Personal Project; The RV Digital Darkroom; Takin’ It On The Road

My wife and I live in an alternate universe. It’s called “RV Land.” We inhabit a vibrant subculture in which people live full-time in various types of recreational vehicles. An RV is a little home on wheels, able to carry computers and camera gear along with a full life support system. It requires a diet of gasoline but the expense seems trivial as we pass hundreds of motels without digging out the credit card. If I’m on assignment with a deadline, there’s no problem. Wi-Fi hotspots are ubiquitous. I process my images and upload them to my clients. Wi-Fi isn’t great, but it’s adequate and rapidly improving.

Our 38-foot motorcoach, Raven.
All Photos © 2010, Art Rosch, All Rights Reserved

Five years ago my wife and I became full-time RV dwellers. We got rid of the house, said goodbye to colossal home payments, and purchased a 38-foot motorcoach. We have celebrated this decision every day. Full-time RV life isn’t for everyone, but it’s a great platform for a photographer.

I have the same digital darkroom wherever we go. I have a laptop, a desktop, a 22” monitor, four external hard drives, a scanner, and an Epson R1800 printer. Tripods, light stands, lights, backdrops, and a mighty telescope are kept in our storage bays.

Bristlecone landscape near Moab, Utah.

Star trails through Skyline Arch.

Landscape from a rest stop on I-70.

Electrical power isn’t a problem, even in a place like Death Valley. A pair of big solar panels on the roof send energy to four deep cycle batteries. A pure sine wave inverter takes the 12v current from the batteries and turns it into 110v AC. Batteries don’t like to be fully drained, so I keep my eye on the voltage meter. When the sun doesn’t shine a big generator is the fallback power source. It consumes one gallon of gasoline per hour. While it runs the devices in the coach it’s also recharging the batteries.

Many big-rig RV drivers have a “toad,” a conventional automobile attached by a tow bar. For obvious reasons, the favorites in the RV world are small vehicles with four-wheel drive. Some prefer motorcycles. You can go almost anywhere, no matter how remote, if you plan well and use the right equipment.

Digital darkroom inside the motorcoach

Lenticular clouds over the La Sal Mountains.

River rocks.

This unusual photo shows the shadow of a “grandfather” on the rock face.