Why Choose The RV Lifestyle?
You Have Worked For This, Now Go and Enjoy It!
You have spent years working hard. Now is the time to reap the rewards and enjoy your retirement to the fullest. For many, that includes travel. And, what better way to travel than in an RV? You can go where you want, when you want and see everything you have always wanted to see, without spending a fortune on hotels and airfare.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) shows that RV sales have increased 62% in the last 20 years, with about 1/2 of those sold to people 55+.
The Freedom to Travel
With an RV, you are free to travel wherever your heart desires. You can go cross-country or just around the state. The choice is yours. And, if you decide you want to stay in one spot for a while, you can do that too! There are many RV parks and campgrounds that will let you stay for days, weeks or even months at a time.
The Convenience of Home
When you travel in an RV, you take your home with you. That means you have all the comforts of home, like your own bed, kitchen and bathroom. No more hotel rooms for you! And, if you want to save money, you can even cook your own meals in your RV kitchen.
The Opportunity to Meet New People
One of the best things about RV life is the opportunity to meet new people. When you travel in an RV, you will meet other RVers who are from all over the country (and even from other countries!). You will quickly make new friends and have the opportunity to learn about different places and cultures.
A Great Way to Spend Time With Family & Friends
Another great thing about RVing is that it is a great way to spend time with family and friends. If you have kids or grandkids, they will love going on an RV trip with you! And, it is a great way to catch up with old friends. You can even invite friends to come RVing with you, there is always room for one more in an RV!
Of Course, There Are Concerns
As with anything in life, there are always some concerns that come along with RVing. And, for seniors, there may be a few more concerns than for younger RVers. But, don’t let that stop you from enjoying all that RVing has to offer! With a little planning and preparation, you can overcome any obstacle.
Below, we have addressed some of the most common concerns that seniors have about RVing. Please enjoy our informative RV camping tips. We hope this will help you feel more prepared and comfortable as you begin your RVing adventure!
Live Simply, Or Live It Up
RVing can be as inexpensive or as luxurious as you want it to be. If you are on a fixed income, there are plenty of ways to save money while RVing. The choice is yours. Depending on your financial situation, there are as many ways to enjoy RVing as there are RVers.
If you have a very comfortable retirement set up, you can live pretty nicely on the road. Motorcoaches, for example, can be outfitted with just about anything you could want: from satellite TV to full-size kitchens. If you want to live it up while RVing, there are plenty of ways to do that too! According to RVIA, most seniors prefer Class A rigs as 66% of sales are by people 55+. These are great as they have loads of space and are very comfortable.
The most important thing is to figure out what is important to you and what your budget will allow. Then, start planning your set up. For those on a more limited financial set-up, there are many ways to save money on the road to ensure that you can fully enjoy your travels. Lets look at some of those now.
Make A Budget
Budgeting is important at any age, but it becomes even more critical as you get older and your income may be more fixed. When making your budget, be sure to include all of your expected expenses, such as fuel, campground fees, attractions, and groceries. You should also have a buffer for unexpected expenses, like car repairs or medical bills.
“The closer you are to a destination, the more expensive it will be. If you want to save money, look for places to stay that are a little bit further away from the main attractions.”
Consider Your State Residency
There are a few states that have become favorite domiciles for full time RVers. Florida, Texas and South Dakota for instance have tax, insurance and registration policies that are quite beneficial to people who travel. There are mail forwarding services that will allow you to use them as legal residences so you do not have to own property outside the vehicles you have registered there.
Speak to your financial advisor about how to become legal residents of the state you wish to domicile in.
Saving Money On The Road
For many seniors with a more strict budget, saving money while RVing is a top priority. And, there are plenty of ways to do that! By looking for opportunities to purchase memberships, find discounts to destinations, and find less expensive camping spots, you can save a ton while still having the experiences you want.
Get Your America the Beautiful Seniors Pass For The National Parks
One of the best ways to save money while RVing is to get an America the Beautiful Senior Pass. With this pass, you will get free access to national parks and other public lands for one year.
