Thursday, December 1, 2022


RV Shrink: RV cabin fever – First-time snowbirds are bored out of their gourds


Dear RV Shrink:
The RV lifestyle is not at all as I pictured it in my mind. We are not full-timers, but we are spending the winter months in Arizona for the first time. We are parked out on beautiful BLM land just north of Organ Pipe National Monument. The weather is wonderful, the landscape is peaceful, the sunsets are gorgeous. So why are we bored out of our gourd? We always want to move. I think we are just looking for a new horizon and something different. What do other RVers do to keep themselves busy, happy and planted in one spot all winter? —Stir Crazy in Cactus Country

Dear Stir:
It has nothing to do with the RV lifestyle. You could be sitting at home with the same problem. You need some interests, you need to be comfortable in your own skin, you need to examine your personal lifestyle.

Everyone is different. Most people have an interest in hiking, photography, birdwatching, shopping, gambling, rockhounding, ORVing, biking or other sports, reading, doing puzzles, or even professional couch surfing.

Perhaps you should join a group of like-minded people that will get you off square-one and get you out doing something other than looking at the four walls of your RV. Many people travel with a theme. Perhaps they want to see every National Park in the country, or play every golf course in Florida, or add new birds to their life-list. Get yourself a goal. Some people are very happy sitting in one spot all season doing nothing more strenuous than drinking and watching the sun go up and down. You have to find out what makes you a happy camper. 

Most people new to RVing stay busy learning the ropes, finding their niche, exploring their new surroundings. There are numerous ways to enjoy your winters. Perhaps traveling is not the most important part of owning a rig and heading for warm weather. You might want to try an RV park with lots of people, activities and amenities. 

Sometimes living in a small space with your significant other can be too confining. You may want to find separate interests that allow you some time apart, or some alone time.

This should be a time in your life that opens up every opportunity for you to pursue your interests with no boundaries. Don’t let indecision steal that time from you. 

—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.



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2 years ago

What is the point of staying in one (remote) place all winter? I got an RV so I can travel! Sublet your spot and hit the road!

Marty chambers
2 years ago

Where’s the cruise director?

2 years ago

Thanks for this. We’ve been trying longer and longer stays at places in Florida during the winter and I’ve discovered I can’t do it. Much prefer to be somewhere for no longer than a week and move on. Was just trying this because it’s so incredibly hard to make multiple reservations during Florida’s snowbird season. Fortunately we discovered my “rolling stone” mentality before committing any big money like purchasing an RV lot. So, it’s back to the off season part time job of making reservations!

Bill Kaupe
2 years ago

We have been back and forth from home in Delaware to SoCal, the RGV, around the Gulf to Key West several times. Last year it was Baja end-to-end. We never stayed longer than one month in a place. This year mainland Mexico down the Pacific coast to Puerto Angel and now back through central MX. Gas is about US$3.75/gal and a nice RV park is US$10-20. We have a lot of places to see so one week max this trip. If you are bored, it’s time to go.

Kenneth Fuller
2 years ago

We have been truly blessed in many ways throughout our lives, so we enjoy the opportunity to give back. We volunteer for Children’s Haven International, a safe haven for Mexican children in south Texas. We don’t speak any spanish, but sure enjoy loving on them. We can volunteer as much or little as time provides.

2 years ago

She quilts. I did some book keeping. Then planned ahead and brought along 30 years of photo albums..
Then with a laptop and cheap scanner scanned 1700 pictures. Now our children get flash drives that they can watch on tv and download into a hard drive.
It was a long trip down memory lane.

Alain Tasse
2 years ago

Dear Stir Crazy, you really are new at “winter-hiding” in an rv. Don’t worry, before long you’ll be finding yourself running out of time just to catch up on trying to find parts to repair all the ones that WILL FAIL in your unit, even if you do not move it. Thank God for “overnight shipping” and the generous people all over youtube who post just about anything on how to repair everything. After fourteen years of running away from winter in now our fourth rv, we’ve learned that if you don’t have the skills to build an rv, you shouldn’t buy one. We did not have the skills, but have learned a whole lot, now we don’t have the time to keep up. That should become your hobby. Before the next few years we just might get the trailer so solidified that it can actually travel without needing to be rebuilt every spring when we make it back home. Hang in there….

