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When is it time to hang up the RV keys for good?

There are many factors that can influence the decision to hang up the RV keys and quit RVing for good. Some of those reasons could be age or health-related, personal preferences, and financial considerations. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to stop RVing:

Age

As you get older, you may find that it becomes more difficult to drive, especially at night or in adverse weather conditions. You may also find that it becomes less enjoyable to drive, particularly long distances.

Safety

If experiencing difficulty driving safely, it may be time to consider alternatives to the RVing lifestyle. If seeing while driving is becoming tricky for you, it may be time to hang up those keys. You don’t want to put yourself, or anyone else, in danger.

Health

If you have health issues that make it difficult or you have mobility issues, it may be more challenging to travel and enjoy the RV lifestyle. Some RVers need to hang up the keys to be able to stay near their medical facilities. My husband has glaucoma and we know that if his eyesight is compromised it will be time to hang up the keys or FINALLY let me drive.

Maintenance

An RV requires a lot of maintenance. There may be a time when unable or unwilling to do all the work required to keep up or fix an RV. Even set up and take down can become an unwelcome chore.

Finances

Owning and maintaining an RV can be expensive. If you’re on a fixed income or struggling financially, you may decide to sell your RV and find a more affordable way to travel and spend your retirement years. Campgrounds are more and more expensive, gas prices have soared and other costs have continued to rise. Some RVtravel.com readers have decided that a hotel is a better value than an RV.

Just not like the good ol’ days

Camping and RVing have changed drastically in the last few years. Gone are the days when you could decide on a Friday afternoon to camp for the weekend. Campgrounds can be crowded and reserving ahead of time takes a lot of advance planning. The new generation of campers may not be as aware of campground etiquette as in the good old days, making for some unpleasant campground interactions.

Family

Are the kids nagging you to stop? Perhaps they are more aware of your limitations than you are. When we had to let our dad know that he needed to hang up the car keys, we saw much more clearly than he did that his driving days should be over.

Alternatives

Want to keep the RV lifestyle? For those who love the lifestyle but not the travel, many RVers have been selling their RVs and buying a park model in an RV park. Others buy or rent a permanent RV lot and park their RV.

There are many people who have commented in my column Campground Crowding that they parked the RV and now travel to it by car. One snowbird couple even has two RVs, one north and one south!

Personal preferences

There are a number of factors to consider. You may simply decide that you no longer enjoy RVing for any number of reasons or that you want to try something different. Ultimately, the decision to hang up the RV keys for good is a personal one.

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Randy
13 days ago

We’re one of those couples with two RVs. We have an Avalanche fifth wheel from April 1st to November 1st and a Trail Manor for the winter that’s parked down south. The Trail Manor took some getting used to after the Avalanche, but it’s only for 4 1/2-5 months of the year. We don’t travel around a lot, but when we do we take the Trail Manor. It only costs us about 10% more in gas and allows us to travel in the south in the winter.

Dan
14 days ago

After you have died and left the bank with a quarter million dollars still owed

Jeffery H.
17 days ago

Hanging up the keys? How about just not putting the keys in the ignition as often? We live full time in our Airstream. We just don’t go as far, our as far, and stay longer. It’s fun for us.

Randy
16 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery H.

We are from the second highest taxed state in the U.S.–Illinois. We retired, obtained South Dakota citizenship (no state taxes on income or Social Security and lower insurance rates). We still spend 7 months of the year near our former bricks and sticks in our RV at a resort where we have been set up for a decade. We bought a new fifth wheel last year. We don’t need to be on the go. Our drivers licenses are SD, our license plates are SD, and our wallets are happier. It has saved us nearly $1200 a month by not keeping Illinois citizenship. When the weather gets chilly in October, we head to Georgia. We spend less on everything and don’t intend to hang up the keys any time soon.

Brenda Roe
16 days ago
Reply to  Randy

Where at in Georgia are you?

Randy
13 days ago
Reply to  Brenda Roe

I should have said “we’re heading to Georgia.” It didn’t work out this year and we stayed for the winter and so far it hasn’t been too bad. We do intend to go in 2023. There’s a place in Bloomingdale that we are going to try out.

Billinois
14 days ago
Reply to  Randy

FYI – Illinois doesn’t tax retirement income; SS, pensions, etc.
Property taxes are still a killer though.

Randy
13 days ago
Reply to  Billinois

Property taxes are horrid and one of the big reasons we chose to dump the sticks and bricks. With a paid off mortgage, we still had to pay $400 a month in insurance and taxes just to continue to live. I still earn income on the road, so not being a citizen of Illinois also lowered our tax burden by $4000 a year. We stay seven months of the year in Illinois. As seasonal campers, we pay under $2000 a year for full-time living from April 1st to November 1st. There is an option to stay for the winter, but that would mean moving the camper to another site that has water that doesn’t freeze up. I prefer to go to warmer weather.

