple of years ago when my house A/C was on the blink. It’s not small. It sits on the floor (a little over a 1 ft. footprint) and has a hose that vents the hot air to the outside. The downside for a boondocker is that it requires an electrical hookup. Therefore, you would be tied to RV parks or be forced to buy and maintain a generator. I got the A/C at Home Depot and it seems like it was in the $200 range. I hope this helps.

  25. So, I’ve been following Bob for a couple of years as I build up the courage to become a full-timing single female RVer. I have actually come to depend heavily on his upbeat and helpful posts on UTube and this website. Haven’t seen or heard anything from him in so long, I wonder, is he moving on to something else? I know one comment said his mother is ill and some other posts said he had started a new relationship. All really good reasons to start a new chapter and I wish him well if that is what is going on. Would it be possible to let us know if he plans to continue the Cheap RV Living site and blog as well as the UTube posts? Feeling a huge sense of loss without his posts. Best wishes.

    • Agreed – Bob, even if you’re super busy (per Greg’s post above on May 10), would you be able to post a short update on how you and Cody are doing?

  26. Hello everyone, I recently experienced some challenges and found myself enduring crippling anxiety. I was making myself sick with worry, to the point that my doctor suspected IBS. Somehow I remembered a book I had bought a couple years ago, but had not read: Letting Go: the Pathway to Surrender https://www.amazon.com/Letting-David-Hawkins-M-D-Ph-D/dp/1401945015/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496533935&sr=8-1&keywords=letting+go

    The entire book is worth reading, but you can get the main benefit in the first 30 minutes or so. You can also find many videos of Dr. Hawkins on youtube.

    It sounds too good to be true, but it helped me in a matter of minutes. I keep practicing letting go; it’s not “once and done,” but I feel I have a technique to see me through just about anything life throws at me.

    Peace, love, and freedom to you all.


  27. Just wondering will there be a summer or winter rtr with Mr Bob not around for 2 or 3 years and just wondering did Mr Bob get sick all at once or his mother and if so how are they doing i sure miss his post once or twice a week if anyone knows please let us know has anyone try his email address thinks

      • Thanks for the news Mayble, most of us worry about him ( even sticks-and -bricks people ). Wish him and of U guys the best.

        My regards: Lucy.

  28. Bob is still posting things on Youtube, mostly others’ rigs. I don’t relate to Youtube the same way as I do the blog, but it looks to me as if the blog is done.

  29. You could be right Calvin I watch the YouTube videos to but I miss the blog but Mr Bob can’t be everywhere just so much to talk about no need in telling the same thing twice i wish him the very best in what ever he’s doing he has brought me a lot of enjoyment thew the years reading about his life and times

    • Joyce, there is a place here on the blog where it tells you how to get yourself a permanent address-like, If my memory doesn’t fail me is , ‘ the UPS store ‘… check it out & also check the blog’s menu regarding the matter, it’s here.. somewhere; good luck.


  30. Videos are OK, but I do miss new blog posts. Like Calvin, I too don’t relate to Youtube the same way as I do the blog. But thanks for all the great posts over the years Bob!

  31. For me, I found that once I stepped into a situation, generally pushed myself into it, I was so busy dealing with the details in dealing with an unfamiliar state of being that the fear disappeared. The more times I did this, the easier it was to step in an unfamiliar state, if that makes any sense. And, for me their is a natural high in this, so it became a little addictive.

    • I’m with you there. Just keeping track of what I’m trying to accomplish gives me a direction. Accomplishing it takes up the rest of my attention. I have done or tried enough things to know my process, and that helps with the fear.

  32. I could and am planning on becoming a nomad. Not afraid because i would rather die really living than die already dead and isnt dying the real fear behind all the lesser fears? Only fear for me is want to keep with me my cats or at least one cat. Am concerned about being outside and running away in fear and dont want to keep inside the whole time. Dogs are easier i know but want to see if there is a way can do this with afraidy cat. Any thoughts suggestions windows of hope for this?

    • Get a small collapsible pen for them for when they’re outside. Get leashes for walking them in areas where you fear for their safety. They also have little kitty backpacks and strollers, but these would not allow your cats to roam or to get exercise. But think about it – most cats just curl up and sleep a lot of the time. When you’re out walking in certain areas, a lengthy leash would give them plenty of walking space. A large collapsible pen would be helpful as well. But you’ll have to have some space to travel with cats. A minivan would be very confining for more than one cat.

