The Freedom to Park Anywhere | Camper Van Life S1:E7

This week…we head up the central coast of California, meet some new friends, get tempted the danish, Kait does a funky dance and we see the worlds largest pet rock. After a few days of camping along the ocean we made our way north to meet some friends so our pups could have a playdate. Arroyo Burro Beach is a well known park in Santa Barbara amongst dog owners. Although Leo does not like going into the water, he loves to strut his stuff on the sand. After a few hours of frolicking on the sand, we continued north and decided to stop in Lompoc for the night. Since I’m an Elk, we have the opportunity to stay at different lodges around the country and meet fellow Elks along the way. We didn’t need water or electricity so we opted for dry camping. Once we got settled, we ventured into Lompoc’s wine ghetto. We met three locals who welcomed us to their city and treated us to some more great wines. They’re kindness and generosity made us feel incredibly fortunate to be on this journey where we get to meet genuine good hearted people along the way. So everyone’s been asking what our MPG is. We just filled up again and so far we’re averaging 14. We’re both happy about that. It’s because I’m behind the wheel. Let’s see, we’re going 35 in a 50. [Joe] You gotta speed it up.
[Kait] The speed limit just changed. It just went from 35 to 50. [Kait] You gotta give me a chance. [Joe] By the way, I love the comment we got about my criticizing Kait’s driving. I do that all the time and then she just gets me right back. I’m used to it, I’m the butt of all his jokes. Hey look, it’s going to be 55 soon. You better get on the right pedal, the skinny one! So where are we heading first? Buellton or Solvang? We’re going to drive through Buellton first, but we’re going to go to Solvang. Then head back to Solvang because we’re meeting a couple of YouTube subscribers over there for a late lunch, early dinner. I’m making a Swiss chard, lentil curry for lunch. There’s green lentils in there, coconut, curry powder blend a little bit of salt seasoning and then I’m going to put the chard in. And once I put it on, it will probably take 25 minutes so we can take Leo for a nice walk around Solvang and then come back for lunch. [Joe] I’m excited. I’m also very happy we found a spot in the public parking lot. Yeah it filled up quickly, there were only two spots left. Welcome to Solvang!
This is our little Denmark right here in America! It was Leo’s first time in Solvang, he dragged us around town trying to hunt down all those delicious pastries he could smell. Between the horse drawn carriage, restaurants and pastries I met a gentleman who had fitted a steel bumper to his van. We both thought it looked pretty awesome. If the Danishes weren’t enough, we found even more delicious looking pastries but decided to save our appetites. After meeting the founders of solvang, we headed back to the van for lunch. [Kait] Ta da!!! Oh, that looks good! [Kait] Here you go. [Joe] Thank you.
[Kait] You’re welcome, it’s hot. This is delicious! To get away from the crowds, we headed into Hans Christen Anderson park and took a walk among the many live oak trees that fill the park. If the name sounds familiar, he’s the Danish author who wrote The Little Mermaid. After working up an appetite, we indulged in our first meal out since starting camper van life and had close encounter with the local bull. We spent the last few nights stealth camping right next to this freeway. Personally, I kind of love it. I sleep well when there’s noise next to me, constant throughout the night. It’s not a bad way to go. Oh look at the Model T! I’m really excited to be back at Waller Park in Santa Maria. It was really nice to spend yesterday here and this is our backyard, how awesome is that!!! [Joe] It’s pretty awesome! Now if the sun will come out I’ll be even happier. [Joe] Well it did yesterday and it was nice sitting in the sun. Well I’ve learned being on the coast of California, it takes a while for the marine layer to burn off. There’s a dog obedience class going on, we should probably enroll Leo. [Joe] I think he’s more obedient than those dogs are. [Kait] Well he’s so chill, he can just hang out and relax. [Kait] If this my back yard for the day, I’ll take it. It’s better than going to a coffee shop and sitting there and working. This is something that I never really thought about when switching to camper van life. Hey we can just leave the campground once we wake up, find a really awesome park in the area set up for the day, we can work, relax, sit outside, set up our chairs. This…is the life. I feel good after the gym, I feel pumped. Nothing like a good cardio work out to get the day started. Am I driving?
[Joe] Yes. Off to Arroyo Grande?
[Joe] Go get our laundry did. As we traveled up the central coast finding free or economical places to spend the night was becoming a challenge so we kept moving north and spent the day in Arroyo Grande. [Kait] I’m looking for a spot on the edge. Leo wants chicken. Come on! Leo’s not too sure about this bouncy bridge. After being teased by the Chickens, Leo got a chance to blow of some steam with new friends who also live in a camper van. Living the van life means fewer clothes and more trips to the laundromat. [Kait] There’s no separating colors here. Everything just goes in. [Joe] Ohhh somebody knows there were a bad Husky! Bad Husky! Off to Morro Bay. Morro bay is a fun little beach town with the worlds largest pet rock, fun knick knacks, a couple crazy kids and some interesting sea life. [Kait] Gotta Roadtrek over here and a Tioga towing a boat. If we had the room in the camper van, these are the two I would get. Happy Glampers and Glamping! There are stories that during prohibition, locals helped facilitate landings of Canadian whiskey around Morro Rock. It is really windy out here, but it’s beautiful! It was like trying to stand on a motorcycle. [Kait] It’s beautiful though.
[Joe] It is gorgeous. Time to get us dumped. Kait’s going to take of the toilet, I’m going to take care of the gray tank. That’s it!
[Joe] That seemed pretty easy.
It’s really simple. Next time…we continue our journey north into wine country before heading into the Sierras to meet General Grant.

