How to Have a Great Caravaning Experience

Those who’ve followed me a while know I’m a die-hard solo adventurer. For years I have enjoyed meeting up with other RVers at one location, and then happily moved off on my own again when I felt the itch to travel. So after the unofficial Xscapers meetup in Anza-Borrego State Park, my decision to caravan with four other solos was an unprecedented move.

Including Anza-Borrego, I traveled with Joni, Michael, Marshall, and Kelly from February 9th to March 13th and we stayed at a total of six locations together. And what do you know, I absolutely LOVED it. Which might sound strange coming from this self-professed introvert, but with the right approach, it’s possible for anyone to have a great caravaning experience.

Here are my top three tips:

  • Know what your goals are for traveling with others. What are you hoping to get out of this experience? Friends to go on tours with? Company for happy hour? Shared outdoor activities? Hosting people for dinner? Certain places you want to see? Long conversations? How much time do you want to spend together daily? Is there a specific hobby you’re into that you’re looking for company for? Make sure the people you’re intending to travel with share the same caravaning goals and at least a few of the same interests and hobbies as you.

  • On a related note, be upfront about your expectations (and limitations) for traveling together. Does campfire smoke bother you? Do you need free time during the day to work? Is there a maximum cost you’re willing to pay for a campsite? Certain amenities you need to have? What’s your policy on having people drop by your rig unannounced? How much alone time do you need? What about noise levels? Setting boundaries together around potentially divisive topics like these ahead of time can save a lot of tension and animosity and keep your caravan experience a pleasant one for everyone involved.

  • Deserving of it’s own bullet point is what travel days will look like. Do you want to truly caravan from place to place, keeping each other in sight the whole way, communicating with radios, and making the same side-trips? Or is your style more choosing the next destination together and every person finds their way there at their own pace? Somewhere in between?

 

In the end, enjoying your time caravaning comes down to communication and choosing people who have similar goals and expectations. Not every person you meet on the road will be a good fit to travel with, but as long as you’re able to get clear about what you need and want, you’ll find good matches among the RVing community.

If you’re new to RVing and don’t know of anyone who’s interesting in caravaning, there are plenty of clubs and groups out there to join to get started meeting other RVers, I’m a member of Escapees RV Club (specifically the Xscapers branch, if you’re looking for fellow working-age RVers), RVillage is also a great way to meet RVers. And Facebook has a plethora of groups devoted to RVing.

There are even clubs out there that have official caravans, where you can travel with the club group from place to place together. Note that if you go this route, the club is in charge of the itinerary and rules, so make sure you know what they are and agree before joining up. The Wandering Individuals Network (WINs) have nine different caravan circuits planned for 2018 as one example. Check your favorite RV group to see if they do something similar.

As a more reserved and private individual, I personally would feel uncomfortable caravaning with anyone I hadn’t met in person before, and likely some of you out there are the same way. If so it might take longer to find the right people, but attending gatherings like at Quartzsite is a great way to turn online friendships into real-world ones and find people you’d really click with for caravaning. This is ultimately how I found my RVing tribe.

Whatever method you choose, caravaning is a unique experience that every RVer should try at least once. And when you know how to set goals and expectations with your travel partners, it takes much of the uncertainty out of the equation and ensures a good experience for everyone. Happy trails!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

The Cost of Full-time RVing (by stages)

March 8, 2013 | 26

With my 2012 tax refund money starting to roll in, I decided to take a look back on the year as a whole and see how going RVing changed my bottom line. I have been keeping track of earnings and expenses on a monthly basis for a few years now, as it really helps me…

Read More

Playing Chess with Weather

April 24, 2013 | 22

4/18/13 – Thursday Storms. I awake to the booming of thunder and pounding of rain on the roof of the Casita instead of my alarm. I do a cursory leak check like I normally do when it’s raining hard and things look dry. It’s a long walk inside Walmart to use the facilities and do…

Read More

The Cheapest Internet Option

May 20, 2014 | 57

  For over two years now I have been relying on public WiFi and bumming internet while visiting friends to get online with my computer. While most full-time RVers pay to get internet through satellite, datacard, or a hotspot plan I have gone without since I first moved into Cas. Not having a TV, getting…

Read More

Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

18 Comments

  1. Jim on April 1, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    It’s neat to hear of someone going through the transition of learning something new. Thanks for sharing that.

