rv-blogger-interviews

Interviews with Top RV Bloggers: How to Create a Successful Blog

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Ever dream of ditching the day job, office politics, and grinding commute to drive off into the sunset in a fully-equipped RV with no schedule or demands?

Our adventurous bloggers overcame an array of personal hurdles to realize their dream of freedom via RV travel. Now they help others do the same.

Their blogs are filled with inspiring calls to freedom as well as detailed how-tos, downloadable guides, forums, travelogue, and more.

Even if RV travel is not your cup of tea, the lifestyle renovation that these individuals accomplished — and blog about — should get your attention.

Learning how to live on less and generate passive income  — including from advertising and books sold on their blog — was a key factor freeing Julie and Jason Buckley from having to return to the drab salaried world.

If you have an independent streak, are interested in blogging, and want more enjoyment in life, then these interviews are for you.

Who Are the Top RV Bloggers?

We talked to these top RV bloggers to find out how they got their start and what success tips they have for other bloggers.

Here are the seasoned bloggers we interviewed:

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

The Buckley’s adventurous lifestyle has its roots in work-related stress and depression. Julie and Jason quit their jobs and took a year off to recover, traveling in a 20-year old motorhome.

our tour rv blog
http://ourtour.co.uk/home/

Careful tracking of spending enabled to couple to turn one year of vacation into two years.

After returning to their home in England, the two decided they did not want to return to the salaried world.

Instead, they focused intensely on learning how to develop passive income which led to financial independence and an open-ended date with the open road.

Julie and Jason now roam at will across Europe and North Africa in their motorhome dubbed “Zagan” — “the town in Poland adjacent to Stalag Luft III — the Great Escape camp — a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor there,” Jason explains.

 

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

Eight years ago Nina and Paul quit their jobs and set off on a grand adventure in a 40-foot RV which they share with two cats and a dog.

wheeling it rv blog
https://wheelingit.us/

The lure of adventure seems to have always had a strong pull for them.

Nina, of Viking lineage, grew up in Copenhagen and Singapore before jetting off to Paris to study French at The Sorbonne.

Paul’s parents left everything behind in 1950s Cuba to start over again in Miami.

Nina and Paul obtained advanced degrees in engineering before landing gigs with Cypress Semiconductor in California where their paths first crossed.

“Dislike at first sight” was followed by “tepid interest” then “sparks of unexpected fire and then a crazy, wild crash into full-blown love.”

 

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

After years of fantasizing about ditching the 9-5 grind and hitting the open road for adventure, Carolyn took the plunge.

carolyns-rv-life
http://www.carolynsrvlife.com/

“In April 2016 at 48 years old, I sold everything I owned, bought a 23-year-old Class C RV and hit the road alone with my 4-legged BFF, Capone.” She adds, “And you can too!”

In her blog, Carolyn shares how she did it, what she learned along the way, and how to avoid mistakes.

From how to buy an RV to live in, to accessible National Forest campsites, how-tos on common repairs, and her YouTube Success Guide, Carolyn’s popular blog translates her warm personal style into wisdom and tips.

 

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove

Julie and Marc Bennet became full-time RVers in 2014 after realizing they didn’t want to wait until retirement to live a more adventurous life.

rvlove-blog
https://rvlove.com/

“We wanted the freedom to explore and experience all of the nature and beauty of the world while we’re still young, fit and healthy,” they explained.

Julie and Marc are “all about making things happen” and it shows.

On their popular RVLove blog, they offer a helpful “Start here” section brimming with vehicle research, modification, budget, and other helpful advice, plus checklists.

They even offer RV gear and accessories for sale, via Amazon referral links.

They also run the online RV Success School which boasts enthusiastic testimonials.

 

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

An accomplished journalist and photographer, Julianne Crane’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and online venues.

rv-wheel-life
https://www.rvwheellife.com/

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Julianne started writing about RV living “decades ago” after purchasing her first motorhome, “a grossly underpowered early ‘80s Toyota Dolphin 4-cylinder class C.”

Julianne and travel-mate Jimmy Smith still spend much of their time on the road, in a 1999 Rialta Classic class B.

They love exploring the North American wilderness — and making new friends along the way.

Along with her popular blog, Juliane contributes to many RV publications including Motor Matters.biz, RV Short Stops.com, RVTravel.com, and Women RVers.blogspot.com.

 

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

When Simon and Sue Barlow set out to buy their first RV, they were frustrated by the lack of useful information available in online RV forums.

caravan-chronicles
https://caravanchronicles.com/

“[F]or every good answer to a question, there were at least ten bad answers and just as many online arguments!” recalls Simon. “It seemed almost impossible to get straight answers to questions.”

