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Rolling Adventures: Exploring RV Hobbies for Every Traveler

When you hit the open road in your motorhome or travel trailer full-time, you might have to leave behind a few things: the 9-5 grind, friends and family, a mortgage, and much more, both good and bad. However, having one or more RV hobbies is something that you don’t have to leave with your sticks and bricks.

In fact, having RV hobbies reduces your stress, helps you unwind, and promotes the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure. Even the anticipation of a new activity can release dopamine.

While RVing can promote better mental health, having a hobby while RVing is also a win-win. Hobbies also give you a sense of identity, promote self-expression, and build resilience. I happen to think RVers have these traits anyway, but more is always better, right?

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Read on to learn about some RV hobbies that are perfect for the full-time RV lifestyle.

1. Photography

Raise your hand if you have thousands of photos on your phone. How does that translate into a hobby? We all take photos these days. Taking up photography as a hobby can mean a lot more than just taking selfies on your phone or gathering tons of landscapes. What dominates your cell phone photo gallery? For me, you will find no less than 1,000 pictures of my dogs. I have to search hard to find just a few pictures of my husband.

Getting Started

Getting started might be as simple as buying a simple point-and-shoot camera and pointing it in the direction of things, people, objects, and animals that interest you. Even if you don’t purchase a nice camera when starting your hobby, most cell phones have decent cameras, and you can start with what you have.

As your interest in photography grows, you will want to purchase a good camera and learn more about its settings, such as shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. You can learn about composition techniques such as the rule of thirds, balance, and eye lines.

Essential Gear

A good camera is really the only essential piece of gear that you will need to get started. While you could pay thousands of dollars for this item, there are plenty of good cameras that won’t kill your budget. Make sure you have a good instruction manual. Once you have purchased a camera, it will take practice to perfect your shots.

Also, make sure you have a camera that will be good for the type of photography you want to shoot.

Secondary items on your gear list could include varying lenses, a bag, a tripod, and maybe a good photo editing program.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

  • Find your inspiration.
  • Get a good camera.
  • Experiment…a lot.
  • Attend a workshop.
  • Learn how to edit.
  • Take an online course.

2. Diamond Art (Painting)

You may have heard of diamond art (also referred to as Diamond Painting}. It has become a fast-growing art form that is simple to do and is supposed to minimize stress and anxiety. For the RVer looking for a hobby, it doesn’t take up much room, is low-cost, and can even take away sadness and worry and reduce anger—you know the kind of anger you get after parking the RV.

This hobby is similar to cross stitch and paint by numbers. It is easy to learn and is great for all ages and skill levels. You simply affix colored resin rhinestones to a self-adhesive canvas with a diamond art kit. The canvas is printed with the design as well as symbols to let you know which color to place in each spot.

Getting Started

Getting started is as easy as purchasing a kit and following the instructions. They can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the complexity of the kit.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

  • Unplug from your technology.
  • Join an online community.
  • Stimulate your creativity.
  • Boost your artistic confidence.

3. Music

Music is a great hobby to start in your RV. Depending on your musical ability, you could enjoy and learn a smaller instrument such as a guitar or other stringed instrument. A ukulele or mandolin would be easy to store. Even a small keyboard could help you get started learning notes and reading music. I’ve seen ones that roll up rather small and could be stored in a cabinet or drawer.

Getting Started

From someone who does have some musical ability, if you are serious about a music hobby, I would find a music store and ask if they would let you try some of the instruments. This isn’t usually a problem. If you find something you like, you can find some beginner sheet music and chord charts and let the music flow. Expect this hobby to take some time to learn and some expense to get started.

Of course, if you are already somewhat musically talented, picking it back up again shouldn’t be a problem.

Essential Gear

Essential gear would have to include an instrument unless you want to express your talent vocally. If you are interested in playing for your RV neighbors, you might need a microphone and a speaker setup. You could invest several hundred to several thousand dollars in a sound system if you want to get to that point. Check out my husband’s journey from hobby to professional musician here.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

  • Play what you are passionate about.
  • Find a teacher (YouTube will work for this one).
  • Set achievable goals.
  • Learn music theory.
  • Perform for others.

4. Birdwatching & Wildlife Viewing

So, there is birdwatching—isn’t that a pretty bird—and there is birdwatching. If you carry around your binoculars and can name a few species, you are probably in the second category. Birdwatching is a great addition to the RV hobbies list, and it takes very little training or gear.

As RVers, we know that getting out into nature can help reduce stress and give us an overall uptick in our mental health. Even if you can’t get out and hike, watching birds and other wildlife from your RV window can give you a mental boost.

Did you know that the birds benefit too? When we take the time to appreciate nature more, we want to find ways to keep nature healthy as well.

Getting Started

Getting started with birdwatching can be as simple as walking out your front door. Look online for special migration or touring events in your area. With others around you, you can learn from seasoned bird watchers who will likely be more than happy to help a beginner. Of course, some essential gear might be needed to make your first trek an interesting one.

Essential Gear

Essential gear has to include a bird identification book and binoculars. There are tons of bird identification books and apps out there so find one that is generalized to the region where you are located. Continue to expand your library as you travel around the country. It is a lot of fun to be able to locate and identify different species of birds as you travel.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

  • Choose a bird identification book or app.
  • Understand basic bird identification.
  • Find birdwatching binoculars and/or a camera.
  • Get outside and start looking for birds.
  • Join a birdwatching organization.

