Saturday, December 2, 2023


Navigating RV life as we age; tips for overcoming the obstacles

A recent “tweak” in my back sidelined me. I took a week off from our latest construction project to recuperate. The incident reminded me that I’m no spring chicken! I’m rushing headlong into “old hen” territory. I don’t like it, but there it is. I’m getting older, and my recovery stint got me thinking about navigating RV life as we age.


Of course, the best thing an RVer can do is take good care of themselves—health-wise: Eat right. Exercise. Visit your healthcare professional once a year. We all know the drill. We need to DO it!

Once you put a checkmark beside the aforementioned basics, are there other tips for navigating RV life as we age? You bet! It’s essential to make adjustments so that your RV lifestyle remains safe, enjoyable, and comfortable even as you grow older.

The right RV

Downsize. Downsizing to a smaller, more manageable RV might help make RVing easier. For example, a smaller rig can help reduce your maintenance chores. (Washing a smaller RV vs. a large toy hauler sounds better to me.) You might also feel more comfortable driving a smaller rig, too.

Features. Consider features like slide-outs, which can expand living spaces and make them more accessible. Choose an RV with user-friendly controls, like automatic leveling systems, to reduce physical strain during setup.

Accessibility modifications

As we age, mobility becomes a consideration. Investing in accessibility modifications can be a game-changer for folks like us who want to continue RVing. Consider installing handrails on both sides of all RV steps, interior and exterior. Use step stabilizers or replace your narrow entry/exit steps with a wider, more stable option. There are companies that make portable ramps, as well. Here’s just one example.

Bathroom upgrades

The bathroom is a crucial area to focus on as you age. Installing a raised toilet seat and grab bars can enhance safety. A walk-in shower is better than a tub that requires a higher step, and a built-in seat and handheld showerhead are great conveniences. If your shower lacks a seat, consider placing one like this in your shower stall.

Bedroom upgrades

Bed. It may be time to upgrade your RV mattress. Invest in a quality mattress that provides the right support and comfort. If your rig’s sleeping area lacks space or accessibility, explore options like an adjustable bed, which can make getting in and out of bed easier. Consider purchasing a Beddy’s sheet set for your RV bed. This zippered system’s design helps you make your bed quickly and easily.

Storage. Rethink how you store your clothing. Instead of trying to access awkwardly placed cupboards or the drawers of lower cabinets, put clothing inside accessible baskets. Use a hanging shoe organizer to hold T-shirts and more within easy reach.

Kitchen solutions

Appliances. Ensure your RV’s kitchen is well-equipped with user-friendly appliances, perhaps including a microwave-convection oven. This oven combines two essential cooking methods in one and may be easier to access than a propane oven. An induction cooktop may also be a kitchen upgrade to consider for safety, but understand that you may need to purchase compatible cookware for it.

Pantry and cupboards. Consider pull-out pantry shelves for easier access to food and cookware. Label storage containers clearly to make finding items easier. Adjust the height of shelves to make them easier and safer to access.

Safety first

Systems. Regularly inspect your RV’s systems or hire a mobile tech to do the inspection. Check electrical, propane, and plumbing systems. Also, look for damage on your RV’s roof or sidewalls for potential water intrusion and have it fixed ASAP. Check tires for proper inflation and any wear and tear. Replace them as necessary. Same for fire extinguishers.

First aid. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on board. Consider investing in a medical alert system that will work both inside and outside your RV.

Outside support

Social connections. As we age, our social connections become increasingly more important for our mental and emotional well-being. Join RV clubs, participate in campground activities, and get to know your RV neighbors. These connections can provide assistance in emergencies and create lasting friendships.

Getting there

Hire it done. If you no longer feel comfortable driving your RV, say, across the country for warmer weather, hire someone to transport it for you. Google “Transport my RV” to get started, or ask your local RV dealer for recommendations.

Shorter driving days. If you prefer to drive your own rig, plan to shorten your time on the road each day. Share the driving duties with your spouse or travel buddy. Don’t let fatigue derail your RV plans!

Permanent pad. Some RVers prefer to purchase land and leave their RV permanently in place. If you enjoy returning to the same, familiar spot, this may be an option for you.

