Wanderlust knows no gender. It seems these days we are seeing more and more solo women RVers hitting the road to adventure. Recently, we met Debby Bradford, a dedicated solo full-timer who doesn’t seem to let anything interrupt her travels.
A few years ago Debby left her corporate life behind for an early retirement in the tropics. She lived the Margaritaville dream, but full-time RVing kept calling to her. When corporate America lured her back with a lucrative job offer, she accepted. Her intention was to buy and pay off off her new RV, then quit and hit the road. However, four days after signing loan papers for a pristine 2006 Winnebago Sightseer 26P, she got a layoff notice.
“I looked hard at finances and realized that I felt I was dying a slow death in corporate America. After all, there was a reason why I retired young. So, I started looking for workamping jobs and when I found my first one I never looked back,” she says.
Today, Debby and her dogs Barkley and Redford are exploring the eastern half of the U.S. The dog for whom her motorhome was named after, Sweet Pea, passed away before Debby’s pack hit the road but “She would have loved it,” says Debby.
This certified SCUBA instructor has landed great jobs on the road, ranging from lifeguarding in Florida’s Ocala National Forest to managing a tourist information center in Key Largo. She’s currently part of the Amazon Camperforce team in Kentucky and next summer she’ll head to a job in Yellowstone National Park. Debby enjoys sharing what she’s learned along the way. So, we asked her what she thought are the best three tips for aspiring solo women RVers.
Want to Join Solo Women Full-time RVers? Do This:
1. Be Fearless
“First, don’t be afraid. Many of my friends asked if I was afraid. My response has always been, Afraid of what? However, I was a little scared driving my rig for the first couple of hours now it’s a piece of cake,” says Debby. “Although being from Florida, I’m still a bit leery of the mountains and curves but I take them slow. If you’re really nervous, I suggest taking a driving class. But it really isn’t scary once you get the hang of it. I love my huge Class A windshield, it’s like driving a living room bay window.”
2. Consider a Motorhome
“Consider a motorhome over a towable,” Debby says. “My thought is that if I’m in a motorhome and things get wild outside, I can jump into the driver’s seat, turn the key and get to safety. In a towable you have to leave the RV and run to your truck. If you aren’t hitched up, you’re leaving it behind.”
3. Follow Your Heart
“Don’t let naysayers talk you out of it. It is your life to live and yours alone. Life is very short and naysayers are either jealous or selfish. I’ve heard so many other full-timers say that their grown children were very against their parents going on the road. Don’t listen to them!” Debby was kind enough to add one more bit of insight for aspiring RVing women.
“You will never stop learning. There are many internet forums and Facebook groups for RVers. Don’t be afraid to do research, read, or ask other RVers questions. If others offer advice, listen.”
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.