      • You can get electrified poultry type fencing at Premier1 supplies. and get a solar powered energizer for the electrified fencing. I used this whilst living in a place so that my cat buddy and i could be out in our yard without various kinds of predators, racoons, dogs and other beings getting into our yard and private space. this was a GREAT solution for us. and it may be for you. this also gives the cat or dog a relatively large open space to run, play and get exercise.

        this type of fencing protects from ground based predators, and would probably not protect from a hawk or any flying monkeys you may come across =).

        Premier1(one) supplies makes a great long lasting fence. their fencing can last up to ten years. plus they have ‘double spike’ step in posts which are very easy to use.

        so very cost effective over the life of the product. other brands will get brittle from sun exposure within a few years(kencove, etc)

        the only drawback is that the ground rods need to be in moist ground. you can pour water where the ground rod is in ground to wet it.

        these fences can also be used to protect your camping spot, too. there are many possible scenarios for their use. and the premier 1 supplies folks use their own products. they have good customer service and will help you to save $$ where they can help figure that out for you.

        many blessings to all.

        • UNLESS YOU ARE ALWAYS watching your animal buddy, flimsy small non electric fence, collapsible pen or such items as these are putting your animal companion on display for predators to come and attack them.

          This can happen even if you just walk away for a moment. YOU HAVE TO BE VERY VIGILANT about this.

          The electric fencing i mentioned above, from Premier1 comes in 50 and 100 foot lengths, steps into the ground very easily. the 100-ft length weighs only around 20 pounds. these fold up and tie easily too.

          I had the Poultry Net PLUS, which has posts in the netting every 6.5 feet, so the net sags less and stay more stable.

          THINK about how hard or easy you can make it for protecting your dear buddies from predators. it is not just about having a nice spot outside.


  33. Just found this blog, and sorry it seems to be ending.
    One comment here, to everyone…please note that there is a gentleman who posted on here about his fear of crossing water on large bridges, and wanted to know if anyone else had this issue, and solutions to that. I have the fear of it, but I do it anyway. I drive very cautiously, praying while crossing a river….it helps. So far it has worked well, but the fear is always a part of my travels. My brother had the same problem. Anyone else have this fear…please help us out if you can.

    • Hi Ruth, I’m the man who posted a while back about gephyrophobia (bridge phobia). You’re very brave to have the fear but do it anyway. Thanks for the tip about praying while crossing. I’ve found something that helps me is to count the lines on the roadway out loud 2 by 2 while you’re crossing the bridge. I play a little game where I try to guess how many lines are on the bridge while approaching it. I’m never right, but the whole exercise helps to take my mind off of the fear. Of course, you want to make sure you keep your eyes on the road while you’re doing this. I hope this helps.

      • I visualize that I’m crossing a hill instead of a bridge – I just keep seeing the curving up and picture solid land underneath it. I had to learn how to do this when I started riding a motorcycle on overpasses in Dallas Texas and became dizzy at the top. If someone else is with me, I make them talk to me and the distraction works.

    • I’ve had a lifetime fear of bridges, both going over or going under. But with traveling over the years I have overcome it.

    • YES, I do the same thing (but it’s usually not as eloquent, or not always, a prayer so much as saying “Jesus-Jesus-Jesus….” to myself(hey, that’s a prayer too ha, but my point is – it works!).
      My fear isn’t going over bridges, but it’s under the umbrella of an irrational falling fear (I’ll spare you the asinine details 🙂

  34. So now that this web site seems to be dead, is anyone aware of another site that deals with van dwelling?

    • There are a number of people on Youtube who vlog about vandwelling, including Bob Wells, who wrote this blog.

    • Come on over to the forums (link above) – this site is still very active, but Bob seems to be concentrating his efforts on his video blog these days.

  35. How do I find details for the RTR.
    Want to make plans on going. Are there more than one location for these or is it always Arizona?

  36. I was wondering why Bob had not posted for 2 months. I hope all is ok with him or his mother. I have been talking to Bob off and on for quite a few years. He had invited me to the RTR a couple of years ago and I could not go. I am planning on going this year. Maybe it will be canceled due to Bob being in Florida with his mother. Will any one take over and continue it so we can all still get together? I am going any ways. Its been my long time dream. I just turned 71 today. I pull a very small trailer with my car. I mean small, 8’by 4′. I have a bed and all I need in it. I live in Florida, going to the Panhandle Dec 7-11 for a camping trip and then continuing on to Quartzite. I have never been West of Mississippi. If anyone thinks they are going please let me know.

