Friday, June 2, 2023


Couples: Would you likely keep traveling with an RV if your partner died?

It’s a horrible thought, but what if …?

What if your spouse should die? He or she may have been your RVing partner for years and years. For most of us, this time eventually comes: Age happens and one day we all move on to another place, often leaving a partner behind.

We hear from readers all the time who deal with this situation. We also see posts in forums, mostly from women, most of whom rode in the passenger seat during their RVing years, not at the wheel. They very often wonder if they could even drive or tow an RV.

What if this were to happen to you? Would you keep traveling with an RV after your partner died? Or would you hang up your keys? We know it’s impossible to say, for sure, before such a time should come. So we’re just asking for your best guess.

As always, we invite your comments.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


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Gene Bjerke
1 year ago

I was planning on full-timing when I got together with my partner (we are currently part-timers). It would be a difficult choice now to travel without her, but being in the motorhome is still the most comfortable place for me so I suppose that is the route I would take.

1 year ago

My partner and i started rving in 2001. We continued over the years sometimes just a few short trips and occasionally several months at a time. He passed away in 2019 and it took more than a year to get back financially to feasibility. Since December 2020, I have upgraded the RV and embarked on unintended full time living. Eventually I will cut back to part time again but this works well for me now. I get to enjoy the things we both loved and visit family and friends that we missed over the last few years during his decline.

Dave Fisher
1 year ago

We are full timers so if my passed away the only place to “hole up” is our coach. Consequently, I most likely continue RVing but with something smaller than our current 45 ft class A.

Stacy Binderim
1 year ago

I am on my first solo flight since my husband died 9 months ago, after 40 years of RVing and our first long trip after retirement. I sold our 40 foot Class A, and bought a used 22 foot Class C to start. I have made a few rookie mistakes, but nothing serious. I have 2 dogs and feel trapped in my house, so off to visit family I go!

1 year ago

I took 2 trips after losing my husband and did OK, but the fun was gone. I still miss it, but it was the right decision for me.

1 year ago

Yes – lost my wife last December and I’ve been out a couple of times for a total of about 5 weeks. Hard but I think I may continue. Find myself a bit lost and many things we did together are no longer fun but will try and refocus to try and continue. Never use the term Move On because it implies stop thinking about the 52 good years together. Will try and find a new way to move forward along with all those good memories to build on.

1 year ago
Reply to  Roger

I can feel you because it was my mother and I that did all the camping and all the adventures. We left the husband at home. My daughter would come along as well. It was grand times. My mother passed away 18 months ago and yes I too feel real lost without her. We had 30 years of grand camping adventures. So all the things you are saying I agree with. When I go camping with my husband and daughter we all agree it just does not feel right. And we look at her bunk and go wow, she loved that little nook in the corner. Sad to think she is gone now. So yes, I am right there with you.

Judy Robinson
1 year ago

Yes, I am continuing on without my husband. I am not making as many trips because it is not as much fun. I do use it to go to my kids and have a place to stay. I am looking for friends that like to travel. No husband in the future.

1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Robinson

That is what I am looking for as well. People to hang out with make new friends. My husband said he likes to camp and go places but only short trips. He wants to hang out at home and do his thing. Me? I want to really go places and hoping I can get a seasonal next summer in Maine. Go solo. Leave the husband behind. But that is us.

1 year ago

I’m already there and still traveling, but it is lonely and not as much fun! My wife of 52+ years died in 2019.

I’ve downsized to a smaller camping trailer and use that to visit my kids and grandkids in other states. Also for local getaways. Had a 4500 mile trip this summer to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton with a son and his family, then to visit my other son and his family in Kansas.

Jeff Craig
1 year ago

I would, and if I kick the bucket, my wife would as well. She says she’d keep our Class A since she knows it, but I’d probably upgrade to a small diesel pusher. After all, we each have our priorities….

1 year ago

I lost my husband over 8 years ago. Have continued and now have a new partner. We drive each other’s coaches ( only one at a time on trip). I have been full time over 13 years.

1 year ago

I would likely downsize but would continue to RV.

Tom B
1 year ago

I would…the wife? Er…no. I make an effort to make sure her RV experience is the best it can be. I like making her coffee so she can watch the sunrise. I like making the breakfast (even tho the dang toaster ALWAYS sets off the smoke alarm!!!). I don’t think RVing for her would be the same. She might not like the memories if I wasn’t there.

1 year ago

I wont find a solid reason why I’d stop at something I enjoyed as well as my spouse did and would hope they would carry on as well and maybe find a partner in crime to carry on together RVing. I think it’s sad when someone gives up something (let’s in this instance) RVing that they love doing because their spouse has passed. I understand the love/friendship/bond the couple’s make over years and it takes a period of time to heal. But life does not stop nor should. No one in that situation replaces those memories, laughs, friendships and continued adventures. So you make new ones with someone else that fills that big void of loss.

1 year ago

Where are the women in this poll? I am a woman and my husband can take it or leave it when it comes to camping. Not sure if the daughter wants to come with me or not but who knows. All I know is I hope I get that seasonal site I am praying for. Nice place to start retirement with.

Lois Tibbetts-Durkee
1 year ago

We sold our business in 2003, and bought a used 30′ motorhome. We didn’t know he had cancer. In May of 2005 he felt better so we decided to take our dream trip to Alaska. I drove all but about 100 miles of our 7,000+mile trip, which he thoroughly enjoyed, until we were on our way home. He became very ill and died 10 days after we got home. My sister asked him if he would rather have stayed home to continue with his chemo treatments, and he said NO!! He was happy he had been able to finally see Alaska! After a couple of short camping trips by myself, I sold my motorhome and bought a used type C. I used that for 3 more years until I married the second love of my life. He had a 27′ trailer, and we used both rigs, depending on where we were going. We have had a couple of different rigs since then, and now have a 28′ Keystone trailer which we bought new in 2016. We travel south each winter as well as taking short summer trips. Age is catching up to us: 87 and 78 so…would we?? Who knows??

1 year ago

We did not know it at the time but my mother had cancer and died from it 9 months after our Colorado trip west. She said she wanted to see her staircase before she died and she did. Colorado, Utah, Arizona and home. That was an awesome trip. I am glad we did the trip. She said as she was dying that she was glad she saw her staircase and the homes in the caves. Mesa Verde. We miss her when we think of that trip.

1 year ago
Reply to  jillie

Those are some of the best places to see, if you have to choose.

1 year ago

No, I wouldn’t continue RVing. My wife and I enjoy so many of the same things and it just wouldn’t be the same. For my wife, she’s not comfortable driving the rig except for short distances. Together and sharing is what it’s all about.

1 year ago

My wife would not but I would likely get a smaller unit and live in it full time. That way no large house and property to attend to. Maybe even do some work camping.

1 year ago

As the male and only driver, I would most likely continue traveling and increase my time on the road.

Glenda Laine
1 year ago

It happened to me. After full-timing together for 4 1/2 yrs, he died. I wasn’t ready to settle down so had to learn how to hook up, back up, tow, & maintain our small travel trailer by myself. Campground workers helped me learn what I needed & I’ve continued full-timing for 6 1/2 more yrs. I eventually became friends with a disabled but helpful guy to travel around the West with, each in our own rigs, but he just died last month so I’m looking for some help from my friends. And I upgraded to a little bit bigger trailer just last fall but feel confident I “got this”. Keep on rolling!

1 year ago

He would most likely get a smaller rig and keep going. I rather doubt that I would. He is the mastermind of the whole affair; I’m more or less along for the ride. I have learned a lot over the last 4 years of full-timing, but he’s still the one in charge.

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