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Single, 80 with 30' 5th wheel for full time RVing


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I bought a new 30' Arctic Fox back in 2008 to take my then wife and me to see this country.  She was younger than me and wanted no part of full time RV life or travelling.  She was happiest when being with her friends and doing things with them.  After 29 years of marriage we divorced.  I finally am tired of just laying around and would like to get my 5th wheel ready and head out, slowly at first seeing things as I go around here in the west.  I have wanted to go to Alaska for over 20 years and maybe I'll do it this time.  I don't like being single but a bad marriage is much worse.  Just before my 30th birthday I had a "near death" experience and found out God is Real so my Christian Walk these last 50 years has been real and rewarding.  I just want to go out while I'm still able to and see this beautiful and incredible country of our.  After my divorce I did take my 5th wheel out and saw much beauty and I really enjoyed it for a couple of months.  When I got back my sons needed my help for a while, first one then the other.

I guess my question is this, am I to old to start this new stage and possibly last stage of life.  Physically I am mediocre at the best, not the once strong athletic person of days gone by.  Next question do you think loneliness at this stage of my life would be to great?  My main preoccupation these days is writing, short stories, poems and other Biblical experiences.  I am still learning but in a totally different way of  Yester-year. 

For any wishing to give me any advice or sharing their own personal experience with me it would be greatly appreciated.

Gary

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A few years ago while in a coastal forest service campground in Oregon the camp hostess had recently lost her hubby due to Ischemic HT and was looking for someone to share her 5th wheel.  I hope she had great success.  Do not remember her name after two years. Best of luck to you. 

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I'll start by saying that I'm 78 so I do understand where you are coming from. My wife is a year older and we were fulltime for 11+ years. I was fortunate to be able to retire earlier than most. What brought us back to a fixed home again was health issues, mostly on my wife's part. She had several surgeries that would have been difficult to deal with in an RV so we bought a home again. We still have an RV (downsized) and we were traveling for several months each year until covid shut things down. We both have now had both shots and we are tentatively planning to travel again this next summer. It is more work to travel at our age, but it can be done successfully as long as you take an easy pace. The loneliness issue is one that is pretty difficult for me to measure, since I have never traveled alone. That is also something that varies widely from one person to the next. You could probably lessen that by your choice of where to go and where to stay while there. Most destination RV parks have active recreational programs. The Escapees also have a singles "birds of a feather" group and also a christian one which could be partial answers. 

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I don’t know about the age issue - I’m in the 65-70 range, and, up until this year when I was diagnosed with cancer, have always been in good health.

I do know something about traveling solo - I was a widow when I bought my trailer (and first RV) 5 years ago.  I’ve probably put something around 50,000 miles on the trailer since I bought it, and have been full-time for well over a year now.

I think loneliness depends on the individual.  I’m actually pretty comfortable being on my own and the only times I feel particularly lonely is when I’m feeling sorry for myself or vulnerable for some reason (I still have some after-effects of surgery and have been feeling far more vulnerable than before the cancer diagnosis).  When I’m on a morning walk through the desert, looking at the light on the mountains around here, I can’t feel lonely, even though I am alone.  Same with driving through some pretty place, or planning my next stop or next move.

I have some solitary type of hobbies that keep me busy when I’m not otherwise active.

I maintain casual contact with several people I knew where the house was, and I’m very active on a forum of other Lance owners, getting together with some of them a couple of times a year.  I normally travel by myself but will occasionally travel with good friends (went to Alaska with 3 couples I’ve known for several years - an incredible trip made better by their company).

If I’m staying in a campground I’ll often strike up a conversation with others, it’s always interesting to meet new people.  But I’m also quite content to be boondocking away from others (which is what I’m doing now), something not everyone who owns an RV would be (or would want to do).

Are you a person that has to have people/friends around you?  Then you might be lonely.  Can you manage nicely on your own and prefer it that way?  Then you probably won’t be lonely.

Good luck with your choice.

