5 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Single Female RVers

5-tips-for-single-female-rversI wrote this out for a young single woman who e-mailed me asking for some advice on full-timing last week, and decided this part was applicable to a large enough audience that it should be shared. The fact that I got called in to work today on my day off and had no time to write another blog post has nothing to do with it, really.

  1. Learn at least some about your RV (reading the owners manual is a good start) so that you don’t feel completely overwhelmed when you finally get on the road with it. When you pick it up, have the previous owner or the dealership show you how to use everything on it – and take notes or video when they do so you can refer back to it, because you’ll probably forget 90% before you leave their parking lot just due to excitement and nerves.
  2. RVs are complicated, and you won’t have time to learn everything about them before you hit the road. So make friends (online is easiest) with people who know more than you, so you have someone to turn to when you get stuck. Bonus: they’ll also root you on when you’re feeling lost or frustrated with preparations.
  3. Don’t sweat the little things. You can worry about the perfect way to arrange your storage cabinets, picking out the best RV wax, and which RV clubs to join after the fact. Focus on the big things, and the little things will fall into place along the way.
  4. It’s okay to be scared out of your wits sometimes, we all were at some point. Just keep making progress, little by little, and you’ll get where you want to be in time. Don’t worry too much about not having a man to help hitch up the trailer, back the RV into the site, or fix things that go wrong – you’ll gain confidence as you learn you’re perfectly capable of handling these situations on your own.
  5. Enjoy the process. Take an evening off that has nothing to do with RVing every so often to keep your sanity. Stop now and then and instead of worrying about what all still needs to be done, think of everything you’ve already accomplished. Celebrate the small victories, revel in the changes you’ve wrought, and lean into the challenge. You’re going to be great, really.

* * *

Tomorrow is a moving day! Circle 10 is going to be shut down soon since it’s getting colder at night and the little employee cabins don’t have heat and the water pipes aren’t insulated. I spent most of yesterday thoroughly cleaning Cas and putting up everything that got spread out from being in one place for four months. I’m going to be moving down to the Badlands Inn just outside the southern park boundary. It’s near the campground where I stayed the first five weeks I was working at the Lodge, but behind the Inn I’ll have full hookups even if the view isn’t as nice. Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for a high of 97 with strong afternoon thunderstorms so it could be interesting. I’m hoping to have time to wash Cas’ exterior in the morning before I pull out since I won’t really have a chance to again until after Amazon is over.

And speaking of things coming up down the road, progress is being made on lining up a gig for after Amazon. I have one good looking prospect that I should know yay or nay within a few days, and another one as a potential backup if the first falls through. Both look to be fun and interesting options, so I’m excited to see how it turns out. That’s all I’m going to share until I learn more, insert cliff hanger here!

* * *

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  1. Kim on November 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Becky,
    What a great find/resource your site is!
    I am a solo RV Newbie. I have a class B. Your advice is right on for women! With a strong sense of self….it’s really not that all complicated. Just have a plan…. So if you break down, make sure you have insurance! It’s no different than breaking down on your way to work. For me it’s scarier to break down in rush hour!
    I bought my RV on a Tuesday and was out on the road, Wisconsin to Montana, on Thursday! No time like the present right? As the trip progressed I felt more confident. Boon-docked in a 24 hr Walmart to save$ too! That little adventure turned out quite useful when I discovered I forgot to pack a coffee mug, my coffee maker would not work if the camper was not plugged in (who knew?) so instant coffee was needed as well.
    I am in my 50’s and teach… my Summers are going to be on the road! Maybe I will do a full-time gig when I am tired of teaching!
    Great Site! Kim

  2. Alana on October 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    love the advice!

    • Becky on October 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Alana!

  3. billy on October 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    ” short trips”. when i learn to ride a motorcycle there were no big lots to ride in around. so i went across the street to the track housing addition. to make a short story long. i rode around in it. go 1 block stop and make a turn, left or right makes no druthers. if someone gets behind you just pull over. i did 2/3 hrs a night.

    then go to big lot(mega store) get away from everyone and practice backing up. use small plastic empty trash cans. not anything that is substantial. start with a 40 acre lot and go smaller as you get comfortable. keep going smaller until it is impossible. it ain’t so keep working at it.

    this will take a few days not a lot of them. also do it by YOURSELF. other folks will want to help. in other words boss and berate you. leave them at home or give them beer money, but leave em someplace else. try to never pull in to a spot, try to back in then drive out not have to back out.

    when your backing memorize where everything is. when you can not find the tree or all the people and/or animals STOP. get out find them. on job sites i make them all stand out in front of my truck where i can see them. if you don’t like it don’t move until you do. if anyone is unhappy tell if they had got up 10 minutes earlier this morning they would be in front of you. lol.

    this is yours don’t let other people push you around. a little practice before you leave home will make for an enjoyable trip.

    peaceup billy

    • Becky on October 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I had no practice driving with or backing up a trailer before being thrown into it driving home with Cas from Florida the day I bought him, a 5 hour drive. I call it trial by fire. 😛

      It was nerve wracking for sure, but I’m kind of glad I did it this way because it forced me to get use to it quick, I had no way to back out of it due to fear because there was no other choice.

