WHY WE LOVE OUR TOY HAULER

WE WERE RECENTLY ASKED BY KEYSTONE (THE MAKER OF OUR CAMPER) WHY WE LOVE OUR TOY HAULER AND HOW WE USE IT.  

toy hauler renovation

Our home and garage is so multi-purpose

When we’re in transit it holds our three motorcycles, 2 kayaks, 2 bicycles and camping gear.

When we have guest fly out to meet us (which we absolutely love) we transform it into a guest suite.

Kermit turned the rear door ramp into a porch for us to chill and entertain.

Sometimes we use it as a music studio and jam space.

Since we are parked for a couple of months in Pennsylvania we just pulled the motorcycles out and turned the garage into a temporary living room until we get the wheels rolling again.

Trinity also operates her photography business out of the custom built office/desk area 

Think you could live in 280 square feet? It’s fun to challenge ourselves to make it work based on our work and hobbies.

 photo credit:  Mandy @188sqft 

photo credit:  Mandy @188sqft 

 photo credit: Mandy @188sqft 

photo credit: Mandy @188sqft 

living in toy hauler
keystone fuzion toy hauler
fifth wheel renovation
living in toy hauler rv
fifth wheel renovation
 We recently pulled the bikes out and moved the living room out to the garage temporarily. 

We recently pulled the bikes out and moved the living room out to the garage temporarily. 

rv renovation

If you'd like to take a tour of our home and see more, click here to explore the rest of our tiny home on wheels. 

  Did you know you can comment below and say hello?  We'd love to hear from you.  If you have any questions, always ask!  Thanks for following along with us on our journey.  

THE CUPID IN A CAMPER

Happy February!  We were asked by McGoverns RV to participate in a blog series this month about how we met and how living in a small space has changed us as a couple.  We have a crazy tangled love story that all involves an RV....


We met in 2012 and only TWO WEEKS LATER jumped in this RV together and drove 7,000+ miles on a cross country trip! 

 Only knowing each other 2 weeks here... 

HOW WE MET, A CRAZY STORY OF CONNECTIONS.... 

Written by Trinity: HAH!! Crazy story! … and long story short:  Kermit had always questioned himself “why don’t I drive across country in an RV while I’m young?” ..So, back in 2012 while sitting at a bar he started shopping for RV’s.  Two weeks later he was the owner of a Class C motorhome and was about to embark on a SOLO adventure of a lifetime.  Kermit wasn’t going to take any women on the trip, he wanted to go alone or with a childhood friend.. that all changed when he met me. I was friends with Kermit’s brother’s wife, Valen whom I met through a kidney donation and was living in California at the time with her husband Noah (Kermit’s brother).  Valen casually mentioned to me:  “You should drive across country with Noah’s brother Kermit “…  my immediate response was “I’m NOT driving across the country with a boy named KERMIT! That I don’t even know!! “ … well, that changed! I met Kermit a few days later and TWO WEEKS later packed my bags and was driving across the country with a boy named KERMIT! Haha.  We lived in that RV for one month, fell in love and fast forward got married a year and half later. Little did we know several years later we’d end up living in an RV FULL TIME across the country!!  So, RVing is how we met and has become a huge part of our lives. 


ONE YEAR AFTER MEETING EACH OTHER, KERMIT PROPOSED IN THE RV!

 Photos: Lauren Fair Photography

Photos: Lauren Fair Photography


4 MONTHS LATER WE WERE SURROUNDED BY FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR A LOVE CELEBRATION, THIS IS THE DAY WE GOT MARRIED... 

 Photo credit:  Lauren Fair Photography

Photo credit:  Lauren Fair Photography

 Photo credit:  Lauren Fair Photography

Photo credit:  Lauren Fair Photography


FAST FORWARD >>  About 3 years after living in our farm house with 6 acres in York, Pennsylvania and working almost 7 days a week towards a dream, we decided at the last minute to change our plans of moving to the California coast and buy a different RV ( our toy hauler) and hit the road for a while as Full Time RV folks! 

 photo credit:  Mandy @188sqft

photo credit:  Mandy @188sqft

 photo credit: Mandy @188sqft

photo credit: Mandy @188sqft

HOW HAS LIVING IN A SMALL SPACE CHANGED US?

