Skip to Content

An unexpected joy of RVing: My new Roadtreking family

| Updated Nov 21, 2013



It’s coming up on the 2 year anniversary with my Roadtrek RS Adventurous,  “Olga” (which stands for Old Ladies Get Around).  I’m planning on celebrating with a toast and some high calorie cake for me and a bottle of  winter diesel additive for Olga.   She has changed my life in ways I never imagined.

I have done what I’ve dreamed of  my whole life, roam around the country without itinerary or time constraints.  I’ve taken a few great photos, learned and seen amazing things, eaten wonderful food, visited friends and family and was even able to take my dog along sometimes.

Best of all, and the big surprise, was meeting a whole new host of friends.  Some of them like family.

When I bought Olga, I joined Roadtrek International and saw a link for Solo Trekkers.  The moderator put me in touch with Trudy, a single gal who also lives here, in the Kansas City area.  We met for lunch a couple of times, hit it off and decided to take a trip.  Trudy’s had her rig longer than I and brought me up to speed on a Facebook group and some chat rooms that pertain to RTs.

While on our wonderful trip to the Natchez Trace, I experienced a mysterious engine problem and she suggested I post on Facebook for advice. This was a Saturday night, and wouldn’t you know it-  Jim Hammill , president of Roadtrek, happened to see my post and helped me out!  I was a Facebook RT member from that moment.

There, I began to “virtually” get to know several of the regulars and where they were traveling. In addition, I picked up several good tips about my rig.

Then came the Branson Corporate Rally last May, where several of us met in person, (including my knight in shining armor, Jim).  Presto!  Instant family and we had a heck of a good time.  Yes, I learned about the generator and saw some shows, but my new friends (Facebook and other attendees) were the best part of the rally.

Pogo, Jim and Carolyn
Pogo, Jim and Carolyn at Branson

Like other clubs (dogs, stamps, ham radios, etc.) we have a common interest so conversation is easy. I also am not shy about walking up to other RT owners I see.  Where are you headed?  How long are you out?  This has been a habit since my first trip out.

Almost without fail, I heard, “If you’re ever in_______, stop by for a few days and we’ll show you around.”   We’ve put together weekend meet ups or just met for dinner while passing through.  Folks have become great friends who travel together in pairs or caravans. We’ve swapped stories, recipes, rig modifications, travel and maintenance tips, photos, jokes and life in general.  When I had another problem in Idaho, a fellow Roadtreker on Facebook offered help.

I have since been to meet-ups in Michigan and Oregon where I’ve made several new friends and reconnected with others. I’ve visited homes (special shout to Dan and Ann in McCall!) and parked in driveways for a few days.  These folks were generous local guides who became wonderful friends.

Last week I hosted my first guests, Lisa and Bill G., whom I’d met in Branson and kept in touch. They came to visit me and see the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Reserve migration.  Our friend Ginny (also from KC with whom I traveled in Oregon for a couple of days) joined us. I really hated to see them go and hope to visit them in Alabama, a state I’ve not yet been. Plus, Lisa is a hell of a baker!

My dog Ruka visiting with Lisa and Bill last week.
My dog Ruka visiting with Lisa and Bill last week.

In a couple of months, I’m going to Florida to hookup with Laura and Ken who hosted me in Michigan.  Laura was my tour guide last summer and we had a marvelous time. She left Ken at home after a fun 3 day meet-up with some other RTers, and we took our respective rigs down the west shore.

Later, we’ll meet again, with some of our other compatriots in Mississippi. The list of people and places keeps getting longer and I’ll never catch up. I’d like to see Jim and Carolyn again, James, Sharon, Kathy S., Sandy M. ,Susan A., Cheryl, Nancy, Kristi, Shari, Dan H. Tim, Carol.  I want to meet Jeff and Leesa and Janet A. among others. I’d like to see Campskunk, Sharon and Fiona the Fearless again (and beg for a big helping of Campskunk's mac and cheese).  My photography mentors, Larry, Brian, Tim, Michel, William and Kevin. I want to follow Yan and his family, as they backpack, trek, camp and generally over achieve. I want to keep tabs on Bliss and Brian.  I’d like to see Kitte and Laura in CA.

Mike and Jennifer in Branson
Mike and Jennifer in Branson

I want to name everyone, but don’t have the space- you know who you are.  And for those of you I haven’t yet met, I’m looking forward to it!

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my friends Mike and Jennifer Wendland. If we hadn’t met on line, then Branson, again in Michigan and soon down south, you wouldn’t be reading this!  You never know what opportunities await!

It’s a fellowship that I never expected, that fateful day at the RV dealer.  I still like traveling alone frequently, and don’t limit myself to meeting only Roadtrekers, but there seems to be a special camaraderie with the RT gang.  I now have a keen eye for class B’s and the 3 little windows.

So a toast and happy anniversary to my traveling ice-breaker, Olga.  May the wind always be at your back, few bugs on your front and the welcome mat out at camp!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-11-21

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

41 Responses to “An unexpected joy of RVing: My new Roadtreking family”

October 30, 2014at2:39 pm, Brett Schell said:

If this is me in 25 years, aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!! Perfect.