5. Geocaching

Geocaching is another one of those RV hobbies you can enjoy outdoors. It’s perfect for RVers who like to hike and explore nature. Participants use a GPS to find geocaches and hide them. There are specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. It is a global treasure hunt, and while the reward at the end is not likely to be gold or silver, most of the fun is in the hunt.

Getting Started

Check out the site geocaching.com. There, you can register for free and find the coordinates for geocaches in your area. When I opened the website, there were nearly 3,000 geocaches in my area. Several apps, such as Geocache or Cachly, can get you started.

Once you have the coordinates, the apps will give you hints to find the cache. Caches will generally have a waterproof container, a logbook so you can add your name as a finder, and a low-cost trinket or geocoin. Common materials in the cache could include a keychain, ornament, or booklet. Valuable objects or food are not allowed.

Geocaching is a great way to learn about the environment and the physical geography of an area. According to geocaching.com, there are more than 2 million caches around the world.

Essential Gear

Essential gear for geocaching includes a GPS and any clothing or gear you would bring on a typical hike. Garmin has some great GPS options at different price levels. You can use the GPS on your phone but you will need to consider your strength of signal and whether you can easily enter waypoints. Make sure whatever you use is easy to use, accessible, and durable.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

  • Keep an eye out for the cache’s hiding place.
  • Sign the logbook.
  • Exchange one item and put everything back as you found it.
  • Leave no trace.
  • Dress in layers and prepare for any changing weather conditions.
  • Don’t spoil the hunt for others on social media.

6. Fiber Arts

Fiber arts are my jam. My fiber arts journey began before my RV journey. (Check out my story on quilting in your RV.) I’ve been doing cross-stitching, embroidery, crocheting, sewing, quilting, and more since I was young. My grandmother, mother, and aunt helped to instill in me a love for creating beautiful things with yarn and thread. I even remember a period when macrame plant hangers were my go-to craft.

Do any readers remember “lacing cards” with premade holes and a fake needle? You could practice “sewing” around the cardboard with yarn. I seem to recall having one as a very young child. To see how far I’ve come in my crafting, you can check out my stories on quilting, knitting, and crocheting.

In a nutshell, fiber art is the creation of works of art using a combination of natural or synthetic materials. The materials can be cotton, linen, yarn, felt, string, ribbon, wool, hemp, and so much more. The only restriction is the artist’s imagination.

Getting Started

There is a little bit of a learning curve when you start creating fiber art. Depending on what type of craft you want to do, you can usually find a kit to get you started in a small way and grow to bigger projects. Check out the plethora of YouTube videos that will take you through the process step-by-step.

Essential Gear

When you begin creating fiber art, you don’t usually spend a lot of money. Embroidery thread is around 50 cents per color. Material for a small quilt might be around $50. Depending on your project, you might need needles or yarn. A sewing machine could be your biggest expense. Check out yard sales or the Facebook marketplace for a gently used machine.

Pinterest has tons of ideas and links for different types of projects.

Tips for Maximizing Your Experience with These RV Hobbies

  • Set aside 10-15 minutes to practice your craft every day.
  • Learn new techniques and skills as you practice your craft.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Find others who can assist you in your journey.
  • Take advantage of other’s knowledge via the internet, podcasts, etc.
  • Have fun with whatever you decide to do!

What RV Hobbies Will You Take with You in Your RV?

The RV lifestyle opens up a world of possibilities, from navigating remote areas in your kayak to evenings spent by the campfire working on jigsaw puzzles or a scrapbook project about the day’s adventures. Whether you’re exploring national parks or touring lighthouses from coast to coast, there’s always room for hobbies. Maybe you’ll find joy in ham radio connections across the landscape or seek treasure with a good metal detector.

What unique hobbies do you bring on the road? Let us know in the comments! No matter if it’s crafting jewelry, capturing scenery through the lens, or embarking on ATV excursions, each hobby adds a memorable layer to your journey.

3 thoughts on “Rolling Adventures: Exploring RV Hobbies for Every Traveler”

  1. Astronomy is my hobby! To get started, a good pair of binoculars and an astronomy app such as SkySafari are recommended. Also, look for RV sites without trees away from lights. State and national parks generally have few lights in the campgrounds whereas commercial campgrounds typically have lots of lighting at night. Also, check out the recognized international dark sky locations. To take this hobby to the next level, join an astronomy club in your home area. Because of the pandemic, many have virtual meetings so you can participate even when traveling. Most clubs have members with a wide range of experience, and are very welcoming. Also you can enjoy attending a star party! There are many held throughout the year. These are usually multinight events where people will camp or stay in cabins. A word of caution, though. Star parties have lots of rules about lighting which will take some preparation of your RV and vehicle.

  2. I love my hobbies. We full time now for the past 4 years. I left my jewelry making and basket weaving in storage but I have my spinning wheel on board. I spin my llama and alpaca fiber. I also brought my sewing machine. Comes in very handy. I color in adult books. I paint rocks. Wood burning is fun too. My stamp collection from when I was 13 is a great pastime. Yes I’m ADHD. lol. Lots of projects all the time.

  3. Parks on the Air (POTA) and Summits in the Air (SOTA) – two Amateur Radio (HAM) modes. You can “activate” the many parks and summits that you visit. Especially right now in the peak of the solar cycle with your license and a 20W HF radio you can talk to people around the world. It only takes a few minutes to setup a radio and antenna. You can talk or even use digital modes with the your computer or if you are really adventurous learn Morse Code.

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