When it comes to hunting on the road, there’s only one tool that meets all your needs, all the time – an RV. Just ask Zach and Mary Phillips.
Mary O’Neill Phillips is the host/producer and co-founder of Country Outdoors and an avid RVer. Originally from Australia, Mary has 11 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Working on a variety of film, television, reality, and radio projects, she knows all too well the stress and inconvenience that comes with traveling, such as leaving the comforts of home behind for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
These days, she’s traveling from location to location in her Toyhauler with Zach Phillips and their Golden Retriever, Forest Gump. Gone are the frequent hotel stays and the lugging of belongings from one place to another. Now, everything is within reach since their home is literally on the road with them.
Zach, born and raised in Georgia, is a host, producer, and content creator for Country Outdoors. He’s super talented behind the lens, but when he’s not filming the outdoors, he’s out there living in it. With Mary (and Forest Gump) by his side, they’re always traveling. At first, for work and then later from hunting camp to hunting camp. It was hunting that pushed the pair to purchase an RV of their own.
Why the RV Lifestyle?
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“I love the RV lifestyle because it provides some freedom for us,” Zach says. “It’s a less stressful way of travel.”
When hunting, they both scout for locations and targets while respecting each other’s time and talent. Zach typically films while Mary hunts. A beautiful partnership that extends beyond the usual office hours and into their free. As a result, RVing is a natural choice. Plus, with the space provided by their toyhauler, all their bows and hunting gear are close by and stored properly.
“What I love about the RV life is I get to travel and park my home absolutely anywhere across the country,” Mary adds.
“We have stayed in the badlands on the top of the mountains, we’ve stayed in Montana on a farm. We get to travel and park our home in all of these amazing locations around rural America and we don’t have to pay for hotel rooms.”
Not only do they get to enjoy some of the most stunning surroundings the country has to offer, but they also enjoy America’s best views in their backyard. As a bonus, Forest Gump gets to run free in his own space wherever they go. Is there anything better than a well-traveled pup?
Their lively Golden Retriever isn’t the only one enjoying the space though. Zach and Mary love the designated mudroom area of their toyhauler. Perfect for layering up on cold days or dropping off their dirty gear at the end of a long one, the mudroom space maintains separation from their main living and sleeping areas. The perk of not having to pack everything up immediately after a full day of adventure is a relief – one neither of them takes for granted.
Perks of Traveling in an RV
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Perhaps the biggest advantage of traveling in an RV when hunting is proximity. Zach and Mary love that they’re able to get as close as possible to their hunting location with the Toyhauler. Then they hop on their ATV, conveniently stored in the back of the RV, for a short ride to the exact spot.
“For us, to be able to stay on the property, it just provides more time in the outdoors,” Zach says. “Ultimately, it’s just more convenient for us.”
“Also, if we’re able to pull up our Toyhauler and have our ATV in the back, it means that we can literally go straight from the camper to our hunting spot,” Mary adds. “And that is very appealing for us.”
Another perk, that tends to come as a surprise for most beginner RVers, is the built-in community that accompanies the lifestyle. Zach and Mary meet so many people while on the road staying at various parks and campsites. Camping is appealing in general, but even more so when you factor in family and friends.
“A lot of people have their pets and kids and stuff around, too, and it’s become very appealing for us,” Mary mentions. “We often have this conversation where we used to think the RV lifestyles were just for when you retire, but we’ve met so many young couples that are either just young married couples like us or young families that have taken their family and their life on the road as well.”
“We love hunting, we love the destinations we go to,” Zach adds, “but when we come back – to have a cool spot to hang out, sit around the campfire, play some music, and just enjoy being where we’re at – it’s a lot of fun.”
The similarities between the camping and hunting communities overlap more than most people realize. Above all else, both want to be outside as much as possible. Who could blame them?
Where to Find Zach and Mary
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As hosts for Country Outdoors, Zach and Mary can be heard chiming in on the podcast for all things outdoors. Their goal is to be the bond connecting country music and outdoor industries with quality, entertaining content through adventures and live events–sometimes, reporting live from their very own RV.
“I had no idea how nice an RV could be,” Mary says. “When I got to go through all the different units and have a look at it, my mind was absolutely blown.”
“If anything, it taught me how little we need,” Zach adds.
In addition to their passion for sharing details that come with the country and outdoor lifestyle, Zach and Mary have partnered with Camping World to share why RV life is so amazing. Follow along with their hunting excursions and camping adventures: Zach @zach_phillips1 and Mary @maryoneillofficial.