It’s great to hear from so many of you! I’m looking forward to exploring many topics. You can send me an email at calamityjaimie @ gmail.com (remove spaces) or suggest it in the comments. I read every one.
I do want to clear one thing up. I traveled by myself after my late husband, Bill, passed away. I have since remarried and now travel with my husband, George. Even though I drove the motorhome that Bill and I had about 50 percent of the time and, when he was ill, did everything, it wasn’t quite the same as being totally responsible. Even when ill, Bill was always giving me pointers, suggestions and corrections!
My first solo trip after he passed away was a disaster. Nearly everything that could go wrong did. Among other things, I had barely gone any distance and finally went to an RV dealer because the propane detector wouldn’t quit going off. I was worried my rig was going to explode. After the service man determined it had been overfilled and I started out again, I pulled over, about in tears. Then I thought of two of my women RV friends who also lost their husbands after traveling together for years. I figured if Betty and Patsy could do it, then so could I!
After that, things still went wrong, but I dealt with each one at a time. Two things helped: First was having some experience in the driving department and in setting up and tearing down. The other was having friends and role models and a support community amongst RVers.
Judy, as you get out there more often, you’ll become more confident. Look for an RV driving course. Often they are offered at an RV rally. Some were given in Yuma, AZ this winter. Women in the round table discussion highly recommended taking this course, whether you were married or single. Even seasoned drivers learned something.
Here are three sources:
- RV Driving School: Dick Reid’s driving school, now owned by Dennis and Carol Hill.
- Des Moines Community College continuing education. Mike is the contact.
- RVing Women offer driving classes in Drummond, OK.
Finding support from other RVers and from other RV women is a matter of being alert to possibilities and devoting some time to it. We can find friends, community and support on the road through RV clubs, forums and in our travels. Forums and blogs like this give women the chance to connect. And, you meet people as you travel. If you work or volunteer, you can meet both other workers and locals to add to your community.
NomadsRFabulous mentioned RVing Women, the only club strictly for women. They provide educational seminars designed to give women knowledge about their RVs and build confidence. Joyce M mentioned the Escapees and LOWs. The Escapees has a Solo Birds of a Feather or interest group plus many others. LOWs is a solo group. Any RV club can provide a source for meeting other RVers and building a community if you take advantage of it. Clubs often have chapters or subgroups that give RVers with a common interest a chance to do meet or do things together.
When you can, do meet up with others in person. Emails are wonderful, but face-to-face meetings cement friendships and allow time to deepen them. If you are near New Brunswick, Canada, see if you can meet up with Deb. Dolly’s going to Alaska. We are too, Dolly. Maybe we can cross paths. Anyone else headed that way?
RVing doesn’t have to a lonely way of life. Not even a spouse can provide everything the other needs all the time. Having additional friends and interests makes relationships healthier, in my opinion. Women need women friends. My closest women friends are RVers because we have that common bond and experience. Use email, cell phones and meet-ups to build your community. Then keep in touch.
Until the next time,