Seniors RVing Solo- A Guide for Seniors

There are thousands of Retired RVers who are traveling solo, and probably thousands more that dream of living the RV lifestyle but are too afraid of going solo, or just don’t know how to get started. I know when we began to think about RVing full-time, even though we weren’t going it solo, we were scared and very inexperienced!

Lady sitting in camper van

We had no idea where to start! And when we would tell friends and family what we were considering they thought we were crazy (ok, maybe we were a little crazy). But we were ready to step out of the box where we lived all of our lives. Leaving the norms behind, we both retired, sold our house, bought a truck, a fifth wheel and hit the road. We had absolutely NO experience RVing! NONE! Never towed a fifth wheel or owned or rented an RV. Yes, it was scary, but it felt good. So, don’t let the naysayers stop you from living your life!

fifth wheel with awning out

This article is a Guide for Seniors considering RVing Solo. This guide will cover things like how to prepare for RVing, the pros and cons of solo RVing, places to visit, and what things to avoid when solo RVing especially when you’re a senior. My hope is, once you get informed and knowing that you’re not alone because you will now be part of the RVing Community. Before long, you will say; I can do this! Don’t let Fear Stop You!

Tips for Seniors thinking of RVing Solo

 

Tip 1. Join a Solo RV Club or a Club that has a Solo RV Branch and Attend Seminars

Joining an RV clubs should help you get over the fear of being on your own. Another concern why most seniors do not RV solo is because of loneliness or safety concerns, which is at the top of the list which deters most people from RVing solo. Joining these clubs should provide you with a super network of support and information to help you overcome these barriers.

Another way to prepare for a solo RV life as a senior is to attend seminars. During the seminar, ask as many questions as you can. Do not be shy and trust me, there are many RVers at the seminar who probably have the same questions in mind. I’ve also listed some of Solo RVing Clubs like Loners on wheels, RVing Women, Escapees Solo. and many others. I will have a link to the Clubs to Join posted at the end of this article.

Tip 2. Have a Reliable RV

If you already own an RV, be sure to have your RV thoroughly checked by a professional. If you have yet to purchase an RV, do your research about choosing the right RV for you(Top Rated Brands of RV’s listed below). If purchasing a used RV, take it to a reputable RV mechanic for a complete checkup. Having a reliable RV will save you the stress of dealing with breakdowns when traveling by yourself on the road and save you money in the long run. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee things won’t happen, because they will.

Class A motorhome parked near ocean

Tip 3:  License

If you’re going to be driving a large rig, such as a class A, you might be required to have a special license depending on the state you’re in. So, make sure you do your research. If necessary, take lessons from a professional to enable you to get the appropriate license. For Detailed Information and Requirements about CDL License click here

Tip 4: Practice

Before going out to solo RV, you will definitely want to learn how to hook up your RV. Ask friends or professionals or where you purchased your RV.  Once you feel confident about what you learned,  practice setting up on your own with no external help. We purchased our fifth wheel at a dealership in Florida. They were very helpful in showing us how to hook up, run the furnace, A/C, emptying the tanks, etc… I made sure to videotape it with my phone. Yes, we watched it many times. Believe it or not, turning the A/C on was one of our issues! For us, having someone show us was helpful, but actually setting it up ourselves gave us the confidence we needed.

Tip 5. Be Safe by keeping your RV Well-Maintained

Properly maintaining your rig will help prevent the problem of breakdowns in the middle of nowhere. Don’t forget about your tires, always check your tire pressure before every road trip(Tire Guide – click here) scheduling a yearly RV maintenance checkup should lower the chances of having these surprise breakdowns during travel. If your RV is properly maintained you will feel more secure out on the road.

For a complete guide to maintaining your RV, I added a link at the end of this post.

Tip 6: Trust Your Instincts

If you aren’t sure about a place or you do not feel comfortable sleeping at a place, then there is no reason to stay there. There are other places down the road you could explore, even if it’s a nearby truck stop. Also, if possible, try to park your RV so you can drive straight out. This is a trick most long-time RVers use, and that is- you do not want the situation or an emergency where you must head out, but you’ve been impeded by others. Also, if you are parked in the sand or on a dirt road, keep in mind the weight of your RV. Getting stuck is easy, getting unstuck is not. Be sure to have good tow service for emergencies. I’ve included a list of Towing Companies with links below.

