How long can I reasonably expect to stay in the active RV game?

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SRGuy

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Jun 9, 2021
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Austin, TX
OK, first off, I know everyone is different. Sure. However, at some point, there must be an age when just about everyone has said, "That's it, for me. I'm selling my RV, getting a little condo, and taking it very easy until I leave this existence." Again, I know, even as I type this, that there will be some folks in their 80's and 90's (and maybe beyond), who will read this while sitting in their long-term slips at nice RV parks, who will think, "Some folks never leave the RV scene."

I'm actually gearing this more towards "active RV enthusiasts," like me. I'm talking about the road warriors who like the constant tinkering, who get excited about finding perfect, new routes, who brag about being able to change a tire in under ten minutes, start to finish. When, if ever, do those types decide to take it off the road, for good?

I'm hitting 70, this year. I've been RV'ing for about thirty-five years, camping off my motorcycle, and out of my van, for fifteen years, before that. I still like the adventure, but two blowouts, in three days, a few trips ago, and a possible hiatal hernia as a result of wrestling with changing a tire in a muddy rut (yes, I should have/could have gone a little bit further down the road) have got me wondering if I really want to buy the next RV, really want to plan our Route 66 trip, for this Spring.

So, all of you RV long-timers, what has been your experience? What do you know of your former RV comrades who put it to rest? What age, on average, have you seen folks decide to settle down to an RV-free existence?

All answers and insights are greatly appreciated.
 

bzerull

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May 20, 2019
Posts
100
OK, first off, I know everyone is different. Sure. However, at some point, there must be an age when just about everyone has said, "That's it, for me. I'm selling my RV, getting a little condo, and taking it very easy until I leave this existence." Again, I know, even as I type this, that there will be some folks in their 80's and 90's (and maybe beyond), who will read this while sitting in their long-term slips at nice RV parks, who will think, "Some folks never leave the RV scene."

I'm actually gearing this more towards "active RV enthusiasts," like me. I'm talking about the road warriors who like the constant tinkering, who get excited about finding perfect, new routes, who brag about being able to change a tire in under ten minutes, start to finish. When, if ever, do those types decide to take it off the road, for good?

I'm hitting 70, this year. I've been RV'ing for about thirty-five years, camping off my motorcycle, and out of my van, for fifteen years, before that. I still like the adventure, but two blowouts, in three days, a few trips ago, and a possible hiatal hernia as a result of wrestling with changing a tire in a muddy rut (yes, I should have/could have gone a little bit further down the road) have got me wondering if I really want to buy the next RV, really want to plan our Route 66 trip, for this Spring.

So, all of you RV long-timers, what has been your experience? What do you know of your former RV comrades who put it to rest? What age, on average, have you seen folks decide to settle down to an RV-free existence?

All answers and insights are greatly appreciated.
I’ll be 73 in February and still enjoying the RV adventure and doing it safely.
To me, age is just a number. More importantly it depends on your overall condition, which effects reflexes, sight, overall mental capacity, overall strength to physically be able to handle my rig, etc. There are people my age that can’t walk a block, but some that can walk 18 holes of golf while carrying their clubs. If you feel good, are healthy, fit and follow the advice from your doctor and it is still a safe adventure, why stop because of an age number?
 

Rene T

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I’m 74 and she’s 75. The thing with us is packing and unpacking all the time. She doesn’t know when to stop and she’s tired of it. We have been thinking about hanging up our keys for the last couple of years. I think this spring we’ll finally decide which way to go. I feel pretty good no issues other than aches and pains after over doing things and she has several medical issues. Arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis to name a few. We’ve been rv’ing for 42 years so it may be time. We were never full timers.
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
I'm a couple of months shy of 79 and she's 77, and we're still actively living in our RV and moving around frequently. My wife's health will likely be our deciding factor to hang up the keys. She has COPD and is on oxygen, which does add some complexity to our travels. We're currently enroute making several overnight stops from upstate NY to southern GA and Florida where we'll stay at several state and national parks for one to two weeks each before drifting back north in April.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
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Cedar City, UT
Well I hope you all just do it,, I am 80 and the wife is 77,, we have been very active in RVs for over 50 years and I'm tired of having to scramble for reservations at RV parks that I used to just drive up to the office and say "I'm here for two days,, check me in,,,WHAT?? twenty bucks,, for only two nights?,,,highway robbery.!!..>>>Dan
 
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Gary RV_Wizard

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For us it was my wife's health that slowed us down, at first staying longer in one place so she could have regular medical treatment (chemotherapy) and later selling the coach and leasing a summer home instead. Age wasn't really a factor.
 

Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
Well, as you said in your post, everyone is different, and that's true not only in general, but specifically in health and physical abilities as well as in temperament, and everyone's travel companions are different too.

So your physical health and abilities play a huge part, and your personal desire to continue will play almost as much a part as the physical.

All that being said, some folks hang up the keys somewhat early (from a physical standpoint), perhaps in the 60s or early 70s, and some hang on until they just physically can't take it any more. One gentleman that we see at Quartzsite every years is in hi 80s and I saw him last year on the roof of his RV washing the roof.

