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Roadtrek 1

Do you expect to be traveling , using the RV in your 80s?

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Everyone's different ...someone told me once that getting older is a "cruel trick".

I understand, and unfortunately I've seen this play out with family and friends.

I don't know about you but , I can't imagine traveling around the country and camping after I turn 80...?    Going from place to place and not having a permanent residence.   

Who knows, maybe it's too demanding for you to drive your rig?   

I'm glad I made the decision to do this much earlier and have time to enjoy...

For those of us who are already past 80... tell us ... what's your experience like?

Health care and access to hospitals, emergency rooms and other necessary things get more important as you get older.    If you have an emergency medical event....time is essential for your intervention and recovery..... being out in the middle of nowhere is not helpful...

If you have medical issues.... you're taking the risk of not being able to make it in an absolute emergency situation.   Maybe you're OK with that? 

Edited by Roadtrek 1

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I went full time at 60. I’m now 65. Hoping to make 70 or 75. Can’t imagin still being on the road at 80. 

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I hope I will still be able to travel then.  You do not need a house.  You could stay in one park in your rig or just move it twice.  Once in the winter once in the summer.   As of now we have no other plans but to travel.  But who knows, only the future can tell and we will make a decision when it needs to be made.

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5 minutes ago, rynosback said:

I hope I will still be able to travel then.  You do not need a house.  You could stay in one park in your rig or just move it twice.  Once in the winter once in the summer.   As of now we have no other plans but to travel.  But who knows, only the future can tell and we will make a decision when it needs to be made.

When I said "house"... I meant apartment, condo or house vs. a motor home....

Sure, you could get a "park model"...as well....or just move twice a year... winter and summer... I saw people who did that spending the winter in Quartzite and the summer some people North.....they still had to drive there....it takes a lot of effort traveling 1,500 miles....and your reflexes are not as good when you're young.

Then.. there's the issue of being close to medical care....

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2 hours ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

When I said "house"... I meant apartment, condo or house vs. a motor home....

Sure, you could get a "park model"...as well....or just move twice a year... winter and summer... I saw people who did that spending the winter in Quartzite and the summer some people North.....they still had to drive there....it takes a lot of effort traveling 1,500 miles....and your reflexes are not as good when you're young.

Then.. there's the issue of being close to medical care....

 

You asked a reasonable question that nobody can answer as nobody has the ability to see into the future. While a healthy person over 80 who wants to travel, can and a person half that age but in poor health has to stop.  We met a couple in MN last summer who were 84/79 and they flew there in the summer and in October flew back to Florida.  They had someone drive their rig to for them and set it up for them.  One leg was driven by a grandson and the other leg back to Florida was driven by a great-grandson.  They had no plans to stop anytime soon as both were in good health.  The only reason they had someone else drive and set up for them was to calm the concerns of their other children.   They didn't sit around the campground all day.  They made day trips 3-4 times a week.  If you have your health and the desire to be mobile is strong, why not?

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At 74 years old and in excellent health, I don't see ANY reason to stop traveling for 4 to 8 months of the year as we do now.  Even up into my 80's or later.  

This is all contingent on health.  If I can't get up and down the stairs, safely drive the rig, hook and unhook the toad, easily dump the holding tanks then it would be time to come off of the road.  

For my 80th birthday I want to take another 16 day raft trip down the Grand Canyon.  Did that trip on my 71st.  Quite an adventure. 

You are only as old as you let yourself act, as long as your health permits. 

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The gauge we are using for when to come off the road has nothing to do with age.  When we are tired of full time traveling or our health makes it hard for one of us to do anymore we will be finished.  We have no idea if that will be in our 70's, 80's, or maybe even into our 90's.

What we won't be doing is sitting around a sticknbrick looking at each other wondering what is next as we age.

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35 minutes ago, FL-JOE said:

What we won't be doing is sitting around a sticknbrick looking at each other wondering what is next as we age.

Agreed.  We are both now in our 70's and I think I'm a better MH driver than I was 5 years ago. We own an RV site in south TX that has a small casita which serves as my wife's sewing room/TV room/guest bedroom.  When we decide we are no longer comfortable driving it we can continue to live in it on our property.  We''d cut back some unnecessary insurance coverages at that point but other than that not much would change except we wouldn't have to worry too much about oil changes, etc.  Some day if we need to leave it to go to assisted living I'm sure someone will give us a few dollars for it.

