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Driving An RV. How Old Is Too Old?

July 29, 2010 by Lug_Nut · 54 Comments  
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OldA Lug_Nut pondering thought.   A while ago, while staying in an RV resort, I got to thinking about the aging population.  Of those that enjoy RVing today many are in the upper middle age group.  This is particularly true when looking at the people that own larger RV’s like motor homes and 5th wheel trailers combinations.  Despite the average age of people that own RV’s in the U.S. being in the mid forties, one must realize that RV;s include everything from a tent trailer and up.

In the larger class of both motor homes and trailers there are many owners that are 65 years old and older.  This may be partially due to the cost of some of these rigs.  For the investment required, the average working person could not possibly reap enough benefits from it given the available free time their job may offer.  Then of course there is the affordability.  Life is backwards, by the time you can afford what you want, you are too old to enjoy it.  Well, that may fit most cases, but with an RV that may not hold true.

So, how old is too old to operate a motor home or trailer combination?  There is no correct answer.  There is a time when one must quit.  This time is when one may become either physically or mentally unable to operate their vehicle in a safe manner for all concerned.  This does not only affect aging drivers, but applies to all.  But, we will look at those that are caused by age.

What actually causes this to happen to an otherwise healthy senior citizen?  His eye sight is good, or at least with corrected lenses.  He knows the basic rules of the road.  Oh sure, his reactions may be a little slower than when he was 20, but he has a tendency to drive slower, leave more room behind the car ahead and generally drives more defensive now compared to then.  That off-set, in many cases, may make up for any hesitation in responsive reaction time. 

Do people lose there driving skills at some stage with age?   Is the old saying, “You never forget how to ride a bicycle”, wrong?   So why then, do aging drivers have to hang up their keys?

No, they don’t lose their driving skills, or their driving co-ordination, or their peripheral vision, but they do lose something that they once had.  Something that is needed in many areas throughout one’s lifetime, that need is confidence.  Without a reasonable amount of confidence it becomes difficult to operate even a car in today’s traffic, much less a large vehicle or tow combination.

Night

The loss of confidence, in many things, seems to come with aging.  Additional pressures are present when a driver errs or an accident occurs.  If observers see an old grey hair back into a post while backing his rig in a campground, it is assumed it was due to the driver’s age.  But, just as many younger people in their 20, 30 or 40’s do the same thing.  Oh well, accidents happen, the post was in a blind spot, etc, every excuse in the book for younger folk but not for the aged.

 

So, for many of us, keeping our confidence in operating an RV may be pretty important in the future.  While regaining lost confidence may be difficult to near impossible, maintaining it may not be.  To accomplish this, it may be best to look at some of the steps of this progression.

As a person gets in their retirement years they tend to avoid heavily trafficked roadways and areas.  Their annual driving distances are generally substantially reduced.  Night driving in many cases becomes almost non-existent.  A minor accident or improper lane change event is accepted and blamed on their age.  They seem far more nervous than when they were younger, partially due to a more realistic realization of the consequences of their actions.

The first obvious thing to do is to practice or use your RV more frequently.  Include driving in those heavier traffic areas, even if it is only in your car.  Providing your eyesight is normal and without any issues that would adversely affect it, do a little night driving from time to time.  You did it when you were younger, nothing much has changed since.  If you make an error driving, learn from it, it probably didn’t ruin your day when you were in your 20’s, so don’t let it now.  Realize, if you have an accident or scrape your vehicle, it is not because you are old, it’s because you made an error.  Get over it and don’t repeat it again.  Realizing the consequences of your actions while driving is probably good, but those consequences have not changed much over all those years, only your perception of them.  There are risks associated with many things in life, you learned to deal with them before, just keep doing that.

Well, hopefully you will be RV’ing until you are in your 90’s.  I have a friend that is in his 80’s, owns two motor homes, a Prevost and a restored GMAC.  He uses both frequently and travels each year to Florida.  He is, in my opinion, as good a driver as the average 40 year old, so it’s really not about how old you are.  And yes, he is both a competent and a confident driver.

