RV Snapshots

RVers who sell at farmers markets across the country

Dave and Barb Rees plan a trip to Newfoundland in 2013

Man in a lawnchair beside a motorhome
Dave Rees enjoys the day on the Sunshine Coast. — Photo courtesy Barb Rees

Who

Dave and Barb Rees from the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia

Where are you in this photo? 

Sunlund Campground in Lund on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast

What was the purpose of your visit? 

We were at the Lund Shellfish Festival on the Sunshine Coast, where I sold our crafts—carvings, jewellery, books. My wife, Barb, was gathering information for a travel article she was writing.               

Do you regularly sell at festivals or markets?

We have been selling at markets and festivals across Canada since our first trip in 2003 and so far sales have helped pay for four of those trips. We will be going across Canada to Newfoundland in 2013, selling as we travel. The only places we haven’t sold at are Nunavut and Quebec, but we’re working on that.

Is selling the purpose of your travels or is it to cover your travel expenses?

The purpose of our travels is to make our dreams come true and promote Barb’s books. Sales supplement the cost of fuel and campgrounds.

How often do you travel in your RV?

In 2012 we made one three-week trip with the motorhome, but also made smaller trips into the U.S. in the camper van. We often take the motorhome down to Willingdon Beach Campground in Powell River (B.C.) for a mini retreat, no matter the weather.

Where will your next adventure take you?

We leave May 17 and want to be in Newfoundland in time for lobster and icebergs before the end of June, then take a month to explore it and work our way back across selling and exploring areas we haven’t on previous trips. We’ll be gone about four months.

Do you have any advice for other RVers who wish to sell products at farmers markets or festivals to help with the costs of RVing?

Find something you enjoy making that you think the public would buy. Try it at home craft fairs first. Farmers markets generally have a “make it, bake it, grow it” policy, but you can find all the information and contact info online. We email them ahead of time, then plan the route accordingly. If you really want to get to know the locals, selling at markets is the way to go.

Or you can collect “junk” or wholesale bits and pieces to sell at flea markets; there are lots of them too. The mantra that got us across the country the first time in 2003 and continues to inspire us came from Robert Schuller: “You don’t have a money problem. You have an idea problem.” As long as you have ideas and can think outside the box, you can make money. Boondocking helps keep the cost of RVing down too.

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