The Ultimate RVer?

43 years in a Volkswagen that's what I call extreme RVing!

I often talk about the interesting and unusual people we meet RVing. Believe it or not, the folks who full-time RV are as varied and individual as the stars. We’ve met young couples in their 20’s, families with home-schooled kids, older people (up to late 80’s), artists, writers, geeks, individualists, professionals….and they full-time in all kinds of rigs anything from pop-up trailers to enormous 45-foot Class A’s with almost equally large trailers. In fact, the more your RV and get around, the more you realize that all kinds of people do this and just about anyone can live this lifestyle if they’re willing to be flexible.

We’ve been on the road for almost 17 months now and we pretty much thought we’d seen it all….until we met, let’s call her Doreen. She’s a quirky lady no doubt, and her lifestyle goes in the definite realm of alternative . For the past 43 years she’s been living out of her Volkswagen Beetle with no phone, no internet and just a few coolers of food and vitamins. We met her here in Columbine and got chatting about her life. Asked why she’s still in the same car she simply answered “well, I started out and just didn’t think of stopping”. She’s been just about everywhere (as you’d expect) and knows all the regular campground hosts by name. The ultimate RVer? I don’t know, but she sure puts RVing in a whole new perspective. Something to think about on a Sunday afternoon…

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  1. travelalot says

    While Camping just ouside of RedRiver two years ago we had a couple of conversation with (Doreen)
    A very nice lady, if I remember correctly she was a school teacher in another life . Her VW is very hard to forget. If you haven’t already done so, Take a ride to Villa Vidal
    we have spent time hiking and fishing this area. Also hike to williams peak, trail head is in Taos ski valley another favorite of ours.

    • libertatemamo says

      How FUN that you guys met her too! She’s a lovely lady and we’ve been chatting to her everyday here (and helping out to freeze some gel packs). She comes back to Red River every summer so she’s one of the regulars. Cheers also for the extra tips! Nina

    • libertatemamo says

      You know I didn’t ask, but it’s definitely seen some miles. The lady did lament that the car is getting kinda old and harder to fix, so she said she might upgrade someday…

  2. says

    43 years in the same Beetle? AWESOME. Weren’t the ’68 VWs about $700 brand-new? No wonder she doesn’t upgrade! Not very stealthy, but what a perfect size for boondocking anywhere.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, she wasn’t very keen on upgrading, but has been running out
      of places to get the thing fixed (apparently they just don’t stock the
      old parts anymore). Quite the thing!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup! She sleeps inside. She told us she has a “sleeping position”
      and a “driving position” for the Beetle and it takes her ~1 hour to
      switch between the two. She did tell us that it’s not quite flat in
      there and she’d love to have a car one-day where she can
      lie down flat to sleep.

  3. says

    I know this post is old but I just stumbled on it. “Doreen” still camps in Columbine Campground! We go there every year for a week or so and have seen her as late as this last year. My grandsons are fascinated by her camping area. But she is very a very friendly camper – always waves and speaks.

    • libertatemamo says

      How amazing to hear. Thanks so much for the update! We often think about her and wonder how she’s doing.

  4. says

    I saw her in Rio Bravo campground at the end of September 2013 and her Volkswagen was only running on three cylinders. I was gonna help her with it after I came back from Taos but when I got back she was in her meditation time. She also told me it wasn’t charging the battery. I thought I could hear the alternator belt squealing when she started it up but I never got a chance to help her with it. She took it to Santa Fe to have a mechanic look at it and then the government shut down the following day and we all got thrown out of the campground! (laugh)

    • libertatemamo says

      Wow…what a story. I’m amazed that old car is still going. If I remember she was already having problems with 2 years ago when we last saw her. I sure hope she got it repaired.


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