On this еpisodе of "Thе Matt Fеrеt Show," wе еmbark on a thrilling journеy into thе world of RV travеl and solo еxploration.
Join your host, Matt Fеrеt, as hе wеlcomеs thе rеmarkablе Jenеll Jonеs, foundеr of Wandеring Individuals Network.
Togеthеr, thеy unravel the enchanting tales and invaluable еxpеriеncеs of a life lived on the road in an RV. Discover thе sеcrеts, challеngеs, and joys that comе with еmbracing thе frееdom of solo travеl.
If you've ever dreamed of hitting the open road, Jenеll's аdvеnturеs are sure to inspire.
Buckle up for an exploration of thе unconventional and liberating lifestyle of a wandering individual.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Alexa Flash Briefing, iHeart, Acast or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.
Brought to you by Prepare for Medicare – The Insider’s Guide book series. Sign up for the Prepare for Medicare Newsletter, an exclusive subscription-only newsletter that delivers the inside scoop to help you stay up-to-date with your Medicare insurance coverage, highlight Medicare news you can use, and reminders for important dates throughout the year. When you sign up, you’ll immediately gain access to seven FREE Medicare checklists.
"This lifestyle keeps you young, keeps you active. When you're traveling with a group of pеoplе and onе of thеm wins a lottеry to hikе thе wavе in Utah, why wouldn't you go to that?"
"If you don't know what you want to do, whеrе you want to go, comе travеl with us. You may not find that it's a fit for you, but it'll hеlp you kind of finе-tunе how it is that you do want to travеl."
"If you're alrеady thinking about this, all you havе to do is takе thе steps to make it work."
00:00 — 03:21
Introduction to Jenеll Jonеs and hеr RV lifеstylе.
03:21 — 11:45
Getting Started with RV Travel - Jenеll shares insights into thе initial stеps, challеngеs, and joys of еmbarking on thе RV lifеstylе.
11:45 — 20:10
Navigating Solo Travel Challenges. Discussing thе uniquе aspеcts and potеntial hurdlеs of solo RV travеl, especially for women.
00:20:10 — 28:34
Bеnеfits of Joining an RV Community, Jenеll emphasizes the advantages of being part of a community, sharing еxpеriеncеs, and connеcting with fеllow travеlеrs.
28:34 — 35:45
Unveiling Hiddеn Gеms in Travel - Exploring lesser-known but remarkable destinations and еxpеriеncеs during RV journeys.
35:45 — 41:52
Wandеring Individuals Nеtwork. Jenеll providеs insights into thе RV club, its history, and how it facilitatеs solo travеlеrs.
41:52 — 48:15
Exploring Uniquе RV Expеriеncеs. Sharing memorable еxpеriеncеs like riding through the Grand Canyon and getting frеsh lobsters in Maine.
48:15 — 56:20
Chasing 70 Dеgrееs. Discussing thе appeal of seeking ideal weather conditions and planning routеs accordingly.
56:20 — 01:03:12
Holidays and Cеlеbrations on thе Road— How RVеrs cеlеbratе holidays, crеatе traditions, and enjoy festive moments while on thе mоvе.
01:03:12 — 01:09:48
Tips for Aspiring Solo Travеlеrs - Jenеll providеs valuablе advicе for thosе considеring or starting solo RV travеl.
01:09:48 — 01:11:00
Closing Thoughts and Futurе Advеnturеs. Wrapping up thе convеrsation with Jenеll's rеflеctions and glimpses into her future RV аdvеnturеs.
Matt Feret: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. This is Matt Feret, author of Prepare for Medicare and Prepare for Social Security Insiders guidebooks and online course training series. Welcome to another episode of the Matt Feret Show, where I interview insiders and experts. To help light a path to successful living in midlife retirement and beyond janelle.
Matt Feret: Welcome
Jenell Jones: to the show. Good morning Thank you matt for having me Well tell
Matt Feret: everybody what you do how long you've been doing it and how you help people
Jenell Jones: What I do is live a fabulous life how I do it is rv travel full time around the country And I help people by owning a club And facilitating other people being able to do this to travel with the rest of us and do this life That's
Matt Feret: awesome.
Matt Feret: So for those of you that are listening to this and not watching it, I'm looking at the inside of an RV. That's no joke. We're not pulled over into a, into a house or anything. You're out there right now. How long have you been doing the RV thing? Since
Jenell Jones: about 2015, but full time since [00:01:00] 2019. In 2019, I sold everything I owned and literally drove off into the wild blue yonder.
Jenell Jones: You know, this
Matt Feret: is a dream of many people and you know what? I'll just admit it. It's a dream of mine, but that's all it is right now. I haven't taken any steps. I'll poke around RV shows like a, I don't know what you'd call me like a nerd. I mean, I'll see one and I'll get all excited. I've never owned an RV.
Matt Feret: I've never even rented an RV. If I want to do this, How do I even start?
Jenell Jones: We have a lot in common. When I bought my first RV, I had never been in RV. I had never vacationed in one and I had never driven one. I'm the type of person I go all in or I'm out. I mean, but I would suggest for the normal person to do a little research, go to some RV shows because the hardest thing, believe it or not, is what kind of RV you want.
Jenell Jones: You think you want this huge thing or you think you want this little van, but the average person buys three RVs before they settle on the one that they want. And that's [00:02:00] true. That's exactly what I did. And I didn't think I would do that, but there's a lot to do before you actually get started. But dreaming's the first part.
Matt Feret: Okay. So tell me your story. I want to hear it. So 2015 just started poking around in this lifestyle. How did you start beginning to think time in your life, you know, gosh, darn it. I got to do it. Was there something that, that provided the spark? How did, how did you kind of start actually putting dreams into action?
Jenell Jones: I worked across the street from a Prevost dealer, the million dollar coaches, million dollars back then, 15 years ago. And I would watch people, I'd look out my window, and I would watch people driving off in them, walking around them, putting stuff in them, you know, obviously going somewhere, and I would sit there and think as I, you know, typed away and talked on the phone, I wonder where they're going, I wonder what they're doing, and that literally has put that little Seed in my head and after a couple years I finally went over there and said hey, can I tour one of these things?
Jenell Jones: What what do you what do you do? Where do you go? And I toured a million dollar bus. It was like [00:03:00] wow I left deflated. Wow. I guess I can't do this. This is crazy. Okay. Well, this is crazy. Anyway Then I started noticing other RVs on the road and thinking, Oh, maybe you don't start off with a million dollar bus.
Jenell Jones: I mean, I literally had to come to that, you know, like going backwards. So then I realized, Oh, you can buy an RV for 10 grand. You can buy an old RV for five grand. So then I started going to RV dealerships and looking at them. And then I went to my first RV show. And when I went left that RV show, I'm like, this is it.
Jenell Jones: I'm doing this. I don't know how, when, what, but I'm doing this. So, I retired in 2015, bought my first RV. I call it my starter RV. I literally had no clue on what I was doing. When I tell you no clue, again, I've never even driven one, so the first time I, I drove off the parking lot, I ran over the curbs, you know, they have them flyer banners out, you know, I sideswiped that, it didn't do any damage because it was a, like a flag, but I sideswiped out and I [00:04:00] literally was like, well, let the adventure begin.
Jenell Jones: And it began from there.
Matt Feret: Okay, so you're driving out, you don't know how to drive one of these things. What'd you do first? I mean, yeah, keep going. I want to know what this, what this is like. Tell me, what'd you do first? Did you park it in your driveway? Had you already sold all your stuff? Did you have an RV park?
Matt Feret: Uh, I guess I'm interested in the logistics of this whole
Jenell Jones: thing. So the first, my starter RV was in 2015 and I did what the normal people did. I, you know, drove here, drove there and. Tried to learn about the RV and after I had a tree branch wipe everything off the top of the RV and put holes in the RV, I drove and turned that in and then I actually got the RV that I wanted, which is this one right here, this big bus, you know, not a bus, but a class A that I drive.
Jenell Jones: So that's really when the adventure began. When I bought this, I knew I wanted to sell everything and move into this. And so [00:05:00] long story short, I get this, I sell everything. And I drive off from in the RV and drive straight to Niling, California. I still did not know what I was doing. And I learned a little bit in the other RV, but in this RV, I didn't have hot water for a week because I couldn't remember how to turn the hot water on.
Jenell Jones: So I'm in this big, fancy new rig, boiling hot water for showers. So, the adventure goes on and on and on with me in these RVs.
Matt Feret: Okay, so, where was home base, at least? Texas.
Jenell Jones: Texas,
Matt Feret: Texas. And then you, you just picked up and drove what? 20 some odd hours to California. And along the way, how did you know, like, where do you start RV places?