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IYQ, when he returned to Rving full time, was about your age when he joined this forum as a member of the Class of 08. His slogan was something like: Keeping on the move so the Grim Reaper can't find me. He was also an active member of Loners on Wheels, a.k, a. LoW. Age is not nearly as limiting a factor as health. If you think you can do it, you probably can I certainly encourage to try.

Linda Sand

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13 hours ago, GaryCQ said:

I have wanted to go to Alaska for over 20 years and maybe I'll do it this time. 

For any wishing to give me any advice or sharing their own personal experience with me it would be greatly appreciated.

Gary

I became a widower suddenly over 5 years ago due to my loving wife of 45 years having an aneurysm.  After a few years I hooked up with my current soul mate.  She is somebody my wife and I knew for many years so I knew what I was getting and there have been no unpleasant surprises.  I remain very active at 72 and enjoy doing many things but I enjoy sharing them with somebody else probably more so than I would doing these same things by myself.  Unfortunately, Alaska probably won’t be an option for land travel this year due to the continued closure of the Canadian border.  I love Alaska and have been there many times.  We are flying there for 15 days in June and renting a Class C motorhome to travel in.  It is one way to still see Alaska during these COVID times. 

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 I really wish I would've,.......when I could've,..........man I sure should've......

 Yes!!!....I did it.

 I guess it depends which topic you'd rather write about. I think Noah was several hundred years old when he built his own cruise ship.

 One of my best friends represents the would've, could've, should've crowd. He is ever so miserable. He likes to blame it on his common law wife, but all that does is make him even more of a bitter curmudgeon. Granted, I am the extreme opposite which can get me into as much trouble as I can handle, but my life is all smiles, his is all frowns. Maybe that's why we stay so close friends. We can needle each other about anything and it only makes us stronger.

 I believe in karma. I remained single until age 56, and was always the topic of the coffee shop gossipers. People wondering what's wrong with me, not getting hitched and raising kids etc. But I met the woman I had always dreamed existed somewhere, and the long years of wait now seems like it was the right thing to do. Most wrote me off as going to be single the rest of my life, and the coroner would have to use a scoop shovel to get the remains to the furnace as no one would have noticed me missing for weeks or even months.

 Point being, you and only you, (or you and God if that's how you view it) are in charge of the rest of your life. If you feel good enough to try full time travels, then do it. It may or may not last. It may end up not being the great utopia you had envisioned. But it also may end up extending your life as you will be happier than you ever envisioned. Either way, by trying it, you'll not spend your remaining years wishing you would've when could've.

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There is a storey of a boy who sailed around the world alone.  It was written up in National Geographic.  In this voyage he met his future wife and she followed him as he sailed alone.  Having her at his next port kept him going.  On his last step of sailing to the Panama Canal he received a letter from her as she was travelling through Switzerland.  This one line has stuck with me over the years "There is so much beauty here and all over and I want to say to you how beautiful it is but your not here and suddenly its not as beautiful.  Funny, beauty isn't as beautiful if you can't share it with somebody you love."  During my life with God He has shown me much, one being the Love He wants His Children to feel for those He designated them for.  So I guess that is the loneliness thing I speak of, I KNOW what I'm missing but I also know I can't provide it for myself, but I must admit His Hope is the thing I cling to.  Still, there is much beauty out there that I want to see and enjoy, even if alone, for beauty is what it is even if it could even be more so.  So in my 80th year I still want to go see, feel and marvel at God' creation.  As I once wrote long ago "I reach out through the eons of time and space and gently touch your face".  I guess I got carried away, I do that once in a while.  Like many of you, sitting still waiting for that "grand reaper" just seems like an empty existence.  Thanks to those who care enough to respond, it helps!

Gary

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4 minutes ago, GaryCQ said:

Like many of you, sitting still waiting for that "grand reaper" just seems like an empty existence. 

There are many things which one can do in order to keep live interesting and to contribute to others. Travel is one option, but there are a host of organizations in need of volunteer help as well. We have always volunteered along our way through life, and we did that while we were fulltime and continue to do so today. 

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It seems that the OP has a lot of enthusiasm and strong interests in seeing some of the beauty of the world.  I certainly would not venture a guess about traveling alone.  Many people do it.  As to being too old, I should not be an issue as long as you have the ability to drive safely for at least moderate amounts of time.

