Have you considered hitting the road in a motorhome or travel trailer, but you’re just too intimidated by going it alone? There are thousands of “solo travelers” that have thrown their inhibitions aside and jumped into RVing with both feet and we want you to become one. That’s why Camping World has put together a series of articles to encourage those who want to travel but haven’t quite figured out how to do it alone.
Today we’ll look at ways to find friends and activities while we travel. Join us and Learn to Build a Community on the Road, so that life doesn’t get lonely or boring when traveling alone.
Most solo travelers have to make extra effort to find new friends on the road. After all, it’s easy to set up camp, then head inside to cook dinner, read a book or watch some TV when you are alone. Making a choice to share your camping experience with others can be extremely rewarding. Here are a few ways to generate a sense of community wherever you go:
Most privately owned campgrounds offer a variety of activities to their campers. You can participate in dances, potlucks and group field trips, as well as sports, fishing derbies, and musical jam sessions. State and national parks have scheduled ranger talks and hikes, along with bird watching, night sky programs, and flora and fauna identification. With all of these options, it is almost impossible NOT to find others who share some of your interests.
Take advantage of the natural settings of a campground to ask someone to join you for a hike, bike ride or a beer or soft drink. Being outdoors seems to lend itself to easy conversation, exercise and (naturally) food or drink. I keep a big pitcher of brewed ice tea available for just such opportunities.
We live in an age of technology, which can present a double-edged sword. Paying too much attention to our phones, tablets, and laptops can actually keep us from enjoying community, but using those items judiciously can help us find new friends.
Take, for instance, Facebook. If you spend all of your time scrolling your Facebook feed, you won’t have the time to meet someone in the next campsite. Join several ‘camping’ Facebook groups and you can exchange ideas about the best campgrounds, equipment and RV floor plans before you ever arrive at a campsite. By then you may even agree to meet these new found comrades somewhere along the road because they no longer feel like strangers.
There are many Facebook groups whose members have the same goals, making them great connecting spots. WIN (Wandering Individuals Network) is a club of RVers who are single and love to travel. RV Newbies is a group designed for RVers of any age who are new to the camping scene. Loners on Wheels is an international RV club for single travelers. These are not necessarily ‘dating’ groups, but groups that support single and solo travelers.
RVillage is an online community of RVers—think of it as the RV version of Facebook, where RVers can connect and share their locations, experiences, and questions with other campers. Log on and see who is camping close to your location and what aspects of the RV life they enjoy. There are thousands of groups with specific interests on RVillage, so making new friends is a snap.
Many solo travelers post on Instagram and Twitter when they know they will be arriving at a particular city. They ask for advice on restaurants, camping sites and the best routes to their destination. Because they see the benefit of a community, they may agree to meet up with their ‘travel planners,’ opting for personal tour guides who know the area like the back of their hands. Discretion is advised, but I know many lifelong friendships that have been created because of the kindness of these ‘location angels.’
One of the best ways to create strong ties with others is by attending an event that has a specific focus. For instance, the RV Entrepreneur Summit targets fulltime RVers who are living and working on the road. It makes sense that the attendees would all have the same goal in mind—learning more about job opportunities and how to successfully live fulltime in an RV. Because everyone is focused on the same goal, making good connections with new found friends at this event is a natural byproduct.
Likewise, the Xscapers Group plans “convergences” around the country, appealing to working-aged RVers who enjoy some education, along with social events and outdoor adventures. This lifestyle group also offers support and services for RVers around the country.
Many specific groups like FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) hold rallies where RVers can attend technical, travel and lifestyle seminars, along with social gatherings and entertainment. Check online to see if the manufacturer of your motorhome or travel trailer has an industry rally, where you can meet others who share your interest in RVing.
As you can see, there are many groups, seminars, and activities available to provide connections for you along the road. There is no reason to go it alone when it comes to camping. After all, most experiences we have are usually enhanced when we share them with others.
Know of any good ways of connecting with others on the road? Leave a comment below!