The Barlows soon launched Caravan Chronicles and began using the blog to fill that online knowledge gap with relevant and valuable information that readers were thirsty for.

Simon’s “Understanding the Dynamics of Towing’” was the first guide published by the site.

Visited by millions, Caravan Chronicles is now an online repository of equipment reviews, help guides, a document library, travel maps, and much more.

 

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond

In the wake of the 2008 financial crash, Gary Box decided he wanted a change.

motorhome-vagabond
https://www.motorhomevagabond.com/

“Reading news about people losing their jobs and pensions made me realize this was a somewhat corrupt and unfair system,” he explains.

“The idea of paying rent on a place I would never own and continuing with the Monday to Friday 9-5 held little appeal,” he adds.

After researching full-time travel in motorhomes, he purchased a used Hymer B564 and set out for adventure.

Gary now shares his love of hiking, travel, and photography with girlfriend Ewelina and a border collie that the couple rescued.

Rooted in the U.K., they continue to enjoy RV travel at will.

 

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

After an epiphany, 28-year old Becky Schade realized she could design her life intentionally.

interstellar-orchard
https://interstellarorchard.com/

She decided to not follow the usual route into a salaried 9-5 job.

“I said screw the status-quo and started working on my dreams of perpetual travel, exploration, and adventure,” says Becky.

“I hit the road in September 2012 at the age of 28 in my 17-foot Casita travel trailer.”

She’s frugal and happy.

“I am not rich,” she offers. “I’ve made less than $30,000 a year my whole adult life, and since hitting the road I’ve thrived on about $16,000 a year.”

Now she urges her readers to take their dreams seriously, so they don’t wind up with regrets. She uses her blog to “how you how to turn your dreams into reality and lead a more fulfilling, meaningful life.”

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

Carol’s blog is chockablock-full of wide-ranging tips for RVers.

carol-ann-quibell-roaming-rv
http://roamingrv.com/

Sample posts include tips for downsizing, how to manage chronic back pain while traveling in an RV, and information on RV clubs for solo travelers.

For those considering taking the plunge, she offers 6 Tips to Help You Decide if You’re Ready for Full-Time RVing. 

She even lists campground jobs some of which offer free space in return for attendant duties.

Why does Carol blog? “RVing is probably one of my most favorite topics,” she explains “and I really enjoy sharing information and tips with anyone who is interested in the RV lifestyle.”

 

Nick Russell, Gypsy Journal RV Travel Newspaper

Nick Russell and his wife Terry spent almost 20 years living on the road exploring the U.S. and writing about it in Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper.

gypsy-journal-rv-newspaper
http://gypsyjournalrv.com/

They currently live on the Florida Intracoastal Waterway and travel several months out of the year.

Nick is a best-selling author of numerous self-published novels.

And he has penned a number of books for RVers, including The Frugal RVer and Work Your Way Across the USA: You Can Travel and Earn a Living Too!

Not surprisingly, Nick is also the co-author of The Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit.

 

Q&A With the RV Blogging Experts

We asked each successful RV blogger the same five questions.

Explore their answers to get valuable tips on how to launch and grow a thriving blog rooted in a passion of yours.

 

rv-blogger-getting-started

Why did you start blogging?

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

I was a reporter for a daily newspaper and started blogging about the RV lifestyle in the early 2000s as part of my assignment.

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

In 2010 I experience a big epiphany moment and decided to quit my uninspiring job and travel around the US in an RV, not as a vacation but permanently.

At the time, most full-time RVers were retired couples and there was very little information available about how to go RVing as a working-aged, single woman.

So I decided to start a blog about my progress towards creating this nomadic life, figuring I’d not only gain clarity for myself through writing my plans and progress down, but also help other young singles who wanted to try this lifestyle.

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

The lack of reliable technical information about caravanning on the internet.

There seemed so many conflicting answers to questions with little or no evidence or explanations to back statements up.

Starting out we had so many questions and asking on caravan forums never really gave us straight answers and some answers assumed you already knew the basics.

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

A desire and a love for the topic.

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

Originally I just wanted some way to keep track of my travels and share them with a few close friends and family. Basically, so that mom, dad, and a few others could follow us along the way.

Blogging seemed like the perfect way to do that. I loved the format right away and I still think it’s one of the best ways to share travel and experiences today.

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove
I’ve always been a writer and had various communications-related jobs and businesses. I always wanted to travel the world with my husband (before I even had one!) and share our adventures via a blog.

