Meeting other full-time RVers while on the road and making new friends while full-time RVing can be a challenge, but it is far from impossible. When we first started full-time RVing, we wondered if we would only hang out with each other until we head home for the holidays. Luckily, we’ve met other full-timer RVers, hung out with some awesome weekend-RVers, and became friends with some really great people.
It can be done with a little effort and willingness to reach out.
Instagram and Facebook are great ways to connect with other full-time RVers and travelers. In my opinion, it is easier to find people with similar interests and locations on Instagram, so we’ll start with Insta.
First things first, make sure your account is set to public. If your account is private, only your followers will see your post – no matter what hashtags you use – so people are less likely to find and follow you. Remember social media is a two-way street, so these tips will help you get your profile ready for people to find you, but you also have to start reaching out to others.
Let people know about you
Make sure your bio says you are full-time RVing/Traveling/Van-life-ing it. Then, add your current location and your next stop to your bio. You want to make it as easy as possible for other full-time travelers to know that you are also on the road and where you’re at/heading.
If you see that you’re in the same location as someone, comment on their recent post (especially, if they mention the location) or send them a DM (direct message) to see if they’d like to hang out. Simple.
Tag the location on your posts
By tagging the location on your Instagram post, you are allowing your post to show up when someone searches for that location in Instagram.
On the page where you create your caption, there is an “Add Location” button. Simply click it, and pick from the list of suggested locations. You can go as broad as the state or as specific as the campground name. I recommend something in between. For example, use the city rather than the state or National Park name rather than the specific campground. Here’s why…
More people are going to look for posts tagged as “Glacier National Park” than “Apgar Campground.” If you’re trying to meet people, you want to show up where the most people are looking.
So, you’ve shared your post with your specific, but not too specific, location tagged. Next, go to your feed and tap the location above your post. This will pull up all the other Instagram users’ posts who have tagged that same location. Start scrolling and clicking on peoples profiles.
When you see someone else who is full-timing (or maybe just on vacation camping), reach out by either commenting on a recent post or DMing them.
Hashtags, Hashtags, and oh, Hashtags for full-time RVers
You don’t have to get hashtag crazy. In fact, Instagram would prefer you not get hashtag crazy – but that’s a conversation for a different day. However, using a few different hashtags for your location can increase your chances of being found by other full-timers. Using Glacier National Park as an example, you can do #montana #glaciernationalpark #exploreglacier #apgarcampground. Hashtags allow you to tag several locations – broad and specific – where the Location tag only allows one.
Beyond just your location, include a few RV specific hashtags. Try #fulltimeRV or #RVlife. These hashtags will help you find other full-time RVers, and by checking their bio, you can see if they are nearby.
Using hashtags as your starting point, you’ll find people in similar locations and with similar RV interests, so start reaching out. From what we’ve experienced, the majority of full-time travelers want to meet up with people living the same lifestyle. If you have some introverted-tendencies (where are my introverts at – raise your hand), don’t get all weird and shy about reaching out to people. Trust me, the worst that’s going to happen is they won’t be able to hang out, but the best-case scenario, you hang out and become lifelong full-time RV friends.
With hashtags and location targeting, I find it easier to connect with people on Instagram, but I find it easier to build community on Facebook. Here’s how…
Facebook Groups work almost like a forum and a club combined. It’s a great place to ask questions and share about your travels. You can create a new thread – for example, if you travel with three dogs and your vacuum cleaner breaks after 3 months and you need suggestions, you simply post the question and other members of the group can reply. Or you can ask where people will be for the eclipse, which is a great way to see who is traveling near you.
Facebook Groups allow for more dialog and conversation, so you get to know people a little better. The wall (where all the comments are posted) also serves as a great resource. You can scroll through to see what questions have been asked and get information that way.
If you’re not part of a Facebook Group for Full-time Travel, feel free to join our group – we’ve made some great connections online and will hopefully cross paths with some other members soon.
We’d love to be friends! Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch.
3. Host Websites
Using host websites like Boondockers Welcome is another way to meet fellow RVers. Typically, they aren’t full-timing, but it is an easy to way to meet people and get a local’s suggestion on things to do.
With Boondockers Welcome, you pay an annual fee of $25 and can boondock on other members’ property or yards. We’ve only had great boondocking experiences and have met the most wonderful people. Occasionally, the host does have space for several RVers, so you may meet other full-timers that way.
If you’re looking to meet and hang out with people local to the area you’re in, Boondockers Welcome is a great way to do it. There are several other websites out there, but this is the only one we’ve used. If you have a favorite, let us know if the comments.
Campgrounds and RV Parks
Sometimes we stay on National Forest Land or BLM land that has free dispersed camping. In these places, we rarely run into other RVers, which is where social media comes into play. But at campgrounds and RV parks, you’re surrounded by other RVers.
4. Just say “Hey”
This is easier for my extroverted peeps (Luke – not me!). What we’ve learned from talking to people at campgrounds is that pretty much everyone is in a good mood – once their rig is level. And RVers/campers are the nicest people ever.
We haven’t met other full-time RVers this way (at least not yet), but we’ve made amazing friends. We even “camped” outside someone’s house who we met at a campground the month before. You may only hang out a few nights or you may make friends for life, but you have to go introduce yourself. Dogs and offering wine always make it easier!
5. Full-time Sticker
Get your rig a full-time sticker. With over 100 out there already, we’re hoping these stickers will be an easier conversation starter for full-time RVers. Plus, it makes it easy to know who is full-time traveling, so you don’t have to guess. You can join the “club” here.
Making friends on the road doesn’t have to be difficult. Make sure your location is easy for others to find, join websites or groups of other full-timers, and don’t be afraid to reach out – even if you’re super introverted.
We’d love to hang out with you! Check out our Instagram to see where we are and leave us a comment if you’re nearby.