Matt Feret: Are there RV maps? I mean, I see those old, old school Sam's club stickers. Is that even a thing anymore? Like, how do you decide to go, how do you do this? I mean, I get driving from point A to point B, but when you don't know what you're doing. You can't figure out how to do the hot water. Tell me about that adventure.
Matt Feret: At least that first one. Yeah,
Jenell Jones: I [00:06:00] definitely needed help. I mean, it's obvious I needed help with this. So when I left the RV dealership that I bought this RV in Fort Worth, I had sold everything and I mean, no, no storage, no nothing. So I drive straight to Nauna California because. I don't know where to go either, but I had found online an RV club for solo travelers.
Jenell Jones: Cause remember I'm doing this on my own. I, I'm, uh, I'm single. And so I drove to this RV club and I'm telling you, Matt, the second I walked up and joined their meeting that they were having, I knew I'd found my people, my tribe, if you will. I learned so much from them. First things first, I stood up at the meeting.
Jenell Jones: I'm like, I'm brand new here, but does anybody know how to turn the hot water heater on in my RV? Literally. And somebody else with the RV like mine is like, Hey, I'll go help you. I'll, I'll do it for you. And so from there, I mean, I, I went from, from surviving in this lifestyle to actually thriving and having a wonderful life to, to what I have now.
Jenell Jones: Fast forward, you know, almost five years later, it's much [00:07:00] better. How it started into today, miles and miles. Pardon the pun, but miles apart of, of how I live my life now. So like
Matt Feret: you said, you jumped all in, you jumped in both feet first and not knowing how deep the pool was. It sounds like if I'm a little scared of doing that, like, uh, selling all my stuff, selling all my house and just going all in first off.
Matt Feret: Would you recommend that for people? Would you do it the same way? Would you do it differently again if you had to? I
Jenell Jones: would like to say, as a more mature, older person, that I would do it different, but knowing me, I'd still do it the same way. Now, I would tell people, don't do what I did, unless you're that type of person, all in, you know.
Jenell Jones: And I'd been thinking about this, I mean, it makes a funny story, but I'd been thinking about this for several years. When I had that very first starter RV, I had been on the road here and there and here and there, and I would come home, So I realized after a while, I don't want to go home to check on that house anymore.
Jenell Jones: Let me get an RV that fits me better. And that's kind of the issue is the [00:08:00] RV that fits you and fits your lifestyle. You buy a different RV if you're, if you're wanting to travel every couple of days, as opposed to every couple of weeks or once a month. Those are two different RVs.
Jenell Jones: I would tell people to definitely slow down, first of all, think about what you're doing. Do you want to rent your house, sell your house? Do you want storage? Do you not want storage? I mean, there's a lot of decisions to make here. And getting rid of all your stuff is like this huge looming. I don't care if you are putting it in storage.
Jenell Jones: I mean, there's a lot of stuff that you have to deal with when you first start. But research, like with anything, research is the key. Figuring out what you actually want to do. I think
Matt Feret: there's probably a lot of people, and if there's not, then it's just me, that I like to think I don't need to have all my stuff, right?
Matt Feret: And that, that, that it's going to be easy for me to, to, uh, to, to get rid of all my stuff, but I still have stuff that I haven't gotten rid of. Like, [00:09:00] for example, I can just think of several possessions that I like. I mean, I don't maybe even use, and if I were to do this whole, sell the whole thing or put it in storage, I'm going to feel some pulls and some pangs of pain.
Matt Feret: I mean, I can think of, I got a fancy guitar and a fancy guitar amp I've been lugging around the country for the last 25, 30 years since college. I don't play it anymore, but it's still there. It's one of those possessions that, you know, I just, I don't know. I like to have, it reminds me of my past. What kind of mental gymnastics did you have to go through?
Matt Feret: Or did you, when you were looking at your worldly possessions and going like, yeah, I'm getting rid of all these things.
Jenell Jones: I tell you, Matt, that is a strong point you're making there. I had college textbooks. I haven't been in college in 30 years. Okay. If I'm being generous, we'll play a little more, but I haven't been in why I'm looking those textbooks around.
Jenell Jones: So I get it with your, with your guitar. I wrote an article for rootless magazine that they're going to publish this month or next, I think. And it was about how hard it was to get rid of my stuff. I sold my house very easily. [00:10:00] I sold a second car that I had sold all my dishes. trinkets, furniture. I was down to the, I'd closed on the house and the lady let me stay two weeks and I was down to a mattress on the floor and one lawn chair.
Jenell Jones: My mom gave me so I could sit, you know, and I was living on that mattress for the last few days and I had. It was my clothes, my clothes and my shoes I had trouble with. And it, I came after I did some soul searching, it was, why it was so hard for me to get rid of that, the clothes and the shoes, is because, you know, I was born and raised poor, you know, I had hand me downs, I can remember the one new coat I got growing up, so, especially as a girl, as I got older, was able to buy a nice suit, and 300 shoes, and purses, and this and that.
Jenell Jones: It kept me in that world of, I can, this is who I am now, you know, I've made it, I'm got it going on. So when I got rid of those last few clothes, it was like, wow, I'm really giving up that [00:11:00] life. You know, I, I like to say I had one high heeled foot in that life and one flip flop life in, in flip flop shoe in this new life of mine and my mom came over and we like really talked about it and once I was Able to see they're just clothes and you know a sparkly dress I haven't worn in ten years like your guitar, but I paid good money for that dress I'm not letting go of it.
Jenell Jones: Once I kind of realized this was a mental thing I got rid of every bit of that crap that you know I didn't need three pair of red high heels oddly a pinstripe suit that I thought I might need it really at the very end I'm like I should keep one pinstripe suit in case I have to go to What a meeting in the corporate world?
Jenell Jones: I don't know.
Matt Feret: An RV club meeting someplace in the middle of, uh, Colorado. Yeah,
Jenell Jones: I don't never have needed one. It never needed and I I did the article on one bathing suit How one bathing suit can disrupt your life? I literally have one bathing suit and when that wore out and got dingy, I bought one more and got rid of that other one.
Jenell Jones: I survive now [00:12:00] on four or five pair of shoes. I may have seven or eight dresses, four pair of shorts and about six dresses and it's great. There's not an hour of what am I going to wear trying on. It all goes together. I don't miss any of those. I don't remember any of my old clothes anymore. Funny enough.
Matt Feret: That is funny. Ever have any pangs of regret for something that you think, man, I should
Jenell Jones: have kept that? No, no, because things like there was a handful and I mean, when it came down to it, a handful, my grandmother's dishes, I made my daughter take them. She's like, I don't want these old dishes. I'm like, yeah, they're going to go over this cabinet real good.
Jenell Jones: And I just put them in there because she might not want them, but my granddaughter will. So you did a little, you did a little dump and running, huh? Yes. But I can name on one hand the things I did. A lamp from the 1930s that was my aunt's. You know, I made my sister take that. But the dishes and the, you know, the guitars and all that?
Jenell Jones: Gone. They're gone. Buy them again if you want them. But I bet you won't. Because like I said, you don't even play guitar anymore. I bet you won't. [00:13:00] I haven't bought a pair of high heels or a pinstripe suit since.
Matt Feret: All right. All right. So we got the, we got the whole mental thing and the mental recalculation or the readjustment around the, around the physical items, right?
Matt Feret: Your physical house, your physical possessions and, and um, you know, how your brain attaches to certain things. How did you prepare for this financially? And I don't obviously mean, well, hopefully obviously I don't mean, you know, tell me your finances, but how do you prepare for this stuff financially?
Matt Feret: Right. Doing you, you crew, people create budgets either on paper and a computer program or in your head of, right, all right, here's my mortgage or here's when I pay the house off. Here's what the power bill is going to be. Here's what I'd like to give to my kids for maybe, you know, helping out with the college stuff.
Matt Feret: And then you, this is shifted completely. You're getting rid of all your worldly possessions. You're buying an expensive RV that also takes maintenance. Right. Now you're paying a lot more gas money and now you're, you know, you're shopping or you're eating out or you're paying fees. How did you approach the [00:14:00] whole like, okay, not only is my physical life changing and my physical location going to change, but my finances are going to change, how did you prepare or wrap your brain around that?
Jenell Jones: After getting rid of the stuff, you're right. The next thing that most people worry about is the money part of it. You can live this life extremely cheaply if you want to. I mean, there's people living out here on 1, 000 a month. Now I'm very fortunate that I don't have to, you know, be quite that type. But it's just like any other lifestyle.
Jenell Jones: You live your life. Those first few months are chaotic. You don't know what's coming and going or what, but immediately what drops off immediately is the house taxes, the electric, the, the, you still have a, a phone bill that's probably going to be higher because now you won't have internet per se, so that comes right off your phone, although there's ways around it.
