Women RVers

A rather interesting phenomenon that is not often heard of or thought about is women RVers. This is such a big deal that there have been books written, membership only communities created, and online journals offering advice from experienced females who have taken to the open road on their own.

RVing is not an easy thing to do, especially alone. There are many things that can go wrong, some of which can even be challenging for a man. Not to say men are better than women but they do tend to be more mechanically inclined and through genetics are usually stronger than their female counterparts.

Challenges for Women RVers

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The obstacles facing women RVers are the same that any man would face. The difference lies in getting around the obstacles and the emotional involvement of taking on certain challenges.

  • The obvious hurdle for many women to overcome is feeling comfortable driving such an enormous vehicle.

  • Turns are much wider

  • Low tree branches can easily be pulled off

  • Stopping takes longer so the brakes need to be applied earlier. This must be done slowly and gradually, a driver cannot just slam on the brakes unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  • Mechanical issues are often more complicated because an RV combines a car with a home.

  • Changing a flat tire is also more difficult and roadside assistance may need to be called.

  • Maintenance issues can be costly for a beginner female RVer, especially if she has no knowledge of RV’s and how to perform simple repairs.

Personal Experience

During my 10 years on the road RVing as a single woman, I faced all of those challenges and more. While I’d never driven a large vehicle before, I actually learned the intricacies of driving and turning pretty easily. However, there were a few issues:

  • Pulling too close to a shelter roof overhang so that the rafter/eaves beam actually poked a hole in the roof. Duh!

  • Downhill braking? Going down a steep hill with a stop sign at the bottom of the road, in Branson, Missouri - even standing on the brakes and pumping, I couldn’t get it to stop. And I wasn't going fast! Went right through the stop, actually clipping the stop sign, as I barely managed to miss the oncoming traffic. A few more gray hairs!

  • Mechanical issues? I’ll say. I was driving a 20-year-old Winnebago motor home, and spent more than a few hours and even nights on the side of the road. (This was just before the advent of the cellphone, and a CB radio left much to be desired!)

Male or female, if you’re going on the road, make sure you have a reliable vehicle, and take some precautions.

Planning

A single woman, especially an older woman, can be the perfect target for assault, robbery, or other horrible crimes. For these reasons, it is very important for individual women RVers to plan out their trip. Every stop and destination should be carefully planned. Emergency numbers, campground information, and a brief knowledge of the area should be collected prior to embarking on an RV journey. Traveling with female friends who are also passionate about RVing is never a bad idea.

Advice

Two seasoned women RVers, Jaimie Hall Bruzenak and Alice Zyetz, have plenty of advice regarding safety, budget, and meeting fellow RVers. Some of the tips they give are:

  • Travel with a group the first few times.

  • Join forums and ask questions.

  • Look at lots of RVs before choosing one

  • Join an RV club, as they often have subgroups divided by interests.

  • Have flexibility in your budget.

  • Stay in an area long enough to get a weekly or monthly rate.

  • Schedule maintenance regularly for your RV.

  • Fill your tank when it drops to one-half.

  • Keep your doors locked at all times and close sliding glass windows at night.

  • Park so you can drive right out.

  • If a place looks suspicious or feels uncomfortable, don’t stop there or spend the night.

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  • Take a driving class. They are often offered at RV shows.

  • Buy a GPS; something like this 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Trafficwomen rvers

  • Get off the road by 2 or 3.

  • Make a checklist.

  • Carry copies of your medical records with you in case you need to go to a new physician or have emergency care.

This is great information to help women RVers get started.

Women RVers are not far and few. They are active, independent, fearless, and living a dream. Some of the challenges may seem overwhelming but when you think of all the things women have accomplished throughout history and the responsibilities placed on them in everyday life, RVing seems like a walk in the park. Any woman can go RVing and have a memorable experience; all she has to do is want the most breathtaking journey of her life.