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MRV: The Buzz
The Sisterhood: Single RV Women
More Single RV Women Are Hitting The Road And Claiming Their Independence And Freedom While Traveling
RVing isn't just for families or retired couples. In reality, there are many singles on the road today, traveling with everything from tents to the large Class A's. And, age doesn't seem to be an issue when it comes to these solo adventurers. In fact, there are many single, senior, women RVers on the road today. Some traveling with another female friend, but many traveling solo, except for (maybe) a four legged companion in the co-pilot's seat. Many are driving good sized motor homes or pulling trailers. It also seems like there are more single, senior women on the road, than single, senior men. Where does this trend lie?
Linda Brown, of RVing Women, says that “women have been RVing on their own for 40 years. However, it is being noticed more [now] because the number is growing”. When asked what defines the woman RVer going out on her own, Maurrie Sussman of Sisters On The Fly comments that” I am guessing they sold their homes or rented them out. Perhaps they have family they can come back to. I know in our group of women campers, the middle aged women are the ones leaving the house. It is sometimes divorce and kids are grown and off having lives and the women want adventure.” Brown continues that “some used to travel with their husbands…and the husbands have [since] died…but they want to continue on with their travel” adding that while “some women may downsize, others will continue with the rig they shared with their husband.” Another reason stated by now single women as they began to RV was that they wanted to be able to travel with their pets while others more relished the freedom that RVing gave them.
One of the perceptions stated by both Linda and Maurrie is that these women, even if they like to travel alone, are seeking out like minded women, which is exactly why groups such as RVing Women and Sisters On The Fly exist. With Sisters on the Fly, Sussman states that “we provide support if needed for anything they need. We don't bail them out of a mess but we stand by them while they bail themselves out. Works better that way.” Both say groups such as theirs also offers community to the RVing woman through connecting, rallies and related travel.
When asked about the figure that there were more women going solo then men, Brown agrees saying that the men going it alone tend to go someplace and park for a while, while the women tend to be more of the explorers. However, Sussman has observed “I see men at the camp grounds and they usually are attracted to the single women who are brave enough to be traveling alone. Funny thing is…I have never heard of trouble or stalking... just admiration for the brave women who [have] hit the road.”
As far as safety goes, women RVing it alone can have a very safe life. It is simply a matter of using common sense like at home. If a campground doesn’t feel right, turn around and head to the next stop. Make sure to keep the RV properly maintained to lessen the risk of getting stranded somewhere along the way. Brown also offers that Rving Women offers classes to women in areas such as RV maintenance, driving school… even learning how to buy an RV…as well as self-defense.
Brown also offered suggestions to women who may be looking for a first RV. The key, she says, is making a list of what is needed, what is liked and what is not wanted. This gives an idea of needs in terms of size. From there, go online and start looking at floor plans to get a sense of possible interiors. After garnering some ideas, begin going to dealers but don't buy at the first place visited. Brown advises to never go RV shopping alone: “take a friend who might be able to talk to the salesman, which will then allow you to look at the RV alone”. Brown also strongly recommends to rent an RV for a weekend. This will help give a first-hand idea of likes and dislikes. As Linda states: “It might cost you $350 in rental for the weekend, but it is cheaper than buying a $100,000 mistake!”
So as the door opens for more senior...or even not so senior.... women contemplating the RV lifestyle, the open road lies ahead. Maurrie Sussman sums up the sisterhood purveying the road:
A graduate of State University Of New York At Fredonia with a BA in
Creative Writing, Kim is an author for Hatherleigh Press [Random House]
and Seaside Publishing. She enjoys camping, cheese making and historic
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Daniel Boone National Forest, embracing some of the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian
Mountains. The forest lies within the Cumberland Plateau, where steep
forested slopes, sandstone cliffs and narrow ravines characterize the