In this final video from my four-state, two-country road trip, I leave Death Valley and make the trek eastward toward my adopted high-elevation homeland of Utah. Along the way I check out some historical sites in Death Valley, a ghost town in Nevada, an incredible crater out in the middle of Nevada called Lunar Crater, and more! (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)
In an older video, I shared a quick and easy way to setup an awning on the side of you vehicle, but today’s video shows my preferred method. It’s faster to set up and more secure than the clamp method.
In this video I embark on a 33-mile day hike in Death Valley National Park. Touted as Death Valley’s “premier backpacking route,” the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop takes in slot canyons, petroglyphs, natural springs, wild horses, wide-open valleys, and more.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this hike, this (scroll down to the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop section) and this (a PDF) are good places to start.
This is another vlog in my series from January and February 2017. I left northern Utah, where I live, and traveled down through southern Utah, southern Nevada, western Arizona, southern California, and back through central Nevada, all while camping and adventuring out of my 2011 Toyota RAV4.
Here are a bunch of SUV RVing-related things that readers and viewers shared with me this week. Thanks guys!
Got something else that you think the SUV RVing community might find useful? Shoot me an email and let me know about it.
A Campground Database
One video watcher and book reader (hi Linda!) passed along a website for finding campgrounds. It’s called Hipcamp. It’s along the same lines as Campendium and FreeCampsites.net but doesn’t appear quite as good as either of those for finding free places to camp. I browsed some of the areas that I’m familiar with and found that it only has established paid campgrounds. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want, so this is a good website to know about and to add to your arsenal. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Some Useful Apps
A new email subscriber to the blog (hi Gennaro!) recommended a few apps that he’s found useful on his road trip adventures (all are free except Goodreader, which is $4.99):
MAPS.ME – Offline maps for many places in Europe and the US. (iOS & Android)
GoodReader – A document reader. Gennaro uses this to read PDFs and magazines. (iOS only)
Video watcher and fellow YouTuber Florida Girl Adventures has an FJ Cruiser and came up with a clever way of hanging up curtains in her SUV. She attached the hook side of a Velcro strip to blackout curtains and found that the Velcro stuck to the headliner on the inside of her vehicle. See the setup in action in this video (the curtain part starts at about 2 minutes and 17 seconds in).
In this video I hike one of the coolest slot canyons in Death Valley, Grotto Canyon. This is what I would call a technical non-technical canyon because you need to be comfortable with scrambling and rock climbing, especially as you go higher up the canyon. Climbing shoes certainly would certainly have helped tremendously for the more tricky dryfalls. (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)
The obstacle names I use in the video (First Obstacle, Second Obstacle, etc.) are not official and were taken from this website.
In addition to the video above, here are some pics from the adventure:
Follow along as I leave the Trona Pinnacles, check out some roadside attractions, investigate a ghost town, and head into Death Valley. Along the way, I discover a relic from the infamous Manson Family…
One of my SUV RVing fears is getting my vehicle hopelessly stuck in sand, mud, or snow when I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a winch for my SUV but haven’t pulled the trigger because frankly, there are other things I’d rather spend that money on. But I recently found a YouTube video titled Poor Man’s Winch – Using ratchet straps for winch duties (it’s also embedded below if you’re reading this on the blog). The guy in the video talks about using ratchet straps as winches and demonstrates several possible uses that include getting a vehicle unstuck, removing a downed tree limb, and moving a large boulder.
He recommends the Quickloader brand of ratcheting strap. The selection on Amazon is OK but a bit confusing (browse them here), but it looks like HomeDepot.com has all of Quickloader’s straps for sale. The yellow one used in the video will hold 10,000 pounds, has a 27-foot strap, and costs $50. The red ones range in price from $20 to $30, depending on the one you get. One of these seems like a great thing to always have in your car for emergency purposes, both for yourself and for any other people you may encounter as you travel.
Here’s the video:
What do you think? Is this a good winch substitute for those of us on a budget?
In this video I finally leave Joshua Tree and make my way north. The goal was to make it all the way to Death Valley and spend the night there, but it didn’t quite work out that way… (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)
I spent more than a week in the Joshua Tree area of Southern California, and this video is a compilation of things I saw and did that week. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in the country, and I hope this video helps convey why.
Also, I’m not entirely sure why, but this is one of my favorite videos I’ve made so far, so be sure to give it a watch. (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)