RV Nomads - The Movie is a top-notch, full-feature documentary that every RVer can enjoy, whether you're interested in ever becoming an RV nomad (full-time RV adventurer) yourself or not.
In the movie, 13 couples and one single woman share their unique stories but similar reasons for leaving society's version of the American Dream behind. Instead they're following a more satisfying dream they created for themselves. It's definitely inspirational and, if you're already toying with tossing it all and starting your life anew, be warned that this movie may just push you over the hump.
It's realistic as well as inspirational; the interviewees share some of their personal negatives and hardships. From the looks of it, all but one couple are youngish (I'm guessing under 50). Some are raising a family on the road. This certainly makes it seem as if becoming an RV Nomad is possible for anyone.
The director/producer, Eric Odom, and his editing team have done an excellent job of weaving the interviews around video clips showing "life on the road" as it really is. In fact, the short videos are as telling as the interviews themselves.
My husband and I are not full time RVers, but we've been on the road for extended periods - numerous times for 5 or 6 months at a time, and once for a full year. So, I especially appreciated that, although some clips show amazing photography and drone shots of RVs driving though America's most beautiful scenery, they were interspersed with shots of the mundane day-to-day tasks that can't be avoided: driving, hooking up, leveling, cooking, laundry, parenting, RV maintenance and repair, dumping those tanks, and, yes, going to work!
Every nomad needs an income stream; most often it's an online business or a job they can telecommute to. Some depend on finding workamping jobs.
As owner of Boondockers Welcome, I know first hand that just keeping up with support tickets, social media efforts, and writing the odd blog, requires many more hours on my laptop than I'd like to admit. When we're on the road it's particularly difficult to find enough hours in the day to keep up with it all. The interviews only briefly touched on that. But the point was subtly driven home through the number of clips that show the nomads on their laptops - working. They probably outweighed the number of clips of hiking, setting out on a kayak adventure, or sipping wine at sunset. In fact, I don't think there's even one shot of anyone enjoying what we know to be a favorite activity for most RVers: happy hour.
I wouldn't be considered a serious reviewer if I didn't find some negatives. There are a few areas where I felt the movie was lacking.
I think most people will want to know more about how they’re funding their lifestyle. Most of these nomads are rather successful vloggers and writers and much of what they sell is the lifestyle itself. They have how-to guides and videos teaching others how to live the way they do. They're likely in the movie because of their online success. And let’s face it, the movie is, in it’s own way, a promotional tool for their products.
It would also be good to get a sense of how many people try the nomad lifestyle, but fail. Not everyone can successfully create a sufficient income stream. Or it may be too difficult to be away from family and friends.
Although I know that being your own boss is worth a lot, knowing how many hours per week they spend "on the job" would also be interesting.
Young parents would probably love to see more detail about home schooling and how the children cope with it all. Especially those kids that were used to a normal school and social life before this. (Although this could probably fill up a movie on its own.)
And finally, perhaps a conversation about what they plan and are doing to prepare for the day they choose to stop. For those with children, what happens when the teenage son or daughter rebels, demanding a "normal" high school experience?
Of course, since most of the nomads in the movie have their own (very excellent) websites, blogs, and videos, a lot of these details are available there. You'll find the links to each of their web sites in the movie credits. Every one of them offers tons of information there and a lot of it is free.
The movie sequel is already planned, so perhaps we'll see some of these questions addressed in more detail then. After watching this movie, maybe you'll have some of your own questions to add. Comment here, and we'll pass them on.
In closing, overall, I loved the movie. Although it emphasizes the positives, it does manage to strike a balance; it’s inspirational, educational, and entertaining, with excellent videography. That's my definition of a good documentary. What's yours?