The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates that there are more than 9 million RV-owning households, many of them women. Nonetheless, several years ago, while traveling across country by RV, Zoe Swanagon and Lovern King rarely saw other women on the road by themselves. “I think part of the reason is that women don’t tend to let it be known they are traveling alone, perhaps for security reasons,” said King.
They also found that RV parks and camp activities were usually aimed at couples. In 1991, while attending an RV rally in California, they posted a notice for a meeting of independent women RVers. The turnout was so large that another was promptly scheduled for the next day. At these meetings, women expressed their loneliness on the road and their desire to make connections with other women. Thus was born the now-popular group, RVing Women.
By 1993, the club had outgrown its fifth wheel trailer office, and a permanent headquarters was established in Apache Junction, Ariz. Today, however, the group is more loosely headquartered, working from their homes and communicating via email and the World Wide Web. The group, the “only international support network solely for women RVers,” numbers more than 2,000.
Members range in age from 20s to 80s with most between 50 and 65. About one-third are retired or semi-retired. Most drive motorhomes, although some don’t even own an RV, but are interested in learning more about the lifestyle.
Many of the members are newly widowed, facing the challenge of RVing alone for the first time. Some are still married, but travel without their husbands who are unable or don’t care to travel. Others travel alone or with a friend.
RVing Women conducts a national program of rallies, classes and caravans with other activities are organized through local chapters.
National rallies are scheduled in many states and Canadian provinces and include educational seminars with topics including personal safety and preventive maintenance. Social and recreational activities are also included.
Visit the RVing Women website to learn more.