Perhaps your retirement fund has evaporated with the stock market, or you’ve lost your job and now have to dip into the savings you’d put aside to buy that dream RV just to pay the bills. Even if you’ve got your rig and were ready to hit the road, it’s a short road to nowhere right now with all the travel restrictions.
While it can be incredibly disheartening to have to put your big plans on hold, there are things you can still do during this forced time-out to help move you in the right direction, or help others while you can’t yet start your dream journey.
Here’s our list of 5 great things to do if you have to delay that big RV trip because of the coronavirus:
- Offer your RV to your local hospital or front-line healthcare workers for self-isolation after shifts.
If you already have an RV, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have the opportunity to take it out during the next couple of months. But there are front-line healthcare providers who are desperate for a comfortable home on wheels that they can park in their driveway or at their workplace so they can self-isolate between shifts.
The amazing dedication of healthcare workers during this crisis has been overwhelming to see, but beyond the long shifts and their own possible exposure to COVID, they are often faced with the scary possibility that they will infect their families.
The RVs 4 MDs Facebook group is organized by volunteers, and healthcare workers in need of RVs can post looking for a match in their neighborhood. Post on the group, but also be sure to fill out the form from step 2 of their instructions so that volunteers can try to match you up directly.
If there are no matches in your area, you could try just putting the word out on your own social groups - there are a lot of people working in essential services in every part of the continent, and any of them may find themselves wanting or needing to quarantine from their family for their safety.
- Fix up (or soup up) your RV
If your RV isn’t in need by someone who needs it for self-isolation, now is a great time for some DIY fixes and upgrades!
Here are some resources for RV modifications that you might consider now. Even if you can’t go to the hardware store, many are offering online ordering and curb-side pickup, or there’s a slew of companies that are still shipping items for your rig.
Hint: If you need to buy something online, go straight to the seller if possible to get better shipping times; Amazon is backed up for months in some parts of the country (plus you’ll be helping a small business rather than a big corporation).
Recent blog posts on Boondockers Welcome:
- 5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Update Your RV
- It’s a Great Time For RV Modifications
- What You Need to Know Before Restoring That Vintage Travel Trailer
Other great resources:
- TheRVGeeks - our goto great team that has the answers to most of your questions when doing RV maintenance.
- RV With Tito - Another fantastic YouTube channel with videos and advice on just about every modification or repair you might need to make.
- DoItYourselfRV - A website with everything from inspirational articles showing others RV builds to guides on different modifications. Check out their guide on deep-cleaning your RV while quarantined!
- Plan, plan, plan
If you’re not usually a planner, then now might be the time to become one. The truth is that even being a ‘blow with the wind” type or RVer requires some research in advance to make sure that you’ll have multiple options to choose from when you reach a destination without a campground reservation.
- Now is a great time to check out all the new Boondockers Welcome hosts. (Would you believe that we had 100 new hosts sign up in March!?!?) Hosts calendars don’t open up for stay requests until at most 2 months before a date, so while you won’t be able to contact them until we’re all ready to start travelling again (and you have activated your guest privileges subscription), you can certainly start checking them out and planning! Make sure to log into your account (create one for free if you don’t have one yet), so you can add hosts who might fit in with your route to your favorites list. And to keep up to date as new hosts are added, make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter.
- Install FreeRoam on your mobile device and start planning with it! This great app shows you campgrounds across North America and lets you filter by things like price (and it includes lots of free camping options!), cell signal, proximity to a dump, and more. It also shows overnight locations like Walmarts and Cracker Barrels, and lets you overlay data like BLM land, cell signal coverage and more. It also includes a trip planner that helps you plan routes between campgrounds with stops for gas & food en-route.
- Hone your remote work skills
Many people are suddenly finding themselves working remotely in a job that they never thought would allow it. This could be a major opportunity for those who are hoping to transition to longer-term RV living.
- If you’re working remotely now, show your current boss that you can be just as productive as before, if not more so. This might mean stopping reading apocalypse twitter (easier said than done!), but if at the end it means that you show you can do your job fully remotely, it might mean that you can start your RV adventure sooner than planned, rather than later! Remember that you’re gaining time that would otherwise be lost to the commute, and you don’t have all the typical in-person distractions of an office, so try to use those to your advantage. (Although if you have children at home, you're probably losing more time than you're gaining... and I feel your pain!)
- If you think your job will never be able to let you go fully remote, you can still use this time to learn a lot of skills that would look good on a resume if you apply for a fully remote job. “Self-directed remote worker?” Check. “Experience using Slack and Zoom for communication?” Check.
- Take this time to make yourself A Manager of One. This is the kind of person any remote-first company (and I predict there will be a lot more of them when this is all over) will be looking to hire. Anything you can do now to remake yourself in the image of that ideal hire will be beneficial.
- If you’re suddenly jobless in this stressful time with no likely work on the horizon, use this time if possible to create some sort of project that you can release out into the world. Learn some basic web design and make a simple webapp, or watch some YouTube videos about graphic design and create an icon set that you can publish on FlatIcon or a similar marketplace. Even if you don’t make money from what you’ve created, learning a skill and having a self-directed project that you can link to in a resume will be of immense value if you start looking for a remote job.
- Become a Boondockers Welcome host
If your RV trip is being put on the back burner for a while, why not sign up as a Boondockers Welcome host in the meantime? While it may be some time before the world is ready for you to welcome RVing guests, once travel is possible again you’ll find a wealth of advice and adventure can come right to your doorstep as a host.
RVers from around the world will share their experiences, let you check out their rigs, and give you a lot of insight into what your future RV travel might look like. If you have the time and inclination right now you might consider adding an electrical hookup for your own rig or any guests, but that’s by no means a requirement -- all Boondockers Welcome hosts are required to provide is a safe spot to pull in and park for the night.
If you won’t be able to get out on the road for a while when this is all over, letting the RV world come to you might be the next best thing.