We have been part of the RV world for almost 25 years. It’s an interesting sub-culture that has a lifestyle that includes people who live full-time on the road and others, like us, who are occasional part-time travelers. We are drawn to the freedom and independence that RV’s offer. We go where we want, when we want, stay as long or short as we want. With the exponential increase in the numbers of RV’s in the past decade, we now have to make reservations ahead, even in some state and national parks. Commercial campgrounds with electric, water and sewer hook-ups plus other resort-like amenities are different animals. Wi-Fi and cell phones connections are almost everywhere except in some remote areas where there is “no service.”\
There is the option to “boondock” which is an isolated and off the grid experience. Quartzite, in southern Arizona is like that and becomes a large city in mid-winter. We have been there for a week, not likely to return. Most of our RV’s had their own generator so we could supply electric power as needed. Now there is solar which is fine for some applications but not all. Propane is the most frequent fuel used for heat and cooking.
We had a series 6 different motor homes, from the smaller to the largest and several in between. In all of those situations except one that was a van, we towed either a car or a truck so that when we parked, we could unhook and still have the convenience and ease of local and regional transportation without having to drive the big rig anywhere except to the next destination. All of those RV’s were diesel powered except the first which was a gas engine. If anyone is interested in the details, kinds and sizes, pros and cons, let me know and I’ll send you the list. We have now downsized away from motor homes and have a 24’ travel trailer which we pull with a pickup truck and have been coast to coast, not yet to MX or Canada with the trailer.
I received the following note from RV friends whom we first met in Mexico one winter about 10 years ago. We have traveled many parts of Mexico and Canada, including the Maritimes and most of the U.S. That totals up to months of travel and hundreds of thousands of miles:
“We first heard about Nomadland back when it was being made. Frances McDormand is someone we always pay attention to… Nomadland is mostly real people other than Frances and David Strathairn. You might see it as a sad and depressing film. But maybe not. Lots of nice scenery. We are familiar with most of the places the movies takes us. But it is about people who have a tough life but just keep going. Our travels take us to places where we see these people – and we know about them from stories about RVers. They do not often stay in RV parks though – boondockers. We liked it. This is not how we live when we travel because we have been more fortunate than most of these people … out in the world of RVers there is the same sort of camaraderie you see in this film. People meet up and get to know each other and then keep in touch and meet up again somewhere else. We especially saw this in our Mexico travels where we seem to make many friends for life.”
Here was my response: “We watched Nomadland a couple of nights ago and found it quite appealing, not only because of great acting and the story but also because it is an accurate representation of that segment of RV life on the road. I cannot remember how many times over the past 25 years we have said to people, “See you down the road….” And often we have but not always by any means.
As we know the RV life-style has many variations and conveyances and is not for everyone. Regardless, we loved the movie and yes, there are parts that are sad and poignant. There is also the sense of freedom and independence and not being too attached. That comes through. It made us eager to be “On the Road Again…” Great song by Willie Nelson.
There are numerous RV forums online, blogs and people who keep detailed logs of their experiences. I recommend a review for anyone wanting to explore this world further. Here are a few links:\