This Couple Started RVing Full Time in 2019 And Haven't Looked Back
We spoke to full-time RVers (and YouTubers) Fox and Miles about their journey into the world of RVing and what they've learned so far.
1. You have a popular RVING YouTube channel: The Adventures of Fox and Miles. Tell us about yourselves and why you started it.
We’re both Black creatives who have been steadily working to make a career out of our art and creativity. Fox is a singer/songwriter, photographer, and content creator. I’m a voice actor, content creator and I do audio production (audio editing, music mixing, etc.) We initially started our channel, The Adventures of Fox and Miles, to chronicle our journey into becoming full-time RVers a few years ago (2019). Since then we’ve decided to dedicate our channel to sharing our journey as Black RVers and creatives to help inspire our community to pursue their own dreams of travel, entrepreneurship, and living a fun-filled life.
In 2019 we wanted to do something different while being able to pay down our debts and add more margin to our finances. Living in Washington, D.C. there was no way we were going to be able to truly thrive without wearing ourselves thin. Moving into an RV allowed us to do the things we love (travel, visit family and friends) without stretching our already thin budget. So, we started chronicling our journey as we prepped to move into an RV and we documented our travels. We were so surprised that other folks were interested in our journey as newbie RVers, but it has been such a blessing to have this community built over time. The idea was to document what we were doing for ourselves, for family and friends and out of that came these wonderfully supportive people.
2. What kind of RV do you have and why did you choose it?
We spent a long time researching RVs through other YouTube videos, craigslist, articles… At first we went scouting at RV World, but when we realized that they were way out of our budget, we got on our phones and googled RV shops. CruiseAmerica popped up and we are so glad it did. Not only did it fit our budget, the build and make of the RV was just what we were looking for. We wanted simplicity and the way they make their RVs they are built to last.
I also have experience with Class C Rvs because my parents would take us RVing in their Class C when I was a child. Driving it is super easy and not overwhelming at all.
We have a 2014 Thor Majestic 28A. We purchased it used from CruiseAmerica with the intention of living in our RV full time. We wanted to get an RV that was sturdy, stable, and reliable. The RVs used for rental through CruiseAmerica and CruiseCanada are designed for ease and safety, which is what we needed. The RV we have is about 30ft, which was a good size for us to downsize our apartment living life into living in an RV full time.
3. Why do you think RVing has seen such a surge in popularity recently? What's the attraction?
I think folks want freedom, adventure, peace, joy, and room to breathe. People want to live life on their own terms. RVing allows you to travel while having most of the amenities you’re used to at a sticks and bricks home. It’s way more affordable than standard housing and it doesn’t require so much debt. We’re sold this American Dream; this plan that says if you get a degree, a good job you’ll be good. Sadly, so many of us have chased that dream and haven’t been given what we were promised. So instead of buying into that dream, folks are building their own. I love it.
I honestly think one of the biggest causes for the popularity in RVing is the COVID pandemic. Spending so much time inside worried and stressed about life has encouraged folks to get out into nature and travel. It’s also encouraged and challenged people to stop waiting for “retirement” or the perfect circumstances to do what you want. Since 2020, we’ve all been taking time to reflect and reconsider how we’re currently living our lives. A lot of people have realized that how they were living wasn’t that great and now want to do something different. Traveling, particularly in an RV, appears to be the best way to do it.
4. Sometimes RVing can seem intimidating if you've never done it before. How did you prepare for the RV lifestyle?
There was a lot of intimidation for me when it came to RVing, especially the idea of living in an RV full time. Fox, shared a lot of YouTube videos and articles with me to help prepare me mentally for the transition. We also stayed in a 5th Wheel through AirBnB one time to sort of “test the waters”. Once we purchased Darla (our RV) we did go on a short overnight trip to a park to test out everything in the RV (AC, generator, driving, etc). After that, there wasn’t much more prepping that we could do. One of our biggest concerns in making the transition into full time RV living was money. So, we both worked to save up as much as we could before we moved into Darla. Part of our journey was to pursue our creative endeavors full time, so we left our 9-5 jobs once we got on the road. Having some savings was really helpful!
RVing can definitely be intimidating. To prepare, we downsized… A LOT. We rented an Airbnb to see if we actually could live in such limited quarters. We watched videos to know what to expect. We also made it a point to watch videos on what could go wrong when RVing so we weren’t super shocked if things went wrong (which they did haha). At some point though, you have enough of living vicariously through others that you have to take the leap for yourself. I’m so glad we prepared as much as we could, but the best way to prepare is to take action and learn from your mistakes.
*Learn more about common mistakes beginner RVers make and how to avoid them. And don't forget to keep in mind these bear safety tips for RVers!
5. What's your advice to beginner RVers? Anything you wish you'd known starting out?
You can watch the videos, listen to other people’s accounts, read the books and all of that is super helpful. However, the only way to really get acclimated is to do it. I recommend folks rent an RV first to see if they like living in and driving an RV. I would also say downsize further than you think you need to downsize. At the beginning of our journey, we had so much stuff. After months on the road, we realized some of that stuff we thought we needed, we never touched. It’s really a lesson in finding what’s absolutely essential and going from there. I would also say to save as much money as you can, but there are opportunities to work on the road as well (Seasonal Work).