So the answer to "how high is up" is that it depends on how hard you throw. :D But you gave the answer in your post when you said everyone is different.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Well I quit the RV life at 69 but the reason was "External" (A Semi Driver did just enough damage to my parked Motor home and I decided NOT to replace it)
But know several 80 or older.

People age at different rates.. I've known people where If I were to try to guess their age I'd be easily 10-20 years over.. and one young lady where I actually know her age (She's 69) but If I were to guess I'd give you a number closer to her Senority on the job (I'm sure she's retired by now)

Most people think I'm in my early 60s some even younger (I'm done with 60s) even Law Enforcement officers guess me younger. (Clean living. No booze (Can't stand it) job I actually liked, how to stay young)
 

Ex-Calif

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To me it's definitely ability vs. desire.

There are hurdles to overcome in RV'ing but if you are willing to pay (and wait) almost any roadside problem can be "farmed out"

For some RVing is the "hobby" and the lifestyle. For me it's transportation and a place to stay to see all the cool things in this country I want to see. The advantage is I don't have to pack and unpack. The disadvantage is I have to maintain an RV.

I read the posts about people having to wait endlessly to get their RV repaired. When I can't maintain the RV myself I probably sell it and still travel by road but stay in motels.

However I will say that if RVing is your hobby you need something(S) to replace it. My dad was a total aviation nut, owned multiple planes, did airshows etc. When he lost his medical (triple bypass) he still went to the hangar for like another 10 years putzing around, working on the plane and jibber jabbering with his friends. He could fly with other pilots and did that some but his own flying was non-existent.

Over time he hangared less, always putting in at least a coupe of hours a day, and read more and more. When he could no longer get to the airport it was scary how fast he went - like 6 months to total renal failure. He had a younger second wife and bless her, she nursed him at home right up through death. He was 88 when he passed, stopped flying at like 78 and was till going to the hangar at 87.
 

Ernie n Tara

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Ft Myers, FL
We found ourselves slowing down when I was about 75. That combined with the fact that we really liked the park (and its people) where we stayed in in FL has resulted in our buying a park model, renovating it and we are currently in the process of moving from the rv to the home. Hopefully, we will complete the move and selling the motor home before the end of Feburary.
So it's only partially age for us combined with finding a comfortable neighborhood.

Ernie
 

RVfixer

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Aug 12, 2012
Posts
375
I will be 80 this year and my wife will be 80 early next year and we added to our hobby of RVing and now have two hobbies. Our new hobby is attending doctor and medical test appointments. But we continue to RV and spend from a few months to several months on the road each year. When will we quit? Not until we have to.......
 

DonTom

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Auburn, CA or Reno, NV
However, at some point, there must be an age when just about everyone has said, "That's it, for me.
Nope, it is NOT an age, but other factors.

IMO, in most cases, the least important measurement of time is age.

The same question has been asked about motorcycle riding. I know a couple of guys who are just a year or two below 90 and still ride. And likewise, there are many much younger people who cannot ride. So yeah, everybody is different and run into different situations in life, but that has no "age".

I am 72 years old and that is only a rather meaningless number, IMO.

-Don- North Charleston, SC
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is safety. Many times I see older people just about crawl out of their rv to set it up and I’ve always wondered are they safe to drive. I’ve said how can they even reach the brake pedal and how fast can they do it.
You have to know when you’re at that point and accept it no matter how hard it will be. Remember it’s for your safety, your love ones and all the innocent people on the road with you. If it takes someone to tell you then listen to them.
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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Had a uncle that went to the mountains in late August and stayed until the snow drove him out, usually in late October. He was in his 90s when his son finally convinced him to stop.
We had to quit 4 years ago due to health, and I just turned 76. I don't think there is any set time, it depends on when it stops becoming fun. I loved it, DWs health forced us to stop.
 

LarsMac

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Nov 15, 2015
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Colorado Plains
Well, I'm a young fellow, just into my 70s.
I figure to keep doing what I'm doing until I wake up one morning and decide, "Nope, not gonna do that anymore."

Hopefully, not when someone else says, "Nope, you can't do that anymore."
 
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Kirk

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Oct 30, 2005
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Full-time , Escapee
I am now 79 and she is 80. We camped with a tent for a few years and then in 1972 we bought a small, older popup that we used for 2 seasons, then bought a new popup with a full kitchen and hand water pump in 1974. (no bathroom) We used that until 1983 when we bought our first self-contained travel trailer used. Short version is that in 2000 we took an early retirement and went on the road full-time and continued to do that for almost 12 years, when the wife needed some serious surgeries so we bought a stick house again, but while we did downsize from a class A to a small travel trailer, we continue to take trips of a month or two several times per year. We don't know how much longer we will continue to RV but we do have another trip or two planned for the next summer.

Most of the people we know that have done a lot of RV travel do not just suddenly stop, but do so in a phased manner, as we are. Some become snowbirds and make one trip south and one back north each year while others just coast to a stop with shorter and fewer trips each year.
 

SRGuy

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Austin, TX
All great replies. Thank y'all, so much!

I'm soon to be 70. I still climb trees for a living, still do all of my own RV and home maintenance. I think I feel the "age factor" setting in, a bit, as I grab naps more often, these days. Even so, I'm ready for our next RV adventure.

Again, thanks for all of your great replies. They are truly appreciated!
 
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