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Staying Young

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Is it possible that motorhome enthusiasts have found the fountain of youth? Everyone wants to look and feel younger, especially the majority of RVers, who are not exactly spring chickens. The RV lifestyle is a pretty simple prescription for feeling younger than our actual ages suggest. All we have to do is jump in the motorhome and the years will melt away.

Wait a minute. We’re often reminded – or even bombarded – through marketing campaigns that to stay young and vibrant we need to drink Ensure, take vitamins, eat the right food and take a bunch of meds so our minds and bodies stay fresh. Probably not bad advice, along with lots of exercise and healthy living habits, but getting out in a motorhome is often the best – and purest – medicine. Just take a look at what goes on in campgrounds and social gatherings. The energy level is astounding.

OK, I know; what goes on in campgrounds, stays in campgrounds, so don’t expect me to spill my guts. I will tell you that I have participated in a number of activities over the years that have our kids wondering who the grown-ups are in our family. My wife, Lynne, loves to ask, “Do the kids know what their parents are doing?” Not acting their age, of course, which leads to laughter, great friendships and rejuvenated souls, physically and mentally.

Campgrounds and rally sites are our playgrounds. As Jeff Crider writes in the article “Campground Commitment,” people are even getting married in campgrounds. I can relate to that; one of my sons was married in a campground and the ceremony led to lasting memories. In this case, I could have been accused of instigating the wedding plans, since everyone knows I’d rather be in a campground than a hotel. But it was not my idea; I think credit for that decision goes to years of exposure to the RV lifestyle as a family.

No doubt, the trend for hosting special events in campgrounds will continue to expand. We often look for opportunities to take our celebrations away from home. I remember the many times we had our turkey feast for Thanksgiving in a campground, or partied for New Year’s Eve with other campground guests gathered in the social hall. Other events included a nonstop three-day Cinco de Mayo celebration, fabulous forays over the Fourth of July and birthdays, retirements, music festivals, or any other reason to hit the road.

If you really want to experience a vibrant RV community, attend a rally. At press time, I just returned from the Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally in Forest City, Iowa. Soaring temperatures and humidity didn’t curtail the festivities and partying. The annual food walk where attendees sample culinary favorites inherent to the individual states and Canada exemplifies high energy. Rocking to the cool sounds of a ’60s surf band kept everyone wound up before heading back to individual parties under the awnings. Young people don’t have a lock on having fun and being animated.

If you want to keep the summer fun going into fall, consider attending The Rally sponsored by Dish, in Daytona, Fla., Nov. 2-4 (early bird days start Oct. 31). In typical rally fashion, there will be plenty of social events to keep our energy levels fully charged. The entertainment, highlighted by Reba McEntire, will give us another chance to stretch out those sore muscles from miles of walking through exhibits and attending hours of seminar presentations. And don’t tell the kids about the mosh pits in Louisville in June and during the entertainment at previous rallies. That kind of behavior is not just reserved for teenagers. I suspect Daytona will be just as lively.

While the fountain of youth may be imaginary, the motorhome lifestyle is the real secret to staying young.

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