Fans of classic fiberglass trailers are most likely familiar with Bex Cat-herder. This well-traveled woman has a popular series of YouTube videos documenting her adventures in a 13-foot 1985 Casita Patriot trailer.
From 2017’s total solar eclipse and Overland Expo West to a simple way to make coffee in a tiny kitchen, Bex shows that you don’t need a large RV to really enjoy life on the road. She was kind to answer a few questions for Do It Yourself RV on life in an egg camper.
Tell us a little about your Casita.
I have a 1985 Casita Patriot trailer. It is 13 feet tip to tip and weighs about 1,100 pounds (empty). The actual living area is a smidge under 10 feet with 5’10” of headroom inside.
I am 6′ tall so I have to stoop just a little inside but it has all of the necessities: a comfortable bed, small kitchen with a two burner stove, sink, refrigerator, and a bathroom. In addition, I have installed a C-Head composting toilet so I can “boondock” for a few weeks at a time.
Do you work from the road? If so, what do you do?
I am not currently working. I am a software engineer from Silicon Valley and left my previous company after it was acquired and have been living off savings. I had originally planned on traveling for just four to six months and then returning to work. However, I am enjoying this part of my life so tremendously, I have found it difficult to go back to my old life. It’s now been over two years! I tell people, “I’m on month 28 of a 6 month trip.”
It has become a dream of mine to be able to work on the road. Unfortunately, I will probably have to go back to work sometime early next year and stop traveling for a while and save up another nest egg. I’m actually dreading going back to my old life. 🙁
Why did you decide on a small fiberglass camper? How do they appeal to you?
I had been lusting after a teardrop trailer for several years and had hoped to get one for weekend camping trips. It seemed to be the only thing I would be able to tow with my little Honda CRV. When I finally got serious after losing my job, it became apparent that I would be spending more than weekends in my camper.
I found out that these older fiberglass campers are light enough to tow with my current vehicle, have a bathroom, and enough headroom that I would be able to stand to put on my pants. I was sold! I was lucky and found one just a few hours from me. Another thing I really love about fiberglass is their durability and lack of seams that could leak. They are amazingly durable.
You just won $30,000. What other camper would you buy?
I’m totally in love with fiberglass trailers. While there are several excellent brands to choose from, I would love to have a 17 foot Casita with a high lift axle so I could still get to all of the places I want to go. Casitas are very versatile and customizable and the larger trailer has over six feet of headroom so I would be able to stand up straight.
If I am ever able to work on the road, a 17 footer would also allow me to have a comfortable place to work and still have a permanent bed. Right now, I have to sit on my bed when I am editing videos and that gets uncomfortable after three or four hours. However, if I ever upgrade my camper, I would also need to upgrade my vehicle to a small pickup in order to tow a bigger camper.
What items do you find to be the most useful on the road?
1. Solar panel
This one item has probably changed my nomadic life more than any other. I have a Renogy 100 watt portable solar panel. This keeps my house battery charged which in turn keeps all my camera and electronics batteries charged.
2. Coffee making stuff
I am not a morning person and coffee makes many mornings happen. I have two methods of making coffee. My favorite is good ol’ fashioned cowgirl coffee. I make coffee in a pan and then filter the grounds out with a Primula Coffee Brew Buddy. I also have a filter for pour over coffee.
3. My smartphone
Perhaps this should be first?! A modern smartphone with a maps app is really clutch. Most often, I am going somewhere I’ve never been before and having turn by turn directions often makes the difference between going somewhere or not. The app I probably use most often is Allstays. However, there are a couple of websites for free camping I visit often.
4. Little Bluetooth JBL speaker for listening to podcasts
I love listening to podcasts in the morning almost as much as having coffee. My favorite podcast is The Truth from Radiotopia, but just about all of the Radiotopia podcasts are worth a listen. I recently discovered Alan Watts and that has really changed my outlook on many things.
Where are your favorite places to travel? What’s on your bucket list?
Originally my plan was to visit all of the national parks. However, as I began my travels, I kept coming upon wonderful and amazing places. It seems that for every place I crossed off my list, I added two more.
I haven’t yet made it past the left coast. I am hoping to make it to Utah in the next year. I would also love to spend a few months in Alaska and travel across Canada and go south through the Baja peninsula. I’m sure I could travel across North America for the rest of my life and still have a long list of places I want to see.