RV Life: Chris and Trait Zaldain

RV Life, a new twist on our popular Elite Man Cave series, takes you behind the scenes of a growing community of pros who shun hotels for a home on wheels. There’s nothing to pack or unpack, the meals are home cooked, and all the comforts of home, dogs included, are the benefits. In this edition, Chris Zaldain’s wife, Trait, takes us on a tour of their RV and setup.
The hectic pace of life on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour slows down at the campground. The wives take care of business affairs during the day, and many even take time out to socialize. “It’s like being part of a community, a traveling neighborhood,” Trait said. “It’s less stressful, and if you need anything, we are all here to help each other.”
Battle Born Batteries worked with Keystone RV, known for their innovative and high-quality towable RVs, to find the perfect fit for the Zaldains’ life on the road. The Keystone Fuzion Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel (Floorplan 428) is the Zaldains' home on the road. In the back garage of the fifth wheel is a mobile podcast studio. More on that to come.
The Zaldain's Fuzion Fifth Wheel came factory-equipped with Keystone's SOLARFLEX 600I-L package including three DFTHOGC2Hs, a 3000-watt inverter/charger, a BMV 712, a SmartSolar Charge Controller 100/50, and 600 watts of solar, and was upgraded to include more power for their life and podcast on the road. 
System upgrades include three more DFTHOGC2Hs, a 3000w inverter/charger, two Micro-air Easystarts, 100/50, and two V.E.Bus smart dongles. 
The Zaldains’ are foodies, so propane for the gas cooktop and oven are a must. 
“We got all the energy options, generator, propane and solar,” Trait said. “So, we are equipped to handle any power needs, even drydocking and boondocking sites.”

Want to know more about boondocking? Our sister site, Go-Outside.com, has a Simple 7 to get you started.
A closer look at the RV's generator.

Doing your own RV maintenance can save you time and money. Our sister site, Go-Outside.com, has a Simple 7 to get you started.
Plentiful storage below the floor stretches across both sides of the RV, allowing for better organization and access. 
The hookups and controls for the fresh water system. 
There will never be any cold showers in this rig. The Zaldain's opted for a tankless water heater, which heats water as soon as you flip the switch. With no tank, the hot water never runs out. Tankless water heaters are also growing in popularity in residential homes.
The Zaldain rig was wrapped in a matte black by Tyler Wrap Co., located in Tyler, Texas.
After a long day on the water, Chris, Trait and friends can cook out and entertain around this pullout with a stove, burner and micro fridge. There’s even a flat-screen TV. 
And outdoor speakers connected to a Bluetooth stereo system inside the RV.  
Many delicious meals are prepared on this portable pellet grill, including Texas-style brisket and slab beef ribs, and more.
The rear view. Inside is The Bilge podcast studio. This was the setup at Green Acres RV Park, where the Zaldains and other families stayed during the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake.
Come on inside for the tour. The Zaldains chose this floor plan without a kitchen island, favoring the more open space. “It’s better all-around for us, more room to get around and better for the dogs.”
Micci, the Belgian Malinois. 
Nebo, a lot of different breeds in one package. 
Behold, the advantages of the open floor plan without the island.
A residential-grade gas stove and oven are a must for well-prepared meals.
A cover provides more counter space when the stove isn't in use.
Simply lift it up when it's time to cook.
This shelf holds other cooking necessities, including an air fryer for side dishes and more. The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker gets daily use. "It can cook a McDonald's style Egg McMuffin in five minutes," Trait said.
“We are coffee snobs, and when you get up as early as us, we want it just right,” Trait said. To get the day started right, the Zaldains make one pot a day of Black Rifle Coffee.
Their coffee is made with a pour-over Chemex. Pour over brewing results in a smoother texture and a purer flavor with even fewer fatty oils than you’d get from brewing with a standard drip machine. 
The rewards of RV life are bringing the comforts of home with you. That takes smart packing and storage.

Check out these Simple 7 RV storage hacks on our sister site, Go-Outside.com.
Same thing with the residential-sized refrigerator/freezer. Trait can stock up on staples, while bringing favorites from home. 
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“You can’t be a Texan and not know how to make the perfect frozen margarita,” Trait said. It was a sweltering hot, summertime week in Tennessee during the Pickwick derby, and the wives got together to imbibe in frozen margaritas at the pool, made by Trait. 
A house warming gift from Rob Terkla, friend of the Zaldains from their shared hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Terkla is host of the popular Lunkers TV series on YouTube, and he competes in the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens presented by Mossy Oak Fishing.
The entertainment center features a Premium Jensen Bluetooth compatible stereo, flat panel Jensen LED HDTV, sound bar, all weather exterior speakers, and more, including a fireplace. 
The photo was taken by Bassmaster photographer Dalton Tumblin. It shows Chris fishing below Wilson Dam during the 2021 Elite event at Pickwick. “We just had to have it made into a canvas and hung on the wall,” Trait said.
Here's a view of the kitchen sink and more cabinets for storage.
A deep kitchen sink provides convenience for cleaning up.
Chris’ idea of kitchen decoration are these two swimbaits — a Tater Hog Swimbait and a handmade rat wake bait from Southern California.
“This is our stash of favorite foods we keep at the house in Texas,” Trait said. Here you will find pork rinds (a favorite of Chris), sauces, salsas and other condiments. 
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The residential-style sofas feature heated seats, LED lights, massage and 110v/USB ports.
Trait can control practically everything in the palm of her hand, using the iN-Command app-based control system inspired by Keystone. 
The system eliminates the clutter of switches and buttons, replacing them with a touchpad and app that also allows everything connected to be controlled remotely, even while away from the RV. 
Even the dogs have a semi-high-tech method for getting their water from this Water Hole, which functions like a gravity-feed office-style water cooler. 
Watch your step. Dogs rule here and bones and doggie toys are everywhere. 
The hallway leading from the living area, upstairs to the master bath and bedroom. On the wall are pictures of the Zaldains with Sean Nichols, CEO and co-founder of Dragonfly Energy. The lower picture shows the Zaldains at the Night of Champions at the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.
The master bedroom features a 60-inch x 80-inch residential size queen bed with under-bed storage.
The bedroom also features plenty of storage as well as a flat-screen TV and sound bar.
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A look inside the RV's bathroom.
The bathroom has a full-size fiberglass shower with seat and skylight. 
The advantages of an RV allow you to customize the wall space to fit your needs.
Some modular shelves for better organization.
At the ready by the door. Leads for both and a training collar for Micci.
“This is where all of Chris’ social media goes down,” Trait said. The Zaldain’s videographer, Johnny, also edits here for the Zaldangerous series on YouTube. It's located in the toy hauler section of the RV, and shares space with a podcast studio.
Enter The Bilge podcast studio. “We wanted to do a podcast for years, so we decided why not, let’s just turn the garage into a studio,” Trait said. The set, where Chris and guests do the podcast, is in the background. In the foreground are the cameras for recording it.
The Bilge Podcast, sponsored by Battle Born Batteries, will focus on telling stories that have never been told before, diving into times on and off the water with professional anglers across the nation. Literally powered by Battle Born's lithium-ion batteries, the Bilge will feature 'The Amp Hour' as the first hour of each podcast.

Check out this review of Battle Born Batteries on our sister site, Go-Outside.com.
The studio is a full-blown professional setup on wheels, allowing the podcasts to be produced on location.
Production notes and various tasks are written on this white board inside the studio.
The original setup for the garage features a bed that can be raised and lowered for saving space. This is where Johnny sleeps and when this photo was taken, he was out on the water with Chris.