About Joe and Kait Russo
Hi! We’re Joe and Kait Russo, the creators behind We’re the Russos. This blog started out as a way for us to share our travel adventures with our friends and family. Now, thanks to you and the many active readers of our RV travel blog, it has become a full fledged part of our media business (more on this later).
When we’re not working, we enjoy discovering new places and experiences together. People often ask us what our favorite place is and our answer is constantly changing because we are always discovering new places. If we have taken the time to write a travel guide about a place then it’s safe to say that it was one of our favorite places at some point.
While all of our RV travels have taken place in North America, we hope to explore more continents in the future. You will find some of our international adventures that did not involve an RV such as our once in a lifetime trip to Tibet or our two week adventure in Barcelona. Visit our travel destinations page for an overview of the places we’ve traveled to so far.
Whether you are looking to RV full-time, part-time or be a weekend warrior, we hope you find value in the content that we share here. See you on the road!
Joe’s book series
So far we have traveled primarily in recreational vehicles, but we’ve tossed around the idea of a motorcycle trip through South America or train travel around Europe. Until then, here are some of the RVs that have taken us to the places we’ve been able to share with you.
Our Mission Statement
To inspire people to live the life that they want by living life on our own terms and sharing our knowledge and experiences with the community.
How You Can Connect with Us
- Leave a comment on this website.
- Become a WTR Family Member to join our monthly Zoom video hangouts.
- Book a 60 Minute Call with Us
- Meet us at an event. We do attend a select number of events throughout the year and announce those through our newsletter.
338 thoughts on “About Joe and Kait Russo”
I have watched your videos for a while now and enjoy them. You are 2 of my favorite Asians on YouTube. Kait from China and Joe… the “Caucasian.” Be well and God bless. Sorry Kait I like the Vikings.
Thanks David! Hope you have a wonderful new year.
I love you Russo’s! I particularly enjoy both of you working together as a team and you are each others best friend. 3/4 of my enjoyment is watching you be polite and caring to each other!! We live in a weird time right now and positive energy is sooo welcome to me and others. Keep up the good work!!
Always enjoy you both. Have merch! Sending love and blessings to Mom Russo.
I just recently discovered y’all on YouTube and y’all are awesome! My husband and I enjoy watching your videos and learning from you. We are currently building our own camper van and we can’t wait to travel around in it with our son! We have traveled the world but we have so many beautiful places we can’t wait to see in the US! Hope to meet you someday. Thank you for your wonderful videos and helpful info!
Alesha from Nashville, TN
Hi Alesha! Wishing you all the best with your camper build and hope you and the family have many memorable trips traveling in it.
We are a family of 4 planning to sell our home and buy an RV and stay mobile. What do you do for your address onyour driver’s license when you’ve sold your home and are constantly traveling from state to state?
Check out our post on choosing a domicile for full time RVing.
I’ve been following you for about a year now and just recently purchased your two books. I’m thoroughly enjoying Take Risks! I love your authentic and relateabile writing style. My husband keeps asking me to hurry up and finish it so he can read it. Thank you for all the effort and thought you put into sharing your adventures and lessons learned. I can’t imagine contemplating heading out on our own adventure post retirement without you out there showing the way!
Thank you Michele and hope your husband enjoys the books just as much! Once you’re done, I’d love it if you could leave a review of the books on Amazon or where ever you purchased them.
Dear Joe & Kait,
I’m sitting here with the lightly used copy of ‘Take Risks’ in front of me that just showed up from Amazon today. The title page has a very nice inscription you wrote to Jodie and Renae who were apparently the original purchasers. ‘See you out there,’ you said. Over on the inside of the cover is an inscription from Jodie and Renae to their friends J and Kaylyn, when they passed it on to them. Sadly, Jodie and Renae’s website, http://www.elliotadventure.com, doesn’t exist any more, and J and Kaylyn resold the book which makes me think their dreams of life on the road never came true either. I hope my fiancee and I do better. There’s a 1992 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37J sitting out in the front yard we picked up for a song last weekend that we intend to spend the next few months upgrading and readying for the road, and then next summer our plan is to head toward Utah and the Mighty Five, and then just see what happens. We want to turn Windy into a self contained marvel that we can park out in the middle of nowhere and live in comfortably for a month or two, and we plan to document the process. I expect I’ll be setting up a call with you in a few months for advice about all that, but for right now I best get reading. See you out there, and thanks for showing newbies like us the way!
Ali & Angela
Hey Ali and Angela!
I remember signing that book to them and sorry to hear their site is no longer up and running. We wish you the best in this exciting journey and are very excited for you both. Whenever you want to get on a call – send us a note and we can set something up.
Thanks! Hope you enjoy the book and are able to get a few things out of it.
If you get to Northern Wisconsin, Ashland has a campground right on Lake Superior.
Page here. I am 62 and planning a 3 month SOLO trip statrting mid september through mid December. I am looking for a company to build out a van for me. Here are my wants and needs, Any suggestions? I live in the Los Angeles area.
I would suggest taking a look through the list we’ve put together: https://weretherussos.com/class-b-rv-manufacturers-list-camper-vans/ and seeing if one of those companies will build something to suit your requirements.
I’d love to chat with you both about your great RV content. Is it possible to set up a time to chat?
Hey Kisha, you can book time with us on this page.
Hi! I saw you mention in a video an organization that helps service dogs find a home when they can’t be paired with their original handlers. I’ve seen so many of your videos now that I can’t track down the name of the org. I’d love to get on their list. Lil’ help? Thanks!
Hey Jasmine, the video you’re referring to is one https://youtu.be/pAR7oDgyRp8 and the organization is Mission K9 Rescue. Let us know if you end up getting a dog through their organization.
Just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your videos and wanderings info. I’ve been on the road for some 20 years going from where I live part time in Baja up and down the coast all the way to British Columbia practicing my profession of surfing photography-art.
Keep up the great work,
Joe & Kait –
Assuming you’ll be at Moore next month, what would be the best way to get a quick 5 minute chat? I would like your opinions on a biz idea. Or, email correspondence would be easier. Otherwise, I’ll have to wear a large silly hat in the form of a cup of coffee at the show. Thanks.
You can find us at the FWC booth during show hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Is there a mosquito clothing that you use—I believe I remember one episode where one of you wore a jacket with a hood and net cover over the face. Getting ready to head down to the Everglades and the Keys, thought we might want something like is. I saw the mosquito repellent for clothing on your site—do you recommend a repellent to spray on your skin?
Hi Mark, the bug repellant clothing you saw me wear in the Maine road trip is made by The Original Bug Shirt Company. It’s by far my preferred way to keep the bugs away. Enjoy your trip to Everglades National Park and the Keys.
We love watching your videos. We haven’t seen any in a long time and were wondering if your all okay?
Thanks for checking in, We are doing well, just taking a break from YouTube.
Hey guys! I love watching your videos, I saw you and your truck traveling on the diamond lane-210 going westbound yesterday! So exciting I was driving a truck and trailer. Safe travels!
Thanks for tuning in Darius! See you on the road.
Hi Joe and Kait,
I know that you have probably answered this but how exactly do you get paid? Like with the Affiliate or from the T-Shirts? I missed the opportunity to get a Leo Sticker haven’t found them yet on your sites.
I’m heavily looking into this right now. I have gotten an idea for monthly expenses and I may do this for like a month to start. But I’m wanting to have something in place to earn money incase I wanna go out longer. It’s gonna be myself and my pup. My home base will be AZ. You both have opened up places that I would like to see more in the state I live that I haven’t yet. If I like it -then I do have a jump start on some of this. I do have an entry level dslr and an older camera to do videos for now besides my phone.
How did you develope your brand – We’re the Russos ? Did you have to copywrite it? Are you running as an LLC? I was thinking about maybe doing my month or more and doing travel writing. I know I don’t want to do a 9 to 5 anymore. I love your video’s. I also thought about self publish. I do have enough for a small poetry book. Not sure how much that would make but it’s another idea that I thought about. Or a book on some of my short stories.
Hey RJ, our How to Make Money While Traveling post will answer most of your questions. As for the Leo sticker, we have them at events and mail them to our WTR Family members.
Hey Joe and Kait,
Have heard that there was an Instant Pot Cook Book coming out by Kait, what is the status? Thanks and we love the Channel.
Maybe a strange question but saw Kaits Green Bay shirt. I’m from Mequon and Kait looks so familiar wondering if you went to school at HHS? Or from the Milwaukee/Mequon area? We recently purchased a Navion so started exploring the net learning more about the community. Thanks cheers
Hey Bill, I’m a Packers fan, but never went to school in Wisconsin. Congrats on the new camper and hope you have some fun adventures in it.
It’s great to meet you in person on Sun at the S Lake Tahoe van expo. Didn’t get a chance to talk to Joe in person (he’s busy talking to others & when we made another round, you two were gone already) but I am pretty sure that we’d meet again since we are still in the “shopping” stage in deciding our 1st RV.
I just wanted to alert you that when I clicked on your link in purchasing the airtight containers & one other items on your 15 Best RV kitchen gadgets, Amazon says it’s out of stock. But they do have the items with other Amazon sellers. I haven’t bought anything yet but just don’t want you to lose revenue should somebody is ready to buy & the link says no stock.
Have fun in your traveling & we do enjoy your videos & blogs.
Christina & Scott
Thank you Christina! Glad you were able to stop by and check out the expo.
We wanted to thank you for the time you spent with us today at the Dillon Adventure Van Expo. Allowing us to see your vehicle was incredibly helpful. Your vehicle seems to be exactly what we are looking for. If you need anything while you are in town, send us an email. We hope to bump into you again, on the road!! Thanks again!
Doug & Betsy (the guy in the blue Steamboat shirt)
Great to meet you and Betsy at the show and glad I was able to help with your camper questions. Here is the post with all the options and modifications we’ve made to our FWC. Let me know if you have any more questions. Look forward to seeing you both out on the road!
Joe and Kait,
For travel to remote places, have you found a satellite internet service that works well enough to provide reliable connectivity? I am considering how to work remotely in far away places, when my work requires constant internet connection. Thanks!
I have literally seen all your videos on youtube now. It looks so much fun living that lifestyle. Would you ever consider shipping your camper to europe and explore like you habe already mentioned? I guess you could get a good deal with a manufacturer in Germany as you had with the Hymer? I would love to see you guys explore europe, especially Norway.
Regards, norwegian fan
We definitely have plans to ship our rig to other parts of the world. Not sure when we’ll make it to Europe but any tips or tricks you can share would be helpful!
Love the channel. I recently bought a flatbed truck with a camper on the back and I saw in one of your videos what looked to be an extension on your fuel tank where the diesel pump goes. I’m having an issue with the angle of my opening and I’m dripping fuel out when I fill up. Just wondering if your was built like that or if it is even a custom piece. Thank you!
Hey Tyler – that’s specific to the Norweld Tray and their old style fuel filler.
Saw your rig at Glacier National Park today!!
can you tell me the make and model of Kait’s hat (the tan colored, wide brim bucket hat). and also, on a windy day, does the brim flip up constantly (my current hat has this problem)
-here’s one of your video’s where she has the hat on….
thx, and stay safe 🙂
Hi Karl, the hat is the OR sombrero which you can find at REI or on Amazon (affiliate links).
Hi Joe and Kait,
I enjoy your posts and YouTube videos. Thanks for turning me onto @TechnoRV.
The next time you send out a notice for a live chat (Wednesday firesides) can you include instructions on how to join in. I have never done a live YouTube event and have not figured out how to participate.
You’re welcome Carl and thank you for the suggestion. If you are looking for a link to the latest live stream, you can find it here.
