In this edition of Inside the RV, we chatted with Brittain Kovac who recently appeared, along with her husband Josh, on our TVC Live show on YouTube. They love Airstreams and renovating them for business. They are a delightful couple and we enjoyed spending time with them. We hope you will too.
Tell us about yourself and your travel companions
We got married four years ago and hit the road with Walter, our cat, a few months later. We loved the idea of living in a RV and being able to travel the country to start our lives together. For the first couple of years, we both had businesses that we were working on remotely. I was running an Airbnb and Josh was doing business coaching with social good startups. Work was stressful for Josh when he had to constantly find strong connections for video calls with clients around the world. After a couple years, we realized we were not fulling enjoying all this lifestyle offers, so we reevaluated our work and decided to continue traveling with more of a focus on enjoying it. We’ve since merged our companies and focus on our impact Airbnb together.
How did you decide to RV?
We went to a RV show in January of 2015, when we were dating, and were intrigued by the vintage Winnebago Brave. It sparked our creative juices to begin thinking of what was possible. Then, the idea lay dormant for about six months. When we got engaged, we started re-thinking about the idea and bought our Airstream in January 2016, thinking it could be a great way to do a long-term honeymoon.
What were the reactions of your family, friends, etc?
Our family has always been supportive of our adventurous lifestyle, though a few friends think we’re crazy… 🙂 But, we made our Airstream the centerpiece of our wedding where everyone was able to get a sense of what we’d be doing and what we had planned – they loved it and have enjoyed following our adventures.
What kind of RV do you have?
We have two Airstreams, one is a 1987 Airstream 345 with a GM 454 engine, and one is a 1988 Airstream. We are currently traveling in LucyBug, the smaller trailer while Maxwell, the larger one, is getting some repairs done. Our plan is to fix up Maxwell and place him in a vintage RV park where they rent out the RVs for stationary stays.
What did you do with all your stuff? How did you downsize?
In Kansas City where we met, we operated a hostel in a 900 square foot loft, so we were accustomed to living minimally. In fact, people are amazed how little we have. Since we often travel for work, like to renovate rigs and are often in the midst of a project, we have purposefully downsized our possessions. We each have about one big and medium backpack with a laptop bag and keep each of our rigs stocked for living in it, so we can just ‘move right in’ each time we switch campers.
Have you done any renovations on the rig? If so, we would love to hear more and see pictures.
We are in the middle of renovating our motorhome Airstream and have finished LucyBug, our smaller one. Our focus in renovation is to keep it as original as possible. We use the original appliances and keep some of the woodwork – vintage Airtreams were built to last and the use of space can’t be beat! Then we work to enhance it and make it liveable with fresh paints and fun fabrics.
Just how long have you been on the road? Do you ever see a finish line?
We have been on the road for 3 and half years and used to put a finish line on it, but after our second deadline came and went, we decided there was no reason for a deadline. “We’ll be done when we’re done,” we say when people ask. We don’t see that coming anytime soon.
What is the absolute best thing about full-time travel?
The freedom that it provides to travel and see the country. BLMs to be more specific. There’s nothing quite like wedging yourself into a forest, next to a creek and being surrounded by nature.
What is the worst thing?
We’ve had multiple instances where it’s taken us 90 minutes to get parked and unhitch, but this is our fault. We like to squeeze into tight, private spaces to really emerge ourselves into nature. We’re 50ft long with an incredibly low clearance and a bad turning radius, so rough terrains aren’t our friend. But, we’re willing to bring on the challenge if it means spending time in the middle of secluded lands.
How has your travel philosophy changed as you have been on the road?
When we started, like many other RVers, we were moving every two weeks or less. This was a lot especially when we were traveling for our work with Chevy. So now, we tend to stay in one spot about six weeks. Josh would love to stay somewhere up to twelve weeks, but I get too antsy.
What is the most interesting place that you have found?
For Josh, he enjoyed Cottonwood, AZ. It is close to Sedona so has all that beauty, without the tourists, and has a wonderful community feel. We also recommend Jerome, an old mining town close to Sedona, as a day trip. It is built into the mountain and has a sheer cliff drop. For me, the Badlands is the most interesting place we have visited. It is so exotic, you feel like you are on the moon. Plus, the bison roam freely and I saw 17 shooting stars in one night!
Do you have a favorite place?
Josh loves the mountains of northwest Georgia near Helen. Our favorite state overall has been Utah! But, we haven’t made it to Montana or Idaho yet, so our ‘favorite’ place might change after we go there this summer.
What are your favorite kinds of destinations? Do you travel for a certain passion or hobby?
We seek out small, non-touristy towns, local restaurants (vegan/vegetarian), mountains, and 70 degree weather, though a nice snowfall in a national forest will make you forget you were searching for 70!
What have you learned on this journey and what are you still seeking?
We’ve learned the power of simplicity, the importance of things like people and new friendships over things and largely, we’ve learned to relax and not stress, because inevitably, when you’re towing 8,000 pounds, every travel day will bring some sort of unexpected surprise delay. Be it big or small, it’s now just ‘a day in the life’ instead of something to worry and stress over.
At the moment, we’re on a search to find a small town out west that we may eventually want to buy land near. The west continues to amaze us and we’re thinking it could be a good spot to expand our hospitality camper business.
Which brings up, how do you fund your travels?
About 65% of our income is from our jobs as Chevy Product Specialists. We travel around the country to state fairs, Nascar races, and other events to provide information on Chevy products. Our role is not sales, but to make it a fun experience for visitors. So we have an encyclopedic knowledge of Chevy products! It’s also fun working on the trucks team, since we often talk to future RVers who are looking for a tow vehicle. The remainder comes from our AirBnB/rental properties and Josh’s contract writing.
How do you live together in such a small space and not drive each other crazy?
With our crazy travel schedule for work, we are often not in the same place or in the RV so we do get our alone time. But when we’ve had ‘too much time’ together in the tiny space, one of us will take the truck out for a solo-day trip, while the other enjoys a solo day in. It works out well for us!
What is the most exciting thing on the horizon for you?
With a background in hospitality and social impact businesses, we have so many ideas that build on our experience and incorporate the RV lifestyle. We plan to continue to collect and renovate vintage Airstreams. Our dream is to have a “fleet” of them that we will rent out as stationary AirBnBs. We also want to again have a hostel and would consider using the Airstreams for that idea. But for now, we are taking it one Airstream at a time and remaining open to creative ideas.
What advice do you have for a new RVer who is considering getting out on the road?
Pick a date and kick yourself out your door at that deadline. We set a date for ourselves by committing to working at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and made ourselves meet it. While there, we learned that Lucy wasn’t quite full-time travel ready, but we were already committed and made it work!
How can people find you on social media or a blog?
Our blog is OutofNorm.al and our Instagram is @OutofNorm.al too.