"Quiet On The Set!"
Those words echoed in the hot, Texas wind this past spring by one solo, and 15 full-time nomadic RVing couples. This group of people had signed on as cast members to share their unique stories in the movie documentary, RV Nomads. Three of those couples are Heartland RV Owners - who are also prominent bloggers and vloggers (YouTube) in the RV community.
How It Began
In early 2017, Chief Executive Producer of Nomad Life Films, Eric Odom, stumbled across a young couple's RV parked at a Walmart in Iowa. After striking up a conversation about their full-time RV life, he was intrigued and yearned to learn more. Not long after, he was reading hundreds of full-time RVers' blogs and watching their YouTube videos. This all spawned him to create a movie documentary.
Odom then submitted a casting call on his website, RV Nomads - The Movie. It wasn’t well-known at first, but once most of the cast members were chosen, the project took off. Another team was chosen to produce and direct the film. The project began to devlope, and what would typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, became realistic with a budget of only $125,000. This was due to the collaborative environment that was organically created around the effort.
Before production began in early 2018, the executive team developed the framework for a custom content delivery network. This became EPIC Nomad TV - which included a socially engaging community platform at EPICNomadLife.
The project was collaboratively funded by several big name RV industry sponsors such as Dometic, Lippert, National Indoor RV Centers, WeBoost, Roadmaster, Battle Born Batteries, Zamp Solar, and Escapees. Smaller RV business sponsors stepped up as well. Later, there was a capital campaign for individuals to contribute to the project.
The documentary was initially planned to be filmed in Silverton, Colorado; however, legal and weather-related road blocks prevented the cameras from rolling. Fortunately, that didn't take away from the spirit of the film. Through the generosity and hospitality of a small, Texas panhandle town, Wellington stepped up to be the feature's location.
Shortly after, the movie studio was constructed in one of the old town square buildings and outdoor film locations were set.
In May, one by one, the “full-timers” pulled their Heartland fifth wheels into Wellington, Texas. They all polished them pretty and showed the cameras how each family lives the full-time RV life. The following months were spent on B-roll and editing.
Finally, in October, the movie premiered in front of 500 RVers at the Ritz Theater in Wellington during the first annual RV NomadFest.
Meet The Heartland Owners Cast Members!
Air Force Veterans, Sean and Julie Chickery itch to keep moving on their next adventure. After leaving the military and once their adult sons moved out, they hit the road with their new 2015 Heartland Cyclone 4200 - making it their home and never looking back.
"Living in a 44-foot house on wheels has its challenges," they both agreed. "Non-stop maintenance, breakdowns, and problems are a part of RV life. But the payoff of getting to travel, and regularly visiting new places make it worth little inconveniences."
Getting out and exploring the new towns is always at the top of their list of things to do. Sean likes to use any down time to relax, while Julie enjoys hiking, kayaking, and a plethora of other outdoor activities. They enjoy traveling throughout Florida because of the beaches, rivers, hidden gems from the past, and activities that they can see and enjoy all year.
However, the biggest reason for their draw to Florida is that Julie is a huge Disney fan, which she makes an effort to visit Disney World every year.
Aside from all the fun of full-time travel, the Chickery's also own businesses and run their own platforms; Chickery’s Travels, Beyond the Wheel podcast, and Blogging Tech Made Easy that they keep engaged while on the road.
Their reason for wanting a part in the documentary was to meet like-minded RVers, tell their story, and promote their brands. Their ultimate pay-off was making lifelong friends and conjuring up business partners they wouldn't have otherwise met.
"It really allowed us to see the importance of the community aspect of living the RV life," Sean said. "This is such an important component to remaining a happy RV traveler. RV life has been good to us and the Cyclone 4200 has become a great home."
1st CLASS RV ADVENTURES
In June 2016, Luis Class, Sandra Crespo and their children, Julian and Milena, became happy owners of a pre-owned 2016 Heartland Edge Toy Hauler travel in their 2016 Heartland Edge. Their toy hauler is perfect for their family and they even take their dog, Lexy, on all of their full-time adventures!
"We've been a full-time RV family since July 2016," Sandra said, "We absolutely love using the entire country as a classroom for our children!”
One of their favorite places to explore is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They also enjoy boondocking at the Badlands and exploring the many cliffs, bluffs and prairies. Sandra went on to say, "Something about the landscape there was truly incredible to call our front yard for a few weeks."
Since taking up RVing full-time, their family has taken to hiking and kayaking. Luis has even discovered his new passion for fishing. "I've been able to explore and fish in almost every state we call home for a few weeks or sometimes months," Luis said.
They believed their contribution would be a great way to inspire others with children to do the same.
Sandra mentioned, "Many families find themselves in a similar situation of feeling unfulfilled and not spending enough time with those who matter most. By being part of the documentary, we are telling to others to find their own definition of freedom and do what's best for themselves.”
ALWAYS ON LIBERTY
By now, you may know us as Dan and Lisa Brown. We are owners of a 2016 Heartland Landmark 365 Ashland. Our yearning for travel happened long before RVing.
At first, we were motorcycle nomads, who traveled over 100,000 miles each on our two Harley Davidsons. We loved being on the road; however, we always ran out of vacation time, and had to return to our home to mow the lawn. After doing going through this cycle several times, we decided it was time for a change.
In February of 2014, we ordered our new 2014 Cyclone 4100 King. Two months later, we moved into our toy hauler; ironically on April Fool's Day. While our Kentucky home was on the market, we prepared ourselves for our new journey. Six months later, we finally set out for the open road to live our dream as full-time RV travelers.
Why we opted to apply for roles in the documentary were many-fold. First, we wanted to tell our story, and show a glimpse of our lifestyle. It was also a way to strengthen our presence on our online platforms to build our business model. More importantly, we wanted to show those who yearn to travel by RV that it's possible. We've been to places in the United States that 99% of Americans only see in books, magazines and websites. While others see color photos, we see spans of beauty with our own eyes all-while breathing the air and learning the history of our Country.
For more info on the documentary, how to watch or buy it, you can visit RV Nomads The Movie.