Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker – Product Review

 

What would you say if we told you that you could have ONE appliance that could be a…
  • pressure cooker
  • roaster
  • slow cooker
  • rice cooker
  • vegetable steamer
  • yogurt maker
  • custard cooker
  • cake and bread baker
  • saute’ and pan fry
  • and MORE!!

…and that only took up a total of 15 cubic inches in your cabinet?   You’d tell us that we’re crazy, right? Well, we’ve found the Instant Pot!

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Why RV Ownership is Better than Home Ownership!

We recently wrote a blog piece 10 Things we should have known before going full-time.  It was our list of challenges we have faced since full-time RVing.  We hope that didn’t scare those of you who are contemplating this lifestyle.  Though being brutally honest, we hope it saves future RVer’s sanity or helps to better prepare them, then that piece was worth sharing.  We certainly don’t want to be a downer.  Ya just gotta see the grit and dirt.  We get asked a lot about full-timing and the romance of it but sometimes that may obscure the real deal.  So, take that for what it was intended.  Nothing is all puffy clouds and rainbows; RVing included.


Okay, now that we got THAT out of the way…


We’ve come up with our own list of Why RVership is Better than Homeownership.  This is a fun list we put together for your enjoyment and perhaps may be that nudge you need to push yourselves over the edge into selling it all to go on the road.


1)   LAWNSCAPING – We hope we never have to pull the cord to a lawn mower ever again…or firing up a chain saw or weed wacker.  Our dreams of never having to pick up a shovel to dig holes to plant things or worry about our hard-worked gardens and lawns drying up in the heat of the summer have come true.  Admittedly though, it is fun to sit in our chairs outside with our cold beverages while watching others do it.  That said, we aren’t total jerks; we always offer a cold bottle of water or ice tea to them as they painstakingly do their chores.  Sorry…not sorry! 

Our water garden (we built) at our former sticks & bricks home.
Though it was beautiful and serene, it required maintenance.

Now we enjoy gardens without ever having to pull a weed or water.


2)   ALL DAY HOUSECLEANING – Never do we miss a day of taking three days to thoroughly clean our former 3600 square foot home.  NOPE!  No more lugging that big monster Kenmore vacuum up and down the stairs, dusting four bedrooms, laundering curtains and washing window, organizing the never-ending craft room mess, scrubbing floors, and constantly wiping knicknacks and wall art.  It always seemed to be endless chore after chore. Now, we can have the bed made, dishes done, bathroom cleaned, deck swabbed, pillows fluffed, lateral surfaces dusted, etc. all in the course of…*drum roll*…ONE HOUR.  Can you imagine?  Our 380ish square foot 5th wheel doesn’t need massive cleanings anyways because we always keep it clean and picked up.  We have to or we’ll trip over it.


3)   COLLECTING STUFF/CLUTTER – We simply can’t be collectors of stuff anymore.  We don’t have the room and we have to be mindful of our weight.  Every few months, we purge.  If its not been used since the last purging, out it goes.  We buy ‘disposable’ holiday decorations.  When the holiday is over, ‘out, out damn spot!’  If its good useable stuff, we usually put things in the RV park or campground laundry rooms.  Two or three hours later, we’ll notice its gone which means others enjoy our givings.  If they are big things or clothes, we’ll donate or pass them on.  Our choice donation centers are on military posts/bases where young military families can get our contributions for nearly nothing.


4)    HOUSEFUL OF FURNITURE – When buying an RV, it comes completely outfitted with furniture and even decor.  Sure, we’ve picked up a couple pieces of small basket holders and purchased a better mattress but that’s it.  We have a couple photo frames and two small table lamps.  We may pick up a piece or two of wall art but when we put up the new, out goes the old.  We usually buy less expensive decor so we don’t feel bad about getting rid of it when its time.

We still can’t believe ‘all’ the furniture we had in that huge house!

5)  PAYING REAL ESTATE TAX – While some may this might seem selfish, it’s not.  We paid dearly for years while we owned three homes at different duty station locations.  Don’t think we get off scott free; we still pay federal tax on Dan’s military pension and our contract work, sales tax on purchases, taxes on fuel and road tolls, and truck/RV/motorcycle registrations but we don’t miss having to set aside upwards to hundreds a month for real estate taxes…a savings of about $4000/year (seriously!).



