The full-time RVing demographic is changing. People are living well into their “golden years” and staying on the road longer. Full-time RVers are younger too, enjoying the lifestyle earlier than ever before. Somewhere in the middle lies the sweet spot of the ideal age to hit the road. This may lead one to wonder: how old is too old to full-time RV?
Age, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, take one eighty year old man who stays active and healthy and put him next to a counterpart of the same age who sits in a chair all day. The first will probably tell you that age is just a number, while the other will gripe about how getting older stinks. Which one do you think will be a stronger, safer full-time RVer on the road?
If you’ve always dreamed of hitting the road but think you waited too long, think again. The time to do what you love is always “now” but before you take this major leap, first examine your attitudes about aging. How you handle age-related changes makes all the difference in how well you adapt to the nomadic lifestyle no matter what physical challenges you currently face.
“We started full time 4 years ago. We’re both 78 now and just wish we’d started sooner,” writes iRV2 member Chet, aka super_rep. “We’re having a lot of fun spending our kids inheritance, which neither of them need. As long as you’re able, go for it,” says the driver of a 45-foot Monaco coach.
Ways aging can affect full-time RVing
Most people agree that if you’re even asking the question, “Am I too old to full-time RV?” then you’re probably not too old to hit the road. Of course there are considerations. Physical changes that accompany aging play into your travel adventures. For example:
- Declining night vision means you won’t want to drive your RV after sunset (although most RVers of any age prefer staying off the roads at night anyways).
- Your current level of physical strength also plays into how well you adapt. Many aspects of full-timing, like unhitching vehicles and walking over uneven surfaces to hook up utilities can be challenging if your strength and balance isn’t what it once was. “Even at the young age of 64 we plan shorter travel days to allow more frequent road stops to stretch the old muscles,” says iRV2 member hohokam.
- Medical issues are the biggest challenge for older RVers. Even if you have Medicare insurance with nationwide coverage, you’ll need to be flexible in the doctors you see and how you access care. When you’re mobile it’s not always easy to get consistent medical help for pre-existing issues. However there are workarounds. “DW turned 70 recently, I’ll hit it next year. We’ve both got the odd medical issues, but they’re manageable,” says iRV2 members John and Diane, aka JFXG.
- Finally, consider that older drivers are often required to renew their driver’s license each year by taking a behind-the-wheel exam. If you’re an octogenarian you may need to revisit your home state on an annual basis.
Eventually every driver will have to hang up the keys. If taking an open-ended road trip has always been on your bucket list and you have the desire to plan and prepare for the full-time RVing lifestyle, now is the time to live your dream. You’ll be in great company!
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.