So, the RV life might intrigue you. Maybe you are attracted to the idea of traveling all the time or maybe you like the idea of living with the freedom that you’re not bound to any single place. Whatever the cause might be for your interest, you now need to determine if it’s actually the right choice for you.
Committing to an RV life is a big decision to make. From choosing a proper vehicle to living conditions to managing expenses there are a lot to consider here. You cannot just jump into a life on the road without considering the rewards and difficulties it might present. There are things that you absolutely need to know about first to judge for yourself.
In this article we will note 15 things you need to know before considering an RV life full time. After reading this article you’ll be able to better judge whether the good things of this life outweigh the issue you may come across or is it all too much for you and you should just stick to living in a regular house. Continue reading to find out.
1. Choosing The Proper Vehicle Is Important
This is the first and the most important thing to look at when you are thinking of starting out. You will need to first decide what you will get; will you get a trailer that needs to be pulled with a car or do you want an all-in-one van-like motorhome? And even those details depend on the amount of space you need.
You need to make measurements according to how many people and what stuff you’ll need to keep and get a vehicle according to that. After the size, you also need to consider other facilities and your budget too. RVs come in a plethora of sizes and luxury levels. Some can be very small and simple and some can even be huge filled with high-tech facilities.
After you’ve picked whether you want a trailer or a motorhome you need to look at all the available options and choose one to do a test drive. You will need to test it out before settling and figure out all the technicalities before starting your journey.
2. You Will Need to Downsize A Lot
It is very obvious that an RV typically has very little space. You cannot fit everything from your house in a space that is comparable to just a bedroom. So, naturally, you need to downsize. You must get rid of anything you won’t possibly need.
It can be very hard to let go of some of the stuff we have sentimental value, a lot of people even get anxious in living very minimally. But on the other hand, you might even find the minimalism and letting go very liberating. You can follow the “one in one out” rule to help you with managing space, you have to get rid of one thing to add in another in the RV.
You can start by giving away things to loved ones and maybe consider selling off stuff or donating. But, if you do get picky about wanting to keep a lot of things you can consider renting a storage space for safekeeping.
Downsizing means doing something about your house too. A lot of people choose to get rid of their house but in an emergency, you would not want to be homeless so that might not be the best option. Renting out your house is a good middle ground to settle in so you have this option if you ever need it.
3. Getting To Plan Out Your Own Route Can Be Fun
While the technical details of planning a route might be tedious but one of the many joys of RV life is this freedom of being able to spread out your journey.
Fuel, supply, inventory, and other things put some amount of limitation on how long or how far you can go without stopping but other than that you are free to go wherever. You can choose to visit all the places you want to visit and plan out your routes in whichever direction you like.
Planning out where you want to go and what course you will take will also help you make plans and prepare. Checking out the places you need to stop by for supplies and maintenance helps avoid many emergencies.
4. There Are A Lot Of Officiality To Go Through
From domiciles to mailing systems to insurances, a lot of paperwork is needed to maintain a full-time RV life.
Domicile is claiming residency without a physical address, you will need to find out where it can be most easily available to you as you will need it to enter residency for a lot of other things.
You will also need to get a mail forwarding system. As you will not be available to receive physical mail, stuff like bills can pile up very easily. You will need to look for automatic billing or e-billing for your insurance, internet, and other bills.
Next, you will need to figure out all the possible insurances you might need, from health to vehicle, these can help you cover a lot of expenses and emergencies. Finding the right kind of Insurance is vital, thorough research will help you decide on what you should get.
5. Managing Expenses Is Tough
Deciding on a budget to start RVing is tricky enough on its own but full time requires even more planning. You will need to decide on a budget to start and try your best that you don’t go over budget because it is really easy to give in to impulses and go overboard when you live in an RV.
You will most definitely need to rely on a remote job as you will not be able to go to a physical 9 to 5 office. You must secure a source of income and savings. Otherwise, you will very soon run yourself to the ground.
6. RV Parks Are Amazing
RVers don’t really spend absolutely all their time on the road, more often than not they live parked in camping somewhere. In terms of that RV parks are very ideal
Some parks are very barebones and simple while others offer many luxurious services. From internet connectivity to library access, from vehicle maintenance to pools and playgrounds; RV parks offer a lot of wonderful things.
You can both refresh yourself and get help managing and maintaining your RV. And the amazing number of people will get to know is a life experience on its own.
7. There Are Lots Of Places Out There To Camp
Even if there isn’t an RV park you can always try boondocking. Camping in the wild can be an amazing experience, but, it can also be dangerous so you will need to be careful.
Camping in the wild is probably one of the many things that attract most people to the RV lifestyle. It offers unprecedented freedom. You will have to follow certain rules to do it properly.
Always use previously used campsites if possible. Do not throw away your trash or sewage water in the wild and do not disturb any wildlife.
8. Managing Your Inventory Can Be Difficult
From tools to tires, from food to clothing, from supply water to drinking water; there is a lot of inventory to manage in the tiny space of an RV. Keeping a list will be absolutely necessary to check up on stuff and to determine if you need something.
You will have to plan out what you will get from where and when and hold back so you do not end up over packing anything. You will not be ready to store too much food or water in advance so frequent grocery shopping will be necessary.