6)  SHOVELING SNOW – NOPE!!  We prefer consistent 70’s and 80’s but unless we’re in Cabo San Luca, that’s not going to happen.  We have been bit by cold snaps a few times so we’ve quickly looked at our map’s latitude lines and told each other, ‘let’s head for better weather!’  Once in awhile we have to run our furnace…and we hate it!  


7)   OBNOXIOUS CABLE BILLS – Some RVers have Direct TV or Dish Network.  We prefer not to.  For fun watching, we subscribe to Netflix or Hulu for occasional movies and we have a case full of DVD movies or we swap-borrow.  If an RV park or resort has cable tv in their hookups that’s part of their rate, fine but we won’t pay extra just to have it. Its not important to us.  In fact, all of January and most of February, we’ve not even turned the television on.  We went hiking, walking, sightseeing, played cards, visited friends, and just enjoyed the other things.  You can’t believe how liberating it was not having to watch the elections leading up to the Presidential Inauguration.


8)   WASTING FOOD – Rarely do we throw food away because simply, we don’t have the room for two loaves of bread and bagels, numerous boxes of crackers, etc.  We don’t do a monthly grocery shopping anymore or bulk shopping at Costco or Sam’s.  We plan out our meals each week and shop for those provisions accordingly.  We don’t cook for an Army (er…Coast Guard) anymore; its just us and perhaps a couple more servings for leftovers for lunch the next day unless we’re entertaining.



9)  JUNK MAIL – We don’t get bills in the mail because we ‘went paperless’.  Not only are we conservation-minded, we have more time to do the things instead of opening mail, putting it in a pile, sorting and shredding it.  To read about how we handle our physical mail, read our blog piece You’ve Got Mail.


10)   SAME BACKYARD – Seriously, with our nomadic life, our aft picture window views change frequently.  Sometimes we have the beach or mountains, and other times we have the forest or desert.  Our neighbors change also; if it’s not us that’s relocating, its them.  If we end up with boring scenery, we hitch up Liberty and find something better to look at or interesting places to go.  Even Krissie and Kandi, our nomad cats, enjoy seeing different views.  


As you have just read, while it may sound like we’ve gotten lazy, we have not.  We fill our time with exciting activities like hiking, ADV motorcycle riding, visiting friends and family, playing tourist, blogging, writing, jewelry making, etc. We even volunteer sometimes!  We keep busy.  Our days still start early (just kidding!) and our nights…well, we don’t have set bedtimes anymore either.  What’s funny though…it may seem like we have all the time in the world, we manage to live one moment at a time.  We now have time to really ‘stop and smell the roses’.  We’ve learned how to LIVE and enjoy it living in an RV instead of a big McMansion.  
















20 RV and Camper Hacks on a Dime


We’ve all heard of the word ‘HACK’. Just about everything has a hack these days; even RV’s. HACKS are inexpensive remedies; utilizing objects that are meant for other intended purposes.  We’ve put together a comprehensive list of hacks, tips and ideas to make living in an RV or camper storage and organization easy because we did the hard part; finding them!

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5 Reasons You Should Join Your RV Manufacturer’s Owners Club

We’ve owned two different 5th wheels since we’ve been RVing.  We’ve also been a member of the manufacturer’s owners club; ours being Heartland Owners Club (both or our coaches were/are Heartland RVs).  As members, we’ve attended three National/North American Rallies and several Regional and State Rallies!

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8 Ways to Forge Friendships While RVing

The day before Thanksgiving 2014, we signed papers and handed over our keys of our home, one shell-shocking question hit us like a ton of bricks…the one question we hadn’t thought of during all the selling, minimizing, and prepping for our RV travels…


How will we meet people and forge friendships?


Being we are both fairly outgoing, we kind of let our own personalities take the reigns. We’re not new at this game.  As a military family for 30+ years, it’s the life we’re accustomed to so, you could say this comes a little easier for us.  Through our experiences so far, we thought we’d share our list that future or new(er) RVers who struggle with ‘getting out there’ can build their amazing relationships, have fat address books and look forward to reunions after.


1)   SMILE & WAVE – Bees are attracted to sweetness, right? It’s a no brainer, we all are drawn to happy people.  When we are in a new location, we smile in hopes that we get noticed as ‘those happy people in the big Landmark’ (our identity at parks).  Don’t be that grumpy one that looks the other way or grumbles as others wave to you.  Be approachable!  Strike up conversation while walking your cat (or dog), polishing your coach or lounging by the campfire.  For what it’s worth, IT WORKS!  Try it, you’ll see.


