Jump to content

Advising "senior citizens"


ijitterbug

Recommended Posts

I suspect this will start at least a mild conflagration, if not a full fledged firestorm..... We have an elderly couple (78 & 81

years young respectively) who are completely enamored with the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy as "whenevers" in our motorhome. We

just returned from a 5 week mini vacation trip to the Northeast part of the country (upstate New York, New Hampshire and Vermont).

No sooner than we were more or less settled back in our Stix & Bricks than this neighborly couple began peppering us with questions .... specifically relating to the possibility of their venturing out into the world of quasi full time RVing...

 

Our concern... This couple have some difficulties with various medical issues and we are hesitant to "advise" them on whether or

not they could physically cope with the need to exert varying degrees of effort .... particularly setting up and tearing down at a

campsite. (Side note... this couple can afford to purchase a new or certainly a late model motorhome) which they seem determined

to do.

 

We took them with us on a short (10 day trip) last year and they saw firsthand what was required to properly set up and tear down....but, they did not physically engage in that process....

 

What do you suggest we do..... I hate to tell them that there is no effort involved, but at the same time, I would hesitate in

totally discouraging them ....

 

Any suggestions, thoughts, input, etc. highly appreciated this subject.

 

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have them rent a RV of the size they might be happy with for a week or so. Go with them to advise them if and when they need it, but let them park and set up the rig. I would suggest changing campgrounds 3 or 4 times in that week to give them practice.

 

40' class A's can rent for $400-500 a day down to $125 or so for a smaller class C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As we age all of us loose some of our ability to deal with problems as well as physical challenges increasing as well. Yet there is no particular age at which one is too old as no two of us are quite the same. The older we get the more those limits take effect, but only the people involved can make the call about just what one's limits may be. It is very important that you be completely honest with them about what is required to travel by RV. Do not exaggerate things but be bluntly honest about things.

 

Medical issues is far too vague a term for me to attempt to offer any opinions about the problem. We traveled with some pretty serious problems on Pam's part, with continuing medications that were vital to her health and well-being. As long as they are able to manage their own medications at home, no reason that I can think of why that would not also be true on the road. But if they need to have doctor visits on a frequent basis, the may well limit their ability to travel and if more immediate medical attention is needed, then they should probably give that serious thought. That more immediate care for Pam was exactly what caused us to revert to part-time, along with major surgery that had a very long recovery time. Recovery from orthopedic care is more challenging in an RV.

 

I would strongly agree with Al that they need to try a trip with a rental RV before they spend the money to buy one. And while you might want to spend a few days with them to help them learn the ropes, by no means do I think that you should travel with them for their entire first experience because that will make it far too easy for them to rely upon you and so not discover what, if any limitations may be in the way of them enjoying the style of travel. The dependance upon you could easily be mental as much as physical and either one might be a crutch which supplied unwarranted confidence, or it could even be a barrier to their discovery that they do have what it takes to do this.

 

To me, the greatest challenge for them will be the learning curve from no previous RV experience because there are many people who do major RV trips well into their 80's, but not many manage to start with no experience at that age. You are not doing them any favors by shielding them from the difficulties that come with the lifestyle, but you should also be careful that you do not prevent them from a "voyage of discovery."

 

PS: As I am nearly 73 now and both of us experience issues of arthritis which do not prevent us from enjoying the RV life, but they do create new challenges and at times make some parts of it less than pleasant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see -

 

parking - pull through

power jacks - button push

electric hook up - power reel unwind/wind

water hose - power unwind/wind

sewer - macerator pump

 

toad? hooking and unhooking - I've watched but never done, looks easy

 

I know people that are 40 and can't handle it and people that are 80 and still doing it. So really, on a case by case basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe look for something small enough to do with out a toad. But with a generator so that if they want a rest before hooking up then it is just a case of on with the genny.

 

BTW I am now on a waterborne RV [ sailboat in Grenada ] at anchor. Two of my near neighbors are in their 80s, one has given up his outboard and rows everywhere to keep fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see -

 

parking - pull through

power jacks - button push

electric hook up - power reel unwind/wind

water hose - power unwind/wind

sewer - macerator pump

 

toad? hooking and unhooking - I've watched but never done, looks easy

 

I know people that are 40 and can't handle it and people that are 80 and still doing it. So really, on a case by case basis.