I just finished your first book and started watching Season 1 of your videos. I just ordered your 2nd book but I feel like I missed a bunch. The videos are now for your 2nd year – did you do any in the big RV? And now you are already down-sizing? Wow, lots of fun stuff to follow…
Thanks you for all the info as I am looking to do what you have done and have started looking for the right size vehicle.
Looks like fun!
Linus in northern CA
Hey Linus – the videos that are out now are going on our 5th year. If you want to see some of the older stuff, check out our different playlists https://www.youtube.com/user/weretherussos/playlists
Re: your trip to Maui, I’m going to be doing the same thing within the next
few months, and would like to find out, who it was that you got the Dodge
RV from.. And what was the name of the beach front property that you scored
on…. I don’t need the big size one, for I’ll be there for 3 weeks by myself and then
girl friend will b joining me and then it’s CONDO time…
Mahalo for you info
Hey Ted. You can find all the details about our trip in this Maui RV Rental post.
Be aware that Hawaii currently has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for everyone (resident or visitor) coming into the state via air or sea. (Yes, people are getting cited or arrested or fined for violations.). You should also be prepared to have face covering for any time you’re in public areas.
Bottom line – check the current laws before you go anywhere, esp during the pandemic.
Love your YouTube videos keep up the good work! Where is the link for the Roadmaster Hitch Mounted Spare Tire Carrier, I wanted one, but somehow can’t find the link from your website. Theirs one on Amazon, but like to link from you website so you guy get percentage. Thank, KEEP RVING.
Hey Noy. You can find the hitch mounted tire carrier article here or by using this link.
I’ve been missing your videos! I hope you’re back soon.
Hey Chad. Thanks for checking in. We posted a new video today, check it out.
Best Korean BBQ??? We may just have to stop in for some of that! Thanks Tommy!
Hi guys, love the place you guys visit, im soon seng from Malaysia and a really big fans of both of you. In our country we dont have much of this kind of van, and i have one of it, I love it so much, im a fans of ford as well, how to get a sticker or any wording sticker can put on my van? Hope that will have chance to meet you guys in the future.
Hi Soon Seng! What type of van do you have? Would love to see a photo of it. Joe lived in Malaysia for a short while when he was younger and we hope to visit your country soon. As for stickers and other items, you can check out our store.
Hi Kait/Joe. Really liked the latest video about the poptop camper on the flatbed. I have seen one w a Hawk and REALLY tricked out w a snorkel, lifted and many extras for REAL BOONDOCKING- here in Alaska. If you are interested I can send you pictures AND the complete BUILD LIST w vendors this young militaty officer used.
I have about about a dozen pictures to share also.
Are you still in San Diego? We would love to get together and van talk.
No, we’re not. Are you signed up for our newsletter? We announce public meet-ups and gatherings there as well as on Patreon.
Hi Joe and Kait
You mentioned in your latest video that Joe is looking for a truck with the 7.3.
We are currently workcamping at an RV resort in Apache Junction, AZ and there is a 2002 F250, 4 door, 4×4, 7.3 diesel going up for sale here.
Let me know if you would like pics or more info.
Thanks Neil – that’s a bit far from us right now but really appreciate the heads up!
How do my wife nd sign up for your news letter. Brad aka “Funman” Wisconsin
You can sign up for the newsletter here.
Good Afternoon… Been a fan for years – own both of your books… I have two video request/suggestion, please…
1) Make another toilet video… I know you prefer the cassette toilet over black water tank… And the last few vans you have ‘borrowed’ do not have toilet at all – so you have a portable one… Out of the 5 toilets options for vans – you have used the three of the most common. I would be interested in your pro/con comparison… The five options that I am aware of: 1) Black water tank 2) Cassette 3) Portable 4) Compounding 5) Bucket with sand
2) Second video request/suggestion please… A pro/con comparison of a low ceiling van with a pop top vs one with standing height.
Thank you and look foward to seeing you in your next video.
My husband Eddie and I met you at the RV show at the race track. It was so cool to meet you in person, and make the website and stories a reality! You guys are so easy to listen to and made it really comfortable to ask questions (even about “ewww” things!) We still have a year or two before we hit the road, but really look forward to hearing more about your experiences now that I have signed up!
Welcome to our website and online community. So glad you were able to join us at the Van Life chat.
As A former Navy man I look at you and see the same as myself another military man, will do the “life style” when I retire live in the north-east winters just too dam cold/snowy. Good luck.
I absolutely love all of your videos and adventures, I follow them closely! Thanks to you we just joined Harvest Host’s and can’t wait to try it out! I really want to try boon docking in our class C motorhome! Like you we down sized from a large (33 ft) trailer to a pickup and camper but with four dogs we found that it was way to small for our needs so we went up to a 26ft motorhome and it is just right! I am anxiously waiting to see what you decide to purchase for your next van! Keep those videos coming and maybe we will run into each other at one of the Harvest Hosts someday!
Hi Terry! Thank you for the kind words and we hope you enjoy HH as much as we do. Are you subscribed to the newsletter? We announce public meet ups there and look forward to meeting you on the road.
Hi Joe and Kait,
Welcome to the love for Suzi party! I have had an affair with mine for 15 years now. I don’t reachout to many public figures as a habit but I thought you would enjoy watching my adventures on my DRZ-400e . My vids have copy write music in them so Youtube is out but just receintly I was able to upload them to Instagtam in the IGTV section. I am at Crested Butte Colorado in my RV until it snows. My contact info and Phone # is on instagram.
Lets go riding Joe!
Hi Joe and kait Russo thank u for sharing your amazing journey. I hope I get to live the van life some day.
Hi Joe & Kate just wanted to let you know i enjoy watching you guys on youtube i am 22 years old but for some reason i feel inclined to test the van life myself not full time but maybe take 1 month off every year and just travel alone in a van to refresh and to enjoy the simplistic lifestyle who knows maybe one day il get to do that and possibly with a partner, All the best and keep doing your thing!
Just saying Hello as am new here, checking in from Melbourne, Australia.
Have been watching you two for a while and my Wife, Sarah and I get a lot out of your Channel, especially me. As I go through chemo treatment it provides me with a way to still travel, even if it is vicariously-thank you! ??
Hi Sharlot! Thank you for the comment and we’re sending you our best wishes.
Are you going to make it back to EAA? We live in Milwaukee. Seems like you had a good time there. My wife Carrie and I are both aviation photographers.
Hey Greg – we’re going to try to make it back this year!
Hey Joe. Shoot me an email. Want to make sure you are saving money when going to EAA. You can come driveway surf for a few days before and take in Milwaukee again.
Thanks for thinking of us Greg. We’re all set on lodging and passes for EAA.
We are headed to Temecula CA and do not see the Falkner Winery as a Harvest Host site. Is it still there? Also could Joe be related to me? My mothers maiden name is Russo (Sicilian) from NY.
Looks like That winery is no longer part of the program.
Hi Joe and Kait,
Just found your website (and bought your book) because looking at getting a Baystar and your website was in the search results. We are long-time RVers and part-time it in a Lazy Daze Class C and an Airstream Class B. We also build our own airplanes and have been flying an airplane we built to Oshkosh every year since 1982. I know your interest may not be in the many kinds of homebuilt aircraft that show up at Oshkosh, but if you want to visit, I volunteer at Homebuilt Camping Campground Hosts and am there much of the week of Oshkosh. You can meet many folks who built their own airplanes in their garages and flew them to Oshkosh. Maybe you can talk to me about your experiences with your Baystar too.
Hey Jan – thanks for the note. We love going to Oshkosh and while my passion are the warbirds, we’d love to come by and visit next time we go!
If y’all are ever near Houston, TX or central Oregon give us a shout so we ca meet up and take Joe to our “not your average starbucks” coffee gold mines!
We also have a fun new toy that y’all are more than welcome to try out for yalls videos, the GoPro Hero 7 and our new favorite, the DJI Drone! Give us a shout anytime.
Brooke & Emily
Thanks for the offer you two!
Thank you for all the information and content you share. I live in NYC Brooklyn to be exact. Just 1 block from the now becoming Famous Barclay center you may want to look it up for comparison to Madison Square Garden if ever in New York I have parking for one vehicle a van which I would not mind sharing for a few days with you hope to meet you soon and be safe in your travels thank you. I’m also preparing to hit the road soon just need to put some financials in order to enjoy it with complete comfort and safety.
Hey Joe and Kait! Was sorry to hear of the fate of Hymer in North America. I’m noticing a lot of AKTIV “RPAD” models. Do you know what “ERPAD” stands for (I’m thinking “Ram ProMaster Something Something …”). Hymers are now heavily discounted – worth the risk?
Thanks and keep up the good work – love the blog!
Greetings from Kolkata, India. Enjoyed your train ride to Lhasa. Charmed to know that you are living life on your own terms and traveling the globe. If you ever come to this part of the world, do let me know. I would be very happy to meet with you.
At the shot show, the backpack that you were using. What is the brand and model. I had a Maxepedition for years but it finally gave out. Yours had the large side pockets where it looks like you could put a hydroflask in there.
Many thanks and safe travels.
Here’s the link https://amzn.to/2SzkFKq I also have two pouches of theirs on either side.
I dove into your blog and found a wealth of information. We are in the thick of winter here and all we can do is read about camping. Haha. I look forward to reading more from the Russos.
Hi Joe and Kait! Found your channel about a week before we bought our Aktiv 2.0 3 weeks ago. I think we’ve watched all your videos. Yes I got addicted watching them 🙂 Just want to mention that we also have dogs named Leo and Duke. My wife Jojie said what a coincidence that we got an Aktiv and also have dogs named as yours.
Safe travels to you guys!
Mike & Jojie Tungol
Hi Mike and Jojie! Congrats on your new camper. Hope you have many fun adventures traveling with your Duke and Leo ??
Thanks Kait! Unfortunately we lost our Leo too 2 months ago from stroke. He was 9 years old. Duke will be with us on our travels as soon as it gets a little warmer here in the mid-atlantic/east coast.
Safe driving guys!
Been following you off and on for a few years. Just noticed that you are the first to offer an affiliate link for Amazon.ca as we have asked the question many times of the you tubers and you are the only ones to consider a Canadian link. Thanks, we’ll start using it! We just finished a 5 month Canadian travel trailer trip across the Prairies up to Tuktoyaktuk NWT on the Arctic Ocean and down through BC and back home (Ontario.) Love the videos.
Thank you for the support! Happy Trails.
Hi guys! Trying to reach you. I have the draft of the book interview. Please reach out to me so that I can get it into your hands for review.
I have yet to name her but I recently purchased a 2019 hymer aktiv. Is there some trick to actually locking it? None of the buttons seem lock the vehicle.
Hey Sheepish – The middle button on the key fob is the lock button. When you press that, if your blinkers flash multiple times, then one of the doors isn’t closed all the way. My guess is that your sliding door is the culprit. You really have to slam it to make sure it closes all the way. Another way to check, to turn the ignition on and it will tell you which door is ajar.
Hope this helps!
We had the same problem the first night after leaving the dealer.
Finally realized that the sliding door had to be COMPMETELY FLUSH with the van body or it would not lock.
Guys, Just watched the episode where Kate was in pain. My wife and I are physicians. We have gotten so much out of watching your videos. We ended up buying an Aktiv 2.o because of what we learned from you. We understand just what a travesty our health insurance system is. We can’t fix it but we have an idea for you. Send us a note.
