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Nuventure Travels – Living Life on the Road

Nuventure Travels – Living Life on the Road

Ever wonder what it’s like to live life on the road? Through our business we were able to connect with a nomad couple, Lindsey and Adam Nubern from Nuventure Travels. They have traveled the world and are now ready to start their new adventure of parenthood.

How did you come up with the name Nuventures?

My husband Adam and I were preparing to leave it all and travel the world. We were out to breakfast one morning and dreaming up names for a blog to share our travels with our family and friends. Our last name is Nubern and we were excited about all the new adventures we were about to have, so we landed on #nuventures (Nubern + Adventures = Nuventures)

What made you decide to start this adventure?

Even while dating, Adam and I have always dreamed of traveling the world together long-term. So when we got married in 2012, the day we got back from our honeymoon and our finances were combined, we created a budget to live off half of our income and save the other half to travel the world with.

In Spring 2014, three things happened in a short amount of time that reminded us life is too short and it was “go time.” Adam lost his job, a friend totalled our truck (thankfully, our friend was okay), and a family member passed away. Also, we felt our finances were ready. Between 2012 and 2014, we paid off all of our student loans and car loans, we saved a $15K emergency fund, and we saved up $31K to travel with. With all of these happenings and our financial situation, we felt like it was time to go for it.

In June 2014, we officially took off and have been traveling ever since. We started roadtripping the USA for four months in our Honda Accord and tent, then we went to Hawaii for a month, campervanned New Zealand for 5 months, then backpacked Southeast Asia for 6 months. When we returned back to the USA, we bought a Casita Travel Trailer to continue traveling the USA for two more years (you may have seen us buying our Casita on HGTV’s Tiny House Hunter’s). We also took four months and backpacked Europe. Now, we basecamp out of our home in Colorado and Airbnb our home when we’re out traveling.

How to you connect with others while on the road?

Being on the road, even with your significant other, can be exciting but also lonely since you’re in new places all the time. At first, we connected with other full time RVers on Instagram and in RV Facebook groups. However, those friendships only go so far in likes and comments.

Then, we were invited into a mastermind group of three other nomadic couples that met every other week in a video chat. That group was a game changer! It was so refreshing to relate and build friendships with other couples who understood our lifestyle, our dreams, and our challenges. As a group, we decided to share this awesome experience with others and now we’ve started an online community called Nomad Collab for nomadic couples to build friendships with each other and share resources and encouragement to build and sustain this nomadic lifestyle together. Through Nomad Collab, we’re meeting so many more like-minded couples doing awesome things! They’re so inspiring!

How Do You Make Money while on the road?

Adam has built his own CPA firm to help nomads with their taxes and accounting at Nuventure CPA and I blog on Nuventure Travels and is am an author of 501 Questions: A Travel Game, How to Buy a Campervan in New Zealand: Your Step-by-Step Guide, and a children’s book called Putih the Traveling Pelican.

You can find 501 Questions: A Travel Game in the Out of the Box Camping Fall Box. It’s is a great way to connect with family and friend while on the road or around the campfire and is fun for all ages.

Now that you are starting a family how will your travels change?

Starting a family and bringing a little boy into our family is a brand spankin’ #nuventures and we are totally heading into the unknown. We’re going to take it one day at a time. However, we want to bring our little boy into our family and include him in this nomadic lifestyle we have going. But, how our travels look may change. The pace will probably be slower and our day to day will change based on a new schedule with him. But our plan is to get out as soon as possible with him in our camper in Colorado and we hope to travel Europe with him next summer.

Any advice to other couples that are planning to start a family will on the road?

For other couples planning to start a family on the road, we say- do it and let’s figure out this new adventure together! We are so excited to be parents and share the world with this little boy and there are so many families trail blazing for us that have been so encouraging in both Nomad Collab and in the Facebook Group @FullTimeFamilies! If they can figure it out, we can too! On our travels, we’ve learned that life is full of seasons and in every season, it’s really important to be intentional and have folks around you that get you, can support you, and encourage you, and you do the same. So if you’re considering starting a family and being nomadic, please reach out and we can figure this out together!

What is your favorite place or campground to visit?

We did a month-long camping trip around Colorado this summer and Colorado blew us away! Our favorite campground is a boondocking spot called Shavano Wildlife Management Area near Salida and Buena Vista, Colorado. It’s free and you have 360 degree views of mountains and the starry nights are spectacular. It’s only 2.5 hours from our home and it this area feels like our second home now.

