One million American “modern nomads” live in RVs

    4
    47
    Robert and Jessica Meinhofer and their two children in front of the RV. (Courtesy of the Meinhofer family).

    One million Americans live in their RVs, says The Washington Post in an article about the “modern nomads” published today. The Post profiles some of these nomads, and what motivations drove them to abandon their stick homes and become RV “fulltimers.”

    When Robert and Jessica Meinhofer told friends they were moving into an RV in 2015, most thought they were crazy.

    The questions poured in: How could they go from living in a 2,000-square-foot home to living in a 250-square-foot trailer? What would they do with their stuff? What would their children, ages 6 and 9, do for school? Was this a midlife crisis? The hardest people to convince were Jessica’s parents, who grew up in an impoverished Latino neighborhood in the Bronx and worked hard so their daughter could have a better life. They couldn’t understand why the couple wanted to live like migrant laborers.

    The Meinhofers are doing this by choice, not financial desperation. They are part of a movement of people ditching “sticks and bricks” homes that have long embodied the American Dream and embracing a life of travel, minimal belongings and working when they want.


    “We’re a family of four redefining what the American Dream means. It’s happiness, not a four-bedroom house with a two-car garage,” said Robert Meinhofer, who is 45.

    The Meinhofers and a dozen others who spoke with The Washington Post about this modern nomadic lifestyle said living in 200 to 400 square feet has improved their marriages and made them happier, even if they’re earning less. There’s no official term for this lifestyle, but most refer to themselves as “full-time RVers,” “digital nomads” or “workampers.”

    Most modern nomads need jobs to fund their travels. Jessica Meinhofer works remotely as a government contractor, simply logging in from the RV. Others pick up “gig work” cleaning campsites, harvesting on farms or in vineyards, or filling in as security guards. People learn about gigs by word of mouth, on Workamper News or Facebook groups like one for Workampers with more than 30,000 members. Big companies such as Amazon and J.C. Penney even have programs specifically recruiting RVers to help at warehouses during the peak holiday season.

    Read more.

    4
    Leave a Reply

    avatar
    3 Comment threads
    1 Thread replies
    0 Followers
     
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    4 Comment authors
    CajunLizjohn a smithSandy Frankus Recent comment authors

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      Subscribe  
    newest oldest most voted
    Notify of
    Liz
    Guest
    Liz

    Many factors contributing. Spiraling house costs, heavy student education debt hindering house-buying, population pressures as the US fills up, slowdown in housing construction increases prices for available housing stock, growing mobility and internet-based employment, advances in technology freeing people from big cities or stationary abodes, climate disruption, floods, fires, and ‘the new WX normal’ which makes many formerly safe places (e.g. coastal cities, New England, SE/Texas, woodlands of CA/OR/WA) risky and unpredictable. Unfortunately, homeless is also skyrocketing, and many of these have latched onto castaway RVs which become city-based eyesores, drug-filled mobile shooting galleries, filled by denizens who follow no… Read more »

    john a smith
    Guest
    john a smith

    I wonder what the total of trailer trash is included in that its getting so some of the campgrounds look like trailer parks

    Sandy Frankus
    Guest
    Sandy Frankus

    With houses selling in the 3 & 4 hundred thousand at least range and RVs with such nice living spaces plus the advantage of traveling it’s easy. The stress of house payments is crippling. Now the local hoity-toity HAVE to get on board and start planning

    Cajun
    Guest
    Cajun

    My heart is heavy for people that “have to live” in an R/V. Maybe it is just me, but I can’t help but thinking of “Agenda 21”? This government is going to crack down and hurt ALL of us. I pray that I am wrong!