Aren’t you scared? You are so brave! Do you carry a gun? You go all by yourself?
These are the most common things I hear and am asked when I meet someone while traveling in my Roadtrek Class B motorhome or when I tell folks about my trips. People are often astonished that I frequently travel alone.
I believe that single women, over 50, are one of the the fastest growing groups of RV buyers right now. We are divorced, widowed, have disposable income and are living longer. We are on the move! It is rare that I don’t run into another solo gal as I travel.
I have stayed in areas where I was completely alone, in crowded RV parks, all types of campgrounds and boondocked, far from commercial campgrounds and off the grid. I have stayed in remote areas and towns. That’s the nice thing about a class B – it goes almost anywhere, which is where I like to go!
Here are a few tips for traveling solo that I have learned:
- Let someone know where you are and check in with them. Keep your phone and laptop, I Pad or whatever, charged and get a booster to find a signal when you are remote. There are also satellite phones and emergency trackers available.
- If you should decide to carry a gun, have it licensed, check state laws, take the safety classes, learn how to clean it and care for it properly so it doesn’t misfire and take shooting lessons. I know a gal who carries a small pistol in a cereal box with the flap cut for easy access.
- Other devices are available. I carry bear spray, but be prepared to also be affected if you spray in an enclosed space. Wasp spray is very accurate at almost 20 feet and can help deter a criminal. This also less expensive than bear spray. You can get small stunners from Amazon. I know another gal who keeps a hammer behind her driver’s seat.
- Place a pair of large sized, used, men’s work boots or sneakers outside your door at night. This makes it look like you have company.
- Bring a big dog. Those little cute ones don’t scare anybody!
- If you hear someone outside at night, flip on the lights and hit the horn. You can even just start up and drive off. Even if you are hooked up- you can fix those later. Safety first!
- Make friends with other folks nearby and check in with the campground host if there is one
- Don’t advertise to Mr. Thief by flashing money, wearing expensive jewelry or working on your fancy laptop or cameras outside.
- Do your research. I use the ALLSTAYS app on my I Pad. I can look at the satellite image to see if where it is, if it looks neat and if there are permanent mobile homes, which I don’t care for. Read the reviews posted by other campers. Pass on if it doesn’t meet your standards, there is usually something down the road. Plan accordingly. I look one to two days ahead when planning my routes, and check for availability. Allstays also gives phone numbers so you can call ahead to make sure there is a spot available.
- When in doubt, get out. Unplug and move on if you get the creeps or the place is in a sketchy area. I have done this and even when the check in folks left so I couldn’t get a refund. Better safe than not over just a few bucks. Go with your gut.
- There are several female RV clubs, like RVing Women, Solo-Net and even a Roadtrek Solos if you are a member of Roadtrek International. You can network and find other single travelers to join you on your journeys. I have done 2 trips with women I have met on the web and had fun on both.
- Lock your doors. Although I have slept with my back doors wide open to enjoy river sounds or nice weather (after all, I was previously a tent camper) I usually lock them. Use your judgment.
Don’t let urban myths or generally unfounded fears keep you from seeing the land. The big city scares me more than the country. Most of the folks I have met while on the road have been wonderful and helpful.
Enjoy your solo journeys!