These Highschool Sweethearts Have Been Traveling Around The United States For Over A Year In Their RV
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Last updated - 09:28 AM
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Jenni and Jesse are high school sweethearts that decided to try full-time RV life while they were still young.

After working and saving up for a couple of years, they bought a truck and a trailer, and have now been on the road for over a year. They try to do and see as much as possible on a small budget.

On their website, thecampingnerd.com, Jenni and Jesse don’t only write about their travels but also their favorite RV and camping gear. They write about the things they learn along the way, and share tips and tricks for how to get around.

They’re also on YouTube and Instagram.

Why We Started RV Living

After high school, we lived in Jesse’s home country of Sweden for a few years. While living in Sweden, we went on a lot of road trips and visited surrounding countries.

We grew tired of the long, cold, and dark winters, and started discussing ways to travel in the United States.


After a lot of research, the RV life seemed like a perfect fit for both of us. Both of us grew up camping in trailers, so it felt like we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

So far, we're very happy that we made the decision to do it, and we don't have any plans to stop any time soon.

Benefits Of RV Living

The biggest benefit is that we tow our home on wheels behind our truck. This means that everything we own is in this trailer, and we don’t need to pack and unpack as we go.

We spend most of our nights out in the wilderness, where we camp for free on public lands.


The Bureau of Land Management controls 245 million acres of land, on which you can camp up to two weeks in most cases. Since it's free, we live rent-free.

Sometimes we have to pay to empty our holding tanks and fill up with drinking water, but that's usually less than $20. We do this every other week.

When we decide to pull into an RV park for a night, it's still cheaper than a hotel.

Our RV

Our travel trailer is a so-called Prowler, made by Heartland RVs. It’s from 2014.


We bought a used trailer that was four years old at the time. By buying used, we ended up saving over $10,000 compared to if we would’ve bought a similar model new.

The cost varies a lot since there are so many different types of RVs. You can buy a small used one for $5,000, or spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a big Class A.

Everyone’s experience is different, but we recommend buying a used camper. No matter what, your RV is going to have problems. While a new one might be under warranty, you might lose a summer of camping while your RV is in the shop.

It's better if the previous owner has already dealt with the problems. Then you can spend more time camping than waiting for the shop to get done.

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Purchasing Tips For First Time RVers

First-timers should visit RV dealerships and walk through a lot of RVs and trailers. Doing this will give you an idea of what you like and dislike, and need or don't need. 


You can visit RV dealers without buying, and we still do this to look at RVs and trailers. It’s like intense house-hunting since you can see so many floorplans in a short amount of time.

Check local marketplaces, prepare and know what to look for and ask about. Inspect as good as you can. If you’re buying a motorhome, we recommend taking it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.

RV Living Costs

Even though our travel trailer was only four years old when we bought it we’ve had to replace parts since day one.

We have replaced the water heater, the toilet, both faucets, the water pump, and the microwave. We would like to say that we’ve had more issues than most, but we hear that this is common.

The biggest upfront cost was getting a solar setup that was enough for us as well as replacing broken parts. 


Lately we’ve had a lot of unexpected costs. We had a leaf spring break which led us to having to replace all four of them. We have also had bearings blow out twice.

Things you can do to mitigate costs is start a maintenance schedule for your trailer. Make sure those bearings are being packed every 5,000 miles and keep an eye on the suspension system. 

Learning how to replace things inside your RV on your own is going to save you a lot of money.

Last but not least, you might think you’re not going to need roadside assistance insurance. But believe us, you're going to be very happy to have it the day you need it.

Where We’ve Traveled To So Far

We started in the fall of last year, and headed south through Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California. On the way down, we stopped at every National and State park we could.

In the spring, we started heading back north and went through Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. Due to COVID-19, we have spent most of this year boondocking on public lands. We were planning on visiting more National and State parks, but a lot of them closed down so we had to change our plans.


We have enjoyed Arizona a lot since there is so much open desert and so many places to camp. It was harder to find free camping in Montana and Idaho, but we still had a wonderful time in the north as well.

The plan for next year is to spend the summer in Sweden, then see more of the Pacific Northwest.

Typical Length Of Our Trips

We travel a little slower than most people. Because we work online much of the day, we like to stay in an area for at least a week. This allows us to explore an area but still get a lot of work done.


If we are going to camp in a place with no cell service, we usually don’t stay as long. But then we spend more time outdoors exploring instead.

Challenges With RV Life

One of the biggest challenges for us in the beginning was to stay calm when things didn't go as planned.

You have to learn how to adapt when you can’t find an open campsite and enjoy the difficult parts of camping and travel. Have a plan B, and C.



Learning to adapt to limited electricity and water was also a challenge. This is because we dry camp 99% of the time.

Another challenge we have is how to buy and keep fresh fruit and produce from going bad. It doesn't last two weeks in the woods.

We buy a lot more frozen fruits and vegetables now, but we can’t store a lot because of limited freezer and pantry space.

Advice To First Time RVers

Expect problems and costs, even if your RV is new. Have an emergency savings fund for unexpected events.

Emptying your holding tanks isn’t that bad or nasty if you do it right.

If you can, travel on weekdays, since most mechanics and RV shops aren’t open on the weekends. Also, travel early in the day for this reason.

Let travel days be travel days and nothing else. Traveling takes time. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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