While I understand there are higher end RV's with the power winders and a built in macerator pump. I see very few of those in mid to lower price range RV's in places I stay in my RV.

 

On the other hand there are the realities of RV'ing. Things do happen which are not an nice as always having a pull thru long enough to not need to unhook your toad or tow vehicle.

 

-- Sticking the 4" sewer hose in the sewer connection of the RV parking site, pulling the black dump valve and finding out the sewer line was blocked about 2 feet below the opening. The sewer hose was just pushed into the drain, like I have done 50 times before without a problem. Only this time the blocked sewer line pushed the hose back up and now my black tank is pouring out on the ground. All of a sudden I am making a mad dash for the dump valve. And there is a huge mess to clean up.

 

-- Night time temps only supposed to get to 33*. OOPS, bad forecast, it got down to 25* and water hose broke. Didn't notice until someone came by and told me my hose was spraying all over the place.

 

-- No TPMS on my tires. Several folks told me they never use them and never had a problem. It is 95* driving along the interstate and the inside dually blew. I'm now stuck on the side of the interstate with traffic flying by, wondering what I am doing here. Oh, yeah, no one told me I should have a road side service for my RV.

 

The point is, not everything come out smelling like roses.

 

A couple of years ago a RV'ing couple made an hour long video with a couple who jumped into RV'ing and found out things don't all go smoothly. It was not a scare video, just reviewing the realities of RV'ing.

 

If anyone remembers the link to the video, it would handy to provide the link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all who responded to my "plea" and helped me figure out a manner in which I can remove myself from this ticklish situation without alienating our friends.... Sometimes my efforts at being "diplomatic" miss the mark by a wide margin and occasionally, wind up being unintentionally brutal (but honest).

For lack of a better word, I guess what I am saying is "Thanks for allowing me the easy way out".

 

"A couple of years ago a RV'ing couple made an hour long video with a couple who jumped into RV'ing and found out things don't all go smoothly. It was not a scare video, just reviewing the realities of RV'ing.

 

If anyone remembers the link to the video, it would handy to provide the link."

 

Would really appreciate the link to the aforementioned video..... Thanks in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AL - your right but I was pointing there are items that can be added to make life easier. Many of these can be added to existing units.

 

When we left Tx this spring, we went north. My buddy had all the stops, days travel, interim stops, etc to next winter in Florida, laid out. We are both 65' and large. He is a planner, me not so much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We should encourage anyone who shows an interest in RVing. We met a couple in Quartzsite a few years back. They were in there late 60's. They were camping with a couple in their 90's! The couple often went on camping tips with their 70 year old son! If they think they can go and they WANT to go then they should go. Before dropping all that money for an expensive class A they really should rent or go with you on a trip. Let them do the work. That way they'll have a pretty good idea of what is involved and whether or not they can do it! Better that they try rather than simply wish they had tried! Dennis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would tell them to "Go For It!!" in a MH 36-45ft pulling four down. :D ... We have friends full timing that are in their 90's... and doing it in a fifth wheel!...for the past 26 years! At your friends ages, imho, they would have a blast in the MH and a comfortable 4X4 to explore and get around in! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We fulltimed for awhile back in the 90's. We even went to a senior park and they asked us if we were "old enough" to park there. We were. We lived in our RV (3 fifth wheels) and traveled later in a cab over camper. We let our family get us off the road, so we lost out on about 18 years that we should have been out there. We still get around very well. Billy asked me once if I was afraid he would lose his "facilities." I never was afraid he would lose his faculties either. This time though, we were older and I was just wondering. I wrote another forum and asked if at age 72 and 74 we might be too old. I got lots of replies and bless their hearts, not even a single warning. It was all "go for it." I would suggest you do exactly what a writer in the new Escapee magazine did. This 70+ year old woman wanted to RV. She had pulled ski boats when her kids were young. The writer gave her a copy of her Escapee magazine, which she read cover to cover. Then, this 70+ year old woman went RVing. If you think your too old, then you are. For us, now at nearly 73 and at 75, we are not sick, we can still lift and push, we can still walk and we both have all our "facilities." Our TT is sitting on the pavement to the side of our house. In fact, we quit sleeping in the house in June. Billy sleeps soundly every night on the memory foam mattress in our cocoon TT. We thought we knew all about RVing, but there are things that are new and I won't go into that. We are learning again. Old dogs do learn new tricks. We wear glasses to drive. We still get the license renewed and we have "permanent" license plates on the RV. We might not speed around the states like we did the first time. This time we will stop and smell the roses and see what we missed the first time.

