Motorhoming fits easily into this couple’s outdoor lifestyle.
By Robert Rogers, F244985
My wife, Claire, and I are full-timers and travel throughout North America happily following the seasons, and our bliss, as hikers, bicyclists, runners, kayakers, and bird-watchers. Our traditional RV is a type C motorhome, perfect for getting in and out of the hidden campgrounds closed to larger units. We are young at heart and still flexible enough to vault into our preferred cab-over bed at the end of adventure-filled days.
We became full-timers six years ago, but didn’t buy our first motorhome until four years ago. Those first two years we traveled solely by our other “RV.” It’s a recreation vehicle that is not typically thought of as something one could live in, and it isn’t even motorized. It is a tandem bicycle that we call Zippy.
How could a couple live on a bicycle built for two? Easy. Five small bags filled with clothes and food; a tent; a sleeping bag; and air mattresses all fit neatly onto Zippy’s small racks. We pedal between 40 and 90 miles to a campground down the road, enjoying the scenery and people we meet along the way. It’s very similar to touring in an RV, with a few exceptions: we perspire more, pay closer attention to the weather, and eat more heartily than our motorized brethren.
In the spring of 1995 we pedaled away from our home in Sequim, Washington, carrying all we needed to live on Zippy. Thirteen months, 14,000 miles, and scores of memories and new friends later, we returned home, our wandering circle of America complete.
During that year on the road, we shared campgrounds with many FMCA members. They were always friendly to us, despite our lowly status as “tenters.” More than once we were presented with steaming cups of coffee and breakfast goodies from our new friends’ well-equipped and well-stocked motorhome kitchens. We learned that RVers are vital, energetic, and adventurous kindred souls. We also noted that their adventures didn’t include packing up a wet tent every few days.
After we arrived back home, we attempted to return to real life, but we knew that we had been changed forever. Full-timing was in our future.
A little more than a year later, after a two-month Zippy tour of British Columbia (where we met more friendly FMCA members), we returned home knowing the time had come. We soon purchased a motorhome and named her Turtle.
Our two RVs have complemented each other perfectly. Zippy calls us to adventure and a level of physical fitness we could not achieve otherwise; Turtle keeps us comfortable and safe while leading us to other adventures. We’ve hiked the canyons of Utah, pursued the elusive trogon in Arizona, and followed autumn south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We love both of our RVs and the life they offer us.
We still do much of our traveling by bicycle and have ridden a total of 34,000 miles. We undertook a 12,000-mile circumnavigation of Australia; an 8,000-mile jaunt in Canada; and numerous other trips all over the United States. But now we begin and end most of our bicycle tours in our motorhome and continue our travels with a few more amenities than the 60 pounds of possessions we carried on Zippy.
The next time you see a couple of heavily loaded bicyclists struggling up a hill along your route, give them a wave and a smile and allow them plenty of room, please. Someday you may meet them at a rally, since they have been steered to the RV lifestyle by all of the friendly FMCA folks they met on their journey.