Wednesday June 17, 2019
Goal: Dig Deep in the RV Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
Over the years we have met SO many incredibly influential people who are not only traveling, but are also thriving by running successful businesses from their RVs. Our curiosity is constantly piqued, wondering how these RVers do it! How are they able to travel to their heart’s desire while making a living from the road?
Enter RVE. Through our full-time owners, we learned about the RV Entrepreneurs Summit that was held this year at Lake Guntersville State Park, Alabama. The event is designed specifically for RVers interested in full-time travel and starting or growing a business. We reached out to Heath and Alyssa Padgett, the masterminds (and full time RVers/business owners) that started the summit in 2017 for like-minded travelers looking to learn the tips and tricks of running a business from the road. Pretty genius might I add. They were happy to have us attend the event to meet owners and to truly see what the RV lifestyle is all about. WE. WERE. PUMPED.
Welcome to RVE
Lake Guntersville State Park was a PERFECT venue choice for this year’s RVE event. Guntersville is the quintessential harbor town surrounded by a beautiful lake. The Padgett’s chose this location because of the growing interest in their RVE summit and its ability to accommodate many campers. When the Padgett’s planned the first RVE summit they only expected to sell about 30 tickets, but to their surprise, the summit has sold out every year with over 120 participants— this year there were over 300 attendees.
Before the event we connected with Ashley and Josiah Mann, Keystone owners and on-the-go entrepreneurs, for a southern-style dinner at the highly recommended Old Town Stock House. They were going to be featured speakers at the RVE event the following day. Ashley and Josiah spend their time full-time RVing and running their businesses from the comfort of their home on wheels. Ashley has built a name for herself through her successful “RV Inspiration” website created to inspire and share ideas and useful resources for RV living.
We laughed and chatted for hours as Ashley explained how her business became so successful. “It all started with a need,” Ashley told us. “Before I started the RV Inspiration website, I was part of many RV Facebook groups and people were constantly asking advice on how to organize a RV kitchen or ideas for where to store towels in bathroom… I noticed questions like these were repeated pretty consistently and there were so many great responses, ideas, and photos that were getting lost in translation. I wanted to create a place where all of those ideas could be catalogued so that RV owners could inspire each other as well as those who might be dreaming of one day owning an RV or tiny house,” Ashley said. Ashley’s website and social media has grown so much that her business has become the mecca for RV design ideas.
The summit was separated into three basic events that ran at different times throughout the day: main stage keynote speakers, workshops and attendee meetups. The speakers opened our eyes to the possibilities of success on the road. Eric and Tami Johnson from Techno RV taught us about their journey from “the corporate ladder to freedom on the road.” Techno RV has increased the size of their RV tech business more than 16 times over in the past three years with no e-commerce experience at all. We heard from a couple of professional disc golfers (WhalePants) who orchestrate disc golf clinics and events all over the country from their RV. There was even a workshop hosted by photographer Joe Hendricks on “How to Instantly Take Better Pictures on the Road.”
Amidst the educational and informative workshops, we met many awesome RV entrepreneurs and owners through meet-ups. The meet-ups provided us with the opportunity to both network and get to know a very positive and welcoming community. Truly there was something for everyone: a craft beer tasting meet-up; a cocktail party; campfires; yoga; disc golf lessons; and even a day of off-roading for those that brought toys along. We ran into Keystone Carbon toy hauler owners, Dan and Carolyn, who document their amazing RV adventures on their website “bikersbywayshighways.com.” They told us they were able to travel the entire country using the Park Advisor app that provides reviews, rates and information about RV parks and campgrounds across the United States. We also met and had dinner with Keystone Fuzion toy hauler owners, Neil and Julia Taylor of @destinationnomad on Instagram. The couple is a military family who has to relocate about every two years. Julia was determined to find a career that moved with her, giving her location independence and career progression. She discovered a program that allows her to learn tech skills from the road and she now works full-time as a web developer. Julia also coaches interested travelers on how to quickly develop skills to work from anywhere in the world.
For anyone that already works from the road or wishes to get started in the RV lifestyle, the RV Entrepreneurs Summit is DEFINITELY the place to be. Even as non-RV entrepreneurs, we learned valuable information from both our owners and the speakers about how we can meet the needs of the growing community of adventurous nomads working from their RVs. It was inspiring to meet so many incredible individuals living the way they want while doing what they love. What could be better than that?
For more information on the RV Entrepreneurs Summit and to see how you can get involved, click here.
Click HERE to read about Keystone Sprinter's 31FWMB, the ideal floorplan for both work and play.
*Photos by Joe Hendricks Photography, click to expand