René M. Agredano
The full-time RVing demographic is changing. People are living well into their “golden years” and staying on the road longer. Full-time RVers are younger too, enjoying the lifestyle earlier than ever before. Somewhere in the middle lies the sweet spot of the ideal age to hit the road. This may lead one to wonder: how old is too old to full-time RV?
iRV2 member BluePill hits the road solo.
Age, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, take one eighty year old man who stays active and healthy and put him next to a counterpart of the same age who sits in a chair all day. The first will probably tell you that age is just a number, while the other will gripe about how getting older stinks. Which one do you think will be a stronger, safer full-time RVer on the road?
If you’ve always dreamed of hitting the road but think you waited too long, think again. The time to do what you love is always “now” but before you take this major leap, first examine your attitudes about aging. How you handle age-related changes makes all the difference in how well you adapt to the nomadic lifestyle no matter what physical challenges you currently face.
“We started full time 4 years ago. We’re both 78 now and just wish we’d started sooner,” writes iRV2 member Chet, aka super_rep. “We’re having a lot of fun spending our kids inheritance, which neither of them need. As long as you’re able, go for it,” says the driver of a 45-foot Monaco coach.
Ways aging can affect full-time RVing
Most people agree that if you’re even asking the question, “Am I too old to full-time RV?” then you’re probably not too old to hit the road. Of course there are considerations. Physical
How many times have you been the center of attention while pulling into a campground? After you finally nail backing into a tight spot, there’s nothing like adding your ear-splitting slide out and window squeaks to campground ambiance. Now you can avoid being in the spotlight with two new RV slide-out and window lubricants made by the experts at 3-in-One.
Eliminating squeaky RV slide outs starts with professional grade products.
RV slide-out and window squeals happen for a few common reasons. Sometimes the slide-out squealing noise comes from frozen rubber rollers underneath the slide. Other times RV window frames fill with road dust and grime, which results in noisy friction when opening and closing them. Consistent use and exposure to the elements lead to wear and tear on moving parts that can make them sound awful and wear faster. It seems there’s just no end to the squeaks and rattles that happen as a result of homes that roll down the highway.
Play it safe with RV-specific products
The good news is you can do something about it. First, stay on top of RV maintenance. Annually cleaning and lubricating all components can help reduce annoying noise and help prolong the life of moving parts. Using a product like RV Care Slide-Out Silicon Lube also helps.
But before you reach for WD-40 or any old silicon lube, stop. You can make your RV slide out and window squeaks even worse if you reach for a product that isn’t designed for use on fiberglass or rubber parts. That’s why you want to play it safe with RV-specific products.
Only use slide-out and window products made for RVs.
The 3-in-One line is made for RV maintenance and safe on rubber, metal, and most types of plastic. Here’s how it works:
Fully extend slide-out.
Remove any rust or chipping paint from tracks with
One of the most popular questions RVers ask each other is: can my RV propane system explode on the highway? A propane safety expert will probably say that it can and you should leave it off while driving. But ask any RVer if they bother to shut off the RV refrigerator on the highway and they’ll most likely say “Never.” The reality is that modern RV propane systems are safe compared to yesteryear’s models. But the risk of an explosion is still there.
Can your RV refrigerator kill you? Maybe. (Image: Anythingwithanengine Media YouTube.com)
Despite warnings from propane safety experts, most RVers leave their system on while in transit. “I gotta have ice for Happy Hour so I run the fridge,” says iRV2 member Polyian. The vast majority polled in a discussion titled “Run fridge on propane on the road?” agree. Another member, parkerbill, says, “We always drive with our fridge on propane. Our fridge is on the opposite side of the TT and fuel input on my truck and it’s always sticking well back from the gas pumps, so I don’t turn it off when refueling.”
Can your RV propane system explode on the highway?
Old-Biscuit also chimed in about the risk factor in leaving your system on. “Circuit boards have ‘safety’ requirements that must be meet prior to allowing gas valves to operate (DC Voltage thru t-stats, thermal fuses, sail switches, limit switches etc.) RV propane system is a very safe system and if not safe to use while in transit I would not want to use it while sleeping,” he explains.
However as this RV propane tank explosion shows, accidents happen.
This RV caught fire at the gas station. It may or may not be the result of a propane tank explosion. But if this RV driver left the propane system on, they’re
The only way to become a nomad is to do it. The full-time RVing reality check happens after you jump in. So when Donna Fisher-Jackson and her husband Jim hit the road they were as green as new full-timers can get. “We had never owned an RV before so when we decided to sell everything and hit the road, there was a steep learning curve,” she recalls. Three years after their trial-by-fire full-timing adventure, Donna now shares their lessons learned in her book called “Living the RV Lifestyle: Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.”