Jenell Jones: But several bills drop right off. And so you might be lulled into this financial of like, wow, this is going to be great. I don't have to pay this 300 electric bill, my taxes of 500 a month, or, you [00:15:00] know, whatever you put aside for your taxes. All that's gone insurance, you know, for the house is gone. Yes. But then you got to gas gasoline or diesel is the one.
Jenell Jones: Thing that goes up and down and up and down. So what I did was kind of set a monthly budget of back then when I first got started and really didn't know what I was doing on this RV right here that gets on a good day with wind and not moving. This RV maybe gets nine miles to the gallon as long as I'm not moving.
Jenell Jones: You know? Yeah. Oh, it hurts it. Listen, you know, it hurt people at the gas station when they're like, good Lord, 60 for gas. And I'm over here on 300. I'm like, don't even talk to me about, you know, don't even come over here, buddy. So what I do is I figure right now I'm figuring 4 a gallon, 4 a gallon. 60 miles or 300 miles.
Jenell Jones: How many miles sort of this month? Let's say I want to go to, well, right now we'll use a real world example. I'm in Canada. I'm traveling [00:16:00] about every 10 days. I'm traveling about 150 miles. So 10 days in three months is three times I'm going to travel and I'm doing 160 miles, give or take. So 160 miles times five.
Jenell Jones: And you can come up with a quick budget right there. Now, Maybe I can't afford to do that this month. So I only travel two of the times instead of three of the times that I want to do. And once you kind of get that little mindset like that, you'll figure it out. You're not going to eat out any more than you did in your real life, you know, in your sticks and bricks house, I will.
Jenell Jones: Because once you get past the It's the part of, Oh my God, I'm doing this. You realize it's everyday life. I still have to do laundry. I still have to clean. You know, I still have to go to the grocery store. I didn't eat out in real life the other way, so I'm not going to eat out every day here. So just, you know, I always say RVing is a mindset.
Jenell Jones: It's a shit. It's up here. It's not in the finances. They're getting rid of your stuff. It's up here. And that's part of the financial as well.
Matt Feret: Okay, I'm asking a couple more practical questions. And how do you, what do you do? Get a P. O. [00:17:00] box? Do you get a friend? I mean, you're in Canada right now. You're, I mean, I gotta imagine your bank account's gotta have a, some sort of permanent address, right?
Matt Feret: Your driver's license has to have some permanent address. How do you handle the whole? Permanent address
Jenell Jones: thing. It's so easy. And the people are like with prescriptions that get mailed in and all, you know, they'll like, well, I would go, but I have prescriptions that mailed in. Otherwise I'm not doing this life.
Jenell Jones: I'm like, are you kidding me? But so for an address, cause you're right. You need a physical address. There are several mail companies that. cater to RVers and I use one in South Dakota and that's my address. But I also had like my sister's address, my daughter's address. You can find stuff. But if you use a mail service, they'll forward it to you.
Jenell Jones: They'll FedEx it, your mail to you anywhere you are in the country. They'll get all your mail and if you want them to, they'll open it and scan it so you can see if it's something you need to deal with or not. It's quite easy. It takes you a day of getting all the addresses changed, but it's actually quite easy.[00:18:00]
Matt Feret: So, all right, let's, let's say you're trying to get something like that. Prescriptions. That's a great one. I didn't even think of. What have you getting prescriptions mailed to you? I guess quit that and just put it to a, a big box
Jenell Jones: store. I only have one prescription and I just have it at Walmart because Walmart's are everywhere.
Jenell Jones: But I mean, you can have it FedExed. You can have anything FedExed to you. Like right now I'm in a campground. If I had something at my, Mailbox, place I need it. I was just having FedEx at here. No big deal. Here's the campground address. And the campgrounds know it. You go in there and there's like nine FedEx packages.
Jenell Jones: They know. People that They're going to get mail from us. Tell me
Matt Feret: about RVs. And I am an amateur. Again, like I said, I poke around RV shows every once in a while just to, like you. What does a million dollar
Jenell Jones: RV look like? And you know what? They're not even a million anymore. They're even more now. That was 15 years ago.
Matt Feret: I mean, I know there's class, there are classes, right? A, [00:19:00] B, C, D, E, F, G. I have no idea, but I know there's the, at least the first three, right? A, B, and C. A, B. If I'm going to do this, how do I get about, do I start renting a few and seeing if it works out and, you know, taking it on a trip? How do I, how do I baby step myself into this to figure out?
Matt Feret: I don't want to go through three RVs. Maybe I only want to get two or one. How do I go do this? What's your advice? Oh, we
Jenell Jones: definitely go rent one first. A class, just a quick version. A class A is like a bus, you know, it's not, I mean, it can't be that big, but class A is a bus and they're anywhere from, I don't know, 30 feet to 44 feet.
Jenell Jones: Uh, mine's 36. Class A. A class B is like a van. Picture a van. And there's a B plus and all that, but a B is a van. Is that
Matt Feret: like the, uh, sprinter vans that I see that are so popular right now? That kind of look like a very tall, like,
Jenell Jones: utility van? Yes, exactly. You know, and then there's categories within that.
Jenell Jones: And then a C. Is a truck and it comes out over the the bed if you know, or I don't know what [00:20:00] it's called The part of it comes out over the the the top of the truck and and then there's like a square on the back That's a class c.
Matt Feret: Okay, so But that's all in one though the class c so those are the kind of those aren't the the things you plop down on a uh, on a A big, huge pickup truck.
Matt Feret: Those are the things that are actually still, they're still integrated.
Jenell Jones: Yes. Uh, right. All of those are integrated. Now, then you get into two trailers to pull, pull along, pull behind you here. It's a whole thing, a travel trailer. It just hooks to the back of your, it just hooks to the back of your truck, literally with a hitch, you know, no big deal, hitch the back.
Jenell Jones: And then there's a fifth wheel. I don't know why they call it fifth wheel, but a fifth wheel is huge. And it comes down into the bed of the pickup truck and attaches there. And those are like, could be 35, 40 feet. Those are big ones as well. That's the basic.
Matt Feret: I think we've all seen these on the road and they're all in the right lane.
Matt Feret: All most RVs sitting there in the right lane doing the actual speed limit, which isn't [00:21:00] a thing if you don't have an RV anywhere in the country. But I have seen these trailers. With these big F three fifties and two fifties chugging up a hill. Yep. And I think two things every time I pass them. Number one, man, if it's a windy day, I don't know that I'd like to have a massive trailer in the back of my truck.
Matt Feret: And then the second thing I always think of, good gosh, I bet that truck cost more than the, than the fifth wheel than the trailer because pickup trucks, I don't have anybody who's ever checked these out before, but. They're not cheap. They're not. They are not inexpensive and even used ones. So between the kind of the integrated ones, right, the ones that are all in one and the ones that are trailers, how did you come to a decision to go to one that's all encompassing or that's not even a word, is it?
Matt Feret: So, I mean it is, but it doesn't apply here. Yeah, you know what I mean, right? How do you go from trailer or, or, uh, you know, all in one, how, how did you, how do you, I
Jenell Jones: think about that my first RV, the starter one was a trailer and I didn't like that right away, did not like it [00:22:00] because me traveling by myself, I didn't feel as safe in that and it didn't have a generator.
Jenell Jones: Okay. Now, with a Class C or my Class A, when I pull in somewhere, let's say I'm staying at a truck stop for the night or the side of the road or just in a parking lot, whatever, I can pull in, pull my shade down on the front, actually touch a button and the shade goes down, and I am completely enclosed. If I need it, I can turn my generator on, I can cook dinner, I can, you know, watch TV for the night, and I never have to go outside.
Jenell Jones: With the trailer, I didn't like that there was no generator. And I had to get out of my truck and come around and get in the trailer. And I didn't like people seeing that I was there by myself.
Matt Feret: Yeah, that's that single part. We're gonna, I wanna get to that for sure. I know that's totally different than, than that.
Matt Feret: Okay, so what about that scenario? Forget the truck stop. Let's say you're saying stay in some place ten days. I have to imagine it in these, your class A, or even a class B or C. What have you got to get to the store? [00:23:00] Do you have to unplug everything and unhook everything? And then those little stabilization, I'm not even saying it right, but you know what I'm saying?
Matt Feret: Like you gotta, you gotta get up and go and leave your campground with a whole big bus is, is that a downside of having kind of one of these all, all in one class, uh, RVs?
Jenell Jones: Well, yeah, if you did it that way, but you don't do it that way. You pull a car behind you. I pull a little, I pull a Nissan Versa behind me, and as soon as I get to campground, I unhook the car in two minutes and have the car available.
Jenell Jones: Now a B, a Class B, the van type, they don't put the jacks down, the stabling jacks down. They don't have all that, so they literally can Go to the store and drive off. And that's one of the reasons they like those is it's all in one. They give up space for that. But again, it's, you know, what RV fits your lifestyle and what you want to do.
