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Rv travel past age 70


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v  I have been RVing since in my early 20's. Like many I graduated from a tent trailer then TT, 5th wheel and then a diesel pusher. My wife of 46 years passed away in 2018 and shortly after that I sold the motor-home. We did allot of big trips and full-timed for a few years. I bought a TT last year and have a 6 week trip planned next month. It was one of the last things on our bucket list to get to Wyoming, Yellowstone etc.  I have been wanting to follow thru on the plan for me and especially in her memory.  I am 70 now and as the departure date approaches I'm getting a little apprehensive about heading out on my own. I'm starting to doubt that I still have the wherewithal to cope with the traffic, possible breakdowns and other logistical issues as the trip progresses and initial plans need to be adjusted. My wife was my copilot, advisor and navigator and she was very good at it. Not sure I can do all the things that she did. I am in good mental and physical health but just wonder what my limits may turn out to be if any. To those of you who may be 70 and beyond and still venturing out I would like to hear your thoughts on aging and continuing to be on the road. when is it time to pack it in, will it be obvious? I'm thinking that you know where I'm coming from even if I didn't explain myself that well. Thanks.

Edited by wtmtnhiker
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I have found lots and lots of solo RV'ers are out and about....all ages, well into their 70's & 80's.  Have you gone on any shorter strips just to make sure of all the things you are worried about are not problems?  I'm more picky about the weather than I used to be, don't drive in wind, don't drive in bad rain, don't drive at night, don't do the long, long days.  Not into hair curler museums, but love dinosaur and local history, so are out and about checking things out, seeing beautiful country but at a slower pace.  I also enjoy the adventure of meeting new people, most of whom are wonderful and ready to share a conversation.  Everyone is different, see how it goes and then you'll have a better idea of what solo travel means to you.  Good luck, hope you enjoy your trip.

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My thinking is that if your gut feeling is to rethink the big trip that you should pay attention to that feeling.  Honestly, the experiences of others, yea or nay, won't apply because by the time we reach this stage of life our personal situation can be vastly different than that of others.  
 

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Go for the planned trip. I was 68 years old when my wife of over 44 years passed away suddenly. We had a 5000 mile trip planned to start 6 weeks later.  I couldn't take that specific trip till 2 years later and made it a 7200 mile trip without a schedule except three dates. The first date was the day I crossed the Mississippi  River heading West. The other dates were birthdays in Montana and Texas (that was added after I left Oregon). Talking to the local people, took me on side trips with little publicized wonders. They were the highlights of trip.

That trip was in a little Class C and since pulling my second fifth wheel.

Lots years have passed since my having a tent and a 14 foot travel trailer, now, a little planning keeps me away low bridges and tight places buying fuel.  Plan your day around avoiding rush hour traffic and such.

Happy travels

Clay

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1 hour ago, wtmtnhiker said:

To those of you who may be 70 and beyond and still venturing out I would like to hear your thoughts on aging and continuing to be on the road. when is it time to pack it in, will it be obvious?

First of all, I am now 79 years old and we are planning our next RV trip. We did downsize to a fairly small travel trailer and a solid tow truck for many reasons, but we love our time on the road. I do still have my travel partner but she is a year older and has developed some visual problems so isn't the navigator any longer, but Gypsy (our Garmin GPS) has pretty much taken over those duties. I believe that caution as you go back on the road is a very wise thing but giving up is foolish. Take your time and make travel days short but do not quit without at least trying. Since you have already done some trips to get started, ask yourself, "if my wife was with me, what would she advise?" That will probably give you the answer that you need. There is no way that I can assess your driving skills but if you drive regularly with no near miss events, there is no reason to think that you can't do so now. You may want to just travel from one RV park to the next to make things easy, but the challenges will be no different than in the past so just take your time, relax and move forward. I think that it would be a terrible mistake to put it off or not go.

Quote

My thinking is that if your gut feeling is to rethink the big trip that you should pay attention to that feeling. 

I could not disagree more! If I had thought that way I would never have gone fulltime in the first place. 

 

Edited by Kirk W
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42 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

First of all, I am now 79 years old and we are planning our next RV trip. We did downsize to a fairly small travel trailer and a solid tow truck for many reasons, but we love our time on the road. I do still have my travel partner but she is a year older and has developed some visual problems so isn't the navigator any longer, but Gypsy (our Garmin GPS) has pretty much taken over those duties. I believe that caution as you go back on the road is a very wise thing but giving up is foolish. Take your time and make travel days short but do not quit without at least trying. Since you have already done some trips to get started, ask yourself, "if my wife was with me, what would she advise?" That will probably give you the answer that you need. There is no way that I can assess your driving skills but if you drive regularly with no near miss events, there is no reason to think that you can't do so now. You may want to just travel from one RV park to the next to make things easy, but the challenges will be no different than in the past so just take your time, relax and move forward. I think that it would be a terrible mistake to put it off or not go.

I could not disagree more! If I had thought that way I would never have gone fulltime in the first place. 