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We live in a 55+ community that was begun by a group of fulltimers who wanted a home base, RV park. Over the years it has evolved into a community of small homes, each with an RV port, although not everyone still owns an RV. Of the 55 or so permanent residents, probably 2/3 were fulltime for at least 5 years and the highest in the community was out for 21 years. In the past year, two have given up their RV travels, one was 84 and the other was 82. The oldest fulltimer that I can recall ever meeting was in his 80's and I suspect that there are very few who do not have some type of home-base by the late 70's, For us, we started when we were 57 and I was 69 when we took ownership of our current base. I think that most fulltimers do acquire some type of home-base by the late 70's but that is only an opinion based on those that I have known. Speaking for ourselves, I was 69 & Pam was 70 when a series of health issues forced us to stop the extensive travels and for more than 2 years we did not travel by RV at all. I am now 76 and still have pretty good health but while Pam's has somewhat stabilized, it remains a limiting issue. We still enjoy our RV travels and miss the freedom of not owning any real property, but we also understand that we will never be able to do that in the future. We have downsized to a much smaller RV that is very easy tow and setup and for now, we expect to continue doing this but we also realize that the end of such travels for us is now in sight.

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6 hours ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

....they still had to drive there....it takes a lot of effort traveling 1,500 miles....and your reflexes are not as good when you're young.

Since several here have shared our ages, would you mind telling us what your age is? 

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While we are no longer fulltimers, my DH will be 80 this summer...and we still plan on spending the winters in Arizona in our RV -- boondocking out in the desert -- like we always have. 

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One couple we meet and ride Harleys with have a rough plan that we may follow some day.

They are looking for a small piece of land in Kentucky or Tennessee, probably 2 to 5 acres, to build a barn-a-menium on.  He wants to put up a metal building about 50'x80' so he can drive his coach inside with the enclosed trailer still hooked up.  Have partial living quarters set up on the other side of the interior.

Something like that, or what Docj is doing would appeal to us down the road rather than ever moving back into a regular sticknbrick.  

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I am 82. We  do have a Permanent S&B understanding that one day our Rv travel would end.  We never sold off our S&B and possessions. We also now  have a residence in Florida.We have been in  a long time travel status for 13 years. We have no problem with medical issues,doctors ,etc. Wife drives and sets up the rig as well or better than any RV driver.

We have been about everywhere in the last 13 years of travel covering over 130K miles. We are slowing down and will change our life style  in the near future. We are both in good health. I attribute my good health to excellent genetics as I did little to contribute to it.  IMO age is not the determining fact but health is. Yes I have slowed down. I can no longer do what we did when 30,40,50,60,70 but I understand that and adjust accordingly . I now takes us 5 day to get to our Florida winter residence as 13 years ago we did it in 3 days. We have RV friends that had to stop in their 50's and 60's due to health issues.

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I retired from a 27 year USAF career in 1997, and moved into our first rig, a 36' HitchHiker at age 45 and full-timed for 7 years until we stopped to take care of aging parents here, then part timed until now. So for the first time in 22 years we will be without our own RV. I don't try to predict our future, we have always just lived in the now. I will say that my physical condition at 67 is much less athletic than at 45. But I am healthy and happy, just after back surgery mobile enough to do pretty much anything not requiring lifting over 50 pounds. I for one am glad I was crazy enough to do that when I was young enough to hike anywhere, lift anything, and really needed to decompress. The last thing I ever wanted was to live in a subdivision, but now welcome the reduction in labor from maintaining 5 acres, and maintaining the tractor, large mowers and other lawn power tools. But mostly to get nback into a dry climate without the heat of the Southwest. The climate is not one party or another and the science has convinced me that the South will be unlivable eventually. Maybe sooner than later. I moved north now to avoid the rush. RVrs that are full time are also set and can move to the northern tier when needed.

Once I can't travel but if healthy, instead of a retirement home or assisted living facility I'll likely do what this guy did, and travel by air from hotel to hotel.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/25/holiday-inn-nursing-home-man-plan-golden-age/2986566002/

 

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44 minutes ago, RV_ said:

Once I can't travel but if healthy, instead of a retirement home or assisted living facility I'll likely do what this guy did, and travel by air from hotel to hotel.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/25/holiday-inn-nursing-home-man-plan-golden-age/2986566002/

 

I read about another person who retired to a cruise ship. They even have medical facilities on board.

Linda

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1 hour ago, sandsys said:

I read about another person who retired to a cruise ship. They even have medical facilities on board.

Linda

Yes, I know someone who works on the Crystal Cruises and says that this is true. 

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I'm 76, we’ve had a motorhome since the late 70's, & I retired at 55 with the intention of going "full time". We bought a 5th wheel cause that’s what "full timers" do. We made one trip in it & hated traveling with the trailer. We still had our S&B, to large & to many  acres. I knew then that we both wanted & needed a base to come back to so we built a small place at Rainbows End. So, after so many years of "full time part timing", (or is it "part time full timing" ?)usually 6-8 months a year. I no longer get much joy out of it. Roads are different, drivers are different, RV'ers are different, "full timers" are different & there is nothing that draws me to the road any longer. We’ll go "someplace" & do "something" this year, then make our 5th RV trip to AK next year with my much younger, new RV'er, brother next year (?) then hang it up except for visits to the kids.

