Keith & Tarah Spent 2020 RVing Around The USA
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30th Jan | 5 min read

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    Keith & Tarah Burkhart are originally from Seattle, WA. In 2017 they decided to leave their careers and retire in their 40’s. They sold everything, left Seattle, and moved to Mexico to live on Keith’s pension, from his 22 years in the US Coast Guard, and their savings.

    After 15 months in Mexico, the two of them decided that they needed more travel in their lives. So, Keith & Tarah headed back to the US, bought a 34’ travel trailer, and are currently cruising around the US exploring with their 2 dogs, Lionel & Chance. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @theburkhartsabroad for more of their adventures. 

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    What Inspired Us To Live In An RV

    We love to travel, and while we’d been traveling a lot internationally, we hadn’t really traveled all over the US for fun. RVing allows us to go wherever we want while taking our home with us. 

    A Breakdown Of Our 2020 Trip

    Our original 2020 trip was inspired by our love for the west coast and looking forward to ending up in Seattle during the summer. If you’ve ever been there in the summer then you’ll understand why people put up with the grey skies most of the year.

    We made a few stops to visit family in Tennessee and Mississippi before heading west. Sadly, COVID hit while we were in Texas so we decided to scrap the trip and we headed back to our condo in Lake Ozark, Missouri to regroup.

    After quarantining for a few months we decided we could easily socially distance while RV’ing. We have a couple we travel with and they were in Virginia at the time so we headed to the East Coast to meet up with them and travel together for the summer. We were able to have our little quarantine bubble but still get out and travel a bit.

    Our Itinerary

    Our itinerary completely changed. We opted to stay in the south purely because we are Thousand Trails members and we tried jumping around through their campgrounds, military campgrounds, and KOA’s.

    With COVID we weren’t able to explore as much as we normally do. We love wineries and most weren’t doing tastings. We managed to wear our masks, distance and drink wine. Some sights were open but we only visited places where protocols were being followed.

    It was very interesting to see how each state and city handled the pandemic differently. Honestly, this trip became more about spending time with our friend bubble, eating great meals, lots of wine and beer and just having fun together.

    Keith and I are used to being together all the time so that didn’t affect us negatively. It was a bonus though to have two friends to travel with.

    Notable Food From Our Trip

    We always try out any and all wineries and breweries wherever we go. We had really hoped to visit the Sierra Nevada brewery but they were closed and only doing takeout. It was beautiful from the outside and it’ll be on the list next time we end up in North Carolina.

    As for food, always try the local cuisine! Since we were in the south we had a lot of pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and some amazing seafood.

    Protocols were fluctuating so we did eat in a lot too. In NC we love shopping at Lowe’s grocery and Wegmans in Virginia. We stocked up on some favorite items while there.

    How We Saved On Costs For Our Trips

    Being members of Thousand Trails saves us a ton of money. Plus we get a discount at KOA’s and military campgrounds are very affordable.

    We try to save money by not eating out often and this trip was definitely cheaper than last year due to closures.

    We keep costs low by checking Groupon in every place we go, looking for coupons on Yelp, Facebook pages, or company websites. A lot of places offer military discounts as well which is also helpful and appreciated.

    Recommendations For The Best Hikes & Sights 

    Lake Gaston in NC is a beautiful area and their golfing was great. Advance, NC has the Childress winery, which we love.

    Williamsburg, Virginia has a lot of great outdoor historical sights, plus their ghost tour was really fun.

    Speaking of ghost tours, Savannah, Georgia also is a great city for ghosts. Plus their food and Charleston, SC is top-notch! Oh, make sure to stop for coffee in Savannah at Black Rifle. It’s veteran owned and their coffee is great!

    Senoia, GA is the home of the Walking Dead and we are huge fans so taking a tour of the sets is fun.

    Lake Lanier in GA is also beautiful and they have a Margaritaville RV resort that is amazing. We like staying there.

    Our Advice For Anyone RVing Around The USA

    Plan everything out ahead of time. I always plan out our whole route and add our dates and locations on our google map.

    We try to follow the 330 rule: travel 330 miles or stop by 3:30 pm. We aren’t boondockers so we will typically stay at a KOA for a night if our drive is longer than 330 miles.

    We try to enjoy the trip just as much as the stop. Take the backroads so you can see all the towns, it’s much better than the interstate! Just have fun and see as much as you can!

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    Karen Ramirez
    July 4, 2021 at 10:13 PM

    Great article, Tarah!! You and Keith are one of a kind☝️!! Planners but flexible too.