After Kami defeated cancer in her 30s, her husband, Kevin, envisioned a new way forward. They sold their businesses, home, and most of their belongings to live full-time in a Northstar truck camper. Nine months later, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. This is an incredible story that you don’t want to miss.
If the above video does not play, click here to watch it on YouTube.
The Story Behind Kevin and Kami
We first learned about Kevin and Kami from a remarkable photograph Kami entered into our annual calendar contest last year. The brilliant image featured a beautiful Prince Edward Island sunset (pictured below) and their prized 2019 Northstar Igloo Model U truck camper and 2011 Ford F-350 truck, Rosie.
The photo would go on to be a finalist in the contest, but ultimately didn’t win. However, the write-up Kami sent in with it immediately captured our attention.
The story begins, “Our home is Rosie, the big brown truck, and her 2019 Northstar Igloo. After selling everything (businesses, house, car, and furniture) we live a more simple and enriching life in our truck camper. We have been traveling throughout the United States and Canada for the last four months.”
Angela is always on the hunt for good truck camping lifestyle stories and contacted Kami to learn more about what they were up to. Why did they sell their businesses? What led them to go full-time in a truck camper? What was their plan?
A Chance Meeting
For this year’s calendar contest, Kami sent in an entry from Santee, South Carolina (pictured below). With the onset of winter fast approaching, Angela asked if they were headed to Florida. We were already in the Sunshine State nesting in our preferred snowbird spots. Angela suggested, if they were indeed headed our way, that we could meet up.
More than anything else we do while truck camping, we love meeting fellow truck campers on the road. Sometimes we meet fellow campers by chance in a parking lot. Sometimes we visit fellow campers at their house. And sometimes we meet fellow campers who just happen to be passing through the same place at the same time. This is one more version of road magic and, like all road magic, we actively seek it out.
Kevin and Kami were heading to Florida, and could possibly meet us at a local county park we were headed to. Long story short, they beat us there and reserved a space large enough for a few more fellow truck campers. In the winter, we often travel in packs.
Above: The four of us squeezed into their Northstar Igloo for the filming of the video (filmed in February before Covid restrictions). And isn’t Kami’s quilt is awesome?
Meeting Kevin and Kami in person was a wonderful experience. Their magnetic warmth and friendly natures fit right in with the truck camping tribe. They were also incredibly open and sharing about what led them to be retired and on the road full-time in their 40s. Their equally heartbreaking and heartwarming story is best told by Kevin and Kami in the video.
As a couple, Kevin and Kami exude a powerful and infectiously positive spirit. At a moment when we could all use some life-affirming perspective, Kevin and Kami’s balance of fortitude and fun is truly inspiring. Want to see what living life to the fullest despite undeserved hardship looks like? Watch the video, and meet Kevin and Kami.
Full-Time During Covid
This video was recorded in late February just as the Covid-19 was unfolding. We contacted Kevin and Kami to find out how they’re doing now. Here’s their reply:
Covid has sure changed our plans, yet we are thankful that our home is on wheels and we can be flexible.
We were still in Florida when Covid started to hit hard and places were starting to shut down. We were camping in the National Forest at a perfect site for a long term stay. There was a spring-fed pond, tall trees for shade and we had enough provisions for over a month.
However, a ranger politely suggested that we find more a formal place to stay. So, we broke one of our rules and found a lovely state campground, perfect for social distancing. Water, electricity for the air conditioner (what a treat!), and our closest neighbors were 50-yards away.
After just three days, the camp host came by and told us that we would have to leave. The governor was closing all state campgrounds.
This was when we found out that Rosie the Big Brown Truck had a ton of loving fans. So many people (some we knew, others we never met) reached out and offered places to stay. We were overwhelmed with all the love and generous offers.
We decided to make a straight shot back up to Wayne County, New York where much of my family lives. We were so grateful that our home is on wheels and we carry our bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom all in the back of our truck making the long drive north so much easier!
We left at 1:45am, stopped for fuel and breaks when we needed to, and arrived at our family’s home at exactly 1:45am the next day. It was not the kind of adventure we normally like, but Rosie was amazing!
We settled into the new norm. We had lots of time to work on a few maintenance projects on Rosie and the camper – including a good cleaning inside and out – and I (Kami) worked on sewing some masks to keep ourselves busy.
However, it did not take long before being alone, in a house, with no purpose or direction took its toll on us. Wonderlust was hitting us hard, but we knew that we could not just go off willy nilly like we had been in the past. Covid was serious and we needed to keep ourselves and others safe. We also had some concerns about finances. Our investments had taken a hit, limiting us quite a bit.
So, how can we get back to a bit of travel, while maintaining our safety and making a bit of income? Work camping! We found a job in a private campground just outside of Custer State Park in South Dakota.
We love the Black Hills of South Dakota and thought it would be a perfect fit. We took over a week going from New York to South Dakota, once again being very careful to stay isolated, easy to do in a truck camper.
We took some time camping on the Missouri River and the Badlands before making it to our work camping destination.
Getting to work felt good as well as moving our bodies and having a sense of purpose. On our days off we took Rosie to explore the dirt roads of the Black Hills National Forest in search of the perfect boondocking spot.
By the way, we found a ton! We hiked, mountain climbed the Cathedral Spires, and most of all, made new friends. We had the pleasure of meeting many other full-time truck camper people! Who knew there were so many of us? I cherish these beautiful friendships.
Just before the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, we left to move further west to another work camping job. Once again we took our time to get to Washington, stopping in Yellowstone to meet yet again another full-time truck camper couple who we are now friends with and enjoyed some amazing dispersed camping in Montana and Idaho.
We are currently working at Smokiam RV Resort on Soap Lake in Washington, which is a nice little campground. We really miss our nomadic lifestyle and are not big fans of living in campgrounds, but that’s where things are right now. We are safe and making the best of each and every day.
We are making plans to stay a bit more stationary for the next six months in hopes that our investments will have recovered and Covid is less of a threat. We will be back to our nomadic ways when the time is right. Until then, we wish you all safe travels and good health.
Much love and blessings, Kami and Kevin