The cost of the pass is $20 per year for seniors ($80 for a lifetime pass) and it can be used at over 2,000 locations nationwide. If you are a veteran, it is FREE! If you plan on doing any camping or hiking while RVing, this pass is something to consider!
Many National Parks have good campgrounds, but you still have to pay the park entry fee. At up to $35 per day for National Park entry, it is an absolute MUST!
Camp Free (or very inexpensively) on Public Land
Another great way to save money is to camp on public land. Camping in national forests or public and is usually free, although there are usually a few restrictions. For example, you may only be able to stay for a certain number of days or you may need to get a permit.
But, if you are looking for a cheap (or even free!) place to camp, national forests are a great option. There will be no hookups in these places so you will be boondocking, but if you are set up for it, and capable, you can save TONS by camping on public lands.
A local or state park may offer a good camping spot, be inexpensive, and may even offer senior discounts. We stayed at quite a few state parks and have really enjoyed them.
RV Discount Clubs Can Save Thousands
There are a few different RV discount clubs that can help you save money while on the road. One of the most popular is Passport America. For an annual membership fee of $44, you will get 50% off camping fees at over 1,800 campgrounds across the country. This can easily save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of a year!
Other clubs include:
- Escapees RV Club– Offers discounts on camping, as well as full hook up sites and mail forwarding services. Membership starts at $40 per year.
- Good Sam RV Club– Offers discounts on camping, as well as hotel rooms, restaurants, and more. Membership starts at $27 per year.
- Boondocker’s Welcome– This is a little different than the others, as it is a network of RVers who offer free overnight camping on their property. There is no membership fee, but you are expected to leave a donation if you stay with someone.
- Thousand Trails- This is a camping membership club that offers access to over 80 campgrounds across the United States. Membership starts at $567 per year.
- Campendium– This website is a great resource for finding free or cheap camping. It has a database of over 20,000 campgrounds, as well as user-generated reviews and photos.
Get the AARP card
If you are over the age of 50, you can get an AARP card. This card will give you access to discounts on hotels, restaurants, and more. You do not have to be a member of AARP to get the card, but there is a $16 annual fee.
ASTC Travel Passport Program
If you are a member of a science museum, you can get free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums across the country through the ASTC Travel Passport Program.
This is a great way to save money if you love visiting museums! If you are not a member of an included museum, just look at the list of members and choose one that has an attractive annual fee.
The annual fee to THAT museum will include discounted or free entry to ALL of the member locations.
Stay For Longer
Many RV parks offer weekly and monthly rates. These rates (especially monthly) are often MUCH cheaper than the daily rate. Staying longer gives you time to relax and really explore a place.
Get to know the locals, experience some local flavor, and dig deep into a National Park. It takes some research and more than a few phone calls, but in the end it is worth it.
Stay At RV Parks Further From Destinations
The closer you are to a destination, the more expensive it will be. If you want to save money, look for places to stay that are a little bit further away from the main attractions. You will still be close enough to enjoy everything that you want to do, but you will save a lot of money on your lodging! We typically have found that 20-30 minutes away will garner HUGE savings in camping fees. Many times half the cost! PLUS you find campgrounds that simply work a little harder for your business.
We discovered some of the nicest “mom and pop” type operations in our travels. Places that the owners really loved their campgrounds and always made you feel at home. Compare that to some of the larger operations just outside of National Parks or other popular destinations that simply churn RV’s in and out and you can understand the difference.
Free Overnight Parking
While not the most glamorous option, you can often find free overnight parking at Walmart stores and other retailers. Just remember to be courteous and to follow any posted rules or regulations. Also, buy something while you are there.
This is only an option while moving from place to place, but one night stays are the most expensive are campgrounds, so using Walmart (and other retailers like Home Depot, REI, ) can help keep on budget while on the road.
Always call ahead to make sure parking is allowed. Store policies vary by location.
Creating An Income On The Road RVing
RVing can be an expensive lifestyle, but there are ways to make it more affordable. One way is to create an income while on the road! This can be done in a variety of ways, from working seasonal jobs to starting an online business.