RV broke down on the road

This is tip can be extremely helpful if you find yourself in an emergency situation or plan on leaving first thing early the next day while other people are still sleeping. If you’re faced in the direction you plan on leaving and nothing is impeding you, then it’s a matter of jumping in the driver’s seat and driving away.

Things to Avoid When RVing Solo:

1. Leaving Your Doors Unlocked

I know, this is a no brainer, but important enough to mention. This is the number one thing to avoid especially when boondocking. Avoid leaving your doors and windows open at night. I also recommend having new locks installed on your RV right after you purchase it. And know where your keys are at all times!

2. Be Aware of your surroundings

When parking in the middle of nowhere especially when boondocking. Probably 99 times out of a 100 you would be fine. If you just don’t feel right about your surroundings, LEAVE!  If there are other RVers nearby, maybe introduce yourself before you decide to stay.

RV park in the mountains

In most scenarios, you will make friends. In case of an emergency, these neighbors can be really helpful. You can ask them if they do not mind checking up on you in case there is a problem or if they hear any weird noises, and trust me they will be more than happy to help.

3. Do Not Advertise that You’re Alone

This is one mistake to avoid as a solo RVer. Always pretend that you’re traveling with somebody. Say you’re stopping at a gas station and you’re going in to get food, pretend to wave at your RV as though you’re saying bye to somebody. I will mention again, Be Aware of your Surroundings! Just good practice, not just for RVing.

Pros of Solo RVing:

  • You get to meet new people

Unlike RVing as a couple or with someone where you both can keep yourselves company for a long time, solo RVing gives you the chance to meet other people. Since you feel lonely sometimes, you will be pushed to go out there to just talk to fellow RVers around, and in that process, you get to know them.

  • It is a great way to do what you want

Unlike Rving with another person, where their opinions might count and prevent you from doing stuff you might want to do. Solo RVing gives you the opportunity to explore places you like at your own time and convenience with no external influence.

Senior RVing Solo

Cons of Solo Rving:

  •  It gets Lonely

As much as you have the freedom to do what you like, you might get lonely sometimes when you’re on the road and you have no one to chat with. To help alleviate this, I highly recommend you get yourself a pet, they could also help provide extra security. Just curious, have you ever seen the Dick Van Dyke episode when Rob went fishing and left Laura home alone? Her imagination got the best of her, Millie the neighbor decided to stay the night. They started hearing noises and the rest you’ll just have to watch. One of my favorite episodes. Back to RVing, a pet can help when you start to hear funny noises in the night. Probably more helpful than Millie the neighbor.

cute little dog in an RV

Security Dog

  • Security

Since you’re a senior and you’re all alone, you might be vulnerable when it comes to security. So, before setting out make sure you have security measures in place. Let family or friends know your plans. Keep your phone charged. Always keep your gas tank full before stopping for the night.

  • It might be tiring – Doing everything all by yourself can be really tiring and even annoying.

Places to Never take your RV(if your vehicle is longer than 21 feet)

 

  • Going-to-the-sun-road (Glacier National Park) – Very steep and winding road. Logan Pass is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road at 6,646 feet. A ranger will stop you if your RV is too big.
  • Downtown San Francisco California – Too crowded and hilly for RV’s. Just not a good idea.
  • Tuweep (Grand Canyon) – The most famous views of the Grand Canyon are shot from the Toroweap Overlook, near Tuweep Campground. To rugged for RVs and Campers.
  • State Route 1, California – Very beautiful, also most nerve-wracking! It runs along most of California’s coastline, above extremely steep cliffs. Rocks and boulders frequently fall. Class A or travel trailer longer than 45 feet is prohibited.
  • Dalton Highway Alaska – Primarily used by commercial truckers, known as the haul road. This road is 414 miles long. Helicopters patrol twice a day for accidents.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach Oregon

Must See Places to Visit

  • Oregon Coast
  • The Canadian Rockies
  • Crater Lake Oregon
  • Albuquerque New Mexico – International Balloon Fiesta
  • Zion National Park in Southwest Utah

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Leave a comment of your favorite RV destination!