That was way back in 2000 and I even did an HTML course at Sydney University to learn coding so I could do it!  Of course, you don’t need all that now with all the great platforms available.

When we hit the road in 2014 to live, work and travel full time in an RV, the stars lined up and we found our new chosen lifestyle was the perfect vehicle (pardon the pun) to start blogging about our travels, experiences and what we learned, through our blog RVLove.com.

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

When we set off for our first year-long trip in our motorhome, we wanted to keep family and friends updated as to what we had been up to.

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

I wanted to share my story and inspire others.

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond

I’ve had an interest in web design for many years. When I decided on a change in lifestyle and bought a motorhome to live in I thought it would be an interesting topic to blog about.

Nick Russell, Gypsy Journal
I started blogging to promote our RV newspaper.

rv-blogging-motivation

What’s your secret to staying motivated & inspired long term?

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

It’s not easy to stay motivated to keep creating! The secret is to make it a habit, schedule time in your day to write and then commit to it!

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

Some bloggers write when the inspiration hits them, but that never worked well for me.

For me, it’s all about making, and then sticking to, a posting schedule. I don’t always feel inspired to write, but I’m pretty disciplined and if I have a deadline I’ll get something up. Done is better than perfect.

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

I think it’s because I have a passion for travel and a desire to encourage others and for this specific blog – RVers.

I have gotten discouraged at times but I think because of my love for my subject it was easier to get back at it.

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove
Blogging is a lot more work and takes a lot more time than people realize.

It’s not just about the writing, but also sourcing (or taking) relevant images, considering headlines and SEO, and above all, keeping your audience in mind.

Having a genuine passion for the subject you are writing about and a genuine interest in helping others improve their lives through what your sharing, is critical to ensuring long-term success of a blog.

Without that passion and desire to help others, you can run out of steam. So I’d say write what lights you up and not what you think is popular or what others want.

Nick Russell, Gypsy Journal
I spent much of my working life publishing small town newspapers, so I am used to having deadlines and working to meet them.

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

When we first set off we had both just quit full-time jobs. We used the blog as a sort of surrogate job, making ourselves update it every day. This helped to give us the feeling that we were doing something worthwhile and not just bumming around.

When we went home to get ourselves financially free we thought others would want to know how we did it, so the blog carried on even though the travels had stopped.

These days we travel when we want and update the blog when we want. What we see both while we travel and at home inspires us to write, and knowing we’re going to write makes us go out there, do things and look more closely at life.

We also get great feedback from our readers which helps to keep us going.

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

Sheer stubbornness? I’m kidding of course, although being hard-headed is a bonus.

I absolutely love what I do (travel is in my bones) so that definitely helps with the motivation, but it’s been the audience, as cliché as that might sound, which has kept me going through the long term.

The interaction with blog readers both on the blog and in person has been beyond my wildest expectations and it’s the core of what has inspired me to keep going all these years.

From fellow travelers to dreamers to folks who simply enjoy following a story, the blog became a community rather than just a personal story, and I found a genuine joy in that connection.

Plus I discovered (somewhat to my surprise) that I really enjoy writing. So what started as a few paragraphs of personal musings became stories and pictures to share with others.

But yeah, it’s my readers who are my secret sauce and biggest motivators.

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

Interest in RVing, curiosity about people, love of travel and an endless fascination with exploring new places.

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

I’ve never really written for others, I tend to write more in a style that I’d like to read if I was asking the question or researching the subject.

So I guess that might be why Caravan Chronicles has kept going and staying motivated is not really difficult.

If I ask my self a question I just write the answer but what seems to be happening now is a lot of people ask me questions and sometimes a simple answer will be OK in the comments. However, some questions leave me thinking… “I don’t know that” and that starts off the research that leads to a whole new article.

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond

Initially, it wasn’t that difficult. I was visiting lots of interesting places in Europe.

I’m also passionate about photography which helped when it came to illustrating articles.

Motivation waned slightly when I sold the motorhome and began living in a house again. I would still blog on other domains about other subjects. I was still getting decent traffic to the blog, even though I was no longer active which prompted me to keep it going.

I no longer live in a motorhome but I do have a campervan so the blog continues.

Carolyn’s enthusiasm for her new RV life shows in her videos, which are peppered with insights about life and overcoming challenges.

rv-blogging-success

What do you think had the biggest impact on making your blog a success?

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

Honesty. We don’t write through rose-tinted glasses.

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

Knowing my target audience and creating content that they love to read, watch and share.

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove
My husband and I have talked about this and it’s probably not what people might think.