    • Bob and RTR are alive and well.
      He’s much more active on YouTube than the blog these days, but you’ll find him as well as lots of information on the Forums (linked above).

    • And Happy Belated Birthday!! 🙂
      Mine was the 28th, so I can attest to the fact that all the best people are born in July.

  37. Bob. thank you so much for writing this. it will help so many folks to feel their fears. fears can be so challenging for us.

    In addition to resources folks have shared in the comments,

    another good resource for us all is
    Gary Craig’s OPtimal EFT–Emotional Freedom Technique. He developed EFT in the 1990;s now some folks refer to as Tapping. Optimal EFT is much easier, is FREE for us all and can be easily learned.

    free Optimal EFT ebook–94 pages.

    There are also FREE to view Optimal EFT training webinars on teh site. You can gain “borrowed benefits” just by watching the videos.


    Also a book i’d like to share abuot–it’s about the living beyond fears in our lives, specifically fear of death. Feel free to read it as a fantasy, yet it really happened to Billy and his sister. With a foreword by Dr. Raymond Moody.

    Book is The Afterlife of Billy Fingers–How My Bad Boy Brother
    Proved to Me There’s Life After Death.by Annie Kagan. She has website and facebook, the book has been out a few years so is easy to find used copies, paper or audio.

    Billy had a really hard challenging life, just like so many of us are experiencing in our own personal ways here.

    Thank you to all who have commented.

    • Thank you for this information!I have read about
      EFT and found it very interesting!
      Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L Weiss is a great
      read also…

  38. Thanks for all the tips on setting up your Prius for camping. I’m a 66 year old single female, retired teacher. I have this small house and two pets, which would be a challenge when taking off to camp, even for a short time. Plus, fear of the unknown, of change, or challenge, keeps me stuck, plus, what to do about my pets. A cat and a large dog would not be conducive to a relaxing trip. Back to the fear thing, it’s not so much the fear of bad things/people; it’s just making the first move! I’m pretty much paralyzed by the burden of this house, the monthly bills (though I live frugally), the pets. Anyone else identify? Suggestions for the first steps? baby steps?

  39. Personally, I’d find a new home for the cat and keep the dog. They are invaluable for company, exercise, barking at people approaching your living quarters. If it’s a Sheppard or Pit type they can be intimidating. Most dogs have to have exercise, even littler ones and you could walk the dog for ten minutes of every hour or 1 1/2 hours. You need this as well, as sitting too long can bring on blood cots. We’ve all read stories of dogs getting help when their master has had an accident, not so much cats. Maybe some handicapped training for your dog would

  40. Hi Bob,
    I thank you as well… I have put my house on the market with full intentions of fulfilling our dreams of being a full time rver. At 62 my boyfriend of 15 yrs said sell the house and let’s enjoy life so I did. The house closes in 1.5 weeks. I have picked out a used 5th wheel, selling Everything! Much to my surprise he moved out last week. Yep fear has set in…

    • Hey Debi, you’ve probably already had time to adjust, but wanted to say that the boyfriend leaving you was probably a blessing. Now you can take care of your own needs, whether they are fears or otherwise and not have to be wiping his ass & babying his fears. It is truly a time for you to start a new adventure without anyone else raining on your parade. Best of luck to you!

  41. Bob, I love your site and look forward to the day I too can get out there but for now my disabilities inhibit me. I am preparing. If you are the one who is responsible for the closed captioning across the video, please stop it. It interferes with the video and especially your charts. Thanks a bunch. Lin

  42. Great website!

    In 2017 it looks like the trend is for more and more people living in their vehicles…or gulp…in a tent!


    Even for the tent dwellers things could be worse. They could have no tent and live outdoors with no cover. But, in a world where there are fewer and fewer good jobs, more robots taking jobs and an ever increasing population, something will have to give. And what gives is the traditional life many Americans thought they could have. Such a life is very expensive nowadays.

    As far as fear?

    Anyone that may be headed towards a vehicle for a home should have plenty of time to go practice and work through the fears. If nothing else work out the bugs so you can maximize your comfort. Once you see you can live on the street, then the fears may subside some.

    Good luck to all your boondockers!

    • Many of us are not living out a nightmare but escaping from “the box” that society has taught us to live in.