One way to make money while RVing is to take advantage of seasonal jobs. Many businesses, such as national parks, resorts, and campgrounds, are looking for workers during the busy season.
This is a great way to earn some extra money and to get discounts on your camping fees! Local retailers are ALWAYS looking for temporary help during busy seasons as well as during the holidays. If you are staying for a while, this can be a great way to bring in some income.
Start An Online Business
Another way to make money while RVing is to start an online business. This can be done in a variety of ways, from selling products and services to affiliate marketing and blogging. Running an income generating website or blog allows you to set your own hours and put in as much or as little time as you wish.
You can make money by running ads, suggesting products for others to buy (affiliate marketing) or both.
Find a Campground Host Job/ Workamping
Many (MANY) campgrounds will use guests to staff their operations. There are two different ways that they do this. One is to outright hire. You perform a job as an office assistant, maintenance worker, cleaner, or camp host and get paid for your time.
The other way is to workamp. In this setup you do the same job, but are given a free site in exchange. These jobs will tend to be shorter in hours and give more free tome to enjoy camping.
The best campgrounds will offer jobs that provide BOTH a paycheck AND a free site. There is an entire industry built around workamping jobs and job boards where you can apply. Typically as people get experience and a good reputation, they are offered better and better positions.
Use Your Skills and Talents To Create Income
Another way you can create an income is to hang out a shingle. Anyone who has a lifetime of experience probably has a skill that is marketable on the road. Simply put, you are doing your career job on the road.
For instance, if you are an accountant, you can offer financial advice or tax preparation to other campers, or online. If you are handy, RV maintenance and repairs is ALWAYS sought after.
There is no end to the possibilities: sewing, tutoring children, medical care, pet sitting, and on and on.
The best way to find work is to network with other RVers (join a few Facebook groups, stop in at the campground office and introduce yourself) as well as look for “Help Wanted” signs.
Living Comfortably In An RV As A Senior
One of the great joys of RVing is that it can be done at any age. As a senior, you may find that certain accommodations need to be made in order to enjoy your time on the road. Here are a few tips for making RVing more comfortable for seniors:
- Hiking Zion National Park
- Hiking Bryce National Park
- RV Length For EVERY National Park Campground
- Best RV Destinations For This Year
Choosing The Right RV
The first step in RVing as a senior is to choose the right vehicle. There are a few things to consider when making this decision, such as type, size, weight, and amenities.
- Drivable vs Towable RVs: Drivable RVs are nice in that everything goes into one package. You just drive the house around. Drivables can be large or small, and it is possible for a passenger to make lunch or crawl in bed while you are still on the road. With a drivable RV you will typically need to tow another vehicle to drive around while you are camped.
- Towable RVs are like 5th wheels or travel trailers. They can offer big or small living space and can still offer great amenities like upgraded interiors, outdoor kitchenette, and air conditioning. With a towable you can use your tow vehicle as a daily driver when at camp, which means you only have 1 engine and drive train to be concerned with.
- Type: There are a few different types of RVs to choose from, such as travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. Look over each type and decide which best suits you. Motorhomes are can be difficult to maneuver. Fifth wheels offer great amenities but always have a set of steps inside. They also require a pickup truck to tow. A travel trailer offers a single floor and typically are the least expensive. Pop Up campers are easy to tow, inexpensive but require a bit of set up work. Truck campers are very small, but give the convenience of limitless parking ability.
- Size: You will want to make sure that the RV you choose is not too large or too small. A larger RV will be more difficult to maneuver and a smaller RV may not have all the amenities you need. Look at MANY models to see what fits you best.
- Weight: You will also want to consider the weight of the RV. A heavier RV will require more power to tow (a larger truck) and may be more difficult to park and set up.
- Amenities: When choosing an RV, be sure to consider what amenities are important to you. Do you need a lot of storage space? Would you like a washer and dryer? Do you need a special bed? Is everything easily accessible? Really consider your daily life- sleeping, eating, bathroom duties, etc. Make sure things are comfortable for you.
