Cheap Sleeps in the Desert-011

Xcapers Annual Bash Review

Podcast Episode 011 – Transcript

Good morning Lake Havasu City. Again. This is episode 011. And we’ve got some changes to explore today. Plus boondocking at the Xscapers Annual Bash, our latest Cube of Truth, and in our “What’s in Our Fridge” section, we’re going talk about our daily bowl of oats. Plus, we’re going to start off this podcast episode with our “Who Knew” section since we forgot it last week. So stay tuned.

So we’re going turn around and have the “Who Knew” section at the beginning since we didn’t do it last week. We came up with the idea that, “who knew we would have so many people approach us in parking lots, or in camp grounds and say, “Wow, what a really cool rig you have. Can we have a tour?” And since we’re the nice people we are, we always say, “Of course you can have a tour.” It takes five minutes or less because we have a camper van. So Michael’s going to give you the specs on those.

We have a 2018 Roadtrek Zion and it’s 20 feet, six inches. It is built on a Dodge Promaster 3500. Six cylinders and we usually get about 17 to 18 miles a gallon. It’s gas. The things that we love about include we both can stand up pretty well in here and not touch the ceiling because it goes up about 6 feet to 6’3″ and we don’t have a lot of space but we actually have minimized so that we have tons of space if that makes any sense. One of the things that’s pretty cool, we have solar on top.

We have a little wet shower. We have a full bathroom that works really well for us. Two burner stove. We have air conditioning if we need it. We have on demand tank-less water, woo-hoo, and we also have something called a Fantastic Fan that takes some of the heat out in the summer time. So those are a little bit of the basics for us. We have upgraded a couple things to make it really comfortable. We put an air mattress in for our king size bed in the back. And all in all, we can get into small places on the national parks, shopping centers. It’s never a problem. It’s like driving a very large SUV one year down the road. We also find that we don’t think about restrictions when we do any kind of planning for any of our road trips.

Okay, so you forgot to talk about the fact we still have a sink like other RVs and we have a two burner propane stove. We have storage in the back under the bed and over the bed. And so we have everything you need, everything that’s in a regular RV only it’s very compact. But one of the things that we really like about this and why we picked the Zion was because it has VoltStart and the under hood generator. So that means when our solar batteries, our lithium batteries get down too low, then automatically the under hood generator will kick in and recharge our batteries so that we can continue to boondock so we don’t have to be plugged in at an RV park if we don’t want to be. So those are the things we really like about our camper van.

When people see it, they are amazed by the pantry because it’s actually quite large. The moms are usually…and then the fact that we can turn the front seats around and we have a table in between us, is where we’re seated right now, so it is very compact but it’s very workable for what we need it for. And when people have RVs like this, they say you really live out of the van not in the van, which means you open the side door, it’s not just a small door, it’s a sliding big door  and you can see the ocean or the trees or the picnic table, whatever you want, right outside there. And usually you’re not in the van except to get things and then you’re outside enjoying nature.

So that’s our overview of our camping style. And this is our one year vanniversary right now. So we’re excited to have been living in and out of this van for the past year. We’ve been full-time on the road without our sticks and bricks house since June. So we’re going on eight months. Woo-hoo. And now stay tuned for the next section. We’re going to talk about where we are right now and what we’re doing, so stay with us.

Okay, so we’re here in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, at the Xscapers Annual Bash and this is a group within the Escapees group. And we talked all about the Escapees membership club last podcast. That was the one where they forward our mail for us. It’s out of Livingston, Texas and we really enjoy all of the different benefits that you get when you become a member of Escapees. One of the pluses is that you get to become a member of this subgroup, which is called Xscapers, X-C-A-P-E-R-S.

Now the Xscapers is a part of Escapees and they say they’re not at all different except for the fact that Xscapers started about three or four years ago I believe and they are geared towards the people who are still working. These people are working from their rigs and moving around the country or not. But they might be a younger crowd than the Escapees originally was, but this is supposed to be a group that likes to get together six or seven times a year in different parts of the country just to have some community. This is why we joined the Xscapers because we like to move around the country. We’re not the typical snowbirds that move from the north and go to the south and then stay in an RV park for three to six months and then go back home.