 

Top 3 Rated RVs for 2019

 

Top rated RV chart

 

RV Printable Chart

 

RV Parks for Seniors:

  1. Golden Vista Resort, Arizona.
  2. Alligator RV Park, Florida.
  3. Bensten Groove Resort, Texas.
  4. Camp Twin Rivers and Cabins, Colorado.
  5. Camp Williams Resort, California.

Towing Companies for RVs

Solo Clubs to Join

Discounts for RVers

  • Passport America – $44 yr – 50% discounts on participation campsites
  • Boondockers Welcome – $30 yr – Free overnight parking on private property- make new friends, share stories, save money.
  • Harvest Hosts – $79-119 yr – Free unlimited overnight stays for self-contained RVers – Wineries, Farms, Museums, Golf Courses
  • Good Sam – $27 yr – discounts on participating campsites and gas

Arches National Park

Arches National Park Moab, Utah.

A quick recap of the tips above, and things to avoid:

  • Join an RV club
  • Have a Reliable RV
  • Do you need a license
  • Practice
  • Be safe, and keep your rig well maintained
  • Follow your instincts- Never leave your door unlocked
  • Do not advertise that you’re alone.

With these tips, you should have success when RVing solo.

Live your Best Life!

Hope this post was helpful, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter and share it with other RVers!

Happy Camping!

Bonnie

Maintenance RV GuideClick here

Related PostsRVing Basics for Beginners

 

My photo Bonnie

Hi, I’m Bonnie, welcome to RV Groovin Life! My husband and I retired in 2017, sold our house and bought a 2008 Mobile Suite Fifth Wheel. We have been RVing full-time ever since. I started this blog to share what we have learned along the way. I hope you follow us on our journey. Bonnie

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Tips For Seniors Thinking Of RVing Full-time

Tips for Seniors Thinking of RVing Full-time

One of the questions many seniors wonder is, how long will we be able to do this? There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

RVing is what you make it, how long depends on your situation. Also finding out your style, whether it be moving from park to park? Or maybe finding a special place to stay for months at a time? This article will cover various topics to help you prepare for full-time RVing.

class c rv camping in the dark

First Question, what’s stopping you?

No, you’re never too old to RV, let me rephrase that, if you can drive a car you can be an RVer! As a senior, one of the best ways to retire is to travel around the world with your own rig and at your own pace. As a senior, the three main fundamentals you need before anything else is to do it while you’ve got the desire, health, and means to do so.

Which RV Type is most popular for Seniors?

As far as picking a specific type of RV, that is a personal choice, however, the two most popular types of RV’s among seniors is the Class C motorhome and the travel trailer. Your choice will depend on how long you plan on RVing, the number of people in the RV, and whether you’re living with a dog or cat.
However, a class C motorhome is a popular choice among seniors, rather than pulling around a travel trailer. This is because, a class C is easier to get leveled. You do not have to worry about putting down jacks, and all that stuff.

This is because they make these little leveling blocks that you can put under the wheels and they work pretty well.

As far as space, fifth wheels have a lot more space, and for a 40-foot fifth wheel, you can house a family of 6. However, if you’re a family of two, so far as space, it will depend on what size of class C.

A popular choice is a small class C, that has separate beds, and about 22 feet long.

For fuel efficiency, with a class C, you get about 8 to 12 miles a gallon depending on your location. However, for a travel trailer, you do not get great fuel economy. And when you find yourself descending a mountain the best you can do is to hope your travel trailer brakes are in shape.

Whereas for the class C the newer ones come with a downshift, so you do not have to ride your brakes when descending a mountain which is a great feature.

Finally, if you plan on pulling your rig to Pagosa springs and parking it for a few months while you enjoy, the serene and beautiful climate there, then you might want to consider going in for a travel trailer, since a class C isn’t designed to be parked for a long time but designed to be driven around, since it’s a vehicle.

So if you’re going to be parked for a longer period then I suggest you consider a travel trailer.

class c rv driving down the road
Nevertheless, if you’re planning to boondock from one place to another with a either a Class C or a travel trailer, if you have solar and you’re self-contained, then one thing you should know is you will need a minimum of 200 watts of solar to make it work. However, you won’t be able to run an air conditioner, but you can run your small appliances and keep your batteries charged.

But in general, whenever you take a Class C or a travel trailer off electric power, the batteries that supply power to your rig do not last for two days. Regardless of which rig type you are using you will need a solar system to supply you power, just in case you find yourself at a place where there isn’t an electric hookup.