 

  For myself I would describe it more as apprehensions not necessarily a gut feeling that I shouldn't go.

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7 minutes ago, wtmtnhiker said:

For myself I would describe it more as apprehensions not necessarily a gut feeling that I shouldn't go.

Exactly and that is true for most people when they do something new. 

 

20 minutes ago, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

So you are saying your gut feeling was that you shouldn't go but you ignored it and went anyway? 

My thinking is that if your gut feeling is to rethink the big trip that you should pay attention to that feeling.

Read your post. You are changing the question. I am saying that we both had some apprehension as we left and most people do. And that is what stops many people from following their dreams. 

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32 minutes ago, wtmtnhiker said:

  For myself I would describe it more as apprehensions not necessarily a gut feeling that I shouldn't go.

Wishing you the best as you work through this.  I remember spending considerable time working on our potential finances, wanting to be sure we could afford to do what we were planning.  There was, though, never a doubt that we wanted to full time if we could afford it.

The "gut feeling" comment is related more to a nagging feeling that we need to rethink a proposed course of action.  We usually get that when we know, but don't want to admit it to ourselves, that we are about to make a questionable decision.  From what you are saying that isn't where you are right now.

Again, here's hoping you make a good decision that you are happy with.

Edited by GR "Scott" Cundiff
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14 minutes ago, GR "Scott" Cundiff said:

Wishing you the best as you work through this.  I remember spending considerable time working on our potential finances, wanting to be sure we could afford to do what we were planning.  There was, though, never a doubt that we wanted to full time if we could afford it.

The "gut feeling" comment is related more to a nagging feeling that we need to rethink a proposed course of action.  We usually get that when we know, but don't want to admit it to ourselves, that we are about to make a questionable decision.  From what you are saying that isn't where you are right now.

Again, here's hoping you make a good decision that you are happy with.

    Thank you, your comments are thought provoking and much appreciated. I suppose it's not a nagging feeling that I shouldn't go but hoping that and getting reassurance that 70 shouldn't be a limiting factor and isn't for many others. Like I said in my original post I hope others will know what I'm trying to say even though I'm not doing a good job of it.

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1 hour ago, wtmtnhiker said:

    Thank you, your comments are thought provoking and much appreciated. I suppose it's not a nagging feeling that I shouldn't go but hoping that and getting reassurance that 70 shouldn't be a limiting factor and isn't for many others. Like I said in my original post I hope others will know what I'm trying to say even though I'm not doing a good job of it.

I think you did a very good job, but perhaps, for me, that included my own circustances.  I am not 70, have my wife of 44+ years and am STRUGGLING  with IF we can do some long trips.  We arent on SS yet and so wondering how to have the income to live and travel too.  I feel some uncertain apprehension for sure.  I get you.  I believe it will fade once we make the first stop and smell the air of that place.  

Like most challenges, getting started is usually much harder than continuing.

Try to enjoy your journey, even while planning.  There can be so much excitement in the preparation.

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3 hours ago, MizzMarzBar said:

Age is nothing but a state of mind that we can choose.

I keep telling that to my knees, but they’re not buying it.

Anyway, ask your doctor’s opinion. He/she will be objective as none of us here are.

At the very least, it’ll be good to get a checkup before you hit the road.

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I say go for it. Get a good GPS to be your navigator. Study maps before leaving so you have a sense of where you are gong. Make your days short. When I was traveling solo, I often took a nap after lunch before moving on again. I also arranged to eat food that was easy to make so I didn't spend. a lot of time cooking/cleaning up. You will soon learn what works for you.

Linda

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2 hours ago, wtmtnhiker said:

I suppose it's not a nagging feeling that I shouldn't go but hoping that and getting reassurance that 70 shouldn't be a limiting factor and isn't for many others. Like I said in my original post I hope others will know what I'm trying to say even though I'm not doing a good job of it.

70 isn't old!  If you have good enough health, eyesight and reflexes then you're set to go.  Don't waste time.  You're an experienced RVer and you've full-timed so you know what to expect.  Drive short days. Get an RV that you can handle easily.  I suggest going to some Escapees parks where everyone is so friendly and who welcome you in activities.  This is especially true of holidays.  An Escapee park is the place to be at Christmas time.  Get involved with the Escapees.  Have you every considered volunteering in national or state parks?  Perhaps you need some kind of purpose to keep you motivated.  Go for it!

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Like Kirk I'm 79 years old, and my wife is 77. She has health issues that have taken her off navigation and setup and tear down tasks, but we still love fulltiming and just work around our limitations. We have a full hook up base site at our Adirondack family cottage where we arrived today to spend the Easter holiday with family that lives nearby. We have multiple park reservations through the rest of this year and into March of next year that will keep us moving around upstate NY for the northern warm season before heading south again to follow the warm weather. Bottom line, age is only as much of an issue as your own health and state of mind make it. If the body and mind are both willing, go for it...