So we felt that this would be a good fit for us and so we decided to come to their, I think this is the fourth annual bash and it is held in different parts of the country as well, but usually in the southwest because it’s warmer at this time of year. So at this event there are 312 rigs which equals 538 people who have actually registered. We don’t know that we have seen all 538 people but we are staying at the Lake Havasu City rodeo grounds. We are boondocking, yes. There are no hookups. So that means you have to pack in your water and pack out your black tank and gray tank so everybody is, what are we doing, we are trying to conserve. And yes, we are side by side with all the people but let me tell you, this is not like your regular RV park.

This is where we are hanging out, side by side with people who are just like us. We have a nice gentleman we’ve met from Canada right next to us and we have a nice couple from somewhere … Of course, nobody’s from anywhere anymore, we’re just traveling. But they are Americans and they have a nice little travel trailer. So it’s really fun. It’s like a big RV show. You get to walk around and see everybody’s RVs and find out what they do for a living from their rigs or like us who are just playing with doing things on the side because we don’t really have to work anymore.

But Xscapers is one of those clubs that if you are an RV’er, you might want to think about joining because there’s a lot of community building going on as well as some of the information sessions during this week. So we attended a mini RV bootcamp the first day where we learned some more stuff about our systems. And we don’t have a lot of systems so we got to listen to what other people have to put up with when they’re talking about their systems. And then I attended one of the sessions on the first day that was put on by Heath and Alyssa Padgett. They run a website call and they also have the RV Entrepreneur Podcast which we’ve been listening to for a couple years now. It was really fun to meet them in person.

And they had some really great ideas and suggestions that I’m going to implement very soon. The first one I’m going to consider is changing the name of our podcast because I want it to reflect more about what our goals and visions are for our future travels and we will be trying to make sure that we give some idea of what our travels are like based on the title. For example, we’re planning on getting more involved with vegan activism. Visiting some farm sanctuaries, rescue shelters, humane societies, things like that, to spread the word. So it’s not just boondocking anymore. It’s more vegan centered and so any suggestions for a new name would be appreciated. Just leave them on our Instagram page at heaveninaclassb. Hmm, maybe we got to change that name, too. I’ll be thinking about that.

Which brings me to our latest Cube of Truth event that was held in San Diego. It was in Balboa Park and it was a great turnout of activists but the weather was horribly cold for Southern California. I was excited to meet Josh Entis who was doing his Change Makers Tour. He’s got a YouTube channel and you want to check him out if you’re interested. Also met Vegan Danielle who has a podcast of the same name. San Diego has a wonderful community of active animal activists so go vegans we say.

So that kind of wraps up what we’re doing here in Lake Havasu City. We are going to be here for another few days and we have a couple more sessions to sit through. We’re going to sit through something about solar panels and how to make sure you are maximizing them. We’re also going to go to one on taxes and how to maximize your benefits of being in an RV and working from the road. And then there’s a margarita throw down and then there’s a big mac and cheese fest and we’re going to bring vegan mac and cheese, of course. So that will be fun for the rest of the week. But that’s it from here in Lake Havasu, so next up we’re going to talk about What’s in our Fridge. Michaels going to share his famous oatmeal bowl recipe, so stay tuned.

So breakfast is vitally important regardless of what you put in your bowl, but I always, we always eat a whole food plant based bowl which is vegan. And what that means is it has absolutely no dairy products, no meat, anything that walked on the Earth, literally. But let me be specific about the delicious breakfasts that we have daily. So I start off with oats. They have tons of fiber in them and absolutely little to no saturated fat. We love, we’re always trying to be very health conscious. We know that fiber adds, reduces cholesterol, potentially reduces blood pressure and blood sugar. And also people don’t like to talk about it, but it certainly helps you have very easy, soft bowel movements. And that’s always a plus.

Here’s what goes in my bowl every single day. I have rolled oats. I have blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, goji berries. I also, once in a while I’ll go ahead and put in sliced pineapple. I always put a tablespoon of flaxseed, two tablespoons of chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. In addition to that, I really boost it up. There is a cereal that’s made by a firefighter whose father is a plant based cardiologist, Doctor Esselstyn. And what’s in that cereal, again, more rolled oats, raisins. They have sprouted barley, sprouted lentils, wholegrain soy bean, and walnuts. And then to top it all off, what I do is I warm up about a cup of almond milk.

Again, we’re getting away from dairy. Absolutely nothing that comes from an animal is in there. And then I top it off with cinnamon. It’s delicious. It fills you up. And little to no fat, no cholesterol, and I highly recommend everybody start their day with a cereal base like that.

