Friday, January 21, 2022

5 1/2 Years on the Road--Trampin' & Scampin'

I've run across a few little Scamp fiberglass trailers during my travels and have always enjoyed their self-sufficient, unpretentious allure. These are trailers that get the job done, and have been doing so for a long time. If you enjoy YouTube videos on full-time RV life, then John Holderfield and his many YouTube videos on living full-time in a Scamp 13-foot trailer will keep you occupied during the winter. I'm sitting by my woodstove at home right now, a big winter storm coming soon, and glad to see that William's many videos--often from a desert campground--are right here at my fingertips.

Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico
John is essentially a vloger, a video blogger, and he posts often. With five years on the road with his dog Little Man, John has a lot to share at his YouTube site My Scamp Travel Trailer Adventures U.S.A. As of this writing, a recent vlog post describes the set up that John uses for his travels, covering everything from solar power to winter living to security.

Little Man, William's little buddy
Over two hundred posts provide a viewer with a real experience of being on the road full-time, and with over eleven thousand subscribers and almost a million and a half video views, one can state with certainty that his posts are not going unviewed! Even though John's video presentation is that of a no-frills good ol' boy, he's learned the internet personality game and has links in his recent tour video description for patreon donations and for one-time paypal donations. With an Instagram account and with being a member of Facebook camping groups, John may travel alone with his dog, but he is not cut off from human interaction. John posts often enough that his vlog compilation is essentially a TV reality show--this is what his life is like.

I'm posting below a sampling of his videos that educated and entertained me during a cold, storm-watch dawn here in SE Iowa.

Tour of my 13 ft. Scamp Travel Trailer I live full time in!
This vlog post describes the set up that John uses for his travels, covering everything from solar to winter living to security. John doesn't run water in his camper because a lot of his camping is in cold climates, so his Scamp runs dry, without a bathroom or running water.

In this video, expenses are broken down to categories as John explains how each aspect of RV living works. For instance, he describes how he utilizes state parks in New Mexico, and he also explains how he manages to keep up on his heart medication prescriptions as he travels from state to state.

"You gotta be kinda lonely to live this life because sometimes you don't see anybody for a week or so. That's why I got Little Man. He's my buddy." This video rambles like many of John's, a stream of consciousness perspective of his life. There's a break and a continuation in the Tonto National Forest when John talks about his challenges for him and an acquaintance in another camper. He's off the grid with battery problems, and his friend Rick has his Jeep in the shop with radiator problems.

Enjoy some video footage of travel from snow down to warmer elevations. John shares some tips of how to make the camper warmer in cold weather, including parking so the door in away from the wind . . . and the creative use of a towel and duct tape! "Ain't no use of complainin'. You just got to wait it out."

Keeping it simple with the maximum use of space and the least weight is John's operating philosophy. In this video he describes his hygiene procedures and equipment (a "poop bucket," portable shower, and bathroom kit). Keeping his personal hygiene portable allows him to have a front sofa in his Scamp trailer.

In this rambling video, many vistas of TRNP are provided, along with some views of town, campground, and pull-out . . . plus some bison that Little Man finds extremely interesting. I'd like to visit this national park someday, so I found this meander interesting.

In the end, John Holderfield's travels and rig set-up are much like the wanderings of many other full-time RVers. After all, function is often determined by need. I enjoyed researching John's YouTube videos and Instagram photos, though, because his unself-conscious and straightforward delivery of his videos present and unvarnished view into the life of a solo, full-time traveler and what it is like to live in a little travel trailer. For three seasons I traveled in the Green Goddess, an even smaller standy trailer (see Green Goddess Expeditions), and I can relate to the joys of living small . . . and also to the ever-present need to keep things organized by putting things away. 

John tells it like it is, in his "what you see is what you get" manner, which sometimes is a stream of consciousness meander and sometimes is a focused video in which he uses a list to keep right to the point. In both cases, it's still just John telling it like it is for him; and for many of us who travel and camp, what he's learned through experience and what he shares with us is both entertaining and educational. This is the life that John has chosen, and his videos illustrate how he makes the best of it. There is an over-riding sense of independence and freedom to choose that permeates these videos, that John at one point in his life around six years ago looked at possibilities and choose a self-sufficient life on the road--and if it ain't always easy, at least it's never boring.

The Green Goddess Glamping blog has featured a number of small travel trailer owners in its posts--owner profiles and travelogues. To read more features, check out the following links to the website.

Owner Profiles: Who they are and how and where they camp (including even Mongolia)

Travelogues: focusing on particular trips and experiences

Also, I've published a small book (paper and ebook) on the experiences of tiny trailer owners and their travel, RTTC Bears in the Wild, a book about Rustic Trail Teardrop Camper owners and their adventures. Even though the book focuses on one tiny trailer brand, the stories provide insight into tiny trailer travel, no matter what particular little trailer one chooses to pull.

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