10 Helpful Tips For Making Friends While Living Fulltime In An RV

Building a community while living fulltime in an RV and traveling can seem a bit difficult at first. With RV living you are always moving and living your life on the road, then how can you really connect and build friendships? This was definitely a fear of ours, as our four children really valued the friendships they had created before we left home.

Below is a guest post by our friends at Lets Travel Family!

Tony and I hit the road for our first road trip as a full-time RV living family with 4 kids in the Spring of 2017. We knew how exciting it would be, but we also worried a bit about how to make and keep friends while traveling and not having a permanent home base.

If we’re constantly moving around and spent years on the road, how would we foster the deep friendships that can be such an important part of childhood? Beyond that, how would any of us really find community?

Living In An RV Fulltime

We weren’t sure how this would work, but we were ready to test it out. During the first 6 months of full-time RVing, we questioned whether we made the right choice. Choosing to be a traveling family with kids is a daunting thing, especially when community and connection is so important for us!

First 6 Months

In those first six months of travel, we only met one other family that had children who also traveled full-time.

During the summer season and around holidays, there are kids at almost every campground, RV park, State Park, National Park, and beach across the Nation. Yet during the workweek and fall/winter, we were lucky to find grandparents among the retirees. There may have been a family here or there, but more often than not, our school-age children were the only ones around.

However, once we hit Florida, that all changed. In the wintertime, it’s common for the southern areas to fill up as all the “snowbirds” flock to warmer climates. If you live in an RV year-round, then you have to think ahead to where you will spend the winter so that your pipes don’t freeze and you can enjoy the outdoors. Many full time RVers or full-timers winter in Southern California, Arizona or Florida. During our first winter, we experienced more than just retirees; we found families!


Once we arrived in Florida, our mindset completely changed. No longer did we feel like lone voyagers on an abandoned island.

Making friends living fulltime in an RV

My husband Tony and I have talked about this several times, and when people ask us what our favorite place is that we’ve visited we often say Florida. It’s not just because Florida is nice and warm. I think we feel this way because we made some amazing friendships and connections once we arrived in the state.

Our confidence in living the RV lifestyle really began to build and we began making some life-long friendships. It’s the connections we made that really made this area such a sweet spot for our family.

To that note, if we had met other full-time families somewhere like Arizona or Tennessee, we most likely would be holding those places as our nearest and dearest! It wasn’t about the place. Finding simple bucket list ideas that our family could experience in many different destinations kept our wanderlust happy. It was so much more about the sense of community we felt by the people passing through the areas we visited that made such an impact on us.

Building friendships and community has become SO important to our family that we have been known to drive hundreds of miles out of our way to spend time with friends. How do we even get to know these friends though, without having to winter in Florida first?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Join Fulltime Families.

There are many membership sites out there for RVing, and although I’ve found some great ones, we really were yearning to find one with a family focus above everything else. When we stumbled upon the Fulltime Families group on Facebook, we saw that there are many people doing exactly what we were dreaming of doing!

We became members before we even launched, sitting on the sidelines and soaking in all the conversations going on in the private members Facebook group. We were a little gun-shy about putting our voice out there, so we didn’t reach out, letting fear stand in the way of actually connecting in real life. But guess what – those real-life connections are what make it so much better! Don’t hesitate to reach out! This leads us to number two.

Share where you’ll be!

Reach out and let people know in the Fulltime Families Member’s Facebook Page that you will be arriving at Yellowstone National Park next week and would love to meet up with anyone. People will respond and you may be hosting an impromptu potluck in your RV kitchen meeting new friends in no time.

Once you get to know these people, you’ll see they aren’t a scary group, they may be diverse but all have the goal of family connection in common, and they are more than happy to hang out. I’ve found people tend to be even more friendly in this environment, because, unlike a stationary neighbor, if you don’t click, you can simply say goodbye and move on. So people tend to be quick to connect and reach out.

Go to a Rally!

What is a rally, you may ask? This is one of the main reasons why you would join a membership group like Full Time Families. They hold rallies throughout the year where you can connect with other members, do field trips, and hold a great “family camp” like event. Attend a rally as early as you can once you begin RVing.

As soon as we attended our first rally, we knew that we needed to make it to many more, because of the friendships that blossomed from being able to connect in person. We ended up attending 3 FTF rallies in 6 months!!

Fulltime Families Rallies

Connect with family and friends along the way.

Meet-up with distant family and friends across the country as you travel. It’s all about being intentional with your time and location. We planned a lot of our travel during our first year to stop by our friend’s homes in Charleston, South Carolina or in Orlando, Florida to visit and connect.

Then they would tell us about great places to visit, playgrounds that are the best, and the kids would have so many options to make new friends on the road. Connecting with locals is such a great way to get the inside scoop on fun things to do that may be off the beaten path.

Hanging out with friends while living fulltime in an RV

Network with friends of friends.