We have done a lot of great things with our blog but there is also a lot of room for improvement — we don’t necessarily do ‘all the right things.’ We’d like to, but it takes a ton of time and effort and we have been focused on traveling and spending time together.

Honestly, we attribute our success to being authentic and true to ourselves.

We stay focused on who we are being, taking care of ourselves and each other, to ensure we keep the balance between our life, work, and blogging.

We never want for our blogging to feel like a ‘chore’. We want our natural energy and love for our travels, lifestyle and each other to shine through when sharing with others — and it does.

It’s a special kind of magic that you can’t learn . . . but comes from the essence of who you are at the heart of it all, your reasons for doing it and a willingness to be authentic with your audience.

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

There are really two things that have helped to grow the blog. The first is that I kept working at it.

I know that might seem like a silly answer, but I never really learned in any formal way how to write, so it took practice to find my voice, and I think that was key. T

The more genuine and personal your blog is, the more it connects with others, and finding how to communicate that way takes time and practice. For me, that meant lots (and lots) of writing not only to develop my skills but also to get comfortable sharing personal stuff online.

It took time, but once I found my voice I found my audience and we’ve been happily going ever since.

The other thing was reaching out and connecting with fellow bloggers. Following their travels, commenting on their blogs, referencing their blogs etc.

Bloggers are a community and we all work to support each other. So by reaching out, you’re participating in that community and that always comes back to you in positive ways.

Techie folks have told me this is called SEO, but I’ve honestly never really understood how to manage that (no idea at all), so I just call it blog karma.

I am so grateful to other bloggers who’ve supported and referenced me over the years, and I do my best to reciprocate whenever I can. Plus bloggers are generally just super cool peeps, so why not join ’em :) ?

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

Commitment to providing useful information about the RV lifestyle, and writing about good people having fun doing what they love to do.

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond
Probably that I understood search engine optimization which meant I was able to get an engaged audience for the sorts of blog posts I was writing.

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

Hands down, it was choosing to start a blog about something I was truly passionate about.

Knowing there was room in my market for growth, niching down, dedication to showing up even when I wasn’t feeling it, and being my authentic self all helped.

But when you’re passionate about what you’re writing, the enthusiasm bleeds through in your words and readers really resonate with that.

Nick Russell, Gypsy Journal

I never tried to get too big and have never catered to advertisers and put their interests over our readers, and I strive to provide readers with good content that meets their needs.

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

I think it’s because I have a passion for travel and a desire to encourage others and for this specific blog – RVers. I have gotten discouraged at times but I think because of my love for my subject it was easier to get back at it.

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

People keep telling me it’s easy to understand the rubbish I write!

Marc and Julie Bennett’s enthusiasm led them to launch RV Success School, which offers online courses so you can “hit the road the right way.”

rv-blogger-lessons

What lesson about blogging do you wish you’d known before starting out?

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

My biggest fear starting out was that what I had to say would be scoffed at and belittled.

It took almost a year from the time I decided I should start a blog to actually start it because of fear of judgment I wish I’d known then that the amount of criticism I received was proportional to the popularity of my blog.

It wasn’t until Interstellar Orchard started gaining traction that I started getting trolls, and by then I was ready to handle them.

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

That blogging isn’t always easy? Well-written blogs look so effortless (that’s part of their charm), but it takes so much work to get them that way!

I never really understood everything that went into a blog until I did it myself. I love it (I really do), but there are times when it’s tough or where I struggle to find the words or the time to write.

Knowing that bloggers I admire feel this way too (I’ve talked to many about it) is a relief. Blogging is rewarding, fun, exciting, and all-that-stuff, but it ain’t always easy. Now you know…

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

Quantity is important to building a successful blog. The more you blog, the more success you will have.

One hundred words a day every day is better than 700 words once a week. Traffic to your website is key!

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

If you write it, they will read.

We had no expectations when we started our blog and continue to be amazed at the number of people who read our ramblings.

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

How fast the technology would change.

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

How to integrate my blog into social media… and social media into the blog. Sometimes the cause and effect is not what you think!

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond

I knew more than the average person new to blogging so probably avoided many of the pitfalls. For example, I have always used well-respected WordPress themes and hosting.

What has surprised me is how many questions I get about every possible motorhome subject. Many of these questions are not about the lifestyle but the mechanical side of motorhomes and I’m not a mechanic. I approve these questions/comments and explain my limitations and ask other readers to reply if they have more knowledge.

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove

Stay focused on your core message and voice, and less on the technicalities.