Hi Joe and Kait! My name is Brooke and I would love to share some great new news with y’all about my family and I…we are buying an RV and hitting the open road soon! We are from Houston, TX and grew up there as well as Bend, OR. Please give me a shout so I can share my email and our story more with you guys (without it being public) and ask you guys some questions about your adventures. We look up to you guys and follow your videos (which we love)! Thanks for inspiring us to get out there and live OUR life!
The Fergusons (Brooke & Emily; and our fur babies Colt, Jovi, and now Harley!)
Thanks for taking the time to read!
Congrats Fergusons! Thanks for sharing the news. You can leave another comment which won’t be made public.
Hey Fergusons! Have you read Joe’s book Take Risks? I think you’ll find it quite helpful in your journey to find your RV and get on the road. As for making money on the road, here are some resources we’ve put together to help you and others who are interested in doing something similar.
– How to Make Money & Travel
– Video Equipment for YouTube
– How to Setup a Self-Hosted WordPress Site
Happy holidays to you all and we wish the best in your journey!
Hey guys! We have not, but will definitely check it out now. We are currently in Denver, CO looking at RV Resorts and visiting family. Thank you guys very much for your tips and resourceful help. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say thank you guys for doing what you do, and all while bring positivity into your life. Emily and I both deal with medical problems ourselves, so we completely understand the problems you went experienced during y’alls video shoot. We may have some helpful tips for you guys (not like y’all probably haven’t already found ways to deal with being ill while on the road).
From listening, one would never guess that English is a second language for you. I have had quite a few Chinese work associates and friends but none of them came even close to speaking with no accent, good sentence structure, and good vocabulary as you do. Very impressive!!
We just purchased our 2019 Aktiv 2.0 in August. Can you tell me how to winterize. I am finding it difficult to get specific information.
Sorry Sam it’s not something we’ve ever done. There is a description of how to do it in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have a copy, I’d suggest calling Hymer and having them send you one.
Thanks! Do you mean you don’t camp in cold climates or you don’t find it necessary for the unit?
Correct, we don’t camp in areas where it gets below freezing.
I LOVE you! I’m 71 years and I live vicariously through you guys. NETFLIX and Hulu are 2nd and 3rd under you. God bless you and keep you.
Joe and Kait. My wife and are are ready to retire. We have been down the big RV path, and now have a small travel trailer. We are ready to go with a B, B+, or small C when we retire and travel the country. We appreciate you sharing your research. We live in Cincinnati Ohio, and would like to find a show where we can see all of the vans we like. Do you have an idea where and when that next show might be? I know we just missed Hershey Pa.
Mike and Jackie
Here is a list of the RV shows for the rest of the year https://weretherussos.com/rv-shows/
The larger shows like Hershey, California/Pomona and Tampa will have everything under the sun.
2020 Transit AWD
Love your videos! My new favorite sandwich is now peanut butter and sprouts .. delicious! Who knew !
Hey Joe and Kait.
I love your videos and follow you guys on Youtube.
You have done a tremendous job and have been amazingly educational.
I have learned so much. I am looking at going full time rv living very soon.
In fact, as soon as the first of this year or maybe sooner. I am looking at getting a Hymer Activ 2.0. I was at the Atlanta show, this past weekend and loved the quality of the Hymers.
I will be looking to sell my home and downsize; as you and Joe did.
My question is this. Did you guys post a blog or video about the process of buying an rv and a checklist of what to do in this process? Tips? Intel of any such?
I am a musician and compose music for film and tv and I look forward to being able to cut the cord and do this!!!!!!!!!
If you’d like to read about our entire process of shopping for and selecting our first motorhome, check out our book, Take Risks https://amzn.to/2O0871l
While RV buying is a very personal thing, our book will give you many ideas and pointers for when you’re ready to shop for your own.
Joe, I’ve been watching and reading much of the great content you and Kait have created, including your Take Risks book.
Can you point me to any blogs or video you’ve created where you discuss the thought processes you went through and reasons behind making the decision to downsize to a class B, what other options other than B camper vans you may have considered, and the big one, what if anything, would you have done differently when you began the shopping experience described in your book and ended up choosing the Newmar + Jeep combo?
Thanks for all the info you two provide.
Hey Hall. You’ll find answers to many of your questions in this post: Class B camper van for full time RVing
Hi Joe and Kait!
Thanks for the awesome series of van life videos. I am a relatively new subscriber and finished watching all of the videos… Now I have a reason to look forward to Wednesday! In any case, I really like the green US flag cap that Joe wears in some of the videos. Can you put a link for that cap in your link section? Thanks!
Hi Larry. Glad you’re enjoying the van life videos. The US flag patch was a gift from a subscriber so we’re not sure where he purchased it from.
Hi Joe and Kait! I have so many questions for you but will only ask the main one here. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 boys, 13 and 11. We have gone rv’ing now twice in a rented class C. We would love to go more often and are considering buying an RV but because of limited parking space of where we live in the suburbs of NY, I’m very interested in a class B that can sleep 4. It appears that there are not many options for that. The Aktiv 2 Loft Edition seems to be a possibility. Do you have any sense of the temperature control in the loft? Does it seem that it would get too hot or too cold up to sleep up there? Btw, we are going to the Hershey RV show in a couple of weeks (9/12 – 9/16). Maybe we’ll see you there.
I asked Hymer to consider making an edition where the back couch turned into bunkbeds
We saw your video on Acadia national park. Then proceeded to see a whole bunch of your videos. They are very well made, crisp , clear and engaging.
Would love to hear about the video camera you are using to shoot your videos and the editing software. Thanks for inspiring us on camper vanning!
Thank you! We get that question quite often so we’re going to make a video about all our gear. Stay tuned!
Thank you very much. Looking forward to it, hope you get it before our Spain trip:-)
Sorry for jumping the gun 🙂
Can you share the camera spec and editing software?
Here’s the post and video: https://weretherussos.com/video-equipment/
Hi guys I gave a question for you. Do you ever get bored
Whilst travelling and do you see yourselves still travelling in 5 years time. Love your videos.
Watched a recent video of yours in which you showed a cold-brew maker. Couldn’t find it referenced on your store. Could I find out the make and model. Thanks.
Sure – we have this one: https://amzn.to/2uyoKop
HI guys! Thank you for the wealth of knowledge on how to transition into rv life. Loved the book! We are going to be going thru the downsize to a van from our home and are in need of advice. What tools do need with you? Since you downsized what do you recommend to have?
Maria and Van
We get that question a lot so we’ve decided to make a video about it. Stay tuned!
Hi Y’all , last year I left a note that you’re one of the
reasons I bought a camper van. I didn’t know how to keep in touch. Now I am in Ohio heading to Michigan and Minnesota. I stay in the winter in CT . Like you said
I’m not planning on a strict schedule and I’m not either. Hope to meet both of you some time soon. David
Hi Joe and Kait, It looks like you may be in my area soon. I’m in Nashua NH. I’m a small custom coffee roaster, kingdavidcoffee.com Would you be interested in stopping by for a tour and coffee? Also, would you like to talk about an affiliate program where we could make available through the website coffee with your label on it? It could be whatever you want, your logo, Leo etc. There is a program within Paypal that allows an affiliate sale where you receive a percentage directly to your Paypal account. I just got off the phone with Paypal and they are sending the info to me which I’ll forward to my webmaster. Let me know if this is of interest. By the way I’m a long time subscriber and have purchased and read your book! Also for your comfort please look at my Google reviews. Thank you and safe travels!
Like you, we ditched our Class A, but we opted for a brick and mortar home on the coast of Maine. Now, we are going to add a Class B shortly to do visiting of friends and relatives without disrupting their lives. As a result, we have been watching your videos, and love them. Thank you for making the time and effort to educate us. However, we were super bummed to learn about Leo’s passing midway through your series.
If you make it to Michigan I have a nice shady driveway on a lake you can park and hook up
Hi guys, watched a number of your videos. I’m about to retire and finish writing the remainder of my educational books for my website while in a Class B or B+. I’m curious if you have ever done any testing for EMF exposure in your van. For instance, in different areas of our van, or if your converter was directly under where you sleep or near your heads, or if you had a large lithium battery pack near you. I left my website address if you’d like to see what I do and why I care about exposure in vans. It would be nice to hear from you and hope to meet both of you on the road someday. I might even start a Youtube channel called GuitaRV where I can play live music on the road or perhaps a different name where I could also teach while on the road. I admire you both.
Hi Dan. Thats not something we’ve looked into. All the best with your transition to RV life. See you on the road!
No idea how to ask this question or where but here goes: Do you have a brick and mortar home and where would it be if you did? Like your favorite place to live in USA. Thanks!
We don’t have a brick and mortar home and the more we travel, the less likely we are to end up in any one place. We’ve become spoiled in that we can move to different areas, chasing the best weather. Big rain storm coming? No problem – head where it’s sunny. Too hot? Time to drive to the beach.
Hi Joe & Kait, we are going to camp at Fire Rd 688 in upstate AZ. I see you went there. Any suggestions on where to get water and later for a dumpstation?
Thanks, FaithTravelers (Patty & Bill)
Hey Patty and Bill. You can try the campgrounds inside Grand Canyon South Rim. Here’s are post on Mather Campground https://weretherussos.com/rv-camping-at-mather-campground-grand-canyon/
Hello Russo’s. Let us know if you plan on coming to Virginia Beach area. We live on a barrier island between the back bay and the ocean. We have room for your van with hookups and would love to meet you two. A kayak and bike trip are a must if you come.
Thank you Mark and Laura! Will let you know if we make it out that way.
Hi, Russos. We’ve just discovered your blog. Many thumbs up!
We’re seniors who have been full-timing it for a little over a year now. We could use your advice on GPS ph apps that cater to RVs, so we can avoid risky areas or roads that prohibit RVs. Any suggestions?
Many thanks~ Kathy & Richard
Hey Kathy & Richard – we used the Garmin RV GPS when we had a Class A and love the Allstays Camp & RV app for iOS.
Hi Joe and Kait,
I enjoy your videos very much and was happy to hear you are considering Europe as a possible destination, and we’re comparing the options of campervan travel and train travel.
While both are worthwhile options to visit Europe , each allows you to visit Europe from a different perspective, they are hard to compare on equal basis.
Trains (Eurail type ticket) enables you to visit the many historic cities around Europe as well as making some scenic train journeys. But upon arrival you need to get to a hotel and you end up eating out( great in some places but pricey over a longer period).
A campervan allows you to visit the countryside and the sleepy villages of for instance Tuscany and Provence . The wine vineyards in Bordeaux, the Fjords in Norway, and the Lochs in Scotland.
While you can see them from the train window on stunning train journeys Swiss Alps, Norway Oslo to Bergen, Scotland Glasgow to Mallaig etc) experiencing them is hard using public transport.
Regarding the fuel prices , in the main countries petrol ( gas ) ranges from 1,55-165euro/litre hence around 1.85-2usd/l hence 7-8 usd/US gallon.
However distances are smaller. Paris-Barcelona 645 miles, Paris -Rome 880 miles. Compare New York Chicago 790 miles.
With campervan, look out for Toll motorways private paid motorways in France Spain and Italy. One off payments for road use in Switzerland and Austria. And carefully with crime in Southern Europe ( camper break in)
On the other hand , as Europe has a culture where most people have 4-7 week holidays per year, there is a huge industry of holiday in particular camping facilities from luxurious to natural, and near or in cities allowing to park safely to visit cities through public transport.
Consider carefully when to go as days are short cold and wet in the fall while spring gives long days pleasant temperatures in Southern Europe with summer great for Northern Europe. ( but choose early spring to visit Norway and Scotland to avoid most mosquitos)
There are many hidden gems, whether villages or events and festivals to consider to experience beyond the facades of the buildings.