Jenell Jones: A lot of people don't want to, I'm 60 feet going down the road. A lot of people don't want 60 feet going down the road. So. But I like it. It's my life. This isn't a vacation for me. This [00:24:00] is my life. So I need a car.
Matt Feret: Yeah. That's why you get eight miles of the gallon.
Jenell Jones: If I'm not moving. Yeah, exactly. Well, and then, so my first.
Jenell Jones: The first thing I had was a jeep, because I thought, I see everybody with jeeps, so I thought, you know, it's the rule, you know, you have to have a jeep. I couldn't, I didn't like that. Jeeps are great, I'm not saying anything bad about jeeps, but for me, that was not good, and it weighed 5, 000 pounds. This little Nissan I have now weighs, I want to say, 2, 500 pounds, don't quote me on that, but it was a lot, lot less.
Jenell Jones: Which helped, you know, me go from eight miles to the gallon to nine miles to the gallon.
Matt Feret: Well, I mean, on a percentage basis, it's a pretty good improvement. Yeah. Over the long, over the long haul. Yeah. It's something, you know, you went back to, I mean, it's hilarious, but it's also very Realistic. Your first RV, you pulled out a lot, ran over the curb, hit a flag and kept trucking.
Matt Feret: Is there training that I should take for driving one of these things? And I'm just [00:25:00] thinking of myself, I've driven trailers before, but good gosh, 60 feet going down the road on a mountain pass in Colorado with, with wind shear. That's not the same as driving a minivan. You learned by doing, it sounds like, are there other suggestions that you have for other people to maybe take a different approach or she just, you know, Throw caution into the wind.
Matt Feret: Ha ha. Get
Jenell Jones: it? Yeah, another pun. No, there's definitely RV classes you can take. There's driving classes you can take. There's RV maintenance classes you could take. Going backwards, I would definitely take at least the RV maintenance class. But yeah, take a class on driving. You know, there's YouTube. There's a class for everything.
Jenell Jones: But yeah, I know there's some in Texas. Classes
Matt Feret: where you bought your, your second or third one. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm sure they're all in the country. Yeah. I hit that thing. What if I'm not very handy? I am very handy, but what if, what if I'm not, and I'm intimidating?
Jenell Jones: Well, I would tell you you're going to get a handy real quick because.
Jenell Jones: Outside of the electrical part of this thing [00:26:00] nightmare I'm in here and I say that because the electric I love this RV Outside of the electric part you will learn and you may you know You may learn the electric part of it But you will learn because you have to number one It's hard to get into a place to have your RV fixed and when you see how ridiculous that easy it was for them to turn a screw or to replace a screw or something, you'll, you'll be like, okay, I got that for next time.
Jenell Jones: Like I changed out my water pump about, I don't know, six months ago and I had a spare water pump and that's what I suggest for everyone. Buy, get a spare water pump, put it in your RV. And I was in Pennsylvania in a lovely area looking out on the trees. It was beautiful. And I couldn't get to my water. It was a free land.
Jenell Jones: So, you know, I wasn't at a campground and I took that water pump out. There was two screws. I'm like, all right, I'm gonna figure this out. Cause there's no RV place nearby. And then I can't do a three month wait to get in somewhere. So. I went out there and changed my own. Three months? Yeah, it's a long time.[00:27:00]
Jenell Jones: It, it takes, not always, but especially for my, my rig. Yeah. It's, and, and that's, uh, work being done on the, the, the coaches. Yeah. It's, it takes a long time. I figured it out and I changed it in 15 minutes. And that was including watching a YouTube video on it as I did it. You will become handy going back to your question.
Jenell Jones: You or you, you know, get a list together and go on an RV place and, you know, spend two, three grand for them to do it.
Matt Feret: That doesn't sound like something I'd want
Jenell Jones: to do. Yeah. No. So I used to get my generator serviced and it was everywhere from 99 to 200. And the last time I asked the guy, can I watch you do that?
Jenell Jones: And he said, yes. And I watched him. He literally turned a screw, turn the filter and let it drain, but the screw back in, or the. Plug back in and poured stuff in it. I'm like, oh my god. I'll never pay for that again It was so simple and then I'm like, I'm gonna change the oil in this RV And so I figured out how to change the oil in the RV got a little oil in my hair that took [00:28:00] a week to get Out, but you know what?
Jenell Jones: That was so easy to do So I keep going back to your question of what if you're not handy If you just have a little bit just do a little bit learn a little bit of your RV. It'll be easy It'll you can do it. You know,
Matt Feret: found that as an adult as well. It can be very intimidating, but I, you know, around the house, I've rehabbed my own house a couple of times in this, uh, in this life.
Matt Feret: And what I ended up figuring out after doing it is it's really a plus B equals C. A lot of this, like when you're changing your oil, it's, well, there's a plug. Yeah. You have to catch the oil. It drains thanks gravity. And then you have to fill the oil again. Yes. Like it's not, yeah. It's not as hard as, you know what I mean?
Matt Feret: It's not, uh, it's not
Jenell Jones: calculus. No, but we've always lived in sticks and bricks houses where you always got your oil changed, you know, especially, you know, in the working world, when I was working, I'm like, I work 60 hours. I don't have time to learn to oil change. Just do [00:29:00] it. Here's throw some money at it and keep going.
Jenell Jones: Well, now I have time and I don't want to throw money at it. Going back to that. Budget you talked about, that's an easy way to save some money or not put money out, is to learn to do some of your own little maintenance. And just like we all learned at our first house, you know, that's so intimidating to change a faucet out, we all learned to do it.
Jenell Jones: It's the same thing with an RV. It's just a different thing you have to learn. And you know, a lot of times it's interesting and you, you know, it's interesting to learn a new skill, a new hobby, a hobby, but a new skill.
Matt Feret: Talk to me about the, the types of campgrounds that are open to RVs and the levels. And by that, I mean, I'm sure there are, we've heard of RV parks where people literally, like, I remember driving through Yuma, Arizona.
Matt Feret: And it was during the winter time and just RV after RV after RV. And you could tell it was, it was almost permanent. You know, there, there are decks built to have someone pull up in. So that's an approach. And then there's [00:30:00] just regular RV things on the side of the road. Let's just say KOAs, right? You get some tents, you get some areas to people put tents and then you got RV.
Matt Feret: And then I've read and heard and seen kind of the off the grid free camping. You know, pull off on a national park somewhere or some U. S. federal land and they're cool with you just hanging out there. It doesn't, there's no spot, there's no nothing. Can you tell me a little bit about kind of the levels of, of where you can actually, and the experience you can actually have when you're parked with an RV around the country?
Matt Feret: Or around the continent, you're in the, you're in, you're in Canada right
Jenell Jones: now. Mm hmm, around, yeah, good, in Mexico in November. So, okay, yes, there are RV Parks, okay, we'll call them that. I mean, it's camps, grounds, resorts, it's all kind of stuff. But RV parks, where you actually can buy an RV and go live in it.
Jenell Jones: Some people, some people don't even ever drive it. They have it delivered to that, that park and that's where they live and that's where they stay. They just choose to live in this type of house instead of sticks and bricks. [00:31:00] But then for me, who is still traveling, I, I literally want to still be traveling.
Jenell Jones: I stay from everywhere from regular RV campgrounds, like your KOA that you were talking about, to small mom and pops, to, and by that I mean they're not a chain, it's just an RV park on the, like this right here, a nice young couple own this RV park and she runs the desk and you see him and his son running around like crazy working on the, the property.
Jenell Jones: And then there is BLM land. Which is kind of a slang term for any freelance, what I use it as, but it's a Bureau of Land Management. That's
Matt Feret: Bureau of Land Management. Yeah. Okay. That's, that's what I was talking about. Well, you know, there's a bunch of land here and park it and we're fine with it.
Jenell Jones: Well, sort of, kind of.
Jenell Jones: There's all kind of apps and, and YouTube videos on places to stay and there is a learning curve on that. My first year I stayed at RV resorts, resorts only, and there's, you know, that category. Resort [00:32:00] usually is much higher price. It's got the pool and the hot tub and you can only have a class A or there's all these restrictions.
Jenell Jones: And I was kind of scared to stay. Day at other places for some reason, I thought there wouldn't be as many criminals if they were paying a hundred dollars a night. I don't know where that came from. I don't know, but just, you know, I didn't know. I was still learning. That makes
Matt Feret: sense. Yeah. I mean, if you're, if you're looking to, to rip me off or hurt me, you're not going to pay, you know, 80 bucks a night to do it, hopefully.
