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You have finally reached the age of retirement. Your decades of hard work have finally paid off and the smell of freedom is too sweet to ignore. Over 70% of retirees in the US say that they would want to travel during these years, however, only around 23% actually fulfill that dream. Whether it be overseas trips or a cross-country road trip, when reality kicks in, it can turn out to be more expensive and more logistically challenging than imagined.
We thought we would take a look specifically at those epic RV trips that you’ve been dreaming about. Although it is possible to make it a reality, we thought we would put together a list of things that you need to consider before hopping in your RV and heading off across the country. Not only did we include the normal challenges, but also challenges faced by couples who are older in age.
Choose the Right Vehicle
The first thing to do is to research your different options for vehicles. You will want something that is reliable, safe, comfortable and doesn’t consume fuel like an overloaded Boeing. The budget is really important to consider when picking your new home on wheels, as you don’t want to blow everything you have before you even set off. But you don’t want to choose something that will break down every 100 miles, and that you won’t feel at home in.
The fact of the matter is that you will need a space that you can enter and exit easily. Look out for steps that are just too high for you to climb up and down. What is the bed like? Will you be stopping in at a physio in every town on your journey? Take a look at the ablution facilities. Will you be able to sit down and get up without assistance? The setup of the RV is vital to consider before spending that well-earned cash on something that will make you miserable.
Ensure You Have Fresh Water at All Times
This is something that people forget about all the time, thinking that they can simply pick up a few liters on the road or top up at designated stops. The rule of thumb is to never embark on a long-haul journey without having a solution for the times when you simply cannot get your hands on freshwater. Look at investing in an RV water softener solution. This helps remove the hard minerals from the water, making it usable. There are a number of different water systems to choose from, each that will match your budget and specific needs.
These systems will end up saving you costly expenses in the long run as they are designed to remove the minerals from your water that tends to build up inside pipes. This will make a huge difference when washing clothes, dishes and when showering.
Plan Ahead for Health and Emergency Situations
Taking to the open road can inspire a sense of freedom, however, if you are trapped in the middle of nowhere with an emergency on your hands, you could find yourself in a life or death situation. It is highly advisable to go on a first aid course before heading off to know what to do in emergency situations. Having a very comprehensive first aid kit will also be an absolute necessity.
You need to keep in mind that your age will play a large factor in how much activity you can undertake during the trip, and injuries and ill health could be a very real factor to consider. Bearing this in mind, it is important to know at all times where your closest medical center is.
Beef Up Your Security
Let’s face it, being on the road, and staying overnight in exposed areas does make you a sitting duck for criminals. As you get older, you also become more vulnerable to being attacked or robbed. Before you set out on your trip, install a security system in your RV to ensure that you are as protected as possible during your trip.
You can choose from custom cameras, sensors, safes, motion detectors, and motion sensor lights to warn of any impending danger. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it could be a good idea to have some kind of defense handy, but make sure you are properly trained before simply using it.
Plot Out Your Trip Ahead of Time
As much as you want to go where the road takes you, sometimes that road can lead you into some very desolate and dangerous areas. Not only can your RV get stuck or break down, but if you run into trouble, you could find yourself very far from help. It could be worth your while to install a tracker and allow your loved ones real-time access to your current location.
Hand in hand with this is budgeting. You don’t want to be caught by surprise thousands of miles away from home at the end of your budget. As mentioned before, RVing is certainly not the cheap exercise it is glamorized to be, so keep that budget fluid and open for any unexpected surprises.
Don’t Forget You Will Have to Dump
This is possibly the most unglamorous and unappetizing part of the journey. But, if you are determined to head out on an epic RV adventure, you will need to be prepared to deal with the dumping of the excess waste from the RV. Be prepared for this task well in advance by knowing the step-by-steps of going about it. Understand the ins and outs of the system, so if something does go wrong, you will be able to deal with it.
The process can be not only incredibly off-putting but strenuous too. You will need to be in some kind of shape to be able to haul the pipes and fit the connectors correctly. If you are physically unable to do this during a test run, you might need to reconsider the trip as you don’t want to hurt yourself.
With all this being said, an RV adventure could be the best trip of your life and you can be left with wonderful, long-lasting memories. You will get to see things that most people will never see in their lives and meet people you would never have met before. It just takes a bit of planning and budgeting, but your life will certainly be changed during the trip.