Planning to hit the road full-time? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, the full-time RVing population has grown tremendously in the past few years. After all, why wouldn’t it? What could be better than traveling the country and taking in all the amazing sights it has to offer?
Still, just like anything else, RVing full-time does have its downsides. Most of these are pretty insignificant, and well worth dealing with in the grand scheme of things. However, one of the most common and most difficult obstacles to overcome is finding a community of friends on the road.
Yep, believe it or not, even with all the sightseeing, full-timers do get lonely and long for connection. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to meet new people while you’re traveling. The key? Knowing where to look.
Join RV clubs
The first trick to finding a community on the road is joining one or more clubs. There are dozens of awesome RVing clubs out there, and each one offers a unique community:
- Escapees is one of the biggest clubs out there. They host all sorts of awesome events around the country. There once was a time when this club was aimed almost exclusively at seniors. However, with the addition of Xcapers, there is now room for people of all ages.
- Traveling with kids? You might find that Fulltime Families is the club for you. This group has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and when you join you’ll understand why. The people are friendly and welcoming, the events are perfect for families, and there are plenty of opportunities to connect.
- Solo RVers, on the other hand, might appreciate one of the many clubs made especially for them. Wandering Individuals Network, Sisters on the Fly, and Loners on Wheels are just a few of these awesome organizations. Additionally, Escapees has a special club specifically for lone RVers, aka SOLOS.
Other great clubs that might offer a community for you include:
- Family Motor Coach Association
- RV manufacturer-specific clubs (Airstream, Winnebago, etc)
Attend rallies and events
Of course, just joining these clubs isn’t enough. You need to participate as well. The best way to do this is by attending a rally.
Rallies are incredibly fun and often educational gatherings that usually feature classes, seminars, games, group meals, and other awesome ways to make connections with fellow full-timers. Attending a rally will allow you to meet new people and find those you really click with (your “tribe”). From there, you can make a point of staying in touch with new friends and either traveling together or planning to meet up somewhere down the line.
Besides rallies, you might find that other events—such as less formal meetups and much more complicated caravans—are good ways to jump into the community. No matter which way you decide to join in the fun, be sure you continue to do so after that initial event in order to meet more new friends and reconnect with old ones.
Most of the aforementioned RV clubs also host forums or social media groups of one kind or another. Staying active in these online groups will help keep the connections you make in the real world alive until the next event. Additionally, these online communities are the perfect place to plan meetups and keep track of where friends are, in case your paths cross.
Besides the forums and social media groups associated with the RVing clubs above, there are also plenty of standalone online communities. These are also good places for connecting with others and could easily lead to friends you meet up with down the line.
Some of our favorite online RV communities include:
- Air Forums
- Fiberglass RV
- Forest River Forums
- School Bus Conversion Forums
- Jayco Owners
- Thor Forums
- CrossRoads RV Forums
- Winnie Owners
Connect in the real world
In this day and age, it can be very easy to get caught up in the world of online communication and completely miss out on the potential friendships all around us. If you stop and look around, you’ll likely notice dozens of potential friends in any given campground and even in the towns you happen to visit. Why not make a point of chatting with these people?
If you’re a bit on the quiet side, you might find it easier to attend campground events and strike up conversations while there. Other great places to make new connections include the campground pool, the local coffee shop, or even the laundry room while waiting on your clothes to wash.
By stepping outside of your comfort zone and initiating conversations, you might just meet your new best friends!
As you travel, you’ll likely add more and more friends to your social circle. Making sure to keep in touch with these people and ensuring you see them in real life throughout your travels will ensure you grow closer together. And, introducing your friends to one another could even lead to a small, tight-knit traveling community of your own!