Increased camping inspires film and toy industries

There has been a ​62% increase in household ownership of recreational vehicles in the United States since 2011.* Last year’s final tallies expected to show a 40% increase over 2020. While this trend is partially attributed to people coping with COVID restrictions, interest in traveling has been on an upward trajectory over the last decade.

I joined the world of RV owners with a rather impulsive purchase of a 2008 Winnebago View in the summer of 2020. My reasoning is common among those who recently opted to buy. COVID had just become a serious health concern, airplane travel was crowded, and I felt an unplanned cross-country trip would be safer. Fortunately, (with little knowledge) I lucked into owning an RV that was well-suited for my needs and one of the most well-built models.

July 2020, during my first cross-country trip as COVID raged
Depicts life of 60-year-old Fern on the road

The traveling trend has been noticed by the movie industry with the release of 2020 release of “Nomadland.” The film by Chloe Zhao won 3 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. The summary ( reads, “A woman in her sixties, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.” I have to admit that I haven’t seen it yet, but friends who have say that I should. I hope to have a movie night somewhere along the road this summer. It’s available on Amazon Prime Video!

UPDATE: I wanted to set aside a special time to watch “Nomadland,” thinking that I shared some similarities with the main character who decided to brave the open road with her mobile abode. During a visit to visit my bestie, Pamela, I thought it would be a great experience to share with her and her teenage son, Jonathon. Oh my… it was not at all what I expected. The movie begins with Fern in a dark place and continues to leap from one depressing scenario to the next. As the movie progressed, we began to predict the details about the next tragic event and finally guessed the anticlimactic ending that left us all feeling a bit depressed.

I thought my point in writing about this movie would be recommend it to others – especially travelers. Now, I almost feel it my duty to warn others that this is not a story about overcoming the odds (In fact, it’s quite the opposite!) nor is it a good example of the wonderful possibilities and freedoms of the modern-day nomad.

I hope Fern is able to free herself from seeking a life that is downtrodden. May she find prosperity in mind, body, and spirit. Finally, I wish for Fern that she be able to have a home that is her sanctuary, whether it be on wheels or concrete slab.

Connor built this camper in about an hour and enjoys playing with the completed camper.
Wheels turn freely

The removable top allows for builder to customize the inside.
This 190-piece kit retails for around $16.

My 6-year-old grandson, Connor, received a Lego set for Christmas that looks like a Winnebago View! The 190-piece LEGO City Holiday Camper Van Building Kit was introduced in 2021, but there are several others that depict trailers, vans and motorcoaches. Mom, dad and baby mini figurines are included. The interior is decked out with a table, kitchenette and sleeping area. Once built the camper, is a nice size to be displayed on a vehicle dashboard! Another plus is this cute piece of travel décor is manufactured in Mexico!

I read through the mostly 5-star reviews. Christina S. wrote: “My husband and I recently went on a camping trip with two of our grandkids and rented a camper very similar to the one in this set. I purchased this toy when we got back as a souvenir of the trip for the younger grandson (7 years old). HE LOVED IT! He kept saying how much it was like the camper we had — even having sleeping above the cab like where he slept. We were impressed with how the doors opened and all the little accessories that came with the set. If you have a young camper this would be a great gift!”

I think it would make a great gift for campers of all ages!

Author: Margaret

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