    85% of my miles over 30 years have been solo. I heart the solo miles and the shared miles. When traveling with another vehicle we choose a landmark, lunch or campsite to meet at. I can’t possibly try to track closely to a travel partner on the road. That scrambles my brain and keeps me from focusing on the scenery, drive and contemplations.

    Keep up with the great stories, observations and learnings.



  2. Norm H. on April 1, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Great advice . . . much of it learned the hard way, in our case! We survived our experience but will make sure of some basic ground rules before trying such an adventure again. 😊



  3. Christine Humphrey on March 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Did you find that “Call for Change” you mentioned on January 3, 2018? You really sound so excited about this next adventure! Having traveling companions is great because, with patience, you can learn so much from each other and enjoy company when you want and quiet when you want ! Best of both worlds!



    • Becky on March 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      It’s an ongoing process Christine, but yes I’m moving in the right direction.



  4. Shelly Nowik, Durham, NC on March 28, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    I have gone the route of caravaning with 3 in constant contact with radios and group stops, etc. It was nice but frustrating for all; as one lady was a morning person and always in a rush to get going, another had a dog that needed midtravel walks, I’m a night owl that loves,an afternoon nap. I begged off traveling with them this year when maybe our solution should have been “meet ya there”. I will try this method and hopefully the 3 amigas will hit the road again as I enjoyed their company very much.



    • Becky on March 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      I hope they agree Shelly, sounds like it would be a good solution for your group.



  5. Linda Sand on March 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I like your group’s style of caravanning. Pick a place then travel at your own time and speed. But be sure the person picking the place is aware of your travel limits. Since I’m a night owl I tended not to leave early so it couldn’t be a long day to reach the next stop.



    • Becky on March 28, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      I’m more of a night owl too Linda. The destination was a place we all agreed on ahead of time, definitely a good thing to do.



  6. Reine in Plano (when not camping) on March 28, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Another thought is to have an idea of how long the group plans to stay together. A week, two weeks, a month. Are you planning a certain itinerary before you leave or kind of playing it by ear as you go. I guess that’s part of finding common goals and expectations.

    My other suggestion is occasionally to step out of your comfort zone. We’re not caravan folks and definitely not the stay together with walkie talkie type folks but we did one two week trip like that and had a lot of fun. We knew in advance what we were getting into and the “tour” was going places we wanted to see so it worked out.

    Great post and good info.



    • Becky on March 28, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Reine, thanks for sharing.



  7. Clare Sente on March 28, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Great article Becky. I learn so much from your posts. I am looking forward to finding a small group to caravan with in my future. First step is to take my Casita out of storage Monday and bring her to get dewinterized & take out regular toilet for composting toilet. Have planned my first weekend trip first weekend in May. Best wishes thank you for sharing great information.



    • Becky on March 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      You’re welcome Clare! I bet you’re looking forward to getting the Casita out of storage. Hope the toilet switch goes well, have fun.



  8. Rene Kipp on March 27, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    All good points. Although we didn’t caravan, we did meet my cousin and his wife at one campground. They are morning people. We are night owls. It would have been less stressful if we had all known that in the beginning. We did manage to have nice evenings together but afternoon adventures weren’t in the picture.



    • Becky on March 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Glad you had evenings at least!



  9. Connie on March 27, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Did you ever buy a tear drop and got rid of the Casita?



    • Becky on March 27, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      I put my order in for the teardrop back in October. It’ll be ready in September. Five-ish more months to go! Not selling Cas until closer to the date, I still need a place to live until then. 😛



  10. Ron on March 27, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds like a fun time. Glad it worked out.



    • Becky on March 27, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      With the right people, caravaning is loads of fun!



Enjoy what you just read? Have new blog posts delivered right to your inbox!

Your email is safe with me and you can unsubscribe anytime. :)

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.