RV camping is a fun activity commonly associated with retirement. Since senior citizens are more likely to engage in this pastime than others, it stands to reason that an RV camping checklist must reflect 10 items the weekend warrior frequently forgets.
1. Verify the Makeup of the Campsites Prior to Booking a Spot
RV camping tips for seniors start off with a word of advice on campsite selection. For the traveler with a smaller rig, it matters little if the ground is paved or features hard dirt. For the mature traveler who frequently drives a long, heavy motor home, improperly applied gravel can spell disaster when it comes to leveling the rig.
2. Pack Emergency Flares
Senior citizens are more likely to encounter a medical emergency when traveling than younger folks. Due to the nature of RV camping, this emergency may take place far away from frequently traveled roads. Pack plenty of flares, heavy duty flashlights (and batteries) for signaling.
3. Get Insured
The Official RVers Guide to Florida admonishes any traveler making up the RV camping checklist to include insurance coverage. Senior citizens in particular are more likely to be under-insured, in part because they fail to transition from house to RV with full-timer coverage in place. A call to an insurance agent is a must!
4. Check In – Regularly!
RV camping tips senior citizens must not ignore is the requirement for frequently checking in with others. No, senior citizens do not need babysitters; that being said, the rigors of the road and the potential for getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is a hazard that may be mitigated simply by scheduling regular check-ins, either via phone or email. A friend can sound the alarm if a day or more goes by without contact.
5. Know the Flora and Fauna; Pack Accordingly
Include bear repellent and snake protection in RV camping supplies. Know if an area is known for Poison Ivy. Learn what to look for and how to avoid it. Prepare of an unavoidable contact, especially when traveling with a dog.
6. Downsize; Repeat
Scale back the RV camping packing list to its bare bones. A heavy rig guzzles more gasoline than one that is markedly lighter. Only bring what is absolutely necessary and look for lighter versions.
7. Print out Current Maps and Itineraries
Printed maps do not age gracefully. Seniors may be caught off guard by road closures that may lead them to take big rigs onto questionable off-road adventures. Mile by Mile offers printable free guides and maps.
8. Learn How to Back Up and Park
As a former RV full-timer myself, there have been plenty of times when I saw the driver of a bigger rig take out part of a picnic bench or table in the attempt to squeeze the recreational vehicle next to the hookups. The bigger the rig, the more urgent the need for some hands-on driving lessons.
9. Pack the Meds
Depending on the length of the trip, bring along an extra two weeks worth of medication. This accounts for possible side trips, getting stuck, not finding a pharmacy nearby or anything else that could prevent the senior from refilling the heart medication on time.
10. Bring extra Fuel, Water and Oil
A branch punctures the oil pan, the rig runs out of fuel even though the warning light has only been on for 25 miles and the campground with the drinking water hookup is closed for the season. When these emergencies happen at midnight, having spare fuel, motor oil and water in the RV camping supplies is a good idea. It prevents senior travelers from having to flag down help in the middle of the night.