Do your research on how much you can store, what supplies and equipment you will need to keep, and what might you need in an emergency.
9. Laundry Can Be A Pain
Almost no RV out there has a washer and dryer so you will need to stop by laundromats to get your clothes cleaned. If you get lazy it is very easy to end up with a huge pile of dirty clothes. So, get ready to get your laundry done from elsewhere and having to manage your clothes in a way that doesn’t lead to you wearing the same dirty outfit for a long period.
Thankfully there are plenty of laundromats around no matter where you live in the USA. So, be ready to face this bit of a hassle if you are planning to live a full time RV life. An RV life is no excuse to live like a street homeless person.
10. Cleaning Your Toilet Is A Struggle
I know this is uncomfortable to talk about but this too needs to be addressed, where does the sewage go? It stays in the tank until you decide to clean that out. You’ll need to get someone to show you how to do that at first.
Your RV will have two tanks, black and gray. Your wastage will be stored in the black one and you will need to dump it out in a designated spot. RV parks, camping spots, and even some truck spots have designated blackwater dumping grounds. You must never dump your sewage anywhere not designated.
Get some disposable gloves, open the black tank, get ready to stink; after the waste is dumped you’ll have to run the gray water tank to clean out the pipes. If you are in an RV park or somewhere with running water just rinse the tanks with a bit of water once more too.
11. Staying Connected Can Be A Huge Issue
Connectivity is vital for you in this lifestyle, and it is also hard to get. RV parks and camps might have Wi-Fi but they will not be optimal for your use. You will need to rely on mobile hotspots.
If you can’t ensure connectivity it will be detrimental. Your communication and work and even entertainment will all be reliant on the internet while you are on the road.
Getting a good internet connection is necessary as you will be doing almost everything online. It might be necessary for you to invest in a mobile satellite internet system to ensure that you have a fast and reliable internet wherever you are whether on the road or in the wild.
12. Privacy Is Nonexistent Inside An RV
When everyone you live with is always within earshot distance of you, having a private moment to yourself is impossible. Inside an RV, everyone knows about everything. Even the bathroom only has very thin walls so you cannot find a moment of pure solitude even there.
Neighbors add more nuance to this equation. Even though while parked you will not have the same neighbors for too long, you will get to know them extensively as almost anything said even a bit loudly can be heard across very easily.
You will not be able to hide anything or have much time alone, everything gets shared. Either that will result in you either loving or hating the people you live with even more than you already do, in some cases though, both at the same time.
13. Self-Dependence Is Very Important
Being a slob isn’t an option in an RV. An RV is literally a well-oiled machine, everyone will need to do their part to keep up. If you get lazy it will end up causing difficulties for everyone.
You will also have to learn to fix and maintain things too. An RV requires regular maintenance, and just like in a house things break and things need fixing. But, unlike in a house you cannot just go ahead and call someone in to fix things, rather almost every time you will need to fix it yourself.
Learning to fix equipment and things like how to change tires will be very important. You’ll need to learn to do things and increase your productivity if you want to live the RV life full time, as any unmaintained equipment might cause a disaster on the road.
14. RV Life Isn’t Ideal For Large Families Or Pets
RV life means living in a very limited space while being almost always on the move. Something you have to keep in mind is that this situation gets more and more complicated the more people you decide to live in, and, it can be safe to say that for larger families, especially with children, living in an RV is not ideal.
Children need open spaces, playgrounds, and most importantly, schooling. A lot of parents who choose to live in an RV opt-in for homeschooling their kids but that is extremely difficult and not optimal judging by how much time they have to spend on other things in an RV.
It is not ideal for families with elderly members or disabled people, an RV is not a very friendly environment with their limitations. Although that is slowly starting to change, this is something you will need to be very mindful of before committing.
Pets are also very hard to keep. You will not be able to keep any large pets at all, anything other than small animals like small dogs is not something you will be able to keep in an RV. The enclosed space is just not somewhere you would be able to keep most animals that need free space and large animals like pigs or horses are out of the question by miles.
15. You Need To Always Be Prepared For The Unpredictable
Life anywhere can be uncertain. Accidents can happen, weather disasters can wreak havoc, but, all of that get much more pronounced when you live your life on the road.
You have to keep an eye out for all sorts of weather situations; storm, snow, flash floods, heavy rain, anything can be very hard to go through and can cause disastrous damages to your RV.
Even besides weather problems, road accidents can happen, some danger might occur while you are camping in the wild. You will need to be prepared and be flexible enough to manage all of that. You cannot live life on the road if you aren’t flexible enough.
You must have a contingency plan and emergency funds ready if something happens to you, or someone else, or your RV. Being ready enough to tackle drastic situations is a must for a full-time RVer.
Thank you for reading until the end. So, what did you think? Is it right for you? Is it not? Are you ready to commit to the RV life full time? Does the amazing freedom and adventurous lifestyle outweigh all the cons that come with full-time RVing for you? These are all questions I hope you are now able to ask yourself and find the answers to.
I tried here to illustrate to you all the things you need to know before committing to RV life full-time, so you can decide on what is the correct decision for you. I hope that I was able to give you an idea about what you could expect from this lifestyle. I wish you all the best and hope that you make the right choice.