Many women have the urge to travel. A single destination is not their desire. Instead, travel in one form or another is their lifestyle. They feed their adventurous spirit by stopping whenever the spirit moves them and embracing the roads’ experiences —some travel in groups or with a partner, but many travel alone.
Let’s have a look at some of the lessons female RV’ers have learned in their travels as they’ve paved the way for other women!
Is it Safe to RV as a Solo Female?
One of the first questions any woman considers is whether it’s safe to travel alone. This is a legitimate question, answered with some common sense and some clear and thoughtful practices.
9 Tips for Solo Female Travel and RVing
Learn Your RV
Before setting out on a road trip, it is important to take time to get to know your chariot and your home! This is true whether you’ll be traveling in an RV, a van, or a car.
Take time to learn about the vehicle you’re driving. It’s a worthwhile investment of your time to join online groups related to your camping vehicle and read as much as you can about it. This gives you the advantage of the experience of other owners of the same vehicle. YouTube videos may also be helpful to you as you get to know your travel rig.
Become comfortable driving your RV. First, sit in your driveway with the owner’s manual in your hands and acquaint yourself with the cockpit. Learn to defrost the windows, where the fuses are, how to fill the gas tank, and check the oil.
Next, learn how the engine sounds so that you’ll be in tune with the vehicle’s sounds.
Once you’ve become familiar with the vehicle part of your RV, take some time to learn about the house part. This will take time – know this upfront and commit to the process of learning everything you can about your home-on-wheels. Surprises in your driveway are better than surprises on the road! And this is the perfect segue to RV maintenance!
Get Comfortable with RV Maintenance
While the thought of RV maintenance may be intimidating initially, this is an essential part of the journey to becoming a solo RV’er.
RVs require regular maintenance. Get familiar with things like batteries, solar panels, holding tanks, tires, and a generator. This will add to your sense of comfort as an RVer.
Another benefit of being comfortable with your RV’s maintenance is that you may prevent major issues in the future. The better we maintain the RV, the less likely it is that the rig will need significant repairs that are far more costly in terms of both dollars and inconvenience.
Finally, getting comfortable with the maintenance of your RV also means accumulating some tools. It is good to know what tools you’ll need in advance so that you can travel with them and learn how to use them when the need arises.
It’s also good to have certain spare parts on-hand, such as a variety of fuses, belts, and hoses as well as screws and fasteners, bungee cords, electrical tape, engine oil, Eternabond tape, coolant, and other assorted items that could be helpful in a pinch. Remember also to carry nitrile gloves and a roll of automotive paper towels!
Start with Short Trips Close To Home To Get Comfortable Being Solo on the Road
Once you’re familiar with your RV, your tools and emergency repair items are packed, and you’ve taken some long drives, t’s time to set out on your first adventure!
Take a trip that doesn’t take you too far from home for your maiden voyage, maybe a nearby campground or even your local Walmart or Cracker Barrell parking lot for your first overnight!
Take a few of these close-to-home trips before embarking on a long journey. This will strengthen your self-confidence as an RV’er and help to shake out any unexpected issues with the rig.
When in Doubt, Leave
So now you’re on the road! Fantastic! When you decide to stop for the night to have a relaxing dinner in your rig and get some sleep, you have many choices depending on your location. You may decide to stay in the parking lot of a store, restaurant, or casino that allows RV’ers to park overnight, or you may choose a campground or Harvest Hosts location. No matter where you decide to stop for the night, always remember one simple rule: When in doubt, move.
New RV’ers will always have a few jitters during their first overnights, but if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable where you’ve parked, just move. Intuition is a gift, but only when we listen to it.
Let’s say, for example, you’re in a Walmart parking lot for the night when suddenly you hear a lot of voices, engines revving, tires screeching, etc. You peek out one of your RV windows to find a group of people whose presence makes you uncomfortable. Simply pull up an app like “Allstays” or “Around Me,” find another location nearby that accepts RVs overnight, hop into the driver’s seat, turn the key and drive on down the road.
