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Leslie Kelly and John Nelson hit the road in 2018, exploring the nation in their 23-foot motorhome. They’ve traveled across the country, hiking in more than 50 national parks, discovering regional foods and connecting with friends and family along the way. In other words, they’re living the dream on Our Grand Tour! These are a few of the essentials that help make the ride a little smoother. Follow their adventures on Going Mobile.... more
As much as we appreciate a crackling campfire, this clickable pit has been key in chasing away the evening chill in a flash. We’ve figured out just the right way to set up our chairs for maximum ahhhh! Please pass the marshmallows!!
After a day on the trails -- we love Sedona, Arizona best for its endless options -- it seems like a fitting reward to kick back and chill. This zero gravity lounger says that it mimics the feeling of being weightless in space. Maybe so. We’ve never been there, but can certainly testify that this exceptional sitting experience is pretty darned relaxing. Of course, there’s a cup holder so you don’t need to get up to stay hydrated.
Let’s just call this one of our MVPs, making dinner prep super easy. We’ve seared seafood, roasted veggies and slow-cooked ribs on this bad boy. It’s even stepped up as a pizza oven and a champion bacon maker. We don’t mind a bit when neighbors stop by, drawn by the fragrant grill aromas, and ask what’s cooking.
When you do a serious downsizing of your life and expect everything to fit in a living space that’s the size of a large walk-in closet, you best commit to getting organized. We made like Maria Kondo and tackled that project by sticking various things in clear bins. It’s especially helpful in keeping track of what’s in the pantry, where each bin is labeled with a Sharpie: Global Inspiration, Baking, Spices, Snacks, Carbs, Goodies. Funny, the last one’s almost always needs restocking.
We listen to lots of music and audiobooks while rolling down the highway and when hanging at the campground, so we appreciate the quality of this easy-to-use bluetooth speaker. We can crank it up and throw a dance party by the fire or turn it down low for that soothing bedtime story. It’s stays powered for a pretty long while, as long as we keep track of that charge cord.
While living in Memphis, we developed a serious addiction to barbecue. Ain’t no shame in that! When we’re parked in one spot for a while, we splurge on a very special delivery. These incredible ribs are ready to heat-and-eat, alongside the traditional sides: baked beans, tangy slaw and the flat-out best barbecue popcorn you’ll ever munch. There’s also a combo option that includes the famous slow-smoked pulled pork, which make absolutely fantastic sandwiches. Make those like a local by adding some slaw on top. Mmmmm, what a treat.
Can we talk about poo? I know, ewww, but when you live in a motorhome, you’ve got to deal with dumping the gray and black water on the regular. Not a glamourous chore by any stretch, but it’s an essential skill. This ladder-like device has been a game changer in making that waste flow with minimal effort. Yay, gravity! Some RV resorts actually require them, so we kind of wish we had made the small investment earlier.
The bed that came with our Thor Gemini was pretty weak on the comfort scale, so we added a memory foam mattress topper and a set of the best sheets on the planet. I first experienced these silky linens while visiting The Lark, an outstanding boutique hotel in Bozeman, Montana, and I’ve been a devoted customer ever since. They were created for use in spas, which is no surprise. They’re so comfy, it’s sometimes challenging for one of us to get out of bed in the morning. Come on, Johnny, we’ve got places to go!
Closet space is limited in our small rig, so it’s important to pack the right clothing and not too much of it. Because we do so much hiking, I’ve gravitated to the functional “uniform” of skorts with leggings built-in. This no-wrinkle garment works so well on the trail and it’s way cuter than the traditional hiking shorts. I collect T-shirts from the restaurants we visit while traveling and those wearable souvenirs are perfect for our super casual lifestyle.
True confession: I wasn’t always a hiker, but my husband is hardcore, so he has inspired me to get after it and I’m so grateful. For years, he urged me to make the leap from sneakers to true hiking boots and these beauties from Keen have made my mission to chase Johnny up the mountain a lot easier to accomplish. I’ve worn out one pair and I’m onto my second. In other words, we’re in a serious relationship.
Spending time outside is a huge part of what we love about our road trip adventures and this screen house provides just what we need to create another living space. It helped protect us from driving rain at Denali National Park in Alaska and the tenacious mosquitos we cursed while staying at Grand Isle State Park in Louisiana. It also offers some privacy in case we have nosy neighbors because you can drop down the rain fly to block prying eyes when we feel like being alone. Most of the time, though, we don’t mind fellow campers wandering by and saying hey. As long as they don’t interrupt dinner or a competitive cribbage grudge match.
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