Now, there is one other thing you need to do.  Continue driving if you feel you are capable of doing so safely.  Keep an open mind with your spouse, significant other, or close friends should they feel the need to discuss your driving.  If you or they feel you should hang up your keys temporarily or permanently, you should.  There are many forms of denial that can be best observed by loved ones or your close friends.  It does not necessarily mean your RV days are over.  Many people have their wife, son or other family members drive the rig to a selected destination each year.  They learn too, to love that lifestyle also.      

Confidentially Yours     -     Lug_Nut     -     Peter Mercer

NOTE: The assumptions and suggestions herein are based solely on my experiences and observations and are presented as food for thought.  Driving in busy areas or at night may not be wise for some individuals.  Driving is a privilege, not a right.  Please exercise this privilege only if you are capable to do so safely.

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Comments

54 Responses to “Driving An RV. How Old Is Too Old?”

  1. Carl C on July 29th, 2010 1:14 pm

    I live in my RV full-time. I’m between 35 and 45 YO. I’ve tired of paying rent to greedy apartment owners (either private or public (Especially public!)). I’ve looked at the next 20 years of my life and I’ve surmised that I’m not really interested in living in a ‘normal’ home ever again. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested in owning some land – I do – it just has to be ‘good land’; as defined by my own wacky sensibilities.

    I guess the question arises as to when someone should no longer be a viable “fit” for RV living. Being able to take care of the RV, being able to responsibly drive the RV, service it and withstand the day-to-day efforts one puts into living an RV life-style – whatever that is. My personal opinion is that people should be responsible enough to know when to call it quits and park it for the last time. However, people rarely do what is required until they’re almost forced to.

    My parents are living in a 5th wheel now. They own a home in another state and are currently several hundred miles from their house and my RV. If my father dies I know, as does my mother, that my mother is not a good ‘fit’ for RV living. The RV is large enough for the both of them but she’s not a RVer. If my mother dies, my father would be just fine living in the RV as he’s the one that started living in his RVs some 17 years ago. He’s self sufficient. My mother, not so much. I’d have to fly out and pack everything up and get used to towing a HUGE 5th wheel behind a large 3500HD truck real quick.

    Hopefully we’ll all be mentally competent enough to know when to say when when the time comes.

  2. Lug_Nut on July 29th, 2010 3:28 pm

    Carl C, Nice to hear from a full timer. Thanks for sharing with us and for your input on this topic.

  3. Don & Irene Ritchey on July 30th, 2010 12:31 pm

    You are bang on with your comments I am 70 yrs old with a class A and tow car my confidence has somewhat declined in the fact I am much more cautious and do less daily miles when on the road. The anxiety level in heavy traffic is much higher so tend to avoid those situations and travel more on secondary highways and such. But have no intention of hanging up my keys at this point as adjusting well to my age capabilities.
    A great article!!

  4. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 12:47 pm

    Don & Irene Ritchey, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Sounds like you are doing just fine and hopefully will for years to come. Thank you for taking the time to post and for your great input.

  5. Gene0 on July 30th, 2010 12:50 pm

    “Driving is a privilege, not a right. Please exercise this right only if you are capable to do so safely.”

    You may wish to correct the second “right” to read “privilege. (then delete this response) Picky, I know, but I proofread stuff for a living. Very good, thought provoking observation however.

  6. Bilmo on July 30th, 2010 12:59 pm

    My usual response is, “When they pry my cold, dead fingers off the wheel!” While IMHO I am a great driver, I do worry what may happen if I start to lose it and I mentally can’t acept it. Probably my wife will tell me.

    Speaking 0f wives, I recently had a triple bypass and my wife had to do the driving for a while (not the RV, but just the PU). She had basically stopped driving over the past three years. It sure was scary with her behind the wheel. It was my fault for not making her drive every so often regardless how much she was against doing it.

    If we decide that we can no longer make it safely down the road, we’ll probably set up the 5W in a RV park. Unfortunately, we have been looking for the idea spot for nearly 17 years since we started fulltiming and haven’t found it yet. Must be just around the corner, eh? Had to use “eh” since we’re currently in Canada.

