Are You Too Old to RV Full-time?

Only you can know if you’re really too old to RV full-time. Age is a relative thing. You can be in the grave by 60 or running marathons. Here are some things to consider:

Fitness as You Age

Health and physical fitness are what we all need to focus on as we age. It doesn’t matter if we live in a sticks-and-bricks or an RV. I’ll use myself as an example. I’m overweight and don’t get enough exercise. Because of that I’m fall more easily and just can’t do all that I want to do. If it weren’t for Jim, I would probably be too old to RV full-time by myself. Jim is still an old guy but he’s in a lot better shape than I am. (Now that I’ve put that in print, I guess I’ll have to make some changes.) Eating right and exercising are things we can all do to slow the aging process and make sure we’re not too old to RV.

RVing Full-time Involves Some Physical Tasks

There are a few things you have to do when RVing that require some physical strength. Hitching and unhitching a towed vehicle or trailer can be one of them. It also requires some bending and kneeling. I personally have had both knees replaced. I can do all of this, but kneeling is a challenge. A foam pad from the garden center at Lowe’s is a life saver!

Emptying black and gray tanks is a necessity. It can involve some bending and kneeling to deal with all the hoses.

Knees and hips don’t work as well when arthritis sets in. Even the steps to your RV can be a challenge. When shopping for an RV be sure those steps aren’t too steep for your knees. Some 5th wheels are pretty difficult. Some have three steps and others have four. More steps mean they aren’t as steep. Step stools help as well as strong hand rails. There are a variety of aids you can add to your RV to help with accessibility: Hand rails, extra steps, stools, ramps and even lifts. Don’t let this stop you. Camping World has six pages of options and that’s only one supplier.

Another thing to look at when shopping for your RV is whether or not you can easily access your basement storage. The doors on our RV are hinged on the side so that’s not a problem. Some are hinged on the top meaning you have to bend down to see what’s in the cargo bay. There are also RVs that have cargo bays underneath the slides. These definitely involve some crawling around unless you want to bring in your slide before accessing the bay. We do have a couple of these on our RV but we try to store items there that we only need occasionally.

Cargo Bay Door opening vertically
Cargo Bay under Slide
Cargo Bay under Slide

Are You Too Old to RV if You Have Health Conditions?

As we get older our health can make it harder to RV full-time, but certainly not impossible. Jim and I need to make trips to our home base every six months for checkups and prescription refills. That isn’t the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to see friends and get other “stuff” done. On occasion, we’ve needed to stay put for a few extra weeks for health reasons, but it didn’t end our RV adventure.

We also take a variety of prescription medicines. There are Walmarts, CVS’s and Walgreens just about everywhere in the country. All make transferring prescriptions pretty painless.

We also make sure that our health insurance covers us wherever we travel. I don’t have any particular knowledge of health insurance, but beware of a Part D Medicare plan that only covers your local doctors. You never know when you might need medical attention on the road.

Driving as We Age.

Of course, driving can be a problem as we age no matter where we live or what our lifestyle is. As our eyes age, our night vision begins to fail, and that means adjusting. Don’t drive at night. Plan shorter trips. Jim and I don’t like to drive more than three hours a day. We like to be at our new campsite before 3:00 in the afternoon so we can set up before dark. Our travel days also include at least one stop, usually for lunch, to break up the trip. Our dogs also appreciate a little break now and then. There are some great rest stops along our highways.

I meet a lot of couples RVing full-time and am always concerned by the number of women who don’t know how to drive their RV’s. Jim and I split drive time and it makes our trips much less stressful. Sometimes it’s really a matter of safety. When driving through beautiful canyons and mountains, it’s hard to enjoy the view when you’re driving. When we take turns, we both get a chance to enjoy the view. (And we don’t run off the road and down a cliff!)

Are You Too Old to Enjoy the Journey?

We love visiting our country’s state and national parks and we love hiking their trails. Can we physically hike up mountains? No. Can we hike for miles and miles? No. We’re old guys and we have limitations. That doesn’t preclude us from doing shorter, less challenging hikes. It also doesn’t preclude us from stopping along the road to take in the sights. It doesn’t prevent us from visiting museums, shops or other attractions. And it certainly doesn’t preclude us from eating at some great local restaurants. Age doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey.

My Example of Being Too Old to RV– Or Not!

I’m 70 years old. Here I am on top of our RV helping replace our TV antenna.

Mary on RV-Too Old
Mary on top of RV

Here’s a picture of me in the emergency room.

Mary in Emergency Room-Too Old
Mary in Emergency Room

Now, here’s the whole story: Our TV antenna broke when the wind caught our awning and threw it on top of the RV. We needed to replace it. Now, all women know that men never read instructions, so I had to climb up to show Jim how to change it out. Of course, men probably just think women are bossy. Not me, though. (hehe) The fix was easy but the trip down the ladder was not. I missed the second step and fell onto a step stool at the bottom and then onto the ground. I’ve never broken a bone in my life but now I can cross that off my bucket list.

Am I Too Old to RV?

Does an accident like this make me too old to RV? I don’t think so. It might make me too old to climb around on top of our RV, but I don’t think I’m too old to RV. I just need to learn my limitations. Artificial knees just don’t work like real ones.

Are You Too Old to RV Full-time?

Everyone has to make their own decision about whether or not they’re too old to RV full-time. There are limitations that come with age but there’s always a workaround for them. If you like to sit at home and do nothing, then you’re probably too old to RV full-time. If you like adventure, even a little, then this might be the lifestyle for you. I know Jim and I couldn’t be happier RVing full-time, even with all of life’s challenges.

NOTE: This accident is the reason I haven’t been posting lately. I’m completely right-handed and typing was impossible. Now that I’m regaining the movement in my hand, you can expect to hear a lot more from me.


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