Traveling as a solo female is an experience like none other. When you’re alone you can fully immerse yourself in your surroundings, hone your outdoor skills, and boost your confidence in the process.
Many people feel that solo RV travel is inherently dangerous, especially for solo women RVers, but it’s not any more dangerous than living or working alone. There are a few more safety tips you should know and follow if you are a woman who is planning to RV alone.
Let’s explore how RVing as a solo female is different from traveling with other RVers, how you can keep yourself safe during solo RV trips, and considerations you should keep in mind for solo RVing.
Managing Your RV as a Solo Woman
One of the first things to consider if you are planning to solo travel is to make sure that you can prepare, drive, park, set up, and take down your RV by yourself. Some women campers are hesitant about this part as just driving an RV can be somewhat intimidating.
If you haven’t already chosen an RV or camper, do as much research as possible before settling on one. Test drive different models and sizes before you sign any paperwork to ensure that you can manage the vehicle on your own and that it fits your ideal RV lifestyle.
If you have a friend that has an RV, ask to borrow it for a weekend before committing to purchasing your own. This way, you can understand firsthand everything about owning and operating an RV. Learn basic maintenance and practice driving your motorhome in a parking lot before setting off on your adventure. If you aren’t planning to RV full-time, you should also consider renting a motorhome instead.
RVing Women Should Practice Basic Maintenance and Repairs
Once you have your RV picked out and secured, you will want to read over all the manuals and practice performing basic maintenance and repairs on your rig. Learn how to replace lightbulbs, weatherproof, repair brake pads and change flat tires on your RV before taking it out alone. If you are towing your motorhome, be sure that you can connect and disconnect it on your own.
These basic RV maintenance skills will help facilitate your solo RV living and minimize the number of times you will need to rely on outside help. Another good rule of thumb is to research your specific make and model RV and common issues that occur on them. This will better prepare you should you be faced with significant issues while traveling.
Safety Tips for RVing as a Solo Woman
Other than managing your RV, there are a few safety tips that you will need to remember if you plan on RVing as a solo woman. While most of these safety tips can apply to any gender, women should take extra precautions when traveling alone. You do not want to be seen as an easy target for someone with nefarious intentions. Let’s explore some basic safety tips to keep in mind for your next solo RV trip.
Use a Buddy System
If you are a woman who plans to take solo RV trips, you will want to be sure to use a buddy system. While traveling solo, you won’t have anyone there with you; using a virtual buddy system is the next best thing.
Be sure to let someone or a few people know where you are going, what your plans are, and any alternative instructions if they do not hear from you within a certain time. You can also download tracking apps to allow friends or family to track your cell phone directly for additional peace of mind.
Have an Exit Plan
There is nothing more frightening than making a quick exit, only to realize you will need to make a 6-point turn with your RV. When you are deciding on where to camp, choose a campsite that allows you to make a quick exit without too much trouble. Many state and national parks feature pull-through RV sites that make entering and exiting your site simple.
Along with having an established exit plan, you should always keep your keys close by. This will facilitate a speedy exit even further if you need one. Attach your keys to your pocket or wrist or put them inside your jacket to keep them close as possible.
Change Your Routine
If you plan on staying at a campsite for an extended period, be sure to change your routine often. If you go hiking in the mornings and return to your RV for lunch, try to hike in the evening the next day.
Not establishing a routine will make tracking you much more difficult for any onlookers who may be studying you. While it may be tempting to hike every morning and enjoy coffee with the sunrise, changing your routine will help you to explore more of your surroundings while still keeping you safe.
Choose Designated Campsites over Dispersed Ones
Dispersed camping, or boondocking, has exploded in recent popularity. Many people choose to take advantage of the millions of acres of public lands in the U.S., with most of these lands available for dispersed RV and tent campers.
While this may seem like an attractive idea, especially for RVing solo women, it is inherently more dangerous than RVing at a designated campground or RV park. In dispersed camping areas, there are not many people, if any, around at all. If you were to have an accident, your RV breaks down, or you have a run-in with wildlife, it could be long before help can arrive.
As a woman who chooses to solo RV, you probably don’t want to think about bad things that could happen, but you must. Having exit plans, letting someone know your location, and choosing well-lit and well-populated areas are a good start, but you should also carry a form of protection.
Pepper spray, kubatons, and tasers are handy if you plan to travel alone and can easily be found on Amazon for cheap. These items could be used against people, but they can also come in handy if you are faced with wild animals, especially in states like Utah or Colorado, where bears and big cats are plentiful.
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Don’t let being a single woman RVer intimidate you out of your dream vacation or living your best RV life. With ample planning and supplies, you can learn to solo RV while boosting your confidence, learning new skills, and tuning into your inner self along the way.