Living in a tiny space has changed us in such a great way!  Leading up to this lifestyle change we were working about 7 days a week and barely saw each other.  Now that we live the simple life, we’re able to spend quality time together  and always be involved in each other’s projects. It all comes down to us respecting each other… our space, interests and independence.  We live together as best friends, a team, and that makes a huge difference in being able to live in 280 square feet.  ( That includes the garage… our actual living space is 212 square feet).  Before, we were busy working every chance we could get, cutting lots of grass, and barely passing each other in the hallway. Now that our expenses are low we have time to sit and have a cocktail and play cards with each other.. actually enjoy a meal and truly see how each other's day is going.  I'm sure we won't always live THIS tiny, but simplifying our lives was the best decision we could have ever made and has forever changed our outlook on life and each other.  Life is too short to not LIVE IT!

 photo credit: Mandy @188sqft 

photo credit: Mandy @188sqft 

 Photo credit: Mandy @188sqft

Photo credit: Mandy @188sqft


If you’d like to learn more about living in small spaces with family and pets or just want to follow new rad folks living their dreams, check out the other RV bloggers that are involved in this special Cupid Series  HERE   ... or simply search hashtag #cupidinacamper2018


Thank you so much for stopping by and being part of our lives.  We'd LOVE to hear from you and know you stopped by, simply comment below and say Hi! :)  If you'd like to learn more about us and our life on the road and living in a tiny space.. click here

A LITTLE Q & A...

Want to dive in a little deeper and learn more about us?
Then keep reading!

We're on a mission to live simple on minimal money and experience life as much as we can.  This website was started to document the journey, inspire people to live their lives by taking chances and a place to visit for camping/simple living resources. We have so many new updates coming soon including videos (We had a year of content we haven't shared yet!) 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS,
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND ASK AWAY OR YOU CAN CLICK CONTACT TAB AND SHOOT US A DIRECT MESSAGE, WE'RE SO HAPPY YOU STOPPED BY. 

kermit and trinity
 

More about Kermit:

Hello, I’m Kermit, also 34 years old. I grew up in York, PA. I have been with the I.B.E.W. for 13 years which is a great job that allows us to potentially get work all over the country. I knew that I have always wanted to travel for a greater extended period of time. I am a pretty carefree person and when we were selling everything and moving out of our house I even had thoughts of, “Why are we moving? Leaving a good job, great house, friends and family which I love so dear?” but it was so excited to have everyday be a new challenge, the unknown. I sold a lot of things I worked hard to get to have more money to fund this trip and I have not regretted any of it. Yes, leaving security was hard but there was adventure waiting on us. The excitement that I feel right before I see a place that I have always wanted to see leaves me speechless! I know that traveling is not everyone's goal or passion and that is also great! Everyone is different and everyones goals and dreams that aren’t the same. This was our dream and goal and we worked damn hard to achieve it.


More about Trinity

Hi, I’m Trinity, 34 years old (almost 35). I was born and raised in Georgia and lived in Pennsylvania for 12 years where I met Kermit. I have my own photography business  www.trinitywalkerkeefer.com  and capture wild weddings, elopements and portraits. I would love to capture you on the road, check my updated travel schedule and follow on instagram at @trinitywalkerkeefer.

Growing up I never camped, It’s still crazy to me that I live the camp-life full time. This journey has taught me so much about myself, life, geography and my best friend. I ride motorcycles, wish I could skydive every week and would be fine having about 15 dogs at one time!  I also don't know what else to say about myself so I'll end my rambling here...


What got you into RV’n?

Trinity: HAH! Crazy story and long story short: Kermit had always questioned himself “why don’t I drive across country in an RV while I’m young?” So, back in 2012 while sitting at a bar he started shopping for RV’s. Two weeks later he was the owner of a Class C motorhome and was about to embark on a SOLO adventure of a lifetime.  Kermit wasn’t going to take any women on the trip, he wanted to go alone or with a childhood friend, BUT that all changed when he met me.

