Many women are reluctant to go RVing by themselves and who can blame us? Hitching up a trailer, backing it into a parking space and camping alone in the woods isn’t something most of us grew up doing. But one RVing woman’s club called Sisters on the Fly is inspiring all generations of women to hit the road on their own in funky, renovated vintage trailers that any man would envy.
Two real-life sisters started the club. Sisters on the Fly founders Maurrie Sussman (left) and Becky Clarke (right).
The Grown-Up Girl Scouts for RVing Women
“It’s like a grown-up Girl Scouts!” said Julia McSherry, a Sister since 2010. Julia is the official Rocky Mountain Region Wrangler for different gatherings sponsored by the largest women’s outdoor organization in the U.S. She became a Sister after an unforgettable fly fishing trip on the Yellowstone River in Montana that she took with the group’s co-founder Maurrie Sussman, aka Sister #1. Upon returning home she was instantly hooked on the outdoors. Shortly afterward she hitched her 1959 Dalton trailer up to the Sister’s caravan and hasn’t looked back.
This RVing woman’s club is filled with crafty, eclectic campers!
“I joined because it’s an eclectic and diverse group of women of all ages who like to fish, camp, and collect vintage trailers. It’s a sisterhood that is a fabulous support group,” she says.
Rolling with the Sisters
Sisters on the Fly began in 1999 when Maurrie and her sister Becky Clarke (daughters of a hearty, outdoorsy mother nicknamed “Mazie”) were fly fishing in Montana. “Well, we were having too much fun to keep all the good times to ourselves, so we decided to invite some of our girlfriends to go along on the next trip,” says Maurrie on the Sisters website. “Needless to say, that’s how we’ve rolled since.”
Sisters have a flair for funky trailer renovations.
Today Sisters on the Fly has over 7,000 members around the world who bring their lifetime of experiences and artistically revamped vintage trailers to every gathering. From hand-painted cowgirl themes on the outside to meticulously crafted RV kitsch décor on the inside, Sisters often hold open house tours for the public to show off their adorable rigs filled with personal touches.
Crafting and renovating are at the heart and soul of Sisters.
Becoming a Sister is easy, you don’t even need a trailer to do it! You just need to be 21 years young and agree on the Sisters’ only rules: No men. No kids. Be nice. Have fun!
After paying your first dues to the national Sisters organization, you get access to a list of Sisters events and rallies in your area. Even if you don’t have a trailer (yet) you’re welcome to attend as many rallies as you’d like.
Owners of modern trailers are welcome too.
One you join, be prepared to travel: at the height of summer there are so many events that members have a hard time choosing which one to attend! Events are usually centered around an outdoorsy activity, like hiking or biking or of course the one sport the group was founded on, fly fishing.
At a recent gathering and open house tour in Colorado, vintage trailer aficionado Nancy Southard was celebrating her 80th birthday along with her two RVing daughters, Nancy and Becky. This authentic cowgirl really did grow up on a ranch, but didn’t become a Sister until three years ago after the death of her RVing husband. She enjoys hauling her Victorian-themed trailer to Sisters events.
She’s eighty years young and still trailering!
Other sisters at the gathering included Penny Henson. She became a Sister in 2003 after seeing an article about Sisters in a magazine. “I said to myself, ‘I wanna do this!” Today she tows a beautiful 1955 Bellewood trailer that she restored and lovingly cares for.
Once you attend a Sisters event and meet amazing women like McSherry, Southard and Henson, you’ll see that it’s like no other RV rally on the planet. The annual dues are nothing when compared to what members receive in return says Wrangler McSherry.
A lifetime of friendships start at every event.
“Money can’t buy the kind of network you get in Sisters on the Fly,” she explains. “There are so many types of trips and travel opportunities; there is something for everyone. But mostly it’s the friendships.”