RVs are self-contained homes on wheels that take us any place we want. But just because we can, should we? The conundrum of Coronavirus RV travel is weighing heavy on the minds of all RVers, but especially full-timers like me. Hitting the road brings on a whole new set of pandemic concerns.
Thinking Before Turning the Key
That old song by the Clash keeps playing in my head. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The RVer’s mantra of “If you don’t like the neighborhood, then turn the key and leave,” now gives us reason to pause and consider the ramifications of doing so.
Many RVers aren’t waiting for the Pandemic all-clear and hitting the road now. The wisest ones are trying to steer clear of interacting with people along the way. I’ve considered doing the same, but then I got to thinking about the What Ifs. Even if I don’t think my husband and I will interact with other campers, it’s always possible we would need to. The usual road trip necessities take on entirely new considerations:
- Filling up at fueling stations means touching gas pumps, pin pads and sometimes interacting with cashiers.
- Since many parks aren’t yet accepting guests, I worry about encountering too many people in the few dispersed camping areas that are open.
- When we need to dump, we’ll need to visit a dump station, touched by the hands of many other campers. Wearing gloves can protect us, but they’re not foolproof
- And finally, when we run out of food, we will need to go into a local grocery stores and interact with locals.
My husband and I are fortunate in that we are sheltering in place in a beautiful location on private property. Our friends invited us to stay indefinitely, but some days the old hitch itch lingers in the back of my mind. When it happens, reality sets in. Apparently I’m not the only full-timer who’s been contemplating the realities of Coronavirus RV travel.
Putting the (Temporary) Brakes on the Full-timing Life
Ross and Jamie of Making the Lives We Want, a Practice in Living, are in predicament familiar to the million or so full-time RVers in America. The online music educators, performers and educators are presently waiting out the pandemic in a Florida RV park. As daily temperatures rise, they give a lot of thought to whether or not they should leave.
“We have considered leaving, for sure,” said Jamie in an email interview. She and Ross are from New England, but domiciled in Florida. They had intended to meander up to see family and friends this summer. But when Coronavirus hit, they considered all the ramifications of leaving their current location. They they decided to stay.
“For us right now, we’ve decided staying put here, at a year-round park with full hookups that we can afford with no risk of getting kicked out,” says Jamie. “(it) beats the potential benefits of moving elsewhere, where we aren’t local (we’re Florida residents), where we may have trouble finding a place to stay moving forward, or where we wouldn’t have full hookups or a strong enough internet signal to work.”
Before reaching this conclusion, they considered relocating to their old stomping grounds in New Hampshire. But that dream quickly came to an end when state parks banned non-residents from camping during the pandemic. The practicalities of heading north didn’t outweigh the advantages of staying put in Florida, she explains in their blog:
“Even if family offers to host us, I don’t think we’d be comfortable doing so with this virus on the loose (we’d need to use their shower and laundry facilities at minimum), and if no campgrounds will have us, it just doesn’t make sense to go up there.”
Picking up and moving used to be so easy for full-timers like us. If you are one too, I know you can relate. During the last few weeks it’s become very clear that during the age of Coronavirus, RV travel is filled with so much uncertainty that waiting out the pandemic and sheltering in place makes more sense than chasing after wanderlust. In the meantime, there’s no harm in dreaming about the RV Life After Covid-19, right?
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.