There are quite a few campervanners in youtube traveling around Uk and Europe to get a feel for the experiences .
The logistics and legal/ insurance aspects of shipping your campervan to Europe would need some investigation. Buying here is expensive due to sales and luxury taxes. Perhaps rental out of season might be more attractive, perhaps like a VW california or other small campervan( roads are smaller hence easier with smaller van)
Good luck and look forward to your European Adventures!
Hello Joe and Kait,
I enjoy your You-Tube videos, very educational and informative with personality.
I am a retired Sheriff Detective that finally can afford to buy an RV.
After over a year of researching and watching hundreds of you-tube videos, like yours, I recently purchased an Aktiv 2.0. My wife and I have yet to use it as a couple. For medical reasons we have to sleep separate, so I purchased the 2nd bed kit.
And therein lies the question; out of all of your videos I have yet to see one about the second sleeping dinette area with the Hymer portable sleeping kit. I find the kit a large nuisance to store, as part of the kit has two large boards with foam pads. Hymer did not come up with a way to store the kit while traveling, which is why I like the Travado-G, because the second sleeping area mostly all you have to do to assemble it, is just fold and slide the dinette area. I wish Hymer would engineer something as simple.
So please tell me your thoughts of the Hymer second sleeping dinette area kit; have you used it, is it comfortable, how do you stow it for travel???
BTW, just out of curiosity, why did Kait cut her beautiful hair off? She still is beautiful but I loved her long black hair 🙁 ,
and btw My Condolences about Leo, when I lost my dog after 12 years it was surprising how hard it hit me!
Thanks so much for all your videos.
Sorry, but we have no info on the second bed. Since we have no use for one, we don’t want to take up limited space for it. If you like the Hymer, we’d suggest checking out the loft version they are coming out with. We have tried the bed up there and it’s fairly comfy. https://youtu.be/Bg7deGPsS8Y
Hi Kait and Joe,
my name is Christian and I live in Germany. Since we share the same dream I have been subscribed to your YouTube Channel from the early days on and also bought your book „Take Risks“.
Today I want to share my latest single with you called „Stop, Look & Listen“. The song is about the inner calling we all should listen to in order to feel fulfilled. I shot the video in L.A. and basically everytime I listen to it and watch it, my inner calling tells me „Van Life“.
So yeah, maybe you like the song as much as I do. Just wanted to share it to people that inspire me. So thank you for that.
Greetings from Germany,
Hi Joe and Kait,
I recently discovered your YouTube channel and I love your content. I could actually sit and watch the saga of your journeys and insights for hours. I especially enjoyed your episode about Astoria and the Oregon coast as I used to live in Washington state and visited there a couple of times. I also found your episode helpful about income while living a mobile lifestyle.
Just before finding your channel, I had decided I would get (ideally) a Hymer Aktiv (1.0 will be fine since it’s just me), so it’s been great to see what everyday living in it is like. My dream (and manifestation-in-progress) is freedom and mobility in a self-sufficient campervan. I don’t yet know the “how” of every step of my transition to full mobility, but I’m excited to already be living on the road in my imagination, and your videos only add to my excitement.
I would love to connect with you when I’m actually on the road, or if you’re in the Kansas City area before that happens, I would love to meet you.
Please let me know if you have suggestions for finding a used Hymer Aktive 1.0 for a substantially reduced price (compared to new).
Thanks for all you do!
Frank Lyford (subscriber)
Hey Frank! Very excited for your journey to van life and wish you all the best in finding your camper. See you on the road.
Hey Joe and Kait,
Enjoy watching your videos and my wife and I are seriously considering going the full time camper van route. Three questions came to mind as we were binge watching your video
1. What do you guys do for medical insurance?
2. How much different is RV insurance than ordinary car insurance? (cost and coverage ) 3. Have you considered any type of security system on your van such as motion activated lights or Ring?
Thanks in advance and keep filming!
Brian and Jaye
PS formatting was messed up on previous post
Hi from Canada !
I’m really enjoying watching your Youtube channel 🙂
Me and my girlfriend are from Quebec City and we just ordered our 2019 Safari Condo Promaster XL Flex which should be delivered on july 3rd 2019 (long wait… but worth it !!).
The layout looks very similar to your Hymer Aktiv. If you ever decide to drive up north, let us know. It would be nice to meet you 🙂
From a fan in Des Moines, Iowa my wife and I love your You Tube shows.
Joe, If you ever are in Des Moines, Iowa the Des Moines Botanical Center has grown their own coffee Beans. There is a Coffee Tasting tomorrow. I know you won’t be in the area however, I wanted to share in case you were interested.
That’s very cool! Thanks for sharing Daniel!
Like I said before, my wife and I live in Santa Fe. If you are in the area feel free to park your class b at our home. We have full RV hookups.
I really enjoy watching your videos, great job. My wife and I have two kids (three and one-year old). My question to you is, will a class b, something like the hymmer 2.1, be suitable for a couple with two kids? We get two months off during the summer and two months during the winter and would like to visit other states during our vacation. We are considering the Hymmer or similar from conversion companies. As you mentioned in one of your videos, perhaps the shower may not be needed, so we would like to purchase a class b with only the necessary items: two additional seats, ac unit, solar energy, platform bed, and a decent size refrigerator. Any thoughts? Thank you and keep on traveling!
All the time I’ve spent watching your videos and admiring your passion as you live my dream too. I’ve always wanted to get an RV and tour America, Canada, maybe even Mexico and South America. Perhaps ship the thing to England and, starting there, explore Europe from London to Berlin. I watched your first video without catching that third R. I watched it three times before I caught it – even after I was looking for it, I missed it the next to last time through. Hwvr ts bn prvn tht n cn lv t ll th vwls nd stll gt n’s mssg crss. The human eye sees what the brain tells it to expect to see. That’s why you missed the Russso spelling until it was pointed out to you. Don’t feel bad.
Found you when looking for a list of Class B manufacturers. (Thanks!) Started reading at about EP 30. Cried over your loss of Leo. Started back at EP 1. Question(s) – what did Leo’s kettle ball weigh? We have an Alaskan Klee Kai that we’d love to try the kettle ball trick with. Did Leo ever try to run with it? Did it slow him down at all? Though he did look like Mr. Mellow! Thanks
Hey Susan! The kettlebell is 10 pounds and it was enough to slow Leo down so we could grab him if he wanted to take off.
Hi, we have been following your YouTube Channel for about a year, and in the last sit and chat you mentioned Florida. We were wondering when about your would be in that area? We live in South Africa, and will be visiting Florida in the last 2 weeks in May, so if it co-insides it would be awesome to potentially meet up – as we are starting to move in the same direction of RV life.
Hey Andrew! We don’t have plans to be in Florida until December at the earliest. Hope you enjoy your visit in May. If you’re looking for activities, take a look through our travel destinations.
Hi Kait & Joe.. Just wanted to say you two are so sweet. I know you are going to be traveling abroad but I just wanted to let you know, if you are in the Scranton PA area… MY driveway will be available to you ~! it’s the NE section of PA & coming from the south you can get to me easy & upstate NY is about an hour from here, Seneca Falls NY is about 3 hours from me, but you can go lots of directions. Message me anytime you are thinking of coming this way!
Thank you Vicky!
Hey guys, my wife and I both really like watching your videos. As you’ve no doubt heard countless times, some of the most interesting, helpful and enjoyable videos out there in the RV/Van Life category. I think I have watched most of your videos but two there are two topics I have not heard you guys address in depth and perhaps one day you’ll discuss. One is whether on the whole you guys are happy you went with the longer Aktiv 2.0 or if you did it over would you go for the less spacious bed but shorter overall length of the Aktiv 1.0? I have heard you mention that you think you might be able to manage is less space but do you think the trade-off would be worth it? I.e. Do you think the extra foot and one half would have allowed significant easier or closer in parking in a considerable number of places you have visited? Or is your expert opinion the two lengths for parking spots are just about wash? Second topic is 4X4. I have watched plenty of your videos where you are on dirt roads and boondocking but I haven’t head you discuss the Aktiv’s ability to traverse fire, forest series, and two track roads. Do you find your selves limited by the front wheel drive? Or perhaps the Aktiv 2.0 gets to nearly every trailhead you are interested in. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts about both of these issues. Congratulations on the journey and all of your work, videos and the book. I commented on your Leo video but since my wife and I are both big dog lovers want to say again sorry for the passing of Leo. He was such a cool dog but you guys gave him the most amazing and rich live imaginable.
The quick answer is that we like the 2.0 but could go smaller. The extra length of the 2.0 hasn’t hampered us but at the same time, shaving a foot off the back would make things easier in terms of parking, and gives us the option to put bikes on the back and not worry as much about the extra length it would add. 4×4 is definitely something we would like. The Aktiv hasn’t let us down on the dirt roads but we’re cautious about where we go and what type of terrain we drive through. A bit more ground clearance and 4×4 would be a nice insurance policy if we decided to go down some of the rougher/softer stuff.
Hope that helps.
Here’s something you may find interesting:
Been following your most excellently produced videos for about a year. Very sorry for your loss of Leo. Once had an ocelot from Ecuador named Domingo who traveled part way with me and late friend Hilary Dunsterville when we drove ’round the hemisphere in our jeep “Matilda” between 1960-63. In 2009-10 visited US friends and family with my aunt (in her 90s) in a small motor home which she chose over a nursing home!
May God’s favor accompany you always, Lou Bette
I was just watching you’re video on El Paso and I realized you are going the opposite way we are traveling starting Friday. I notice you are in San Antonio. A few weeks ago we explored all over central TX. We stayed at several parks but a few were really exceptional. One was Lake Corpus Christi State Park (very near to San Antonio) and the other was Inks Lake State Park near Austin. The latter was definitely worth going to.
Hi Kait and Joe. Just wanted to say I’ve just started watching your videos and wanted to say thanks for all the tipsxsndes and general van life info yiu share. I’m very interested in doing this when I retire at 50 in 4 years. You make It seem such fun and I just appreciate the tips you give. Keep up the great work and make the most of your travels. Can I ask whether you would recommend traveling with a dog as a lone person travelling? Very best wishes Jon. UK.
Hello Joe and Kate,
I’ve been interested in Van life for a few years…
I came across you guys via YouTube a little while
Ago. I have been looking into purchasing a class
B. Your channel is incredibly interesting, funny and packed full of great tips and info.(but I’m sure you guys don’t need me telling you).
I’ve been bin watching the entire series, and I’m not even a tv watcher. Getting lots of great info.
I just wanted to say a big Thank You
For sharing so much. You guys are truly an inspiration…in many ways.
Kate I just bought the mini insta pot and look forward to your upcoming cookbook. And
Joe I will be ordering your book for my e-reader shortly.
My condolences to you both on loosing Leo, what a sweet pup he was, I even miss him.
…going to our local RV show in Toronto, Ontario,
This coming Thursday. Fingers crossed I find the right fit for my Family.
Happy trails guys,
My wife and I love your videos. …I call you guys smiling Kait and coffee joe. Sorry about leo. We lost our 8 year old rescue lab 5 months ago. Keep doing what your doing thats what leo would want.
Hello Joe and Kait Russo:
I just seen the episode of “Big Time RV” (in Spain is called like “Supercaravanas”, but alright) and saw that you wanted a smaller RV to travel across Europe and just thought “Why not buy an european manufactured RV?”
Here exist many of them from Germany, Italy, France, England or even Slovenia which are based on Mercedes Sprinter, Fiat Ducato (the same model than RAM Promaster), Ford Transit or Volkswagen Crafter.
European manufacturers will even design their models having our streets in mind (not all are so narrow) and have so many ammenities on board, even better than compact RV from the USA.
