Never even been in an RV!

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Vonkking

New member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Posts
1
I am a 70-year-old retired woman living in Saint Paul Minnesota and want an adventure. My family is worried that I would not be able to handle a big vehicle like an RV. Do people take maintenance and repair classes so they know how to fix them themselves? Are there many safe places for people to park at night? I?m excited to get started. Von
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,701
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
Tell your family to take a hike. Of course you can handle a big rig. Being a woman has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of women on this forum and other forums that do just that. The best idea is to rent an RV for a weekend trip and visit a local campground.
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
4,032
Location
Midwest
I agree with SeilerBird, rent an RV and see how things go.  Heck, find someone that's been RVing before and ask them to tag along with you  ;)

Many (most) don't get the heavily involved in the maintenance, they let garages do the oil changes etc.  RV has a broad range.  A 40ft Class A, or a 23 ft Class C.  It all depends on the adventure you seek.  Parking at night, most stay in campgrounds, that in general are very safe.  Occasionally, people stay in Rest areas or even a Walmart parking lot, I'd say again, pretty safe. 

 

Arch Hoagland

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Posts
4,029
Location
Clovis California
Lots of women in their 70's RVing, we have two lady friends in their 70's that travel all the time. One of them is currently boondocking in Quartzite in her Class C RV. 

They both have class C RV's and traveled cross country alone, not with each other, and did quite well. 

I'd suggest you rent a class C RV for a week and you'll quickly find out if you like it or not. 
 

RVMommaTo6

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Posts
2,139
Location
Rochester, NY
I'm a single woman too, I started out in a tent, then to a pop up, a travel trailer, and I just bought a class A motorhome in August. I'm always super nervous taking a new step. Idk why, but I agree, it's scarier being a woman, we feel less able for some reason. Maybe it's the lack of physical strength or maybe because I don't know much "man" stuff like motors and stuff. But you can do it! Welcome to the forum and to RVing!
 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,029
Welcome to the forum  Vonkking

Don't let being a woman or being 70 stop you. I agree with the others ...Rent a RV and get a taste of the life style.
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,858
Location
SW Louisiana
If you are not mechanically adept then I would suggest buying an extended warranty which can generally be bought on coaches up to 15 years of age and kept for at least another 5 years as long as you keep it paid up.
 

kdbgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,329
Vonkking said:
I am a 70-year-old retired woman living in Saint Paul Minnesota and want an adventure. My family is worried that I would not be able to handle a big vehicle like an RV. Do people take maintenance and repair classes so they know how to fix them themselves? Are there many safe places for people to park at night? I?m excited to get started. Von

A member here that goes by JudyJB went through the same thing. Hopefully, she will see your post shortly and give the information you are looking for. Her answer will be very revelent, as your ages are close. BTW, not only does she use her RV, she full times in it.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
7,316
Location
Scotland
I have the utmost admiration for you.  Give it a go and I think you might just love it.  There are several women only groups on the web and I will try to find some links to those which I saw on a previous post a while back and if I find it I will link it here.

Good luck to you!

Edit adding link:

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,51045.msg488293.html

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,63017.0.html

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,103107.0.html

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,78879.0.html
 
S

SusanV

Guest
We've only been RVing once, in a 27' Class C with three boys, so I can't say how easy it would be to drive something bigger, but we're going to do exactly as you mention and sign up for RV Boot Camp so we can elevate our skill set to something above zero when we get our Class A and head out for a year or two. Having spent time vacationing in an RV gives us a lot of confidence we're going to enjoy it, so I would agree with those who have said rent one first and see what you think.

Mainly I wanted to say I'm excited for you! Wonderful that you want this grand adventure, and are ready to take steps to make it happen. I do wish you many happy travels!
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,187
I was 69 when I started out, and I also had hardly ever been in an RV--maybe once with my son and his family.  Anyway, I went in whole hog--sold my condo, sold my car, put furniture into storage, bought my 32;' Class C, and headed west!  Half my friends thought I was nuts and the other half were jealous.  My older son was worried, but my younger one was positive I would not make it 200 miles down the freeway without  dying in a fiery crash.  I told him I could sit in my recliner for the next 20 years and die there or take a chance of dying in that fiery crash along the freeway.  I said I was NOT going to die in my recliner.

Well, it has been 6-and-a-half years later and 123,000 miles, and I am still loving it!  And I brought my recliner with me, by the way.  Sitting in it now, but I have a much better view than my condo living room walls.

(Scared younger son to death when he had to drop me off at the dealer to pick up my motorhome and follow me as I drove it 75 miles back to his house.  Paid him back for all the times I rode with him when he was 16.) 