  7. Loren Maurina on July 30th, 2010 1:11 pm

    I have one counter point to your argument. Young people ( 45 to 60 ) with lack of experience driving a Class A rig are just as prone to trouble as older more experienced drivers. I think it is terrible that the RV industry allowed me, with no more than three trips around the parking lot, to drive a 40 ft, 34,000 lb. bus off the lot and onto a major urban expressway at rush hour. I don’t want to restrict anyone from owning and driving the RV of their choice. I do want to protect myself, while driving my 2,000 lb car, from those lacking competence commensurate with what they are driving.

  8. David Rohlader on July 30th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Dear Lug, during my working career, I spent 35 years driving each weekday while I worked for various import auto companies. I averaged 50,000 to 60,000 miles per year, depending on the company and my area of responsibility. In my youth, I competed in sports car and formula car racing, somewhat successfully. Recently, my optimologist told me I was “behind the curve” on cataracts, and agreed that it was due to my wearing quality sunglasses since age 14, when I started skiiing, and I am now 71.5 years old. My wife, 5 years younger, had to stop driving at night because of cataracts, now corrected. I think many people, old and young ignore, or excuse the deblitating glare in the eyes that headlights produce when cataracts are present in their eyes. Also, my driving experience has given me a “feel” for any vehicle I operate, from bicycle to motor home, and that may be what some people lose or never had. I have friends who drive cars that I would take directly to a shop for analysis and repair. They are fine people and decent drivers, but completely oblivious to the needs of their equipment, and often trade cars when they fail to operate as expected. My spouse of 44 years and I just completed a 31 day, 4125 mile trip in our 1995 Pace Arrow Coronado, and since return and unloading it has had a complete inspection, tires, chassis, etc. I watched people pull out of various campgrounds with apparently low tire pressure, or worn tires, with power cables dragging and city water caps dangling from the side. The checklists provided on RV.net forum are very good, and I use them. Age alone has nothing to do, in the long run, with ability to safely operate an RV, and even competant drivers can goof, now and then. In order to not delay my neighbor on our street, I once backed up in a hurry and took out our mailbox. Goofs like that are one thing , not paying attention to vehicle condition or physical ability is another. Good article, sorry to have been so wordy.

  9. Roger-Ohio on July 30th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Years ago, before I retired from active competition, I drove race cars in both amateur and pro events with moderate success. To keep my Licenses I was required to have an special annual physical.
    I was once told by a Dr that flew planes as a hobby, that it was a modified version of what pilots were required to have to keep their license.

    It was very thorough and much more complete than anything I have had since I stopped driving competitively.

    Driving an RV takes a different set of skills than being a race car driver but a set of skills different than driving just a standard car, non the less.

    I have to wonder if it would be a good idea for FMCA, Good Sam, RVSEF, Escapees and other large RV organizations explore the concept of a suggested or recommended content of an exam for drivers of RVs be they 5th wheel or Class-A or just a pop-up.

    Doctors are generally not qualified to know the skills and physical demands on driving race cars or different types of RV but maybe if a couple of slightly different set of “Tests” and “Evaluations” were identified on a form then the Dr could evaluate the subject and say yes or no they are physically and mentally capable of passing that Physical Exam.

    With different versions of the exam you might learn you can safely driving a Pick-up but not a 40′ Class with a toad..

  10. mike cianci on July 30th, 2010 1:50 pm

    good and sometimes controversial topic. i have been full-timing for 5 yrs since i was 40. i had never driven any rv before and my first of 3 motorhomes was a 38ft gas rig. i was terrified at best and drove like the “little old lady” in her big old car. i was cautious, slow and learned that the more i drove the more comfortable i got. i now drive a 42ft diesel with jeep towed. i still drive cautiously and more confidently now with a few years under my belt. but i am forever reminded i am not invincible, the rig is bigger that most on the road and can be an unwielding beast when out of control. when i loose my comfort zone in driving it regardless of age, i will hang up the keys. park it in a nice place and perhaps buy a little 22ft class b. i think too many people go from huge rig to nothing without at least trying to downsize first, and then hang up the keys. there are way too many “young” people out there, doing crazy things with rv’s. they are just as scary to me as the older folks who don’t want to give up the keys. and lets not forget the weekend warriors or the folks who rv for a hobby and don’t have the slightest clue as how to properly operate and care for their rv properly. that is why i park my motorhome a town away from any major tourist places or national parks and take my chances with my jeep!

