Solo RV living or solo travel is more popular now, than it’s ever been. It follows the same route as the Tiny House movement, where people want to scale down, live smaller, have less impact on the environment and be closer to nature.
Yet traveling around solo in a recreational vehicle brings with it some specific issues, that need to be addressed. While you have the opportunity to make all the decisions and go where you want to go, you also lack the support of a partner. Nothing is as devastating as facing a disastrous event, while parked alone in the boondocks, without any lines of communication and far away from the nearest help.
Before getting on the road, we have to anticipate the difficulties we may face during our explorations, so we can avoid worrying about all bad things that can happen. Be prepared, realistic and have fun!
Many things can happen, as it can at home. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the RV lifestyle, just take a few reasonable precautions to enhance your trip and improve your security.
Get a dog, it will be a friend for life! An RV may be too small for your furry friend, but he’ll find his favorite spot and you don’t mind to step over him every time you move. It is a companion, you can talk to, hold and hug. And what better security than your best friend, who is always awake and alert!
What if you’re a ‘cat’ person? You don’t like dogs? Then buy a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign; that is a $5 deterrent that is hard to beat.
Know where you are at all times and watch out for suspicious activities. Park your car ready to drive straight out in an emergency. If it doesn’t feel right, move and find another campsite. Expect things to happen, but remember that there are many more good guys, than bad ones. Enjoy this amazing lifestyle with new vistas every day and experiences you could not get any other way.
Car keys are easy to misplace or forget; there’s no partner with an extra set when you lock yourself out. I always bring a spare key and carry it in one of my socks, but you can also keep it on a chain around your neck. Or hide a spare in a secure, but inconspicuous place on your van.
Search & Rescue
If something serious happens, you may be able to contact a campground host or a fellow camper. But if you are a serious solo hiker or backpacker, a Personal Locator Beacon should be a required safety device. This satellite gizmo brings help under the most difficult circumstances.
Carry your ID at all times and a card with your RV’s location. If you’re incapacitated, emergency workers would know where your vehicle is located. And don’t forget to have your dog microchipped. Copy your documents and keep them in a safe place.
Have as many communication devices as possible, phones, tablets, computers, PLB’s, etc. They all can be used in emergencies, but keep them charged at all times. Find campsites where your phone works and use boosters to improve signal strength for your phone and Wi-Fi. Spot satellite service allows you to send a preprogrammed message from anywhere to your family and friends. Share your travel route with them and where you’ll be staying. Check-in frequently.
Learn to get yourself back on the road: know how to change a tire or dig yourself out of a sand trap. Buy basic spare parts, like light bulbs, fuses, belts or a extra set of wiper blades. Carry an extra pint of motor oil.
Create An Imaginary Friend
Put out an extra pair of shoes and create the impression that you’re not alone. Have an extra chair and two mugs outside, to complete the illusion. The extra seat is always convenient when you invite someone to join you.
- Your dog is an easy conversation opener.
- Bring your hobby outside and folks will flock to it.
- Go to an organized get together or walk around the campground. Many RVrs long for some conversation.
- Join a Solo RV Club: they make it easy to meet up with members.
- If everything fails: enjoy your own company.
Solo Travel Sense
- Travel at a slower pace. The best site is the one you just drove past.
- Planning where to go, is half the fun.
- Keep your car filled up at all times.
- Check the vehicle’s fluids regularly.
- Get a Emergency Roadside Service membership.
- Store extra food and water.
- Giving your RV a good monthly wax job, preserves the paint and makes it easier to clean.
- Create an Arrival & Departure list: turn on/off propane, lock the fridge, check the hitch connection, etc. Make it a fail save journey.
- Park close to other RVrs.
- Leave your (expensive) jewelry at home and keep your big-ticket gizmo’s out of sight.
- If you wake up from unfamiliar noises outside, turn on your lights or better yet, use the extra night-vision side camera’s of your vehicle and drive off if you feel uncomfortable.
- Hornet spray is an effective and cheap deterrence against intruders. It sprays a forceful narrow stream over a long distance. A more expensive alternative is a bottle of bear spray.
- Have a gun? If you think you need one, you should reconsider traveling solo. But if you do, know all the regulations, check the gun laws of the states you travel in, take gun safety classes and regular shooting lessons. Keep it locked away!