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Road Trips for Seniors: RV Travel Tips

You just retired and now it’s time to pack your bags and see the world. Buying or renting an RV can be a great step for seniors wishing to be on the move. But how do you know which RV you should buy or rent? And how do you pay for all of the travel expenses? In this post, we will go over everything you need to know about RV road trips for seniors.

Types of RVs

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when finding the best RV for a senior. There are various RV options out there for seniors of all ability levels. Below, we will take a look at some motorized and towable RVs along with some details on each to help you make the decision.

  • Motorized RVs

    • Class A

      • Range 26-45 feet

      • Sleeps up to eight people

      • Most come with shower, toilet, and kitchen area

      • Price starts at $50,000 and ultra-luxury models reach about $400,000

    • Class B

      • Under 20 feet

      • Sleeps 2-4 people

      • Small and compact but can include kitchenette, sitting room, and toilet

      • Price starts around $90,000

    • Class C

      • Range 21-41 feet

      • Sleeps 6-8 people

      • Usually has slide out, or extra storage or sitting space that can be collapsed

      • Price ranges $50,000-$100,000

  • Towable RVs

    • Truck Campers

      • Fits in a truck bed and over its cab

      • Popular for couples but some can accommodate up to six people

      • Most come with large sleeping area, small living space, compact kitchenettes, and/or bathrooms

      • Prices range from $5,000 for newer models to about $50,000 for luxury options

    • Travel Trailers

      • Comes in wide range of sizes and layouts (some may include only a crawl-in bed and outdoor kitchenette while others can house a whole family)

      • Many can be towed with a small to midsize SUV

      • Prices range $10,000-$35,000

    • Fifth-Wheels

      • Requires a truck to tow

      • Great for sleeping, lounging, and storage

      • Great for use as a second home or for extended camping trips

      • Prices range $30,000 to $100,000

    • Pop-Ups

      • Can be towed by smaller cars (check the manual or speak to the salesperson for more information)

      • Can be soft-sides or hard-sides

      • Wide range of sizes and weights

      • Most models “pop up” to reveal sleeping and lounge areas

      • Some require physical strength for setup

      • Price ranges $5,000-$20,000

Now that we know more about finding the appropriate RV for seniors, let’s take a look at some RV groups for seniors.

Best RV Clubs for Seniors

You purchased or rented your RV and you’re ready to make your trip. But is car camping for seniors that easy? Do you simply park your RV wherever you want? It doesn’t necessarily work that way. There are a number of clubs where you can gain access to parking at numerous locations ranging from beautiful parks to metropolitan areas. Below are a few RV travel clubs for seniors along with information to help you decide where to invest.

  • Boondockers Welcome

    • $30 per year

    • Most locations offer water and electric

    • Provides connections between private landowners and RVers, allowing you free camping to save money

  • Escapees RV Club

    • $39.95 per year

    • 5-50% discounts at more than 800 RV parks across the country

    • Hosts weekly networking opportunities

    • Access to roadside assistance, job boards, virtual mailbox, and educational programs

  • Family Campers and RVers

    • $35 per year

    • Nonprofit with annual group campventions, regional campouts, and state campouts

  • Family Motor Coach Association

    • $85, $160, and $225 for a one, two, and three-year plan, respectively plus a $10 initiation fee

    • Stays at FMCA campgrounds for free two nights a month

    • Access to emergency assistance

  • Good Sam Club

    • $29 per year

    • Largest network of senior RV parks in the country, plus a 10% discount at all parks

    • Gas and diesel discounts

  • Harvest Hosts

    • $79 per year

    • Stays at breweries, wineries, distilleries and farms plus access to more than 300 golf courses across the country with a $20 upgrade

  • Passport America

    • $44 per year

    • 50% discounts at nearly 1,800 eligible campgrounds and RV parks across the country

    • Includes campgrounds in Canada and Mexico for international travelers

  • RoverPass Unlimited

    • $30 per month or $50 per year

    • Includes travel agents, who book reservations and answer questions for you

    • Free booking with more than 6,000 campgrounds across the country

Now that we’re ready to hit the road, let’s review some tips on RV camping for seniors.

RV Travel Tips for Seniors

You have the RV and the appropriate membership and now it’s time to make your big trip. But first, here are some things you should remember:

  • Install sturdy stairs with handrails and no-skid steps, or use ramps

  • Find an RV with a walk-in shower and install handles for easy gripping

  • Install a handle next to the toilet as well

  • Make sure the interior and exterior of the RV is well-lit

  • Keep a headlamp near the door to make it easier to travel when you need to leave the RV at night

  • Keep a spare pair of prescription eyeglasses on hand in case your regular glasses break and you do not have access to a nearby eyewear shop

  • Have a good supply of medication and keep your chronic medications on file with a pharmacy chain

  • Find a doctor you can call or email while traveling and if you have a chronic condition that requires regular checkups back home, try to schedule your appointments for the same time period each year

  • Get roadside assistance

  • Invest in tablets, smartphones, and other technologies to keep in touch with family and friends back home

  • Get an AARP card for discounts in various places

  • Get an America the Beautiful Senior Pass for free admittance to national parks

  • Keep your belongings organized

  • Find jobs and volunteer opportunities at campgrounds, many of which offer free stays for your service

  • Have a good trip!

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