BLM LTVA living in RV inexpensively

Do you have any place that just feels like home? Throughout my life I’ve met a number of people who don’t feel connected to home. For whatever reason, our birth family just doesn’t resonate with us and we choose a new set of parents. We find a place where we belong, or we drift around without a place. We feel lost and alone.

If you feel lost and alone, you’ve experienced trauma, you are tired of society’s expectations, you are searching for a family, maybe you’d be happy with the family I found. In the warmest city in Arizona, lies a community of people who live in RV’s. These people have come to be family to me.

This is the Imperial Dam BLM (Bureau of Land Management) LTVA (long term visitor’s area). For $40 for two weeks or $180 for a season, one can live in their self-contained RV in relative peace and quiet. There are multiple LTVA’s that you can stay on with your pass. You can access information about all of the LTVA’s here at the BLM’s website.

It is in many ways a self sustaining city, some do this intentionally, and others by accident. Most of the people who camp out in the LTVA have solar panels to give them power. There are a few with generators, but generally those who rely on a generator don’t make it long in the desert. Generators are expensive to run for any period of time, solar quickly pays itself back.

We use a suitcase Renogy Solar Panel. It’s 100 watts of solar and meets all of our needs. It hooks up directly to your RV battery. We don’t watch TV and we rarely need AC power. If we do need AC power we run our Honda 2000eu generator for short periods. Just long enough to make a smoothie. The Renogy Solar Panel Suitcase is easy to use, set up, and easy to travel with. It includes a charge controller with an easy to read panel. It is indispensable. It blew over in the wind and cracked one of the panels. It still works perfectly! We just applied some polyurethane to make it water proof.

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase with Voyager Waterproof Charge Controller

Our Honda EU2200i generator is super quiet. It’s only 47 pounds and easy to handle, both of us have no problems starting it up. It will run for 8 hours on one gallon of gas. While we don’t use it much, it does power our vitamix and ninja for our daily smoothie or if we want to make cashew cheese sauce.

Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator

Vitamix 5200 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Container, Black

Ninja 400-Watt Blender/Food Processor for Frozen Blending, Chopping and Food Prep with 48-Ounce Pitcher and 16-Ounce Chopper Bowl (QB900B), Silver

Refilling water in an RV can be an ordeal. Water utilization needs to be low. When you run out of water, there are a number of ways you can add more water in your RV. In our old RV, the water was gravity filled. The gravity fill made it really easy to use a funnel and a large jerry can to add the water. Our new rig is pressure filled, so we need a new solution and will update this post when we figure it out.
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container

Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container
There are other ways to add water. This is just how we do it.

Living in a small way, in a tiny RV, in the desert, using a little bit of water and generating your own power, certainly is one way to help the planet. It is also a great way to find a whole new family and a place where you will be welcomed no matter how quirky you are.

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