Going From Living in a House to a TAG Teardrop Trailer
Yes, you read that right. Andrew and Rachel are going from living full-time in a small family home to living full-time in their TAG Teardrop Trailer. Talk about taking the adventure to the next level!
For almost a year now, Andrew and Rachel (our TAG ambassadors) have traveled part-time in their TAG, named Gladis. They started by hitting the road for 30 days for an epic honeymoon road trip. You can follow along on their journey because they vlogged each day.
After the honeymoon, they settled into married life at their home in Delaware, OH. They still went on adventures with their TAG, exploring local campgrounds and National Parks. However, they both missed that 30-day honeymoon expedition, so they started having conversations to figure out how to travel even more.
One day, Andrew said what they both had been thinking, “What if we just head out for a year and live on the road from our TAG?” After discussing the idea seriously for a few days, they decided to make it happen!
Here’s what the planning process looked like for Andrew and Rachel.
Andrew & Rachel’s Full-Time Travel Plan
Hey guys, Andrew here! Yes, my wife and I are getting ready to hit the road full-time in our TAG Teardrop Trailer in January. It will undoubtedly be an adjustment moving from a 2,000 square-foot home to a teardrop camper, but we couldn’t be more excited!
We wanted to share some of our planning processes with you all. It might be interesting to those looking to travel a bit more frequently.
Honestly, the first step after deciding we wanted to live in our TAG for a year was mental preparation.
Living in such a small space and traveling weekly to new locations is a massive adjustment from our typical routine. We would usually be based at home, planning fun weekend camping trips when we had time. It was more of a lazy approach to travel. Instead, we’ll now be planning, living, and working while we travel! That’s much more of an exhilarating way to go about it.
We needed to get prepared for such a big transition. That started by writing down everything that would change our daily lives. For example, we wrote down what our morning routine would look like while living on the road. That turned into us mapping out the general structure for our entire day. Having that ironed out made us feel more confident about the adventures ahead.
It also takes some time to get used to the idea of not having many “things” with you while you travel. Living out of a Jeep Cherokee and a TAG Teardrop Trailer means you can’t have simple luxuries like a desk for working or a washing machine for laundry.
We decided to list all the items we would need during our travels and everything we would need but couldn’t bring. This way, we would create a packing list and a list of things to prepare before hitting the road.
The following isn’t an exhaustive list, but some of the objects on our packing list include:
- Hiking gear
- Kitchen supplies
- Cooler wrap
- Clothing for all climates
- Hand warmers
- Camper locks
And here’s our list of things we couldn’t bring but needed to plan for:
- Clothes washing device/plan
- Water heater
- Internet connection
- Medical assistance
Again, these are just sample lists. If you want to check out our entire packing list, you can follow our adventures step by step on our website: http://adventuresmall.com/.
The packing list was pretty simple. We would walk around the house and slowly note the things we would need to take with us. For the items that didn’t make the list, we either sold them or put them in storage with our families. We have this super comfy couch that obviously couldn’t go on our travels with us. But, we wanted to keep it, so we stored it with my parents.
We’re not going to be on the road forever (well, you never know), so we wanted to keep a few things we could use to furnish our home once we settled down back in Ohio.
The other list focused on things we would need to figure out how to handle while on the road. As we walked around our house, we stopped at our washing machine and dryer. Not items that are easy to travel with, but they perform a necessary task that we’ll need.
We don’t have the perfect solution for everything on that list. But, for each bullet point, we brainstormed some ideas on how to accomplish that thing while traveling. For example, washing our clothes has two potential options: using local laundry mats or buying a portable laundry machine. For heating water, our prospects are boiling it on the stove or purchasing a portable propane water heater. So, no matter what the task is, we have options.
When planning out the route you want to take during a long-term “road trip,” we learned a lot from our honeymoon. We hit the road on that inspiring adventure in September 2020. Unfortunately, COVID was causing many campgrounds and attractions to close. In addition, the wildfires out west were making many places too dangerous to visit. Because of those two elements, we had to change our plans regularly.
I mention all that because we found the perfect way to plan for a more extended trip like this is to have a “loose” schedule. You’re going to run into things on the road that will cause you to call an audible. If you plan everything out for a 30-day trip down to having every single campsite booked, I’m willing to bet you’re going to need to make some changes.
On a side note, nuCamp is acting in the beta testing phase of uCamp:the App, which will have a planning feature to help you with your road trips. So be sure to keep an eye out for the launch of the app!
