1) If you are cleaning up in a business bathroom- Walmart, Target, Starbucks, etc- BE COURTEOUS! Be quick, be clean, and for goodness’ sake buy SOMETHING. Do as much as you can in a stall, and if you need to use the sink/mirror, but aware of other customers. If you are still asked to leave for whatever reason, be respectful, but do contest it- bathrooms are for personal hygiene, end of story- and if they want to say otherwise, they will lose your business.
2) DON”T stop on the highway unless you absolutely have too, when you pull to the side of the road, cops will show up to “help” you, and travelers are generally treated with suspicion. Even if you aren’t doing anything, they can be invasive and it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
3) GPS sucks, pull up a map on your phone/computer and make sure to “finger trace” the entire route to make sure you don’t turn the wrong way or make u-turns as per the instructions of your all- knowing machine.
4) The best maps of forest and park land are at REI. No idea why, but the govt websites/phone numbers/facilities (yes we’ve done all of it in multiple states) have NO quality information. They have maps of PRIVATE land, but nothing really useful on public land. If that is all you’ve got, also invest in on of those hiker’s GPS things that give you coordinates- longitude and latitude- that way you can pinpoint your exact location on the map if you need to contest camping rights with authorities. This is especially helpful with BLM and county roads/land, where there are no entrance signs.
5)Pre-prep food. Seriously. Just do it. It’s real, it’s healthy, it’s cheaper, it’s faster, it travels. Just make it happen, even if you’re on the road.
6) Wood stoves rock- you stay warm, you can cook, you help clear deadwood from the forest and thus help stop forest fires, and you get to have a fire, what’s not to love?
7) “Vehicle occupancy”- which is defined as sleeping in your vehicle- is not legal most places. Not remotely Constitutional, but who can argue with every single city about it? Know the local laws, there is wifi everywhere and public libraries, if you can’t afford that, you certainly can’t afford citations. IT IS A NIGHTMARE to find these things out in each place, sorry folks. I’ll try to keep it posted in each area we go. If nothing else, talk to an officer- police, ranger, whatever. I know, not something most do willingly, but it can save you serious trouble down the road. BTW, Laguna beach is legal, the ACLU contested it 😀