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Two members of Xscapers sit at a table holding hands and smiling at camera

Xscapers Profiles: Tina & Robert

Two members of Xscapers sit at a table holding hands and smiling at camera, with wine glasses nearby.

Who is with you?

We are Robert Fruth and Tina LJ McGee, known each other for 35 years and married for almost 4 years, who travel with our 3 rescue dogs – 16.5 yo Molly, 12 yo Dakota, and 2 yo Eddie.  Molly is a Rottweiler mix, Dakota is epileptic and is a German Shepherd mix, and Eddie is a Jack Russell Terrier mix that we just rescued in Mexico.

How long have you been on the road?

We started out as snowbirds in 2015 and became full-time RV’ers in August 2019.  We would drive back home to Ohio when we were snowbirds and spend the winters in Arizona. 

What kind of RV do you have?

We have a 40’ Class A Country Coach with over 3000 watts of solar on the roof and 10 Lithium batteries.  Our first RV was a 34’ Pace Arrow Vision Class A (which we just sold last year) and we used to travel with 4 dogs in that rig.

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What got you interested in living the RV life?

Bob: My mom first discussed renting an RV for a trip to Alaska with the family about 15 years ago.  That particular trip never happened.  Fast forward to 8 years ago, she went to Minnesota with some of my siblings and we started looking at RV’s for them to travel in. They ended up renting a minivan but I couldn’t get the idea of an RV out of my head.  We love to travel and because of our epileptic German Shepherd and her daily needs, we always traveled with her.  It just began to make sense to get an RV and bring our own bed, lol. The first year of traveling, we only traveled with Dakota, hence the name of our rig, the Kokobus.  After that, we bought all of our dogs with us and never looked back.

Tina: Being from New York City, I had absolutely no idea people lived full-time in their RV’s.  So, when Bob broached the subject, I thought he was totally out of his mind, lol.  The more we travel, the more I love it.

How do you fund your travels?

Tina is retired from her 20 year IT career as a Server Administrator and Bob was forced into retirement from his contracting business due to having esophageal cancer (life is good, he’s been cancer-free for over 5 years). Retirement savings and the sales of investment properties are pretty much how we fund our travels.  Also, Tina has an income from her hair accessory business that she’s successfully operated out of the RV.

What is your camping style?

We live 99% a boondocking/dry camping lifestyle.  On the days when we are traveling between the east and west coasts, we average about a 5-hour driving day.  Our preferred travel day is about 3 hours.

What do you seek out when traveling?

We like to visit Harvest Hosts for the wineries and different attractions and Boondockers Welcome to meet others in the lifestyle.  We recommend joining such groups since they are not only economical ways to stay while traveling, but they allow you to meet some wonderful hosts who have become great friends. Otherwise, we like to find National Parks and unique attractions in the cities that we visit.  We also like off-roading and riding our e-bikes.  We have fallen in love with going down to Mexico, have been there for the past 4 years in a row, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

Favorite experience so far?

Bob: There have been so many, but the one that comes to mind is petting and giving a kiss to a whale in its natural environment in Guerrero Negro, Baja Sur California, Mexico.  It was phenomenal to be out there in nature with the whales. 

Tina: Surprise birthday party with friends in 2020 for Bob at the Grand Canyon on the night of the comet.  Had a wonderful sunset, followed by a viewing of the comet, and then on the way back to our boondocking spot, saw wild animals grazing in Tusayan. 

Worst experience so far?

The transmission going out on us while going up the mountains on our way to San Diego County.  This required a 60 plus mile tow to El Cajun to have the transmission rebuilt.  While getting it rebuilt, they noticed that the leaf spring was weak on the passenger side, which necessitated a week-long stay at a frame and axle shop after the transmission was fixed.

How many Escapees events have you attended?

Love this group!! We are lifetime members of Escapees, Robert has the Xscapers logo tattooed on his arm, and we even have a modified Xscapers vanity license plate on our truck!  We’ve been to the 56th Escapade in Vermont, have been to 9 Xscapers convergences, and the Xscapers cruise to Mexico.

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Introvert or extrovert?

50-50 split – Robert’s the extrovert, loves to meet, talk and help people.  Tina’s the introvert – but loves to have fun when you get to know her.

Tell us something weird about yourself.

Bob: I kissed a freaking whale! Weirdest thing I’ve done. 

Tina: I quit a prosperous IT career to sell hair accessories out of an RV.  Totally less stressed now.

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

Definitely a flat tire on the RV. Since we have Coachnet, we know we can get roadside assistance or be towed to a tire shop.  Even though we now have a composting toilet, who really wants to deal with a leaky sewer hose.

Do you have any advice for others?

Keep renewing your Escapees membership and absorb the vast knowledge that all members have.  Try boondocking and if you like it, invest in solar, lithium batteries and water bladders.  Go to the convergences and hangouts – it’s such a fun way to meet other Escapees/Xscapers.

Tina: As an African American, I would love to see more nationalities in Escapees/Xscapers and would encourage more people to join.  This is an awesome group and they make you feel so welcomed!

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

We each have Facebook accounts – https://www.facebook.com/robertandrewfruth and https://www.facebook.com/tinaljmcgee.  Tina is on Instagram as tinaljmcgee.  We are also the admins of Solar Powered Recreational Vehicles, https://www.facebook.com/groups/solarpoweredrvs and also RVing Lifestyle, https://www.facebook.com/groups/RVingLifestyle, and Bob is a moderator on Cool RV Stuff, https://www.facebook.com/groups/coolrvstuff.

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