Tired and annoyed woman putting laundry into a dryer in a laundromat

10 Things I Hate About RV Life

RV life is a trendy topic across social media and the national news. People have been RVing for decades, but recently it’s been booming more than ever before.

So what’s the draw to this lifestyle? Like with anything, there are pros and cons. But here are 10 things that I just plain hate about RV life. Keep reading to learn what they are and see if you agree.

Tired and annoyed woman putting laundry into a dryer in a laundromat

Why Do People Choose the RV Life?

People choose RV life for various reasons. Some are looking for a more minimalist lifestyle. Others want to travel and experience the world, so an RV is their means to get from place to place.

In comparison, others may choose to live in an RV due to their financial situation. RVing isn’t cheap, but it can be less expensive than a traditional house if you plan appropriately and do a lot of boondocking or free camping.

What Is It Really Like to Live in an RV?

Living in an RV full-time can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you have. However, some downsides to it aren’t as apparent as the fun side.

Whether you own a large fifth wheel or a tiny camper, RV living is small living. Even solo travelers can get a little cramped. 

Full-time RV living also adds stresses to your day-to-day life that aren’t present while living in a traditional house. For example, you need to plan your route regularly, figure out where you’re going to shop for food in different cities, and more.

Full-time RVers the RV Odd Couple share their top 10 annoyances with RV living.

And just because you’re in a small space doesn’t mean the housework stops. For example, you may need to clean more often in an RV, especially in a dusty location. 

The pros and cons of the lifestyle vary from person to person. However, there is some consistency across all RVers. Whether you’re just getting into the RV life or are a veteran, I think you’ll be able to relate to the things I hate about the lifestyle.

10 Things I Hate About RV Life

See if you can identify with the 10 things I hate about RV life. Let’s dive in.

#1. Finding Reliable Internet Access

Whether you work a full-time job while RVing, as I do, or you need the internet for route planning, finding reliable internet access is a necessity. And that’s not always easy. It’s not only frustrating but can cause major delays when I’m up against deadlines.

Options for internet access can be costly. Campground Wi-Fi systems never work, in my experience. If there are 100 people in a campground trying to use the same Wi-Fi, your speeds will be slow at best.

Installing a Wi-Fi booster, routers, and hotspots in your RV is often the answer. These options can be pricey and are ever-changing in the world of technology. Thankfully, there are people like the Mobile Internet Resource Center to help educate me.

Man looking hopeless at his mobile phone as he tries to get wifi.

#2. Never-Ending Maintenance and Repairs

The reality is that an RV goes down the road at upwards of 70 mph, which is like going through a hurricane. This inevitably causes things to break. I hate that the maintenance and repairs on my RV seem never to end.

Even brand new RVs can have issues. A warranty for a new model will cover some repairs, but you’ll still have to sit and wait while your rig is in the shop.

If you’re living in it full-time, you’ll need to make other sleeping arrangements. This can add stress to your life, especially when it’s unexpected.

Whether it’s new or old, staying on top of the maintenance of your RV is key to limiting the time and money you put into repairs. I recommend making a maintenance schedule and putting reminders on your calendar.

Have a checklist that you go through regularly so you don’t miss something. And keep a toolkit with you.

#3. Getting Lonely and Missing Friends

The RV life can be lonely. Whether you’re a solo traveler or are with your partner or family, being away from friends can take a toll.

Even when I’m out having fun and living this amazing life of travel, I still feel lonely at times. Extroverts may have more struggles with loneliness, but introverts can feel it too. 

A great way to meet new people and find a community while on the road is to join an RV club. Organizations like Escapees can connect you with others who have common interests. Meetups take place across North America so that you can take the time to interact with others on your journey. 

#4. Lack of Privacy Inside and Outside the RV

It’s pretty challenging to have total privacy while RVing. When you’re in a campground, the lack of privacy is tenfold.

People can see what you’re doing and interact with you when you’re outside, and you can hear nearly everything going on next door when you’re inside. 