I was friends with Kermit’s brother’s wife, Valen whom I met through a kidney donation and was living in California at the time with her husband Noah (Kermit’s brother). Valen casually mentioned to me,  “You should drive across country with Noah’s brother Kermit." My immediate response was “I’m NOT driving across the country with a boy named KERMIT! That I don’t even know!" Well, that changed! I met Kermit and TWO WEEKS after meeting packed my bags and was driving across the country with a boy named KERMIT! Haha. We lived in that RV for one month, fell in love, fast forward a year and a half got married. Little did we know several years later we’d end up living in an RV FULL TIME across the country! So, RVing is how we met and has become a huge part of our lives. 

 OUR FIRST RV (This is 2 weeks after meeting each other) 

OUR FIRST RV (This is 2 weeks after meeting each other) 


What has been the most surprising thing about living on the road?  

Trinity: Well, first of all I’m just recently getting over the shock that I could get rid of almost everything I own and move from 2,500 square foot home to our 280 square foot home on wheels. I always admired people who could live so simple, I never thought that would be possible for me. Over a year into this lifestyle and I can’t imagine doing anything else right now! I absolutely love that every item is purposeful in our house, and I actually know WHERE it is! The other surprising thing for me is the people we have met on the road. We’re not huge social media fans, but it’s been able to connect us with people who we now call our “road family” and we will forever be in contact with. It’s been so cool to find a community of other people, especially people our age, who are living this lifestyle.  

Kermit: The people! We have met people from all over the country that we will always stay in contact with, road friends! How much I don’t miss the big house and property. Well, I do miss having a garage to tinker in and a basement with all my music equipment laid out and ready to jam, aww and also throwing parties. How we feel more safe sometimes boondock camping. 


Why did you choose a fifth-wheel over other rigs? 

There’s really no perfect solution for anyone, it’s just what makes the most sense at the time. We chose a 35’ Keystone Fuzion 5th wheel toy-hauler that we pull with our 2005 Chevy 3500 diesel dually. This way we can disconnect when we pull into places and take our truck exploring or for when we needed transportation for work we didn’t have to move our whole house. Some people drive a Class A and tow a vehicle, then you have two engines to worry about. The most important thing for us was to find the perfect solution to haul our toys! We currently have 3 motorcycles (1 vintage style Triumph Bonneville and two dual sport (dirt bikes) on board along with 2 kayaks and 2 bicycles). Having the 10 foot garage in the back was a must. We lose a lot of living space, but having our toys was the only way to roll for us! 

full time toy hauler
boondock camping

When will you stop traveling and settle. any future plans?

Nope! We almost moved to Northern California from Pennsylvania before we bought this camper because we really like that area. We decided to do this instead and live at the beach, mountains, desert, etc. It’s turned into a journey of where we would like to settle for a bit in the future or just get different properties and haul our house to each. We can’t decide on just one spot for now! 

living in camper full time

How can you afford to do this?

The way we live, this lifestyle is SO CHEAP! Honestly, everyone thinks we’re on a constant vacation but, we do the same thing as everyone else does: make dinner’s at home, sandwiches for lunch, etc. The whole point of this was to travel the country on as little money as possible so we could continue this journey for a while.  Once your rig is purchased, it’s normal maintenance like a home (things always come up), diesel to travel to different locations and where we are parked. Often times we stay on BLM lands (Bureau of Land Management) which means we live off-grid for 2 weeks for FREE!  When we live off grid our expenses are the propane for stove and hot water heater and gasoline for our on-board generator. Our rig is fully self contained and we can live with no hook-ups for about 2 weeks. We purchased our toyhauler used, it’s a 2009 that had only been used a few times and kept in a climate controlled garage. Total price was $24,000 – not bad when you consider that’s our first home purchase, so we don’t have a mortgage, this is our only home. Our truck us used also, 260,000 miles on the odometer. Kermit is great with working on things and maintenance, so we would rather fix things as they happen than to have a huge truck payment for a new ride, and we are not persuaded with the word warranty. The 5th wheel hitch we purchased used for $450.(Curt 20k)  The custom frame rails (connects from the truck frame to the bed plates) we purchased new for $200. Installing the items for the hitch was not hard just some measurements and thought.

seven magic mountains vegas

Do you have a shower? Can you cook in there?