Trying to sleep in an area where you’re uncomfortable guarantees a night of no sleep at best and some trouble at worst. When you’re uncomfortable, take yourself to a place where you’re comfortable, and enjoy a good night’s rest!
Do Your Research
Before choosing where to stay for the night, do your research and read reviews from other campers. It quickly becomes apparent whether or not you’ll want to stop at a particular location. This is true for campgrounds, parking lots, and all other overnight parking options.
Campendium is one excellent free tool for conducting proper research. (Additional perks are offered for an annual $20 fee.) Campendium gives you information and reviews from real campers, as well as a virtual visit to over 21,000 different campgrounds throughout the lower 48 states and Alaska!
Campers created the Campendium app for the benefit of other campers. With over 350,000 members, you can be pretty sure that many campers have reviewed the site where you’re considering spending a night or several.
“Allstays” is another excellent app for searching an area for a place to stop and spend the night (or longer). Allstays come at a one-time cost of $9.99 and are well worth the investment.
There is a wealth of information available as you plan your travels and adventures. Take advantage of it and increase the likelihood that you’ll have a fantastic travel experience.
Find Community on the Road
Among the many wonders of the RV lifestyle is the sense of community that exists among RV’ers. Many people have a nomadic spirit and wish to travel solo and enjoy being with like-minded folks who embrace a similar lifestyle.
There are many online groups where you can connect with other RV’ers who love to caravan with fellow travelers. There are groups just for women and many other groups as well. Facebook Groups and Instagram are just a couple of the ways to find your community on the road. And when you travel with friends, there is safety in numbers!
Always Be Prepared
Earlier, we discussed the importance of carrying tools and items for repairs and emergencies. It’s also an excellent idea to have plenty of food and water on hand and to keep your rig filled with gas long before your gas gauge suggests it’s necessary.
Preparedness is useful in any situation, especially when you’re traveling and even more so when traveling alone.
Always Let Someone Know Where You Plan to Travel and Be
When you’re on the road, it is wise to make sure that a loved one knows your travel plans and the route you’re covering from day-to-day. Whenever you stop to camp or even just for a quick overnight along your way, be sure to let someone know exactly where you are.
It probably goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway: never announce over social media where you are or where you’re going. Do not give your precise travel details in a Facebook Group, email group, or a public forum of any kind. Remember – you may feel that you’re among friends in these groups, and in general, you are. But anyone can see a public forum, and it is unwise to make yourself vulnerable in this way.
Have an Emergency Plan
Always have an emergency plan. When you settle in for the night, know what to do if you’re suddenly spooked. Have a fully charged phone with you at all times, and know where your pepper spray, bear spray, wasp spray, air horn, or any type of safety item you carry is located. Always leave these items in the same place so that you can reach them, even in a panic.
Make plans ahead of time to respond if certain situations occur. For example, what will you do if you have a tire blow-out? Do you have roadside service? Do you have their number handy? Call them in advance and ask them exactly what the protocol is if you find yourself in a rig that’s broken down on the side of the road. Ask in advance what your plan covers.
We never want to get sick or injured on the road. But should you require medical attention, what is your plan? Call your health insurance company ahead of your trip, and they will help you formulate a plan if you need healthcare while you’re in another state or country.
If you require medication, know what you’ll need for your trip, and inquire about the process if you need more medicines while you’re traveling. If your medication requires refrigeration, be sure that your refrigerator is functioning properly and have a backup plan if it stops working.
Have a well-stocked first-aid kit on board and be adequately prepared with over-the-counter medicines for fever, pain, stomach ailments, cough, nausea, allergies, eyewash, etc. Prepare a mini kit of whatever you keep on hand at home if you become mildly ill and cannot shop for what you need. Be sure to also have nonperishable mild foods on board for this type of occasion.
Be sure to have a list of significant phone numbers with you and any documents you may need. Keep these in a safe place.
Being prepared for any foreseeable eventuality allows us to relax and enjoy the traveling experience knowing that we are ready for whatever comes our way.
Is it safe to RV as a solo female? You bet it is! As long as you’re well prepared with a plan and an adventurous spirit, you’re well on your way to becoming an RV’ing sister!
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