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Escapees Profiles: Joann and Charlie Kavanaugh

Who is with you?

Escapees Profiles: Joann and Charlie Kavanaugh 1

Since going full-time, it’s just Charlie and I. Prior to that we traveled extensively during the summers with our two sons.

How long have you been on the road?

This year begins our eighth year full timing on the road. Prior to that we were eight years part-time summers with our two boys.

Full-time or part-time?

We did eight years part time summers when we were off from our teaching jobs. Charlie and the two boys would pick me up at school and we would marathon it across country from Long Island, New York to the Rockies and then slow it down slightly.

What kind of RV do you have?

Initially, we started out in a Holiday Rambler Vacationer class A. We currently have an Arctic Fox fifth wheel and an Arctic Fox truck camper that we split our traveling adventures in. 

What got you interested in living the RV life?

Escapees Profiles: Joann and Charlie Kavanaugh 2

We have always been campers and backpackers and one day I just came home from work and said let’s go cross country this summer. We headed out over the next few months looking for a new Bronco (Am I  dating myself?) and a pop-up, but after spending too many rainy days looking at pop-ups with two rambunctious boys I decided a pop-up was not in our future. The thought of breaking it down and setting it back up many times had me rethinking my initial choice.  In no time at all we found ourselves in a big class A which gave us the luxury of not having to constantly set up and break down. 

How do you fund your travels?

Wish there was an exciting answer to this question but……we are just two simple teachers, enjoying the fruits of over 30 years of teaching. I do fund my wardrobe budget by volunteering at Escapees/Xscapers events and I have the t-shirts to prove it.

What is your camping style?

Frenetic! It took Covid to slow us down. In the beginning of full-timing we probably moved every four days. Our first truck racked up over a hundred thousand miles in 3 years. 

 We tend to be more of an off grid kind of RV’er avoiding crowded campgrounds and opting for a more peaceful obscure location with views.  

What do you seek out when traveling?

Escapees Profiles: Joann and Charlie Kavanaugh 3

We especially like meeting up with our Escapees/Xscapers friends whether it’s in a remote boondocking place or at a major gathering. Charlie and I both enjoy hiking and riding our electric bikes especially in the backcountry followed up by a nice relaxing brewery or winery visit.  

What are your Favorite and Worst experiences so far?

We would have to say our worst experience and best experience so far happened on the same day.  It was our first summer out, we were brand new at this RVing thing exploring the southwest in our new Class A.  

Charlie had to do a U-turn and in the process of trying to go down off the elevated part of the road got the rear end of the rv hung up with the rear wheels now off the ground. We were stuck good!  Another RVer saw our plight and he and his son came to our rescue and dug us out.  We tried to pay him or at the very least offer to treat his family to breakfast.  He refused our offer and just said, ”Pay it forward.”  I knew then and there that RVers are a special community on the road and we would always be okay. That favor has been paid forward many times over our many years on the road.  

How many Escapees events have you attended?

Escapees Profiles: Joann and Charlie Kavanaugh 4

Too many….we drank the kool-ade. The realization came to me last time I did wash and I had nothing but Xscaper/ Escapee shirts. It is well over 25 events. 

Introvert or extrovert?

We are both extroverts but Charlie regards himself as more of an introvert.  

Tell us something weird about yourselves.

We have both had malaria multiple times while Charlie was working in Nigeria and Charlie is half Icelandic. You could also ask him about Saudi jails.

Would you rather deal with a leaky sewer hose or a flat tire?

Definitely the leaky sewer hose.  We’ve had our share of flat tires and blowouts.  

Do you have any advice for others?

While traveling around in your RV stuff happens. Stay calm! Work through it. Anxiety and anger only make the situation worse.

Where can people find you online if they want to follow your travels?

We are currently on Facebook and Instagram. 

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