If you are a senior considering a more flexible lifestyle, or you know one that is, then you’ve come to the right place. There are many misconceptions about RV travel, but this way of life can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
Traveling in an RV means creating memories with your family while saving time, and money and avoiding the hassle of hotel stays. This handy how-to guide will take you from dreading that long road trip to loving it. So, top off those tanks, check your tire pressure, and eliminate any remaining weeds that might be in your tank – we’re about to cover 16 RV travel tips for seniors.
Consider renting an RV before buying one. That way, you can determine if you will use it before spending the money. RVs can be a huge investment and you may want to take a test trip in one before you consider committing to the lifestyle.
Not all RVs are created equal. Some are big enough to sleep a family, while others are made for one or two people. You’ll want to choose a size that’s comfortable for you and your travel companions. Don’t forget that you’ll need space for food and belongings, especially if you’d like to cook your meals on the road rather than making stops.
Just like any other purchase, it pays to shop around for RVs — especially if it’s your first time buying one. Look at several different models and brands to find the best fit for your needs and budget. Also, consider how much maintenance an RV will require to keep it in good condition. Visit an RV dealer or a showroom to get a feel for each type of RV in person before purchasing.
The longer you’ll be gone, the more maintenance you may need. Plan ahead for unexpected repairs like changing tires and brakes or replacing appliances. If you’re buying a new vehicle with a warranty, get extended coverage if possible. You may even want to consider a AAA membership if you don’t already have one.
Be sure to take clothing appropriate for the time of year and weather conditions where you’ll be traveling, as well as comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in. Pack enough clothes so that you aren’t washing clothes every day, but not so many that they’ll weigh down your rig. Take swimwear if you plan on swimming or soaking in hot tubs along the way.
If you have trouble bending down or standing on your tiptoes, remember to lower all shelves and cabinets before you head out on your trip. You can also invest in an adjustable step-stool that you can use inside your RV when needed.
Ensure that your RV has all of the amenities and features you will need for your travels, including comfortable beds and chairs, hot water and showers, and enough storage for all of your belongings.
RV parks are convenient because they have hookups for water, electricity, and sewer — but there will be a fee for using them. In some cases, large retail stores – like Walmart – offer short-term overnight parking for campers and RVs. There are also some reputable websites out there that provide excellent resources for RV owners across the country.
Take advantage of seniors’ discounts for campgrounds, museums, and
other attractions wherever possible. Some campgrounds even offer free nights
during off-season months!
Consider joining RV clubs for technical advice from fellow members and well-organized rallies that let you meet new people and receive helpful tips without having to organize everything yourself.
RVing is a lot of fun, but it takes some time and effort to get everything set up and ready to go. You can make things easier by automating as many tasks as possible. For example, a remote jack lets you operate your levelers without getting out of the RV. Automatic hydraulic jacks can even do the leveling for you. Automatic satellite dishes take the hassle of setting up your TV each time you arrive at a new campground. And automatic steps can make entering and exiting your RV easier for everyone in your family.
A backup camera is a must-have feature. Without it, even the most experienced RVer can have trouble judging how close they are to objects behind them. Like many RV accessories, backup cameras come in hardwired and wireless versions. Hardwired cameras may require professional installation and are typically more expensive than wireless ones. Wireless backup cameras are easy to install and come in various price ranges.
There are lots of apps that help you find campgrounds, restaurants, and attractions along your route, as well as maps, etc. And they have games, books, and movies which come in handy when it’s raining or at night when there is nothing to do after the campfire goes out.
Be vigilant about locking up at night and when you leave the RV unattended during the day. This includes both doors, windows, and storage compartments. Also, consider installing surveillance cameras if you have a home base where your RV will be parked without supervision for extended periods.
Make sure you have enough of each prescription to last for the duration of your trip, plus some extra in case you must spend more time away from home than expected. Keep them in their original containers so they can easily be identified at pharmacies or hospitals if necessary. Make copies of your prescriptions and bring them along as well in case you need refills while traveling or lose any medication, or your luggage goes missing.
Many large RVs have double-door entrances; it’s common for the step down into the RV to be small and narrow. A wider step with handrails on both sides is important for those who are older or have mobility issues.
Grab bars add stability to any environment and should be installed strategically throughout an RV. These include near beds, tables and desks, bathrooms next to toilets, showers, over kitchen counters, and even along hallways.
Lever handles are easier to use than round knob handles for anyone with arthritis or a weak grip. The same goes for knobs on stove burners or other appliances: If you can switch from knobs to levers, you’ll find them much easier to use.
Road trip safety should be a top priority when planning an RV trip. Bringing an emergency kit with you is always a good idea. Include things like a flashlight, food, and water, a first aid kit, reflective triangle, flares or LED road warning lights, blankets, fire extinguishers, and more.
Are you a senior citizen who wants to travel and explore our beautiful country but is worried that your age might disqualify you? The fact that you are looking for this article proves that you are not alone. We hope it will provide numerous tips and guides that will help answer some of your burning questions. And to help other readers like yourself, we have compiled a list of RV travel tips for seniors that they can take advantage of while traveling.