Jenell Jones: Yeah, exactly. Now I'll pull over at a truck stop or rest area and spend the night. It's so easily, I mean, be filled. Completely safe and fine there. Absolutely. So once you kind of get into this life and, and honestly join an RV club, because once I joined the RV club, they taught me all that stuff. I didn't know I'd never stayed in, in Bureau, you know, BLM land until I went to California and met this group.
Jenell Jones: I didn't know about all that, or I was afraid I'd maybe started hearing [00:33:00] about it or seeing online. Go down a dirt road and three miles to the left. And there's beautiful land out there and you all by yourself. I was like, uh, I don't think so. Um, now of course, love it and can't wait to do that.
Matt Feret: So when you join an RV club and we're definitely going to talk about your, your program and your club, but when you join an RV club, is, do they have meetings like physical meetings?
Matt Feret: Do they have online meetings? Do I join one? Is, are there a bunch of chapters? Which, which ones are there out there to join?
Jenell Jones: There's several RV clubs. I, of course, am partial to mine, but no, there's some good ones. There's there's several RV clubs. You can join an RV club that is Like fantasy tours and you join them and I say join but you you know get their newsletter and become a part of them And they'll take you for you know seven eight nine ten grand They'll take you like to Canada and tell you exactly where to go when to go They travel with you all the arrangements [00:34:00] made you just show up.
Jenell Jones: Then there's a club like I have it's a membership based and it is For people that are solo. And, uh, I just lost my train of thought for, uh, okay. About the club. But so it's for people that are solo and we do more of an itinerary. There aren't chapters. We just show up and start traveling together. We're not, you know, we, we're an independent type.
Jenell Jones: Minded if you will people that travel 60 feet of RV down the road by themselves tend to be pretty independent So we just meet up and travel So once you become a member of our club you have access to all the travel arrangements We have I think I have eight going on this year and then you just show up We have a meeting every day at 5 just to kind of have an adult beverage and to talk about what we did that day And what we want to do the next day Very flexible, you stay as long as you want, you come and go as you want.
Matt Feret: Uh, so it's kind of like, um, if I could draw a parallel to, uh, like overseas travel or, you know, [00:35:00] fancy travel to, to long and far away places. You can go get the very expensive... Mm hmm. Handheld tour personal tour guide with a PhD and pay a boatload of money, or you could on the opposite end, do it all yourself and figure it all out.
Matt Feret: And, you know, throw a backpack on and do it on the cheap and use a lot of walking and public transportation. It sounds like kind of where some of these clubs, including yours are, are a little bit in the middle, which is It's loose. You don't have to pay 10 grand a trip. My gosh, it's a lot of money for an RV trip.
Matt Feret: But also there's some sense of community and togetherness. And you said the word tribe, right? There's a bit of a tribe effect in there.
Jenell Jones: Is that right? That's exactly it. And I always tell people when they join our club, I could give you 20 reasons to join, but when it comes down to it. Why you join is to have access to trips that you don't have to put together.
Jenell Jones: And I'll show you where to stay cheap and free or, you know, really cheap. Or if not, you know, we'd throw a resort in here and there. [00:36:00] And then the second thing that you're getting is friends. Yeah, it's great to drive off in the Wild Blue Wonder by yourself. But after a little while, you know, can I go to dinner with somebody?
Jenell Jones: Can I, can I go to a museum with somebody? Could I? Have some, ask somebody, Hey, how do I turn on my hot water in here? So everybody needs community and tribe. I don't care how much of a lone wolf you are. Everybody needs it every once in a while. It may not be as much for you as it is for me. So that's why we say you can come and go as you please.
Jenell Jones: I may not need to be with people for three straight months traveling the Canadian Maritimes, or maybe I do want to, it's up to you.
Matt Feret: Mmm, I like it. Can we dive into the solo travel? Your club is specifically for solo travelers,
Jenell Jones: right? Correct. You can be married, but we don't want a married couple together to keep the integrity of the club.
Jenell Jones: We've got several married people, but just for some reason their spouse or significant other doesn't travel with them and that's okay.
Matt Feret: Yeah, I guess I guess that's a good point to make [00:37:00] because I kind of thought solo travel would be never married not married or divorced No,
Jenell Jones: and the club used to be it used to be Marketed as a club for singles and I didn't like that because we're not a dating site I mean, you know where you have birds and bees, you know, honey happens, but we're not a dating rv site at all We're here to travel But we travel on our own, but together is how I say it.
Jenell Jones: No, we've got right now in this maritime trip. We've got a guy that's married, but his he's retired. His wife still works So he's like honey, i'm i'm going to the maritimes and she's like go and so he's traveling with us. Oh, yeah Nice.
Matt Feret: Yeah, I can see that happening for sure. Yeah All right. So let's go to solo travelers Tell me about the percentages male versus female solo travelers out there
Jenell Jones: in my club.
Jenell Jones: We're a hair more It's, uh, 59 percent women as than men, so, and I don't know if that's an average, I just, I can speak for my club, but go on to some of the other clubs that I've, uh, [00:38:00] escapees and some of the other ones I've seen, it's just as many women as men, or just as many men as women, so it's, you know, pretty good shift.
Jenell Jones: And I'll tell you what's also funny is, We're seeing younger and younger. There was a study done by RV news industry. It's, it's an industry magazine. They did a study in 2020 and they found that 46 percent of RVers are 18 to 35 years old. Right. Now I think that's that whole van life thing or whatever.
Matt Feret: Yeah, there is that going on there. You've got the super filtered, uh, pictures on Instagram. That's a really big Listen, like I know what I'm talking about. That's a very popular hashtag. It is. You can cue the laughter there, I just said that. But yeah, that's out there a lot. You know, you get the beautiful sunsets and the people swimming, you know, off in the distance.
Matt Feret: And uh, it just looks beautiful. And I think that attracts a lot of people. That 18 to 35 range, I have to assume they're, well, I can't assume anything. Maybe they're doing remote work. [00:39:00] Maybe they're not what what's that age group? Uh look like to you. I mean that's Not only is that not even mid career that's early career at that age.
Matt Feret: What what does that cohort fancy word? What does that cohort
Jenell Jones: look like the ones that we have? I think are well, I have a girl that helps me with some of my marketing and she's one of those van lives Her and her wife live in a van and have for like six years. I mean, it's, it's crazy, but the way that work is nowadays that you have, you can work from home, if you will, why not work from the Grand Canyon as opposed to a house in the winter in Minnesota?
Jenell Jones: I mean, why wouldn't you do that? And I know, you know, talking to her, she, they didn't want that. They had that sticks and bricks. They both went to a job and they realized we don't have to do this. We don't have children. We can go anywhere. And so they literally packed up and left. We have a group, I bet they're 28, 30 years old and they work for like the forest management, something like that.
Jenell Jones: I don't remember now, but they work like three months and [00:40:00] then they're off three months. And so they come and travel with us for the three months. And I remember. Asking the one girl that first came, I'm like, well, hon, you're welcome here, but why are you traveling with like your grandparents? She, they love it.
Jenell Jones: They, we feed them, you know, they, they have community around them that are not just the, you know, ones they work with. So it is a different way now of looking at things that 18 to 35, they're not necessarily how you and I grew up that, well, you're supposed to get married and get a house and have kids. And you know, this is what you're supposed to do.
Jenell Jones: Start going up the corporate ladder. They don't necessarily see it that way anymore.
Matt Feret: I mean, you, you talk to these folks. I don't. I just look at their pictures on Instagram and get jealous. Is it because of what you said that that work now is different than it was when you and I were growing up that you had to go to a physical location?
Matt Feret: Um, is it because of the pandemic that a lot of people went remote? And then, I mean, you can read all the stuff online just as I can. All these employers are trying to get people back in the office and some of them are saying, no, this is working a lot better. Or [00:41:00] is it because There's a mind shift going on here with, um, how people live their lives.
Jenell Jones: I think it's all of that you just said, Matt, and plus throw in the housing market, how expensive it is to rent, how some of these kids rolling out of college with all that debt and instead of living with mom and dad to pay off debt or whatever, they're getting into these vans and having that life. I talked to an RV dealer and we had a nice conversation on this and his five years ago, he sold big RVs.
Jenell Jones: Now he's got a few to the side and his parking lot is full of vans. Because in small class C's, because that's what people want. Now that younger, specifically in the 18 to 35 range, they come in there. He said, weekly and buy those things. And a lot of it is the housing market as well.
Matt Feret: That makes a lot of sense.
Jenell Jones: Yeah. Yeah, it was, he had a lot of insight on this age group. And I was like, well, I thought people 54 percent are over [00:42:00] 55. You know, you associate RVing with older and he's like, not anymore. And you know, those pictures, the heavily filtered pictures and all that, you see, that is real. It's real. I mean, I have them too.
