This Monday we continue our weekly topic about full time RV living. We’ll begin calling this series “Word of the Week”. This week’s word is “caravanning” and is all about traveling with a group!
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Over the last two months we’ve been traveling around the desert with friends, exploring parts of southern California and Arizona. This was our first time traveling in a group and we really enjoyed the bonds we created and the opportunity for new experiences.
We started out with four rigs in our caravan and are solo once again, as we all parted ways to continue on with our previous travel plans and routes for the year. It’s hard to say goodbye, but we are excited to head back to our hometown for a visit with family and friends and we look forward to meeting up again down the road.
There are many benefits of group travel and I think the most obvious and precious is the socialization. It can get pretty lonely out on the road sometimes. We’re naturally introverted and enjoy our alone time, but we can get lost in our own world and not hang out with other people for months at a time! It’s nice to reconnect with friends and spend some time really getting to know one another. Nomadic friendships can be brief and sporadic, so it’s nice to be able to learn more about one another over the course of a few weeks.
It’s also nice to have the added layer of security that caravanning offers. We have a support group, and wealth of different knowledge and resources should anyone break down, get stuck.. etc There is definitely strength in numbers and it can be an extra reassurance to fall asleep knowing friends are nearby. A lot of nomads organize caravans when traveling to unfamiliar areas, like Mexico and Alaska. Its great to experience these new places together and helps remove some of the anxiety of traveling alone in an unfamiliar landscape.
Caravanning can be really fun! It opened us up to new experiences that we might not have had if we were by ourselves! We went off-roading in the desert, explored a ghost town, had outdoor movie nights, potlucks and so much more! These activities are not typical for us and it was nice to change things up!
There are a few challenges to consider that are usually very minimal and just come with the territory of coordinating with a large group of individuals. It may be a little different than your typical travel style, but we found it rewarding and interesting to change things up.
We all have different schedules, budgets and preferences, so decisions can take a little longer to make, in order to accommodate everyone. This merely takes patience or one “take charge” individual willing to guide everyone in the right direction.You will also have to decide how to choose the locations you want to camp, we all had a general route in mind, so we just shared the research of different camping locations until we found something we liked.
Caravanning also means making a plan for moving days that will coincide with everyones work schedules and deciding how long you want to stay in each location. We used walkie talkies en route, to help navigate, keep the group together and stay informed (It’s also extremely fun and we recommend team names).
There are a few different ways to go about organizing a caravan of your own. The first step is just put yourself out there. We recommend getting involved in the RVing community by joining groups or club such as Escapees / Xscapers and attending those convergences and rallies to meet like minded people. It really helped us make friendships our first year on the road.
There are also some more organized ways to go about it, such as signing up for a scheduled caravan offered by different tour company or membership program. Passport America offers rallies throughout the year at different locations across the country, where they book all the campgrounds, make arrangements for food, bus tours, entertainment and more! This year PA is hosting a three-region caravan during May/June and a Rocky Mountain Caravan in August/September.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to join some RV related Facebook groups and get involved in the discussions, you can ask if anyones nearby and set up meet and greets or organize a social gathering. Sometimes you just run into folks out on the road and really hit it off and happen to be headed in the same direction, this has happened to us multiple times!
The best part about this lifestyle is that we can do things on our own terms and move in and out of social situations as we please. RVers tend to have less expectations and understand this lifestyle often pulls us in different directions. It can be bittersweet to say goodbye to new and old friends, but the open road has a way of bringing people back together again, and in the most unexpected places!
UPDATE: We’ve begun work on a new music project! In April we’ll enter the recording studio to capture an album inspired by life on the road. If you’ve found our blogs informative or inspirational, please give this a look. We need your help to complete the album.
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