100 thoughts on “The Freedom to Park Anywhere | Camper Van Life S1:E7

  • I love you guys and wish only the best for you three! I am not sure I like the voice over and the captioning for the whole video? Please don't be offended and the quality is top knotch…maybe just throttle back a little on those two points.

  • You missed San Luis Obispo. We have a Elks in town if you ever come back through There is one in Santa Maria right off the 101..

  • What type of camper i.e.: Dodge? Travato? I'm in the market and heading out within a year! Thanks, keep up the great vids.

  • Anyone else considering downsizing their rig will get a lot out following you in our new mode of travel. Its clearly working for you.

  • I love the pressure cooker utilization! How do you clean it and what do you do with the extra liquid? That's something I've pondered quite a bit.

  • You missed Port San Luis where you can camp along the beach or up on the heights overlooking the bay. Just as 101 ( North ) heads inland exit Avilla Beach road . Just off the freeway is a hot springs/campground . Continuing on toward the ocean you will pass a hot springs resort where you can stay or just rent a hot tub . Continuing to the ocean is Avilla Beach . Follow the road North to Port San Luis . The beaches at Port San Luis are dog friendly . The pier is wonderful and the Fat Cat restaurant is a local institution . You can also take a ranger guided tour out to the lighthouse .

  • OMG ! I absolutely love you guys ! These adventures in the VAN are just great. Well filmed, nicely narrated. The toilet cassette is not bad at all. Here in Europe we all work with cassettes, no worries. We'll be "retiring" by the end of 2019 if everything goes well and maybe we'll meet. We'll be going for 6 months to the U.S.. We want to buy the CI Magix X35T for our European RV life, check here: With this one we can park everywhere too !

    Thanks for the update,

  • when you can't take Leo with you when you're walking around town do you leave the air conditioning on in the van

  • Wow, everyone's a critic on this video! I of course, saw absolutely NOTHING WRONG with the quality of it. Ok, I did see two things wrong: 1) Kaits happy dance was only 2.3 seconds long 💃😒, and 2) You didn't show enough of that old Roadtrek 190 😜
    Other than that, this vid was beautiful to me 👍👌🍻🖖🏻👏🏻
    (I so look forward to Thursday mornings now 😉

  • And once again I missed you. Everytime I pass RV on the road that looks like Hymer I Slow. I was in Santa Barbara, riding up from Carp. If I had only known!!!! Love your vids and one day I'll my own and maybe, just maybe, be parked on the side of the road and catch you three.
    My plan is to get all of Huwell's vids on California, put them in destination order from south to north and locate all the places he highlights. Just a thought I've been mulling for years.