Jenell Jones: That's real. But what they don't show you is the challenges and opportunities, if you will, that it takes to get there and swim off in the distance and, you know, be parked out in the middle of nowhere. There's a lot that goes into that photo as opposed to setting up the camera.
Matt Feret: That makes a lot of sense.
Matt Feret: Solo travelers. Let's talk about solo travelers and safety and look if you're traveling with a couple or you're traveling with grandma and grandpa and, and two other folks, I mean somebody with a, with, with a, and I, or a mind towards, you know, bad intent. With a handgun or something else like that. I mean, yeah, I guess that doesn't really matter, but from a solo traveler standpoint, what are the extra considerations you have to take?
Matt Feret: You already [00:43:00] mentioned like that's the first you were like, man, I don't stop and not at an overnight truck stop. That's a little sketchy, but now you're not there. So can you talk to me a little bit about. The safety aspect of this on the open road.
Jenell Jones: Well experience is always a great teacher, of course, you know, and from the woman perspective, which is the only perspective I know we already know to be aware of our surrounding we already know in a parking lot Well, you know look around don't just with your head down walk to your car I mean we already have all that built into us as well So it was still Just like that, being in an RV, it's just now I do things like pull the shade down and don't leave the RV, you know, if I'm going to be parked somewhere on the side of the road.
Jenell Jones: But listen, my stepdad was a truck driver and my stepdad, when he learned I was going to do that, the first thing he said is, if you ever get in trouble, pull into a truck stop and go up to a truck driver. They will help you. There may be the one serial killer. But besides that, they're a very nice group of guys and they [00:44:00] will help you.
Jenell Jones: And he is so right. I have approached truck drivers before and truck stops inside, inside and ask about this. I can't get my tire monitor to show, uh, one of my tires, I can't get it to read and they came out and helped me. So people are a lot nicer, but definitely I lock this door every time I leave. I don't care if I'm running up to the laundry mat, I always lock my door every time I make sure my car doors are locked.
Jenell Jones: It's. The same as in the other, in the world you're in now, it's just, your house moves. All the, all the rules still apply, the same old rules.
Matt Feret: I think what happens though, in, at least in my brain, and maybe others, is that, well, when I buy a house, you know, I check the neighborhood out. You know, I'm making sure there's, you know, all the cars aren't on cinder blocks and, you know, they're not, there's not gunfire at night, hopefully.
Matt Feret: But, you know, I try to, you know, buy in a nice area that I feel kind of safe. Well, you're moving all the time. How do you know whether or not where you're staying is safe?
Jenell Jones: I don't, you know, I [00:45:00] don't, I mean, it's obvious if I pull up to somewhere and I don't like the looks of it, I leave. It's that simple. I'm like, I'm not doing this two times.
Jenell Jones: I don't ever like to travel late in the evening and by late I mean six or seven o'clock and in the RV world that's late. You need to be settled by three or four at the latest every day. It's light, you can back in, see what you're doing, look around you. Two times I drove, I kept thinking let me drive 30 more minutes, you know, I'll drive 30 more minutes and I ended up in two places that, a little sketchy, you know, whatever.
Jenell Jones: It was perfectly fine. But, you know, I shut, shut my door, stayed in there and unless they take a crowbar to my front door, I mean, they, and they could crowbar it open or get something to stand on and break the windows of the RV, which I'm assuming I would hear all that. They can't get in to me, you know, and why would they want to, frankly?
Jenell Jones: I mean, there's not much commodity in a middle aged white woman anymore, you know, [00:46:00] but,
Matt Feret: well, I mean, all your stuff too. It's not like you're, you're holding on to probably, you know, a bag full of diamonds in your
Jenell Jones: RV. No, I mean, don't, if you want to rob somebody, an RV is not the place to do it. There's what I say, one bathing suit and four pair of shoes in here.
Jenell Jones: I mean, there's not much to take and if they want the car, they can have the car. You know, like I said. The same rules apply. You wouldn't drive into a sketchy 7 Eleven or, you know, convenience store and get out if you were afraid. You wouldn't do it in an RV either. It's the same concept.
Matt Feret: All right. And what about personal protection?
Matt Feret: And you don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but do you carry, do you carry
Jenell Jones: anything? I will definitely tell you, and I definitely do. Absolutely. It kind of evens the odds for me. I've never had to use it, never had to pull it out, never anything. But it gives me a little bit of comfort. If God forbid, they.
Jenell Jones: Do get in somehow. I have a camera also, I have a dash cam that turns on when there's movement out in front of mine and when there's movement inside. So I've got hundreds of hours of me moving around the RV, [00:47:00] but I have a camera, like I said, that at night or at any time, but if somebody did get in, at least they're on video and I do have protection.
Jenell Jones: Absolutely. And that's another great thing about traveling with an RV club. We travel. Uh, you know, there is, there's safety in numbers of anywhere, frankly. And that's another, that's another thing. It helps with the anxiety, the loneliness, you know, the, the, the scaredness sometimes that you might feel, especially when you first get started.
Matt Feret: All right. What other issues did I not think about around solo travel?
Jenell Jones: Nothing really about how do you know where to go? How do you know what to do when you get there? Okay, we're going to Memphis, Tennessee. You've always wanted to go see Elvis's birthplace. Okay, so you go to Memphis and you see Elvis's birthplace.
Jenell Jones: Well, okay, that's one day. And then so you sit and you research and you look up and that's fine and you do that, but What about an RV club where once you get to Memphis, we tell you, here's a great place to park. It's, you know, cheap, free, or, you know, it costs 50 a night, whatever it is, we're all going there.
Jenell Jones: And [00:48:00] we've got a whole week full of activities that people before us have been to and have said, these are fine. Remember my RV. club is 35 years old. You name a place, we've been there. I promise you we've been there and we know where to stay. We know that, you know, Miss Anne's famous baked apple pie is really not that good, but there's a place around the corner that does have the famous apple pies.
Jenell Jones: You know, we know all those little tricks and tips. And it's great, frankly. It's great.
Matt Feret: Yeah, so, it sounds like, um, I mean, couples going, or even, like you said, whole families going is one approach. But if you're a solo traveler, that whole loneliness piece? Like you said, I don't care if you're the most independent person on the planet.
Matt Feret: You know, you're not a hermit, at least not a lot of people are. I would imagine the solo piece is probably even more of a reason to consider joining a group to share those experiences with, even though, even if you like your solo dom and your privacy and you, and you go back in your RV later on, or, uh, and can you dip in and out?
Matt Feret: Mm [00:49:00] hmm.
Jenell Jones: Yep. For our club, you can. Cause like I said, once you join, you have access to all the places where the exact address, the exact, you know, August 1st to 9th, we're going to be there. Show up if you want. We have right, right now on this. Canadian Maritime Circuit we're on. One lady came the first three stops.
Jenell Jones: She's done the rest of the Canadian Maritime. So she did the three stops, turned around, and went back. And then we have another lady that's leaving after, even tomorrow, Sunday, or whatever day it is. She's leaving Sunday because she's already done the rest of the part two. So the rest of the what we're doing, so she's like, I'm done, you know.
Jenell Jones: And then we have another lady that's joining us in Halifax. Because she's already up here and visiting her daughter and she's like I'll join you in Halifax and travel the rest away with you That's a great thing about it. And that goes to that independent solo traveler You know wanting to travel a lot with a group or not wanting to and I think that's one of the great benefits of this Club.
Jenell Jones: All
Matt Feret: right, so we're talking USA and Canada. What about [00:50:00] Mexico. And do you have any people? Have you ever gone even further south than Mexico? I mean, cause there are roads all the way down to, uh, the very tip of South America, right? And Alaska. And there's all sorts of stuff you can head north of here. How far have you gone?
Matt Feret: Where are you thinking about going? And what are the considerations of going up to the great white north and all the way down into Central America?
Jenell Jones: When I got my first RV, I drove to Alaska. From South Florida to Alaska. It took me a while. Oh, that is a haul. Oh my God. That's a haul. But you know what?
Jenell Jones: Remember, I'm not on vacation. So it, I mean, it took me six weeks, eight weeks to get there. I went here, went there. I went to California, drove up the California coast, stopped here, stopped there, stayed a week, stayed a week, stayed a week, da, da, da. So, you know. I don't have to be there at any certain time. So I did that.
Jenell Jones: We, our club goes to Mexico every year and have super cheap living right on the beach because we've gone there for 20 [00:51:00] years. So we know the guy, he sets aside a place for us and we are living on the beach with single digit. Campground fees, single digit, you know, a single digit is it's less than 10. So we have that then we, and we, and we have a lady down there that goes every year and she knows all the places to go and see and do in 2024, we have a Cabo trip, we're going to start in Arizona, drive down to Cabo 2025, we've got Alaska coming up, so it's a great time to join our little merry band here because we've got a lot coming up and I've done every bit of all that.
