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YouTube is the new Television

April 8, 2016

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I watched TV.  When I was about 4 we got our first Color TV  and we did not get cable TV until I was in high school and satellite until I moved into my own house and we have only had Netflix for about 4-5 years.  As a kid we had an antenna with a rotor.  Luckily growing up in Toronto, there were lots of channels that you could receive from Toronto and Buffalo.  We would watch as much TV as our parents would let us.  We would watch Saturday morning cartoons, prime time movies and shows like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley and CHiP’s.

Now I watch my kids grow up watching YouTube.  We no longer have Cable or even Satellite at our house anymore.  There is just nothing to watch.  However I discovered that Youtube is about more than how to fix your car, or gaming videos, but there are many Youtube channels out there that produce high quality daily or weekly episodes on just about any topic.  Youtube has become the new reality TV and because of it, traditional TV is dying quickly.

I remember as a kid, reality TV was Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, or Jaques Cousteau.  When my kids were born Survivor and American Idol were the staples.  Now it is YouTube, but because in most cases it is self filmed and self produced, the content is much more real and does not feel faked or staged for ratings like Survivor or other reality shows.

As an RV’er I tend to like anything to do with RV’ing, camping, hiking and canoeing.  I discovered that there are many channels that fit my tastes.  Some of these channels produce weekly or monthly episodes, and some even produce daily video in a video journal format.  Watching their lives and adventures is like the new reality TV.  The production quality of many of these channels are quite high and some of the channel owners can actually make a living wage exclusively from YouTube advertising revenue alone.  With the invention of YouTube apps for your Android, iOS and Windows devices you can also download episodes at Starbucks to watch later when the campground WIFI is too slow or while boondocking.

Most of these channels produce content with not much more than a few of these key items:

  • Sport camera like GoPro
  • DSLR camera like Canon Rebel
  • Pocket camera like Canon Vixia
  • Drone like DJI Phantom
  • various tripods, monopods, stabilizers and camera mounts
  • a laptop with video editing software

When you figure that the average reality show on TV costs several hundred thousand dollars per episode and they only do about a dozen episodes a year, the cost of the above list of YouTube video equipment rings in at a one time cost of a few thousand dollars and some of these channels are producing hundreds of episodes a year.

Here are some of my favourite YouTube channels.  In some cases, it is helpful to start from the very beginning to understand their story.  Stats are based on early 2016.

Nomadic Fanatic

This is the most successful RV channel on YouTube, with almost 70,000 subscribers and over 15 million total views.  The channel is about a guy, Eric and his cat Jax who travel around the US in a Class C RV.  The videos are about his life, the issues he has living exclusively on a fixed Youtube income and his adventures.  He produces videos almost daily.

Chris and G Travels

This channel started out about a recent college grad Chris who would travel the lower 48 in a conversion van in the winter and go to Alaska in the summers to work.  He has since upgraded to a Class A RV and added his girlfriend as travel companion.  He has 50,000 subscribers and 22 million views.  His video format and frequency change depending on location and time of year, he appears to average almost daily during the winter, but closer to weekly in the summer when working in Alaska.

Gone with the Wynns

The Wynns are a young preppy couple who travel the US and Canada in their Class A RV.  They tend to do a mix of things from driving the Alcan to Alaska, to doing Bourbon samplings in Kentuckey to fine dining in New Orleans.  Their adventures tend to be more urban.  They have 60,000 subscribers and 9 million views.  They average about 1 video per week.  They have recently started a new journey in a sailboat

Hey Nadine

Hey Nadine is the most popular travel channel on YouTube and her adventures around the world are well known.  She travels by most any method and goes most anywhere in the world.  She has 200,000 subscribers and 22 million views.  She averages about 1 video per week.

His and Hers Alaska

HIs and Hers Alaska is a lesser known channel about a couple who live in Alaska in the summer running fishing tours but travel the lower 48 in the winter in their Class A RV.  They have 1200 subscribers and 100,00 views.  They average almost daily videos.

KC Happy Camper

This channel is about one of the best known Canadian adventurers and canoe experts.  Kevin Callan shares his funny personality and back country adventures to over 10,000 subscribers with 100,000 views.  He averages about 1 video a week.

Kombi Life

Kombi LIfe is about a Scott who bought a VW Kombi camper van in Chile and has been driving it up to Alaska.  He has been living his adventure for several years on a 3rd world budget and living like a hippy.  He has 50,000 subscribers and 1,000,000 views.  He normally would produce videos about once a week, but is in hiatus due to the American immigration laws.

Long Long Honeymoon

This is the best known Airstream related channel.  They travel the US and Canada in their Airstream.  They have 28,000 subscribers and 7,000,000.  They produce about one video a week to one a month.

Love Your RV

This channel is about a couple who winter in the South West.  They primarily boondock or stay at primitive campgrounds in their 5th Wheel in the 4 Corners states.  They have 17,000 subscribers and 2,800,000 views.  They produce several videos a week in the winter season and less in the summer.


SV Delos

This is the most popular sailing channel.  These brothers, their girlfriends and visiting friends travel around the globe on their sail boat.  They do major sea crossings, see some amazing cities and put anchor down at isolated islands, reefs and coves around the world.  This is true boondocking on the water.  They have 90,000 subscribers and 22,000,000 views.  They produce a new video every week.



From → RV Tech

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