2)   INVITE – When we have or are planning a campfire, outdoor TV game or just sitting out for cocktails, we love for others to drag their camp chairs and cocktails over to sit with us.  Okay, so you may like the rival team…we can drink to that!  We’ve also been invited over ourselves and of those, we’ve become lifelong friends.  In other words, don’t be shy.  The worst they are going to do is decline.  If they do, suggest the next day. If they decline again, it’s their loss.

Our Marine Corps friends, Ed & Gail whom we met at Malmouth AFB
in 2016 and met up with again at Gila Bend, AZ in early 2017.
3)   PARK & RESORT ACTIVITIES – So, you’ve just pulled in, parked and set up with your chairs and carpet out.  Now you’re wondering, “what next”.  “Oh look, a pickle ball court!”, “Hey, they have two pools and a jacuzzi!”, “Wow, they have Wednesday night dinners in the club house!”.  Come on!  Don’t sit inside and watch tv.  Go out and meet people!  Aren’t the activities the reason for staying at these places.  You pay for it so use what you’ve paid for.  

4)   PLAN & SHARE OUTINGS – You’ve noticed the decals all over your neighbor’s car roof carrier and they’re screaming, “we’re hikers”.  Invite them over for a cold beverage and ask if they know where the best hikes are.  I bet soon, you’ll be hiking together even if it’s just a short one to grasp each other’s level.  On another note, you notice the “I love my Labs” sign in an RV window and you have Labs too.  Go see if they want to walk your pups together.  If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.  We always ask the one’s who’ve been there for awhile where the best eats are and oftentimes, end up going to dinner or lunch with them.  Oh yes, and ask to borrow that cup of sugar.  We’ve met the coolest RV peeps doing this.
Hiking with our friends “Timily” (Tim & Emily) 
from OwnLessDoMore
at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada
5)   ATTEND RV CLUB RALLIES, CONVERGENCES & SHOWS – Join your RV manufacturer owner’s club and other RV clubs like Escapees, Family Motor Coach Association, etc.  We are members of Heartland Owners Club and Xscapers and Escapees.  This is where we meet a lot of our friends.  We tend to break off into different ‘interest groups’ (ie. favorite type diners, ADV/motorcyclists, RZR or Jeepers, etc.).  At the Xscapers Quartzsite Convergence 2017, we organized an ADV Ride with others who also ride. We had a blast!  Now we are Facebook friends with a couple. 


For a comprehensive listing of RV Clubs and Associations, visit RV-Camping’s site HERE.
Xscaper ADV Riders at Quartzsite 2017
6)   SOCIAL MEDIA – Before we started RVing, we joined about a half dozen RV groups on Facebook.  For the first few months, we just read, listened and learned.  Then, once we bought our toyhauler, we were making friends on Facebook and be messaging where we could meet up. We started following others blogs and communicated where the best places to go are.  We learn so much from each other.  Our Facebook page is…drum roll…Always On Liberty if you wish to follow us too!
Networking with on Facebook for over 2 years,
we finally met in person
 RV Outlawz buds Denny & Veronica
7)  GO SEE OLD FRIENDS & FAMILY – Because they’re going to have two friends and those two friends will have two friends, and so on and so on!  We went to San Antonio to meet up with our Army comrades, Leon and Barb.  We met a whole bunch of their Army friends and soon after, we all ‘went to the ball’.  Now, we visit with several friends who live in San Antonio each time we go back.  Our schedule is always full there…all because, “they had two friends…”
Even WE got to go to the Ball!
U.S. Army MedCom Ball 2015
8)   TRAVEL CARDS – After you’ve traveled a bit, you’ll notice others have these cool looking business cards we call Travel Cards.  We exchange them like kids exchange baseball cards.  We have a business card small file book that we keep them in.  We write on the backs where we met them, date and type of RV so it rings our noggins a year or so down the road.  If you don’t have them, get them!!  Even if you don’t have a blog, simple contact information is all you need.  For ours, we don’t list our phone number(s) or address. That’s a personal choice.
So, as you see, making friends is not hard to do when you RV full-time.  In fact, the more you travel, the more friends you’ll make and the more destinations you have later for reunions!  Before you know it, you’ll be making plans with friends to caravan or meet at new destinations.