Saturday, September 30, 2023


Lonely on your solo journeys? Consider joining the Wandering Individuals Network

When I first hit the road eight years ago, I admit I didn’t have a plan beyond the first six months. I was focused on one quest—redo a trip from 1965. Then I wanted to see family, and hit some national parks—but then what?

I found out that wandering alone is lonely. I saw all these happy couples chasing their dream and that made me feel even lonelier.

Then, I wasn’t even savvy enough to Google “Single RVers.” If I had, I would have been presented with a plethora of choices—RVing Women, Escapees Solos, Loners on Wheels (LOW), Sisters on the Fly—and Wandering Individuals Network.

A friend introduced me to this nice lady who camped with LOWs in mid-Florida, and I joined the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin chapters. But they only went out once a month to a campground nearby. That wasn’t the adventure I was looking for.

Joining the Wandering Individuals Network

Then a LOW told me about Wandering Individuals Network. I joined, but I didn’t actually JOIN until six months later when I was in Washington trying to figure out how to travel down the Oregon Coast.

Then I remembered WIN. I checked online and they were only a few hours away. Their circuit included a trip down the Oregon Coast. Wow. I drove over with some trepidation. Who are these people? Would they welcome me? Were they … weird?

“I found my tribe”

My first night convinced me—I had found my tribe.

With WIN I have seen 40 states, gone places I would never have gone by myself, tried things I had never really succeeded at before (i.e., kayaking, biking and hiking) and formed good solid friendships.

Where does the Wandering Individuals Network camp? And for how much? How is it unique?

An average stop is a week and the average stay is somewhere cheap or free—because many members are full-time RVers who don’t want to pay $75 a night for the privilege of “camping.” Out West, that means BLM or national forest land, if available. In somewhere like Florida, it means a lot of Elks and Moose parking lots. (And these lodges are delighted to see us.) WINs like to say they are “chasing 70 degrees” while not paying more than $10 a night.

The circuits are what make WIN unique. Members pay $120 a year for entry to a website that explains how WIN works, gives access to past newsletters, offers membership information and upcoming “circuit” travel plans. Right now, there are seven upcoming circuits posted and two going on—one in Canada and one in Oregon.

How the WIN got started

I started editing the club newsletter six years ago and was fascinated to hear the WIN history. How do you start something like this?

It started 35 years ago when nine RVers gathered around a table at The Slabs near Niland, CA, to talk about starting an RV travel club for single adults.

Imagine March 25, 1988, when there were no cell phones, no internet, just some ladies who had a strong “drive” to start an on-road community. All by telephone and by mail!

In the ensuing years, the club has had thousands of members and four presidents/owners —with the fifth taking control on March 7, brimming with new ideas on how to grow the club in today’s fast-changing RV world.

Club membership was—unfortunately—on a downward trend and the new owner vowed to update our look and focus on marketing in places I had never thought of before— Instagram, podcasts, YouTube videos.

Our new owner, Jenell Jones, is a native of Fort Worth, TX, whose career was in county government in Florida. She joined WIN eight years ago but acknowledges she didn’t actually join a “circuit” until 2019. She went from a self-admitted “online stalker” to immediately leading circuits in Michigan and on the East Coast. And then, when she had a chance to buy WIN from former owner Maynard Magee, she leapt at it.

Now she’s focused on getting the message out—but the message remains the same: WIN aims to be the premier RV club for the solo traveler.

If you’re feeling lonely out there on the wide-open road, perhaps think about joining the Wandering Individuals Network. I’m sure glad I did.


Jan Steele
Jan Steele
Former newspaper editor Jan Steele started her career in third grade as a school correspondent for her local newspaper and has been writing for publication ever since, including a 30-year-stint at the Herald-News in Joliet, IL. She decided in fourth grade she wanted to hit the road as soon as she could—and retired eight years ago to RV full-time.


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Neal Davis
1 month ago

Sounds fascinating. I’m glad that you found them. Safe rravels!

1 month ago

We do not qualify to join this WIN group. These RVers appear to be a Great Adventurous Friendly group. We will definitely share their information!
The articles about tire safety is a GREAT Reminder to keep in mind. Very tragic situations but keep in mind hopefully if everyone understands what do if at all possible there could be a positive outcome.
Everyone enjoy your travels safely with tons of fun!

1 month ago

WIN sounds like an interesting idea to me and I will check it out. But I hesitate to pay $120 without first knowing a little bit more about how the actual trips are organized. I travel in a van, and I like long trips, but I’m not full time.

Janette Steele
1 month ago
Reply to  Abby

Contact me at steeleyjan2020 (at) and I can walk you through it

Betty Studzinski
1 month ago
Reply to  Janette Steele

I would like to know more also. I scanned the Facebook for WIN and would like to know more about the various groups. I live in central Texas so is there a group near me?

Janette Steele
1 month ago

We are going to Texas in early spring… also maybe an eclipse party… email me at steeleyjan2020 (at) for more info

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

Thank you.

While I still have my travelling partner (we’ve been married for 44 years, and go back a bit further), we meet and befriend a number of wandering singles. Loss of a spouse is not uncommon at our age.

This sounds like good information to pass along for those looking to build a new solo life of travel.

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