We boondock a lot, so we cannot live without our Renogy Solar Panel

Lindsey Nubern

It has been so inspiring to learn more about Adam and Lindsey and their travels. I can only hope to see as much of the world as they have. You can follow their adventures on Facebook and Instagram. Do you currently travel full-time or dream of starting a nomadic lifestyle? I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments.

Make Camp Cooking Easier with Pantry to Plate

Make Camp Cooking Easier with Pantry to Plate

I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to make dinners easier. In our Summer Box we included a Camp Cooking Guide created by Pantry to Plate (formerly Simply Suppers) to help you do just that. We spoke with the owner of Pantry to Plate, Stephanie, to learn more about how her business helps busy families get dinner on the table whether you are at home or at camp.

Tell us about the Services You Provide

I help busy moms bring their families together for dinner more often. Our Pantry to Plate meal guides provide subscribers with a full plan to make eight meals every month. I take all of the great tips, tricks and hacks you have seen and thought “I should do that” and put them in a step-by-step guide so subscribers don’t have to put those puzzle pieces together.

That means subscribers don’t have to search for recipes, try to figure out what dishes go together and figure out the timing to get everything on the table at the same time. You don’t have make grocery lists or do a bunch of meal planning. My recipes are always written as a step-by-step for how to make a full meal, and use healthy shortcuts (real food, not junk) to make it easier to feed your family. I also include fun conversation starters for every meal and ways to get your family involved. And, I promise no meal prep marathons – because who has time for that, anyway?

What made you decide to start this business?

I am truly passionate about families eating together more often. Many research studies have shown that it’s better for every member of the family. This includes academics, behavioral issues, stress management and overall health. Research studies also show that families are eating together less and less. In fact, in the 1960s the average family meal was 90 min, now it’s just 12 min. And for the first time in history, families spend more money on dining out than they do on groceries.

When I talked to moms about why their families don’t eat together more, I heard over and over again that it was basically an issue of having time to plan and time to cook. Moms want fast, delicious recipes, real food, easy to shop for ingredients, and they want to use the different hacks and tips they see on Pinterest or Food Network, but they just don’t have time to put it all together.  Pantry to Plate is here to help families eat together more often by removing those barriers.

We love working with business owners that are also campers. Tell us more about your camping experience.

I grew up an only child with a single dad in the military, and my paternal grandparents raising me as much as my dad did.  He didn’t have a lot of money or time to do more traditional “vacations” with me, so we camped – in a tiny green and yellow pup tent (anyone who camped through the 80’s knows the exact tent I’m talking about!)  We ate MREs (Meals Ready to Eat, thank you Air Force) and hobo packets, swam in lakes and just had fun.

My husband also grew up most of his young life with his mom being single and his grandparents very involved, not having a lot of money, and camped with them as a child.  When we got together, our first vacation ever was camping on Martha’s Vineyard. He bought what I thought was an obscenely expensive and huge tent….little did I know we would camp in that thing for 12 summers!!! We camped in that tent through storms, with friends, and with both of our sons from them being tiny babies through ages 4 and 6. Getting away to camp saved our sanity during the economic crash in 2008-2009 and has brought us closer together as a family. This year we got a camper!  It’s been so much fun and we have a lot more fun planned.

What is your favorite place or campground to visit?

We LOVE the southwest, specifically Sedona, AZ. We got married there and it is our happy place, but we have never camped there!  It’s on the list.  As far as camping goes, we’re figuring that out. Since we have mostly tent camped, we really loved the state parks in Wisconsin (it’s a great system), but now that we have a camper we are checking out private campgrounds, too, and learning what’s a good fit for us.

What item can you not live without when camping?

This is a hard one – I think I could give up almost anything if I’m camping. Maybe the campfire… I can’t go a single day/night without a campfire while we are camping, and we actually scope out fire pits to decide if a site or campground will work for us. This is also a reason why camping in the southwest hasn’t happened yet – pretty restrictive on fires!

What’s your favorite camping meal?

Campfire Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s just so flavorful. It’s amazing. This recipe is included in the Camping Guide that’s in the Summer Camp Kitchen Box.

What’s your best camp cooking tip/hack?

Do all the prep work for your first night’s meal before you arrive so all you have to do is let it cook. Even though we have a camper now, there’s still set-up involved and it’s so much less stressful not to have to worry about when we are going to eat or having time to do prep.  And setting up while hangry is never a good idea!  We have our go-to first night meal, which is pizza logs, and now it’s a tradition that everyone loves.