My biggest piece of advice would be to take your time while traveling. Go slow! There’s a lot to see and do while you’re traveling, and you don’t want to burn yourself out because you’re rushing to see and do everything. The first three months of full-time RVing we were moving around a lot. Visiting family, going to different locations, and attending conferences. If we were to do it all over again I think we’d definitely slow down our travel pace and enjoy the journey.
6. What's the best part about the RV lifestyle?
The very best part, to me, about the RV lifestyle is the peace you can get being in your rig. It forces you to almost disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the “real world” and just breathe. Some of our favorite places have been in “the middle of nowhere” where we can just spend quality time together, or just take a nap.
The best part for me is the slowing down of life it teaches you. There’s no need to rush (and you probably shouldn’t in a heavy RV). We literally decide where we’re going to go, pack up and make our way. We’re open to stopping by anything that fascinates us on the way to our destination and it’s no pressure. When we boondock (camp in open land without hookups) I feel so centered and so calm. Nothing but us and nature. It’s lovely.
7. How do you plan your trips?
In the beginning, we burned ourselves out by traveling quickly. We realized that traveling slowly is the way to go. Though we may have places we want to be or go at a certain time, everything in between is a magical surprise. And sometimes that surprise is dull with flatlands and a lot of cows! Haha! Either way, leaving breathing room in between the stops makes for a much more joyful trip.
We mainly plan our trips by using major milestones of events or where we’d like to go. For example, we know we want to be with family during the holidays so that time and that location is set in our calendar. From there, wherever we are, we’ll map out our travels so that we can ultimately make it to our major milestone destination. Since we’re working on not rushing as much as we did earlier in our travels, we’re open to traveling to various places.
8. In your videos, you talk about the experience of being Black Full-Time RVers—can you talk more about why sharing that experience is important to you? Why do you think your experiences, and your channel, have resonated so well with your viewers?
This is multi-layered. Black folks have a complicated relationship with nature to begin with, adventure and the outdoors (generally speaking). As a child, I was fascinated with it, but my parents would worry about me going too far or doing too much. I love seeing us going back to nature, but many of our ancestors fled the rural parts of the Americas for better jobs and security, but also because of the lack of safety. Many of our ancestors fled the Jim Crow South – it just wasn’t safe. There was also slavery that made us experts of the land, but also took the joy from it because we were exploited for labor.
For some Black folks, there’s an aversion to RVing, especially in rural and open nature. And not seeing your own people creates this illusion that it’s not for Black people or that it’s not safe for Black people. Commercials and media are all messaging and that message is received by Black folks.
There is also the issue of cost and accessibility. Many Black folks want to RV and travel, but because there is such a premium on RVing, they can’t afford to. Some are struggling just to survive, living paycheck to paycheck. They felt how we felt going to RV World looking at RVs with a 100 or 200 thousand dollar price tag. It feels absolutely impossible, especially when there are still pay gaps. It’s almost as if they are keeping Black folks out of reach. You look on commercials and websites and it’s mostly white families.
There are a lot of layers to uncover when it comes to the adventure and travel industry. But Black folks have ALWAYS been in nature and adventure. It just doesn’t get highlighted. But I am so glad that we have the opportunity to share our journey, our fears, our wins and that more and more of us are showing others that it is possible to do and it is for us too!
Watching us and others, Black folks finally feel seen. They finally feel like it’s possible for them to RV or go for their own dreams that they may have given up on, or declared as impossible. We didn’t come on the scene like experts (because we aren’t). We shared all of the ups and downs, our trials and errors, and showed them that if we could do it, so could they.
It’s very important for people to see themselves in media, culture, and entertainment. It’s difficult to believe you can do something when you never or rarely see someone who looks like you being represented. For a very long time, Black people haven’t been represented in the traveling or camping space.
Even when you search “RVing” on YouTube there are only a few Black RV channels that come up (one being our own). That’s something we noticed before we started our journey and we wanted to provide representation, an example, to our community and culture that there are Black folk who do travel, who do RV, and who do camp. Our channel resonates with our viewers because it helps them to feel seen. It also gives them the encouragement and the permission to pursue a lifestyle they may have felt intimidated to do. We’re grateful to know that there are more and more Black RVers, Black RV content creators, and more Black people showing interest in RVing and travel. We want people that look like us to know that they can do whatever they dream of, including RVing.
9. What's on your bucket list for Ontario? Any places you can't wait to visit?
I would love to go to Niagara Falls with Fox. I also hear Manitoulin Island is a really cool place. Toronto looks nice too. In general, we really like national parks and we look forward to heading up north to see some of the beautiful sights in Ontario.
*for more information about camping and RVing on Manitoulin Island check out this guide to RVing on the world's largest freshwater island. For more information on RVing and camping in the Niagara Falls region check out this 7-Day RV itinerary to festivals, craft beer, and culture.
Oooooh! This is a good one. I would LOVE to see Niagara Falls and visit the wineries. I’ve never seen the falls with my own eyes and wineries are so peaceful and fun. I’d also love to check out Manitoulin Island to attend the Haweater Festival. But my main mission is to see some Northern Lights! I want to see them so badly and I’m adding it to my list with a star.
*For more information on where to see the Northern Lights in Ontario, check out our top tips for spotting (and photographing) the Aurora Borealis.
Thank you Fox and Miles for your time and expertise!