 

Edited by dewilso

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We're 68. We started our full-time adventure almost five years ago, and agreed to give it five years. At that time we would evaluate things. We're going for another five years. We have put ourselves on the Active Waiting List for one of the Escapees Co-ops. When we get a lot there we'll at least have a home base should we need to get off of the road with less than a few years planning.

We also watch each other for evidence that full-timing may be coming to an end. So far that isn't an issue, but nothing says that it won't be at some point.

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6 hours ago, sandsys said:

I read about another person who retired to a cruise ship. They even have medical facilities on board.

Linda

I had heard that also.  There also was an article that this couple was staying at a Holiday Inn 365.  As it was cheaper then an independent living.  

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19 hours ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

When I said "house"... I meant apartment, condo or house vs. a motor home....

Sure, you could get a "park model"...as well....or just move twice a year... winter and summer... I saw people who did that spending the winter in Quartzite and the summer some people North.....they still had to drive there....it takes a lot of effort traveling 1,500 miles....and your reflexes are not as good when you're young.

Then.. there's the issue of being close to medical care....

Medical care is all over this country.  If I have a heart issue, I will travel and stay where the best place to go to deal with it.  Another advantage to an RV as it is mobile.  I am not 100% of the future.  I will just make decisions when they need to be made.  Till then, I will just travel with the wind.

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We started fulltiming, cold turkey, when I was 63 and Alice was 61.   We kept the house as our homebase, with our daughter and her family moving in... making it a 2-generational household with separate living quarters.   We had no set age in mind on how long before stopping... and at 69 & 67, we're still going strong.   We have acquired a buildable RV lot in the Yuma area, and eventually will go the 'casita' way with it.   Till then, we travel a annual route to see family, work camp, and simply enjoy ourselves.   When we need to stop... it will be at either our home in Michigan, or build in Wellton (Yuma)... perhaps living in both seasonally.    And knowing that we have met some fine fulltimers in their 80's... THAT is our goal to 'keep going'. 

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We're  78 & 80, no longer fulltime but still leave for 3 months every  summer and at least every other month all winter for several days  to several weeks. We have many in our local RV club over 80 and still enjoying lifestyles  similar to us. We have no plans in the  near future to slow down.

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Yeah guys,

Assuming the RVrs healthy, I don't think age has anything to do with the decision to come off the road.

For me, while I was gung ho about RVing, it was new and exciting just to be doing the places we missed here in the US, while living all over the world. But I needed to have either the RV or the home, not both. I worry about power failures, storms, water leaks and theft while we are gone. Even with instant video alerts with my Ring cameras, it's too late by the time a response happens.

I liked Jim's solution with his kids living at the house and two separate abodes under one roof.

But rather than age, there are still things I'd like to do like move back to "The Springs." I've moved around a lot since I was born across the country from where we lived at the time. I'd lived in four states and 2 years living in Bogota Colombia before I was seven! Then did my teen years in the 60s in the NYC area hanging out in the Village and played weekend hippie until I decided to evade the draft and a warrant was even out for my arrest. I evaded by joining the AF. Spent Vietnam as a medic and scrub tech. Then Combat Arms trainer, Did 27 years living all over the world and US.

The seven years fulltiming were great! Caught the North American places wi wanted to experience. Now we want to see Asia and Oz/NZ, do a cruise perhaps. We might even see if we can get jobs on long distance cruise ships that do overseas ports. We looked at that before. Of course then we'd sell the house. No renting. No kids to move in.

Fulltime is now a been there, done that, got the T-Shirt for us after seven years. Life is ticking and we've got some traveling and other things we want to do, but haven't made time for. But we had Westphalia Campers, a Coleman popup with our Subaru Brat back in 1978, and Boy scouts before that with tents. Lynn's dad was 20 year military too. They did France and Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro N.C, Eglin AFB FL, Barksdale, LA. Etc.

Do it until you whip it and want to do something else. Then do that. It can be for life or not. Sometimes it isn't just an exit strategy, but the next fun thing to master.

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It is interesting to read the thoughts on aging from many different people of different ages. Most of us discover that our views on when you reach "old age" seem to change with the passing years. I think that we had more of the answers when we passed 50 than we do today as we near 80. While I agree that there is no magic number of age that will be a line in the sand, the aging process is something that while individual, can be predicted and anticipated to a large degree if you pay close attention to your own processes and are honest with yourselves. Our home-base is part of a 55+ community which is aging, as do most such communities and doing so has enabled us to observe rather closely a process that we can begin to detect in ourselves. Not all of those discoveries are things that we wanted to see, but it is probably important that we realize. While we have not "hung up the keys" the handwriting is clearly on the wall. I will caution you that most of us discover that knowing the answers was much easier when younger than it is as we get there.

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