You can find more information about Pantry to Plate on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. You can also get a preview of what Pantry to Plate has to offer with by downloading their July Pantry to Plate Guide free! We always love to find new meals to make. What’s your favorite go-to camp meal? Share the recipe or a link in the comments.

Tips for Renting Your RV

Tips for Renting Your RV

Did you know that there are websites (i.e. RVshare, Outdoorsy) that easily allow you to rent out your RV when it’s not in use? I know I meet a lot of people that complain that they just don’t get to camp enough. If that’s the case for you, this is a great way for you to make money from your RV. You can use the money to pay the payments on your camper or save for your next trip. Here’s what you need to know:

 

RVshare

We recently started renting out our travel trailer on RVshare and have good experiences so I wanted to share what we learned. First of all for those that don’t know, RVshare is a website where you can list your RV for free for prospective renters to view. Renters will contact you through the site via email requesting a quote or more information on renting your RV for their chosen dates.

Pros

  • Features insurance coverage, ID verification of renters, and Roadside assistance which gives us peace of mind when renting.
  • Quick online deposits through Stripe made directly to your bank account within days of rental.
  • Able to decline a request at any time if you don’t feel comfortable renting to that person or the location they are going.
  • You are able to update your calendar to block off any dates you will be using the RV for personal trips or are unavailable to rent.
  • Allows you to meet new people and show them how fun the RV Life can be.

Cons

  • It can take a lot of time to communicate with prospective renters that don’t follow through with renting.
  • Takes a lot of time to clean and prep the camper for each rental.
  • Time to meet renters or deliver.
  • There is a chance damage could be done to your camper.
  • RVshare takes 25% fee for using their platform.
If you have the extra time to commit to vetting inquiries, cleaning, and delivering the RV, then this could be a good fit for you. I would also add that our current camper is not our dream camper so if something were to happen to it, we would be upset, but not devastated. If you have put your blood, sweat and tears in remodeling your RV or feel like it could not be easily replaced if it were to get damaged or even totaled, then you may not want to pursue this venture.

 

How to Have Successful Rentals

Are you ready to try out renting your RV? Here some of our recommendations on how to make your listing great so that you can get your camper rented often and with minimal stress.

 

1. Make it an All Inclusive Experience

Renters don’t want to be nickel and dimed to death and they don’t want to have to bring all of their blankets, towels, and kitchen products from home. You want to include amenities similar to that of a cabin or motel.  Include bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, and cookware for the interior. Also include everything they would need to tow and set-up the camper if needed. Check our free printable Inventory List we use to restock the camper in between rentals and our personal trips. We also provide the list to our renters prior to their arrival so they know what they should pack.

 

2. Make Sure Your Camper is Clean and Everything is Functioning Properly

I cannot stress this enough! Would you want to go into a dirty hotel room or stay somewhere where the A/C is broken? Of course not! Renters are paying good money to rent your RV and you should make sure it is in tip top shape. Extensively clean the interior and exterior prior to each rental and do a thorough walk through to make sure everything is in working order. Our RV Opening Checklist may help you determine what items should be examined.

 

Our travel trailer all nice and shiny to go out for a rental

 

3. Create a Quality Listing

In order for your listing to get viewed and therefore get rentals, you will want to make it detailed and include the following

  • Features/amenities of your RV
  • What items are included
  • Include measurements and weight of RV
  • What type of vehicle is needed to tow
  • Take photos with good lighting
  • Make sure there are multiple photos of each room and exterior from different angles
If the listing is descriptive and pictures show all aspects of the camper, it will make sure that the renters have no surprises when they pick up the camper for their trip. You can check out our RVshare listing here.

 

4. Respond Promptly to Inquiries

Renters are often reaching out to multiple owners at one time, trying to secure an RV for their trip. In this day and age, people expect an immediate response, so being the first to respond with concise answers to all of their questions, may just get you the “job.”

 

5. Make Sure Renters Have all of the Essentials

Prior to arriving make sure you renters know all applicable information needed to have a good trip. Confirm they have a tow vehicle that is able to handle your travel trailer or fifth wheel (if applicable). Also make sure they book a campsite that will fit your RV by providing them with the total length and width of RV and remind them where slides are located if any. If the renters are new to driving an RV make sure to advise them that there may be certain roads, bridges, and tunnels they can not take due to the size of the rig, so they can plan their route accordingly. We recommend our renters use the Copilot app for driving directions.

 

 

When your renters arrive to pick-up or when you are dropping off, make sure they have everything they need to have a successful trip.