Anyway, hope that you will love Europe as much as I do, their people, food, culture and of course the heritage.
Joe and Kait,
My wife and I are saddened at your loss. I know someone whose pet passed and she marked the occasion on each birthday to celebrate the life they had together.
Kait and Joe,
I was so sorry to hear about Leo. I’ve been following you on YouTube and Leo always made me smile. We have two fur babies that travel with us in our Van, Bennett and Marco. I know our travels just wouldn’t be the same without them. Please except my deepest sympathy.
Hi Kait and Joe
First a big thank you for your videos,my wife and myself look foward to wednesday nights and our time we spend watching your adventure videos. We are deeply saddended by your loss of Leo! We just celebrated our 33 rd anneversary(Feb. 14 yesterday) and while it brought us much joy we to are expierincing the emptiness of loss from our beloved pets. We do not have children so our dogs were our children. We lost Princess a chi/ dac mix after having her for 18 yrs in July 2015. We lost BO, our choc lab rescue on Thanksgiving day 2016 after he gave us the best 10 yrs of our lives! Our hearts are heavy for you and we know the pain and emptiness you feel. Go foward with your life and cherish the great memories that Leo gave so unselfishly . Kait the poem that you wrote was so absolutely awsome! Thank you again for what you do and share with us! If you are ever in north Alabama contact us , we would love to meet yall. Eddie & Judy Martin
Hi Kait and Joe,
I just watched your video you posted tonight on YouTube called “Goodbye Leo” and I am crying with you both. I am so sorry. You were great guardians to Leo and he had wonderful experiences with you.
All my best,
You recently commented about your van “We have no complaints about the Promaster chassis. Good power, very steady on the highway, great ride and it has an AMAZING turning radius.”
I was wondering how you similarly felt about your Newmar gas RV in comparison, with or without suspension upgrades, and what you thought about traveling with the Newmar gas A without a jeep, van style, as an option?
Fantastic vlogs. You’re on a fantastic adventure. Thanks for taking me with you. Love the dog…
Keep up the great job. Love the video.
Hi Joe, Kait, and Leo!
I am getting ready to make RV Living fulltime in 2018. 1st all of your videos have been entertaining, educational, but to the most important is honest transparency. I just watch one of your “expenses videos” and you mentioned that you just started health insurance. As. Type 1 diabetic this is what has me worried the most. Can you share your journey on how you picked a “non-employer” sponsored insurance? FYI no other YouTube rving family/person (that I can find) has talked about this.
Please and thank you. Please give Leo a hug from me.
Hello Joe and Kait,
Leila and I have been enjoying your videos for sometime now, especially episodes on downsizing what we take with us when traveling in our 2016 Roadtrek CS Adventurous. We are more traditional travelers in that I retired a few years ago and Leila is finally retiring in 2018, so earning an income along the way is not a primary concern for us.
Leila never really liked “Tent Trailer Camping” during the past 30+ years we’ve been married, saying it was too much like growing up in the Philippines. So it usually was just me, the six kids and some of their friends on camping trips.
But now we are Empty Nester’s!
Leila does enjoy traveling in the CS, seeing North America. Staying at a campsite is no longer “Camping” to her! She much prefers sleeping in “Her” bed in the CS over some Hotel/Motel room when we are away from Home.
Keep the tips, travel logs and videos coming, we love you guys!
Hey Joe an Kate,
I’m loving your videos and hearing of your experiences with life in the camper van! Just saw an older video (when you still had the big Class A motorhome) where you talked about staying at Harvest Hosts. I haven’t seen you mention them in any recent videos and wondered if you still stay at their locations and if not, is there a reason or reasons why? On another note, I hope Leo is doing okay. I hope he makes it to Alaska!
Yes, we still stay at Harvest Hosts and love the program. It’s always fun to try and find one along a route we’re taking to spend a night. If you’re interested in joining – we offer a $5 coupon on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/weretherussos
My husband & I have recently started following you on YouTube. We are enjoying your continuing journey across America. We are from Winnipeg, Canada & recently travelled in the eastern USA staying in hotels/motels. It was an absolute blast & the hospitality was amazing. We used to be campers, but sadly due to physical health issues of ourselves & our dog, we had to stop (we are in our 50s & 60s, & our dog was a senior). We recently watch your video regarding Leo’s health issues. We experienced a similar situation with our guy, Cujo, who we lost in 2016 at age 11. You know your boy best & Leo will let you know when it’s time. He looks extremely happy & well cared for. He’s a very fortunate boy to have you as parents.
Hi guys, just finished your book and loved it. My wife Diane and I are about start our travel adventures in 2018 as I plan on retiring in the spring. The work you both put in to go to full time RV life is impressive, I had not though of how much work it would be to make that transition before. Our plan is to be part time RVer traviling for a couple months at a time with our two dogs Zephyr and Monty.
We are big fans of your YouTube channel and look foreword to your weekly videos. We started with the camper van series and started going back to the earlier videos. I can see the improvement in your videos and how you have developed your style over time. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, so I am looking foreword to recording our travels ands haring them on YouTube.
I hope to some day get to meet you two and share a beer.
Randy & Diane
Hi Randy & Diane! Very glad you enjoyed the book. If you have a few moments, it would mean a lot if you could leave a review on Amazon for the book. Excited for you all to hit the road in a few months and hope you have many fun experiences on your adventures!
Hi Kait. I left reviews on both Amazon and iBooks
Thank you so much!
Hey guys…thank you so much for your insightful, informative videos. You are both very talented and I enjoy living vicariously through your graciously shared travel adventures! Can’t wait to read your book, btw.
Would you tell me how you changed your regular diet and how you eat now that has helped you lose weight and look&feel so great?
Many thanks in advance for the info!
..and hugs to Leo 🙂
Hi Joanne. We talk about how we eat half way through this video and you can get an idea of the meals we make https://youtu.be/QWBCtw3EzSo
Not sure of this got posted to the FB page or not so I’ll leave the comment here as well. Just wanted to know if there is a video series or a particular video that details your decision as to why and when you decided to downsize from the Class A to the Version 2.0 van life?? I use a ProMaster to travel/camp to various Astronomy events for a week at a time but it’s still fairly easy o convert my cargo van to a week long camper with all my Astronomy gear and supplies including a 65 QT Siberian Alpha cooler. A portable AC at times (850 watt AC 8000 BTU) or space heaters in propane or Electric depending on the trip and how often I need to be backwoods vs. campgrounds or other available locations with A/C. I could go longer in the cargo van or get a larger/longer RV or travel trailer (again) but it would have been to be below 5000 lbs fully loaded. Then it could be monthly trips even. Have telescope will travel.
Hi John. This post details our downsizing process https://weretherussos.com/class-b-camper-van-for-full-time-rving/
Hi Joe and Kait,
We’ve recently discovered your YouTube videos ( love ’em ) and very impressed with the quality. We enjoy our own adventures with our camper van and our bicycles “Mooch” and “Bimble”. Could you tell us what type/brand of camera equipment you use?
Barb and Steve (from the UK)
Hey Barb and Steve! Glad you’re enjoying the videos and thanks for checking out our website too. As for camera gear, we use mostly the iPhone right now but you can see a list in our store (camera section at the bottom) https://weretherussos.com/our-store/
Dear Joe and Kait,
I stumbled onto your You Tube channel by accident and just watched the full van tour of your Hymer Active 2. My wife and I are planning to buy a cargo van and convert it to a camper. We want windows that are hinged on top so that they can be left open in the rain, but can’t find them anywhere. Mostly what’s offered are sliders (which can’t be left open in rain), and awning windows (of which only a small strip along the bottom opens and have a big frame blocking the view across the middle). When you demonstrated how your windows worked I knew this is the type I’m looking for. Although you don’t mention who makes them, they look like Dometic Seitz – are they?
Your You Tube channel and website are gold mines of information. I can’t thank you enough!
Hey Gary – glad you’re enjoying the content! You and your wife are brave souls. We can’t imagine building out our own with everything that has to go into them. I believe the windows are the Dometic S7P. The “Seitz” wasn’t on their website. https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/products/climate/windows-and-doors/windows/dometic-s7p-_-24935
Hope that helps.
Thank you for your videos and for sharing your interesting lives. I hope you are being well compensated for working 120 hrs per week. I’ve heard that people do not make a significant amount of money from YouTube ads and I feel bad for you having to work so hard so I would like to make a suggestion. You might consider posting 1 video per week on YouTube and posting the others only on Patreon. Let people pay for your excellent content instead of just viewing it all for free. I’m sure they would be happy to support you if you asked. If each of your 40,000 YouTube subscribers went to Patreon and paid only $1 per month, you would be making $40,000 per month and they wouldn’t have to watch all those Youtube commercials that interrupt your videos. You might check out Steve Dotto’s business model. Wishing you all the best and continued success.
Hey Mardi – great suggestion. We currently do have and post to our Patreon page on a regular basis and provide discount codes and some cool benefits depending on the subscriber’s level. However, we’ve found that most of our subscriber’s don’t want to pay for content. We actually had a lot of backlash when we initially introduced our Patreon page. Since you made the suggestion, is there something holding you back from becoming a Patron?
I’m still finding your short video updates very helpful since I found you and subscribed on YT. It’s all particularly relevant to us as we plan to head out in January 2018 with our Lance 1475 Travel Trailer. I see that you’re currently in Sedona, which is where we’re planning to head on our first stop after leaving San Diego. Are by chance at or have you stayed at the Rancho Sedona RV Park? It looks really nice from their website, so it’s where we planned to start our adventure. Thanks again for sharing your travels and experience!
Just picked up your book on Amazon too!
Hey Dave, you’re very welcome! We haven’t stayed at that park but we wrote a post about some fun things to do in Sedona https://weretherussos.com/things-to-do-in-sedona/
Enjoy the trip and we’ll see you on the road.
Thanks for the response and info Kait, and thanks for the continuing inspiration!
Joe and Kait
On the theory that if I liked the Kindle, I’ll love the paperback, I ordered it today. Seriously, I ordered it as a gift.
Glad you’re getting good reviews and it should encourage you to keep working on volume 2. You are working on volume 2, right?
Pete & Judy
Hey Pete and Judy,
Volume 2 is in the works but on hold for a bit while I crank out the audiobook for #1. So many people have asked for it that I figured I’d have to hunker down and do it. It’s no small feat so #2 may be delayed a bit.
Hi Joe & Kait,
Hard to believe we have a similar problem. When Amazon publishes our books, the Kindle appears to have fewer pages than the paperback. Of course it doesn’t, but readers only looking at the Kindle may feel they want more for their money. I noticed Amazon shows your Kindle at 219 pages and your paperback at 277 pages. Our publisher contacted Amazon and got it corrected.
All the best, Pete & Judy
A lot of it has to do with the formatting. My print book is 5×8 but if I had made it 6×9, the page count would have been very similar to the e-book version. Just funny how that works.
Hi Kait and Joe,
I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on the full time travel life. My husband are in the beginning stages of thinking about this lifestyle as we retire. We have a 2012 Toyota Sienna that can pull 3500#s so we’re investigating travel trailers. We don’t want to go into debt for an RV. I’m looking forward to checking out the Airstream Nest ( purchased from Nest designer in Bend, OR) due out in 2018. Meanwhile, we’re exploring others. We’ll be traveling with our Jack Russell Terrier and rescue Terrier mix.
I look forward to more of your posts,
Thanks Kathi. Good luck in the search, we looked at a lot of trailers to tow with the Jeep but didn’t find anything we felt we could live in. If you haven’t seen them, check out the smaller Lance Trailers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUQzHxPD55g
Love your videos. Have gotten a lot of great ideas for our tiny A-Liner camper. Always look forward to your videos.
