Year 1 Day 109 Comparing Sailing To RVing: Part 2

This is a continuation of yesterday’s blog comparing our living on a sailboat to our limited experiences living in a RV. This is a first blush comparison since we lived on our sailboat for about 10 years while only living in a RV just over 100 days. One of our blog readers was anxious to get this perspective from us and we thought it a good idea, so here it.

Another difference between the two experiences is that we have found the sailing community to be a much more closer knit society than the RV society. While, at times, we have found some R/Ver’s to be very outgoing and we have enjoyed spending time with them either at our campsite or at theirs, we have discovered that most R/Ver’s tend to keep to themselves more so than cruisers. We have not stayed in any RV parks, where RVs are squeezed in one next to the other, so we have no direct experience regarding that venue. However, we have been told that at many of these parks, the R/Ver’s still tend to keep to themselves. We find this hard to believe as some of the RV parks have community centers where social events are held throughout the week. However, a number of people we have talked with have provided this insight.

With the cruising community, it is typical that when you enter an anchorage which has one or more boats already anchored, that you hop in your dinghy and introduce yourselves. Many times, you will recognize a boat and her crew since most world cruisers follow the same general paths on their sail around the world. It was also very typical that either you or others would host a Sundowners’ get together and many times these would last well into the night.

We believe that the cruising community, in general, is so tightly knit because we all recognized that when you are out on your boat in the middle of the ocean, other cruisers are your first line of defense when you need help. Also, many of the places you sail to are so remote that getting spare parts or expertise to address an issue is impossible or very difficult. As a result, we all tend to share what we have or offer our limited expertise to each other. This results in cruisers being much more outgoing and brings the cruising community together.

R/Ver’s have the luxury of having parts stores in just about every town and city, along with various service centers or, in a pinch, truck repair facilities that can at least get you back on the road so that you can drive to a service center which can offer the precise expertise required. You may have to wait a while before that expertise can get to you but you are safe, comfortable and can provision readily while you wait. Because of this ability to fend for oneself, we believe this is the reason that R/Ver’s tend not to bond with other R/Ver’s at each campground.

The exception to this is the famous annual Quartzsite, Arizona Jamboree that occurs each January. We have been told that over 100,000 people in all types of RVs make the annual migration to this festival with nightly get-to-togethers and parties being common. The advantage of being able to cover 100s of miles or even thousands of miles to participate in the annual event is contrary to those who live in a sailboat.

We also understand that various RV associations hold periodic gatherings at regional or national locations allowing R/Ver’s who share a common interest can get together and bond.

The closest a sailing couple comes to such a gathering would be the end of a rally where a large group of sailboats who have signed up to make a similar passage during a specified time period, get together the successful passage. We participated in a couple of such rallies, including the one that went from Tonga to Opau, New Zealand and another one which went from Vanuatu to Bundaberg, Australia. There was a third rally we participated in that went from Darwin, Australia to Singapore but we bailed out on that one after the second stopping point because there were just too many sailboats, which made the anchorages untenable.

We hope that these perspectives offer some insights into the respective lifestyles between living on a sailboat versus living on a RV. We do enjoy each lifestyle and have no regrets in doing both. In fact, we do recommend that if either of these lifestyles appeal to you that you give it a try. Life is just too short, fragile and unpredictable to not try one. You will be enriched with experiences that most people only dream about.

2 thoughts on “Year 1 Day 109 Comparing Sailing To RVing: Part 2”

  1. Interesting blogs. I’d add that maybe it’s not just cruising that’s different than RVing, but especially blue water cruising. That may be what you meant given some of your examples. But you got me thinking how rarely we have ever introduced ourselves at an anchorage. We tend to say hi if we see another boater on the dock at a marina, but we don’t usually seek them out. Maybe it’s the weather when we boat in the off season, but I don’t remember spending much if any time with other boaters in our few summer trips either. It may just be that we aren’t super sociable too. We tend to cruise to get away from it. And as you point out, we are usually within a few days of expertise and a week or ten days for parts. An exception for us is the annual Puget Sound Grand Banks owners rendezvous, when all we do is meet and talk to other GB folks.


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