Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That old fear factor

Overcoming fear is not easy. People deal with fears in different ways. Some never confront their fears and live their lives controlled by them. Some identify them, put them in context, and live their lives around them. Some know their fears, put them in a box and deny them the power to control their lives. However you deal with fear will determine how you face new challenges.

I hear from many women who want to join the RV lifestyle. Most want a weekend getaway vehicle and a way to enjoy their annual vacation. They find a good deal on a van or small class C and have a great time.

Some women have an RV that is theirs alone because of the death of a spouse and have no idea what to do with it. You'll see the ads in many RV magazines where they sell the RV at a loss just to get rid of it. A few sell because it's a painful reminder of the good times they shared with their absent partner. However, many have never driven the RV and are terrified to get behind the wheel. They never learned and never relieved the driver so they could learn.

So again, my message to all the fearful women who want to be RVers and who are reading this is to learn to drive the RV. Do it now. If you need someone else to help you learn other than your spouse, partner, or significant other, find an RV driving school that will teach you. Join your local RVing Women chapter and you'll be surrounded by helpful women from all walks of life who have learned how to drive their RV and will help you. As I've said many times, no one was born knowing how to drive an RV. We've all had to learn by whatever method works for us.

To the men who are reading this, be sure your wife, partner or significant other knows how to drive the RV. If you don't allow her to learn, her ignorance will incapacitate her more than you realize.

Overcome this easily curable fear and join us on the road, in the RV park or campground, and share your adventures. We're waiting.


  1. I am 65 and married, but I do most of the driving of our 35 foot motorhome pulling a car. I have talked to several women who don't drive. I try to encourage them to take a turn perhaps on the Interstate between rest areas. It is that hard. It is just different. To me it is so much fun. I have tried to do every job there is so I know how to do it in case I have to sometime. It is the smart thing to do.

  2. I recommend that *both* spouses/partners take the skill and confidence-building RV driving course at www.rvschool.com ; check the website for locations and details.

  3. Adrienne,
    My husband just sent me your link. Within the year, I will be retired as he is, and we will join the ranks of FT Rving. In order to learn how to pull our yet to be purchased 5th wheel, he will need to let me drive the truck. :) (I already KNOW how to do that). That remains to be seen, but if you ask me, it would be foolish not to let me learn how to pull our RV. Never can tell when I would need to - not that I have a "fear" of NEEDING to have to know this skill, but it's a practical thing at our age.
    Thanks for this blog - it's going to come in very handy.

  4. Well, I am as you described. We bought a new 40' class A motor home and my husband unexpectedly passed away before we were able to use it. I had a friend drive it to a summer location and have been here for 3 months. He will be driving it home for me next week. I want to take driving lessons but wonder if I will feel safe driving alone. Are there groups that women can travel with and feel comfortable. Should I sell it? I know how most of it works on the inside but clueless about the real workings of the RV. What to do with this beautiful rig? Any comments.

  5. My first question to you, Yvonne, is "What do you want to do?" Do you like the RV? Do you want to keep it? Do you want to learn to drive it? Do you feel comfortable in it? If not, do you still want to drive an RV, perhaps smaller?

    There is plenty of information available about RV systems and several places to give you driving lessons. If you join RVing Women, you won't lack for company.

  6. HI Adrienne!

    As a retired, single woman, I had always dreampt of driving a motorhome around to places I only saw from the air. Then at the age of 63, the urge hit me......I downsized from a 3500 sq ft house, to a 450 sg ft motorhome. Now, there is no turning back. A friend told me about an RV he knew well, and said it would be a good investment. It was a 1999, 36' Country Coach, and beautiful. I couldn't wait! Because I had occasionally driven my brothers' MH, I felt I needed a crash-course (excuse the pun) in simple maintenance, and driving skills. A neighbor was a semi-retired, professional truck Driver-Trainer, so I told him I would pay the expenses if he would teach me the guts of driving. We drove it from Ft. Myers to Asheville, NC. That was the BEST, on-hands, driving course I have ever had!

    Unfortunately, I was soon diagnosed with MS, but I knew I would continue to drive until I couldn't climb the steps into the MH. AT 66, I have a newer MH, a 42', 2000 Foretravel, which needed some work, but bought at a good price. This summer, I drove the perimeter of the USA, from KY to Montreal, and back to KY. It was magnificient! Along the way, I bought a "co-pilot" named Thaddeus...Thad, for short..... who has been my constant companion for the last 3 months. He sits in the right seat, attached to the seatbelt with his harness, and muses over the scenary as if he were the King of the Mountain. He'll lie down, sleep for a couple hours, and then arise with that look in his eye. Time to stop.

    In my other message, I mentioned that I am "Toadless" also. After buying the 3-wheeled electric bike, Thad....in the back basket.... and I, will bounce down the road towards the grocery store.

    Just turned 66, and still going strong. My legs seem to be content with climbing the 3 steps into our Home, and Thad and I are now planning our winter routing. We'll plan on finding a rental lot along the southern coast, possibly for 3-5 months......any ideas, Folks?......where my non-skills with ice and snow will not be evident!

    Thank you for allowing me to blog in your space, but I wanted you to know there are a few others out there that need to get over their fears, of jumping into the Captain's Chair, and charge ahead. Be sure to find a professional truck Driver-Trainer....it makes it so much easier on the stress levels!

  7. adelphenis@gmail.comOct 25, 2008, 6:01:00 PM

    Replying to ..Sydnyg said...I live in South Texas and joined RVing women but have not met up with them yet. I would like to meet up with other women and see some sites. I love to drive my RV just don't have enough excuses. Not far from Livingston where the ESCAPES park is. Come down here, no snow, lots to do. Alice

  8. Hi Adrienne,
    I'm a single semi retired hairdresser & today is my 59th birthday. My lifetime wish has been to travel around in an RV.
    I am seriously thinking about selling it all & being a fulltime RVer. As a single mom I drug my kids all over the south in an RV & have had travel trails of some sort my whole life, but to sell it all & strike out? My fear is not driving it's what sort of cost am I looking at being a full time RVer. I know what it takes to maintain my, I think it's refered to sticks & bricks! But not a clue as to what I'm looking at as far as living full time in a RV & traveling to see all the places I've just dream of. Can you guide me to where I can find that sort of info. And I'm seeing alot of references about RV lots & home bases! I need enlightened.

    Linda from Corpus Christi, TX

  9. Linda: My first recommendation as always is to join RVing Women: http://www.rvingwomen.com
    The next would be to check out the website and contact the Texas Rambling Roses, the chapter closest to you. The terrific women will invite you to join them for a weekend getaway and if they can't answer all your questions, they will refer you to someone who can.

  10. I am 57 and married. My husband and I have been fulltiming since June 2006. I wanted to learn how to drive our 36 foot Class A, but was scared. I talked myself into driving it without the toad, to a diesel station about 15 miles from where we stored it. Since I knew where I was going to be driving and the conditions, I felt better about giving it a try. Actually, it was a very good experience. Then I have made it a practice to drive it at least 30 - 60 minutes on each trip with the toad of course. Our practice is for me to always take over and park it inside the campgrounds, backing it under the direction of my husband. All I can suggest is practice makes perfect, go slow and easy at first, to get more confidence - but do it - you'll be a happy RVer for sure.