For seniors preparing for RVing full-time they might find it difficult to set up solar panels on the roof, you can purchase a solar suitcase, which you can set up outside your RV, and when it’s evening, you fold it up and put it back inside..

So, as far as choosing between a class C motor home and a travel trailer, will depend on your lifestyle. A class C is easier to handle and the travel trailer offers more space and requires a tow vehicle.

Listed Below are 5 RV Parks Perfect for Seniors

1. Mission View RV Resort
Located in Tucson, Arizona. There is plenty of room for a permanent residence or short stay at Mission View RV resort. There are spacious lots that are a short distance from down town Tucson. Not forgetting their great amenities such as pool, a Crafts and Games, an indoor pool, library, pet area, laundry room, and more, which you can’t help but fall in love with them.
2. Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park
Located in Mount Pleasant in Michigan, this RV park offers 67 RV sites. Each site has a concrete path, with full hookups, including, free WIFI access, fire pits, and picnic tables. There is a 25-acre water lake near the park, making it perfect for water related activities such as canoeing or kayaking. Seniors have access to a club house, RV store, walking trails, and laundry facilities.
3. Sunny Acres RV Park
Located off the US 70 in Las Cruses, Sunny Acres park is the place to be if you’re a senior and you find yourself in New Mexico. With features including, full hookups, electric showers, cable, laundry and free WIFI, with a Walmart and several restaurants, a couple of miles away, you have almost all you need when you find yourself at Sunny Acres RV park.
4. Vista Del Lago
Located in Bradenton Florida, Vista Del Lago is one of the best RV parks you can find in Bradenton. With features like a shopping mall, beach, museums and other amenities, visitors have no option than to fall in love with this place.
5. Majestic Oaks RV Resort
Not only is this park a premium destination from October to April in Kissimmee, but Majestic Oaks RV park is also family friendly. There is a heated pool that functions all year round. There are full hook ups for electricity and water. There is a great open space in front of the club house, and room to meet out with friends. However, the best feature of this park is its oaks, which are fragile yet sturdy, and are 100 of years old.

class c motorhomes parked
Here are some Safety Tips When RVing Full-time As A Senior or any age?

 

1. Know your surroundings

Whether you’re staying overnight at a Walmart or boondocking in the wilderness, don’t hesitate to pick up and move if your senses are telling you something isn’t right. Always keep your RV locked when traveling.

2. Plan Ahead

Research medical facilities near any RV park you plan to visit or boondock at. When traveling on a long journey, schedule stops for medications, rest and meals.

We have been RVing full-time for two years now. This is what we won’t do– drive at night, drive more that 5 hours in a day, never set-up in the dark. Be sure to have water and snacks for your trip. Don’t be in a rush.

3. Check in With Your Doctor and Do Not Forget to Bring all Your Medication

Before going on any trip, be sure to check in with your doctor to ensure that you have all your medication and also find out if they have any recommendations. Also, consult your doctor to be sure if it is safe for you to travel. Make a list of what medication your taking. Keep this list with you.

4. Tell Your Family and Friends About Your Where about

Leave a notice or a schedule of your trip with your family, so as they can know where you are at all times. This can be done through Facebook or Twitter, Emails, or with just a phone call. When you inform your family and there is an emergency, they will know where to get reach of you.

5. Do not Forget the Following

Insurance information (medical and vehicle), your doctor’s contact, an extra pair of glasses, and also batteries for your hearing aids, etc.

When RVing, do not forget to have fun, and try to make every moment count. With these tips, you should be able to choose the right rig for you, the perfect resort, and the perfect RVing adventure.

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

Related Posts14 Safety Tips and Precautions Every RVers Should Know!

My photo Bonnie

Hi, I’m Bonnie, welcome to RV Groovin Life! My husband and I retired in 2017, sold our house and bought a 2008 Mobile Suite Fifth Wheel. We have been RVing full-time ever since. I started this blog to share what we have learned along the way. I hope you follow us on our journey. Bonnie

Legal Information

I am the sole owner of RV Groovin Life website. This website is a participant in the Amazon Associates, an Affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. This website also participates with other affiliate programs like  adsense, shopstyle and others, with no extra cost to you.

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