5 Examples of How RVers Take Their Passions on the Road
5 Examples of How RVers Take Their Passions on the Road
Meet these travelers who bring their interests and hobbies with them.
By: Noel Fleming & Chris Miller
When packing your RV, it’s possible to bring your hobbies with you. From minimalist-friendly interests to projects needing extra storage space, see how these fellow travelers take their passion on the road!
1. Ancestry Research Road Trip
Talk about taking your passions on the road! Sherry and Doug share a love of history and are traveling with great intention. When they retired, they plunged wholeheartedly into ancestry. Doug’s family kept extensive records of his familial line. The details have been documented in a large ancestral book, measuring about four inches thick, which Sherry and Doug acquired from his grandparents.
The couple actually purchased their rig in order to continue their research and documentation of a member of Doug’s lineage— a Revolutionary Patriot named Thomas King. To date, Sherry has written seven chapters chronicling Thomas’s life.
Doug, serving as the official fact checker and driver of their Winnebago EKKO, states that it is the perfect RV to take into cities to do research and visit gravesites. While they do a lot of research online, they have travelled from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Washington DC following the path of Thomas King. Sherry anticipates writing an additional seven chapters when they conclude their research trip this fall in Kansas.
They hope, through their journeys, to excite their four grandchildren (ranging in age from 15-22) about history. The youngest, Holden, is perhaps the most enthusiastic historian. He eagerly anticipates their face-to-face time as this is when Sherry and Holden connect about her current chapter. She not only shares the garnered information with him, but also provides a copy of her resources.
Sherry recommends the Revolutionary War Museum in Philadelphia if you share this passion and are interested in doing your own research.
2. Custom Curtains & Sharing Skills
Cheri Golden travels in a Winnebago EKKO with her husband Darren and their two dogs. While on the road, Cheri carries a sewing machine, an iron, an ironing pad, a kit of tools in a tool roll, and numerous project bags. She started sewing clothes at age six when she was taught by her grandmother.
In the EKKO community, she is well-known for making bedroom curtains; the national parks fabric is a crowd favorite. Not only does she sew these fantastic curtains, she also teaches others. She leads seminars where she demonstrates the process and guides others as they complete their own projects with their chosen fabrics.
Additionally, she has graciously gifted curtains to “donate and win” events at rallies and meet-ups. Winners are ecstatic to receive a Cheri curtain! Cheri has expanded her sewing talents to include insulated upper cubby covers for her EKKO and happily shares her design during mod tours.
While on the road, she often sets up her workspace on available picnic tables. She sells products to other owners in the EKKO community and completes custom work when owners send their chosen fabrics to her. Her work can be seen in many EKKOs.
3. DIY Love Prompts a Change of Profession
Scott Griepentrog is a tinkerer at heart. He designs, builds, and innovates. His ingenuity and love of engineering was passed down through generations. His grandfather and father each built elevators in their garages—one to move large TV consoles down to a repair shop and the other to move a hefty lawnmower.
When Scott and his wife Crystal became RVers, he knew that tools would travel with them; he couldn’t imagine life any other way. Initially, the tools were packed for the sole purpose of maintaining their own Winnebago Travato. (Scott preferred to complete his own updates, mods, and fixes, rather than paying someone else to do the work.)
They began life on the road with tools nestled in boxes on the van roof. Over time, the traveling tool collection has grown. Scott has eked out new tool storage spaces inside the Travato. He streamlined his tool charging systems and downsized the tools themselves, carrying the most compact version of tools that allows him to do the widest range of jobs.
He learned the intricacies of the RV systems, including the electrical systems. This new territory of learning was met with enthusiasm and he soon not only maintained the systems but began doing updates and mods.
When Scott figured out how to install lithium batteries, he shared his process with fellow van owners through conversations and a Google Doc. His RV community clamored for more knowledge and eventually began setting up appointments for him to perform work on their rigs.
A constant stream of requests enticed Scott to pivot from his trade as a software developer. He now works on Class B Vans as a full-time job. Many of his customers are members of the Winnie Bs community. This change in profession satisfies him. He finds it more fun and better for his health than sitting at a desk job.
If you’d like to find him online, check out his site. He and Crystal now have a “B-Haven” in Tennessee right off the Natchez Trace. Travelers can visit their location for van mods and fixes or just to enjoy their company.
4. Creating Hand-Carved Art on the Road
Terri Budzyna has been woodcarving while on the road in her Winnebago Travato. Four years ago, she was looking for a hobby that could be easily carried along in her camper van.
Hailing from Springfield, Missouri, she was familiar with that region’s predominant art form of wood carving. She admired the stunning hand carved pieces displayed by masters of the craft in Silver Dollar City.
With the help of YouTube, Terri taught herself how to carve and has been enjoying it ever since. It provides her with an entertaining outlet. Her materials and tools require limited space and can be used whenever she wants, for as long as she wants.
Every trip offers a chance to enjoy and hone her skills. She uses her Travato to travel to competitions and training sessions where she develops specific skills, such as the art of carving female faces. Though she has completed some commission work, she greatly enjoys giving her carvings as gifts.
If you share the love of wood carving and travel, you may want to consider a road trip to attend an event such as the Ozarks Woodcarving Seminar held annually in Springfield Missouri.
5. Sharing the Love of Painting
Judy and David share not only a love of travel, they share a love of art. Both of them are painters and take their artistic passion on the road.
David has been painting for 10 years. Though he has never had formal training, this self-taught creative spirit has had his work featured in museums. Judy has been painting for 5 years. She embraces her artistry as a way to connect with others and plant appreciation of art among those they meet.
Once, a woman was enamored with one of Judy’s pieces and offered to buy it. Judy gifted the work to her, considering it an opportunity to pass on the joy of art. So intentional is Judy about spreading the power of art that she often travels with blank canvases that she provides for kids to experiment with their own budding skills.
Judy loves spending a day hanging out by their Winnebago View painting and enjoying a beverage. Being in nature causes her creativity to flow. For her, it’s one of the best kinds of relaxation.
She recalls fondly an encounter she had in Yellowstone National Park where she met a Native American woman who was also immersing herself in the surroundings and painting. At some point Judy would like to investigate the National Parks Artist in Residency Program.
Like these road warriors, you too might carry a passion with you on your RV travels. Please feel free to share your experiences via a comment below!
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