Jenell Jones: By myself on my dad. All right. I'm going
Matt Feret: to go to the Mexico piece. We all see news articles. If not, all you got to do is look and you've got state department warnings and you know, red States. Don't go there. I mean, red States in Mexico. I know what you mean. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, the do not travel list.
Matt Feret: How much do you have to, and then, you know, so I have a friend and he's probably listening. He's going to laugh right out loud, which is he wanted me to go to Mexico [00:52:00] right around the holidays and go on this wonderful fishing trip. And it was in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Yeah. Anybody that watches, you know, Narcos on Netflix or anything else, that, that name brings a bell.
Matt Feret: And right before he left, there was a big cartel battle shootout gun thing. And I, I said, I'm not going. And he goes, ah, it's nothing. And he went and there was, it was nothing for him. And he went fishing and caught a ton of fish. And now he pokes fun at me every chance he can about being a wimp and not going down there.
Matt Feret: So, and I went, and that was one of those States that was like, basically, if you, if you were an American citizen, A don't go B, if you do don't use, you know, taxis or Uber, don't go out after 7. Yeah. Like really. I know. Scary, stark warnings. How does that not scare people, especially solo travelers,
Jenell Jones: off? I wouldn't do that either.
Jenell Jones: I watch NorCal too, and I would go nowhere near Sinaloa, whether, you know, it's probably very nice or who knows the people there, but the place we go is... Pre americanized, [00:53:00] if you will. It's about 60 70 miles from the coast. We go together. Remember, we've been doing this same trip for years and years and years.
Jenell Jones: They know exactly what to do, exactly how to do it. Several of our members have been pulled over by the police and have... You know, paid the fine on the side of the road and it was fine. That still goes on? Yeah, I guess so. Yeah. I, I haven't had it, but yeah, it, it, you know, it's a fine and so pay it and keep moving.
Jenell Jones: That's, that's it. And abide by their rules and get down there in the resort. And again, we've been there so many, I keep saying that, but it's what I tell people that want to go, members that want to go, but are afraid we've been going so long. They know. Just like you would here, don't walk down that road because that's not a nice road and you can see the cars up on the, the cinder blocks or whatever that means to you, but we've never had any trouble.
Jenell Jones: One time, one member went down into the sketchy part of town. He said he was lost. We think he was looking for something and [00:54:00] he got rolled. You know, they took his stuff, uh, everything out of his van, his shoes, they took his belt, they took everything and, but yet he was in a place he shouldn't be. So otherwise we've never had one bit of trouble anywhere.
Jenell Jones: And I got to imagine
Matt Feret: traveling in groups is probably a bit of a different thing than just like loading up and going to Mexico without a plan. Do you have to look at. Uh, do you look at those warning maps? Do you look at that? You do. So I do. So you,
Jenell Jones: yeah, absolutely. And the place we go has never had any of that, you know, knock wood has never had any of those kinds of warnings because it's, it's very American.
Jenell Jones: There's a McDonald's. I mean, it's very Americanized there and not very, but there's high rises and, you know, you still get the local culture and flavor and all that. And I shouldn't say there's a McDonald's. There's definitely chain restaurants. I know that. I know that. All right.
Matt Feret: Well, let's go north for a second.
Matt Feret: Canada. Any issues there? Or is it just like anywhere else? You got to have your head on a swivel, just like you're going. There are places all over this country, the [00:55:00] U S that you wouldn't go and you know where you're not going. Yeah. And so I guess the difference in Mexico is you're looking those places up and you're probably checking all the boards and the communication and your, and your community knows a lot of that too, as well, which is also another good reason to join a community.
Matt Feret: Yeah. What about, uh, other areas or, um, best places you've ever gone? Let's do that. I want to hear the best places you've ever gone that no one's either ever heard about or no one's ever really highlighted. I mean, we all know the Grand Canyon. Sure. Where are the coolest places that you've found in your travels?
Matt Feret: Let's go there.
Jenell Jones: That is so hard to say because one is better than the next. I didn't start, I didn't keep a journal until about six months in because, oh, I'll remember this, I'll never forget this in my life. I can't remember where I went the first year. I've had so many incredible experiences. But you know what?
Jenell Jones: I'm gonna go backwards for a second on, on the Grand Canyon. We've all been to the Grand Canyon. Okay. Or if not, you've all seen where you park, you get out and there's a railing. You look over the Grand Canyon. You're like, Oh my God, this is great. You may [00:56:00] walk down to the gift shop and you may walk down to the interpretive center.
Jenell Jones: That's wonderful. However, once I joined this group, they're like, Oh no, we're going to ride a Mike ride through the Grand Canyon for 13 miles. Did you know that there is 13 miles, at least 13 miles of trail on the Grand Canyon? That is only by walking or by riding a bike. And we rode all through the Grand Canyon and saw places that are not on the brochures and was awesome.
Jenell Jones: One time we were in Maine, there's one that I remember. There's one time we were in Maine and one of our group members knew the fishermen from going all these years, you go down there, he. Text when he's coming in and I've got lobsters. And we went down to where he docks and he had lobsters that he, you know, it's commercial fishermen and we all got 10 lobsters from that guy.
Jenell Jones: I mean, he literally handed us from his tank lobsters here and we took them home and, or, you know, back to the camp site we were at and, uh, eight [00:57:00] lobsters standing in a parking lot with butter running down our hands. And the sun was setting and we were in Maine. It was beautiful. That is a memory right there that stands out to me because like, This is living.
Jenell Jones: This is a small moment of a beautiful life and that of all the places I've been stands out, but you know, I've done Horseshoe point. I've done 41 of the 62, two national parks. I get it mixed up. I've either done 42 out of the 61 or 41 out of the 62. I can't remember which it is, but it's a lot. It's a lot of them and you know, beautiful.
Jenell Jones: And I'm so incredibly lucky to get to see all those. Um, So when you ask me, where's my favorite spot? I don't know. Canada's pretty darn nice. Let me tell you, Prince Edward Island, where I am right now, is very nice. It's September 1st, and yesterday we had to have on light sweatshirts because the weather was nice.
Jenell Jones: We don't do hot weather, and we don't do snow. So, there's that. All year round, we have a nice constant temperature. So that's my favorite [00:58:00] place to wherever the weather's good.
Matt Feret: Nice. I have seen online. There's some guy, I think that runs a website and I don't know how I stumbled across it, but. He's made trips on a map of where it's always 70 degrees.
Jenell Jones: Have you seen this? No, I've seen, I don't know that one, but yeah, I've seen them. I've seen
Matt Feret: them. Yeah. Yeah. So it's like, if you want to do just the continental U S there's, you know, over, over a 12 month period. Yeah. He'll, he'll go, you know, in, in January, you're in Houston, right? And in August, you're in, uh, the tippy top of Montana, right?
Matt Feret: And then he's got one that, that includes Alaska. And then he's got one that includes all of Canada as well. And I'm sure many others, but I always thought that was cool. Chasing 70 degrees.
Jenell Jones: We absolutely had that every once in a while, I'll get a member say, Hey, are we doing anything in New Mexico in June?
Jenell Jones: I'm like, not on your life, sister. Are we going anywhere near the South in June? We're all in Michigan, Canada. The Pacific Northwest, we've got a group right now that's been in the Pacific [00:59:00] Northwest since May and they're done, they did all, which is, I've never been up there except to fly in to ski and to fly in once to do a cruise.
Jenell Jones: But that looks incredible up there. Why anybody would do the South in the summer? I don't know, but our RV group, we know where to put you. We, and we don't even offer you anything in the summer in the South.
Matt Feret: All right. Tell me about your RV group. Give me the name. How do I find it? I already kind of have a bit of the experience through what you told me.
Matt Feret: So give me, give me more about the group. Tell me about it. History, cost, website, I don't know, 1 800 number, whatever
Jenell Jones: it is. Okay. Here's this, here's the spiel. It was started in 1988 by seven people sitting around a campfire that said, Hey, in 1988, people didn't just go off and RV by themselves. They were
Matt Feret: You were weird in 1998, 1988, if you
Jenell Jones: were doing this.
Jenell Jones: There was something wrong with your money. I mean, I even had my mom goes, everything all right with your money. When she knew I want to do this. I'm like, mother, [01:00:00] I'm fine. But yeah, 1988 and the escapees had just formed one year before and they were members of, it was like, you know, we need a group like that, but for solo people.
Jenell Jones: So we're not the weird one, you know, the table for eight and there's the one. that's always empty. So, and slowly, but surely that has grown from this little ad hoc little seven people into, I'm the fourth owner now. And it's like a small business, uh, that, you know, that we have, we have, uh, eight trips going right now.