The new platforms available now — most of them are free —  make it so much easier for us all to do that now we get to focus on the creativity, communication, and connection . . . rather than the coding!

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

Something I don’t do – be consistent. I still struggle with it but really didn’t know at the time I started how important it really is.

Jason and Julie Buckley of OurTour, share information about their strategy for financial independence, which enabled them both to “effectively retire” at the age of 43.

rv-blogging-advice

Best advice would you give a new blogger?

Nick Russell, Gypsy Journal

You have to publish on a regular and consistent basis and you have to have content your readers find worth their daily (or weekly or whatever) invest in the time to read it.

Nina and Paul, Wheeling It

Work to find your style, the thing that makes your blog “you,” and you’ll find your audience. I truly believe that. No matter what you write about, be it travel or food, gardening, hobbies, politics or just your day to day life.

As long as it’s something you’re passionate about and you present it in a genuine, personal way, then folks will pick up on that and respond to it.

Be you, through and through.

Carolyn, Carolyn’s RV Life

Don’t overthink it. Write what you’re passionate about- in your voice. Have fun!

Also don’t forget the keywords, the tags and promoting it on social media! It’s about growing a community.

Becky Schade, Interstellar Orchard

You’ll find all sorts of conflicting advice on how to start and run a blog, trust your intuition.

If a piece of advice seems helpful to you, try it out. If it doesn’t, move on.

Through trial and error, you’ll discover your way of blogging, and it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.

Carol Ann Quibell, Roaming RV

Find a topic or subject you love and then go for it. I am always amazed at the blogging topics that become so successful. Who knew?

Julianne G. Crane, RVWheelLife.com

Keep learning about your subject, include a bit of your own experience, and quit when it’s not fun anymore.

Simon Barlow, Caravan Chronicles

Write your article… put photos in, tidy it up and save it — don’t publish.

Come back the next day and re-read it… edit and save.

On the third day read it again, edit and maybe then publish. Don’t publish in haste trying to make a deadline.

Julie and Marc Bennett, RVLove

Don’t start blogging expecting to make a ton of money. In time you may, and that is certainly a great goal, but if making money is your ONLY reason for wanting to start blogging, you’re probably going to be in for a big surprise and disappointment.

Try to switch off from what all the ‘experts’ say you should and should not be doing, and focus on what really lights you up and excites you.

What would and what could you blog about without it feeling like it was work? What comes naturally and easily to you? What subject do you never run out of ideas or things to talk about? What would you write or talk about if you never made a cent from it?

Just blog about what matters to you and what makes you happy. Give yourself time to find your voice and style, and just keep going.

It will inevitably take you somewhere, even if it’s not where you expected :) but you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.

Julie and Jason Buckley, Our Tour 

Make sure you’re writing about something you’re passionate about.

A good blog takes a lot of time and commitment to keep going and offers very little in the way of financial return.

An average post for us takes a couple of hours, and as the blog grows you’ll get several emails with questions and comments each day to respond to.

Gary Box, Motorhome Vagabond

My advice would be to probably think carefully about why you want to blog to try and avoid typical mistakes.

For example, others have asked me about starting blogs and have decided to buy a domain with a brand name in it even though I’ve pointed out that they may decide to switch brand of motorhome in the future. This did happen and I was able to help them point the old domain to the new one but they could have saved lots of work if they had thought more carefully about their domain name from the start.

 

Increasingly, singles are opting into RV life. Becky Schade of Interstellar Orchard provides practical tips, from safety to work-camping. 

Final Notes and Resources

A big thank you to the fascinating bloggers profiled here. Their stories are galvanizing.

You’ll be amazed at what you learn by exploring their blogs.

Know an RV blogger who we should feature here? or Have another idea for a blogger interview? Please let us know!

Key Takeaways

  • Honesty and authenticity are appealing. Top bloggers share their struggles as well as their wins.
  • Provide value; solve a problem: Are there knowledge gaps you can fill by collecting and organizing critical information on a topic and presenting it in an easy-to-use guide? Or, can you simply make existing information more convenient to access by re-organizing it and putting it into your own words?
  • Acquire skills: Bookmark Blogging.com and take advantage of our free guides, interviews, and how-tos.

More Top Blogger Interviews

Interested in more insights and tips from top bloggers?

Check out our interviews with top bloggers in these niches: accounting, food, craft and hobby, Bitcoin, travel, and photography.

Let us know how you’re doing with your blogging project: leave a comment below or ask us a question. We’re here to support you!

Sherrie is a digital strategist based in the northeastern U.S. A former magazine editor, she has worked in digital marketing and media for over a decade.
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