Tips for Solo Female RVing
Tips for Solo Female RVing
A look at the top concerns about traveling alone.
By: Susan Harley
You may call me 'Queen of the Road.' Or not. If that makes you uncomfortable, I completely understand. My self-proclaimed royal status is really just meant to convey my dedication, excitement, and total love of solo RVing.
My husband and I have been RVing together since 2012. And when we are together, he drives 99% of the time. He handles the outdoor hook-ups 100% of the time. He also does the backing in, the leveling, the tire maintenance, and the other maintenance 100% of the time. That makes it sound like I do nothing when we RV together, which is not true. However, I do not do everything when we RV together.
But when it is just me, it is just me, and I do everything. Good golly, it is an empowering feeling. Slightly intimidating at times, but empowering nonetheless. For this solo travel, I am behind the wheel of our 2017 Winnebago Era 70A 4x4. She is a 9'10" silver goddess in my eyes, and she and I are in this adventure together.
Are you a lady out there who is curious about RVing alone? Or perhaps you are an awesome husband who would like to encourage his partner to take her own adventures. If so, let's noodle a few things. I think the three biggest concerns women have about traveling alone are: 1) personal safety, 2) driving a rig, and 3) being lonely. So, let's address those!
Top Concerns of Solo Female RVers
Of course, personal safety is not just a concern for solo female RVers. But for the sake of this article, I do feel it needs to be addressed as a top concern.
I am cautious by nature. When it comes to RVing, this means that I do not take any chances with my overnight locations. I stay in campgrounds, rather than in rest areas, Walmarts, boondocking, etc. This is my personal choice, and it is what makes me feel comfortable. But there are other solo female RVers out there who are comfortable boondocking. They know where their RV key is at all times, in case a quick escape is necessary. They do not open their doors when unexpected knocks occur. Some carry bats or knives or guns.
Personally, I do not want to worry that I may find myself in a situation that I need to physically defend myself. So, I stay only where there are other campers. But if you are confident in your ability to defend yourself, then the options for your overnight locations are much broader than mine. Regardless, I would encourage you to do your research before staying anywhere, and make sure you have cell phone coverage and someone knows where you are.
Another aspect of personal safety is your safety while you are driving. Unexpected things can happen while you're driving. A rock hits the windshield. A tire blows. That is why it is imperative to have roadside service coverage. I honestly wouldn't leave home without it. While you may feel comfortable changing your car's flat tire, RV tires (depending on your rig) may need some extra muscle and/or tools. It is just really good to know that you can call someone, and they will send the necessary help your way!
However, try not to let the possibility of something going wrong stop you from going on your own adventures. Just do everything you can to be prepared. And that includes another safety necessity, which is a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Many RVs do not come with this built-in. So invest in a good TPMS! It will give you the peace of mind you need, or the heads up that you need should a tire start leaking.
Driving a Rig
The second concern for some is actually driving a rig. To that I say, get one that you are comfortable with. It is out there, and you can have a blast finding it! Or maybe you already have an RV, but someone else drives it. Can you learn to be comfortable behind its wheel? Perhaps take some driving lessons with it, and see if it works for you.
There are plenty of women who drive big rigs. I absolutely l-o-v-e seeing a diesel-pusher enter a park, and it is a woman in the driver's seat! But for me, I don't want to drive our 42' diesel pusher. Enter the silver goddess. She is 24' long, and I think we are perfect for each other. I found my RV soulmate in the Winnebago Era.
And there are so many options out there! Maybe you get a small trailer and tow it behind your SUV, truck, or minivan. And who doesn't drool over those vintage trailers? Another great option is the Travato. If I did not need a 4x4 because of where I live, I would have seriously considered the Travato. Plus, new options are coming out all the time. Winnebago recently released the Revel and the Boldt. If a camper van is part of your dream, check those Class B options out!
The point is, something that you will be comfortable with is out there. So, don't let a fear of driving a rig or towing a trailer stop you. Instead, start searching for it!
Now, you may be like me, and you love, seek, and need alone time. For you introverts out there, this is a no-brainer. Get yourself in an RV ASAP.
But maybe you are not like that. Maybe the idea of solo RV'ing distresses you because you think you will be lonely. If so, you need to know this: Few things are more social than campground life. RVers are a friendly and generous group. There really is no need to let your desire to be with others stop you from RVing alone. You can just show up at a campground and strike up some conversations.
Depending on what type of RV you choose, many have Facebook groups that announce meetups throughout the country. I would love to meet up with other Era owners, and it is on my Must-Do List. I want to pick their brains and copy their mods. I think it would be a lot of fun to hang out with these like-minded wanderers!
There are plenty of groups you can join and caravans you can travel with. Just do some research online. This would allow you to still be driving in your rig alone (and, consequently, listening to exactly what you want), but you're also in with a crowd. Best of both worlds! There would be people to eat dinner with, campfire talks, and the security you desire.
I have been thinking about joining one of the all-female RV groups, yet I keep putting it off. Now, after writing all of this, I feel like the time to join those other ladies is now! After all, we are at the cusp of camping season.
And maybe the time is now for you too! I hope this article at least has you thinking about the possibilities and adventures that could lie in store for you. If you do hit the road, or are already a fellow female solo RVer, please reach out to me at theRVventurer.com. We women wanderers need to stick together. Happy trails always! I would love to see you on the road!