  • I'm super impressed with your camper. I wish they weren't so expensive. my wife fusses about me not driving 5 mph over the posted limit. I'm just never in that big of a hurry.

  • after watching your life in a camper van, I realize it's not for me. too little space, too much work, too much driving, … .We full time in a 36ft fifth wheel…it's our forever home. everyone must meet their "home" needs. We travel, camp host, play snow bird during winter. a retirement life I never imagined, we wanted to live on a mtn, by a lake, near the ocean, hiking, kayak and golf. how can you do it all? rv fulltime!

  • you are in my backyard. it is so fun to see someone do this as a vacation tour. makes my want to get out too!

  • I would like to know what brand / model instapot you use? I checked your amazon link but nothing came up. we enjoy your videos.

  • Hey! I made a grill for the driver & passenger side windows out of a rack out of an oven.It is so good 2 leave the windows down 4 the dog. I have 2014 Mersedes sprinter 170wb with a 4 cylinder i get 24 in town 28 all the time best was 31mpg with wife driving. jk

  • no matter how simple you think that cassette is, it is an extra step, and a complicated multi-process step.

  • Great video as always guys. Life in the new van just seems so…carefree & easy…love Leo he's precious.
    Thanks Brian and Brewster the Beagle.

  • Are you using Dr Bronners Castile Soap for laundry detergent? What other uses do you use yours for? I know they have many uses. I use it for washing hands, dishes, bathing cats, and bath soap.

  • Thanks for the dog park tip. I will be traveling with dogs. Lots of good info on this vidio. Oh I love Solvang. Oh those pastries.

  • What a way to live life, I'm trying to talk my wife into doing the rv life, wish me luck ! Happy trails and thank you for the video.

  • ihey folk I just subscribes thank you guys are cool& laid-back back. I look forward to more of your videos

  • Hi you guys! Recent sub here – enjoying following your travels. Have you seen this video from The Fit RV? I was interested in getting a cassette toilet for my camper but now…definitely rethinking. Have you had this experience w your cassette toilet?  Thanks!

  • "The Fit RV" posted a video about cassette toilets today. Look them up, watch it, and reply as to whether you agree with them, or if you think they are woefully incorrect. Please?? Thanks.

  • I would love to live and travel in just a small campervan when the kids grow up and it's just the hubby and myself!!

  • 14 mpg is TWICE as good as my Aerbus. But downhill I don't use much gas at all.
    The Elks Lodges are good because every Elks Lodge has at least one bar. :-}

  • I love to road trip and enjoy your videos. I see numerous comments from folks who say they live the camper life as well and everyone looks very young….meaning Waaaaaay younger than typical retirement age. So I'm asking a very personal question to the Russos and others who live the live: Do you have a type of job/career that allows you to work from your van? Are you just financial savvy that you could retire in your 30's? I guess I'm just envious to see wonderful, younger people taking the plunge to love life on the road and wonder how you achieved that goal so early in life. Thanks…and travel safely everyone! ~S

  • I so enjoyed this video! So beautiful! Y'all do a great job of narrating It! Blessings and safe travels!

  • Teasing isn't kind to the person you say you love. Try having fun with each other without tearing each other down.

  • Be careful about leaving your dog in the van during the day panting like that. If I see that, I'll break your windows and report you for animal abuse. Just as bad as people leaving their kids in a hot car.

  • I find it amazing that people will complain about almost anything in a YouTube channel.
    Its their channel… you don't like it, don't watch it.