Jenell Jones: We, the membership is only 120 a year because you do everything you're, Well, look on the website and it explains it more about how it actually works, but it's a very nominal, nominal cost. Wandering Individuals. Give me the website
Matt Feret: name. Sorry. Give me, I'll put it in the notes and everything. Tell me what the website
Jenell Jones: is.
Jenell Jones: It's Wandering Individuals Network, uh, WINS is our acronym, Wandering Individuals Network. And if anybody wants to, they can email me directly and I'll talk to them, help them go over it with them, [01:01:00] especially like the women that are afraid, want to do this, but that are afraid to go off on their own. My email is WINS.
Jenell Jones: RV club at Gmail wins W I N S R V club at Gmail. And what I'll do, Matt is when this, uh, when, whenever you want, I'll do a 10 off membership. Okay. Uh, we'll give them the code of your, the name of your website or whatever name you want, but it'll be in your show notes too. And they'll get a 10. coupon off for the next, I don't know, a week or
Matt Feret: so.
Matt Feret: Nice. I'll put it in the, um, you know, if you're, if you're using like, you know, Apple podcasters, Spotify or something, it'll be right in there, but also it'll be on the mattFeretshow. com website too. Underneath the show notes, it'll be in there. Cool. Yeah. Would you email that to me when we're done? Sweet.
Matt Feret: Thanks. So it's 120 bucks. That's not a lot of money for
Jenell Jones: what you get. It's not. And I started to go into it, but we don't make reservations for you. All right. So you have to do your own reservations, that kind of thing. You have to look at the [01:02:00] itinerary and decide where you want to go, which most people are okay with that, but it's not a, there's not a wagon master.
Jenell Jones: There's not a front guy, a back guy. There's none of that. So we don't have to have that overhead cost. And of course I work from home. You know, with a, with a laptop, but the club runs on its own, basically. I mean, I do have problems I have to deal with here and there, but the cost is low because we just keep it low.
Jenell Jones: This is that no one's getting rich off this. I'm not getting rich off this, but it's, it's kind of like a service as well. If you will, I wanted to find a tribe and people for like myself and the nominal cost. Helps you commit a little bit. Helps with some overhead. Otherwise, come join your people. Come join your tribe.
Jenell Jones: Start living this country. See in this country and live in a fulfilling life. Not just getting by in your RV. You shouldn't be camping in your RV. You should be living a good life. Seeing the Canadian Maritimes for two months and getting out of the August heat. That's what you should be [01:03:00] doing. I always tell everyone if you Don't know what you want to do, where you want to go, come travel with us.
Jenell Jones: You may not, it may not be a fit for you, but it'll help you kind of fine tune how it is that you do want to travel. You think you'll ever
Matt Feret: get off the road?
Jenell Jones: Yes. And then I see 80 year old ladies, 74 year old men hooking up a big old fifth wheel that makes my 60 feet look like I'm driving a Volkswagen down the road.
Jenell Jones: And I see them. Out hiking and doing all this stuff and think why would I ever want to go sit in a house and watch tv? I I don't know and then other days, you know I get a flat tire and it's two days before they can get a tire I'm like, oh if this I was at sticks and bricks, I wouldn't have this issue And then I get the tire and i'm fine.
Jenell Jones: So for now, I don't see it happening No Now do I see me sitting longer like coming up here the canadian maritimes and finding a campground or blm land and sitting there For a month or two I can see that happening I can see that. There's so much [01:04:00] still to see in the world and, and, and the, the country. Uh, when you're, I've lived the U.
Jenell Jones: S. three times and been to Canada and Mexico and all that already. I still have so much to see. I just can't imagine stopping. I, this lifestyle keeps you younger, keeps you active. When you're traveling with a group of people and one of them wins a lottery to hike the wave in Utah. Why wouldn't you go to that?
Jenell Jones: And I don't want to miss that out by being at home.
Matt Feret: Uh, that's, it sounds so exciting. And I know I can talk to you for another hour or two or three. Let me ask the kind of the closing question I always do. What about RV travel, RV life, solo travel, female. Solo travel what topics did I not ask about that? I should have
Jenell Jones: well, I would say I don't know I think we covered it all I would say you didn't ask me what tips what would I give?
Jenell Jones: Female [01:05:00] or male or even anybody starting to travel solo or not if you can't decide if you want this life I would tell you two things number one be quiet number two stop talking everybody about it when I say be quiet I mean be quiet Quit asking, quit talking, quit anxiety, quit thinking, quit, watch some YouTube videos, educate yourself, go to some RV parks.
Jenell Jones: Number two, quit asking everybody about it because most people are going to say, you can't go off and do that. Are you crazy? You're going to sell this house, your equity, your interest rate, your RV. They're going to, and you're going to be like, yeah, you know, the right, the right. If you're already thinking about this, all you have to do is take the steps to make it work.
Jenell Jones: So that's always my advice. Be quiet and stop talking to everybody. Rent an RV, go see if you like this and then rent another car, rent two or three RVs. Matter of fact, if you go on my website, I have a place where you can rent an RV and see if you want to come travel with us. And I'll let you come stay with us for a little bit.
Jenell Jones: That's
Matt Feret: awesome. You know, just [01:06:00] occurred to me, what do you do for holidays? What do you like, uh, you know? Yeah, well, sure. I mean, Thanksgiving, right? You don't have, um, I'm thinking about doing this. I'm thinking about all my kids and grandkids coming in here. If I'm of a certain age, the family home, you know, the, uh, the Yuletide vlog of sitting by the fire.
Matt Feret: That's, uh, I don't know. That's kind of a romantic commonality, right? People all gather at the family house or gather with mom and dad and kids in college or kids just starting out want to come home and feel this certain way. And then, then I also think, okay. That's two holidays, maybe three a year. Do I really want a house for three holidays?
Matt Feret: Yeah. What, what do you, how do you handle those things and how do the people you travel with that have, you know, large families that want to come home, quote unquote, how do you, how do you handle that?
Jenell Jones: I had the same thing. I would tell you that we celebrate Christmas like everybody else. I go to my daughter's house.
Jenell Jones: And when they built their house, they built a plug so I can plug [01:07:00] right inside of their house so that I can come there. I usually go to Florida for November and December. But however, not everybody has a family, right? Or their children, they're estranged or whatever the case may be. Like this year we're going to celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico on the beach.
Jenell Jones: We set up a big beautiful table. We bring in turkeys. We have a beautiful Thanksgiving. on the beach in Mexico. All right. Now there's a memory for you, as opposed to the yuletide around the, the house or whatever. But a lot of people go to their kids houses. A lot of them, a lot of them do. But for the 40 or 50 that don't, we, we give you somewhere.
Jenell Jones: And then in, in, uh, for Christmas time, we celebrate Christmas in Yuma, behind Elks Lodge, in this huge open gravel parking lot that's free. And they bring in friars and turkeys and hams and all this and have this Big, huge celebration that lasts two hours and then the holiday's over. So, I mean, you're really going to keep a house just for that.
Jenell Jones: Nah, if, if that means that much to you, you're not ready to RV yet. That's a [01:08:00] simple, easy way to do it. I've got a couple of checklists too. I've got one checklist, 10 questions to ask yourself. If, are you really ready to go off RVing? I'll be glad to send that to you as well. If, if, you know, somebody wants to look at that, if they're, they're no big deal questions, but if you'll sit and think about them.
Jenell Jones: It'll help you see if you're ready, because if your answer no to all of them, you're not ready.
Matt Feret: Yeah, yeah, that goes right back to the beginning of what we first started talking about. You really have to do some soul searching, but as you just mentioned, you know, don't go, don't go ask 15 people, right? It's the, uh, decision making by consensus will get you an average response every time.
Jenell Jones: It really will. Great saying. Yes, it really will.
Matt Feret: Yep. Janelle, this is awesome, and I mean this. I could go another hour, or maybe even longer, but I'm looking at the clock here and going this is probably perfect timing to stop. Maybe we'll have you back on again. Who the heck knows where you're gonna be next time we
Jenell Jones: talk.
Jenell Jones: That's true, and I have a bike ride that I have to go do on along the ocean of Prince Edward Island that's leaving at 1030. So, [01:09:00] sorry, you people go back to work. I'm going on a bike ride along the ocean of Prince Edward Island. Uh,
Matt Feret: jealous is a word that's come to mind, uh, but also very happy for you. It sounds like a wonderful lifestyle and I'm so glad that you, uh, came on the show to tell everybody about it.
Matt Feret: I'll have all the links and show notes and checklists and discounts on the website, uh, and then in the show notes as well of wherever you're listening or watching to this. So Janelle, thank you so much for doing this. This was a blast. Thank
Jenell Jones: you, Matt. I appreciate you.
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