In the past several months, I have been staying inside and watching YouTube videos more and more. In North Dakota where I live, in January, February, and March it is just about always below 0 degrees Fahrenheit outside if you take the wind chill effect into account. I don’t want to spend any time outside, and I actually got pneumonia in March after being outside unexpectedly.
I just type “YouTube” into my Google search browser, then click on YouTube, to see what videos will come up. I watch car videos, metal detecting videos, exploring abandoned property videos, trail cam videos, bigfoot videos, conspiracy theory videos, prank call videos, home security camera videos, and more.
This past month, I watched YouTube videos produced by people who live in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, cargo trailers, and vans. I have done this before myself, both in Idaho and in North Dakota. In Idaho, when I first arrived in the state, I didn’t know where I wanted to live, I didn’t want to rent an apartment, and I didn’t want to live with roommates, so I bought and lived in a used travel trailer.
Later, after I had bought a home in Idaho, the economy got worse and worse, and I had to travel to North Dakota to find work during the oil boom. Due to the high cost and shortage of housing in North Dakota during the oil boom, I again began living in a truck bed camper, and later my customized enclosed utility trailer. When you customize a utility trailer to make it into a camper, you create what is called a “stealth camper”, because most people can not tell and do not know that someone is living inside of it.
When I watched the YouTube videos produced by people living in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, cargo trailers, and vans, most of these people discussed common issues that they dealt with, such as where to park for free, how they get electricity from solar panels, how they customized their living area in order to maximize space, how much space they needed, and what their living expenses were each month.
Keep in mind, that I had met and lived among people who lived in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans before. There is a spectrum of people, from retired engineers and accountants who live in luxury motor homes that cost several hundred thousand dollars, who have a million dollars in retirement savings, to people who did not graduate from high school who are sleeping in the back seat of their car.
The average person that you might meet who lives in a motor home, travel trailer, camper, or van, is someone who is trying to save money and economize by not paying rent, not having a mortgage, not paying property taxes, not paying homeowners insurance, not paying for home maintenance, and not paying for utilities. They may have found it to be too much of a physical and financial burden to constantly have to earn enough money to live in a traditional home, with all of those costs. They may be living on a retirement, social security, or social security disability income.
Whether the person is living in a high end motor home, new travel trailer, used travel trailer, old motor home, or van, the incidence of strangeness and mental illness in these people is higher than people who live in traditional homes or apartments. You will just about always find that people who live in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans are trying not only to live cheaply and economize, but that they are also trying to withdraw from normal life, or escape from something.
It may seem reasonable and rational that some people get tired of paying high mortgage payments, property taxes, home owners insurance, and utilities, just to live in a box, a box wedged in the middle of a bunch of other boxes, where they feel trapped. But rather than making a decision to relocate to a less expensive and less crowded area, or to downsize, the motor home, travel trailer, camper, and van people often decide to try to check out and opt out of everything, and become a hobo or recluse.
So when I watched the YouTube videos of the people who were living in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans, I saw some stress, sadness, embarrassment, and defeat in these people. When these people told their life stories, though they often tried to say that they made the decision to live like this, they were actually explaining that their life circumstances got them into the position where this was one of their only options.
Just one example that was common, was that these people or their spouse suffered an illness that was both emotionally and financially devastating, to where they were going to lose their home and be unable to have the household income that they used to have. Another reason why these people were going to lose their home and no longer be able to afford a similar home, was because the person or their spouse could no longer physically or emotionally hold themselves together in order to continue performing the work they had done in the past. They were physically and emotionally too burned out from the work that they had been doing, work that they were capable of doing when they were younger.
The motor home, travel trailer, camper, and van dwellers, who made their YouTube videos, this was therapeutic for them. They got to tell about how they felt much less burdened once they got rid of their homes and most of their possessions. Once they had so much fewer possessions, their needs became much simpler, and they required much less money to live on. They no longer felt so pressured to earn money.
When they woke up in the morning at a free camp site, they were not on any kind of schedule, and there was no one demanding anything from them. They did not have to hurry and get ready for work. They could take the time to enjoy the view and the beauty of their surroundings.
On the other hand, there were some common problems that motor home, travel trailer, camper, and van dwellers faced. There was the fear that their engine or transmission would fail when they were out in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from anywhere that could perform the repairs. There was the fear of strangers showing up at a remote campsite and harming them or stealing whatever they had.
Many of the women travelers had something bad to report every time that they uploaded a new YouTube video. Whether they had parked in a paved parking lot at a shopping center, a wooded clearing in the middle of nowhere, or paid for a spot at a campground, someone bothered them during the night. And, women travelers would report suspicious people looking at them, following them, and visiting them during the day.
The combination of women travelers being bothered at night, bothered during the day, feeling unsafe when having to use the bathroom or bathe, and the problems that they had with their motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans, you could tell from their YouTube videos that they were becoming more and more worn out and exhausted each day.
But the strangest thing of all the YouTube RV lifestyle videos, was the people who claimed to live in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans, but did not, they were pretty much faking it.
Apparently, because there were people who actually lived in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans who did not have jobs, who were able to upload videos to YouTube showing the locations where they were parked each day, which people enjoyed watching, young couples, and young women, began claiming and pretending to be living in RVs in order to have their own YouTube channel too.
I noticed this myself, but I didn’t really think about it or dwell on it, thinking that it was just general bullshit. However, some of the people who actually live in smaller motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans began to call attention to it and complain about it. The people who actually lived in RVs, were warning that people who watched these fake YouTube RV living channels, were going to get the wrong idea about what living in RVs was actually like, and adversely suffer if they relied on this information.
For instance, the older middle-aged women who had work careers and who owned their own homes prior to selling everything and moving into a motor home, travel trailer, camper, or van, generally reported on their YouTube channel almost every day, that someone had bothered them during the night, someone had been looking at them during the day, or that they had a problem with their RV. In contrast, on the fake YouTube RV living channels, young ladies in their early twenties would supposedly be walking around all day in bikinis through their camp sites, and not be bothered, at all, ever. They were not bothered at night, because they were in fact sleeping in a hotel room every night.
The people who actually live in motor homes, travel trailers, campers, and vans, want to stress that it is difficult, rugged, and that you have to give up many comforts. You can’t take showers every day, wash clothes every day, run your air conditioner, or drive into town every day when you get set up at a remote camp site. The fake YouTube RV living people who take showers a couple of times a day, change clothes several times a day, are always clean, always have clean clothes, that try to make the RV living lifestyle look glamorous, are actually spending most of their time in hotels. They are leading many viewers to failure, when these viewers sell everything they own to live in an RV and they are unprepared for what it is really like and how difficult it is.