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Who is Too Old for RV Travel? 7 Signs to Watch Out For.

Published on October 5th, 2023 by Emily Lawrence

The RV lifestyle is popular among people of all ages. But when is someone “too old” for RV travel? When are a person’s RVing days over? Let’s tackle this important discussion about aging out of the RV lifestyle.

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!

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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.

Keep in mind that these signs may emerge gradually or all at once. Take time to inventory your personal health and energy levels.

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.

If you have a hard time seeing while you drive, that’s a definite red flag.

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.

If your daily chores wear on your more heavily or you start having trouble with simple tasks, it’s time to reflect on your lifestyle.

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.

RVs can be a dangerous place for people with balance issues. For example, a fifth wheel can have steep interior steps and ledges that may lead to disaster.

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.

Increased Fatigue

Another thing to consider is your energy level. We all feel tired from time to time, but constant fatigue can be a problem.

If you find yourself nodding off throughout the day, that may be a warning sign. This is especially dangerous if it happens while you’re driving!

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.

Being in an unfamiliar place can make confusion and fearful emotions more intense. It’s even worse if you don’t have somebody nearby who can help.

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.

If you have conditions that make travel difficult, you may be too old to RV.

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. 

If you’re getting into a lot of close calls, acquiring scratches and dents, or find that your reaction time is slowing down, take an RV driver education class. If that doesn’t help, don’t wait for law enforcement to intervene. It’s time to think about selling your RV.

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

camping seniors not too old to RV
When you’re too old to RV, it’s not the end of living. (Image: Shutterstock)

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!

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This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.