2 years ago

Let me suggest you add geocaching to your list of potential activities! It adds a new dimension to hiking and sightseeing. You get to pick easy-to-find caches or hard-to-find caches according to your style, as well as some amazingly clever cache hides. (I could fill a page with descriptions of some of them.) We’ve done geocaching for years, mostly as a way to get us out to someplace we never would have gone otherwise. By the way, geocaching is free!


2 years ago

We’ve been snowboarding for 15 years and don’t get bored.
We couldn’t do BLM camping because we do like conveniences. We enjoying RV parks and resorts with activities. It’s also nice to be in an area were there’s many things to do. This year we are in an RV resort and cannot begin to do all that’s offered.
Keeping trying new places and experiences.

2 years ago
Reply to  Larry

Snowboarding is great entertainment! Getting harder to navigate down the snowy slopes as we get older, but it’s great exercise and really keeps you sharp! As Tony Hawk said, ““There’s freshies on the super-jib in Tahoe, brah.”!

2 years ago

LOL. Sometimes relaxing and appreciating the natural environment is a learned skill. For most of our lives we live with a schedule and a TV screaming at us. The clock and the TV is like a drug. Getting off of drugs is tough.

We don’t have a TV, we don’t live by the clock or calendar, and we don’t read the news when we’re in our RV. Books, Kindles, hiking, photography, napping is our way of life. We milk life out of everything we do, especially sitting in our chairs and watching the sunset.

It took us about two years to completely shed our working years bad habits. Stick with it, it will come eventually.

T Edwards
2 years ago
Reply to  Will

We don’t flee our winter Cumberland Plateau home base or boondock but the best two weeks we spent camping was in a back country campground in Appalachia. No TV, phone, or internet. We love hiking wooded trails and waterfalls. Surrounded by like minded country folk. Some stay there all summer. It’s also a base camp for off-road ATV & jeeps. Had a huge rock formation in the center of the grounds used by off-road vehicles. We’ve found what we really like & enjoy and the company we like to keep. My advice is to find the same for you. Keep searching. Keep moving until you find it.

Charles Howard
2 years ago

Well, uhh, why not spend the Winter at a Snowbird RV Park? Can’t afford it??
You’re missing: Dancing, Park Meals and Potlucks, concerts, shows, every card game known to man, Pickleball, swimming pools, RC tracks, shuffleboard, horseshoes, Library, Pool Hall, Happy Hour, Bocce Ball, Petanque, Rolle Bolle, Block Parties, more dancing and shows (top entertainers from Branson and other places), State “refugee” gatherings, Park ‘Church”, Music Jams (Country, Big Band or RocknRoll) …. You can be anti-social or SUPER social as you like.
Our Park in Donna TX (“Bit-O Heaven in the RGV) offers that (and so do many other nearby parks you can visit for meals, entertainment and games )
But it does cost about $375/month plus electricity. FHU.. A major metropolitan area with lots of attractions, shopping and MANY great restaurants and even a Catholic Basilica.
Sometimes free is just worthless….
AZ and FL are more expensive…
The $600/month or more Parks in the RGV have LOTS of available spots and you could even park in most of them without any next door neighbors if that’s important.
No harm in trying if for just a month next season (Nov – March)?
Safe Travels!

Alaska Traveler
2 years ago

Although that locality is beautiful, there is really nothing for many miles in all directions. Unless you planned to have a quiet peaceful time there reading perhaps, you are bound to be disappointed. The longest we have ever stayed there is perhaps 3 or 4 days. Maybe you should move up to Quartzsite and amble through the plethoras of flea market type shops. The first time out we visited several US parks and traveled from Keywest to San Diego. After 12 years of full timing we can sit in one spot for a week of doing nothing but relaxing…. but any longer has to contain friends, family or fishing…..

Will B.
2 years ago

I suspect those fulltimers who are still working have less of a problem with this. But I can easily see, too, thinking “Okay, I’ve been here a week…why am I still here?”

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