When I decided to hit the road full time, I also decided that I wasn't going to be fearful. If I was afraid, I wouldn't be successful as a full-timer. This is still my life, my home, what I enjoy doing every day. I'm not on a road trip or a vacation. I'm living my life and doing the same things I'd be doing if I was living in San Diego in my two bedroom/two bath condo. Except I have so much more.
I love having a different view out each window every few weeks. I'm not the type of full-timer who stays in RV parks and sees the attractions of each city and town I'm in. I'm not usually parked close to another RV, don't usually have hook-ups, have no planned activities. I also don't have a human traveling companion.
If a single person, man or woman, wants to be a full-timer and travel solo, but is afraid for his/her safety (men have fears, too), they can easily stay in RV parks. The cost is more, bit it's safe. There are lots of people around and lots of things to do. Club houses and pools and laundry rooms. Some parks have lots more than that. They are like small towns. It's easy to meet your neighbors in an RV park. If the people or activities or location aren't to your liking, you can just drive on to another park that you might like better. If you find one you really like, you can pay by the month or year and the rates are reduced.
But for those of us solo travelers who want to be off the grid, park away from other RVers, live on solar power and occasional generator use for battery top-offs, it's a completely different life. I can see why some people would be fearful living full-time in this kind of lifestyle. But honestly, other than a couple of minor bumps in the road that turned out fine, I haven't had a minute's trouble or had my safety in jeopardy. The minor bumps? No problem - remember, people, we have wheels!
|Can you imagine seeing these horses running past the front of your truck?|
|These free grazing horses were so great to watch - whether at the lake or in my camp site!|
|...and this was my camp site - overlooking the lake.|
When I started planning for this full-timing lifestyle, I thought a lot about what kind of rig I wanted, how big, whether to get a motor home (Class A, B, or C) or trailer, slide outs or no slide outs, should I have a toad? Eventually, after a lot of thought to my comfort, ease and safety, this is what I decided, along with some things I've learned while traveling solo.
Following the list below has allowed me to live every day without worrying:
1. Small Class C motor home so I'm always near the driver's seat and can U-turn easily in the middle of a street if necessary. I've done many U-turns, once for my safety, usually just to turn around.
2. No slides. I wanted instant departure if needed it and didn't want to take the time to bring in a slide. (Or deal with slide issues/repairs.
3. No toad - I didn't want to have to take the time to hook it up, or leave it behind if I needed to leave in a hurry. (And I didn’t want additional insurance, registration, maintenance and repairs.)
4. Unless I'm in a place with lots of other people nearby and plan to stay for a few weeks, I don't put out rugs, chairs, plants, bird feeders, etc. Maybe two chairs, a couple of bird feeders and a welcome mat, but that's it. If I have to take off in a hurry, I don't want to worry about or miss anything left behind.
5. Have a dog with me. I had Katie when I bought The Palms and she has been a perfect traveling companion/guard dog. Katie definitely barks if anyone comes near The Palms. Once a man tried to reach into the window on the dinette side. (I can't remember why, but I had the screen open to show him something and he reached in. That wasn’t very smart with a barking dog right there - I thought Katie was going to take his arm off.)
6. Never park anywhere without at least two other RV's close enough to hear me scream. FYI, I've never had to scream. :)
7. Air Horn. It's a pet air horn to stop Katie from barking, but it's LOUD and within reach.
8. I bought two small $5 canisters ofpepper spray. I keep one Velcro'd to the wall near the cabin door and the other up in the bunk near my pillow. (I also have a Spray Shield – Animal DeterrentSpray attached to Katie’s leash in case an animal threatens us and we can’t get away.)
9. Speaking of the bunk, if I’m not feeling safe, I wouldn’t want to open any windows, except that the bunk windows are high. I could open one and scream and blast my air horn without worrying about anyone reaching in. And then jump down and start my engine and drive away.
10. Park in rest stops only if other RVs are there for the night and it’s very well lit around my parking space.
11. Always carry a set of keys in my pocket. If I lose my purse or wallet, I still have my keys. (And I won’t be locked out.)
12. Keep an ignition key by the driver’s seat. In an emergency I don’t want to be looking for the key.
13. When away from The Palms, always lock the doors. Don’t trust that your things are safe inside when you are gone and the doors are unlocked. Or that no one is waiting inside for you on your return. I usually lock the doors if I'm inside, too, unless I'm around people I know, or there are many RVs nearby.
14. Use common sense. If in doubt, start the engine and drive away. Don’t even think about it, just drive away.
If you can think of anything I've missed, please leave a comment. I love this topic and am always open to learning new things to make full-timing as fun and safe as possible.
From Me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone! :)