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This Asheville couple finds adventure, and safe spaces for fellow LGBTQ+ van-lifers

Erin McGrady, Caroline Whatley (and dog Maggie) of media company Authentic Asheville.
Authentic Asheville LLC
Erin McGrady, Caroline Whatley (and dog Maggie) of media company Authentic Asheville.

In 2016, Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley started renovating a camper van. They made a blog to document it, and created a following on Instagram.

The couple works with brands like Brooks Running, Patagonia, Merrell and REI through their media company and blog Authentic Asheville.

They also make lists of safe places to travel for other LGBTQ+ couples on the road for cities like Greenville, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida. You can find some of those lists here:

According to data from Statista, 3 million Americans lived in vans as of mid-2022.

Erin McGrady is one half of Authentic Asheville, and an accomplished photographer, filmmaker and writer.

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Jeff Tiberii is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Jeff joined WUNC in 2011. During his 20 years in public radio, he was Morning Edition Host at WFDD and WUNC’s Greensboro Bureau Chief and later, the Capitol Bureau Chief. Jeff has covered state and federal politics, produced the radio documentary “Right Turn,” launched a podcast, and was named North Carolina Radio Reporter of the Year four times.