Most of my full-time RVer friends would agree that making connections on the road is important, so you don’t feel lonely when living this lifestyle. Traveling together as a group in your own RV is full of fun and adventure! After joining Xscapers I started meeting like-minded people. After spending my time in Europe during summer I meet up with a group in Oregon and have been traveling with them on and off since September. But how’s life on the road?
Often the love of RVing and being on the open road is enough to bring people together way quicker than it would be living the “normal” life. However, not everyone you meet on the road is “your people”. What do I mean by that? I’ve heard of groups who just sit around all day at camp, every day. There are people who like full-hookups so they always stay at RV parks. Then there are groups that have a busy schedule and different programs on the calendar for each day. At the end of the day, you gotta find your people who like the same type of things you like to do.
I am more of a let’s play it by the ear person. It’s very easy to convince me for some adventure but there are also days when I like to just be myself and recharge. For me, a busy calendar won’t work and sitting around the fire drinking beer all day is also not my thing. So I like to travel with people who like to adventure but won’t take it personally if I am taking some time off the social gatherings.
An interesting fact that we spend so much time together that it takes way less time to form deeper connections. In “normal” life, it would take years to form the friendships as we form in a few weeks. We definitely test each others’ boundaries and learn to get over hurt feelings quickly. We also have less stress since we don’t have to commute each day, deal with co-workers and we don’t have a crazy busy schedule.
Knowing yourself is the first step to finding the kind of people you will most enjoy traveling with. If you need a lot of alone time or have to work each day during certain hours that is important to share with your group. Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing, go for adventures or do you want to just kind of kick back and relax?
Communicating openly about your expectations is important. If the group is a more formally organized event, be sure to communicate with the organizer to address any and all of your concerns before you hit the road.
- Travel: Decide if you are going to move from spot to spot together or if you will head out at different times and just meet up in the specific destinations. Since some people prefer to have some alone time, meeting up is the best solution. They can explore each location as a group and hang out while there, but on the road, everyone can go at their own pace. While separated, group members can all stay in touch by cell phone or even apps that let you know where everyone in your group is. We usually have chat rooms where conversations are going on all day. Yeah, I have “do not disturb” mode on for the nights and early mornings. We also have a tracker which we use to track each other when we allow being tracked. When I am on the road I keep it turned on and when I am doing personal travels I simply turn it off.
- Camping: Depending on how much space you want, be sure to discuss camping. You can park side by side, in a big circle or across from each other. Where you park will depend on your comfort levels and your privacy needs. There is always room for communal gatherings each night or group outings when you explore each location. As a rule of thumb: if you are staying in an open space don’t stay too close to your neighbor. Give them some space.
- Socializing: When it comes to group get-togethers, keep the schedule loose and flexible that way you don’t feel pressured to be a part of every single gathering. Bring some extra bags of snacks with you to share with the group from time to time.
The most important thing to remember with traveling in a group is staying flexible. Because of different personalities, likes and dislikes, and the potential for unexpected events, plans can change from one day to the next. As long as your expectations are not set in stone, you can go with the flow. The more flexible you are, the smoother and more pleasant the experience will be. Even though you travel as a group, there is nothing wrong with breaking off and doing some of the explorations alone. Stay laid-back, go with the flow, and respect group and individual needs, and caravanning will be some of the most exciting times of your life.
Here is a short video about the time I spent in Borrego Springs with a group of people during Thanksgiving 2018. This shows you a little bit about how is life at camp.
Now it’s the end of 2022 and a few years have passed since then, now I spend half my time in Europe with my folks, traveling internationally, and the other half in the US. I still have my tribe, and good friends in the RV community and I must admit, they are the reason I would not want to completely give up RV. Now my RV sits in storage during the time I am not in the US. Each time I’m back in the USA I still meet fellow full-timers.