Don’t you just wish you could travel often, wake up in different places, and still have enough money in your pocket while not worrying about paying mortgages or rental costs, and forget about working day in and day out, for over 40 hours a week? Sounds like a dream right? Well, after my husband and I had enough of all the dreaming, we decided to take things into our hands and make the dream come true. This was made possible thanks to the purchasing of a van that we transformed into our home on wheels, and switching to working online.
The lessons we learned along the way are many, but a significant one was how easy it is to be self-sufficient. And nothing says self-suficient like growing your own food. Contrary to the popular opinion that you need to be fixed in one spot to have a garden, we’ve discovered that you can try your hand at gardening even when moving around constantly. And it was the ingenious self water pot range that helped us come to that realisation. Featuring a modular design and a flexible irrigation system, self watering pots are extremely versatile and are the perfect fit for indoor and outdoor gardens alike.
In the era of global warming, it’s essential that we make our choices towards saving water. These planters are a saving grace as they minimise water wastage that happens due to seepage or evaporation. And because the water is stored in an outer chamber of the container and reaches the roots as and when needed, the roots of the plants don’t stunt growth and stay healthy throughout the plant’s life. The lack of direct water contact with the roots, stems and leaves, also prevents the plant from being affected by powdery mildew or other moulds that can attack indoor plants.
Some of the self watering planter boxes are really compact, so even tight spaces aren’t a problem; you can easily pull off a garden on an RV wall. Whenever parked, we use the chance to fill up the dashboard with our plants to give them a good sunbath. The clean, contemporary design of the self water pot boxes made to stand the test of time (even in the scorching sun) was something that also won me over, and convinced me we can still have a garden even with a nomadic lifestyle.
When you’re out and about, you have to find the ways to make your lifestyle sustainable, self-sufficient, so growing your own herbs and vegetables sure comes in handy. This has made it significantly easier to go to far-off places away from civilisation, and still not worry about food. Bonus points if you’re vegan. This possibility of growing our food, saving us from trips to supermarkets, made us reflect on other living decisions we’d taken, so it wasn’t long before we installed our off grid solar panel, and switched the lighting to LEDs.
Having an off-grid solar panel system in our van totally changed how we live. Electrical power is now a renewable resource for us with very little to do, except monitor the system. That electrical independence gave us the freedom to travel and camp our way with few limitations. It really pays off to invest in a quality off grid solar panel – it makes no sound, requires no gas and can charge our batteries for hours unattended as long as the sun is shining.
While other sources of energy can cost you a lot of money in maintenance, solar panels are very easy to upkeep. The parts that can get worn or break are only a few, and the panels don’t have moving parts, which also reduces any wear and tear that other power sources are prone to. Since our solar panel manufacturer guarantees over 20 years of generating clean energy, we’ll save a ton in energy costs in the long run. The added solar power also requires less work from our van battery, which can lead to a significantly longer battery life.
There are many beautiful places to be seen in Australia now that we can enjoy the freedom and spontaneity of not having to make reservations. We often just hit the road not knowing where we’ll end up. However, there are still times when we need to run a generator, for example on rainy days. Our invertor generator helps us feed power-hungry appliances when our solar battery bank can’t.
In other to get the most out of solar panel system, we’ve switched to LED bulbs and LED USB lighting. These lights are a versatile invention that comes in a small package but can have a number of different applications. They produce natural-like illumination, and with the help of a dimmer, you can even set the mood inside the van, making it resemble even more a regular home. Easy to use, with up to 50 000 hours of run time, they are a great accessory for different occasions and environments when on the road.
I have to stress out that there are a lot of cases where I prefer a small and less powerful light instead of a highly bright one. LED USB lighting is a very practical solution for those times. This type of lighting doesn’t require to be hooked up to the van’s electricity, it can be powered using a multi-port USB hub, laptops, smartphones, smart plugs or any host USB device. That being said, we’ve invested in a variety of portable and practical LED USB lighting devices from rechargeable lanterns to create a comfy atmosphere outside our van to a portable elevated LED light for fishing in the dark and a keyring torch for practical, on-the-go illumination whenever you need it.
I also often connect a reading LED USB lighting to my laptop when I work at night and my husband is asleep so I don’t need to keep the lights on. I’ve also got a LED USB counter lighting bar that I generally use to illuminate a lot of places in our mobile home. One of the greatest things about this product is that its installation is quite easy using the multiple mounting options that were included with it. In addition to offering a great build quality, it also came with a decent one-year long warranty.
Not surprisingly, all these things have led to significant minimisation of our costs, and we couldn’t be happier. After we started our mobile gardening, we also learned how to implement more organic choices, like making our own fertilisers, so we no longer have to worry about which chemicals make it to our meals.
Though we’ve only travelled throughout Australia and had no problems, we recommend all people who adopt the nomadic lifestyle and decide to carry on with mobile gardening, to inform themselves on possible state laws regarding the transportation of plants to avoid unwanted fines.