We often get asked this for people who are not familiar with RV’s and the answer is Yes! We can do everything you can do in your homes, it’s just on a smaller scale and we have to take an extra step and plan ahead a bit more. We have a queen size bed, bathroom, shower, 3 burner stove, oven, refrigerator, a furnace with floor vents and central air. We have two queen size retractable beds in the garage area that we can turn into a spare bedroom when we have guest over.  So, even though we only have 280 square feet total, we can accommodate 7 adults comfortably!   


What are your favorite spots ?
(PICTURES OF EACH COMING SOON!) 

This varies so much and is constantly changing.  For instance, we LOVED Arizona in the winter for the landscapes and so many trails to ride, however.. we would hate it there in the hot summer. 

  • South Padre Island National Seashore in Texas was so serene and peaceful in the winter off-season
  • We camped near Grass Valley/Nevada City in Northern California for 6 months and loved that area
  • Topsail Hill Preserve State Park / Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
  • Lost Dutchman State Park / Apache Junction, Arizona
  • Casino Del Sol / Tucson, Arizona ( Free, Boondock camping)
  • Oliver Lee State Park / Alamogordo, New Mexico
  • Box Canyon BLM / Superior, Arizona
  • White Tank Mountain Regional Park / Waddell, Arizona
  • Lake Pleasant Regional Park / Morristown, Arizona
  • BLM Land anywhere in Arizona is amazing
  • Sawtooth Canyon BLM / Lucerne Valley, California
  • Sequoia RV Ranch / Three Rivers, California
  • Dutch Flat RV Resort / Gold Run, California

Campendium.com is a great source for locating campgrounds as well as BLM and National Forest locations.

 WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT /  NEW MEXICO

WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT /  NEW MEXICO


Things we’ve learned on the road:

  • Do your online research, but the best spot to learn about what the locals do, stop in at the local bar and strike up a conversation!  This has lead us to so much greatness! Also, for great places to stay check out www.campendium.com and www.freecampsites.net

  • Always keep quarters, otherwise your laundry isn’t getting done! Also, laundromats are not as sketchy as I thought, make sure you’re on the right side of town!

  • Trucker apps for your phone such as AllStays Truck & Travel and Trucker Path are great for looking for fuel stops.  We always look way ahead when traveling to make sure we can get into a diesel pump, especially out West. We also always have a 5 gallon diesel tank in the back of the truck with a rattle siphoner. Beware that not every fuel station has diesel and even if they do, it might be to small or clearance to low to get your rig into.  So just pay attention and have spare fuel, always.

  • As much as silver bubble insulation in the windows looks like we’re crack heads or we’re astronauts it really makes a difference in saving on propane and electricity when it’s below 40 degrees.

  • We had smaller tanks on our first RV so this was a longer stretch with tanks, but you immediately learn how to conserve water and be aware of every gallon you’re using.

  • Always check your tire pressure, always!  Your pressure changes when the temperature changes and it’s not worth having a blowout.  We also recommend, even if you have a brand new trailer, replace the crappy factory tires they put on there (I know, they look fine and tires are expensive, but just google tire blow out and you’ll second guess yours). Also with tires they are all date stamped on the side wall. Even if they look fine and have a lot of tread doesn’t mean they are still in good shape. If they are out dated by 10 years replace them as they can separate from the inside out.

  • Don’t be afraid to boondock camp. Just make sure to do your research before going out. Boondock camping ( living off grid for free out in beautiful scenery) is our favorite!! 

  • When it comes to campgrounds there is more demand than supply. RVing has gotten so big that there just is not enough campgrounds to support the big RV boom. In some cases, a bad thing. Through this huge demand of campgrounds the owners can charge whatever they want and know they will get it. If RVers don’t have another option in the area they want to be, what are they to do? #Letsstartacampground

living in tiny house

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to comment below and let us know you're here, just say hello ! 

kermit and trinity

CHRISTMAS IN THE TOYHAULER

Modern, traditional, fun, wacky and cheap! yep! that about sums Us and our decor up! 

