One of the big questions that fulltime RVers face is what about your friends and family? This is a big question and was a big concern for us.  We have two grown daughters who are both married and we have seven grandchildren between the ages of seven and fourteen.  We have three grandsons and four granddaughters.  Our eldest daughter and family lived in the same city as us and attended the church we pastored.  So, we were used to seeing them several times a week.  Our youngest daughter lived ten hours away and we would see them two to four times a year.  Because we spent our adult life in the ministry, we have friends we care for scattered around the country.

One of the things that has helped us maintain meaningful contact with family and friends is technology.  Mary and I both have cell phones so we are always able to make contact with those we care about.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  I hate it because it can be such a mess of misinformation at times. I hate it because stupid people get even more stupid when they use social media.  It really aggravates me when posts want to test my “friendship” by liking a post or reposting it etc.  I promise you I will not do that to prove “friendship.” If that is your test for my “friendship” I surely am not your friend!  I really get steamed when liking your post or reposting your post becomes a test for my faith in God! You don’t even want to go there with me!

But I love social media because it allows me to keep track of what’s going on in the lives of the people I care about.  I like seeing photos and videos they post and comments they make about what’s going on with them.  It is so easy to use FB Messenger or Instant Messaging to have almost real time conversations with others.  I love it when we do video calls with our kids or grandkids. Zoom meeting with friends and family members is such a cool thing! Listen, I can remember how cool it was when we got an extra-long cord for the only telephone in the house so me and my sister could take the phone into our rooms and have a private conversation with someone.  So, something like a Zoom meeting really rocks my world! We have become the Jetsons!

While traveling can make maintaining relationships harder, it can also allow you to do things you could have never done before.  We are in our fifth week in Winona, Minnesota.  We are here because this is where daughter number two lives.  Before we retired and began to travel with our home, we could  never have done this.  I mean really, who wants the relatives to come and visit for five weeks!  Like my good friend from Pennsylvania says; “Visiting family are like fish, after about three days they begin to stink!” Here we have been for almost five weeks and we have loved every minute of it. (Number two you can post in the comments your perspective. (Be kind!)).

My sister lives in North Alabama.  We have lived most of our married life up north in Ohio and Michigan.  Visits were way too rare. But now that we are full timing, we have had four extended visits.  We haven’t spent that much time together since she left for the Navy way back in the 1970s.  

Early in our travels we were passing through Louisville, Kentucky.  A number of people we attended college with live in the area. Mary connected with some of them and we were able to meet for dinner.  We had a wonderful visit with them.  While we were stuck in Frankfurt, Kentucky for repairs we were able to connect with two couples we have been friends with for years.  One of the reasons we chose Summerdale for our winter stay is because nearby is my friend Rick. Rick and I have been friends since before we started school.  Our families attended the same church.  We had visited four times since we graduated high school.  It was so much fun being able to spend so much time together over the winter! Connecting with his brother Glen and his wife Susan as well as many of their extended family made our visit even better.  Our friends Steve and Kathy who have been like family over the years spent a few days with is in Summerdale and it was just like old times.  They are going to spend time with us at the Jersey Shore in July and we’ll swing by and visit them in Pennsylvania once we leave the shore.

While we were in Pigeon Forge, we were able to meetup with a former church member. We visited her in her home and had lunch together. It was such a blessing to reconnect with Deborah after all these years.  We also connected with John and Jan who are high school and youth group friends of Mary.  Jan had sung at our wedding.  We visited them in their home and they came and visited us. They were such a joy!

The reality is that living and traveling fulltime in the RV has enabled us to connect with family and friends in ways we never would have had we remained in our sticks and bricks house.

Then there are those new friends we have met along the way. In Summerdale we met Jim and Jean. They have been fulltime RVers for eighteen years. They took us under their wing and taught us newbies a tremendous amount of good information.  To hear of their experiences was so interesting and helpful to us.  I am hopeful that we can connect along the journey one of these days. Our neighbors at the Spirit of the Road Rally in Live Oak, Florida we discovered were going to take the Natchez Trace about the same time we were. We had hoped to meet up there and travel it together.  Then Covid-19 happened and it didn’t work out.  Carol was our neighbor at the Rainbow Plantation and we have connected with her via social media.  Our friends Howard and Barb who we met through Escapees before going full time have already camped with us a few times.  We traveled together to and Escapees National Rally (Escapade), and should be with us in Alaska right now but for the virus. They have enriched our lives.

The point is there are ways to maintain your relationships while you travel and even strengthen them.  Traveling gives you opportunities to re-connect with friends from the past. If you are willing there are new friends along the way.  So, don’t let your relationships keep you from the road. They can get even better. It’s like they say… Absence makes the heart grow fonder!


  1. Miss you both. Hopefully, we’ll get to camp sometime this summer. Alaska is on the calendar for next summer.


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