  11. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 1:59 pm

    Gene0, Great observation and catch. Correction made. Thanks for being so sharp an eye.

  12. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:02 pm

    Bilmo, It sounds like the triple by-pass has not held you back. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and for your input.

  13. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Loren Maurina, You are absolutely correct. There are many younger people that are totally incapable and many with no confidence. Thanks for bring that up and for your post.

  14. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:07 pm

    David Rohlader, That is a topic in itself. Lack of properly maintaining a vehicle can be done by any age group. Your point is well taken. Thank you for your great input.

  15. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:10 pm

    Roger-Ohio, I don’t think tests of the type that are done are the answer. Special driving courses may be better. Thanks for sharing this view with us and for your valued input.

  16. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:14 pm

    mike cianci, Yes, the downsizing makes good sense providing the person is still relatively confident about driving at least a car. Very good point. Thank you for your input on this topic.

  17. Barry & Monique Zander on July 30th, 2010 2:17 pm

    Saw this while on “Our Alaska Trip,” and it reminds me of why we made the decision to make this long, sometimes rough adventure now instead of later. We are of Social Security age and in good health. What tomorrow will bring is unknown. We have definite plans to stop RVing full-time when we can’t do it anymore or when/if we find a place we want to stop. After four years, we still thrive on having a different backyard every few days. Good posting, Lug_Nut! Barry Zander

  18. Lug_Nut on July 30th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Hi Barry, Glad you found the posting of interest. I know what you mean in regards to continue changing the scenery. Kind of hard to find that place you would want to stay, for a while, forever. I hope one day, you find that place. Thanks for your input and the best of luck to you both.

  19. Jim G on July 30th, 2010 3:37 pm

    I know this comment will probably prompt some to offer alternate points of view, which is understandable but having spent about 30 years in state law enforcement I personally investigated several accidents which were directly attributed to the elderly age factor. My own mother drove until she was 85 and her MD was reluctant to get involved until she suffered a stroke.

    My point of view is also supported by statistics compiled by the insurance industry, since auto rates are based upon risk and driving history. Specifically, fatalities rose by 7% for drivers 75 and older between 1981 and 2000 (National Institute on Aging). The CDC also published a report which indicates that as of 2007 there were 31million over 75 drivers, a 19% increase from 1997. So with more elderly drivers on the roads, the odds of age related accidents would be expected to be on the rise. The good news is that older drivers have a lower rate of alcohol related accidents!

    In my personal opinion, I generally agree that age alone should not be a deciding factor there are some undeniable issues that are associated with age including the reaction and response time to unexpected events, e.g., a child darting into the street or another driver who decides to veer into your lane of travel.

    Of course, there is a significant rate of age related accidents at the opposite end of the age spectrum but I assume it is highly unlikely that many 17 year olds operate motorhomes.

  20. Bill on July 30th, 2010 3:39 pm

    Very interesting article. I am in the age bracket you are talking about.

    A few years ago I had a job delivering dentures in and around Columbus, Ohio. I used to drive 150 to 250 miles a day in the city putting in over 100,000 miles during the time I worked there. When I was driving that much nothing much bothered me on the road.

    Since I have retired there are many days when I don’t go anywhere. I notice when I do drive I have a lot less confidence than when I did it every day of the week.

    You are right on the money when you tell people to drive more and when you tell them to drive their rig more so they stay accustomed to the larger vehicle.

  21. Ralph Cooke on July 30th, 2010 5:06 pm

    Age alone should NOT be THE determining factor utilized to judge if one is capable of safely operating, or pulling, an RV. I know people in their late 50’s that are unsafe on the road in any vehicle, yet I’m 76, still work full time, and still race Dirt Track Stock Cars. Though my physical strength is less than it once was, my vision is currently 20-20 (after cataract surgery), my reflexes and coordination are still better than the typical 25 year old. (I can start and stop a stop watch in .09 to .12 of a second), and have no trouble passing a Class 2 Aviation Medical(Instrument rated commercial pilot) and am consistently battling for the championship at a 3/8th mile clay track, year after year. I’m currently in the top 5 in points for the 2010 championship, so age alone is not a good indicator of one’s ability to operate, or tow, an RV, or even to drive any vehicle.