Maximum Luxury. or Minimalist Lifestyle
Do you want a super comfortable RV with granite counters and gold faucets? Or do you like a more minimalist approach of just the necessities. Be honest with yourself, because the wrong choice will lead to disappointment down the road.
Todays ultra luxury models offer some amazing amenities but they do come at a price!
Camper Vans Aren’t Just for the Kids
One type of RV that is becoming increasingly popular among seniors is the camper van. These vans offer a great deal of freedom and flexibility and can be easily maneuvered. They are also less expensive than larger RVs. These are usually marketed to the millennials and younger folks, but van life for seniors is becoming a real thing.
Consider a Class B RV
If you want all the amenities of a motorhome but don’t want to deal with the size and weight, consider a Class B RV. These RVs are built on a van chassis and offer many of the same features as a larger motorhome. They are much easier to maneuver than larger Class A or C rigs and can get into many more areas to find sites.
Consider How Much Sleeping Space You Need
When sizing your rig it is important to consider how much extra sleeping space you will need. It has become fashionable these days to replace the traditional booth dinette and jackknife sofa with more modern tables and chairs.
However, these traditional units also tend to fold down into sleeping space. If you are expecting visitors- family members, friends, grandchildren, you should consider keeping the sleeping spaces that you will need. Even mid sized trailers can sleep up to eight people or more, so shop with this in mind.
Give some thought to how you will get around when you are not in your RV. If you have a mobility scooter or wheelchair, be sure that the RV you choose can accommodate it. A few RVs have special lifts or ramps that make it easier to get around.
Others simply have wider doorways and hallways to accommodate a scooter or wheelchair. If you do not need these items but feel that you will in the future, better to consider those options while shopping for a rig, rather than having to make alterations later.
As you age, it becomes increasingly important to stay organized and keep track of your belongings. This is especially true when RVing as space is limited and everything needs to be in its place so that you can avoid travel delays and disruptions to your day.
Outside the organization of your stuff, there are also some ways to organize your travel to keep you on track.
Plan Travels Around Appointments
If you are full-timing in your RV, be sure to plan your travels around any appointments you may have. This will save you the hassle of having to cancel or reschedule appointments and make life much easier. Dr. appointments especially may be a priority for you so you can plan your trips to have you back home for these important events.
One way to do this is to plan your travel in a circle, hitting spots in an arc around your base. That way you are never too far away, but still see the places you want to. When you want to venture out further, plan an out and back trip. Travel to the furthest place first, and then slowly work your way back in time to make your visits.
“With an RV, you are free to travel wherever your heart desires. You can go cross-country or just around the state. The choice is yours. And, if you decide you want to stay in one spot for a while, you can do that too!”
Manage Your Maintenance
RV maintenance is important at any age, but as you get older it becomes even more so. Be sure to keep up on your maintenance and get any repairs done in a timely manner. This will help you avoid breakdowns and costly repairs down the road.
Check Your Tires Regularly
One easy way to do some maintenance on your RV is to check your tires regularly. Tires are the most important safety feature on your RV, and they need to be in good condition to keep you safe on the road. Be sure to check the air pressure and tread depth frequently. If you notice any cracks or bulges, it’s time for new tires.
Tire Pressure Gauge
- This heavy duty tire gauge is calibrated to get an accurate pressure reading.
- Surrounded by a rubber cover, so it is protected from drops and is easy to grip.
- Easy to use and is reliable in all weather conditions.
Keep Your RV Clean
It’s important to keep your RV clean, both for your health and to maintain the value of your investment. As you age, it may become more difficult to do some of the cleaning yourself. You may want to consider hiring someone to help you with the heavy-duty cleaning tasks like washing, waxing and cleaning the windows. Luckily these services are available locally at most RV campgrounds.