Navigating RV life as we age means making thoughtful adaptations and changes. If we make these changes, we can continue to enjoy our RV lifestyle for years to come.

Do you have additional suggestions for navigating RV life as we age? Tell us in the comments below.



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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Stanley B (@guest_254686)
2 months ago

This is a great article, Gail! I’m a youngish 68 years old. I find that one of the best, but most difficult, and no expense change I have made as I age, is to just slow down. It’s hard to stop climbing ladders, lifting too much weight, etc. So, I have to make a determined and constant effort to exercise caution in my activities. Perhaps men are generally bad at this, but we must slow down and think out our projects.

Mike (@guest_254756)
2 months ago
Reply to  Stanley B

Agree, great article. Thanks

David DeYoung (@guest_254661)
2 months ago

Is a rear view camera on a trailer recommended? Any recommendations?

Bob (@guest_254640)
2 months ago

I worked in maintenance in a hospital for 33 years. Climbing ladders, running wires required hours standing on the ladder and reaching through ceilings, also crawling under desks and counters in some awkward positions. I am now paying for it with L5/S1 pain (twisted joint and bulged disk). Because of the location, surgery is a final option only.
Exercises and ibuprofen helps. One thing I did find was to wear quality, supportive, comfortable shoes.

wanderer (@guest_254647)
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Good point, to me step one to staying mobile is keeping joints and supporting muscles in as good a shape as possible. Keep and expand our range of motion and flexibility.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_254629)
2 months ago

Nothing simple about those ramps. Looking at how they set up (and store), they look like more work than I’d want to do. I’m too old for that stuff – ha.

The Beddy’s look kinda cool though.

Bob P (@guest_254627)
2 months ago

I went to the first link about safety steps/ramps. I can’t imagine where you would store their examples. When we had our class A we bought aluminum folding steps (3) that had a handrails for both sides and was wide enough to open the door and stand on the platform outside. It folded up compactly enough to fit inside the front compartment beside the door. It worked great for us octogenarians.

Neal Davis (@guest_254626)
2 months ago

Thank you, Gail. We just did a lot of this with an eye toward our future. We downsized from a 43′ DP to a 36′ DP. The new one has a 360° camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and an escape door with ladder in the bathroom (as well as an escape window in the bedroom). The shower is a walk-in version with a folding seat. The pantry has pull-out shelves.

Donald N Wright (@guest_254612)
2 months ago

An injury to my lower spine allowed me to upgrade to a larger trailer. I should not lift the two roofs of my Aliner popup anymore, so I upgraded to a 25′ Airstream trailer. My wife loves it. Happy wife, happy life.

Jim Johnson (@guest_254604)
2 months ago

Why don’t RV propane ovens have built-in igniters? The stove top does, and my gas grill does using piezo or battery sparkers ; the RV furnace does as well as the water heater, using DSI. But the oven does not and that pilot light is hard to see, requires ridiculous contortions to reach and requires buying butane matches. DSI, while requiring an inexpensive 12v control board, is a time tested safe way to light a gas burner without direct visual observation.

It would greatly improve life for older RVers and I can’t see younger RVers making any complaints either!

wanderer (@guest_254648)
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

Yes, it’s scandalously bad design. I don’t know what other solos do, but I just went with a no-oven model, no point in having a useless appliance.

Rosy (@guest_254594)
2 months ago

Use high quality walking sticks instead of a cane for daily walks around the campground. Wear sturdy but lightweight walking shoes for your daily trek. Aging ankles need good support. Make wise choices in everything you do and remember accidents will affect you and your loved ones. Establish a safe daily routine for everything you do and follow it.

Donna (@guest_254593)
2 months ago

Can you recommend a good website for finding a campground that offers permanent sites? I tried google search but the results were too vague. Thank you.

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Donna

Hi, Donna. Did you Google “RV lots for sale” and then the area you’re interested in? Other than that I don’t know what to recommend. Good luck.🤞 And have a great day. 😀 –Diane at

tom (@guest_254590)
2 months ago

If you tow, consider the towed vehicle size, bigger is not better. Pull through sites are much easier and less work.

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