A Vintage RV and Recreating Nomadland

Have you seen the new, Academy Award-nominated movie Nomadland starring Frances McDormand as Fern? It’s about a woman in her 60s who lost everything during the Great Recession and ventures on a journey through western America while living in her van. Hubby and I watched it on Hulu a few weeks ago and I tried to imagine what it would be like to live as a modern-day nomad. I actually thought it wouldn’t be too bad if you had a cute, vintage RV to do a little wander lusting!

Vintage RV remodeled and ready for glamping


I think it’s appropriate to share a post today about glamping and traveling in a camper/RV/fan/bus etc. while I’m on the road to Chattanooga. Although I won’t be staying in a cute, remodeled vintage RV like the one above and below. Instead, we’re driving my faithful Subaru Crosstrek to a cute little cottage near Lookout Mountain.

For a more organic vacation experience, could you see yourself in a cute little camper at a scenic campground or isolated location? Just enjoying a simple vacation while admiring and exploring the great outdoors on your own schedule? It’s what I call a “slow-living vacation.” No rushing to get from one attraction to the next – just taking your time like Fern did in Nomadland.

Light Green Vintage RV Camper


In the movie, Fern has fixed up the inside of her van to accommodate her cooking and sleeping needs. It’s nothing fancy, she calls it home. I think a nomadic lifestyle might be more enjoyable in a retro van like this powder blue example. You could bring your own solar-powered string of lights to hang above the tree when you’re parked for a few days. Shoot – I’d probably even try to keep a couple plants alive inside.

Classic vintage blue camper van parked in the park.


Once you’re parked, a metal campground fire pit can be turned into something cozy and fun, using short logs for makeshift tables or stools. Add a glass of wine or two to feel a little more glamorous. Ambiance can make a world of difference in the experience.

Campfire Snacks for Camping or Glamping Vacations


I’ve noticed a lot more people transforming old RVs or Airstreams into very livable homes on wheels. Maybe more people are getting tired of the rat race and are choosing to live more simply while exploring all that nature and the world has to offer.

Remodeled camper- vintage RV or glamper


My parents spent most of their retirement vacations hauling a fairly large RV around to somewhat local campgrounds. They even joined an RV club called Good Sam, meeting up with club members at designated camp sites.

I’d prefer a camper that you don’t haul with a car or truck. That way someone could sleep comfortably in the back while another person is driving. I like this small RV with a rack for bikes. The thought of hauling a big camper around would probably stress me out. I’d freak out trying to park it.

Cute vintage camper van or camping RV parked in wild camping spot in mountain forest. Bicycle off bike rack parked next to converted van. Life on the road in van, outdoor nomadic lifestyle


I like this idea of having a sleeping tent on top of your SUV. I’d feel a bit safer – away from bugs or critters that could crawl into your tent at night and get inside your sleeping bag!

SUV with pop-up tent for elevated sleeping


It looks plenty big enough for two people, without being claustrophobic. An air mattress can soften the floor.

SUV with pop-up tent for elevated sleeping


Your RV might also be fun to park in the backyard to enjoy a “vacation at home.” Kids would probably love to sleep outside in a cute camper. It makes a great place for a backyard party, too. You might as well get some use out of your camper while it’s parked, right? I had a friend who drove his RV to the health club. He’d invite the ladies from class to join him for an after-exercise drink and hors d’oeuvres!

Picnic table next to an RV camper


So what do you think? Could you be a happy camper like Fern in Nomadland? I think I could do it for a couple of weeks in a vintage RV or similar.

Happy Camper Enamelware Mug


More Adventure and Travel for You:

Get a Glimpse Inside a Glamping Tent

My Trip to Cozumel, Mexico

Scenic Cambridge Wisconsin: Best Kept Secret

The Riverfront Beauty of South Haven, Michigan

Our Glamping Yurt Vacation



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  1. I could be very happy in one of those cute refurbished trailers but, being a life-long introvert, the idea of being forced to park somewhere in close quarters with a bunch of strangers really turns me off. I’d be pulling off in some alfalfa field somewhere!

  2. Enjoyed this post! Brought back such good memories. We had a trailer growing up so all our vacations were camping. Also, had a trailer when our kids were young! So fun!!

  3. They make campers so much cuter now than they use to. I have some cousins when they retired they traveled all over the USA for a year and then bought a home and settled in.

  4. My husband, now deceased, and I left our jobs in Northern California back in the late sixties, sold all but most important belongings which we put in storage, purchased a new pick-up and self contained camper and toured the U.S. for four months. My husband earned some extra travel money by first working as an extra in the movie “Paint Your Wagon” as I prepared our home on wheels for the long trip inspired by Steinbeck’s book ” Travels with Charlie.” We took our time meeting people along the way, stayed in National Parks when possible with our golden eagle passport, sometimes private campgrounds or even on occasion a parking lot. We did this for a cost of $1000 back then. We had to eat no matter if on the road or not but mostly fixed our own meals. We were searching for the spot we wanted to make our permanent home after nine years of marriage and begin our family. We ended up back in my home town eventually in S.E. Washington state where we sold the camper for down payment on our first home in the depths of a hard winter. We both got jobs immediately and have never regretted that memorable journey of a lifetime before we started our family and settled in our forever home. What a way to see America!

  5. I would love an vintage trailer, I could travel and camp no problem. Hand me a map and I’m gone !

  6. I enjoyed this post very much. I haven’t seen the movie, but would like to. I think if I had a glamper I’d LOVE it. Ready to go see some sights. It would be great fun.