Keep A Travel Day Planner
Having a Travel Day Checklist helps to ensure that you will not forget any of the many important steps in preparing your RV for the road. We have personally driven down the road with our outdoor kitchen door wide open, and also once saw a guy leave his awning out and drive it right into a tree.
Luckily for you, we have created an easily printable RV Travel Day Checklist for you. It is free and you can download it by filling out the form right below. We will email you the download list.
Learn To Drive Your RV Like A Pro
If you are a new RVer, it is important that you learn how to drive your RV properly. This includes understanding how to maneuver in tight spaces, how to back up, and how to park.
You should also be familiar with the height and weight restrictions of bridges and tunnels in the areas you will be traveling. For larger RV’s this is important because many campgrounds will have smaller spaces and will not fit your rig.
You can take an RV driving course to learn the basics, or read one of the many books or articles that are available on the subject.
Make Daily Travel Work For You
Choosing daily travel distance is very important in planning your trips. Some people are only comfortable with a few hours of driving in a day, while others will go hundreds of miles and not be bothered.
If you are the former, take your time and set up stops at interesting places along the way. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Consider Your Communications Network
Be sure to have a plan for staying in touch with family and friends while you are on the road. This may include a cell phone, satellite phone, or two-way radio. You should also have a plan for staying connected to the internet so you can stay up-to-date on the news and weather.
Every mobile carrier will have data plans available for mobile internet “hot spots.” Coverage varies but in our experience Verizon and ATT have the best network.
You can also get cell signal boosters to help you stay in touch when you are in more remote areas. The WeBoost pictured here is the best we have found.
weBoost Mobile Booster
- Powerfully boosts signal for fewer dropped calls, better voice quality, faster data speeds, increased hotspot capability, and improved audio.
- Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and more.
- Meets current U.S military and NEMA IP66 standards.
Comfort On The Road
The overriding thing in all of this is comfort. Not just fluffy pillows (although those are nice) but in every area of your life on the road. Feeling comfortable and confident in your travels should be your top priority.
Otherwise your travels will not be fun, and instead will be filled with worry and frustration. Here are just a few things to consider to help make your travels more comfortable.
Learn To Take Your Time
One of the things we have always advised is to “see less places more.” In other words, don’t be afraid to slow down, stay longer and enjoy your stay. Being on a road trip full time, we have constantly seen people absolutely charging through National Parks, trying to see everything and get moving to the next place. We usually describe the feeling as being in slow motion while the world speeds by.
This is a TERRIBLE way to travel. You are always in a rush, always frustrated, and miss many of the amazing experiences that you will find if you slow down. For example, our last trip to Yellowstone, we stayed for 2 months. We met and spoke to people who regularly watch wolves frolic in the park. At the time we had never seen a wolf.
These people told us when and where to be to see wolves, not a single wolf, but a whole pack! Since we were not in a rush, we were able to plan another trip into the park at the right time and place.
That next morning, we not only saw a whole pack of wolves, but spent 45 minutes watching a grizzly bear dig for grubs right next to the road. On the way back out of the park we saw a moose. Another day, we watched two bison fighting during the rut.
The point is, many travelers would have gone on the the Tetons or somewhere else having never had these awesome experiences.
Consider Pets On The Road
If you are a pet lover, feel free to bring a dog or cat along. Not only do you have loving companionship on the road, but you will meet so many people through your pets. TONS of people have pets in their RV’s.
Think About Volunteering
If you want to stay in one place for an extended amount of time, consider volunteering. You can find all sorts of volunteer opportunities on websites like Volunteer Match or Workamper News. Volunteering allows you to become a little more immersed in the local scene and will enrich both your stay and your soul.
You Can Choose Who To Be Around
Since you can come and go as you please, it is easy to spend time with people you like. If a given place is not to your liking, you can just move on. Also, there are a LOT of 55+ RV parks, if you wish to avoid the noise and activity of children. These senior RV parks cater to the more mature crowd and will tend to have social activities that fit your lifestyle.
Drivable RV? How To Bring Your Car
If you have a drivable RV, you will probably want to bring your car so you have transportation around your campground while you stay. There are a few ways to do this. You can tow it behind your RV with a special hitch and tow bar.
