Think about the last time you stayed in a hotel. Did you walk across the hall, knock on the door and introduce yourself? Some people may do that, but for most of us, the answer is a resounding “no.”
But now you are part of the RV community and meeting your fellow travelers isn’t out of the norm at all! In fact, many people look for new opportunities to meet like-minded people. No matter what stage or circumstance of your RV adventure you’re in, you’ll likely find that the RV community is very warm and inclusive. Here are a few suggestions to help you find “your people” in the RV world.
Why build a community around RVing?
We’re social animals. Some find it easy to make friends and strike up conversations. Others find it a bit more difficult. But in the end, everyone likes the feeling of belonging. Feelings of belonging aside, there are practical reasons for an RV community, too.
Communities share knowledge, and RV owners excel in this. They share tips, lessons learned, and road condition information all the time. From sharing what route is the best way to get to Mount Rushmore to what pump-out stations are hard to pull into and where to find the best gas prices, helping others is second nature to RV owners. Meeting fellow enthusiasts can enhance your travels, create unforgettable memories, and open doors to exciting experiences.
The other big advantage is support. Especially if you are a newer owner, sometimes it’s helpful to have someone who can give you some reassurance, or even sympathy, over something that is frustrating to learn or hindering your travels.
One of the easiest ways to start meeting people in the RV community is to join a club. The big dog in this area is the Good Sam Club. You’ve probably seen their stickers on the back of RVs before. A Good Sam membership brings a lot of discounts and insurance opportunities, along with some events and RV tours. The club plans tours like attending the Balloon Festival in New Mexico or going to watch a polar bear migration in Canada. They also host discussion forums and online communities.
Another great option is the Escapees RV Club. The club sponsors not only events on a national scale but is also active on a more local scale. They have dozens of chapters spread across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Escapees is also active on digital highways. They have virtual campfires, webinars, and conferences, such as one devoted to working remotely. Another way they build community is with their “Birds of a Feather” groups, dedicated to shared interests like amateur radios, pets, or knitting. You know, the kind of thing friends bond over.
Bring the whole family along
Families aren’t left out in these clubs. An offshoot of the Escapees is the Xscapers. This lifestyle group focuses on working-aged RV owners and families that are living the full-time RV life. Among other things, the group sponsors gatherings called convergences. A great example is one planned for April 2024 in Paris, Texas. Why this small Texas town of less than 25,000 people? Because it’s going to be one of the best spots on the planet to witness the full solar eclipse happening that month.
Another group is Fulltime Families. As the name implies, this group’s focus is on families that are choosing to embrace a nomadic lifestyle. FTF uses both location and interest-based groups, as well as social media to connect like-minded families. It’s also not uncommon for an FTF member to post about a breakdown or some other difficulty and have another member's family show up to help.
Meetup groups are nothing new. They launched back in 2002. But there are a lot of very active groups in the RV Community that can be found on Meetup. Searching around lets you find groups based on location (like this group in Florida), shared interests, or family or woman-focused groups. Just head to the Meetup website and start searching for what interests you!
Sometimes the solo RV traveler gets overlooked, even though it’s just as important (if not more so!) for solo travelers to find and build a community en route. Loners on Wheels is a network of single individuals with a common interest in camping and traveling. The group has state and area chapters that enjoy planned campouts together.
Another opportunity for solo travelers is the Wandering Individuals Network. A large, diverse group boasting RVers who drive everything from car campers to class A coaches, Wandering Individuals describes themselves as location independent folks who are connected by their shared desire to live a simple life full of adventures and activities.
Attend RV Rallies and Gatherings
RV rallies and gatherings offer fantastic opportunities to connect with others in the RV community who share your passion. These events bring together a diverse community of travelers, providing a platform to socialize, learn, and develop new connections. Rallies may be organized by RV clubs, manufacturers, or specific interest groups. By participating, you'll be surrounded by fellow enthusiasts, creating the perfect environment for bonding over shared experiences, swapping travel stories, and exchanging valuable tips and advice.
Admittedly, this suggestion is a little bit of a gamble. A lot of people that you will find aren’t in the RV life yet. They’re just curious about it. And there are salespeople and company reps to contend with. Of course, the biggest “danger” might be to your checkbook once you see a new piece of gear you simply can’t live without! But it can also be a great place to meet a new friend that will join you on your next trip.
Volunteer for RV-related Causes
Making a positive impact while connecting with fellow RVers is a rewarding way to contribute to the community. Consider volunteering for RV-related causes, such as state or national park cleanup initiatives, charity events, or community service projects. Participating in these activities not only allows you to meet others who share your commitment to giving back but also provides opportunities to build lasting relationships with individuals who align with your values and interests.
Make the First Move
The simplest way to meet more of the RV community is 100% free: Make the first move. The next time you are at a campground, invite neighbors to your campfire! Of course, follow good etiquette by not knocking on doors or showing up uninvited, but an invitation at the pool or laundry room is likely to be very well received.
As an RV owner, you are part of a friendly and welcoming community. Actively seeking connections will enhance your RVing adventure, create lasting friendships, and enable you to share incredible experiences with fellow enthusiasts. Embrace the journey, be open to new connections, and relish the joys of being a part of the RV community. Happy travels!
Ready to build your RV community from an RV of your own?
With so many wonderful options out there, finding the right RV for you is never an easy decision! That’s why our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always available to help you choose from the highest quality coaches (and more) from top manufacturers. Find a location near you today, or shop our online inventory and let our experts help you find the perfect RV to help you start building your RV community right away.