I am so excited to introduce Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky and her absolutely fabulous 1973 Winnebago Brave. In Love. Elizabeth is out there living the dream for everyone, she took stock of what would she do if she could do anything she absolutely wanted to and it was an easy answer, find a vintage 70′s Winnebago and travel the country. Instead of just dreaming she found the Brave and saved the ever necessary cash and has been on the move ever since. Her Winnebago is vintage heaven, if we had been wanting an RV to drive versus a travel trailer to pull I think we would have gone the exact same route as Elizabeth, you just can’t help smiling when you see the Brave, it seems to take on its own personality in photos. She is documenting her journey on her blog and sharing lots of photos, plus fun fashion shots and more. She took time out of her travels to do some Q&A with us so let’s get started!
1. How did you decide on a Winnebago?
I fell in love with 70′s Winnebago Braves about three and a half years ago. My family had just returned from a 2 and a half month RV trip from Alaska, to Washington state, to the east coast (new york/cape cod/etc), and then back through Kentucky/Kansas/Colorado, and for some reason they just caught my eye and never let go. I don’t even remember seeing many of them while we were on the trip, but when we returned and I went back to school, I would see vintage RVs quite frequently and the 70′s Winnebago’s just were my favorite. They are so un-aerodynamic and boxy, and their architecture is just so … emotive. They seem to have emotions and expressions, and they kind of crack me up. The Brave, especially, became my favorite- probably because it’s the smallest model and their tininess just adds to their character. Little, stout, angular boxes on wheels. I painted a 72 Brave that year for my Painting II class, and that painting is nearly the exact model of Brave I ended up buying 3 years later (mine is a 73).
2. Did you have any apprehensions about setting off on this adventure by yourself?
Not really. I knew a lot about RV travel from going on the trip with my family 3 years ago, and driving in general doesn’t make me nervous. I know a lot of people were concerned about me traveling alone, since I’m a young woman and there are creeps out there, but I mean, all I can do is be smart and safe. I’m not going to let “what ifs” keep me from doing something I want to do.
3. Were you nervous when you first started learning to drive the Winnebago and any tips for the first time driver?
No, I’d driven our much larger 35 ft. class C, and I’ve always been a competent driver so I knew it’d only really be a matter of learning how wide I was, what kind of turning radius I got… stuff like that. Also, one of the previous owners smushed the front “eyebrow” of the Brave into his house, so watching out for things above and knowing my height was another important thing to learn. You just have to know that you’re kinda huge and ungainly, and drive like it. You can’t drive an RV like a car. I only push the Brave to 55, maybe 60 mph, simply because that’s where she feels most comfortable. It’s all about finding where your rig feels most comfortable. I don’t mind being a slowpoke.
4. Any advice for the young and adventurous who want to take off on the road full time like yourself?
Get KOA, Good Sam and AAA+RV memberships. Also, get a copy of Woodalls, it’s a great campground resource. Get an iPhone too. I never had one before and I got mine specifically because of my trip. It’s been really helpful. You have a gps, campground apps, internet, and a whole bunch of other useful apps. If you’re a blogger or frequent internet user, like myself, I definitely recommend getting a wireless internet thing that you can plug into your USB and get internet wherever you have cell service. It’s been a great little tool. A lot of campgrounds have WiFi, but sometimes it sucks or doesn’t reach your RV. Either way, for the web savvy traveler, one of those is great.
Work hard and save a lot of money, or have some way to make income on the road. I lived with my parents for a year in order to afford my trip. Research the rig you want. And make sure the one you get is solid mechanically. The last thing you want is to be breaking down in the middle of nowhere all the time. If you’re traveling during peak seasons, make sure to call ahead and reserve a spot at a campground. Conversely, if you’re traveling in the off season (especially in more northern areas) make sure the campground you are planning on staying at is open all year. Some campgrounds close for the winter. Also, some attractions are closed in the winter months. But the nice part about traveling in winter is that the tourists are quite minimal. I was at the Grand Canyon a couple weeks ago and I was the only person camped at my campground.
5. Do you keep any type of schedule or routine from day to day?
Not really. I really like to drive, so I’ll often drive for at least 4 hours a day. It’d be different if I wasn’t alone, I’d probably stop and do things and visit more touristy stuff, but for just myself, I like to just keep driving. I sleep in till at least 10 (because I’m usually online till like 2 am), so I probably get a later start than all of the retired, early-bird RVing folks. My schedule is kind of just drive until I get where I’m going or till sunset. I don’t like having to find a campground after dark, it gets a little frustrating.
Thanks Elizabeth for sharing all of your great tips and pictures! You are an inspiration to all wannabe travelers and fellow travelers alike!
(all photos used courtesy of delightfully-tacky.com)