    Ralph

  22. Ron Butler on July 30th, 2010 6:05 pm

    Lugnut,

    Good article. In 2004 we decided to sell the sailboat that I had for almost 25 years and try RVing. Had never driven a Class A before.

    A good friend of mine – he bought the sailboat from me – was a metro bus driver and came out and gave me several tutoring lessons. I had also been a driver’s ed instructor, so I just put that to use as well. After the first 1000 miles, things got much more comfortable. I know that at times I have to guard against becoming a little too over confident and maybe complacent, so I give myself a whack in the head!

    Turning 70 in June, I find myself following all of the cautions that you mentioned. One of the great things at this stage of our lives is that we don’t have to be in a hurry, we don’t have to cover a lot of miles to reach a destination on a tight time frame, can stay away from rush hour traffic and don’t have to drive the rig at night!

    We are very glad that we started our rving adventures when we did as we are both still in good health. Still think I have many more miles left “under the hood”!

  23. Mikie Paulson on July 30th, 2010 8:32 pm

    Hi, I am a young 67 single lady and took my first trip to Az. last year. I have 34′ class A. This year I will have a tow car. It would be nice to have the extra eyes of a partner to watch for trafic and backing into parking, but do it alone as I have not yet found the partner to travel with. But if anyone has good information on the best way to learn about the towing, I would like the help! I am a fast learner. I agree that every wife,or partner, that travels with a main driver should learn to drive that rig! Someones life could depend on it!
    Thanks for anyone that might send me sugestions!!
    See you in AZ.

  24. Carl C on July 30th, 2010 9:05 pm

    I’d just like to say, “What a nice discussion.”

    I’d never pulled a 5th Wheel or a hitch-type RV, let alone a Class A; but, when I found my Class A MH I knew I had found my new home. Which leads me to my next point – and probably a more than a few gasps – the place where I purchased my RV did not let me drive the RV until I had purchased. Before you blink too much. The fault is mine! I didn’t even think to ask!! But, I got lucky…real lucky. My coach drives well.

    After I had signed on the dotted line and a few pointers I hooked up my Jeep Wrangler, jumped in, revved the motor and off I went driving it for the very first time. Fortunately, the first 100 miles I had to drive were interstate miles – wide lanes on well-maintained roads. It was very intimidating. I admit.

    A week later I had to drive it from Indiana to CT and back up to upstate NY….in the winter…through several snow storms…in the Adirondacks….at night. ACK! ACK!! Now THAT was scary! Snow and Ice on the roads…phew!

    Maybe we do need a sanity check to drive an RV!

  25. Roger-Ohio on July 30th, 2010 9:52 pm

    Lug
    Driving courses are definitely better, however if someone isn’t physically capable then a driving course is not of much value and certainly are an expense many would object to or not be in a position to pay for.

    In my opinion, both would be ideal, just as I had to demonstrate capabilities behind the wheel but that came only after it was know if I had no physical or other impairments that a Dr might observe.

    I have also been an instructor both to aspiring race car drivers but also police officers, so know from experience the desirability of extensive behind the wheel instruction but at a cost of $500+ for a two day course using the owner’s RV will be a tough sell.

    Liability of doing instruction on public highways presents another issue,
    BUT I completely agree that some effort needs to be made along these lines as very few including myself are qualified to pass unbiased judgment on their own skills.

  26. Gary Hollmer on July 30th, 2010 10:06 pm

    When we started RVing in the late 1990s, I wanted to know as much as possible to be safe on the road. So, I got my CDL by being employed by a school bus company. Since then, I have driven school bus, completed many miles transporting RVs, and, most recently, am a charter bus driver.

    All those experiences have helped me to gain confidence in handling many different traffic situations. And, at 71, I feel that I am very confident in being safe for my family and my passengers. Driving in downtown Portland, OR and downtown Seattle, WA (during a rainstorm) without incidents tends to build confidence.