I was so excited when fellow professional RV'ers MOUNTAIN MODERN LIFE contacted us about being part of a fun series called "Christmas in the Camper" .  Alongside 15 other RV bloggers, each day 3 new posts go live.  We showcase our RV's and how we've decorated and brought extra cheer to our home on wheels.  Just because we all live tiny doesn't mean we've shorted ourselves on holiday fun!  Be sure to check out #Christmasinthecamper2017 each day on Instagram this week for new people to follow and see DIY inspiration for your own home.   Honestly, we're not huge social media fans but the way it has brought people together has been amazing.  We've met people all over the country by simply finding the right hashtags, haha!  I love how this series alone has already led us to new people and we're only a few days in, yay!  

living in toy hauler

WELCOME 

Total budget for this year's decorating was:  

CHEAP AS POSSIBLE! I used as much existing stuff as possible to keep the expense low. We already had tons of lights (we use those all year long), lanterns, green pillow covers,  and candles.  My purchases came from Dollar Tree (whoop! whoop! Everything's a DOLLAR! I spent about $15 there) and Target dollar bin (you KNOW that bin area is irresistible! I spent about $20 there).  

TOTAL COST TO PIMP OUT OUR HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: ABOUT $35.00

MADE:  

  • 3D hanging snowflakes. Y'all... this is just 3 pieces of computer paper, tape, staple gun and some finger magic and concentration!  I made these as a kid, I love carrying on the tradition and hanging in our home now (I also added glitter this year that was $1.00 at Target) 
  • The green garland. I posted a video on IG a few days ago about how I do this every year. I get two 8 foot pieces of garland from The Dollar Tree ($2.00) and do figure 8's to make it have a bigger impact and look wider to save money. 
  • Added the red lantern base to the bottom of our little $3.00 tree, see details towards bottom of post. 
christmas in the camper
decorating rv christmas
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living in toy hauler
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Let's move to the other wing of the house: the bedroom

rv decor
 We use tapestries for so many things around the camper, mostly to cover our comforter to keep dog hair off... we love this tapestry from Kevin & Mandy from @188 from Costa Rica.  It was perfect for our holiday setup and one of our cherished items - thanks yinz! 

We use tapestries for so many things around the camper, mostly to cover our comforter to keep dog hair off... we love this tapestry from Kevin & Mandy from @188 from Costa Rica.  It was perfect for our holiday setup and one of our cherished items - thanks yinz! 

 Oh, and that Kawasaki green ceiling... that's not a Christmas feature, we're just crazy enough to paint our ceiling that color! 

Oh, and that Kawasaki green ceiling... that's not a Christmas feature, we're just crazy enough to paint our ceiling that color! 

fifth wheel renovation diy
rv diy renovation

I love how our little house starts to come alive even more as it gets darker... we have lights up everywhere, always, all year!  I spent zero dollars on light budget for the holidays because these are always on in our home (with the exception of Christmas trees.. only my mama keeps a tree up all year long, haha)

- bathroom -  

 Kermit installed blue LED's permanently in our bathroom/bedroom and kitchen. 

Kermit installed blue LED's permanently in our bathroom/bedroom and kitchen. 

renovating fifth wheel rv

LET'S MOVE BACK DOWN STAIRS TO THE MAIN LIVING AREA, the LIGHTS ARE STARTING TO TWINKLE... 

camping for christmas
christmas in the camper
camping for christmas
decorating rv for christmas
christmas in rv decor
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decorating for christmas in rv
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 THE TREE WAS $3.00 FROM TARGET AND WE ALREADY HAD THE GLOWING LANTERN IN OUR EVERYDAY COLLECTION.  I SIMPLY SECURED IT TO THE TOP WITH FISHING LINE AND BAM! IT ADDED A BIGGER IMPACT GLOWING FROM THE BOTTOM AND ABOUT 8 MORE INCHES TO OUR TINY LIL TREE.  