This is great because then you can sight see without having to unhook everything when you stop for the day. However this option requires that you can modify the car to be towed. For some vehicles (like jeeps) they are set up for this. For others it is more difficult. This does of course add mileage to your axels and tires.
Another option would be to use a dolly. This is a special platform with wheels that your car’s front wheels drive onto. The back wheels of your car then rest on the ground as you tow it behind your RV. This is especially good for front wheeled vehicles, but will put mileage on your rear axle and tires. ALSO, reversing a dollied car is REALLY hard (near to impossible) without a LOT of experience.
The last option, and probably the easiest, is to use a flatbed trailer. This allows you to just drive the car onto the trailer and take off. There is no wear to your car, and reversing is just like any other trailer.
Unplug, And Enjoy Nature and Relaxation
RVing is the perfect opportunity to “unplug.” With all of the incredible scenery, there is really no need to spend time on electronics. Just sit back and enjoy nature. If you like to read, bring along a few good books (or get them from the library before you leave).
One of our favorite things to do is sit in the evening and listen to the sounds of nature, the birds, the crickets, the frogs. It is so relaxing!
If you want to meet people, there are plenty of social activities at most campgrounds. If not, that is perfectly ok too. You can enjoy your own company, or that of your travel companions.
Safety Concerns For Senior RVers
Of course, there are always safety concerns when traveling, no matter what your mode of transportation. However, RVing can be particularly safe if you take a few precautions.
Enhance Your Rig Safety
Making sure your RV is safe and free from obstacles is very important. As we age, little things become bigger, so we need to factor those into our RV decisions. Here are a few things to consider to keep your RV safe to use and live in.
Choose The RV You Need
The RV you choose will greatly affect how safe and easy it is to maneuver. You want something that is the right size for your needs and abilities. If you are planning on traveling with another person, make sure both of you feel comfortable with the size and set up of the RV.
Consider Your Own Mobility
How easy is it for you to move around? Do you need handrails or other assistance getting in and out of the RV? Is the layout such that you can easily access everything you need? Are steps an issue? Are the cabinets too high requiring a step stool? Can you get in and out of the shower easily? Is the bed the right height? Really consider daily life in your RV before you buy!
Lippert Entry Assist Rail
- Makes it easier and safer for campers to get in and out of their RVs.
- Easily stores right with the Solid Step inside your RV’s doorway.
- Easily stores right with the Solid Step inside your RV’s doorway.
Check The Entry Handrail
Adding a handrail to the entry of your RV is an easy way to make it safer. It gives you something to grab onto as you are getting in and out, and can also be used to steady yourself if you need to lean out to see something while driving.
Most rigs will have some kind of RV handrails, but make sure it is sturdy and can handle the job. There are heavier alternatives that you can have installed if need be.
Consider Your Outdoor Lighting
Making sure you have good lighting both outside of your RV will help you feel safe and secure when out on the road. Good lighting will keep help keep unwanted critters of all types away from your site.
You can purchase very inexpensive solar or battery operated LED lights to add both security AND ambience to you site!
Solar Tiki Torches
- 33 LEDs in the light cast a smokeless, safe, soft, mood-enhancing glow.
- Add safety and beauty to your site set-up.
- The solar flame lights with 600mAh Built-In rechargeable Battery, It can illuminate all night long after fully solar charged.
Consider Your Indoor Lighting
Just as important as your outdoor lighting is making sure you have good indoor lighting. This will help you see what you are doing when cooking or moving around the RV.
Consider adding extra lights, or even upgrading to LED bulbs to really brighten things up. Leave strategic lights on at night to make sure you can see if you are moving around.
Check That Shower Step
Many RV’s offer a walk in shower, but the designs will vary. If you have a step up into the shower, or a lip at the entrance, make sure it is easily stepped over and will not be the cause of an accident. RV showers tend to be tight, so make sure you are comfortable in the shower and can move freely without banging into anything.
