How RVers Take Home on the Road
How RVers Take Home on the Road
6 unique ways RV travelers feel at home in their rigs.
By: Noel Fleming & Chris Miller
Whether you’re a full-time RVer like us, or you part-time, half-time, or most-of-the-time, travelers often choose to take a piece of home with them while on the road. We invited some road warriors to share personal takes on what they carry with them, why they carry it, and how it imbibes a sense of home.
1. Mini Mementos
For us, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright is our “home” guy. We have travelled to over 86 of his structures across the U.S. His mid-century vibe aligns with our style. A replica of his sprite statue, designed for the Midway Gardens in Chicago, moved with us to several sticks and bricks. It stood as a centurion flanking our fireplace, shared a few silent moments of coffee time each morning, and greeted us as we returned from work each day.
In fact, it was the one item that we could not sell when selling everything else. Instead, we gifted it to a dear friend. Funny how some items hold meaning and memories beyond their obvious value.
In our EKKO, named Yeti, stands a miniature version of the sprite. At 12”, it fits perfectly on the edge of our table, an ideal position for sharing our coffee time on the road and greeting us after a day of exploring.
Read more on how Noel and Chris downsized for RV life, here.
2. Items to Help Connect
Joe Liviero is a Winnebago employee who has been in his current role, Product Planning - Electrification Strategy, for six years. He has been instrumental in the eRV2 (all-electric RV) production and testing.
Joe shared this with us, “My son and I were looking at lamps for our desks. He picked these Edison Light rocket ships because they looked cool so we ordered them. When they came in, I was about to embark on a 5-6-month mission in a Winnebago Journey with the eRV2 Experience across the country.
I knew I wouldn’t see my son much while I was on tour. So, we came up with the idea that he put his rocket ship lamp on his desk, and I would put one on my desk in the RV. This way when we were working at our desks, we’d turn them on, and we’d know that the other lamp would also be on. This was a visual reminder to think of each other. Every time the light is on, I think of my Matthew, and it helps me with being apart from him. I take a picture of my lamp lit up, and shortly thereafter he sends a picture of his lamp illuminated. It definitely helps with the time away from each other.”
3. Repurposed Keepsakes
Sharon Slaughter is a long-time Travato traveler, an artist, and hiker, who attends many Travato and Winnie B gatherings. Each time she parks her van named Gneiss T (a geologic reference) at her campsite, she sets out one special lamp … her piece of home.
“My husband was a Wyoming, backpacking geologist who passed away a few years before I got my coach,” she shares. “Several of my past artistic creations were one-of-a-kind lamps. Having been left with a gigantic collection of my husband’s topo and geologic maps, I decided to incorporate one that he had referred to frequently as a lamp for my travels.
The paper map itself still shows tiny holes left by the push-pins he used to hang it on the walls in various offices. These pin-pricks twinkle through the colorful swaths illustrating Wyoming geologic formations. My geologic lamp provides a warm, cozy ambience in my home. It’s a sweet reminder while enjoying cozy evenings in the Travato, which I think he would have enjoyed.”
4. Special Collections
Adam Hockey owns a 2019 Winnebago Revel named Eve. He brings home along with him through his collection of masks.
He shares: “I SO dig on masks and have for many, many years. In my mind, they present a beautiful and insightful ‘face' to world cultures. A window into the attitudes, mythology, and folklore of diverse societies. Masks provide us an image of how cultures see the world and want to be seen by it. Not to mention the simple art of mask making is so inspiring to me.”
Over time I collected dozens of masks from around the world, both from my own travels and gifted from friends’ journeys. These adorned my home, on almost every wall - when I was still living the ‘stationary' life. Once I shifted to van life, it was important to me to bring my passion for masks into my new ‘mobile’ living paradigm. This instantly made me feel more ‘at home’; and, effectively, transformed my van space into an honest reflection of my previous home life.
Additionally, the masks offer an expression of who I am and my deep respect and appreciation for cultural diversity. Of course, I had to choose from the smallest masks within my collection; which also, unto itself, illustrates my choice to reduce and pursue a minimalist lifestyle.”
Kathleen Hanson owned a 2019 Winnebago Travato G prior to her current coach, a Winnebago Spirit, named Meander. She began the Facebook Group Winnebago Compact Coach Meetups, which has the sole purpose of promoting cross-coach meetups for Winnebagos 26’ and under. Kathleen has been a mighty force in organizing the EKKO FB group files and has hosted a number of events.
Kathleen shared her piece from home with us in this manner: “I managed to fit an original art piece on the wall of my Spirit. It’s of Sister’s Mountains in Oregon and was bought on a very memorable RV trip with my sons the summer after my Dad passed away. This art piece hung on the wall of my house until I started full time RVing.
Unfortunately, the piece wouldn’t fit in the Travato so I put it on a Shutterfly metal art piece. Now the original fits in my Spirit and the metal version lives in a guest room at my cabin.”
Kathleen noted that in small RVs, anything that isn’t “functional” is a carefully considered indulgence.
6. Digital Photo Displays
Vicki and Paul LeMair, first time RVers, live full time in their 2022 Winnebago EKKO. Their coach has been a great way to visit family members who are spread out across the country. When they can’t be with loved ones in person, they can connect by viewing images on a digital picture frame. The frame receives photos directly via email.
Paul relayed their joy over having this technology that brings a sense of home on the road: “On our first birthday on the road—Vicki and I share the same birthday—our kids, Ali and Ian, surprised us with a Nixplay digital picture frame for our RV named GEKKO. Ali and Ian can load new pictures anytime they want using a Nixplay account. Vicki says it’s a fun way to stay connected with family. Soon after the Nixplay was installed, Ian loaded pictures from Capitol Reef where he proposed to his fiancée Kira. And recently Ali posted pictures with her new dream car, a Toyota 4Runner fully equipped for off-road action!”
There are countless ways to carry a piece of home with you on RV journeys. Some tangibles serve functions such as the featured lights. Others, like the masks and artwork, serve aesthetics. And some are ever-changing like the digital picture frame. All of them serve as anchors that ground us to our sense of home while giving wings to our adventurous life.
How do you carry home with you?
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