Hey Joe and Kait,
I really like your channel and would like to take to the road some time in the not too distant future. We are from Philadelphia. My wife’s maiden name is Russo and there are many Russos in our area. Wonder if you guys are related.
I recently stumbled across your story/website while I was researching full-time RVing. I’ve gone through all the various stages of what type to get starting with a travel trailer, then a Class A. Never really considered a Class B until I watched your videos. The appeal of being able to just pull into a normal parking lot is too strong to ignore. The main thing that keeps me being 100% convinced is the shower situation. Plus our two large rescues (a Rottie/Sharpei mix and a Pit). I’m so ready for this lifestyle, but just can’t get my husband to go along with my dream/desire. He loves our converted barn in Paso Robles too much to give it up. But I will continue to work on him. For starters, trying to convince him to go to the Pomona RV Show next month. If we do, we will definitely stop by and say hi.
Kait – I noticed you are doing vegan friendly recipes in your more recent non-cooking specific videos. Have you two switched over? I was looking at your earlier cooking videos and it looks like maybe you aren’t doing any new ones. Since you have one book under your belt (which I have already pre-orderered), maybe it’s time to do a cookbook to help us ‘huge’ kitchen aficionados learn how to downsize. I worry about my pantry desires and food variety yearnings versus actual food storage and prep gadgets space in the RV. I’ve been accused of being a gadget addict.
Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your great site and videos..true inspiration.
Makes me think it truly is possible to have the life I’ve been dreaming about. You have a new loyal follower.
Sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you with your hubby. Maybe start out slow, get a van and take some weekend camping trips, then stay out a bit longer, and a bit longer… 😉
Thank you for the pre-order! Kait is going to work on a cookbook, but it may take a while. Putting a finished book together takes a quite a bit of time and effort. I started our first book back in January.
If you guys can make oi Pomona, definitely come over and say hello. Hope to see you there!
I throughly enjoy your viedos. Where do you find the background music for them and do you have to give credit for the music used for copywrite reasons? I am very new to making videos and wasn’t sure of the rules in using music. Thanks. Happy trails! Robin
Hey Robin! YouTube has a music library you can use and whether you have to give credit depends on the artist, but that will be clearly stated on the website.
Hello Joe & Kate,
Wife and I discovered your youtube channel and enjoy your videos. Seems we have a lot in common:
1. We’re both Italian,
2. My name is also Joe
3. Both married to Chinese women; Yue is from Changchun (we travel to China often)
4. We own a class-B RV (Roadtrek). And yes we too went from 40ft class A to class B. Best rv decision we made to date.
5. We too have a dog; a Jack Russell. Before Sparky, I had a black and white husky years ago (Thor) he passed. Thor was the best hiking dog ever owned.
Yue can’t believe the similarities between us. If you was born in Naples Italy then I’d say we’re probably related 🙂 With luck our paths will cross on the road one day. Keep up the wonderful work. All the best to you both. Happy safe and travels.
Wow those are quite the similarities! Look forward to meeting some day on the road to see what else we have in common.
Hello, just started watching your vids and I’m impressed with your videos and editing. Since I’m a photo/video geek, I was wondering what camera products, mounts, editing, etc stuff your using. Maybe a video would be good…if you have the time. Also if you ever come to Massachusetts feel free to reach out. Cheers!
Hey Mark, you can find all the camera gear we use in our store: weretherussos.com/our-store
Most of the video is shot using our iPhone with the lens we have listed.
Every time I watch on Utube , ye make me hungry with all your beautiful dishes, your a lucky man, mobile chef on board,-)
I think ye should consider adding one more day per week to the channel, Wednesday’s, it’s just to long to wait, Saturday and Wednesday sounds much better (more food)
Ye should also consider doing a book explaining simple dishes on the road , yes yes great idea.
It don’t look easy trying to keep the kitchen clear/clean if ye were having big elaborate meals.
Hello from Ireland
Best channel on Utube keep up the good work,
Normal is best, that’s why ye 3 are liked so much.
Thank you Gerard! Kait is going to work on a book of her different recipes and I wrote a book about our journey to get on the road: http://amzn.to/2wDWRxg
In reviewing rv campers vans like the hymer I came across amazing storage in external mount boxes from a company called alluminess. I thought you guys might like it.
Thanks, we’ve seen their stuff and it’s pretty nice but we have more than enough storage in the Hymer.
`Hello We’re the Russos,
My husband and I are just starting our research on how to make this life change. We decided to go see a roadtrek camper van to get an idea of the size in real life before committing any more time to this research. I loved the size. I can definitiately imagine this working for us. However the sales rep mentioned that it can be hard to get service on your RV. He indicated that they prioritize their sales customers over others when scheduling repairs. Have you noticed this when you have needed service? Have you experienced any challenges finding repairs while on the road? I apologies if you have addressed this in one of your videos or blogs already… point me in the right direction?? Looking forward to your book!
Since the Aktiv is on loan to us from Hymer, our experience is not going to be like a typical customer. That said, when we had our Class A motorhome, we only ran into one dealer who gave us the “our customers will get priority over you” routine. So we simply called another dealer and scheduled an appointment and were scheduled into their next available slot. Keep in mind that, at least with our Class A, most service centers are booked out about 1-2 months in advance. If we needed something done immediately, we would call a mobile tech and get taken care of in a few days. It’s not like taking your car in for service. We would also tell the service center that we wanted the RV back at the end of each day…since we were full timers. That wasn’t a problem but there were a few instances where they needed a part that would take a while to arrive, so we would simply take the RV, head out for a month or two and swing back for the repair.
Hope this helps and you enjoy the book!
I also want to live life like you. But can not, I hope in the next five years I will do that.
Hi Joe and Kait,
I found your YouTube channel by accident, but am enjoying the VLOG’s of your great adventure. I am retiring from a 30 year career in public Safety in early 2019 and want to embark on a journey similar to what you are currently experiencing. I am an avid outdoorsmen and love to travel, however, I predominantly backpack (lightweight travel with everything on my back). I want to set out on a journey similar to what you two are experiencing, but I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to camper-van life. I would love to correspond with you about your investment, costs, considerations, etc…
On a separate note, love the relationship the two (or should I say three LOL) of you share. Nothing like experiencing life’s ups and downs with someone you respect and love. Congrats to both of you for that,,,,it really comes out in your videos.
Thanks Mark and so happy you’re enjoying the videos! We’ve met a lot of people who are backpackers, outdoors people, etc and living this lifestyle. Unfortunately with the number of people who have questions about getting into this lifestyle, we don’t have the time to correspond to them directly. We have a few hundred articles on this site and many videos that will answer most questions…we also just published our book about all of the planning and things we considered during the two years prior to getting on the road. You can find our book, Take Risks, here: http://amzn.to/2wh0ola
Kait & Joe,
We ran into each other at Costco in Eugene. You were pulling out while I was pulling in with the Travato pulling the trailer. I wish we could have spent more time talking, but those annoying people honking at us for blocking the pumps were really annoying.
We made it to Prineville that night (2AM & ended up sleeping at the Sheriff’s office), and to the big eclipse site the next day. I have pictures from there I think you’ll get a kick out of.
We then headed up to Astoria for a week long vacation before the 8 days (141 hours in those 8 days) of work in Eastern Oregon. While in Astoria, check out the Wet Dog Cafe! I was able to spend most of the day there, editing and uploading. Not only was the staff fantastic, but they have awesome food, a great view, and the fastest internet in town.
Again, great meeting you, and I hope to see you again!
Hey Norm…we just left Astoria and it sounds like we were all there at the same time. Sorry we missed you again and would love to have had a chance to chat longer. We’re spending time along the coast until it cools down, then we’ll head to Bend and possibly into Idaho. Hope we bump into you again!
Hi, Joe and Kate,
Just pre-ordered TAKE RISKS. If you have a moment and enjoy a PI/thriller, take a look at our website JPRatto.com.
My wife and I are retired and have enjoyed your adventures. We are planning some of our own and deciding between an Airstream and a Leisure Travel Van. Hope to be on the road soon.
Pete and Judy
Hey Pete and Judy!
Thank you so much for the pre-order and we’ll certainly check out your site/books. Good luck with the decision between those two…both good choices.
Great trips you guys take-not into cassette crapper! Actually, tracing with fiancé who had stroke a few years ago. Haven’t gotten to Bishop, but went to the bakery when I was a kid on the way to Lake Tahoe every summer! Loved it! Danish cookies and the bread!
On the road working part of the time with a bit more gear and additional connectivity. Taking care of Nikki is a little more challenging.
Seriously just thought of Joe and his daily cup of joe when a friend posted this on Facebook tonight, it’s a coffee filter that fits on any cup and it’s on Amazon and it folds completely flat, so cool. Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy – Nearly Universal Fit – Ideal for Travel – Eco-Friendly
I’m getting one for travel.
Oh very cool – we have the Primula cold brew and it works great. Enjoy!
Love you all! Recent episode: Day in a life (van life). How did you let your car battery drain? Do you have a process/method to prevent that again? You could have been really screwed if you were off the grid. Also, any security issues being alone out there? Do you have a gun? Maybe Leo is the answer? By the way, I don’t own a gun or am any part of the NRA. Thanks!
Hey Mike – we accidentally left the van’s radio on and that’s what drained the battery. I figured out a way to jump it from the house batteries so if it ever happens again, we aren’t stuck. We don’t publicly discuss how we deal with our security since anyone can read these comments and we post our location on the website.
My husband loves your videos, he says: “one day we’ll do what they do!!”
You both look like very easy going people, I think that is very important to be happy and successful having the style of life you have. You are welcome to Texas !
Hi guys! I enjoy all of your postings and videos. My husband and I met you at the Newmar factory last year. We would like to welcome you to our driveway ( while we still have one ) if you come through our area. We are in the country near Ashland, KY just 3 miles from I-64
Hi Sally! Great to hear from you. Thanks for the generous offer and we’ll be sure to reach out if we make it out your way.
Hi! I just bought a used 24 foot motor home, mainly to travel with my dog, so I don’t have to worry about leaving her in a cool place while I’m visiting, dining or sightseeing. Also, I won’t have to worry about pet-friendly anything or intruding on friends/family in their homes. I’m still working on learning how to use the generator, and what to turn on and off, etc. in the coach as I’ve never had any kind of camper. I love Cracker Barrels and am happy to learn one can usually park there overnight! I’m looking forward to your newsletters and getting lots of tips and hearing about your adventures! Thank you for doing this! Mary
You’re welcome Mary! Congrats on the new rig and hope you have many wonderful adventures with your pup. Happy Trails 🙂
Hi Joe, Kait and Leo,
My wife (Yeshi) and our son (Joseph) and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your RV-life adventures. You’ve inspired us to go make some of our own RV adventures someday – thank you!
We’d love to meet you if you ever are passing through the Dallas/Fort Worth area (or maybe out on the road someday).
May God keep you all safe as you continue you’re wonderful journey!
Hi Scott! Thanks for the comment and very glad you and your family are enjoying our videos. We do share our current location on our website, so if you see us nearby don’t hesitate to reach out again and we can all get together either in Dallas area or somewhere on the road 🙂
As I said on your video “RV Factory Tour”, it’s the epitome of all RV videos, on youtube and the net, and I just had to subscribe! I even decided to add a section to my Blog for RVing ://aap-sg.com/Blog/lets-go-rving/ and guess who’s the first to be put up
Found your channel/ website a few weeks ago so just caught up with past vids etc and love watching your adventure- its a breath of fresh air in this hectic society! Can i ask are you still doing the patreon thing? If so how exactly does it work?
