Van Camping Crater Lake National Park | Camper Van Life S1:E19
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Van Camping Crater Lake National Park | Camper Van Life S1:E19

This week…join us for Crater Lake camping, our first hail storm in the camper van and breath taking views along the rim drive. [Kait] Boat tours are canceled for the day. [Ranger] Here you go.
[Joe] Thank you. [Ranger] Have a great visit and enjoy your trip. For you…for me… [Kait] Are we going to check out the campground? Yeah We were able to purchase a tent site because we have a little camper van. So all we have to do is drive through the campground and find a blue site. There were only two tents sites left and Marshall was saying that they usually sell out by 11 a.m. It’s 3 p.m., we got lucky. It’s a Monday, we have a site, let’s go find it. [Kait] Pretty good site!
Yeah [Kait] All set?
All set. Do you think Leo wants to sit outside? [Kait] He always wants to sit outside, don’t you bud? This is where we keep the instant pot. Today, we are going to have wheat berry and rice. The wonderful thing about making your own bowl is I don’t like to season in the Instant Pot and then Joe and I can season it however we want. Sometimes, we have the same base and completely different flavor profile. [Joe] Well like this morning, I made my tahini oats and you made..
Peanut butter oats. Okay, thirty minutes. [Joe] Everything is already in there?
[Kait] Yeah, everything is already in there. So all I have to do is cook it. Are you going to go get a shower in? [Joe] I am but the sign said that there was cold water. Well it’s nice and warm out, a cold shower sounds really good. [Joe] Alright, I’m going to go grab my shower then. Enjoy your coin operated shower, let me know how it is. What was it? 75 cents for four minutes? [Kait] Oh, I have quarters.
[Joe] I don’t know if I can get through in four minutes. Well…live a little. [Joe] Why don’t you give me six quarters. [Kait] There you go. [Joe] Perfect. [Joe singing] I’m off to take a shower, what a wonderful shower it will be. Well I guess you can fit big RVs in this park because that guy is pretty big. Look at that thing. [Kait] How was your shower? Good news is that I didn’t pay anything. So you would turn the water on, get a little warm water and then it would go ice cold. Then you shut it off, go back get a little bit of warm water then ice cold. But there was a line of four people. [Kait] In front of you?
[Joe] In front of me. And three shower stalls. So it took a little while for me to get into the shower. [Kait] They didn’t charge though? Well…so the person before me…I don’t know if I just had a faulty shower they pushed the thing in but the quarters never dropped. [Kait] huh
And their water worked. So when I went in, I pushed the thing all the way in and the quarters dropped so I was like, I should try the water. I turned it on and it worked. Putting in extra quarters isn’t going to do me any good. So I got a free shower. [Kait] Free cold shower. Do you feel goo through? I feel so much better and I’m not complaining about the shower. Plus, I got a nice shave. So I feel more like a human being again.
[Kait] Great. [Kait] Well dinner is ready.
I’m starving. [Joe] Let me just put my shower stuff away. Here you go, enjoy! [Kait] I’m loving this random thunderstorm rolling through. It’s pretty nice. That’s the one thing we noticed when we moved from a house into an RV…the last RV, the van is a rainstorm becomes very noisy. [Kait] The van seems to have survived. [Kait] That was a short but intense hail storm. [Joe] Good morning.
