The benefits of the RV lifestyle are not limited to travellers who come in pairs. Each year, a growing number of people hit the ‘golden years’ as single people – through divorce, being widowed, or simply because they choose to be. The desire to travel and explore doesn’t disappear with age or relationship status, and we are seeing plenty of people happy to head out on their own. The RV lifestyle is undeniably popular with mature travellers, but what are the benefits of being a solo RV nomad? We asked the folks at Sunliner to share their insights with us.
Freedom – The single biggest advantage of solo RV travel is the complete independence and ‘no compromise’ lifestyle offered by this type of travel. No schedules, itineraries or other people’s plans or interests to accommodate, you can do as you please, leave early, arrive late, stay an extra day or week, or take a side trip on the spur of the moment.
Healthy lifestyle – The lifestyle of RVing can help to keep you healthy and active. There are always new places to visit to keep the mental cogs working, and walks and exploring can keep you physically fit.
Make new friends – When we travel with a partner or a group the need to talk to strangers isn’t as pressing. As a solo traveller, you have the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with new people. This can be the start of a fabulous new friendship or, at the very least, an entertaining story to share at Happy Hour!
Less drama – The confines of RV living can cause friction in the most harmonious of relationships. As a solo traveller there is no one to disrupt your sleep/wake schedule, leave things out, or put things away so you can never find them.
See more and travel for longer – Without having to accommodate someone else’s interests you may find that you see and do a lot more. Travelling alone gives you the time and the opportunity to experience what it is that you like doing. You get to set the pace, have control of your budget and can determine how long you stay on the road.
Bring along your fur babies – If you love to explore with your four legged family members RVing can be the perfect travel option. Your RV can be set up to accommodate both you and your pets, making it a secure and comfortable home away from home. What can be better than sharing your adventures with your furry best friend?
Solo but not alone
If the idea of being a solo RV traveller sounds a little isolating, never fear; there are many groups, both online and off, that connect solo travellers to like-minded wanderers. Having a few meet-ups planned or joining a digital community to exchange tips and information can help with feeling connected to a community. Check out:
Rolling Solo – an online community of solo female travellers.
Solos Network – a group of CMCA travellers.
Aussie Glamping Girls – a Facebook group.
Choosing the perfect RV for solo travel
There is a lot to consider when choosing an RV that suits your needs and budget. Getting the vehicle right is critical to successful RV living. Before you hit the dealerships, classifieds or websites, take some time to work through your criteria.
Budget – The purchase price budget is obviously important but also factor in running costs,
replacement parts such as tyres, fuel consumption and servicing both for the ‘motor’ and the ‘home’.
Driving Skills – Understanding your capabilities and limitations as a driver will play a big part in selecting the correct RV for you. Feeling confident behind the wheel is essential for loving life on the
road. However, don’t underestimate your abilities, it is surprisingly simple to learn how to drive a
bigger vehicle if you give yourself the chance. Be sure to take some lessons if you need to.
Security – When travelling solo, one of your key considerations will be personal security. Consider
things like entry door security, lighting, UHF radio, ability to move from house to cabin, visibility
out the windows, and privacy screens.
Let’s get physical – Your physical capabilities, height and ability to climb ladders will all play a part in
choosing the right RV and layout for you. Consider where the bed is located and if you can access it
easily. How high is the step up into the cabin or RV home? Can you move from ‘home’ to the chassis
cabin? Can you reach the microwave or cupboards easily? How does the awning operate – is that
easy for you to manage? Can you access and change the tyre if required?
Where do you want to travel? – Are you planning on heading into the wilderness and unplugging
from the world? Or are the comforts and social life of caravan parks more your style? Perhaps your
dream is to visit country towns and stay in showgrounds and pub camping spots. Or do you want to
do it all? The capacity of your RV, in terms of how much water it can carry and how much
power it can generate and store (solar panels, generator and batteries), will determine how long you can be unplugged and away from civilisation.
How much gear? – What are your essentials? What tools, equipment, toys or personal
belongings do you absolutely need to bring with you?
What type of RV is right for you?
A motorhome is the most popular choice for many solo travellers. There’s no need to worry about hitching a trailer to your car, it’s easy to park and reverse, and you don’t have to go outside at night or in the rain to move from ‘home’ to ‘motor’. The compromise is that you will need to plan ahead with shopping and sightseeing before setting up your campsite for the night as it is more difficult to just nip into town. Many travellers take a bike with them for this purpose.
A campervan is even easier to drive and park, but does make for more compact living on the inside. It also comes with less accessories which can require more frequent caravan park visits to top up water and power.
Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Sunliner Recreational Vehicles.