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We are 73 and while not full time do several trips a year. My Wife is now unable to help  while actually on the road due to her Parkinson's & AFIB so is kinda like driving solo  she sleeps a lot if she gets still .i have to do most of the setup/tear down . I say do the trip unless health wise you need to put off. Have some tools that make any repairs needed easier such as battery powered impact wrench. Thier is also still good folks that will stop & help.

i would drive less & stay camped more. A long time ago heard a full timer tell his driving rule. He called it the 442 rule : 400 miles or 4 PM then 2 cocktails. You could adjust that to 332 or222 etc.

maybe find a traveling companion !

 

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7 hours ago, bruce t said:

You could just sit at home and count your regrets. 

LOL^ .

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!”


 Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

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I am 75.  My last solo trip was before Covid.  It was 15000 miles over a 4 month period.  I am planning a similar trip for this Fall. 

I have a host of medical issues including chronic fatigue so I compensate.  As an example on my first day, I leave midday to minimize the traffic.  I still have 2 nasty hours of driving in heavy traffic to leave Long Island and pass the NYC area.  After that I drive for another hour or so and stop early for the night at Cabelas in Western PA.

I have no concerns about driving on the open road with little traffic.  I get a late start around 9 am.  Because of my half pot of morning coffee, I do a quick pit stop around 11 am.  A couple more hours of driving and I stop for lunch.  I typically spend an hour, a half hour or less for lunch and another half hour or so for a nap in the camper.  I then drive for typically 3-4 hours.  In the Fall-Spring months, I would be finished for the day at that point; i.e., about a total of 7 hours and say 350-400 miles of highway driving.   Often in the Summer months, I do another snack/lay down rest and drive for a few more hours.  I avoid driving at night.  I avoid pushing it.  I take my rest stops and naps and I still manage to drive long distances.  

If not so already, I highly recommend you learn how to use your nav system, a separate Garmin, or my favorite Google maps on the cellphone.  You can do your searching with voice commands and then do a quick screen check.  I recommend doing this off the road.  I don't plan my highway stops in advance.  Instead I go by the conditions and how I feel.  I usually pull off the road an hour or so before I plan to stop and check for areas ahead such as truck stops, rest areas (only in certain locations) and often Walmart supercenters or something equivalent.  Do this early in case your first choice is a disappointment.

You might also want to consider how to maintain alertness and keep yourself interested on the road.  I sign up for a cheap introductory offer for Sirium/xm radio and surf the stations.  I also like books on tape.

I spent a lot of time about how to cope with highway driving because it is typically the most exhausting.  Even for long trips my highway driving is typically minimal compared with the usual days where I might stay at a location for days or as long as a week or two.  Even out West my drives between destination locations are typically less than a few hours.      

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On 4/14/2022 at 10:17 PM, Dutch_12078 said:

Like Kirk I'm 79 years old, and my wife is 77. She has health issues that have taken her off navigation and setup and tear down tasks, but we still love fulltiming and just work around our limitations. We have a full hook up base site at our Adirondack family cottage where we arrived today to spend the Easter holiday with family that lives nearby. We have multiple park reservations through the rest of this year and into March of next year that will keep us moving around upstate NY for the northern warm season before heading south again to follow the warm weather. Bottom line, age is only as much of an issue as your own health and state of mind make it. If the body and mind are both willing, go for it...

I'm up for that! I'm also 79, 2 heart surgeries, asthma, and non-esential tremors. Shorter mileage days compensates for all that; I hit the road ~9AM, stop 2-3PM and relax the rest of the day.  That also gets me a parking site without a reservation.

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I'm 74 and just bought my first Travel trailer.  Used to camp in a pop-up years ago.  I'm widowed so it is just me and my small dog.  I will start with short local camping trips and extend if all goes well.  Here in Arkansas there are a lot of very nice camping experiences to be had. 

I decided even at 74,I want to fill some "bucket list" traveling while I can.

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wtmtnhiker, how about an update on you plans? Are you moving ahead? You have a lot of friends out here hoping to support you.

Quote

I decided even at 74,I want to fill some "bucket list" traveling while I can.

Travelor1947, we are working that plan also. We leave later this week for a Mississippi River cruise that has been on (my wife) Pam's bucket list for years. 

Edited by Kirk W
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3 hours ago, Kirk W said:

wtmtnhiker, how about an update on you plans? Are you moving ahead? You have a lot of friends out here hoping to support you.

Kirk,

  Yes I am moving ahead with my plans. I have all my reservations made and planning to be on the road approx 6 weeks. Spending Memorial Day Weekend in Hermosa S.D. then make my way to Yellowstone for 6 days. Many other multi day stops along the way. Lastly to Vermont to a Bluegrass Festival and then home to NH.

  I do very much appreciate all the replies to my post and especially those who shared their own personal circumstances, apprehensions, plans, trips etc. I'll be moving on with renewed enthusiasm and confidence thanks to you all.  Perhaps being alone lends one to overthink things.  Wishing you all Happy Easter and safe travels. Thank you all.

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