Install a Grab Bar In The Shower
If your RV does not have a built in rail, adding a grab bar to the shower is always a good idea, no matter your age. It will give you something to hold onto if you need it, and can help prevent slips and falls. Be sure to get one that is rated for the weight that will be using it.
If you need to install this, have it done at a reputable RV repair shop or dealership so that you can ensure that the right backing is installed behind the shower wall.
Install a Grab Bar In The Toilet Too
Another good place to install a grab bar is next to the RV bathroom by the toilet. This can help you get up and down, and prevent any accidents. Same thing applies here about installing one.
Check The Entry Steps
If your RV has steps, check them frequently to make sure they are in good shape and will support your weight. Check that they have good, non slip surfaces. You will have wet shoes many times after a walk or hike, so make sure those steps are non slip.
Other Safety Measures
Here are some other safety measures to consider for your RV:
Put A Flashlight/ Headlamp Near the Door
This will come in handy if you need to step outside at night, or if the power goes out and you need to find your way around in the dark. Keep it near the door so you can move quickly in case of emergency.
- Powerful hands-free LED camping lights generate a brilliant, long-lasting beam.
- Comfortably fits adults and children alike.
- Hands free- suitable for rain or snow, indoors or outdoors.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
These should be in every home, but especially in an RV where they can save your life. Test them often and make sure the batteries are fresh. Most RVs have these features, but if yours does not, add them ASAP!
Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Double-duty alarm detects both gas leaks and co gas simultaneously.
- Reliable 12v power means no missing or dead batteries to replace.
- Meets rvia/nfpa requirements.
Fire extinguishers are a must in any RV. Be sure you know how to use them, and check the expiration date. You should have at least one on each level of your RV.
- Fights wood, paper, trash, plastics, gasoline, oil, and electrical-equipment fires
- 4 Units for kitchen, bedroom, underbelly storage, and outdoor kitchen.
- Mounting hardware included.
Consider Satellite Phone
If you are going to be in an area with limited cell service, or no service at all, consider a satellite phone or radio. Hiking in backcountry areas or even driving in some places will often leave you well out of service, so having a direct connection to rescue services or family can literally save your life.
- This is a satellite messenger unit not a phone (which cost thousands)
- Send an S.O.S. to the 24/7 Search & Rescue services or just check in with any cell phone.
- Choose 2 1/2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minute tracking intervals, and track your adventure with SPOT’s easy-to-use cloud-based mapping.
Ensure Frequent Communication With Loved Ones
This is especially important if you are RVing solo. Make sure to touch base with your family or friends on a regular basis, whether it’s by phone, text, email, or even snail mail. Have a system in place with regular check ins so that others know of your whereabouts and activities.
Even sending a daily email with your plans would be a simple way to check in. PLUS it would be a great journal of your trip.
Consider A Monitored Security System
If you are going to be RVing long term, or even boondocking in remote areas, consider a security system. This will give you some peace of mind while you are away from your RV, and can alert authorities if there is a break in or if you need help.
Wireless Security System
- Simple to install, high resolution cameras.
- Cameras can be set up anywhere in your camper or campsite
- Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
Medical Considerations for Seniors RVing
There are some unique medical considerations to take into account when RVing as a senior. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Keep A Stock Of Your Meds
This seems like a no brainer, but make sure you have a good stock of your medications. This is especially important if you are RVing in remote areas where it might be difficult to get to a pharmacy.
Check Your Health Insurance For Travel
If you are RVing in the US, your health insurance will most likely travel with you. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your provider to be sure. If you are RVing outside of the country, you will need to purchase travel insurance that will cover you for medical emergencies.
Get A Med Alert Bracelet
In case of an emergency, these can be a lifesaver. Be sure to include any allergies or medical conditions, as well as your contact information.
Ensure Access To Meds
It is a good idea to have your refillable prescriptions with a national pharmacy chain like CVS or Walgreens so that you will have access to them if needed. Also make sure your Dr. has authorized enough medication to get you through your travels.