    I definitely recommend training for a CDL.

    gary

  27. Carl C on July 30th, 2010 10:37 pm

    Hi Gary, Doesn’t CDL training cost a few thousand dollars?

  28. Don Martin on July 31st, 2010 7:12 am

    We are in our early 60’s planing to tour the country in small pieces.
    But we are looking for a good third brake for my tow vehicle. any idea’s?

  29. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 7:51 am

    Jim G, You make some very valid points. There are many factors that affect one’s ability to drive a motor home. Thank you for sharing your very experienced view with us.

  30. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 7:53 am

    Bill, It is great that you are able to assess your skills and confidence so well. Sounds like you will be good for many more years. Thank you for your valued input.

  31. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 7:55 am

    Ralph Cooke, Wow, very impressive. That’s what I’m talking about! Thank you for your great comments.

  32. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 7:57 am

    Ron Butler, I’m glad you found the piece of interest. Boating and RVing both take some skills. Thanks for your very fitting comments.

  33. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 8:00 am

    Mikie Paulson, It certainly sounds like you are very capable. Perhaps some readers will have some input on your question. Thank you for your input.

  34. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 8:02 am

    Carl C, Thank you, I’m glad you found it of interest. The weather you describe sounds terrible. Most RV owners have not experienced that type of driving. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  35. Ed N on July 31st, 2010 9:10 am

    Mikie hang in there there are men who are going through the same problem, See you in Az. we live out there.

    My brother-in-law who drove trucks most of his working life was traveling behind us in his RV, and gave me many tips. One of his main complaints is that he had to have his CDL certificate to drive trailers smaller than many of the 5th wheel and bus RVs with a trailer or car in tow. I think everyone should have that extra helping hand.

    Many sales people just want that sale and put people into the largest rig they can afford (Yea your F150 can tow this trailer. No you don’t need training just drive it around a parking lot for a little, you’ll be fine.).
    There are some folks older than me or younger that I hate to drive with, even in a car some of them drive RVs.

  36. Geoffrey Pruett on July 31st, 2010 9:33 am

    As for those still working using an RV less I married again at 40 and bought my folks cast off which they bought new at the 1965 Rv Show that required two license plates as Class C DNExist in Oregon yet. I had a current CDL then which has lapsed as no longer drive large stuff for a living. It was good training as any RV is a truck with nice interior fixtures. Do see people whose driving scares me but age is not a major factor in this. My view of safe driving is that I am less likely to have problems now at 70 and retired as the pressure to be somewhere is no longer a factor. Having been at the controls of everything from a series of motorcycles up to tractors and long haul rigs the single most important factor is not to overdrive your vision/braking room. The contact patch between your tires and the road are the real limit on all things mobile, exceed the margins of that patch and you will be another “went off the road or lost control” lie in the newspaper. No one looses control unless struck by something heavy enough to break that contact patch, but you can overdrive that grip in near freezing weather, still comes back to not overdriving your vision/braking range as winter is part of what the driver has to consider. Our current Class A is still parked next to the house and going out to another warm season dry camping event today. Would love to be gone more but the cats are poor travelers and we feel bad about leaving the “children” alone for to long. Have not been without some form of RV since 1968 including my time working in Germany, France, Spain and England.

  37. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 10:55 am

    Roger-Ohio, I think you are quite correct in your evaluations. Thank you for your great input.

  38. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 10:58 am

    Gary Hollmer, I too agree that some higher form of license should probably be requiired. I took a commercial test and got my commercial strickly to operate a DP. As well as it being a good training idea it also helps off-set the liability factor. Thanks for posting.

  39. Lyman Grover on July 31st, 2010 5:10 pm

    The article is well written and ‘politically correct’, in that it does not appear to have offended any of us ‘old folks’ who still drive our rigs. Each of us is different in our past experiences and opinions about when to ‘hang up the keys’, but what we have in common is our human ability to rationalize why we will be able to continue driving for at least a few years more.

