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The spouses who created The Fit RV are helping motorhomers to age well.
By John Johnston, Associate Editor
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that many RVers could benefit from a more active, healthy lifestyle. But how do you spread that message in a fun, effective way?
One possibility is to pair up a former rocket scientist and a personal trainer/therapeutic exercise specialist who’ve been married six years. Put them in a Type B motorhome. And then watch as they churn out blog posts, articles, and videos that focus not only on fitness and food but also everyday RV tips, reviews of RVs and RV parks, and their travel adventures (and misadventures).
That, essentially, describes James and Stefany Adinaro, F439400. The Salt Lake City, Utah, couple reaches thousands of people through their popular website, The Fit RV (www.thefitrv.com), as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Stefany, 45, was a microbiology major in college until she took a required physical education/health class. The instructor made such a profound impact on her that Stefany switched her major to exercise and sport science. “Ever since then, fitness has been the biggest part of my life, outside of my family,” she said. She taught physical education and health for years, and now is a personal trainer who specializes in working with people who have medical conditions and injuries.
And, yes, James, 48, really was a rocket scientist, but his days of calculating missile trajectories for a defense contractor are behind him. He now is a senior manager for a global computer technology corporation. He, too, wields some impressive fitness credentials; he’s a certified coach for USA Cycling and frequently competes in endurance road races.
Cycling, in fact, is what led them to RVing. Amateur races typically happen in remote areas, which required the Adinaros to rise at some dreadful hour in order to drive to the starting area, and later to wait in line with dozens of others to use a portable toilet.
A motorhome, they reasoned, would allow them to park at the race site and have their own kitchen, bathroom, and shower. So, in 2010 they bought a 2003 Forest River MB Cruiser that they named Das Bus.
“It didn’t make me a better racer,” James said.
“But it made it a whole lot more fun,” Stefany added.
An important thing to know about James: When he sets his mind to something, whether it’s cycling, RVing — even cooking — he’s all in. As in, give-it-everything-you’ve-got-and-then-some.
Das Bus needed a lot of work. “I figured, how hard can it be?” said James. After all, he’s a handy guy with woodworking, plumbing, and electrical skills. So, in 2012 he tore the vehicle completely apart and rebuilt it. The entire remodeling project is documented on The Fit RV website, which the couple launched three years ago.
The Adinaros sold Das Bus in June 2015 and bought a brand-new, bright-yellow Winnebago Travato 59G, a Type B motorhome that they named Lance. James, of course, still finds reasons to tinker. He also posts a variety of RV tips on the website. Topics have included storage solutions; assessing the RV’s insulation using an infrared camera; adding USB outlets; and many more.
“People who may not have an interest in fitness might come to the site to read some of James’ nerdy RV stuff,” Stefany said. “And then they happen to see a fitness article, and maybe they’ll get inspired a little. That’s my hope.”
While she and James try to encourage people to lead a healthy RV lifestyle, they know that for many travelers, the challenge lies in the fact that every day is different. That makes it difficult to incorporate exercise into a routine.
It’s a struggle that the Adinaros also face when they’re on the road. “But if you want to be healthy and age well, (making healthy choices) has to be nonnegotiable,” Stefany said. “We try to teach ways that you can set habits, even though your days are dynamic and always changing.”
Dozens of videos on The Fit RV feature Stefany — with James sometimes as the “guest star”— demonstrating exercises and offering fitness tips. One exercise they highly recommend is bicycling.
“It’s low-impact,” James said. “In addition to being a form of exercise, it’s also an alternative form of transportation. In that respect, it’s our only towed vehicle.”
“There’s also something very peaceful about going for a bike ride,” Stefany added. “It’s therapeutic, in a way.”
Clearly, the Adinaros are serious about educating RVers about health and fitness. But they’re not too serious. Spend any time perusing The Fit RV and you’ll discover that both Stefany and James have a terrific sense of humor.
James’ explanation: “I’m just goofy, and I can’t do anything too seriously.”
While at an RV show, for example, he noticed that motorhome models are assigned rather innocuous monikers, while manufacturers of towable RVs take a more aggressive approach, with names such as Avenger, Sandstorm, Stryker, Rage’n, and Toxic. And so James produced a tongue-in-cheek video titled, “Why Are Towable RVs So Angry?”
Then there was the Adinaros’ videotaped review of the Winnebago Travato 59K. The review included segments in which James launched into product descriptions, a la the announcer on “The Price Is Right,” complete with background music.
When they’re on the road, the Adinaros seek out fun and sometimes downright weird things. They stopped to see the two-headed calf in Burwell, Nebraska; the display of half-buried vehicles known as Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; and the shoes made from
the skin of a horse thief and train robber named Big Nose George in Rawlins, Wyoming.
The stops are part of their fitness strategy. “We have this rule that we can’t drive longer than a two-hour stretch,” Stefany said, “so we have to find spots where we can move around for 15 minutes.”
For the couple who created The Fit RV, it’s all about incorporating activity into daily living.