John King, Country Singer: RV Lifestyle Influencer Spotlight
Posted: June 10, 2022
Categories: Travel & Lifestyle
John King, Country Singer: RV Lifestyle Influencer Spotlight
John King + Family’s Long History of Camping
John King is an up-and-coming country music band leader, guitar player and singer-songwriter who spent a ton of time camping as a kid – pretty much every summer that he can remember. His dad would load their family up in a pop-up camper and take them to Lake Hartwell in Georgia where they would spend their entire summer, and they would also travel down to the beach in Florida to soak up the sun in the sand. Camping was a major part of their lives, and it offered a great way for their whole family to bond, which has always meant a lot to John.
In addition to his camping-filled childhood, John loves the great outdoors and experiencing all that nature has to offer. From fishing and hiking to boating and, of course, camping, being outside is truly his passion. He gives credit to his parents and thanks them for introducing him to the lifestyle as he’s brought it into adulthood and does the same thing now with his own family.
The “Aha!” Moment
In 2020, when the world felt the wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic, things were at a standstill music-wise for a while as there were no shows and no tours happening which resulted in him having a lot of free time. He and his wife’s three-year-old daughter, Scarlett, developed cabin fever over time as many things were closed and off limits during that time period, resulting in the family being restricted to staying inside the house for the most part.
Then one day, they had a reawakening moment – they could use the RV to move around and not have to be stuck inside all day! It was a great idea, especially for their daughter because she enjoyed being able to go out and play and enjoy the outdoors, just like her parents did when they were her age. This was a big reconnection point for John and his wife, Hannah, as they both grew up camping and remembered how much fun it was, and this experience made them realize how much more fun it would be with their own child.
Now that he’s in Nashville chasing his dreams and taking off in his music career, John uses camping and the great outdoors not only as a way of “getting away” when needed, but he also uses RVing as a means of traveling around the country while he’s on tour – getting the best of both worlds as he fulfills two of his greatest passions.
The Beauty and the Beast of Travel
As a rising country music star who tours frequently, John has found that longer trips can be stressful sometimes due to having to tackle traffic while pulling a large, 34’ travel trailer. Sometimes they end up having to take detours which can create additional challenges having to maneuver down narrow backroads which can add extra, unforeseen travel time.
“Having to take detours can become extra stressful when we are on a time crunch and need to be at certain places by certain times,” John stated. “Ultimately, though, it’s always worth it when we finally arrive. Plus, sometimes having to take a detour puts us on a more scenic route, and we definitely are never upset about that!”
Speaking of scenic routes, one of the main reasons John loves RVing is being able to travel and see new places. He mentioned that traveling the country in their RV while they’re on tour gives him an excuse to explore and see what’s out there each time he arrives in a new city. He also really enjoys boondocking as he gets a chance to reconnect with nature without the extra distractions.
“Boondocking gives us a chance to be off the grid for a while with hardly anybody around, and we really love the solitude and peacefulness we get from it,” John stated. “We almost forget that there are parts of the country and the world where there are no people, and this gives us a cool reminder of that. We once spent some time at Absaroka Range in Wyoming where we were strictly using solar power and used our 4-wheel drive to pull our camper out into a beautiful, secluded area with a mountain view. Calling it amazing would seriously be an understatement.”
Favorite Summer and Fall Destinations
Being in the mountains is an experience that is certainly near and dear to John’s heart. When asked what his favorite travel destination was, his initial response was that “it depends on the time of year,” but he then followed up to say that no matter what time of year it is, being in the mountains is his favorite place to be.
“My wife loves the warmer weather, so she loves the summertime; me on the other hand – I’m a cooler weather guy so I love the fall, and that’s my favorite time to camp,” John stated. “In the summer, our favorite spot to go is a lake in Alabama called Lewis Smith Lake. It’s not too far from Nashville, it has a lot of cool national parks nearby, and our daughter has a lot of fun swimming while it’s hot.”
“In the fall, though,” he continued, “my favorite place to be is in the mountains, without a doubt. Being from northeast Georgia makes me love all kinds of mountains, so visiting the different mountain ranges that are out there is what I love to do – and it’s even better in the fall with the mix of the cooler weather and fall foliage. It’s truly an experience like no other.”
A “Disaster” That Led to Joy
Every camper has a favorite memory, and John’s took place when they first got their RV. Being RV newbies at the time, there was a lot they learned from their first camping trip, and it helped mold their family into who they are today.
“There are a ton of incredible memories we’ve made thus far, but my favorite has to be the first time we took Scarlett camping,” John explained. “We had just gotten our RV and wanted to take it out for the weekend and test it out, and it actually turned out to be kind of a disaster. We weren’t in a great spot, it was pouring raining when we showed up, we didn’t pack properly, and, honestly, I had forgotten a lot of the things I learned growing up. We did a lot of tent camping and backpacking when I was younger, so our first time in a nice, new, fancy RV was pretty crazy. Things just seemed to be a mess.”
