Menu Close

Sister on the Road

by Nancy Nelson, Ph.D

I am that which seems to be unique, at least in the state of Washington where I live, have lived for 30 years; all of my adult life. I am an African American woman, a fulltime, solo RVer. I started RVing a month ago after downsizing from a five bedroom house. Note: I am a collector with a few hundred black dolls and figurines, a couple thousand records (vinyl – the good stuff), a few hundred teacups and teapots, and thousands of books. I am now living in a 21 foot Holiday Rambler – Augusta Sport with three small dogs. Getting ready for this adventurous new life nearly drove me insane.

When I first hit the road I noticed people giving me a double take. I began to realize I was alone, an anomaly. I checked my nice new RV, aware I may be again representing an entire people; that I would be the spokesperson for millions of people judged by the dominate culture to be the same as one. People see a successful African American woman and then I asked myself why I should care.

The sales person, Dean and the financial person, Mark, at RnR RV Center in Spokane Valley, Washington, took me very seriously when I came to look at Road Trex RVs.  Other dealerships seem put off, showed me one RV, not bothering to get my name or phone number. I wondered if they would have treated me differently if they knew I have a Ph.D. or that I was paying cash or if I wasn’t a brown skin woman. Dean was different. He patiently showed me every RV I wanted to see, answered a long list of questions that seemed to keep getting longer, and took my name and number. He also noticed my eyes sparkle when I looked inside the Holiday Rambler. I just sat in the RV for what seemed to me to be a long time. I told him I would be back the next day to show my girlfriend.

The next day I took the RV out for a test drive, after which I referred to the vehicle as MY RV. It was a month before I could pay for and pick up the RV. I called Mark every week to tell him not to sell my house as I referred to the RV. I think I was more excited when I picked up the RV than when the deal for my now former house closed. With the house I was worried about the mortgage. Now I have a home for good.

ayospages_header_1 If you follow along at there are tales of my travels and what I am learning in adjusting to RV life. I do not include the unique experiences as an African American woman traveling alone. I need to tell my tale from this perspective as well. I need to learn if there are other women like me. I am desperately looking for other solos African American women RVers anywhere in the North American continent. I am also interested in starting a club so we can keep in touch, share experiences, and meet each other.

Please join me on my women’s rv social networking site:  SISTERS ON THE ROAD.