  43. Hey, love the videos on youtube. I have many fears about down sizing to an RV. I am still up in the air as too what to purchase class a class c, super c etc. I was hoping ti find some people in the Salt lake City area that I can chat with. Possibly people who are already living this life style or if there is a small RV community here? I am kind of in the dark, but determined! Thanks Amanda Self

    • Not to toot my own horn Amanda, but it may help to read through a blog post titled “Van or RV?” at https://strollingamok.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/van-or-rv/. It isn’t very helpful about the variations on motorhome classes, but does include what to consider during the decisionmaking process about what to hit the road with. There isn’t much bias toward any rig type. Other than that, you might investigate any online RV forums you can scrape up, or even just go to a local RV park and head for their laundry room, front desk, or even cruise the paths to catch someone outside to pester.

  44. It’s the fear of the unknown. If you lived in a van for any time you would not be so worried about this question. As for money, it’s a business that has been acquired. There is no such thing as “no work”. Just have to be the desire to earn them (of course, if we are not talking about huge amounts).

  45. Love your videos & teaching us know hows.
    I think we should put a trip together searching for Forrest Fenns treasure while we live in the treasure.

  46. Hello Bob. I am a 73 year old Australian travelling and free camping in between housesits and family. Have lived on and off in my 14 ft caravan ( trailer to you) towed by an Nissan Xtrail for 11 years. I love the life and hope that health will allow me to continue. Coming across your site has been an eyeopener and even with the differences with US and Aussie everything, I have gleaned much useful information and gained more courage to keep going. I am blessed to have the rig I use and realize there are many out there who are really doing it tough. Best wishes to you and your community for the Festive Season and New Year. Safe and happy travels.
    Regards, Helen Lucas

  47. We have a modest farm with a few beef , but I am ready to go.. I am looking forward to retirement and selling. I want to say thank you for reminding me to save money and spend wisely for the next chapter of our lives. That will be exploring the U.S. in our camper.

  48. Happy New Year Bob!

    While you reach millions via YouTube, I still value this blog for all the wisdom it contains.

    Thanks, Ron

  49. I am about to become a full timer. My house is on the market and I am preparing mentally as well. Your post reminded me of why I look forward to this new lifestyle and that is service to others. As more people turn to the nomadic lifestyle either because of the freedom it provides or because they simply have no choice the greater the opportunity to reach out to those we meet on the road. Thank you for the inspiration and reminder of how to live wisely.

  50. Thanks for the tip on the Velcro.
    I will be leaving Omaha June or July 2018, alone, and this is very helpful.

    I am very outgoing and plan on a website and community action page for all of us lonely vandwellers. Maybe I can help get us to meet sometimes.

  51. What a great advice and detail you shared! Always loved your post. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

  52. I live in California and do own my own home and have found many people are not used to eating,what I call food of the pobres.

    As a child it was not unusual for me to enact paper, grass and leaves to help stave off hunger. I would sometimes eat out of trash cans, it was better than nothing.

    Carne Molina, beans, papas, eggs, Arroz and homemade tortillas were my favorite and still are today.
    Not trying to generalize but people are spoiled, they do not see the importance of eating pobre foods. You are more flexible and it is not a trauma to be low on money.

    Ow as a senior citizens I supplement my food supplies with food banks when I need it. I have several I go to and suggest to all whether senior or not to utilize whatever is available in your community or another you will be traveling to.

    Go to the libraries and use internet to search for food banks, churches etc.
    A nice hot pot of freshly cooked pintos and Corn Tortillas makes a great meal!

  53. Hi bob I have been watching your videos on you tube and to tell you the truth I simply can’t get enough, however i would like to ask you to post one if you can as to weather or not you can live the nomad life with children, I know that it is possible, but could you make a video that would address fears about it and if there are any nomadic children.

  54. I keep coming back to your blog over the years. You are so inspiring and help a lot of people to keep going. I haven’t seen a post from you in a long time. I hope all is well in your life! Take care!

  55. Hi everyone all i can add is the old saying is true. The worst thing about fear is fear it`s self. It`s so hard at times to face your fears but it`s also so rewarding when you do!! I look at fear as a body mechanism your body throws your way when you try to leave your comfort zone. I am 56 years old and have been researching on boon-docking for the last 3 months. I have already maid my mind up that`s the life for me. Good luck in your new life. You already faced your first fear and concerted it when you decided to live out of your car. God Bless

  56. I stumbled on to your videos one day recentley. I think you are on to something.I like your Philosophy. And I believe you might have an answer for many who might be on there way to being homeless.
    There are so many components to the Homeless problem and I think,Cheap RV living answers many of these problems in a fun and interesting way.Keep up the great work. No doubt you are helping more people than you realize.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.