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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.