October 30, 2014at6:21 am, Don Green said:

When there is 2 or more together in prayer , Jesus says He is there.

October 29, 2014at9:45 pm, Tim Mallon said:

We are glad to be considered part of your RT “family”… looking forward to seeing you and other trekkers in Florida in January or at Pogo’s in February.

October 29, 2014at7:52 pm, Kathy Silves said:

Come get me I want to go camping lol

October 29, 2014at6:15 pm, Ron Gable said:

We are Full time RV’s and love it

October 29, 2014at6:18 pm, Mac Mcdonald said:

Let us know when you come to crystal beach

October 29, 2014at6:13 pm, Debbie Ruotolo said:

I absolutely love traveling and see New places! How do you get hooked up with a group of campers, when your a single women. You can never be too safe these days. I just love people you meet camping.

October 29, 2014at11:26 am, Sandra Gruell said:

Would love to do this but can’t afford an Rv.

October 29, 2014at9:47 am, Della M Snell Johnson said:

We have met some lifelong friends while camping. Awesome friend’s & memories

October 29, 2014at7:51 am, Richard Baumgardner said:

Happy Birthay Judi..

October 29, 2014at7:16 am, Mac Mcdonald said:

You could be doing this around a campfire on the beach.

October 29, 2014at6:33 am, Patti McClain Warren said:

I love the folks you meet when camping.

October 29, 2014at12:21 am, Kevin Cheetham said:

Looks like you have to have a RT and a Pico chair! 🙂

September 17, 2014at10:08 pm, Ellen Darby said:

Following. Will be ready to go on the road in one year.

September 17, 2014at12:49 am, Elliot Grapentine said:

still time to go camping

September 16, 2014at11:20 pm, Kay LeFevre said:

This is the kind of camaraderie I want for my husband and me!

September 16, 2014at8:33 pm, Tony Verwiebe said:

Will be real soon

September 16, 2014at3:12 pm, Deborah Mizzoni said:

This actually sounds like something I’d enjoy when I don’t travel for dog activities. Of course, now I am still working full time and don’t have an RV, but I can remedy the RV issue relatively easy. Any advice where to start? How about suggestions on RV features and size for someone who has never driven a truck OR camped at an RV site?

September 16, 2014at10:20 am, Lib Simon said:

Way to go ROADTREK!!!!!

September 16, 2014at9:42 am, Jo Ann said:

They were fun and adventuress times for my husband and me. Great memories and I recommend it to everyone.

July 08, 2014at5:24 pm, Margaret Bowles said:

This is why I want a Roadtrek!

July 06, 2014at5:22 pm, Jeffery Pickett said:

That sure would b the life !!!!!!

July 06, 2014at5:20 pm, Fran Harris-Jackson said:

I would love to do this!

July 06, 2014at2:26 am, Lori Winters said:

I’d love to be able to do this

July 06, 2014at12:44 am, Tess Carrillo said:

Your article is very interesting especially since I am just starting being a FT RVer solo traveler. I have friend who accompanies me once in awhile but expect to do more solos in the future. Thanks for Sharing. Roadtrek Gypsy (Tess)

July 05, 2014at9:35 pm, Mimi Wolf said:

Looks like so much fun

November 22, 2013at12:26 am, Lisa said:

Lovely and sweet article! I echo the sentiment. The virtual RT family has been wonderful.

November 21, 2013at10:06 pm, Susan Adame said:

Thanks for the great article! What a joy to meet you, Laura, and I know we will meet again.

November 21, 2013at5:46 pm, Tom Gallivan said:

Great post. Thanks for sharing! The welcome mat is always out for you and other Trekkers here at our home in central Vermont.

November 22, 2013at7:37 pm, Laura Robinson said:

Thank You, Tom!

November 21, 2013at2:58 pm, Nancy said:

Happy Anniversary to you and Olga! may you enjoy many more years of travel and meeting with friends, new and previous, young and old, feline and K9. <3

November 21, 2013at1:08 pm, Chris (StastRV) said:

Go Trekkers! Love to hear of your joyful adventures. I just passed my 1 year anniversary, logged 18,000miles in year one. Would have done more if I weren’t still working! Like you, a blend of both time spent meeting new friends and solitude works best for me. If you’re ever passing through Ohio……. 😉

November 21, 2013at12:21 pm, Dan said:

You didn’t mention all the four footed friends – Lucy says Hi! 🙂

November 21, 2013at11:20 am, Maureen said:

Wonderful to hear about all your “happy surprises!” Go trekker!

November 21, 2013at10:18 am, Laura H P said:

The best things in life truly are unexpected! So glad our paths have crossed…and continue to cross. See you soon fellow trekker!

November 21, 2013at10:13 am, Janet Arnold said:

Laura, Come to southern CA. The invitation to visit is open to everyone. I have found the facebook page to be a life saver. I learned on the go. I had my RT less than 1 month when I left to travel. Every time I didn’t know something all I had to do was post a question and man the answers came fast a furious. I have only met one other RTer but I hope to meet more.
I have been a little nervous about the rallies. I don’t do large crowds well. Sigh. I may give one a try and see what I think.
You give me courage to stretch my boundaries.
Thank you for a delightful post.

Comments are closed.

Back to top