Although their trip involved a lot of rain, there was definitely some sunshine and a rainbow at the end of the story. “As chaotic as things were, our daughter was having the absolute time of her life,” John continued. “She was running around screaming, ‘this is the greatest thing ever!’, and the stress of everything that happened no longer mattered. It’s funny, sometimes the best memories, especially for camping, are not the ones where everything goes perfectly and smooth; but instead, some of the best memories are made when there is a slight disaster, but it's still a blast and a great learning experience.”
Essential Items on the Road
As a result of their continuous learning process, the King’s have figured out what to bring and what not to bring on their trips.
“I’ve learned that having a checklist before trips makes a world of difference, so I’ve created one tailored to our needs and double check it before we head out,” John said. “Our items are pretty basic for the most part. First and foremost, you want to make sure you have water, whether that’s through hookups or determining if you need bottled water. Next is clothing, self-explanatory. Groceries is next on the list in case there’s not a grocery store for 20, 30, or even 40 miles from your destination,” he explained.
“Aside from those fundamental items, we really keep things to a minimum so we can focus more on being outdoors and enjoying nature,” John continued. “We’ve learned to pack as light as possible. Our first few times camping, we packed a bunch of extra stuff that we ended up not needing that took up extra space. Over time, we’ve found that less really can be more. We also don’t want to be distracted by electronics, so we tend to leave those at home as well; but one thing we do have is a really good camera. Of course we can take pictures on our phones, but having those old school camera pictures for photo albums definitely creates more sentimental memories.”
Tire Linc® for the Win
Another must-have item on their checklist is their favorite Lippert accessory, the Tire Linc® RV tire pressure & temperature monitoring system. The Tire Linc is an easy-to-install, always-on tire pressure and temperature monitoring system that is integrated with Lippert’s OneControl® app. It allows users to monitor their 5th wheel RV, travel trailer, motorhome or towed vehicle’s tire pressure and temperature right from a smartphone. John loves it for the added assurance it gives, knowing that he is always aware of the status of their tires on their long, cross-country trips.
“The Tire Linc is really the best safety accessory, especially for how frequently and how far we travel,” John said. “We’re carrying heavy loads in the back of our truck and in our camper with all of our music equipment, so it’s really nice to be able to keep an eye on things – especially when we’re traveling 2,000+ miles. It’s also a great safety feature when you have young kids because you have the peace of mind knowing that you can constantly keep them safe and protected while on the road.”
The King's Relationship with Lippert
John said that his family’s relationship with Lippert started by chance, and he’s so happy that it did.
“I grew up playing songs around the campfire, and that’s how I got my start – by writing songs and singing while sitting around the campfire. During COVID, we weren’t touring and I had lots of extra time to get out and do things with my family. My wife had a great idea of starting a virtual concert series where I premiered music from around the campfire, kind of digging back into my roots. It started as a seed of an idea and grew into something big – capturing the attention of tons of people who became our friends and fans who also had great connections to others.”
“We heard about Lippert through someone who told us that Lippert does amazing upgrades for RVs and has really cool accessories, so I sent a message over and got ahold of Ryan Zerfas from the Customer Experience team,” he continued. “Ryan asked to jump on a call so we could get some things figured out, and it has been an amazing, friendship-building experience ever since!”
The Value of an Incredible Partnership
John stated that he never imagined having the opportunity to go on tour as a country artist while simultaneously being able to pursue his passion of camping with the support of an amazing partnership.
“We trust and confide in Lippert knowing that they’re sharing the latest and greatest in the industry with us and, in turn, it becomes our job to share it with our fans who love camping and the outdoors as much as we do,” he stated. “They deserve to know about great products, and we are always excited to keep them in the loop on the cool things Lippert has going on. It’s a win/win situation for everyone, and we just love having the chance to be a part of it.”
John King’s Advice: More Camping, Less Glamping
Being a huge outdoor enthusiast, one of the biggest RV misconceptions that John wanted to address is that modern day camping is not always “glamping,” and that it’s still possible to enjoy nature and being outside, even with advanced campground equipment and state-of-the-art RVs.
“One of the things I always hear is that modern day RVing is just glamping,” John stated. “It has certainly progressed over time and is a lot more advanced than when I was a kid, but that doesn’t mean fellowshipping, meeting people and experiencing the outdoors has completely gone away. Sure, there’s a lot of nicer gear nowadays, but that removes the need to spend hours setting up tents or hand cranking RV jacks, which is a true advantage. Now you can park, unhook, and hit a few buttons to be totally set up which, ultimately, gives you more time to spend with family and exploring.”
He concluded, “Although RVs today are fancy and full of gadgets, don’t get caught up in the Wi-Fi, televisions, or other types of technology that keep you from experiencing the great outdoors. Be sure to get outside, don’t be afraid to play in the dirt, and enjoy every minute being out in nature!”