Good morning. Well I got us another tent site, we can stay in this exact spot. [Joe] Great. And I checked out the showers this morning, pipping hot water. [Joe] Really?
Yeah. And there’s only one person using the shower.
[Joe] I should have waited till morning. Watch your step. [Joe] Thank you! I’m so happy we got a tent site at Mazama Campground. [Joe] I really enjoy it there. Well and it’s nice that we can spend two nights at Crater Lake National Park. Otherwise we have to drive back down to that free spot we found. So I’m thinking we can do the rim drive today. [Kait] So we’re right here. At the Visitor Center. And we can do the East Rim Drive. I figure we can just pull over into all the overlooks. And if there are any cool trails we want to do, we can check them out. [Joe] Sounds good. [Kait] Pretty waterfall.
Yes but lots of mosquitos. [Kait] Alright, let’s get back to the camper van. We made it to Crater Lake. [Kait] Do you see the Phantom Ship?
Yeah it’s over here. This video isn’t going to do Crater Lake any justice. [Kait] It is absolutely incredible here. Leo’s natural habitat. [Kait] Be careful! [Kait] The storm is coming in. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here. Over two million gallons of water get seeped through [Joe] An hour.
An hour, and they have no idea where it goes. [Kait] It just disappears! [Kait] Good shake! That was a great day. I really enjoyed going around the rim. I have to say, I’m always in awe when we come to places like this and you see all that natural beauty. Alright, I’m sleepy. It’s been a long day. [Kait] Thank you for driving. That was a really fun way to spend the day. I agree, I really enjoyed it. [Kait] And what’s amazing to me was that the lake was so clear in the morning and then the rainstorm rolled it and it was just dark. Yeah, it completely changed colors. [Kait] Looks like we’ll have rain for probably most of the night. The thunderstorms stopped but we’re still getting some rain. Alright, I’m ready for dinner. It was so beautiful driving out of Crater Lake today. We decided to pull over and have lunch and that is not a bad view. [Joe] Leo what are we having? I’m making sprouted brown rice with shredded coconuts and carrots. I’m going to make it in the Instant Pot. And then we’ll put the Thai Curry mix in. And maybe some avocado?
[Joe] Oh, I like it. Let me see. [Joe] Oh, that looks good, especially with all the coconut. A lot of people have been asking about the Instant Pot. I run it off the inverter. We have 400 amp hours of lithium ion batteries. And 320 watts of solar on the roof. There it goes. I turn the inverter on, plug the Instant Pot in and I’ll cook this for 20 minutes. And we’ll have lunch. We made it to Bend Oregon last night. Found a nice little BLM spot right off the road. Great nights sleep. But we’ve been working really hard. Shooting and editing these videos takes a lot of time and it’s one of the reasons we’re backlogged with content. So we figured we’re going to take the week off, relax, enjoy Bend and have a couple beers because that’s what they’re really know for. And while we’re here, we’re going to check out Earth Cruiser. Alright, I’m ready for my week off. [Kait] Me too!
Let’s enjoy it. [Kait] And I here Bend is supposed to be very dog friendly. That’s right, Leo’s excited. Hope you guys understand and the Earth Cruiser video should be up next week, so look for it. Hey folks, my name is Skipper and I ran into these folks in Ben Oregon at the beginning of the week. I’ve been watching them on YouTube for several months now and I enjoy their videos. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up! If you’d like to look at past videos, click the button above. [Joe] Thank you and great meeting you!
Thank you!


