When you live on the road, a pandemic like COVID-19 can seem straight out of a science fiction movie. You may think that since you are not in any one town, you will be safe, but this is not the case.
Traveling has been restricted and banned in several places, and this includes travel by road. While everyone with a home is staying inside, what does it mean for those that live a mobile lifestyle?
Where do you go?
One of the biggest concerns for full-time RVers is where to go during this time. Many private and public parks are closed even some BLM areas. Camping is no longer an option at many parks across the country. The ones that are open, have restrictions about getting reservations as the offices are not physically open for visitors. All parks have updated their websites to announce closures and restrictions, so this can help you plan where to go. In some cases, offices and programs are not open, but campgrounds still are.
If you are member of Facebook Groups related to full time RVing you’ll notice that people are offering places for others during the pandemic. My friend also has created a website for people who have a hard time finding a place until the shelter in place is lifted: nomadparky.com. Check it out!
You need a plan
There are many things to consider in light of this new health scare. Older RVers need to be just as careful as vulnerability does not change on the road. There is also concern over resources becoming limited. If stores are running out of things for those in houses, chances are supplies will become limited for you too. You need to have a plan as to where you can go to get supplies. Stock up for at least two weeks when and where you can.
Find a park that is open and where you can plan to stay for a month or two. Make sure they have all the hookups your RV needs. That way you can stay in one place in relative comfort. If possible find a place within close distance to a medical facility since the virus is spreading quickly. That is the safest option at this time. The road travels will have to take a temporary break.
I am personally staying with a friend, moochdocking on her driveway. I spend most of my time in the house but still sleeping and eating in my rig.
How to spend your time?
You are still on the road, but just in one spot. For many of us this is not a problem. If you boondock a lot, you are already used to living away from bars, restaurants, and entertainment spots. However, the restrictions on your travel will dampen your sense of freedom.
Enjoy the serenity of nature by yourself or with your traveling companion. There are no parties but the sounds of nature can be relaxing during this stressful time.
This is not the time for gatherings, but maybe you can devise something with other campers. Imitate those in Europe that are having balcony dinner parties and sing-alongs. As long as you keep your distance, you can have your own campground entertainment.
If you have a library card at your home library, you can download e-books and movies.
If you are a coffee lover or enjoy sitting in coffee shops to use the Wi-Fi , opportunities will be scarce now. This can be frustrating if the service in your park isn’t great but most likely you have your own internet hotspot. You can always try the parking lot of a McDonald’s or Starbucks as their Wi-Fi signal usually reaches there too.
Make sure you have board games, cards, and other fun activities to keep you busy. This will be important in case there is bad weather and you have to stay indoors.
Well of course if you still have to work like many of us, you will spend your day with that. I do work each day and go to hikes to the nearby hills with my friend.
Keeping your RV clean and safe
You should always clean your RV anyway, but in these times, it is especially important especially if you were out for grocery shopping or dumping/filling. You can still be exposed to surfaces and people that may be infected, so you want to keep your living space clean and safe.
The following disinfecting tips are recommended for your RV when you get back home:
- wipe off hard surfaces (countertops, sinks, toilets)
- disinfect with a diluted bleach solution or any alcohol-based product. Make sure there is at least 70% alcohol content in cleaning supplies.
- wipe porous surfaces (carpets, rugs, curtains, furniture)
- wash your clothing that touched surfaces outside. Jackets, pants etc
- never shake dirty laundry as this can release dirt, bacteria, and viruses through the air. Use the warmest water possible when washing.
- clean and disinfect hampers and baskets in the same way you would hard or porous surfaces.
- aim to clean your RV regularly, especially frequently touched surfaces. Tables, handles, lights, steering wheel, dash controls, phones, toilets, and windows are all important to clean.
Stay safe on the road
- The CDC has provided additional tips on how to stay safe for RVers. In addition to the cleaning tips, it is important to keep your hands clean and wash them frequently. You are probably bored hearing this but wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This is the same protocol for all people living in a house or an RV.
- Wear a mask! This is not only protecting you but it is protecting others in case you already have disease and showing no symptoms.
- Always carry a sanitizer with you in case you do not have easy access to soap and water.
- Do not touch your face and always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. If you sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands. These precautions are designed to keep you safe during this pandemic.
Living on the road is supposed to be an adventure, not an outtake from a scary movie. Keep it safe my friends! Keep it safe!