  • Give them a thorough walk through of the RV
  • Show them how to work electronics, stove, hook-ups, etc.
  • If they will be driving the RV, make sure to give them a test drive to answer any questions they have prior to departure.
  • Have them fill out all necessary RVshare paperwork
  • Make sure they have keys, registration, and insurance documentation
  • Provide them with instructional videos or a manual on how to work everything
  • Give them your contact information and provide them with instructions in case of an emergency

 

6. Give the Renter a Warm Welcome

Consider leaving a welcome basket, hand written note, or small gift to thank them for choosing your camper to rent. My favorite things to include are s’mores kits with gourmet marshmallows, or if we know they have small children a small basket of activities like coloring books, travel games, glow sticks, and bubbles. You can also share your favorite podcasts or blogs for them to have a great trip like our Tips to Have a Successful RV Roadtrip with Kids. I want our renters to experience the best trip and love camping as much as I do!

Other Tips & Tricks

  • Get a GPS unit to track your RV when it is being rented.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your renters.
  • If a renter has a question or problem when out with your camper, offer assistance right away, customer service is so important.
So are you ready to start renting out your RV? I’ll be honest, it took me a year to warm up to the idea. I created my listing last summer but never made it live until this year but I am so glad I did. Do you want to learn more about renting your RV? Check out RVshare for more information. If you are looking for other ways to make money from your RV, check out what other RV Entrepreneurs are doing.

 

 

Have rented your RV? I would love to know your experiences, good or bad, comment below.

 

 

The Gravel Trading Co

The Gravel Trading Co

One of the things I love about owning a subscription box, is being able to connect with other small business owners. I especially like to support small businesses that love the RV life. Even better if they run their business out of their our RV while they travel full-time.

I connected with Gravel Trading Co. through Instagram. They had reached out to me because they were launching a new company that sold outdoor and camping apparel that encourages the RV lifestyle. I viewed their website and fell in love with the colors and sayings of the shirts they designed. My favorite was the I’m a Hot Mess t-shirt which described my 5 year old daughters camping style to a tee (no pun intended). Originally, the color of this particular tee was black, red, and gray, but shortly after contacting the shop, they uploaded pink and purple options so that I could purchase it for my daughter. She loves the shirt and has gotten so many compliments from it!

I also purchased a sweatshirt for myself. The items are made on Bella Canvas shirts which are very high quality. From my experience they run true to size and the sweatshirts are so soft!

As I had experienced myself, the owners of Gravel Trading Co are open to requests for variations of their products.

“We are able to put our designs on many other items by request. If you are looking for a particular color shirt or altered design, a coffee mug or tote bag, please ask and we can show you what we have available.”

Todd Davies

I’m a Hot Mess kids t-shirt by Gravel Trading Co

How the Company Got Started

One of the unique things we love about The Gravel Trading Co. is that it is owned by a couple that travels in their RV full-time with their 2 children. They started the company because when they were preparing to go full time they couldn’t find enough original shirts. They wanted to put something out there that spoke to fellow RV travelers and supported the RV lifestyle.

The Gravel Travels

They decided to go full time after watching Gone With the Wynns several years back on YouTube.

“We gave it serious consideration when we relocated in 2015 but ultimately bought a home. In late 2017 we decided to buy a rig and travel and were able to begin that journey in September 2018. We have since traveled about 10,000 miles through 20+ states.”

Todd Davies

RV LIFE

The Davies family favorite Campground was Disney Fort Wilderness, which I hear from a lot of campers. This is definitely a campground on my bucket list! I also saw on their Instagram feed that while in Orlando they got to join a meet-up with Marc & Tricia from Keep Your Daydream, how cool is that?!

For a more tranquil spot, they loved their campsite boondocking at Kingman Wash on Lake Mead. Only was 3 miles from the Hoover Dam.

I’m always looking for the best camping products. I asked the owners of Gravel Trading Co what item can they not live without while camping. Their answer was their 22″ Blackstone griddle. Am I the only one that hasn’t tried one yet?!

Final Thoughts

The owners of the Gravel Trading Co. inspire me and I am so glad to have met them. They are such a pleasure to do business with and although we weren’t able to include their awesome shirts in are box yet, there is an amazing promo included in our Summer Box 50% off any item in their shop! Subscribe to Out of the Box Camping to get the promo code.

Star Gazer Raglan Tee
We love to support fellow travelers and small businesses. Do you have a business that has a RV related product or do you run your business out of your RV? We would love to learn more about you, comment below!