5 Ways To Create Community & Friendships On The Road
It’s been another busy week. Besides the RV repair (which is still ongoing) we’ve met-up with some awesome folks, done some fabulous hikes, even rescued a dog (found lost and wandering the streets AND safely returned to owners -> one gold star of good karma for me I reckon). But for today’s post I wanted to focus on the folks part.
Many people contemplating the full-time RV lifestyle worry about a loss of community. I’ve always been a natural-born nomad so this isn’t generally a concern for me, but I’ve met many who’ve brought it up as an issue and it definitely got my old noggin’ thinking.
Our own experience on the road has been very social, in fact extremely so. I’m the curious sort and so will often pick-up strange friends in campgrounds, but we’ve also met people online (through RV forums) and from blogs. This week we had an impromptu meet-up of 3 travelling young, cool RVers including Bree & Matt from Operation Tally-Ho, Ayo and Yair from Our Take On Freedom and us (bloggers artistic license allows me to very generously include ourselves in said category), and this week-end we’re off to meet our now well-established friends Alex and Ellen up in Portland. We’ve got even more meets planned down SW for winter. These connections provide a strong sense of community despite all the moving.
I’ve many blogger friends who’ve written about this phenomenon (technomadia did a particularly in-depth post), but I wanted to add-in a few of my own experiences for creating community on the road:
1/ Use Online Resources
There are many great on-line resources for RVers including RV-specific forums that are incredibly active as well as RV bloggers. Not only do they provide tips and technical support, but they’re often a source of meetups too. We’ve met several people from both sources incl. a couple in Florida, some folks in Texas, meetings in Louisiana, Oregon and more.
2/ Attend Rallies, Events and Groups Meetings
There are hundreds of RV meetups happening all around the US every month. Communities such as Escapees have BOF (Birds of a Feather) groups that interact and meet. The online forums offer local meetups, and large national rallies are hosted by clubs such as Good Sam or Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). There are even alternative, hip events such as SXSW (for the techno-minded) and Burning Man (for a completely different experience). These events offer social interaction, lifestyle seminars, crafts and learning.
3/ Be Social In Camp
This may sound kinda corny, but you can create great bonds by simply introducing yourself to your neighbour in camp. RVers tend to be a very open lot and often all it’ll take is a “hello, where are you guys headed?” and off you go. We’ve created many long-lasting connections from folks we met in camp on the road.
4/ Create a Winter (or Summer) Base
We’ve met many full-time or part-time couples who enjoy the change of “settling down” in one spot for several months either in winter or summer. Some go boondocking in popular winter spots like Quartzite, some will chose a particular RV park that they like while others might have a semi-permanent base such as an RV pad or flat/house. Either way, by going back to the same spot each year they re-connect with a community of people for several months before setting off again.
5/ Volunteer or Work On The Road
Volunteering can be a great way to get involved in a community cause. Last year we spent a week at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah (a very tight community), but there are also RV groups that organize mobile volunteering such as RV Care-A-Vanners (RVers who work with Habitat For Humanity), DOVE (an Escapees BOF group that assist with various Red Cross projects) and NOMADS (an outreach ministry of the United Methodist Church). Workamping, camp-hosting or volunteering on public land can be another great way to get social with purpose. Good links are USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Volunteer.gov. Many of these will also provide a free camping spot in return for your time.
So with a thanks to Ayo for the inspiration to write the post, here’s hoping we meet up on the road. Don’t be shy now!SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
You are so right about rv’ers being a social bunch. We have more friends now than we did when I was working. Sure I had work buddies, but rv’ers make good friends. Sometimes a blog follower that you’ve never met online will happen to be in the same area and just drop by. I think that is so cool to meet up like that.
Good luck with your repairs and stay free.
Totally agree! I love those kind of impromptu meet-ups!
Great tips! We were also surprised to find that we had more friends once we ditched the stick house! But it sure helps having a dog with you. When we were dog-less, we suddenly needed an excuse to say hello. We were so lonely! With a dog, it’s so much easier to interact.
Now that we’ve launched our new business that’s absolutely perfect for RVers, we hope to meet more people (with or without dogs in tow!) as we host seminars in person and online throughout our travels.
Doggie definitely makes intro’s easier. There are lots of folks we meet w/ pooch, esp. other pooch-happy people.
Wishing you all the best of luck in the new biz…will look forward to hearing more about it.
You definitely get to count yourselves in the cool, young RVer category! So fun spending time with you guys this week and safe travels to Portland!
Thanks, girl! It was FABULOUS to meet-up w/ you guys in Eugene. Look forward to seeing ya again in San Diego this winter!
Looks like the wine might have been flowing pretty freely in the first picture…LOL I can just say one thing, three times about this blog…AGREE, AGREE, AGREE!
Hehe…yes, agree right back at ya!
we don’t regularly run into the “social rv’ers” but that has more to do with where we choose to park our rig I think (I hope???) than with anything else…
Most likely. I have to admit we’ve had even more social interactions than before we went RVing. It’s a great lifestyle!
Loved the info and all the pics. Have recently started planning a trip to the Oregon area. This will be a great help for our trip. Thanks again.
Cool! Enjoy your trip. The coast is simply fabulous!
Most Rv’ers are fun, social and happy people. We appreciate our meeting you and Paul in Austin, TX this past spring, which led to us following your adventures on your blog. We enjoy you sharing your experiences, happy occasions and something dear to my heart – your beautiful pictures! And, probably most importantly our shared love of animals – especially our doggies!! We look forward to one day meeting you on the road somewhere again. May you always have happy travels, fun times and lets share a toast to all wonderful, happy, friendly RV’ers.
So definitely enjoyed meeting you too! Still remember your 2 gorgeous doggies at McKinney SP. It’s wonderful to have you travelling along with us on the blog and hope to see ya again if we make it thro’ Loveland (or on the road!)
Cherie @Technomadia says
I just love reading about all the RVer meet-ups that happen all over the country! It’s an awesome asset to this lifestyle, and the interconnected web of friendships is just wonderful. And plus, it’s so much fun to see pictures of friends meeting up with friends 🙂
Isn’t it just the best? I do love these meet-ups!
Reassuring post, guys! I traveled full-time 7 years (not as an RVer) and seemed to have more friends then than I have the past 3 years at a full-time job. I’m also a natural nomad, and kind of suspected (and hope) I’ll feel more a sense of community again when I’m more in my “element” again as a full-time RVer next spring. Thanks!
Totally with you. Our RVing life has been waaay more social than our stix&brix life. Hope ya get back on the road soon!
You are completely right,we have made many friends during our 10 RV years ,with some we stay in-touch through the e-mail and some we meet again – and it is always fun and interesting.
I’ve seen you meet-up w/ old friends on your blog while on the road. Always love reading about those connections!
Technosyncratic Travel says
The photo of all the dogs together is too cute. 🙂 We met up with Matt and Bree in Austin and they were so much fun – the one thing I wish about our time RVing is that we had slowed our pace down so we had more opportunities to hang out with others on the road!
Yeah, we talked about you guys at dinner (all good) and figured out we’d both meet you. You guys just gotta come back and do it again 🙂
The dogs did seem to be better behaved. Just an observation.
I keep coming back to that first photo.
I’ve been wanting to say “something”, and I just keep clicking away, ’cause I don’t quite know….and I always try to play nice. Which means I usually then don’t say anything. But it’s just too compelling. I can’t help it.
*thinks long and hard*
OK…there’s the “lion” pose (or whatever) in Yoga? But I didn’t think that it was ever for pictures.
There. I said something. Please don’t hate me.