Is Age Really Just a Number?
Retiring from work and joining the RV community has been a common practice for many years. But whether someone is a part-time RVer with a camper, or full-time RVer with a high-end travel trailer, at a certain age even the healthiest nomads find it hard to keep up with the space restrictions and stress of RV travel in motorhomes and other RVs.
The age when this happens is a highly individual situation, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question “When is someone too old to RV?” Certain senior citizens may need to slow down RV travels in their 60s, while others can keep going strong until they’re 90-plus years old!
People may choose to drop the RV lifestyle for any number of reasons, but eventually age factors into the decision. Everyone has to quit sometime, whether it’s due to health problems, fatigue, or exhaustion from the rigors of RV travels.
But you don’t need to hand over your keys just because you hit a certain birthday.
Even if you stop traveling in your own RV, there are still ways to participate in and enjoy this lifestyle. Follow along while we discuss this important transition period.
7 Signs That a Senior’s RVing Days are Over
There are no definitive age limits for RVing. It’s a popular retirement plan for many people, so you’ll often see new RVers just starting out in their 60s. Everyone also ages differently. Some people may need to stop sooner than others, but no one can keep going forever.
If you’re not sure when someone’s RVing days are over, here are a few tell-tale signs that a person is getting too old to RV.
1. Vision Difficulties
It’s never fun to deal with glasses and contacts, but most senior citizens need some type of corrective vision. Unfortunately, these issues tend to get worse as you age. It becomes harder to see fine details and you might even develop cataracts.
RVers need to be on constant alert while behind the wheel. In an RV crash, your rig has the potential to cause a lot of damage to yourself and others. As your vision worsens, you should consider handing over your keys.
2. Declining Strength
RVing is generally pretty low-effort. You get to spend a lot of time lounging in the cabin or strolling around campgrounds. But there are a few tasks that require a certain level of strength and coordination.
- Certain campsite chores are strenuous, like hooking and unhooking your RV at the campsite.
- Certain cleaning tasks can also be pretty strenuous.
- RV repairs and maintenance can become more difficult with age.
Maintaining a certain level of fitness is always important, but everyone begins to lose their strength sooner or later.
When basic RV tasks become too tiring, that could be a sign you’re too old to RV.
3. Balance and Stability Issues
Balance is another critical factor to consider. As you get older, your skin become more delicate and your bones become more brittle. A fall in this state can lead to serious injuries that can take months to heal.
It’s not unusual to stumble or fall occasionally, but you need to pay attention to how you feel after the fact. If your injuries are particularly painful and long-lasting, you don’t want to risk it happening again. A doctor could also declare you to be a “high fall risk” patient. If that happens, your RV days may be over.
Another thing to consider is your energy level. We all feel tired from time to time, but constant fatigue can be a problem.
Drowsy driving can be deadly to yourself and others. Plus, if you fall asleep all the time, you won’t be able to fully enjoy your camping/traveling experience.
Feelings of Confusion or Fearfulness
Getting older can be scary and confusing. At times, you may have trouble remembering where you are and what you’re doing.
Pay attention to your emotional state. It’s never fun to admit that you might need to stop RVing, but in the end, it’s sometimes better to switch to a lifestyle that’s more safe and stable.
Worsening Medical Conditions
We all need to take care of our bodies, especially as we age. It might feel like you have to take a new kind of pill every month just to keep going! Medication prescriptions are a part of life for many people, even those who are young and fit.
As we age, chronic medical conditions tend to worsen. New ones may appear without warning as well. It’s important to keep a regular schedule for taking your medication. Regular doctor’s appointments will also help you identify any new conditions that suddenly appear.
Your Driving Skills are Slipping
Deep down, we all believe that we’re great drivers! That doesn’t change as we get older. But unfortunately, sometimes those skills can become rusty, even if we drive every day. Maneuvering a car is one thing, but RVs are huge and heavy vehicles that require a lot of precision.
Most senior citizens have to surrender their car keys after a certain point. This can be a delicate time because it can feel like you’re giving up your independence. But eventually, safety becomes the top priority for you, other drivers, and pedestrians.
When you’re required to renew your license by taking a driving test, the DMV might take the decision to stop RVing out of your hands if you are becoming a risky driver.
When a Senior is Too Old to RV, Here’s What to Do
Quitting the RV lifestyle can be hard for a lot of people, especially if it was a full-time arrangement. But eventually we all have to accept the fact that our travel days are behind us.
There’s no shame in entering your sunset years and hanging up the RV keys. Doing so just means that it’s time to transition into the next phase of your retirement. That could be living in a single-family home, an apartment, a care facility, or even a 55-plus luxury RV park where you can put up your feet and relax with other RVers.
You don’t even have to leave RVing behind forever! You just need to adapt to this new phase of life.
For instance, if you can’t travel anymore, maybe you can rent a space at a full-time RV park. These RV resorts tend to be quite nice and you can park your RV for the entire year! In addition, lots of these full-time communities are for residents who are 55+ so you can easily find a community of contemporaries.
If you start to get stir-crazy, maybe you can be a guest on an RV trip across America with a family member or friend. Let them handle the reservations headache and take the wheel. Then you can kick back and enjoy the destinations. You may be too old to RV by yourself, but you’re never too old to have fun!
- Six Great Travel Trailers for Senior Citizens
- How to Save Power When Dry Camping in an RV: Lessons from Grandma and Grandpa
- RV Driving Safety: Essential Tips for Safe Trips