To make RV life a lot easier I would recommend looking at a small RV.  My wife and I did it in a truck camper.  Others, especially singles, drop down to a conversion van level.  Smaller makes driving, parking and finding camping sites easier.  At a minimum I would want a toilet, wet bath, small kitchen, comfortable bed, heat and A/C.  You can get all of that in a quite small trailer for not much money.  

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I lost my wife suddenly after 44 years. One of the bucket list items was a take 5-6 week to the NW. I couldn't do it until 2 Years later. Another item on the bucket list was help High School Classmates put write a Reunion Book without any "NO REPLIES" , NO RESONSE" or "I'M AT _____".'  I made contact with about 30 people. A couple weeks before the reunion, I contacted a few to question why they wasn't attending any events going on locally or gathering for the reunion. I lived 420 miles away from the reunion site so I arrived a day early to knock on doors. One lady hadn't attended for 30 years. I got her to attend an event. Some classmates talked her into attending the main event. Little did I realize she sparked me. We married 5 years later.

If I wanted to stay Home and drink coffee with the guys, I would not have got to know this lady. The point is travel while you can, attend events you like. Others are there with your likes. There are a lot of Positive things in your to talk about.

Still Healthy - Clay   Impacted by Statements made on "Living Life"

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I am in a similar situation and asking myself the same questions.  In fact, I have been trying to think where or how I could get some answers/directions.

About me, 74 in relatively good health and shape:  Also younger wife who for many years expressed an interest in traveling.  Our marriage has been more one sided--me loving her a lot more and me trying to make it work.  So for the last two months or so, I have been talking about getting a travel trailer and doing some traveling.  We visited some dealers and went to the Tampa RV Show (we live in the area) last month, January, to look at trailers.

I found one that I like, Rockwood 2205S (23'10" length), and put a deposit on it.  I am not a truck person, so, I needed to buy a truck to tow it with.  After much looking, I bought a 2020 Ram 1500 Classic Crew Cab on Jan 29th.  On February 10th (just 12 days after I bought the truck), my wife tells me she wants a divorce. 

So what do I do now?  Do I go ahead and buy the trailer (approximately $27,000), sell the new truck, which has less than 200 miles, for a loss, or what?  Traveling and seeing places that I haven't seen and doing new things sound interesting, BUT I do NOT, repeat, do NOT like doing things on my own.  Of course, I do things on my own, but they are not nearly as enjoyable as when I am with someone.  For me, it doesn't matter what I am doing--watching TV, shopping, or whatever, it is nicer doing it with someone.

That said, if I did complete buying the trailer and went traveling, I am afraid that I would be extremely lonely and not be able to enjoy it.  I might as well stay home and be lonely.  

What I haven't mentioned is that I am an introvert.  Meaning that I am not outgoing, and never have been.  Meeting people is very hard for me.

Trying to figure out what to do and the best, is very difficult.  Good luck to both of us. 

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While there are times I miss being able to turn to my DH and say “oooh, look at that!”  Or perhaps miss when he saw something I didn’t.  I would still be married to him if he were still alive, though he hated camping so I would not be enjoying my RV like I am now.

When he passed away I quit listening to love songs and gave up reading most things that glorified relationship over everything else in life.  I looked into the future and could see two or three paths in front of me.  I could do the conventional widow thing and stay home, crying my eyes out and waiting for Prince Charming to come rescue me.  There was a strong social tie/principle to something like that when I was a child, though somehow I never quite got the word about that.

I could try to figure out how to meet men who would (maybe) become Prince Charming and rescue me, while I worked and tried to shift through the numerous frogs who were really frogs out there.  I never liked the whole dating thing when I was in my 20s so I wasn’t thrilled about trying it in my 60s. 

Instead, I heard and took to heart that one played the hand one was dealt.  My reality was that the man I loved for 32 years was not there any more.  That was the hand I was dealt, and I could make what I wanted with it.  I decided not to quit living or live only to find someone new who might or might not come along.

