Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Joining the RV club

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are not yet in the club. We want to be full-time RVer’s but my wife thinks she will be lonely. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy my company, she just doesn’t want to be stuck with me 24/7 without some variety of friends. I have been trying to convince her that we will meet other fellow travelers and locals wherever we wander. Am I just wishful thinking or do most people find sparking friendship on the road a common occurrence?
--Lonely Hearts in Loveland

Dear Lonely:
Trust me, it is not wishful thinking. If you are outgoing at all you will collect so many new, awesome friends, your dance card will be constantly full. You will often run into the same friends over and over as you are traveling in the same geographical areas. You will find not only camaraderie but a sharing of great information on maintenance, gear, camping opportunities, recreational options, the list goes on. In my humble opinion, the very best aspect of this RV lifestyle is the wonderful people you meet along the way, from all over the world. Let me just give you one recent example. I just started hiking the Arizona Trail from the Mexico border fence in Coronado National Monument to Utah. The problem was having my wife drop me off on the border and then worrying about whether she made it back to our motorhome safely. We were parked in a National Forest campground 20 miles north of the border. I thought about trying to hitchhike down. The dirt road south is heavily used, but it’s all border patrol trucks. There were only a few other campers, but we decided to walk around the campground and see if anyone might be going down to the Monument, and if I might catch a ride. The first group we ran into were not only the nicest and friendliest people, they were Arizona Trail members. They were section hiking the first section of the trail. They had a shuttle service from Tucson picking them up in the morning and driving them to the border trailhead, and said I was more than welcome to join them. We had so much in common, and laughed and told life stories. I call this “Trail Magic” when things happen unexpectedly while long distance hiking. You will find this same magic wherever you travel if you are open to it.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

P.S. Have no fear the Shrink is still here for questions and therapy. I have posted a few weeks of questions ahead until I reach Utah. Keep your questions coming. If not shot by a drug hauler, bitten by a rattler, stung by an Africanized bee, kicked by a Grand Canyon mule, poked by a scorpion, or gnawed on by a gila monster, I will answer them as soon as I return.

Note from Editor: You will find social RV clubs, special interest RV clubs, volunteer RV Clubs and many more listed in RV Travel's extensive Directory of RV Clubs, found here.



Anonymous said...

We have met more new friends, some very close in the less than a year we have been FT than in 15 years living in our last SB home. We were always stay at home doing our own thing people that liked to garden in the SB. We knew about 4 of our neighbors.

In the first month of FT living in an RV Park we met 4 or 5 times that number that we consider friends, and many more since.

Fred said...

Unless you're a complete introvert you won't have any problem making friends on the road. My wife and I are not the partying type, don't drink, are content to be by ourselves most of the time, and still have made many friends on the road over the last 4+ years of fulltiming. The key to keeping those friends is Facebook. As we make new friends, we follow them on Facebook and frequently find they are going to be in the same area we are. We then make plans to meet and catch up on our adventures in person. As an example, we met a neat couple while relaxing in a hot springs on the Alaskan Highway last spring on our way to Alaska. We travelled with them for a couple of days and then parted. We followed them on Facebook but never crossed paths again in Alaska. Then this winter in Arizona we learned they were headed for Yuma where we were, so we met to catch up on our experiences. The RV travelling community is a very friendly and close knit community. If you are in an RV and travelling, you are automatically a part of it.
You would have to purposely avoid people in order to not make friends on the road. Every RVer loves to talk about their adventures and hear about places others have been.

travelinggramma63 said...

We stay in RV parks for several weeks to months at a time and especially down in FLorida, parks tend to be clannish. What I do is when new people come in, I always wait for them to get settled and then the next time I see them, I will go over and introduce myself and ask if they need anything or have any questions about the area or the park. This has allowed us to make many new friends in our winter haven and not have to try so hard to break into the established clan. If your wife has any special interests, see if there are classes or groups around that she can join. I am learning the hammered dulcimer and found a group in a nearby town that I practice with and join for lunch once a week. People who are RVers are friendly and most often looking for new friends. Good luck and have a ball.....

Too Many Cats said...

Have her join the Escapees forums now and post a few times. She will meet folks on the internet now, and then later in campgrounds and RV parks.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are coming up on 5 years as full-timers. One important thing we did was to join SOWERs. It is a christian group of RVers that volunteer our talents at various christian organizations. We meet new friends, and get free camping for the time that we work. And the work isn't hard. Men normally work 6 fours a day, 4 days a week. The women work 3 hours a day, if they want to. And we only work 3 weeks in a month. The 4th week gives us time to rest and to relax. What is really nice is that we get to pick where and when we want to work.

You can check out this organization at

Anonymous said...

We have been full timing for 5 years and haven't made any friends yet. We say hi to people, but then we never see them again. I feel very lost being on the road for months and months not seeing a single familiar face. We often feel left out or unwanted at many RV park activities for snowbirds because of our age (mid 30's). We visit family on an annual basis which helps.