    For me, the time to quit will probably be when I scare myself by making an irresponsible driving error, having a close call, and getting away with it. That’s what made me give up my motorcycle 19 years ago at age 55, with no regrets, so giving up my rig for that reason will not be difficult. But, giving up driving all together will be another story… part of who I am is dependent on having the mobility of driving myself to where I want to go. How will I rationalize that?

  40. Lug_Nut on July 31st, 2010 5:40 pm

    Lyman Grover, I’m glad you found the piece of interest. Sounds like you have many years ahead to enjoy RVing. Thanks for your great feedback.

  41. Barry S on July 31st, 2010 8:09 pm

    To Carl C: I too hate those “greedy apartment owners.” They probably went without for twenty or thirty years just to pay off their mortgages, their accountants, their utilities, insurance, permits and to get things like your air conditioning and roofs fixed, hoping that some day they might own their apartment buildings outright. They should all have their taxes raised so that there will be no profit in even owning their buildings. Shame on them for being so greedy. Shame on them for risking their life’s savings so that others might be able to have roofs over their heads. And good for you for wanting to own some “good land.” Maybe you can rent it out and join the ranks of those “greedy land owners.”

  42. Bruce shand on September 3rd, 2010 11:39 am

    Good points, Barry S. People should try walking in other folks shoes before slandering them.

  43. Jake Jacobs on September 24th, 2010 5:57 pm

    I am 66 and still hold me CDL. I used to drive big bucket trucks so my 31 foot class C is a piece of cake to drive, just take your time and do not get in a hurry. I keep three licenses at all times and do not let them expire, my journeymans electricial license, my CDL and my Extra class Ham License.

  44. Les Lane on September 24th, 2010 9:15 pm

    I am 71 years old and have been RVing for 45 years. I have owned everything from truck mounted campers, Class B, Class C and 9 Class A rigs. I still have a 39 foot class A and a 19 foot Class B. I take my family on a 2200 mile vacation every other year with shorter trips in the 200-500 mile vicinty every year, and I take myself to Quartzsite every January, sometimes in the class A, sometimes in the Class B. However, just this past year I have felt a loss of confidence in my driving but nobody else feels or senses that. When I mention that I am no longer comfortable driving a 38 footer towing a toad through national parks they think something else is wrong, like maybe I don’t want to go where they want to go. I also think that subconciously that may be part of it. Bottom line is that I now drive a tad slower than I used to and stop more often just to be stopping. I have logged over a million miles in my RVing time and never put a scratch on any of my rigs, or anyone else’s. I have had to be towed once and that was a major embarrassment to me but I got over it. I agree wholeheartedly with this article as it is well directed and thought out. One of the reasons I read this website.

  45. jon on September 25th, 2010 5:59 am

    Like Les I have been at this for over 40 years but I’m a tad bit younger 68. I have driven numerous types of vehicles and towed an RV and now I drive the RV and tow the vehicle a 36 foot class A wide body and a Jeep liberty. We have a lot of years’ experience doing this plus I drove a semi for some years. And there are a lot of others out there that have done this for years without any problems. The ones that give me cause for concern are the ones that are just reaching mid 60s and just bought a large class a motor home. They have never driven anything larger than a small car. There has been talk at times about CDL Licenses for RVs. I don’t agree with that I do believe that maybe like Motorcycles in our state you should be able to show you can move from point A to B and maybe back into a site be it a travel trailer, 5th wheel, or motor home. I don’t know that I want to say I’ve lost confidence I have become more cautious even in my daily driving. I use to come to a stop look left look right and go if it was clear go. Now I come to a stop and look left, right, left, right and depending on the intersection look left, right again. Plus the way the general public drives today you have to be a very a defensive driver to cover for their unsafe driving habits.

  46. Lug_Nut on September 25th, 2010 6:17 am

    ■Les Lane, Glad you found the article of interest. I think there are many that feel similar to you. Thank you for your great input.

  47. Lug_Nut on September 25th, 2010 6:23 am

    jon, I like to think that the over caution displayed is really a better understanding of the consequences of one’s actions, or smarter. Thanks for your valued input on this topic.

