Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
Following my husband’s unexpected death last year I decided to retire, sell everything, and travel full-time in an RV doing all the things and seeing all the places we planned to do before our plans were cut short. My question is, is it just a foolish fantasy for a single older woman (I’m 61) to set out traveling around the country in an RV by myself? —Sarah
The only “foolish fantasy” that I can see is seeing yourself as an “older woman,” the implication being that you are incapable of such a plan. Nonsense. There are plenty of unattached women (and men) of all ages roaming the country in RVs, so think of your plan as embarking on the next phase – and adventure – of your life, what could be a most enlightening and satisfying lifestyle for the years ahead.
And you don’t have to feel alone and vulnerable as a single RVer on the road. Here are a few popular singles groups that you might consider checking out as they supply not only companionship, but also help and assistance when needed, have rallies, campouts, and social get-togethers, and often form small travel groups.
SOLOS, The Escapees Singles Club’s purpose is to share information and camaraderie among Escapees who travel as singles. Memberships are $10 per year and include the newsletter and annual membership directory.
Loners on Wheels (LoW) states on their website, “We are Family! You are not alone anymore!” LoW has Chapters in most U.S. states who have monthly camp-outs or other activities.
Wandering Individuals Network (WIN) is the premiere RV club for singles. They are an active, adventurous club open to single campers and solo travelers of all ages with an average of 80 caravans, circuits, and gatherings each year, with activities like hiking, biking, sightseeing, kayaking, boat tours, museums, plays, factory tours, and more.
Also check out the recent post on RVtravel.com about RVing women.
Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .
Hi Sarah, I am 83 soon to have 84th birthday. During the month of Feb. drove and pulled my Aliner to port Isabel TX from Phoenix, AZ, camped at Pelican Point Marina for two weeks then drove back to Phoenix, all by myself. Had a wonderful time. Will take my Viking to the mountains in AZ soon, all by myself, to escape the Phoenix summer heat. Then, during July and Aug. will drive with my Aliner to Indiana, solo, for a month long trip. Take your time, don’t rush, stay in safe comfortable areas and have a hell of a good time! Pay attention to your tires (inflated properly) and hubbs (too hot for your hand? have them checked)! You only live once! Stay in the correct lane!
I am 78 and have wanted to be an RVer since my husband died over 30 yrs ago. You have given me courage to try it. I thought I was too old.
Sarah, LOTS of single women are successfully RVing, both part & full time. If you THINK you can; you’re right. If you THINK you can’t; you’re right. The good news is, that YOU get to decide whether to think positively or negatively. My best advice is to find and attend an RV Boot Camp. The Escapees RV Club run an EXCELLENT RVBC, often over a weekend. Other groups also offer their own versions of RVBC, some as long as eight days (more social activities included). You do NOT need to have an RV to attend an RVBC (you can stay at a local motel or, some campgrounds have camping cabins available to rent). If fact, you will be a better educated, smarter RV buyer, once you’ve completed an RVBC. Some insurance companies give discounts to RVBC graduates. Mistakes made with RVs are often expensive and, sometimes dangerous. At RVBC, ALL of the systems found on modern RVs will be explained and demystified. You might want to rent an RV first BEFORE you spend many thousands of dollars only to find that the RV lifestyle isn’t what you expected it to be. If you find that the RV lifestyle IS your cup of tea, a week or two in a rental unit can help clarify exactly WHAT you do and don’t want in an RV (something difficult to decide upon until you’re actually living in an RV). The Escapees have excellent RV forums which you can read without being a member (I think you may need to join if you want to post questions). Just reading the posts can be VERY educational. I hope this information is helpful. You CAN do this if you put your mind to it!
I’m 70 and will turn 71 before I go full time. I have some health and stamina problems, and I don’t walk very well. But I’m a safe and competent driver, I can still scuba dive and kayak, and I LOVE seeing new places and meeting new people. It’s more convenient to travel alone and make friends when I arrive. Join me and many other great solo women RVers at the Facebook group called Women RVing Solo (Gals with Grit!): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1727789187441658/?ref=bookmarks
Hi Sherry, is that Facebook group set to private or secret? Because your link doesn’t work and when I try to search by name I’m not finding it. As another solo female traveler I’d like to join!
You’ve got this! Stay informed, follow the sound advice given above, and enjoy your life. There will likely come a time to “park the rig”, but trust yourself to know that time. Til then, wear your RV wings and make your fantasy into your living passion
Sarah, reading RV Travel is a good start. Knowledge is power, and there’s a lot to know about RV’ing. Too many people (like my coworkers) believe the one-sided infomercials on TV that show RV’ing as all pros and no cons. Those shows conveniently never mention the single digit mpg most Class A’s get!
I’m 59, and when hubby and I camp, we often see campers older than we are… but then, we do live in Florida. 😉 We have camped part-time for 7 years. My husband has pulled boats and storage trailers, but when we went to pick up our 28′ travel trailer, he suddenly had doubts about pulling it. I have to admit I still have never tried to pull or back it up to park it. My feeling is that ideally, an RV owner, like a boat owner, should be somewhat knowledgeable about mechanical things (or be willing to learn–thank you, YouTube). Little things go wrong, so you will need a supply of tools, supplies and diagnostic tools (such as a multimeter). Tires go flat, and yes you can get road assistance, but that can mean a 2 hour wait or longer if it’s a weekend or holiday or small town. A water line connection can become loosened due to the movement from being on the road. Batteries go dead, so buy a battery charger. The A/C or heater might go out at an inopportune time, which could be especially problematic if your RV is also your house.
Even when a repair is under warranty, it is difficult to get an expedited repair because they’re all so booked up. And of course, as many have mentioned in comments in previous newsletters, getting space in a campground is not always easy… and more expensive than you expect. (As a side note, look into getting an America the Beautiful senior pass when you’re old enough.)
We’ve met nice people and seen amazing sights, so I don’t mean to discourage you from your dream. I suggest you first dip your toes into the lifestyle by perhaps renting an RV. So many people eagerly buy an RV because they remember having fun camping as a kid, but they end up giving it back to the dealer for a fraction of what they paid.
Best of luck to you, young lady! 60 is the new 40!
Come on Sarah – at 61 you are still a teenager.
We have been RVING for 12 years (75 & 77) and meet all kinds of single folks RVing. My sister, age 71 lost her husband. By the end of one year she had sold her home, cleared everything out except “essentials” and bought a 30′ class C RV. She travels between the East & West coast and loves it. P. S. Don’t even try to tell her she is to old to RV. Now go buy one and join the fun.
Sarah, don’t you hesitate another minute!! I’d recommend a motorhome (mine is a Lazy Daze) because it is more convenient in bad weather. I’m 78 and single and have been living full-time in an RV since 1992. Since retiring at 65, I’ve taken several long trips in my motorhome. These have been the best experiences of my life!! I’m a member of Loners on Wheels, Escapees and Good Sam. All these offer wonderful opportunities for meeting other RVers. My blog:
I’m 69 and will start full time RVing soon. I’ll be putting my house on the market soon and my next adventure will begin once it sells. I’ve been looking into RVing full-time for a while now. The more I read and research about this great life style, the more anxious I become. Don’t think you are old, age is just a #. Enjoy yourself.