Boondocking is a way to gain privacy. Although you can still run into people when boondocking, it’s usually less crowded. You can find public lands to boondock on via apps like Campendium

A couple peaking out from under the covers in bed.

#5. Black Tank Dumping

Ugh. I hate dumping my black tank. The smell alone is awful, but what’s worse is if you have a spill. It’s one of the least glamorous parts of RVing.

However, there’s a way around it. You can install a composting toilet. It will keep in odors and prevent you from having to dump a black tank. How you store and get rid of your waste is a personal preference, but I lean toward not having it slosh around until I dump it.

#6. Finding Campsites and Overnight Parking

Travel planning is a constant component of RV life. I hate finding campsites and places to park overnight.

In particular, it can be challenging to find a place to stay at the last minute. If you book campsites well in advance, it may not be a stressor for you. But for me, part of the joy of RVing is the ability to be spontaneous with where I park and for how long. 

Since the pandemic started, campgrounds have been more crowded than ever, which can limit options. Boondocking is an excellent alternative to campgrounds, but the opportunities are dwindling with public lands starting to close down free camping due to overcrowding. To help boondocking remain an option for RVers, remember to practice “leave no trace” wherever you camp.

#7. Managing Mail Delivery

When you travel full-time, there are several logistics in your life that need adjusting. Mail delivery is one of those.

While electronic mail and bill pay is the norm in most cases, there are still times when snail mail is needed. This becomes challenging when you might be in a different state each month. 

The good news is there are solutions to help you get your mail. For starters, if you’re ordering packages from Amazon, you can utilize their lockers. Find an Amazon locker near you and ship your order there.

Regular mail can be more challenging, but several services allow you to send mail to them, and they notify you electronically. Escapees RV Club has a mail service in which you receive an address, and they’ll open and scan mail for you if you want.

#8. Doing Laundry on the Road

I hate doing laundry on the road. The washers and dryers at campgrounds can be expensive. Public laundromats are typically more pricey and often busy. It just seems to be a lot of effort to structure my schedule around getting laundry done when I may have to wait for a machine to open. 

If you have an RV with a washer and dryer hookup, this might not affect you. For those without laundry options, you might consider a portable washer and dryer. You can find options at places like Home Depot or Walmart. They’re lightweight and take up little space.

For example, the Magic Chef portable washing machine only weighs 40 pounds. You simply hook the water hose to your sink and place the drain hose in your shower.

#9. Showering

Showering when you’re on full hookups at a campground is no problem if you have a shower in your RV. Having to use a campground shower or keeping clean while boondocking is another story. I hate using campground showers due to having to take my stuff with me and potentially wait for a clean stall.

Man with tattoos using and outdoor shower

Showering while boondocking means that you need to be extremely conscious of your water consumption. Depending on the size of your freshwater and gray water tanks, daily showers aren’t in the cards when boondocking. 

An easy way to stay fresh and clean when a shower isn’t possible is to use body wipes. There are several different brands you can find in stores or online. And if you have sensitive skin, there are options. You might also consider using dry shampoo for those particularly grimy hair days.  

#10. Terrible Gas Mileage

I hate paying a lot for gas. When living in a traditional house, you don’t have to budget your vehicle’s gas mileage as much as you do when RVing.

Whether you’re towing an RV or have a motorhome, your gas mileage is going to suffer from a heavy rig. I recommend the GasBuddy app to help you find the lowest costs around. You can also get a gas discount credit card. 

Is RV Life Worth It?

Now that I’ve revealed 10 things I hate about RV life, I’ll confess something. It’s still worth it!

The joys of exploring, meeting new people, taking unexpected adventures, and more far outweigh the difficult parts of the lifestyle. No matter what type of home you choose, there are always going to be challenges. They simply look different when RVing. 

I hope I didn’t scare you off from RVing. It’s a great life and one I cherish. But it’s not for everyone. You have to know your preferences and travel style to settle into a way of living that will make you thrive. There are pros and cons to every lifestyle. Is the RV life for you?

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