  48. Glenn & Susan on September 25th, 2010 9:10 am

    An additional note from a Ontario, Canada RV’er.
    Our Government/MTO here seems to know when we should hang up the keys better than we do.
    A 65 year old driver with a Class “AZ” drivers licence is required to be tested every year. Written knowledge, Doctors examination of health & sight and a Driven Road test.
    “A” is for any Motor Home Class weighing over 24,450 lbs (combined weight) and also Fifth Wheel or Tow be-hind RV’s.
    “Z” is for air brakes on tow vehicle an Trailer.
    “ARZ” if you do not have air brakes on trailer.
    Here’s another kicker “pick-up trucks” are to be commercial licensed if over 9900 lbs (pin weight and passengers included). They then must have a safety every year.
    Benefit – RV trailers do not need a safety, but enclosed trailers do.
    This is how we know or are told we’er to old.

  49. Jim Leslie on September 25th, 2010 9:13 am

    I’m 64, (65 in November) and have a health history of a stroke and heart attack as well as I am diabetic. Because of my stroke, combined with the heart thing, I am no longer able to walk and have to use hand controls to drive my vehicles. I am in a wheelchair. I have a 2008 Ford F250 and pull a 34 foot travel trailer with it. I have had to make some special modifications to my rig to drive it, but I am confident that I am still capable of safely operating this rig. I can do my own hookup and disconnect. I can level my camper by myself and the only thing about it is that it takes me longer to do everything.
    I don’t drive much after dark, but can if necessary with just a little more care and caution.
    Some of my modifications is a back up camera, electric jack and stabilizers (mine operate each lift independently) .
    I am determined not to give up my mobility as that would be give up my freedom to travel.
    I haven’t had an accident and no unusual comments from people about my driving-other than it just takes me longer.
    I don’t think age has to be a factor in being able to use an RV-only interest and dedication to it.
    By the way, my wife travels with me and she is a willing helper, but only does so as I ask of her. Maybe I am being possessive, but I want to do as much as I can myself. The more I give up, the less I keep for me and soon lose forever.

  50. John on September 27th, 2010 12:06 pm

    I’m 37, we bought a 31′ Class A last year and really enjoy it. It was much harder to drive than I thought and the first few days on the road were pretty stressful. Now I’m comfortable with driving it, and actually find that the additional mental energy and focus required to drive it has made me a better driver overall. All that to say that I’m not too concerned about older RV drivers, and in fact I find that they tend to be the best drivers because they have the most experience and they’re considerate on the road.
    I’ll tell you what RV drivers I am afraid of though: amateur racers. I’ve seen some of these guys hauling 10-20,000 lb race trailers with P30 chassis MHs. Unbelievably overloaded. I passed one of these jokers on the road the other day that could barely keep the rig pointed in the right direction because at every bump the steer wheels nearly lifted off the road.
    How old is too old? In my opinion the question should be How dumb is too dumb? And while stupidity knows know age boundaries it is one area where old age usually has the advantage over youth.

  51. butterbean carpenter on June 11th, 2011 9:02 pm

    Howdy L-N,

    Where you been, kid?? Been missing all of your great RVing tips.. Here I am at
    76 years of age, but just about ruined for life; living in a wheelchair…BUT I CAN STILL DRIVE!!! THATZ ALL I CAN DO, THO!!! My motorhome sits in front of my window, blocking my view over the mountains… and she begs me to take her down the road, just a little ways!!! Wish I could, but nobody to ‘get her ready’ to go..
    My brother Airstreamed for over 40 years and his wife wouldn’t let him stop, even after his maccular-degeneration got so bad vehicles disappeared at 1000′ distance and then REAPPEARED AT 20′ !!!! His son-in-law and I finally told him we weren’t worrying about him killing someone else, so, HANG’EM UP !! He’s only 88 YO.. his wife said okay they’d quit after they sold their RV lot in TN, but they wouldn’t let us drive the trailer back up there from Tyler,TX. HE DROVE IT!!
    She then went into a funk and got mad at everybody because we TOOK AWAY THEIR PLEASURE IN LIFE!!!!!!!!! She NEVER drove a mile.. He was BLIND..

  52. Lug_Nut on June 17th, 2011 9:33 am

    butterbean, I’am still here, just been travelling for the past few months. I’ll get back at it in the near future.

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