So you have some free time. If you are not yet retired, maybe you have a month or two of vacation per year. If you are retired, maybe you have as long as you want. Consider traveling by RV, the great American road trip that you always dreamed about making when you were younger, but never had the time.
As this RV manufacturer noted:
Just because your hair is gray doesn’t mean you have to slow down! Senior citizens make up a large part of the RVing population and that number will only increase as the baby boomers move into that category. – Terrytown RV
What to Consider:
If you are new to RV traveling, you have to make some plans. One of which is who will take care of your home when you are away. Will it be family members, a neighbor, or a service? Some towns even offer a free home watch service, as Des Peres, Missouri (Click Here). One should make provision, however it is done.
What type of RV to Use:
That choice is up to you. You can use a standard hitch on camper, or an all-in-one like a Winnebago, or if you can afford it, the newer trend of a small micro-home. A micro-home will be more expensive, but it will be a home away from home.
This vigorous senior, in the video below, has traveled the world in his tiny home RV. However, he may be a bit too rugged for the average senior. He showers outside his tiny home RV.
Still, the general idea is still workable. There are tiny homes with built in showers. Of course, one can always choose the standard Winnebago or Airstream.
Will you be bringing grandchildren with you, or just your spouse … or just you? These decisions will have to be made when you choose your RV.
Where to Stay:
To save money, you can often park your RV at a Truck stop, and yes, at some Walmarts (See video, below – You may have to call to get permission at the Walmart where you would be staying). You can even stock up on supplies while you are there, though you may have to park in the back.
Many National Parks have lots for RVs. Though again, if you are going to a popular national park, you will have to book ahead. (Click Here). Be aware that some parks do not provide full hookups such as electricity or waste water hookups. You may have to prepare to live off the grid, using only brought in water, holding tank storage, and limiting one’s use of electricity. And be aware, if you are going to depend on generators for electricity, some parks regulate their use. Yosemite National Park is very strict about what times generators may be used (Click Here).
Make sure your RV has a lot of battery storage; and if you want to watch TV at night in a National Park, use an iPad or smartphone with a data connection, not a power guzzling TV.
There may be size restrictions as well. You will have to check ahead to see what is available at each National Park.
Ultimately provision will have to be made for draining of sewage from your RV. This website has a list where one can drain holding tanks at dump stations – yes, that is the real name – listed by state (Click Here). This site has a list of dump stations throughout the world, if you are that daring (Click Here). Be aware that some areas (such as New York City) do not have dump stations. Though there are RV parks in nearby New Jersey.
There are lots of very useful apps for RV travel on both Apple and Android smartphones. Use them.
A very short list of some useful apps is:
– GPS CoPilot – an online map app with free and premium versions.
– Dish Align (iTunes) – Dish Aligner (Android) – helps you to align your satellite dish if you have one.
– Gas Buddy – helps you find the cheapest local gas.
– SaniDumps – helps you to find nearest dump station with hours, and price information.
– Coverage? (iTunes only) – helps you to determine what camps have what signal coverage ($2.99).
– Free RV WiFi – helps you to locate where free WiFi is available.
Of course, there are dozens of other apps available. Check them out.
Unless you are a die-hard classic map purist, it is probably best to purchase a GPS unit to find your route, if you do not have one already, or to use an app on your smartphone.
Be sure to bring your insurance and health documents with you, just in case something goes wrong. If you are traveling internationally, get appropriate travel health insurance. For ex: Geo Blue Travel Medical & International Health Insurance.
Roughing it was never so easy. It may become a lifestyle. If fact, some seniors are moving into tiny homes on a permanent basis, but that is another matter.