Full-time RVing reality check: it’s a lifestyle, not a vacation
Jim and Donna’s marriage grew stronger as full-time RVers. (Image: D. Fisher-Jackson)
Living in your RV full-time may look like a non-stop party to the untrained eye. However Donna can vouch that it certainly is not. “ You still need to do the laundry, grocery shop, etc,” she says. Trying to balance domestic chores with the RVing learning curve is a challenge for most people. Toss in the need to earn a living while constantly changing locations and the business of learning how to be a nomad turns into a full-time occupation. For anyone who needs to manage all of these lifestyle factors, Donna’s new book lives up to its promise of providing practical advice for success. A short sampling of topics she covers includes:
How to choose your first full-timing RV
Practical and emotional tips for downsizing belongings
How to help your pets adjust and be comfortable
Common mistakes new full-timers make
Considerations about leaving the lifestyle behind you.
Full-timing lessons learned together and apart
New book shares the couple’s practical lifestyle tips.
In her time as a full-time RVer Donna found that many people were curious about the lifestyle. Eventually she felt compelled to share what she had already learned. “I
Nobody expects to end their summer getaway in a body bag. But each year that’s exactly what happens to campers who get injured or die in the national parks while on summer vacation.
Unprepared summer hikes in rough terrain often end in tragedy. (Image: Joshua Tree National Park, NPS.gov)
According to National Park Service statistics reported by CNN, a total of 1,025 people died in national parks from 2007 to 2013. In the big scheme, that’s not too many deaths compared to other ways to die in America. For instance, in 2015 there were 15,696 homicides and 40,000 fatal car crashes. Regardless of how many people die in U.S. national parks the fact is that many deaths were totally preventable.
Most vacationers don’t die from grizzly bear maulings or other wild animal attacks. The causes aren’t quite as sensational. The most popular ways to die in national parks usually involves being unprepared and disrespectful of the power of nature.
A quick scan of the National Parks Service news release log reveals most tourist deaths are the result of overconfidence or just simple bravado. Here are some examples of surefire ways to end your national parks vacation on a bad note:
Ignore warning signs.
Warning signs exist for a reason but not everyone abides by them. On June 22, 2017 Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area officials responded to a person who fell from a cliff near the Lands End Painted Rock area. Preliminary investigation revealed that the person who fell 150 feet to her death was part of a group who admitted to ignoring warning signs indicating “Danger Area Closed.”
Get too close to wildlife.
Wildlife selfies are a dumb idea but not everyone has gotten the memo. In July an Alaskan tourist at Theodore Roosevelt National Park was head-butted by a bison. The tourist simply got too
Two words in the English language will keep your RV in the best condition possible: preventive maintenance. A host of annual RV tasks are sometimes a chore but they’re usually not too difficult or time consuming. One of the easiest jobs is taking time to seal RV seams with Dicor RV Lap Sealant.
Is it time to re-seal your RV seams?
Sealing RV seams is important because water damage often happens at the corners where RV walls are joined together. Although RV walls leave the factory with sealant already applied to the seams, over time UV light and weather breaks the sealant down. This creates gaps in the corners which allow moisture to get inside. If that happens, the RV becomes a victim of fiberglass RV delamination, an unattractive defect that is impossible to fix and takes every ounce of resale value out of the unit.
The good news is that you can protect your RV from this problem if you take annual measures to re-seal the exterior seams on your walls and roof seams with Dicor Lap Sealant. But don’t head to your nearest RV repair shop to get the job done. This task is so simple, anyone can do it.
Why use Dicor instead of caulk?
Don’t reach for silicone caulk to seal your exterior seams. Although this material is waterproof, over time it dries to a hard finish and cracks. Removing it is difficult and messy.
Dicor Lap Sealant, on the other hand, never hardens even after years of ultraviolet light exposure. This seam sealing product remains flexible and water-tight over time.
The only disadvantage with Dicor is that it can get ugly and dirty. Also, after many years it has a tendency to shrink and separate. That’s OK though, nothing’s perfect.
Frequently inspecting all exterior seams at roof, walls, trim, vents, and light fixtures
Full-time RV travel without a partner is unthinkable to some people. But being alone on the road isn’t impossible and many people find it fun and enjoyable. Whether you’re partnered with someone, newly single, or just yearning to get on the road by yourself, consider joining any of the many solo RVer clubs that can help you do it with confidence. The best part is you don’t even need to be a full-timer to join.
Solo RVer clubs create community on the road.
She didn’t wait to travel the world. (Image: fmcnair iRV2 Forums).
This 74-years young solo RVer shipped her small HYMAR, class B from Graz, Austria to the Americas. “Thus far she has put on over 44000 miles. In a few months, she wants to go south to Mexico, Central America, and on south into South America,” writes iRV2 member fmcnair. Clearly she didn’t want to wait for a partner to make the epic journey.
But what happens when a solo RVer actually doesn’t want to be alone? That’s when one of the many active solo RVer clubs can fill the need. You don’t have to look far to find one. “It’s nice to have the option of being in a group. When you make friends in the clubs and you go the same route sometimes, it’s nice to know you’ll run into a friendly face!” writes GraciesMom in the iRV2 Discussion Forums. Some clubs like the LoWs (Loners on Wheels) have a conservative feel, others are a little wild and many have a particular focus such as religion or hobbies.
Wandering Individuals Network (WIN)
This solo RVer club has such an active events calendar that there’s no excuse to sit around feeling lonely. Like most full-timers, WIN member events move north during summer and fly south for winter. WIN boasts up to 120 different