So I’m just going to add a couple of things that I have done since watching Michael make this huge bowl of oatmeal that he eats everyday. I used to just have a bowl of oatmeal and you know, you do the half a cup of oats with a cup of water, you boil it up in the microwave or on the stove, and then you add the cinnamon and maybe a banana. And then every time I ate that, I would be hungry in two hours. And I’ve had other people tell me oh, I can’t do oatmeal in the morning because it doesn’t fill me up and I am hungry in two hours. Well, I agree. That used to happen to me.

So when I watched Michael put all this stuff on his, I thought to myself, well, maybe I should just add a few things. So I started adding the flaxseeds, which are already ground up, so it’s like flaxseed meal. And I just put in a tablespoon of that. And then I do a tablespoon of chia seeds and if you’ve never tried chia seeds, that’s C-H-I-A, those are the seeds that are very famous from the runners in Mexico that would just run all day long, hundreds of miles a week, where they didn’t eat but they would eat these chia seeds and it would fill them up and give them some nourishment and energy. But you can’t put those in like some overnight oats and then expect your oatmeal to be creamy because those will absorb the fluid and become gel like.

So maybe that’s what happens when you eat the chia seeds, they go into your stomach absorb fluid and then fill you up. Because once I stared putting those in along with the sliced almonds, and the goji berries, and I like raisins, and then your fresh fruits on top, the berries, the blue, black, and red berries, that would fill me up. And now I’m not hungry in two hours. So I highly recommend that you add all those things and you know what? If you’re not eating any animals, this is a very filling but low calorie meal. Even though if you add all that stuff up, and I did add it all up, I found that we are eating about 35 grams of fiber just in breakfast.

And our colorectal surgeon son will tell you, you got to eat more fiber so that you keep colon cancer away, or at least reduce the incidence of it. But most Americans don’t get 30 grams of fiber in the day and that’s what’s recommended. Of course they say the more the merrier. So we start off our breakfast with about 35 grams of fiber. And then the rest of the day is kind of a bonus. And of course we eat our beans and our rice and all the other kinds of whole plant foods that will add more fiber to everything else.

Now sometimes instead of having the oats in the bowl, what I’ll do is have the oats on a roll. So what I like is a vegan cinnamon roll or vegan bagel and then I’ll add some almond butter on top of the bagel and then I just sprinkle all of those other ingredients right on top of the bagel. Of course it’s sliced in half, so now it’s a big huge sandwich, and that’s a great one for on the go so that you don’t have to worry about having a bowl to have to wash. So it’s like a big cinnamon roll sandwich and I really like that. But it’s just another way to have your oats in the morning and your 35 grams of fiber. So we really recommend that. Try it out.

And anything that you try you can’t just do it once and say, “Hey, that didn’t work.” Maybe you should try having a bowl of oatmeal and add the cereal that Michael talked about which is from Engine 2, that’s the guy. His name is Rip Esselstyn and Engine 2 cereal is in Whole Foods Market, so you can find it there. But you don’t have to add that in, it’s just another boost so if you add that in and take the banana out, you kind of even out the fiber. But I always like a banana with mine. Of course then you eat an orange later in the day or maybe an apple later in the day so once you start eating all these whole food, plant based items, it’s really difficult to fit in any animal products. So maybe you can go vegan, especially in January when it’s Veganuary they say.

So I hope that this helps you have another idea of what to eat for breakfast when you give up the bacon and eggs because we always recommend that you get rid of the animal products to keep your heart healthy. And you can even reverse some of that damage you may have done by eating all of that animal fat in the past, so there’s always hope. Good luck and we hope that you continue to eat healthy. So keep going to our website, which is, leave a message there for us in the comments section, or go to our Instagram which is @heaveninaclassb and you can leave messages for us there as well. We’d love to hear from you. We appreciate you listening. And if you have any suggestions for a new name for us, we’d really like to hear that as well.

Next week, you can hear all about our trip to Quartzsite, Arizona, which we think we’re going to go to after this event finishes because they’re having the major RV show down in Quartzsite and the big tent is one of our favorite things. There are RV gadgets galore! . That’s in Quartzsite, which is just east of the California border by Blythe, California. But it’s in Arizona. And then of course we are going to be going to Tucson to get some warranty work done and then finally, in February, you’ll be able to hear all about our trip to Mexico as we go down Baja with about 60 other rigs with the Escapees and that’s an exciting time for us. So please keep listening. We really appreciate you and we want to see you out on the road, so get out there. Bye.

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.


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