  • How do you handle the smell of dumping the cassette toilet, heard they are worse smell vs
    Regular or composting toilet

  • Did I somehow miss the tour where Kait showed us around the new van and showed us all of the cabinets and storage and organization? I know she did this for your old RV but I haven't seen it for the new van. It would be great to see the comparison to see what all fits in the kitchen and how much clothing storage you have.

  • Enjoyed the video, nice mix of voice over and conversation. I do have to agree with one of the earlier comments though – we need to see more of Kait's "Happy Dance"!

  • Nice video guys! Looks like beautiful places to visit. I am so anxious to get started RVing once my wife retires. I think the only thing I'm not looking forward to is going to the laundromat. We haven't had to do that for many many years!

  • So fun to see you exploring familiar territory 🙂 I know Arroyo Burro Beach in SB well, as my daughter studies at UCSB….I workamped at the Rv Resort in Buellton (which shall remain nameless) until November of last year.While there I visited the cute little town of Solvang, often, as it reminds me of my home country, Germany. Isn't it just so cute? And all the pastry! I miss that so much…my daughter just moved to Arroyo Grande and I just did her laundry at the Washboard laundromat 2 weekends ago, while they were moving….and Morro Bay is almost always foggy and windy 🙂 Haha….if you haven't passed it by now, I'm now in Monterey and would love to show you around 🙂 Love your channel and your journey and hope to meet you on the road, someday <3 P.S. How do you like your cassette toilet? IS it really that smelly? "Fit RV" did not have anything good to say about it, but I know in Europe, that's the only thing and I have never heard people complain….would love to hear your opinion. I'm sick of black tanks and never, ever want one, again.

  • Joe and Kait, when I make large Amazon purchases, which seems to be fairly often, I used to go to your website and click on the amazon link so that you can get your commission but I do not see that link anymore. Sup with that?

  • Watch Episode 8:
    Van Life FAQ ->

  • Everything in the laundry together? Don't the towels get lint on the other clothes? Don't you bleach or at least sanitize in hot water the wash cloths and towels?

  • The tires on your rv seem so small for your off-road ventures – washboard roads, for example. Don't you think? Also, the rear axle seems too far in to clear common slope breaks off-road. Has this been a problem for you?

  • how do you finance your adventures? how do you get a doctor when your not feeling well or get mainteance medications if you need them?

  • 14 mpg is not as good as a Triton V10 with less maintenance and no Urea. A Ford 5.8 Gas engine pulling a 9000 pound camper get between 9 and 12 mpg, with no urea and no expensive exhaust. Buying these dodge or MB Sprinters are better off with a HEMI engine with a 5000 savings and more power. Less maint. Diesels with out Urea are worth it. If your Urea system fails or you get a bad batch of it $$$… Urea system failures is not covered under warranty. Where do you guys get your music?

  • If you wanted to find a friendly city on the central coast, come to the MONTEREY PENINSULA and relax in the city. It's close by to the Monterey, Carmel, Seaside, Carmel, Pebble Beach, and Salinas.

  • Love Solvang! One of our Honeymoon stops in 1982 when I came home on leave to marry my high school sweetheart……almost 36 years ago….and yes we are still together and waiting for the day when we can live the RV life!

  • Your dog is so very nice. I just saw simple solar cooler for pets in RV. My dog been alone in the car and it gets hot🤔

  • Love your videos. You are so kind to one another. Wonder why physical affection is absent. Was this a conscious decision?????

  • Hello Russos ~ Great video! Regarding the gym before you parked at the Rincon.. May I ask which one? That's very cool you can go while on the road.

  • Hey guys how you doing good to see you good to see Leo's happy oh my God Kate that food looks yum yum LOL😂👍👍

  • I like your videos except I worry that promoting such a selfish lifestyle is not good for the world. And yes, before you say I’m arrogant, I’m a doctor. Maybe try to give something back to the world, volunteer or anything to help. Anything but indulging yourselves full time.

  • Nice. Just met you guys at the tiny house festival in St John's Florida today. When you guys are in the gym, how do you insure Leo is comfortable in the van?

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