Even though we know we’re going to need to be flexible, we’re not just going to take off on this expedition without some idea of where we want to go. As you might have guessed, we made another list. This one was a list of all the places we wanted to visit:
- Arcadia National Park
- Dallas, TX
- Glacier National Park
- Redwood Forest
- Alfred, ME
- South Carolina
- Zion National Park
- Arches National Park
That isn’t an exhaustive list, and we continue to add more destinations every time we talk with someone new. But that’s the good part about traveling with a “loose” plan — you can visit new places if you just so happen to encounter something interesting in the area.
We took this list and started researching campsites in the vicinity of each place. Now, when we start heading toward Dallas, we can just pull up our list of campgrounds we’ve already looked into and pick a few to book. This gives us the flexibility to visit new places regularly and still stay at campsites we’ve already vetted.
If you’re looking to travel in the coming year, keep in mind some places you visit need to be booked in advance. The more popular “tourist” destinations usually get filled up quickly, so those do require more of an established plan.
Another good part about our “loose” planning strategy is that we can take suggestions from all of you! We want to check out places all over the United States, so please drop us your favorite little towns, campsites, and natural wonders. You can drop us a message on our Facebook Page or our Instagram account. You can click on the highlighted links in the previous sentence or just search for “Adventure Small.”
Wouldn’t it just be nice to win the lottery and travel without needing to worry about money? Well, that’s not the situation for us, unfortunately. Rachel and I both will be working remotely while on the road.
I started a digital marketing agency a while back. All my work has already been remote for years, so it was easy to get everything structured in a way that would allow me to work from anywhere. I just need to make sure I have a solid internet connection during most weekdays.
My wife, Rachel, is an artist. She spends her working hours painting fantastic watercolor paintings. People order her commission work from all over the world! It’s pretty cool. You can see some of her pieces on her Instagram page: RM Watercolor.
Rachel and I can work from the road with a bit of organization! We both did need to do a little work during our honeymoon road trip, so we’ve had some practice. The best method is to work at a coffee shop some days while using a mobile hotspot or campground wifi for lighter workdays.
Capturing the Adventure
If you don’t already know, Rachel and I are nuCamp’s TAG ambassadors. You may have seen me speak at uCamp last year or watched some of our videos on YouTube. We’re always making content.
One of the things I’m most excited about during our travels is producing videos! I’ve been making videos since I was a kid. It all started when I got a little toy camera for Christmas and made films of the creek in my backyard. Now, it’s a passion that I try to fulfill every chance I get!
Rachel and I designed a brand and website called Adventure Small with the mission of highlighting lesser-known towns, parks, and attractions. We want to show that these places can be as fun as massive tourist destinations. We’ll be making weekly videos and blogs about these locations and other travel topics.
The reason behind this is twofold.
First, we want to help other people get inspired to travel more. It doesn’t need to be a big vacation that takes two weeks. You can spend a weekend exploring some local places and have just as much fun.
Second, we want to help new RVers start their adventure with some knowledge. We learned so much from others when we began our journey, so we want to give back!
I also think capturing your travels is fun. My grandma can’t travel as much anymore, but she watches all the videos we make. She’s able to see so many places that she would never have dreamed of visiting. It’s almost like we’re able to travel with her in a way. That makes capturing and sharing content even more enjoyable. When we think of the community we can share our adventures with, we want to keep on exploring!
Quick Tips for Long-Term Travels
- Start by dreaming big. Make a bucket list of all the places you want to visit. From there, you can start integrating all those destinations into your various travels.
- Live in the excitement. Preparing for a trip is always so exhilarating. Take some time to live in the moment and enjoy those emotions!
- Ask friends, family, and online forums about your trip. Get recommendations of places to visit. Ask about the things that worry about you. You never know some of the great tips and tricks you’ll learn!
- Make lists. The more organized you can be in your planning process, the less likely you’ll be to run into issues while you’re on the road.
- Try to get detached from your personal items. You don’t need to take that many things with you when you travel. The less you bring, the better. Yes, pack the essentials and the items that make you comfortable, but don’t go overboard.
- Be sure to document your travels. You’ll see so many amazing things and have some legendary experiences. That can be journaling, photographs, or video. Figure out your plan before you take off just to make everything streamlined. Plus, you’ll have all that content you can reference when planning future trips.
- Know that you’ll encounter several “roadblocks” along the way. Each one will just be a new adventure to overcome and an excellent story for you to share around the campfire.
We’re so excited to be on this massive adventure in our TAG. Again, thank you to everyone in the nuCamp family who shared their insights on our RVing journey. We look forward to meeting so many more of you and learning from your experience. Feel free to reach out any time.
Hopefully, we’ll see you on the road!