How-To’s and Guides

I’ve learned a great deal about how to do things on the road, from getting online to finding parking to taking a shower. Here’s an easy list of what I’ve written on these subjects.

Getting Online

As a digital nomad, it is critical for me to stay connected to the internet to make my living. I’ve done this in several ways.


Satellite internet is the latest addition to my online arsenal. It’s a very new technology, so I’ve been documenting my experiences with it in detail to help others.

Starlink: Residential or RV?
At the time of writing, there are essentially two Starlink plans of interest to nomads. You might think the RV plan is a natural choice, but that’s not necessarily true depending on your situation. Here’s how to figure out which is best for you.

Starlink: Setup, Speed Test, Power Draw
This covers the unboxing and a much simpler setup process than you’d expect (though not flawless — I explain how I got past my problems). I also include speed test data, as well as my power consumption measurements, which are actually less than advertised.

Starlink: The First Three Days
Some real-world experiences after the newness has worn off, as well as a new problem with my power inverter.

Starlink: Homemade Antenna Mast
I needed a way to mount my Starlink antenna that wouldn’t blow over in a strong wind. I adapted a concept and hardware I’ve used for a ham radio antenna to work with Dishy instead.

Cellular and WiFi

This is still the method most people use to get online. It was my primary method until Starlink came along, and is still a good backup.

How I Stay Online From the Road
One of the few positives to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that now, more than ever, companies are allowing people to work remotely when the nature of the job permits it. As a professional writer, I fit this description. Here’s what I’ve learned about keeping myself connected.

How I Stay Online in Quartzsite, Arizona
Cellular service in Quartzsite is marginal at best and can degrade to unusable when the masses descend on the town for winter. There’s a local alternative that keeps me connected and able to work when the cell networks bog down.

The Truth About Cellular Signal Boosters
Some would have you believe that a signal booster is a magic bullet that will vastly improve your internet connection on the road. That’s not entirely true. Here’s what they really do, what they don’t, and my evidence to back up my claims.


I wired my entire house electrical system myself. Here’s some info about how I did it.

Wired For Sound, And Everything Else
Aside from the van itself, the most important aspect of this van build is its electrical system. Here’s how I designed and installed the one in Smokey Da Van.

How To Install Solar Panels On a Fiberglass Roof
Here’s how I installed a pair of flexible solar panels on the roof of the van.

Building a Van

Here are some non-techie topics I’ve written about when it comes to building a van and preparing for life on the road.

The No-Build Van Build
This isn’t our first #vanlife rodeo. Before hitting the road full-time in Smokey Da Van, I dabbled with part-time van life in another van. Here’s my super simple build.

Weight and Why It Matters To You
We don’t talk much about how much our van builds weigh, but we should. It’s quite easy to reach, or exceed, your van’s weight limits without realizing it. I almost did.

How To Install a Sink For Less Than $75
RV sinks can be expensive to buy and a pain to install. Here’s how I added a sink to my van for just under $75.

How I Carry a Motorcycle Behind the Van
One of the most common questions I get is how I bring my motorcycle with me on my travels. Here’s how I did it for my first year on the road. I need to write an update about the trailer I use now.

How To Convert To a Motorhome Title in Florida
Florida makes it possible to change a vehicle’s classification to a motorhome through an extremely simple process. I followed it, and it worked perfectly.

How To Live On the Road

Articles about actually living on the road.

Guide to Finding Overnight Parking
This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the van life world. Here’s how I do it every night and stay out of trouble.

How To Stay Warm When It’s Cold Outside
Even snowbirds who run away from real winters (like me) have to deal with the occasional cold nights. Here are some tips to help you stay warm when the weather outside is frightful.

How I Take a Shower In the Desert
Staying clean in a dusty place like Quartzsite, Arizona can be tricky. Here’s how I keep myself from turning into the live-action version of Peanuts’ Pig-Pen while I’m out there.

Guide To Establishing Florida Domicile and Residency
A perennial hot topic in the nomad community is how to establish residency when you have no permanent address. Here’s how we successfully navigated this obstacle course of red tape and logistical difficulties.