Really, this means that if your new friend Ashley tells you, “You should connect with Bryanna, you ladies would get along great!” – you should listen. Then text her, connect with her on Facebook, etc. That simple introduction may end up with you sitting in your car one day, watching your kids play on the playground in Charleston, SC, having an hour-long phone conversation with this new friend who’s hanging in Baja, Mexico!

You may not have met every one of these friends in person (yet), but the credibility of a friend – someone you know, like and trust – to recommend a “friend match” is a way to fast-forward your community for sure.

Connecting via phone, e-mail, text, Facebook messenger etc. are all great ways to reach out. Then you can start planning when you may be able to meet up in person!

Connect on social media.

Instagram and Facebook groups are a great way to build an online friendship and connection with another family. I’ve found something as simple as commenting and helping another may result in you striking up a conversation with someone you may click with. It’s a bit less scary meeting in person someone who has a personal trail online – you can see their pictures and get to know them before you even meet in person. Then, you can message each other and try to connect beyond the internet.

Think outside the box.

Find families at local libraries, playgrounds, children’s and science museums. Then try to start up a conversation. Even if you never see this family again, making temporary friendships can really help fill a void you may have that week if you aren’t visiting any family or friends.

Schedule a weekly Zoom, Skype or FaceTime call with a friend!

We have great intentions of picking up the phone and calling our friends, yet when parenting and life gets in the way, those random check-ins just don’t happen. I’ve found putting them on the schedule for a consistent time, like a certain time a week or date of the month, is a great way to really ensure it happens. Or making it a routine that on Sunday mornings you call to check in with friends or family back ‘home’ can really help you keep those relationships strong.

Play games online.

Our kids play Minecraft online in a private realm a few days a week or during travel days. They have invited their close friends that we’ve met on the road and their cousins and friends from back in Minnesota to join their realm and then they can connect online. It’s almost like having the friend next to you playing a game, yet they could be 1,000 miles away! Our kids even FaceTime on their iPads while they are playing online, which is such a great way for them to keep in touch.

Word Chums is another app that our children play on their ipads, yet this game they play with their grandmas and friends. It’s an ongoing game where everyone takes a turn when they pick up their phone or iPad to make a word, a lot like Scrabble. There are many options out there for online games depending on your comfort level as a parent and the age of your kiddo.

Write a letter or postcard.

Our kids do this more often than Tony and I, but they love sending small things back to friends in distance places. Our daughter recently bought friendship-necklaces for her and her 2 good friends from Minnesota and mailed them along with a few letters. It builds a connection and community across the miles and is such a great way to share our experiences and joys with friends in other places.

Keeping an open mind and allowing friendships to come in all shapes and sizes can really improve your chance of making those amazing connections with others while traveling. From your children meeting new friends on a NEW playground each week, to connecting with a new friend through social media yourself. The possibilities are endless.

You may find a new friendship blooming in the couple that is next door to you, only to find out they don’t have children. Yet, it feels amazing to make that connection!

We have noticed such a deep bond that has formed and continued to grow between our own children while being on the road. Don’t get me wrong, they are siblings, so they still bicker at times. Yet, as I stand back and look at the big picture here, I realize that they have become each other’s best friends and look out for one another, growing bonds that will last their lifetimes.


In her memoir, A City Year, Suzanne Goldsmith offers her own definition of the word community:

“Communities are not built of friends, or of groups with similar styles and tastes, or even of people who like and understand each other. They are built of people who feel they are part of something that is bigger than themselves: a shared goal or enterprise, like righting a wrong, or building a road, or raising children, or living honorably, or worshiping a god. To build community requires only the ability to see value in others, to look at them and see a potential partner in one’s enterprise.”

Think outside of what you might believe ‘community’ is, and you might find that the connections, friendships, and bonds that your family makes while traveling can be very fulfilling.

Learn more:

For more on RV Life, health insurance, RV storage space, what is like to live on the road and full time living check out:

Fun And Simple RV Remodel Ideas For Your 5th Wheel

RV Living – 68 Things You Will Want To Know [Free eBook]

How To Make A Successful Income While Full Time RVing

RV Living With Kids – What We’ve Learned After 2 Years

10 Unexpected Things About Living In A RV Full-time

10 things we learned from 365 days of living and traveling in an RV

11 Things We Have Learned After 3 Years Of Full Time RV Living

The Evolving Emotions of Full Time Family RV Travel

How We Became A Full Time RV Family

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Building a strong community while living fulltime in an RV and traveling can be difficult. Here are 10 top tips to help you build an amazing relationships while on the road for both you and your kids. RV Life is so much fun with friends.

Jill Greising-Murschel
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4 thoughts on “10 Helpful Tips For Making Friends While Living Fulltime In An RV”

  1. Thanks for the article. My family is planning on full time travel with 3 children in our new 5th wheel starting this spring. We are super excited to start exploring our country full time with our children. It’s super inspiring to follow blogs like yours and see others doing what we’ve always wanted to do. Thank you for your help for articles and hopefully we’ll see you on the road sometime!

  2. Great article, making connections while traveling is a priority our family wants to accomplish while traveling. These suggestions are awesome. Thank you!

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