We RVers crave real-world connections with others who share our fondness for travel, adventure, self-discovery, and just plain fun. But our nomadic lifestyle often makes it difficult to find and maintain such friendships.
That’s the main reason that we joined the Escapees RV Club when we became full-timers. We quickly realized that no other RV membership organization emphasizes the importance of community like Escapees does. After attending our first Escapees event—the 2017 Xscapers Quartzsite Convergence—we got deeply involved in the Xscapers community. In just two years, we went to seven more Convergences, including three that we organized and co-hosted ourselves.
Our Experience at Convergences
At Convergences, we found everyone from young adults to mid-lifers to seniors who had long ago retired from their careers, but not their active lives. We all had a blast together because of our shared interests and attitudes.
And yet…at many of these events, the attendees often drifted into sub-groups more or less along generational lines. Indeed, Escapees had been so successful in creating opportunities for RVers to come together that Xscapers was attracting a much broader demographic than its founders originally intended. Many working folks had to miss out on activities during the business day, while others who were early risers couldn’t keep up with a schedule of festivities that ran late into the night. (Although many tried their best!)
The challenge was that Escapees had no other year-round, nationwide program of events with the same winning combination of camaraderie, relaxed atmosphere, activity level and affordable price point, but geared toward RVers whose daytime hours were free.
Until now, that is.
Introducing: Escapees Hangouts
Two months ago, the club announced a new national program, Escapees Hangouts, to meet this need by providing more opportunities for members to build their community and share fun, active and adventurous experiences together. (Alhough some chapters and Birds of a Feather groups within the club may host similar events, Hangouts are unique in that they are organized and planned by Escapees staff and are open to all members.)
A Hangout is a five- to ten-day RV rally designed for active and adventurous RV enthusiasts. Like at a Convergence, activities at a Hangout may include hiking, kayaking, bicycling, breweries and wineries, foodie tours, and local festivals. Hangouts are similarly laid back, with a lightly structured schedule that includes organized activities like campfires and pot luck meals as well as time for just “hanging out” with friends.
Why Hangouts Might Be a Good Fit for You
But Hangouts also differ from Convergences in some significant ways. Rather than dry camping, Hangouts will usually take place at a campground with full or partial hookups. For this reason, the cost for a Hangout will generally be a bit higher–typically in the $350-$400 range for a seven-day event. And unlike the non-workday schedule for a Convergence, activities at a Hangout will take place during the day as well as the evenings.
Although Hangouts are open to all current Escapees members, we anticipate that these new events will particularly appeal to those who are still active travelers but have more flexible schedules than most working RVers. Many have either retired early or chosen to trade traditional working arrangements for more fulfilling pursuits that they can engage in while they explore the country. They may not always want to keep up with the Xscapers, but they’re not ready to slow down yet either!
The Best RV Rally (You Now Know All About)
We already have three Hangouts on the calendar for this year: the New Hampshire Walldogs Festival Hangout, June 17-24 in southern New Hampshire; the Downeast Maine Hangout, August 12-19 near Acadia National Park (sold out, but you can join the waiting list); and the Smoky Mountains Hangout, October 28-November 4 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We’re also working on plans for a New Year’s Hangout, tentatively December 29, 2019-January 3, 2020, at a location to be determined in central or south Texas. And next year, we’ll head south of the border for the Baja Mexico Hangout, February 14-24, 2020 in San Felipe, Mexico.
You’ll find information on all of these Hangouts, plus new events as they’re announced, at escapees.com/hangouts. On that page, you can also sign up to receive email announcements of new Hangouts so that you can grab your space before the events sell out. Just click the Let me know about new Hangouts! button.
We are excited to have Escapees Hangouts join all the other community-focused activities—Convergences, HOPs, Escapade, Birds-of-a-Feather activities and chapter events—that make the Escapees RV Club such a vibrant organization. We hope we’ll see you at a Hangout soon!
Cheryl & David Goldstein - Hangouts Directors
Cheryl and David Goldstein sold their house and most of their belongings and hit the road as full-time RVers in June 2016. Living in their 40’ fifth wheel, they have so far traveled throughout Alaska and western Canada as well as much of the United States. They are Escapees Lifetime Members and organized and hosted three Convergences for the club as volunteers before joining the club’s national staff as Hangouts Directors in early 2019.
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