Welcome Lou! Thanks for watching our videos and glad you’re enjoying the content. We do have a Patreon page that you can check out here: https://www.patreon.com/weretherussos There are two tiers: $1/month will give you access to exclusive content we don’t publish anywhere else, $5 or more/month will give you access to exclusive content, plus discounts, meet-ups, live chats and more. Let us know if you have additional questions.
I’ve signed up!can’t give a lot but hope it helps along the way, out of curiosity do you know how much the ebook will be selling for once it’s ready? Can’t wait to read it!
Hey guys, just stumbled on your website here a day or so ago and have found it very informative and wanted to thank you for sharing all this information! I’m about as new to rving as it gets. In the last few weeks I’ve rented out my house, put my two weeks in at my job and bought an rv! I have 4 days left of work then I pick up my travel trailer from the dealership, get it all set up and will be hitting the road in the next week or so. Just me and my dog. No real plans set in stone just really wingin it. Anyway like I said just wanted say thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences, I feel I’ve already learned a lot from y’all. Maybe we’ll cross paths on the road some day, happy travels!
Congrats Bryan – it’s a very exciting time and thank you so much for sharing it with us! Safe travels and hoping we bump into each other.
Have watched your videos and love them. I have a question. I know you only put urine in your cassette toilet. What do you do when you are boondocking and there isn’t any facilities to use for your “dirty” business?
Hey Kathy. When we’re boondocking in the national forest we follow the rules for human waste disposal. Information sheet are available at the local forest office and online.
OMG I love your channel, I have been binge watching for the last couple of days…..watch an adorable well behaved dog! Do you have any problem with condensation? Outdoor shower, have you used it? We aren’t RVing yet….hopefully soon. Love your rig also, I need a class B……safe travels!
Hi John! So glad you found us and thanks for binge watching our videos! No issues with condensation and haven’t used an outdoor shower, but we have considered it. Are you considering full time RVing?
Hi guys, we met you briefly at the Newmar factory last year. We are enjoying your videos and info. It’s causing us to rethink our 44ft class A. Hmmm. We will be full timers Nov. 1, 2019 when hubby retires. Until then, we enjoy short trips and preparing for the big day. We will be contributing to you by making all our amazon purchases through your links. Hope to see you again some day. Sally & Roger Summerfield
Hi Sally & Roger. It’s great to hear from you both and thank you so much for the support. How are you enjoying the Dutch Star and have you done any boondocking?
Your fame crossed the ocean till europe 🙂 . ‘Travelling’ around in the web, just curious about plein air living, I found out your videos and choose to be better than many others. Since then I started to follow your web site as well. My boyfriend and I, we live and work in Rome as doctors. We got our first camper three years ago (a 5,50 meters rv), having no experience at all in camping life. Well..today I am really in love with all that concerns this world!!! I do by myself all the little works in my vehicle, such as creation and restoration of the furnitures, repairs and so on. Our plan is to come to spend our honeymoon in US next year, renting a rv to go freely around. I am already so excited!!! Very nice blog, I’ll be going on following. See you (may be) on the road! Vittoria
I just have to say you have a very sweet wife.
That I do – Thanks Michael!
Hello Russo’s! Thanks so much for your great information. My wife and I are recent retirees and are considering trading our travel trailer for an Aktiv.
I’m concerned about the “lack” of a tilt steering and the relatively difficult ability to change the seat positioning for longer haul driving of the ProMaster. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to my power seats and tilt wheels in my old age!
Can you please address that either here or on a video?
Hi Michael – we didn’t find the seat difficult to adjust but the seating/driving position is very different than other vehicles. Kait adjusted to it right away while I took a bit more time but am finding it very comfortable. I think it’s a very personal thing and suggest you find a Promaster you can sit in for a while, play with the seat and see if it’s something you like.
Hey I posted about a week ago on your YouTube channel about the cassette. Don’t know your plans or where your travels will take you but if you come east we are a few miles from Harpers Ferry WV and would be happy to host you. That is also about an hours drive from D.C. or Baltimore. We should have our B van in the later part of July it just is not the Hymer. We could compare notes. Was thinking about waiting to see where Hymer is in a year from now but life is too short to wait. And yes you can dump your cassette at our place….
Hey Danny thank you for reaching out and for the invitation! We’re going to spend the next year on the west side of the country but may be in your neck of the woods in ’18. Hopefully by then we can meet with the vans!
https://youtu.be/7cPkvQ5KI88 Good luck finding a Baja bug! Cheers.
Very cool, thanks for sharing. We actually met Jay Leno one day when he was out with one of his supercars. Great guy.
Hope this is the best way to reach you.
I’m interested in advertising on your website and wanted to get in touch about your rates and if you do any other forms of advertisements?
Looking forward to your response!
How do I contact you via email?
Hey Jim. You can reach us at weretherussos[at]gmail[dot]com
I saw you “we sold the RV” video, have you replaced it and what is the plan?
Still waiting to take delivery of the new RV.
Maybe putting together an expedition vehicle like these folks might be the way to go.
It looks like they picked up a chassis cheap from government surplus http://www.govplanet.com/
and had a four season living compartment built and mounted by Global Expedition Vehicles.
Thanks for the links! Those are very cool but way beyond our budget right now. Maybe one day we can shop for something like this.
Hello you have great videos! I just discovered your channel today and I was wondering what you do for income? Are you living off of savings? I think you said you made about $99 dollars one month from the webpage. But that is not much, do you have other sources of income? Just wondering because we are considering this style of living but are not sure how we could afford it if we were to quit our jobs that tie us down. Sorry if you have this information somewhere but I could not find it. Happy trails!
Hi Jessica. Very glad to hear you are enjoying our videos. To answer your question, we actually created a four part series on how we’re able to enjoy our current lifestyle. You can find all the videos embedded on this page: https://weretherussos.com/live-life-on-your-own-terms/ Also, we have our latest income report here: https://weretherussos.com/august-2016-income-report/
Hello Kait & Joe, love your web site. We just bought our first RV, Newmar Bay Star 3401, 2017 on Jan. 1st. It’s currently parked in our driveway here in Dayton, OH and it’s like 3 degrees outside. Glad Tom Johnson Camping World winterized it for us before we left Concord N.C. this past Monday. Our house will be sold in March and once that happens we intend to head out and start our own adventure. I am retired Air Force and Melinda will be a retired office manager. We are so excited as well as nervous but so looking forward to meeting so many new people and seeing America. My career took me to over 100 foreign countries in 34 years. So now it is time to see the USA. We have you in our favorites and will keep tabs on your adventures as well.
One thing I have found so far, being an old A/C mechanic, the owners manual is somewhat limited on describing the complete operations of some of the features of our coach. Such as push this button or pull that handle but not showing where that button or handle is located. We had a walk through with the salesman but it was raining cats and dogs and cold and it was quite over whelming and fast. I like to do my own preventive maintenance much as you do so I am looking for some books that will show more detail some of the maintenance requirements for our new baby.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and look forward to someday running into you guys. Our youngest son, also in the AF is being stationed at the LA Air Force base in LA in June so we will be making a few trips to CA as well as to Seattle, WA to visit our other son who is in the Navy and stationed at a base up there.
Dale & Melinda
Hey Dale and Melinda!
Congrats on the Bay Star and if you haven’t seen it, we put together an extensive walk through of the Bay Star and we walk through most of the systems and how they function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5zI1Cjv7oM
We rarely used the Bay Star manual and instead would read through each of the manuals for the different components in the RV. For example, the Onan manual will give you all the maintenance info you need (including part numbers) and location of fuses, etc. All the info is there, you’ll just have to dig for it.
I used to work right next door to the LA AFB. Your son is going to be a couple miles from the beach so hope he enjoys the area! Thank you and your son for your service and hope to see you out on the road!
I have a question,
My garage is an inch too short at the doors to fit the alto teardrop.
If I let air out of the tires do you think I could get it in, once passed the door frame, I have more space
Hey Linda, I have no idea but there’s no harm in trying.
Haven’t seen many expedition vehicles show up for sale so I thought I’d post this one that just popped up for sale. Never heard of Steyr Puch either.
On the downside, I don’t think Leo could manage the climb into the cab and I don’t think it comes with AC. Fun to look at though.
Thanks for the link…that is really cool and definitely something to drool over!
Hi Kait and Joe, I have been watching you videos and now looking at your blog.
Is there a “good” way to navigate from the beginning? These things always kick my butt?
Great job with both sites, can’t wait to start at day one and binge to the present. Thanks in advance for your help!!
If you want to start from the beginning, click “What’s New” from the top menu and scroll to the bottom of the page. When you see the different page numbers at the bottom, click “Last” and that will take you to the first articles and you can work your way through everything. Enjoy!
Hi Joe and Kait,
I wanted to share a little story with you guys, cause It’s kind of funny how these interwebs work. I was checking out some YouTube recommendations on my TV on boondocking and one of yours came up. I also saw the name We’re the Russso’s and something in my head just said that kind of sounds familiar, or I’ve heard or seen that before. I did not recognize either of you from the videos but that beautiful Class A with that big sign in the front did seem familiar. So I subscribed to your channel and something must have clicked in my mind that told me to search your channel to see if you had gone to John Pennekamp and I so clearly remember seeing that rig in front of the dive office by the marina as I was there for a few days with my wife on our sailboat staying in the marina. I think it might have been your first day there and my last day or next to last as I had not seen the rig the week before. I was there after a little cold front had gone through South Fl and the weather was beautiful and a little breezy, I do think it was in late March even though your video was published in April 2016. I just wanted to share this story with you so you can see how much effect that name on that rig can have on people and their recollection of it. I wish my wife and I had known or met you guys then. I have subscribed to your channel and have only started seeing a couple of your videos and look forward to seeing more and following some of your adventures. I used to have a 29′ travel trailer and now have a homemade teardrop and use my trailerable sailboat for our South Florida Adventures. We were also at the Tampa RV Show you went to in January, we go there every year, it’s a ritual for us, it’s so funny there is so much in common. Anyways, I would just like to wish you both safe travels and keep up the great work on the videos and blog, maybe we meet again another time and we will surely stop and say Hello then. Joe and Irma
Hey Joe and Irma!
The day you saw us may have been our last day at John Pennekamp. After we checked out, we decided to park by the marina for a few hours before hitting the road. Sorry we missed each other as we would have loved to meet you two. Do you have a photo that you can share of your homemade teardrop? The Tampa RV Show is great and we hope to make it to another one when we travel to FL again. Thank you for subscribing and watching our videos. Hope to meet you both when our paths cross again!
I do have a couple of photos to upload or I can send to you of my homemade trailer, its a little insulated box with air conditioning on an all aluminum double jet ski boat trailer, simple but effective for the brutal Florida heat. We went from an 18′ to a 30′ to now a 7′ trailer and do just fine. Construction is with marine grade plywood and all fiberglass, it’s overkill in construction and sealants and should last me 30 years or more if I want. I’ll just pass it on to one of my kids when I retire, they use it too. I was trying to see how to upload the photos to you but not available through the comments, let me know how I can send them to you. I love that Tampa RV show, I’ve been going there since 2009 for years with my wife to dream, see the latest and get ideas for upgrades on whatever we had at the time.
Great! You can send the photos to: info (at) weretherussos.com
I just retired and my wife and I want to buy an RV and start touring our great country. I just saw a video on YouTube on the Showhauler RV tour you took. You made a comment that you would order one, but would not order any slides. My question is why? We plan on traveling off road and into the boonies.