Jim
13 days ago
Reply to  Randy

Illinois does not tax most retirement income and as a result we have not had to pay any income tax to Illinois since we have retired.

Dshep
13 days ago
Reply to  Jeffery H.

Sounds like a good plan

Roger V
17 days ago

Having completed our “bucket list” last year, I’m finding it harder to get motivated to fight for campsites this year. Will keep the RV for a while and continue to attend meetups with friends. Might start working on a new or different bucket list too. Highlight for this year doesn’t even involve the RV – an Alaskan cruise.

Dan
14 days ago
Reply to  Roger V

Try Walmart parking lots all the way to Florida. More money to finance a better trip.

Diane Mc
17 days ago

Why we have shortened our driving days to 350 miles or less. Never drive at night, even though we still have good eyesight. When just traveling to get somewhere we only hook up to electric. On cross country trips we have a stop or 2 where we hook up to water/sewer. For water/sewer we pretty much use our dry camping methods to save water and not have to dump. Only put out bedroom slide (in a pinch don’t need to even do that, someone just needs to climb out). Have plenty of room without putting out the front slide (kitchen/living area). We know we are close to hanging it up or probably taking shorter trips.

Jim
13 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Seeing all the dead animals on the side of the roads have convinced me not to drive at night,

Different Chuck
13 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Agreed, 350 miles tops if possible and in the rare event (it happens) that we have to drive 450, we stay 2 days for recuperation. Slows the pace a little but not in that big of a hurry ever and the day off from wheeltime is always welcome . The utility services at every stop are limited to electric as well unless water and dumping are unavoidable. Love your program Diane Mc. Same page.

Richard Hughes
17 days ago

Living in Arizona is a good reason to hang up the keys. With Snowbirds taking campsites, an RV might sit for months, before the weather clears enough for Arizonans to travel North to hog up all the çampsites.

Leonard
17 days ago
Reply to  Richard Hughes

WOW! I am a Canadian Snowbird with a site in an RV Resort in Mesa. All I do is spend a lot of money on groceries, fuel, green fees, and restaurants which help drive your economy! At our resort which is about 65% Canadian, they are thrilled that we are here supporting not only their business, but locally as well. How many of local businesses declared bankruptcy during the pandemic lockdown due to no (or very few) Canadians not able to spend our money in your state?
Thankfully the Americans that I meet are thrilled that I am here.

Caren Kelly
17 days ago
Reply to  Leonard

Well said. I wonder where they travel in the summer months when it’s too hot in the south – are they taking up all our campgrounds? Unfortunately, some Floridians seem to think the same way. FYI, our RV resort in Casa Grande still has sites available.

Mike R
17 days ago
Reply to  Caren Kelly

I lived in Florida for 10 years, I loved it for the first few months then I wanted out. I wasn’t a snowbird yet just working full-time. I was in my 20s nothing really good came from living in FL for me as soon as I was able to secure work back In Pennsylvania I was gone. Less bugs No fire ants or love bugs in PA,. And Pennsylvania didn’t tax you on things deemed essential like clothes and shoes.

Bob M
17 days ago
Reply to  Mike R

But Pa taxes you on everything else and has many crooked politicians. If I had to do it again. I wouldn’t have retired in Pa

Big Bill
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob M

Every state has some bad politicians. But low taxes and economical housing costs make Florida very attractive for a retirement base to travel from in the summer. And every state has its + and – none are perfect.

Roger V
17 days ago
Reply to  Mike R

Income is pretty essential too, and PA is definitely taxing you big time on that where Florida does not.

Big Bill
17 days ago
Reply to  Mike R

I lived in PA for several years in the NW suburbs of Philadelphia Valley Forge area. . Went to grad school at Temple. Enjoyed pro football and basketball teams and the Jersey Shore in summer. Still stay in rv parks in PA every summer to/from Maine. 80 and still rving.

tom
17 days ago

Getting older beats the other choice.

Herman
14 days ago
Reply to  tom

You definitely got that right!

Bob p
17 days ago

All the reasons listed are why Florida has so many bad drivers, they hang up the RV keys and move to God’s Waiting Room, Florida! Lol

Tom M
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

Love it !

Big Bill
17 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

I don’t know a state that doesn’t have bad drivers! Used to travel coast to coast in my regional engineering manager days. I especially enjoyed driving rush hour in LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, NY and Dallas just to name a few. My job took me to most major cities across the US. Don’t see Florida as any worse than the other states.

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