We traveled in RVs for years but realized it wasn’t the dream we thought we wanted–what we tell others before they start

CAMP Addict co-founders Kelly Beasley and Marshall Wendler lived, worked, and traveled in recreational vehicles (RVs) for years together. 

Then, they became disenchanted with their wanderlust lifestyle and moved into a stationary home – here’s why.


WHY THEY WENT MOBILE

Beasley decided to take the jump into being a nomad after she got out of a 12-year relationship. 

“I had wanderlust for a while, you know, always wanted to travel. 

“Definitely loved the idea of camping and boondocking and doing it for free because that’s just so exciting for me: just living partly for free,” she told The Sun. 

Boondocking, as she gushed about, allows people to live on public land available through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for free.

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However, people who boondock cannot stay on a single plot of land forever; they must move every 14 days.

Beasley continued: “When we broke up I realized I had a house I could rent out, had a part-time portable job that I could take on the road, and I was in.

"Just immediately all in.”

Within six months of her breakup, Beasley had rented out her house, bought a Toyota Tundra truck, bought a 24-foot trailer, and hit the road.

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Wendler’s circumstances that pushed him to make the move were a bit different. 

He had married the love of his life at the age of 25 and always felt the desire to try out the RV life, but he couldn’t convince his wife to commit. 

Wendler and his wife were married for 15 years until she died of cancer-related complications. 

“I found myself at a crossroads in life and decided that it was now or never to do this RV dream, so I  sold most of my worldly possessions, bought a travel trailer, and hit the road,” he recalled to The Sun.

Similar to Beasley, he set out on his new adventure just six months after an unexpected life change and stayed on the road for six and a half years.

Luckily, they each had jobs they could take on the road. 

Beasley did part-time customer support for a regional theater rewards credit card and Wendler worked remotely for a Canadian software company. 

RUNNING INTO EACH OTHER ON THE ROAD

Beasley and Wendler met by chance.

After failing to meet a single RVer her age at what she called “the biggest gathering of RVers in the world,” Beasley posted in a Facebook group to see if there was anyone out there she could befriend. 

She got a response from a woman not too far from her, and she decided to travel to her location.

That’s when Beasley and Wendler met for the first time and began the foundations of what would become a trusting friendship and later a fruitful business partnership.

The duo began traveling together shortly after and basically never left each other’s sides again.

“We started traveling together after that without really even talking about it.

"We just really realized we got along well, we just worked really well together, and funny enough, only three months after meeting we started a company,” Beasley recalled.

The company they started is called Camp Addict, a website that’s meant to answer all the questions a new RVer may have in order to make transitioning to the lifestyle a comfortable experience.

Impressively, the two traveling business partners were able to fully live off the money they made from Camp Addict shortly after its launch. 

They were seemingly living the dream – until they weren’t.

THE START OF SOMETHING NEW

There’s no doubt that Beasley and Wendler had the time of their lives while on the road, but eventually, their lifestyles started weighing on them. 

“It became increasingly difficult to be really productive at work with all the distractions of moving around and always having friends around, always being social,” Marshall explained. 

Plus, Beasley simply started feeling exhausted from the constant need to plan every aspect of her life to survive on the road.

“Full-time boondocking is a job,” she noted.

“You have to move at least once every two weeks or so, you gotta plan where you’re gonna go, you have to plan where you’re gonna find propane, water, gas, your groceries, where you’re gonna dump, what’s the weather gonna be like … is there gonna be cell service?” 

“It’s like a job and it’s fun and exciting at first but when you’re boondocking you only have so many places you can go.”

She added that after five and a half years of full-time boondocking, she virtually ran out of new places she knew had ideal conditions and cell service.

“Of course, there are some other places that we can still go out and explore but it just became not fun anymore [and] I found myself wanting to focus on some other things besides just traveling around, visiting friends, [and] sightseeing.

"As great as that sounds, I have other plans in my life [and] other things I want to do,” Beasley divulged.

Wendler added: “We wanna take Camp Addict at a different level than it’s at and in order to do that we thought that being stationary would be very beneficial to be able to actually focus on work.”

That stationary place ended up being a beautiful home in Arizona with enough land for their RVing friends to come and go as they please.

From there, the duo is spending much of their time growing Camp Addict and seeing where life takes them.

ADVICE FROM THE PROS

As people who have gone from living in RVs full-time to creating an educational website about the lifestyle to retiring from full-time RV life (but don't let that fool you, they still go out on adventures), Beasley and Wendler have plenty of sage advice to share.

For people who are contemplating taking the dive, they said to make sure it’s exactly what you want to do. 

“It’s a totally different lifestyle.

“It’s one that lets you explore and learn new things about the country and yourself, but definitely not glamorous,” Wendler warned. 

In order to know if the lifestyle would work for you, he suggested renting an RV at first and going out for a week or two to get a taste of it.

“Understand that there's a lot of headaches and aggravation that goes along with it.

“You are having to move your house constantly and you’re having to supply your house, and things are going to break,” he explained. 

In case things break, he said it’s imperative to have some form of roadside assistance or have some knowledge of how to get yourself out of a mess.

Beasley noted that she’s been lucky to always be with someone to help her sort things out when something goes awry, but not everyone has that luxury.

In fact, she said some of her friends were stuck in Mexico “for a few weeks” until the repair shop could obtain the part they needed to fix their RV.

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On the flip side, Beasley said you’ll meet “awesome people,” see “awesome places,” and have “million-dollar views” throughout an RVing journey. 

To see if RVing is right for you, you can check out CampAddict.com or take advice from another pair of nomads, who actually moved into a van together with their two cats just months after their first date. 




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