Spotlight on a Unique Senior Lifestyle: RVing

By Elizabeth Thielke / Posted on 07 April 2010

Starting to think about vacation season? RVing is quite a popular past time for many older Americans who have time to hit the road and see the sights our country has to offer. People go RVing for a variety of reasons, and not all are vacationers. Others, known as “full-timers,” live year-round in their recreational vehicles (RVs).

Some seniors find that the mobile lifestyle helps them stay closer to far-flung adult children, family and friends, while remaining in control of their environment. Others do it simply for the thrill of travel. But, another reason older adults trade their homes for the RV is due to economic factors. Many of them find that the mobile lifestyle simplifies their life and may be more affordable than maintaining a home.

But, living on the road does generate expenses, so many seniors look for sources of income. In addition to using proceeds from a house sale, pension, retirement or Social Security funds, creative seniors can do “portable” work such as seasonal work, contract work that can be done online, theme park work, area tour guides (for an extended stay), and even tax preparation.

Another way seniors support themselves in the RV lifestyle is through “work-camping” which offers a way to barter for free camping while working for a campsite:

An itinerant, footloose army of available and willing retirees in their 60s and 70s is marching through the American outback, looking to stretch retirement dollars by volunteering to work in parks, campgrounds and wildlife sanctuaries, usually in exchange for camping space.

Work camping is a way for seniors to cut travel expenses by staying in one place for a while, and it is especially important with today’s budget cuts affecting national parks as many of them are struggling to stay open.

A mobile lifestyle can be a way to simplify life, be near family and friends, see the country and it can be affordable with a little creativity.

Do you know any seniors who live an RV lifestyle? Tell us about it!

-Elizabeth Thielke

There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. [...] Thielke has written a fascinating article, Spotlight on a Unique Senior Lifestyle: RVing, at Seniors for Living. As she wrote, "A mobile lifestyle can be a way to simplify life, be [...]


    on 13 April 2010 / 10:38 AM

  2. Kaye Swain says,

    Hi Elizabeth, Thank you again to all of you at Seniors for Living, both for starting the Boomers and Seniors: News You Can Use Blog Carnival AND for keeping it going so wonderfully. The latest is at SandwichINK and I appreciate the opportunity to join in with you on this, as well as being able to share this interesting article in it. My grandparents had an Airstream and traveled all over the US and Mexico with it for several years. I have many fond memories of short trips with them to the beach and to visit relatives. :)

    I occasionally toy with the idea of getting one so I can easily visit kids and grandchildren who are scattered all over the US. It definitely makes for wonderful trips and activities for grandparents and their grandchildren – near and far! This is a great encouragement for that! :)


    on 13 April 2010 / 11:32 AM


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