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RVers Answering the Call to Help Frontline Healthcare Workers

Complicated problems call for creative solutions. The coronavirus and resulting COVID-19 illness is affecting everyone and every industry, but none are more at risk than healthcare workers. Social distancing is hailed as the best way to avoid contracting it and what better way to do this than through RV living? In a heartwarming gesture, RVers around America are making it possible for those in the front line to self-quarantine close to their families without posing any risk. 

Unintended benefits of RVs

With the tourism industry taking one of the biggest blows from the pandemic, hotels have been converted into isolation units for the infected. Hospitals all of a sudden have to make space for quarantine. The mental health of the infected, the vulnerable, and their families are in great jeopardy because of the strict rules concerning direct contact. They want to be close to their loved ones, but fear bringing the virus home. 

It is this that has prompted many Americans to lend their recreational vehicles to those who need them most, after all, many are not using them in the ‘the great outdoors.’ RVs are mobile, unlike hotels, so healthcare workers can watch their kids play in the yard, they can give them a sense of security knowing that mommy or daddy is watching over them and their home. 

Take for instance Ammi Atler’s story. She’s an experienced nurse from Michigan and she happens to be a mother. When she first reported for coronavirus duty, she feared she would never get to hold her kids again. After a generous couple lent her their RV, however, it’s now possible for her to be present in her children’s lives, especially at a time when they need their mother’s reassurance. 

The best choice for isolating

As random as it might seem to some people, mobile quarantine is so far one of the best and most humane ways of ensuring the containment of the virus. The features present in these wonders on wheels make them ideal for someone who wants all the comforts of home but without placing others at risk. 

With amenities like restrooms and couches, RVs are the perfect place to quarantine. That’s why the internet is abuzz with offers and requests for RVs. Good Samaritans around the country are mobilizing to make it easier to get these vehicles to those in the trenches.   

RVers have answered the call

Medical professionals are struggling, some are renting out rooms in motels, others have set up camp in their garages or porches in makeshift tents. Those with RVs are lucky enough to be able to park in the driveway where they can peek through the windows to check on everyone. 

Social media has been a real game changer in allowing the public to rally for better accommodation for healthcare workers. Recently, a Facebook group exploded onto the scene, drawing a direct line of communication between healthcare workers and people with RVs. 

The group is called RVs for MDs and has matched 1445 medical staff to RVs for safe isolation. With close to 15,000 members to date, the group continues to make life-changing connections between RV owners and medical staff on the front lines who need to self-isolate with dignity, including ER doctors, nurses, ICU medical staff- you name it! 

An example post from an RVer offering their camper on the group. 

Clearly there was a demand and suppliers reacted accordingly. Not only have clients of RV companies been involved in this gesture, but they have also gone beyond the call of duty. 

The human spirit endures

Ammi Atler did not have a facebook group reach out to her from nowhere. She made a cry for help on social media, relating how worried she was for her family. Laura Schnell, a registered psychiatric nurse from Airdrie, shared a post on Facebook where she too relayed her panic over infecting her three children. If it wasn’t for boldness that made her ask if anyone had an RV to lend her, who knows what might’ve happened to her and her family? 

Fortune favored her when someone; a niece to the owners of a major RV company took a screenshot and inspired her aunt and uncle to deliver her an RV free of charge. 

Just when you thought the human spirit was waning, in roll the RVs. Man will never cease to light a fire where darkness prevails and RVers are a special group worthy of commendation. Long live RVers! 

Below are a few of the stories recently posted on the RVs4MDs Facebook group.

Erin Hoye shared a picture of her dropping off their 5th wheel with this caption: “I offered our Rv. The doctor filled out an application. Then it turns out we had mutual friends and we made it happen…Dr. Williams will be able to keeps his family safe. He has a family of seven including a 3 month old and a wife with a compromised immune system…”


Another post from the group: “Craig Kessler with Shannon. Craig is veteran and retired from Nassau County police dept. A volunteer for a disabled veteran Transportation program, for veterans who need to be taken to the VA hospital. Shannon is so grateful for his generosity. He is a true angel.”


Jeanine wrote about her experience: Thank you to Rob and Yvonne Schmalzbach-Pratt! Because of your generosity our family is safer. This is my amazing husband Kirk Cowan, a Registered Nurse in the MICU at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. He and his incredible colleagues are caring for the COVID19 population at their site. We have just started our isolating journey and I can’t say we’re happy about being away from each other. But we are so grateful for the kindness of these sweet strangers. This will drastically reduce the risk of our kids and I contracting the virus. Thank you RVs4Mds! We love you! Kirk, Jeanine, Emily, Addie and David Cowan.


Sarah posted this heartfelt message: “Words cannot express how thankful we are for this! Kirk and Tina drove here, leveled, and hooked up their trailer for us to use temporarily! We are truly grateful! I am an RN and my husband is an EMT, we have a child that is immunocompromised and have been away from them for almost a month now. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!”

There are hundreds more stories like this all over the page and we encourage you to take a look, share, and thank everyone who’s participating.

Do you have an RV or are you a frontline healthcare worker in need of an RV for safe self-isolation? Check out the RVs 4 MDs Facebook group, or email them on [email protected]


About the Author

Tiny Living Life is your one-stop-shop for everything simple living for aspiring tiny homeowners, tiny house dwellers, and off the grid lovers. Our team is comprised of people who actually walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk. We live and breathe tiny homes and off-grid living. We believe in a future where we spend more time doing the things that inspire us versus accumulating things we don’t need.

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  1. Natalie
    13th May, 2020

    So are most places still accepting a over night stay??

    1. Sam Leash
      19th May, 2020

      Some places are accepting guests, while others are not. It’s best to contact them ahead of time, and be sure to follow any local ordinances in place if you do visit.