Carry Your Medical Records With You
Be sure to have copies of your medical records with you, as well as a list of your medications. This will be helpful if you need to see a new doctor or are admitted to the hospital.
Build An Emergency Preparedness Kit
This kit should include items like band aids, antiseptic wipes, ace bandages, pain relievers, etc. Be sure to tailor it to your own needs and medical conditions. This kit should be with you at ALL times!
You can also include survival items like emergency rations, compass, mylar blanket, fire starter etc. if you will be in any remote areas. Here is a really good First Aid Kit to get you started.
- 100 pieces of comprehensive first aid treatment products.
- Compact size case measures 7.5in x 2.5in x 6.8in, is portable and can easily fit anywhere.
- Fully organized interior compartments provides quick access. The rugged, sturdy, high density plastic case is impact resistant.
Stock Up On Eyeglasses & Hearing Aid Batteries
If you wear glasses or hearing aids, make sure you have a good stock of extras with you. These items can be difficult to replace on the road, so it’s best to be prepared.
Make Sure Your Doc Is Accessible By Phone
If you have any concerns or questions while on the road, it’s important to be able to reach your doctor. Make sure you have their contact information with you, as well as that of any specialists you might need to see.
Consider Your Roadside Assistance Coverage
If you are RVing in the US, your auto insurance policy will most likely include roadside assistance. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your provider to be sure. If you are RVing outside of the country, you will need to purchase travel insurance that includes roadside assistance.
This is RVing and breakdowns WILL happen. Be prepared to get help when you need it.
Social Scene for Seniors RVing
Just because you are RVing, doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. One of the best ways to enhance your RV experience is meeting new people and there are plenty of opportunities to socialize when you are on the road. Here are a few ideas:
Caravanning: Traveling With Other Seniors Can Be a Lot of Fun
One of the best ways to socialize when RVing is to travel with others. There are many different caravan clubs and organizations that you can join. This is a great way to meet people with similar interests and make friends for life.
Join RV Camping Clubs
Another great way to meet people while RVing is to join an RV club. These RV groups are a great way to meet other RVers and campers, as well as get discounts on camping fees.
There are so many RV clubs it is hard to even start listing them, but consider your interests and google RV groups for that interest. Or start with one of the larger ones, like Escapees, and work your way down from there.
Hit Some of the RV Rallies
If you are looking for a more party-like atmosphere, then you might want to hit up some RV rallies. These rallies are usually held at campgrounds and can last anywhere from a weekend to a week.
They are a great way to meet new people and have a good time. Many of them will also have events and activities that you can participate in. Also, RV manufacturers and vendors tend to show up at these rallies and do all sorts of discounts and giveaways.
Attend Local Events
When you are RVing, be sure to take advantage of the local events that are happening around you. This is a great way to meet people and get a feel for the area you are visiting. You can find out about local events by checking the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau, as well as online resources like Facebook and Meetup.com
Forums and Facebook groups
There are also many online RVing communities that you can be a part of. These are great places to ask questions, get advice, and meet people.
Look For Happy Hour
A great way to meet new people is to look for your campground happy hour. These are not official events but there will be small groups of neighboring RVers who will gather each day or so to have a chin wag and a cold beverage.
They are almost always kind and welcoming. This usually will happen like clockwork at either 4pm or 5pm depending on local practice. This would be a great time for you to walk the dog!
With all these ideas, you should have no problem socializing and meeting new friends while RVing. So get out there and start exploring!
RVing is a great way for seniors to travel and see the country. It’s important to be prepared though, both physically and mentally, before hitting the road. With a little planning and preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable RV adventure.
Do you have any tips for seniors RVing? We’d love to hear them! Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Grainne Foley grew up in Ireland and spent summers caravanning around Europe with her family. Now, as a wife and mother of 2, she spent 5 years traveling the USA as a full time RVing family. She is passionate about travel, and helping others who are considering the RV lifestyle. She has created dozens of helpful RVing checklists which are available throughout the website, and has curated hundreds of simple, flavorful meals for families on the go.