      When I first brought Cas back to Bluffton where I was living at the time the storage lot I kept him in was very large and not crowded so I was able to practice backing up there. I’d actually learned a lot by watching my parents try to back up the family’s fishing boat from the trailer into the water, it was always an ordeal. 😛

      • billy on October 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

        run what you brung. we don’t always get the deal we want. keep practicing. probably the hardest part of driving home was the cas hanging on the back. i’m always cautious of “people with trailers”. they get in a hurry and forget the trailer. also learn to look in your mirrors to center yourself in the middle of the lane. we have rvs that are sharing our lane constantly.

        i’m not being a smart ass here. the “ordeal” will get better. very shortly you will be doing stuff that you never thought possible. i’m 68 and i’ve got a lot of miles on “your crazy” to do this or that. you are fine with this or anything else thatyou want to do. there is a world of difference between i wish and i want. most people just “i wish”. i am an ” i wanter”. i’m a repair plumber. when someone wants something i’m their boy. lol. you can do anything you want. me too.

        “run what you brung” is drag racing term. as in “whats the rules?” run what you brung. when you came through here stay in your lane, i’ve been known to ply tic tac toe in dirt on the side of campers. lol.

        peaceup billy

    • Lita Wallace on November 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Not sure a guy would understand the “boss and berate” part. Billy must be a girl. 😉

      • Becky on November 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm

        Heh, who knows Lita.

  4. Kai on September 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Can’t wait to find out what you have lined up, good luck!

    • Becky on September 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      Certainly a lot better than last winter’s prospects. Never worry about perfect, if you can just improve over previous attempts you’re winning. 🙂

  5. Dawn on September 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Good advice for anyone starting out.

    • Becky on September 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Glad you liked it Dawn. 🙂

  6. John of Sinbad and I on the Loose on September 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I feel one of the most important things any new RV’er should do, and you don’t have to be a young single female either, is to take little short trips at the beginning. Just weekenders to begin with, slowly venturing out further and for longer periods of time each trip you go on. I’ve rebuilt engines, transmissions, entire cars but still, the first few times out in my motorhome I stuck close to home for I didn’t feel confident with all the features and gadgets associated with a motorhome. I was nervous as heck the first few times I had to dump the holding tanks. Egads! Now it’s fun and a challenge to see how quick and smooth I can do it. One of my first trips I lost most of my 40 gallons of fresh water as it dribbled out along 580 over the Altamont pass out of the Bay Area. I panicked when I saw that stream of water in my rear view mirror. You’ll make mistakes; we all do. I make lists of things to do, things to change, things to add and take away. Over five years later with my current motorhome I still come home with lists although they are much smaller these days…thank goodness. So don’t find yourself discouraged that you still don’t have things the way you want it years later down the road. RV’ing is an ongoing evolving process so enjoy the trip. Just take some baby steps in the beginning.
    John of Sinbad and I on the Loose recently posted..Wednesday WreckMy Profile

    • Becky on September 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Good general advice Sinbad. I wrote about that somewhere back earlier in the blog – my version of short trips was moving into my RV stationary in the city I’d been living in though, I couldn’t afford rent and weekend trips + a storage spot for the RV, haha.

      This piece is more for the emotional and mental hardships of getting started RVing, which is just as important as the logistical stuff and harder I think for solos to conquer since everything needs to be done by you and you alone.

  7. David on September 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Good luck to you on lining up the job,
    I found a great job south of Nashville that pays great so we got out of the RV for 6 months and rented a trailer.
    Found out the wife’s heart is out of rhythm again so have to stay put and work with insurances again.
    Keep up the great blog as love to read about the simple life because when you get older it gets complicated with things like health issues and then you loose the freedom you enjoy.
    Good luck with the jobs.

    • Becky on September 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Hey David, thanks for the well wishes and I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s medical issues. I hope things improve and you can get back on the road soon if that is your goal. I suppose while she’s undergoing treatment you could still take shorter weekend trips in your RV to get out and feed that nomadic itch, a little is better than none right? 🙂

      Take care.

  8. Diane on September 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I have considered getting a Casita for several years, any advice on size and model. If you had it do do over…would you still choose a Casita? BTW…your life sounds great 🙂

    • Becky on September 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      Heya Diane,

      I have a 17′ Spirit Deluxe, and for me that was the best choice. I wanted the extra storage space that comes with the side dinette bench style seating, deluxe means it has a bathroom and a little bit more head room. I know people who full-time with the Liberty model though and prefer that, so much of it is personal preference. If I had to do it over, I’d still choose a Casita – I considered a class B or small class C but for the way I travel I need the separate vehicle to commute from my temp jobs. I think the molded fiberglass trailers hold up much better than conventional ones, a Scamp or other molded fiberglass trailer would probably hold up as well too, I just fell in love with the Casita community.

      And my life is not always great, bad days happen even when you’re living your dreams. But on average, it’s a heck of a lot more fun than when I was living stationary. 😀