THE TREE WAS $3.00 FROM TARGET AND WE ALREADY HAD THE GLOWING LANTERN IN OUR EVERYDAY COLLECTION.  I SIMPLY SECURED IT TO THE TOP WITH FISHING LINE AND BAM! IT ADDED A BIGGER IMPACT GLOWING FROM THE BOTTOM AND ABOUT 8 MORE INCHES TO OUR TINY LIL TREE.

kermit and trinity rv
 THIS IS WHAT A TYPICAL SET UP LOOKS LIKE, EVEN IN THE SUMMER FOR US! HAHA. WE LOVE LIGHTS IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW THAT BY NOW.   * disclaimer.. this is not our current outdoor situation, we're in transition and moving further into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in a few days, soooo... that means all that pretty stuff you see up there in the blogpost.. IT'S ALL COMING DOWN AND HAS TO BE PUT BACK UP!! HAHA (Insert poop emoji and tongue out) 

THIS IS WHAT A TYPICAL SET UP LOOKS LIKE, EVEN IN THE SUMMER FOR US! HAHA. WE LOVE LIGHTS IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW THAT BY NOW.   * disclaimer.. this is not our current outdoor situation, we're in transition and moving further into the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in a few days, soooo... that means all that pretty stuff you see up there in the blogpost.. IT'S ALL COMING DOWN AND HAS TO BE PUT BACK UP!!  (Insert poop emoji and tongue out) 


 This photo was taken by our pal Mandy @188sqft 

This photo was taken by our pal Mandy @188sqft 

To learn more about our toy-hauler renovations, you can check out our how on wheels HERE.

 Or here was our HOLIDAY TOUR LAST YEAR.


Every day this week 3 bloggers will be sharing their holiday decor so be sure to check out these folks listed below and see what they did in their own tiny homes!  You can also follow along on social media by searching #christmasinthecamper2017 

Christmas in the camper

Click on the links below for more RV Holiday Decor inspiration!


Did you know you can leave a comment below? 
Let us know you stopped by and say hello!

IT MAKES US HAPPY TO SEE YOU HERE!

UPDATED HOME TOUR OF OUR TOYHAULER

Welcome!  Come on in for our updated home tour.  This is our 35ft fifth wheel - toy hauler //  2009 Keystone Fuzion.  When we first purchased our home on wheels the whole thing was BROWN! We've done so much to make it feel like our home and always anxious to start on the next project!  

renovated rv

LIVING SPACE // We took down window boxes and added curtains, ripped out dinette/couch and added our own, painted walls and built custom desk area.  New flooring, custom light fixtures and wood paneling coming soon, yay! 


rv decor diy
living in rv full time
 This photo by Mandy @188sqft 

This photo by Mandy @188sqft 

rv renovation
rv decor diy
living in camper full time
renovated camper
 This photo by Mandy @188sqft

This photo by Mandy @188sqft

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CUSTOM BUILT OFFICE SPACE // Stained wood and added aluminum edging with screws for an industrial rivet look. It easily pops up with a continuous hinge and is held up by painted pvc pipe legs (lightweight)


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rv office
office in rv camper

OUR COZY BEDROOM // We painted the walls, ceilings, added backsplash, mattress topper, and custom shelving 


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tiny home design decor
tiny house design

OUR KITCHEN // We painted cabinets dark, added aluminum backsplash and up the wall, installed knife holder, made plant holders, installed led lights and painted walls. 


tiny house decor
camper renovation diy
tiny house design
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tiny house design

GARAGE // We get so much use out of this space!  We lose alot of living space but it's a great multi-purpose room. When it's not a fun jam-music room we have 2 retractable queen size beds to transform into a guest room.  It's also the garage that hauls our 3 motorcycles, 2 kayaks, 2 bicycles and various items (Yes! We can fit all that into this 10ft garage! haha) // Kermit turned our cargo door into a deck also, we love always having a back porch everywhere we go! 


full time travel rv
music studio rv renovation
living in rv full time
 this photo by Mandy @188sqft

this photo by Mandy @188sqft

 this photo by Mandy @188sqft

this photo by Mandy @188sqft

living in rv full time toy hauler
 this photo by Mandy @188sqft

this photo by Mandy @188sqft

 This photo by Mandy @188sqft

This photo by Mandy @188sqft

 this photo by Mandy @188sqft

this photo by Mandy @188sqft

 this photo by Mandy @188sqft

this photo by Mandy @188sqft

living in toy hauler
living in toy hauler
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boondock camping

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