Hi Sergio! Congrats on your retirement. The comment about having no slides is a personal preference for me. Joe could actually go either way. Enjoy RV shopping and let us know when you get on the road.
I saw your video today from Rincon Parkway. If you’re heading further south I recommend visiting the Chino Farm Vegetable Shop. It looks like a typical small farm stand but they’ve had articles written about them in the New York Times and supply many top notch restaurants including Chez Panisse and The French Laundry with their produce. They are known for growing hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables so you never know what you’ll find for sale.
Hi Ted! Thank you so much for the recommendation. We are headed to Santa Barbara next and then to the Pomona RV show. Will add Chino Farm to our list and check it out when we make it down to that area.
Just be aware that they have a reputation for being short towards people asking too many questions about their produce (who wants to memorize hundreds of varieties) so it’s a little bit like going to Seinfield’s Soup Nazi kitchen. Just grab whatever looks interesting and take a chance. If you’re lucky you can find their tiny french strawberries, and Cavaillon melons in season (these are very labor intensive and expensive to grow) . I once picked up some cherry tomatoes from them that had a rich smokey flavor that was very surprising.
Thanks for the heads up Ted! Some of their produce sound amazing, especially that cherry tomato you picked up.
Love your blog!!
We discovered you through Josh and Kali (Find Your Freedom), and I’m so glad!!
My husband and I are going full time next month, and while I’m sure everything will work out just fine, I don’t think we are as prepared as we could be.
Thank you for sharing how you make an income, because this is the information I’ve been searching for and coming up short.
Hi Susan! Excited for you and your husband to hit the road full time. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment to let us know you found the content helpful. We really appreciate it. See you on the road soon.
I’m a big fan and love the blog and vlog. We are in that final 6 months. As I’m looking at my linen closet at several sets of towels, cloths, sheets, blankets, I wonder what is really necessary for 2 people. That goes for clothing too. I know every one is a little different. My husband would never wear shorts and I have to be freezing not too. I would love to see your take on what is really needed to have an adequate stock linen closet and clothing closet.
I’ve been thinking about making a video on what we brought for full time living and what we actually use day to day. Out of all the clothes we brought, I would say we use 20-25% of it. We did one purge this spring and donated some things we haven’t touched since we got on the road. How often you do laundry will also play a factor. If you bring two dish towels and wash them regularly you may only need the two.
Hello Joe and Kait,
I love your blog! This is exactly what I was looking for; someone to openly share their monthly expenses. It is our plan to early retire next year, and your blog has convinced us to go ahead and do it. I am only 53, (my wife is 43), have been working as a computer programmer for over 30 year and I am done with this life. Hope one day to see you on the road. Happy traveling!!!
David and Michelle
Hi David! Thank you so much for leaving us a comment. We really appreciate the feedback and very glad you find the expenses helpful. That’s one thing we had a difficult time finding during our research period and when we got on the road we decided to share our RVing costs to help others.
Excited for you and Michelle to get on the road and definitely want to meet up when our paths cross. All the best to you both!
Dear Joe, & Kait,
I am living vicariously through sailors , and Rver’s . Fortunately I have been around the world twice, and have visited 45 states. Your dog Leo is precious, I am loving Katit’s Cooking, and the refreshing antics, how you play off each other. I love your channel, you both have a way of keeping you vlogs fun, and upbeat. Thank You for the tours, and executing creative information. Happy Trails!
Hi Katherine! Thank you so much for the comment. We would love to hear about your world travels one of these days when our paths cross. Glad you are enjoying our antics and we really appreciate your support!
Hello Joe and Kait!
My wife and I discovered your YouTube channel a few months ago and have been lurking for quite some time. Between you, The Wynn’s, and a few sailing channels, we’ve decided to also take the plunge and live life on our own terms. We would love to be able to make more direct contact, and perhaps pay for a consulting session if you are still doing those.
I also have a little website feedback and a request for you – it’s devilishly difficult for me to find the details for the Coffee roaster you recommended in your recent YouTube videos. I searched the site for “coffee” and did not find what I was looking for. Would you please consider adding a dedicated section for each of your mini-series? I’m due to order coffee and would love to support you and your recommended vendors in the process.
Ben and Lanni
Hey Ben and Lanni!
First off, congrats on deciding to take the plunge! Any idea of what your timeline is? Its always so exciting for us to hear from people who have decided to live life on their terms and even more fun to hear about how they’re going to do it. We’re very excited for the two of you! We’re still doing consulting and when you’re ready, send us an email info (at) weretherussos.com and we can provide details and schedule something with you.
Thank you for the great feedback. We’re going to look into adding links on our site for the coffee and cooking series. For the coffee, the website is csrcoffee.com – they are great to work with and I typically include this in the description of my videos. We are doing a giveaway every other week, so make sure to enter and you may not need to order any coffee!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Joe and Kait
Look up The Love Monkeys at Summerfest. A great cover band. John is a fun performer and the band is very talented. We’ve been following them for 18 years.
If you can head over to Madison, Mendota Park has a couple of larger sites. I saw a 45′ Class A there last year which got me excited that, once we are full time in 2019, we’ll be able come home for a visit.
Hi Bev! We’ll keep an eye out for The Love Monkeys and thanks for the tip about Mendota Park. Not sure if we’ll make it to Madison this trip.
We’d love to meet you if you get to Madison.
My wife and I saw your youtube video showing your uncle’s Safari Condo Alto. We live in Florida and was wondering if any chance we might be able to check it out? We’re fascinated from a far but don’t know where to see one in person. Enjoys your travels!
Hi Travis! Send us an email info[at]weretherussos[dot]com and I can see if my aunt and uncle have time to show it. Are you looking to buy one or just see one in person?
I just heard your interview on TSP. It is great to see how you have taken charge of your own destiny. I look forward to keeping up with you and your travels. Here’s wishing you safe and memorable journeys.
Thank you Raven!
We just passed you in Franklin, TN and decided to look you up!! What a cool story! Excited to follow along here with you!
-Andrea & Andrew Skaggs
Hi Andrea – Glad you spotted us and thanks for following along!
Keep up the great work and inspiration for me and my husband. We are hoping to be full time RVing in the next few years. We will continue to watch your adventure! Thank you again for sharing!
Thanks for following Becky!
Hi Kait and Joe,
My husband and I just watched your walk-through video. Thanks for sharing such a detailed and thorough information. We are less than 3 months away from my last day at work. Excited to be moving back to the west to begin our full-time RVing and traveling. Look forward to follow your blog and story along.
Hi Keng – thank you for the kind words. will you be full timing in a Newmar Bay Star?
We finally bought 2006 Fleetwood Revolution. He’s rather large ?, about 41′. We are in the process of trying to get our house ready to put on the market. About 5 weeks to go!
Keng, that’s terrific! Congrats on the purchase and all the best with the sale of the house. See you on the road soon. 🙂
Joe and Kait, just reading your page about you and had a question, you stated you thought of a motorcycle trip, do you also own and/or ride? We have a motorcycle also we plan to bring along with our jeep. I will probably be pestering you with questions and/r comments all over the place. Love your blog. Thanks, blessed travls
I have been riding for a long time and probably put about 15k miles a year on my bikes however I sold them prior to going fulltime in the RV. Kait loved riding with me and also has her license so the idea of touring around on two bikes sounds amazing to us.
Thanks for sharing your journey. Just added your blog to my Feedly. Your monthly income/expense reports are an inspiration. If you haven’t already, you might want to check out http://www.technomadia.com/ (a couple who make a living online while traveling in their RV) and http://www.digitalnomadwannabe.com/ (an Australian Mom and travel blogger who travels full-time with her family and also publishes her blog income every month).
Godspeed in your travels and best of the holidays!
Thank you for the compliments Bill! We follow those sites as well and have been very helpful to us.
Kait and Joe,
I just subscribed. Love your candid, thorough and high quality videos.
Sorry about the mixup with Lindstrom’s on the walk-thru video but looking forward to the redo.
We purchased the very last 2903 off the line and it is almost a twin of yours. So far, we are getting the same mpg as you but put quite a lot of money into new suspension items at Henderson’s in Grant’s Pass, Or. We find our ride much better now.
Thanks for your blog, love it!
Tom, thanks so much for your comment. It made our day. What type of suspension work did you get? We are looking at an upgrade for our rig as well. Hope to catch you on the road! We haven’t seen another Bay Star.
Depending upon which way we go when leaving home, or the last part of each trip when returning home, it’s either 30, 45 or 80 miles of narrow and winding highway, there is no easy way. It was, as they say, a “white knuckle” drive. We went to Henderson’s Line-up in Grant’s Pass, OR. They were touted as being one of the best and very well respected by many of our RV friends. We formerly had a Class C Lazy Daze.
First thing they do is to take you on a 15 Road Performance Assessment. After that, they recommended 6 different upgrades. We chose to do 5 of the 6, omitting the “Ultra Upgrade”, similar to a “Banks” System. Recommendations we chose to go along with were: 1, install front sway bar ($958), 2, install Safe-T-Plus Steering Control, ($830), 3, install Koni Shocks, front and rear ($974), 4, install Sumo Springs, front and rear ($2270), 5, install rear sway bar ($955). Total was $7,307.
I know, you’d think a person would be crazy to buy a new rig and have to put that kind of upgrade money into it. We’re in the same income and expense bracket as you and so we gave this serious thought also. Henderson’s was 500 miles from home though and we didn’t want to keep returning to do one thing at a time. Also, we wanted this new motorhome to be fun to drive. I can’t say for sure if leaving one of the recommended upgrades or two would have made a big difference but our rig now handles beautifully and we have many years to enjoy it. We are not related to or have any interest in Henderson’s. Also, all of these upgrades, could be done by a good backyard mechanic, saving about 1/2 the cost.
My wife says, the rig is now easier to drive than our former Class C and she enjoys driving it, even on the first or last hour of each trip.
Much of our RV shopping experience and camping likes are very similar to yours. We had reservations to camp at the Fairplex and attend the Pamona RV Show but canceled them in June when we found our Bay Star in Junction City, OR, while still doing the comparison thing. So much of what you’ve written about rings true or the same with us and I’m really happy to have found you in the iRV2 Forum (Walk-thru video). Wish I could write so much more but it’s a blog and not a book.
Thank you so very much!
I should have proof read my post. Make that a “15 Mile Road Performance Asssessment” and the one recommendation we didn’t go along with (for now anyway), was the “Ultra Power” upgrade.
Thanks for all of the information. We did 10 hours yesterday from Las Cruces, NM to San Antonio, TX and the bumps and cross winds definitely wore us out. I kept saying that the suspension upgrades would help quite a bit but that price tag is always hard to swallow. We might do it in stages, first with the sway bars then go from there. We do know that it would make a big difference as we’ve heard similar accounts from others after they upgraded – so we definitely don’t think you’re crazy!
We really appreciate the feedback and support. We don’t spend too much time in the forums but please continue to stay in touch. Thanks!
Great blog! I love the post about the abandoned malls! Wanted to stop by and say thanks for following us on Twitter, you can also keep track of us on Facebook at facebook.com/localnomads. Good luck with your RV purchase!
Thanks for the kind words! We’ll be keeping track of you on FB now and we’ll update everyone once we get the RV purchased – should be soon.
Hi, I am trying to find your balsamic vinaigrette recipe that is made with Dijon mustard. I got the recipe off of here before. Now I’m unable to find recipes on the site.
Hi Rhonda, here is a link to the recipe: http://weretherussos.com/mason-jar-balsamic-vinaigrette/ Enjoy!
Where u from?! I’m a Russo from Des Moines, Iowa
We’re both from So. California. Happy to meet another Russo!