Question: Hi Luise: I am recently retired lady living in TX, and bored to death. My brother and his wife own an RV, and they said that they had met single retired women at some other campgrounds. How do you begin to look for the right RV? I have a standard poodle who will travel with me. I am brave, but also cautious. I would love to hear about clubs and where to begin. Lynda
Answer: Dear Lynda: Good for you!! Truth telling can so often be a door opener. Why stay bored, for heaven’s sake? Also, “brave and cautious” are the perfect combination to base your move on.
You need to focus on two things…the rig that is the right one for you and your support system.
Many people rent RVs for a while to see what suits them best. I didn’t do that but I often recommend it. For me the choice was easy. I bought a motor home because my best efforts at learning how to back up a trailer were proof-positive that I needed to pass on that. Many women can whip into a campground and tuck their fifth wheel or travel trailer between two trees, leaving inches to spare on both sides. I’ve seen it done. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. So your first job, if you haven’t found out already, is to see what kind of a rig you are comfortable with.
I fell in love with the Class C type motorhome because I just adored the luxurious, queen-sized, cab-over bed. It also left lots of room for my two dogs, which together are about the size of yours. Eventually, I got so I could tow a little pick-up behind me but not to start out with. I bought a Fiberglas, 21 ft. Class C on a one-ton Toyota chassis. I passed everyone on the road and then I passed them all again at the gas station.
If you are of a mind to rent a unit, or even a few, before investing…then make notes about what you like and don’t like along with what you need that you don’t have and what you have that you don’t need. Also, tour every unit you are invited into. Most people love to show off their rigs. And ask a lot of questions about why they picked what they picked, and how it’s working out for them. Ask about things like generators, solar panels, basement units, automatic levelers, and back-up TV screens even if you’ve never seen any of them up close and personal
Your support system is the rest of the equation. I firmly believe that the Escapees Club is the greatest resource out there. Go to: www.escapees.com . Once you’ve joined, you will be given all kinds of materials to peruse. They have a marvelous campground system called Rainbow Parks, reasonable RV insurance, special events and even a retirement spot for folks when they “hang up their keys”. If the Escapees don’t have the options and services you want and need, make a suggestion and watch what happens.
That’s where I would head, first off…to their headquarters, Rainbow’s End, in Livingston, TX. That’s the place to make friends and learn everything you need to learn. Then your first road trip can be with one of their traveling groups called the Escapades! You may find that you will always want to travel that way.
RVing has become a very strong, American subculture. And because of that, there’s a bond that is immediately established when you hit the road. You are about to start on a Great Adventure! I mean it!