I chose to follow my dream - I bought a small trailer and a tow vehicle.  I changed my attitude to say “I CAN do this and I WILL like this” even though I had never owned an RV before (remember, I’m a girl who grew up in a time when a woman’s role was not living by themselves in an RV).  I spent time learning all about things having to do with my trailer.  I went to pretty places where I found healing for my soul.  I found that the incredible sunrise over the sand dunes in Death Valley to be completely satisfying, and (if you have a religious faith) found I wasn’t really alone at all.

Grieve for your lost spouses but don’t give up living.  Living and traveling alone can be very satisfying, I can do what I want when I want to do it.  I can be selfish if I want, or give freely to someone else if they need it.  Talking to people in campgrounds is casual, they don’t become your best friends, it’s much easier than trying to develop relationships with anyone.  It’s interesting to see how others manage their rigs.

I get looks occasionally, mostly from wives, when people realize I’m on my own.

RVing gives me something to think about (where am I going next, what does the rig need, how are my batteries managing, etc.). I find life very, very satisfying being on the road in my travel trailer, far more so than sitting around the house I sold in 2019.  I am only miserable if I choose to feel that way, and there’s too much to do with an RV and traveling to sit and be miserable.

Anyway, that’s been my experience.  After 32 years of marriage and 8 years of being single, 5 with an RV, I love being on my own.

 

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Okay, the need to have another relationship isn't there.  That is not what I was referring to but rather when I had that "near death" experience 50 years ago I saw a side of life that I had never seen before.  There is only one uniqueness call "me".  What I saw, what I learned was another person cannot complete the uniqueness called "me" but the joy of it was in sharing it with another unique person in the bonds created by God.  Yes, I am a Christian who learned of God from God.  He has slapped me down when needed but He has shown me He is there even when not needed.  I cannot explain it to someone who has never experienced the Living Presence called God but to those who have, they understand my words.  But I still do live in this world and I am not yet in "the world to come".  I write the way I do just happens.  It is not something I create but something that was created in me long ago.  So yes, "love" under the umbrella of God is my final outcome I do seek but only God can supply it!  I joined Escapees not for a religious experience but hoping to find others who have experienced other aspects of this "RV" life similar to mine and we could share common experiences.  When two uncommon things try to relate generally only confusion is the result.  I try not to offend others who see a different side of a coin, so if you don't understand my words that is okay.  My nephew speaks fluent Japanese and lives there but has trouble talking to his family until he remembers how to speak English, which sometimes takes some time.  I hope others understand my words and purpose.

Gary 

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My friend go do it now! Its later then you think! During my first visit to Escapees in Livingston I met a man who was traveling alone and he came over to our site to talk and he came right out and asked me how long do you think I can do this? I am eighty. He went to dinner with a few different woman during the three days that I saw him and I did mention that to him and he told that they were gold diggers!

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GaryCQ, looking at a different aspect of traveling alone  is if/when you need assistance. There are devices to allow your sons to keep track of your location if you wish and of course medical devices (as seen on TV) to summon medical assistance if required. That eliminates that concern of traveling alone IMO.

In 2012 we drove to AK, we were on a highway headed to TOK when we saw a pickup towing a travel trailer alongside the road. I stopped and asked the single man(appeared mid 60's) if he needed help. He was out of gas, I poured my can of gas into his tank and he made it to TOK before that 1 G of gas was gone. So yes, single people do drive to AK.

There used to be a website that allowed your location to be displayed on a map in real-time, but I think that disappeared years ago.

Edited by Ray,IN
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29 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

There used to be a website that allowed your location to be displayed on a map in real-time, but I think that disappeared years ago.

I have a "find my phone" thing that Dave used to track my travels when I was traveling solo. When I arrived home he was sitting on a bench out front waiting to help me unload. He takes good care of me even when we are apart.

Linda

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13 hours ago, GaryCQ said:

I hope others understand my words and purpose.

All that I can tell you is that you must determine your proper course. Most people in your position benefit more from following their dreams than from stiffeling them. One thing is sure, you can never do this any younger!

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