 

Too old??? When I was in college, and I waited till my kids were in school, I was a young, stupid 28-year-old. I sat in front of the class. I was gung-ho to learn what I missed in high school when I was just having a good time. Something came up about older people going to college and I voiced my stupid, oh so uninformed, young opinion that people over 65 should not be in college, they were "too old" to learn. One of my life's lessons. An "elderly" man in back of the class, he was 68, he informed this young whippersnapper just how ignorant I was. I learned a lot in that class. And, if you that think others are "too old," then you have as much to learn as I did. I did learn my lesson during that class, more than just american history, I learned elder history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommend that they attend Escapees RV Bootcamp to help them understand what is involved. We won't have a rig until next year but, thanks to bootcamp, we know what we want and how to work it, for the most part. That was the best investment of our time we could ever have made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing, and I would like to ask if anyone on the forum remembers an old dark green painted class A with the words painted in white along the back "Drifting Snow?" I know she is not on the road anymore, she was in her 80s at the time. I think she would pull into an RV park and the owner would park her big class A for her. Does anyone remember her?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The entire issue is more one of physical & mental condition than of calendar age. Nobody on these forums has enough knowledge to evaluate the probability of your friends enjoying RV travel, particularly since you clearly are not sure. Because we are enthusiastic RV owners, we all want to encourage everyone to join in and we tell them how easy the lifestyle is. The reality is that there are many younger folks who try RV travels and never master the things that all of us consider to be easy and uncomplicated. While each of us age at a different rate both physically and mentally, for most the increasing years have at least some negative impact upon our abilities, whether we realize and accept that or not.

 

Some people are too old for RV travels at 50 while others are not too old at 90. Some folks are never right for RV travels at any age. If these people are your friends, you are far better qualified than anyone on these forums to advise them. Jitterbug, your neighbors are very fortunate to have someone as considerate as you to ask advice from, as clearly some of us would advise them with very little thought to how the adventure may turn out. Based upon the little that we know about your neighbors/friends, my opinion remains that should rent one first to see what they feel about the experience, before they spend the considerable amount buying one requires. Be very careful that you only guide them in determining their course and avoid making decisions for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:D:D My motto always has been: Life is to short; Live it now! I may be sitting stationary in a 5th wheel RV since my STEMI (ST elevated heart attack) for the past 39 months. I don't have to hook and unhook like I did when i was workamping for 13 years, but still have to keep it up to par. I live in TN. in a 160+ space RV Park. I am 64 yrs. of age and there are many who are younger and some older who sit in their units and hardly see them move about. I have always been active and getting older slows me down with many early years injuries that haunt me. As long as i can move i will be damned if I will waste my days sitting in a rocker waiting for the grim reaper. :lol::lol: It can be done by them; they nedd to try out different combination of units; TT; TC; 5ths; Class A; B; and C's to see what is more convenient for them. If their Physically challenged most campground people will assist them; just need to ask; if not go to the next place that will. The only problem I would contest is if their mental faculties are failing it is not a good choice!. If one never tries how will one know if its possible!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say this, and Billy would tell me I am wrong. We had less trouble hooking up in the 5th wheel than we do in the TT. Is it age? Well, we do not have the push button arrangement, we actually have a get down and bend, move, a little lifting, and it actually is more trouble this time. It has me thinking maybe a Class C would have been more convenient, without a toad. It won't stop us though. Will hope and pray no health complications. I was 39 with the diagnosis of cancer. He was early 40s with diagnosis of renal artery stenosis. Life has not been a bed of roses. The only complications have been from the treatment of the cancer but with health checkups regularly, some exercise, (we are not marathon runners), life changes, good insurance and pretty good health overall, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise" we are ready. The house has to sell first. We can still do short trips waiting for this to happen. Down the road there is still the possibility of CARE if we wear out before the RV does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a 72 year-old woman and am full-timing alone and have been on the road, constantly traveling for over three years. I have 62,000 miles on my once-new 32' Class C motorhome and doing just fine, thanks. And I am still teaching online half-time all year.