  • We're the Russos

    Watch Episode 20:
    Crater Lake Camping:

  • Evelyn Bond

    I know you have in the past, but can you do another video on some of your dishes and the recipes? I love everything you make, and don't want to wait until the end of this year for your book. 🙂 Thank you!!

  • Adrienne Stearns

    Oh my what an incredible video-Crater Lake looks awesome!! Another place I must visit! Great editing as always! Are the solar panels OK in a hail storm or do u have to cover them? You guys deserve a week off. Enjoy!

  • Bill Sprague

    I wish we had YouTube smell-a-vision. The aroma of the forest in the rain is heavenly! I traveled there with my parents in about 1958. We stayed in a really old lodge right on the rim. They had to climb over my cot to get into the bathroom. Cater Lake is amazing! Relax and enjoy Bend. Lance will give you a great "yard" on his Earthcruiser, I'm sure. I always enjoy his videos. The Earthcruiser is my dream machine and I'll be looking forward to your take. In the meantime, throw a couple back for me.

  • gu io

    Hello Russo family, howe are you?
    I think Russo is an Italian name. Can I write to you in Italian
    or do you prefer English?
    Let me know thank you.
    See you soon.
    Very nice videos.
    See you soon.
    Guido(From Italy)

  • lbird

    Ice cold shower… now that will wake you up, haha! Did you see any boats, or are they allowed to be out on the lake? Hope you enjoyed your week off 🙂

  • John Dingman

    Hi Kait and Joe,

    Could you talk about what a sick day is like in camper van life? During your past two years while traveling would you say you are sick more or less often than when you were working in an office building? I am sick today at home, but this morning has been a great opportunity to catch up on all your great videos. Looking forward to the book.



  • Stephen Stringer

    When you stay at these parks do you dump your cassette at a dump station or just at the toilets?  If toilets, do you get any complaints from other campers?  Are you still liking the cassette vs black tank?

  • fred brooks

    Nice, I was there during the fire in early Aug so I missed the perfect views of the lake but it was still incredible in its own way with the smoke.

    Enjoy your vacation time in Bend. If you're headed north take a look at Kah-Nee-Ta near Warm springs Oregon.

  • bill g

    truly enjoy and always look forward to the next adventure and the enjoyment it brings for you…Enjoy your time away from camera…as always may peace health and happiness follow you all

  • Our Wandering Footprints

    Great Videos! What is the item called that you hook to Leo on his leash? We are starting to camping in our travel trailer and will be taking 2 dogs with us:) Leo is beautiful! Thanks, Judy

  • Inside Diane's Life

    Hail and snow patches in the summer?  I wonder if they had normal temperatures this year?  We went in mid Aug a few years ago and it was a heat wave.

  • House Of Bowles Lost Tribe

    Beautiful & ur wife is Cool
    The Fed BLM needs it's own fishing license good nationwide
    Even if it's just catch n release
    I have the Fed/Nat parks lifetime pass Hwvr ..where's my right to at least do a little fishing ? Should be a Common Law right anyways ..I have my sportsman for WV …rarely hunt unless for family Hwvr I do like to fish obviously ..I don't keep many ..just for fun mostly

  • Joyce Barnett

    Where is Crater Lake National Park? I do not know what state it is in. It sure is a beautiful place. The colors are just amazing. I am so glad that you took me along with you on this trip. I will probably never get to so many places you all go, so thank you for sharing with me. I really appreciate it and so enjoy the ride. I really love Leo. He is a great dog. He is so quiet for a big dog. How old is he. Have a great day and stay safe. Happy adventuring and thanks for taking me along. Love Joyce PS Bend OR is a great place. We used to have friends that live there and so visited them 2 different times. It is a great state for camping and recreation. I just love the feel of living in the forest area where our friends lived. It was awesome. Enjoy you week off and get refreshed and relaxed.

  • motherdaughtersister

    That view was incredible! Like you said, I'm sure the video didn't do it justice. Enjoy your week off! It is well-deserved.

  • Stan Watkins

    Crater Lake allows anyone who wants , to fish for free . No license needed and no limit . The park service considers all fish in Crater Lake to be invasive because there were no fish in the Lake until settlers brought them . The only thing you need is to walk the thousand steps down to the lake and back up again .

  • Rick Leal

    I think you will enjoy Bend. We're staying at the Bend/Sunriver Thousand Trails until Saturday. Be sure to take in the High Desert Museum while here. Also check out Sunriver. Happy Trails.

  • Rhythm of the Nite

    New subscriber here. I just absolutely love you guys! I love how you get along so well and live a stress-free life. You have inspired me. This is how my wife and I will spend our retirement! Let me know if you ever come through St Louis, Mo! Happy and safe travels! 🙂

  • Michele Wallace

    Crater Lake is on my must-see list. I hope to get there sometime next year. Thank you for this video! Enjoy your week off!

  • Dare Dare

    Crater Lake is nice views but… Fine Ash is EVERY WHERE !!! Nice trails. Neat place. Still… ASH EVERY where. Showers are nasty. I will NEVER go back. I live in Oregon.

  • Ariel N

    my oldest son goes to crater lake a lot.  Kait now I know the instant pot really has a loose locking top, I thought I was doing something wrong with mine.  Better to take a shower early in the campground.  I took one at night and I saw bears around the garbage in front

  • James State

    No problem here so, have a super week off.  As always, enjoy your videos.  Looking forward to finding out about Earth Cruisers.

