My RV Tribe
My Last Time Standing Next to Tow@nda the Adventurer (My T@B)
Finding your place in the world of RVing isn’t easy. If you own an RV, you automatically become a member of a community, whether you choose to be an active member of the community or not.
For some of us, we thrive in our tribes. Our RV ownership makes us one person in a much larger community of travelers. When we see other people towing the same RV as we tow, we stop. We stare. We take pictures, and then we ask which person in our group of 10,000 members was driving the opposite direction on the interstate from us. If you haven’t experienced that yet, you are missing out.
Where I Belong
My First Solo Night In My T@B
I am a member of several RV communities. Some of the groups that I am part of define me. I am not just a solo RVer, I am one of many solo female RVers, and I identify with these women. I seek out other women RVers, and I gravitate toward them simply because we share the same passion for travel.
I am also a member of the NüCamp T@B community as well as the Fleetwood Southwind motorhome community because the makes and models of my RVs dictate my tribes. Then you add my FMCA membership and my Colorado Campers membership to the mix, and my small little place in the RVing world suddenly becomes overwhelmingly large.
But, the heart of my tribe is the solo female RVers and the T@B community. These women are my women. These teardrop-loving people are my people. Until, perhaps, they aren’t my people anymore.
Becoming an Outsider
Last weekend, I traveled with my husband and my dogs to the Cripple Creek, Colorado KOA. When we pulled into our site, I spotted two T@Bbers. One couple was in a 400, and another woman was with her little dog in a 320 S. I wanted to go and talk to all of them, but I resisted because I was hanging with my husband. We set up camp, and I saw the two T@B owners gravitate toward each other to talk. I sat outside of my RV and waited for them to come and talk to me, but they didn’t come over. Other T@B owners always come and talk to me, but they didn’t that night, and it ripped me apart.
My tribe didn’t recognize me. They didn’t see the longing in my eyes as I looked their direction. They didn’t see me because I wasn’t one of them anymore.
A Difficult Decision
A few weeks ago, I decided to trade my beloved T@B in for a different RV. It wasn’t an easy decision for me because my trailer was my pride and joy. I didn’t care that I couldn’t stand up inside of my T@B because I am so tall, but it bothered my husband that he couldn’t come with me in the T@B for boondocking adventures because he didn’t fit inside of the camper. Boondocking and motor homing are two very different styles of RVing, and he wanted to be a part of my off-roading and back-country adventures with me. Even if he only came with me a few times a year, how could I deny his request? I like that he likes to spend time with me, and if I weren’t comfortable, wouldn’t I want him to do the same for me? Yes. The answer is yes.
The Airstream Basecamp Shakedown-Meltdown
So, he asked me to look at the Airstream Basecamp X. I liked it. The Basecamp is still small. It is perfect for off-road and off-the-grid camping. It has solar panels built-in, and it has larger holding tanks. It has two propane tanks, and it is raised in the back like my T@B, so navigating bumpy roads won’t be a challenge. The Basecamp X has a bathroom both of us can use, and truth be told, it was nice to get into the shoilet without hitting my knees. I can’t help it, but I also love the kitchen. I have panoramic windows and a microwave, and I was able to make my coffee without hitting my head on the ceiling. We both can stand up inside of the Airstream without hunching, and we can even stand in the kitchen together with the bed made up.
Those are a few of the reasons why I said yes to the Basecamp X. My head said YES, but my heart said NO. I wanted to be a member of the T@B community forever, but it’s not in my cards. I tried to justify the T@B 400, but it was still not big enough where we needed it to be. We need small and practical for our smaller RV because we have big and spacious when we want luxury RVing.
A Stranger in my Community
Last weekend, while I saw my community gathering without me, it broke my heart. I felt lost. I felt like my tribe was heading down a different road; a road I didn’t belong on anymore. But, I couldn’t let that part of me go. Not yet. On Sunday, before we left our shakedown weekend, I went over and introduced myself. It turns out that we share some of the same connections. We have similar experiences, and we’ve signed up for some of the same events this year. Suddenly, even though I slept in a silver RV with the distinct Airstream look, I was one of them again. I was part of my T@B community, and I was part of my solo RVing women tribe, too. I felt like I was home again.
My Tiny-Teardrop Roots
I’m not certain what the future holds for me in the NüCamp and T@B community. I hope they don’t turn me away. Not yet, anyway. I grew up with my T@B. My T@B built me as an independent solo RVing woman. My T@B opened doors for me and showed me a lifestyle I never dreamed that I’d adore as much as I do. My T@B built my tribe, and I think no matter what happens, the people in the T@B community will always be a part of me because it’s impossible to destroy my tiny-teardrop roots.