 

I also agree that a Class C without a toad is a lot easier than a trailer or 5th wheel!

 

My biggest problem in doing things right now is my hands--trigger finger on left and trigger thumb on right that I have not been able to get fixed because I keep moving. (I am hoping to get a couple of cortisone in October and maybe surgery in December when I am near one of my sons.) I get the water hose started and then use a wrench to tighten.

 

My other handicap is being short--have to use a lot of stools, and yes, I can feel myself getting tired sooner than I did 20 years ago, but I can still drive 250 miles a day and back into a spot and hook up at the end of the day. And I know people a lot older than I am doing it as a couple, so I would never tell someone they are too old for this life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Solo18, "you go girl." How proud I was to read this. Maybe you might check into CARE to get your trigger thumb and trigger finger seen about. My daughter is insistent she is going to "take care of us." The problem with that is she is gets sick a lot more than we are. I appreciate her caring, but I think as we get older sometimes maybe we get a little stubborn and would like to keep doing things ourselves. I know we do. A Class C is in our future, I hope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The entire issue is more one of physical & mental condition than of calendar age. Nobody on these forums has enough knowledge to evaluate the probability of your friends enjoying RV travel, particularly since you clearly are not sure."

----

Agreed; what one person is able to do at 80, another can't do at 60! I'm 74, and have traveled on my own in four different rigs over the past 45 or so years, but I know several people a lot younger than I am whom I would *not* encourage to jump into a lifestyle that can have a long learning curve because their physical conditions and "mental acumen" are not up to the task. I'm all for people of any age trying new things and challenging themselves physically and mentally within the limits of their own capabilities, but every situation and every person is unique. But, experience and reality suggest that the older one gets, the more "issues" one is likely to have to deal with; in this particular case, it seems to me that the concern of the OP is more one of the physical capabilities of both people rather than chronology!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if the OP could let the neighbors do the set-up on his coach while at home, rather than having them spend the money to rent a coach so they could both go out to a local campground for the weekend. Obviously the neighbors will have to be told what to do, but let them actually do the work. If they can physically do the work, then take the next step. If they can't do the work of setting up at home then there is no sense in going any further, and I think the neighbors would recognize that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not going to respond to this post as I thought it had fizzled out then I see a 8 Aug post. Every thing I say here is said in a low tone and is meant to only pass alone some things we have experience on the road.

 

Pre trip : practice extending your water hose and rolling it back up plus have an extension for those places with spigots that exceed the length of your primary hose. Buy hoses marked for rv and portable use. If you can ,get the hose's with the fortified / brass connectors.

 

Ditto for your black/ grey water tanks. After you used your black tank and grey tank run water through the big black tank hose to help clean out any STUFF left behind .

 

Roll up or extend your Elec power cable if you have one . Extend only the amount you may need. On departure make sure the power cord is removed from shore power and rolled up.

 

Check tire air pressure, This is really grunt work but it needs to be done. I have a dial face and a truckers type gage and I double-check each tire as I go around the rv checking . I used a small chair to aid in checking the tires. I'm 73 so I need all the aids out there.

 

Do a complete walk around to

 

make sure the jacks are up- antennas are downed awnings are retracted.

 

Check for obstructions on the slide tracks.

 

Inside: Every thing not needed for driving should be secured, All cabinets doors closed, Refer door closed and locked into placed.

Repeat, make sure all antennas are down and in the travel position,

 

Place the slide switch/button is in travel position.(Leveling system)

 

If necessary have your partner look under the coach and top of coach (to make sure antennas are down and did not auto extend .

 

Driving: Seat belts on , all gages checked, map light off etc, etc.

 

If you are in a tight space ask your partner to guide you from the outside . Move to a safe place to hook up the toad.

 

Just Saying.

Toney Murphy

105242

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...