I meet the nicest people and have made a lot of friends of other older women doing the same thing I am doing.  There have only been a couple of times when I felt unsafe and both times, I just left and found another place to camp.  I nearly always stay at state, county, and national parks, which are VERY safe.  I do not do desert or Walmart parking, although I know a lot of other women who do. 

You might want to join the many women's RVing groups.  One forum I follow is http://www.womenrv.com/forum/.  It is not a club, just a group of friendly women who have a lot of experience driving RVs.  Most of them are part-timers and still own homes, but a few of us are "houseless" but not "homeless."  We meet up in small or large groups whenever we can, so I have gotten to know a lot of them personally. 

And if someone thinks you are too old, I have met at least two women in their 80s who drive RVs. 
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,187
By the way, motorhomes are a lot easier to handle for a single person than a trailer and tow vehicle.  Motorhomes back up much like cars, so are a lot easier to park in a campsite.  I chose not to tow because I did not want to have to handle two vehicles, so I occasionally rent a car to go into a city or ride my electric bike around campgrounds and nearby places. 

If you rent an RV, make it a small-to-medium-sized Class C, just to start.  I am short, and love being able to see over all those pickup trucks and cars. 
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,858
Location
SW Louisiana
Now that I have a real keyboard to type on I am going to type a longer reply, since getting back into RV'ing after buying my current coach in 2016, I have spent roughly 150 nights in it traveling, rarely staying in one place for more than 5-6 days.  Even though I am not that socially active, I have met a number of women in your general age range traveling solo, most seem to opt for 25-30 ft coaches, often 25 ft MB Sprinter based class B / B+ coaches, the ones I have met that travel in larger class A coaches have all been widows, that had traveled in the class A coaches with their husbands before the husbands passed away. 

One woman that I met at a week long FMCA regional rally in Texarkana a couple of years ago comes to mind (she was in the space behind me, and we shared an electric outlet), as I recall she was in her late 60's, was traveling solo for months at a time in a Phoenix Cruiser or similar 25 ft coach with only an electric bicycle for auxiliary transportation.  Though in her case she had a husband, who had mostly given up on traveling  (due to health reasons?) and diesel pusher class A back home on the east coast (Delaware?).

Others I have met, mostly as camping neighbors, had similar stories, such as one woman that camped out next to me  while dry camping at a festival a couple of years ago, was a retired teacher in her mid 60's driving a 2013 (maybe 2014) Thor Vegas 24.1 with no TOAD car.  This was the first time I had seen a Vegas in person, and she was nice enough to show it to me, I recall walking away amazed at the number of televisions they had squeezed into such a small coach. She told me that she traveled in the coach part time, sometimes solo, or sometimes with friends or relatives, the weekend I met her, her sister was with her, though I only briefly met the sister and the week before she had just finished a 2 week trip with her 91 year old mother.
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,187
Oh, and I have to tell you that I get a lot of compliments from men on how well I back up into a camping spot.  Last summer I got an offer of help to hook up my water and electric, and then an apology later from the man who said that when he saw me drive in, he was surprised to see a woman driving a motorhome, so assumed I must need help.  He said he would never have assumed that with an older man driving!!  Very astute of him to admit it.

Anyway, I have about 10 times more mileage driving my rig and an lot more experience backing in than most of the men offering help or complimenting me!  There certainly are times when I am tired or achy and appreciate having someone guide me in, however, so I do appreciate their kindness. 

It is a little scary at first driving a big vehicle, but you do get used to it, even the women who say they could NEVER drive such a big thing.  Ditto for the ones who say, "You are SO brave" for traveling alone.  After listening to some of the arguments I have heard from couples, I tell people it is really easier to travel alone  ;) 
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,693
Vonking, I'm one of the female drivers Seilerbird mentioned.  Although I have a husband and we're "long-termers" instead of "full-timers", that has nothing to do with driving our 40-ft diesel pusher towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  I love driving and our motorhome is a pleasure to drive.  And, yes, I'm in that age 80 category and I expect to be driving it for many more years!  I say go for it if that's what you want to do

There will be trials and tribulations but we all figure they just make you stronger and more confident.  Take the advice given here - rent some motorhomes and drive as many as possible to get a "feel" for how various types handle.  Sit in as many as possible and imagine where you'll put everything and how you'll actually live in it, including when it rains for a week and you hibernate, or when the weather is lovely and you're outside a lot.  Will you have a pet?  If so, where will it live and where will you put its bed, toys, bags of food, etc.  If you have hobbies, can you do them in the motorhome and where will you store all the hobby items?  You have to consider your own lifestyle and whether you might have an occasional traveling companion.  We treasure the memories of our trips with my mother, father-in-law, nieces and nephews.  Good luck on finding your perfect rolling home!

ArdraF
 
Top Bottom