  • Jacob Martinez

    Did you see a couple videos ago it was one you want on the beach it was titled tiny beach house on wheels One Clip of the video look like there was a UFO car because it was about 5:48 in the video and the car shot in one frame and then all of a sudden and change to a different car the first car was a tan Land Rover and all the sudden and changed in mid-air to a small black pickup truck I was just wondering if you noticed

  • knit1purl1

    Beautiful video. I hope I can go back to Crater Lake at some time. It really is stunning. I know you are taking a week off however since Skipper recognized you, I'm wondering how often you do get recognized?

  • Kung Markatta

    Lovely van and you seems to have a good life together 🙂 Is it a rice cocker you use? Are you vegans? 🙂 I really enjoy this video, i subscribed. Greetings from Sweden!

  • faridah a-hamimed

    Sites where majestic to see on ur new video…hey guy maybe u don't know how to cook…so ask the wife to teach u…would be nice to see u cooking for ur wife once in a while…just a thaught…love ur videos

  • Linh Truong

    It is definitely one of the best national parks in the States. The beauty of Crater Lake has to be experience in person cause it truly doesn't do it any justice on a camera or a video. Love watching your videos and how genuine you both are as it shows in all of your great videos.

  • J Wu

    Sorry if this has been asked before, but I was wondering if you have a good way to clean your instant pot. I sometimes have a hard enough cleaning mine in my kitchen sink at home. I figure it might be more difficult on the road or in the van.

  • Teresa P.

    This video is nice, but you cannot possibly capture the color of the water in the lake unless you are there. It shone like diamonds and had greens and blues that were breathtaking!

  • judy hobday

    Have you been to Mt. Rainier, Washington? My brother is a ranger there and has been for many years. I go every couple years to enjoy the wildflowers. They are so spectacular.

  • Em And the Gang

    Wow…. definitely on our list of things to do! I hope to take our 'gang' there in the next few years (before our daughter is finished with High School)

  • gloria

    Hey m trying to run all the ads until the end hoping you will earn something from it…always i pressed the button skip but not any more..let us know if it affects your income…love your shows

  • gloria

    thats so cozy inside the van.. listening to the sounds of heavy rain…nice…appreciating simple things like free cold shower…

  • Darcy praught

    I'm knew to your channel. Please post your recipes. They seem quick,easy and healthy. Good job guys. Come visit Harsens Island Michigan.

  • Steve Hogue

    Some fun facts about Crater Lake: The crater was not caused by an asteroid or a comet but is actually a collapsed volcano. There are no rivers that supply the lake with its water. All the water is the result of snow runoff. The water in Crater Lake is some of the clearest in the world. You can ride a bicycle around the lake in one day. However, you are either riding uphill or downhill as there is very little flat terrain around the lake. There are some 80 different pullouts and viewpoints around the lake.

  • cdLady54 Marengo

    I must give you credit on the constant cooking, but what if our diet can't tolerate all the grains. That also would cause us NOT to be successful in a liquid only toilet use.

  • Terry Harrigan

    Did a bike tour from Portland to San Francisco. On this tour we rode up to Crater Lake and spent a night at the lodge there. The. Most. Beautiful. Place. Must see. Like you said, video does not do it justice.

  • Linda Barrett

    I have to say I laughed out loud the shower scene when the large RV pulled behind you. GOSH ! on the real FUNNY! Land ship.

  • ironman

    Been there several years ago. We arrived there too early around 6 a.m. and there's no rangers at the entrance gate…we thought we can pay fee when we exit the park. However there's no rangers at the exit gate either so we got free pass. L

  • Telly Russell

    Truly enjoy watching all of your videos hope you guys have a great week off. Will watch for your next video!! Thanks again for sharing

  • Myra

    I have also been to Crater Lake, and it's so true what Kait said. The video does not do justice to what you actually see and experience out there. Pristine everything at Crater Lake! Even breathing in the air!!

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