You may see Instagram photos of stunning sunsets over Arches National Park and beautiful sunrises at the sandy beaches of South Padre Island. The viral TikTok videos of families riding ATVs through the desert may make you green with envy.
But is this really what the full-time RV life looks like? Although you’ll have days of unbelievable memories, the daily nuisances and challenges may make this an unsustainable way of life.
Let’s take a look at seven reasons to avoid a full-time RV lifestyle. They may make you think twice about what’s happening behind the scenes of those picturesque views.
What Is Full-Time RV Living?
Full-time RV living means a person’s primary residence is in an RV. Sometimes RVers remain stationary while living in an RV. They have an annual site at a campground and never leave.
Basically, instead of living in a house or apartment, they live in an RV. Other RVers move from campground to campground but stay in the same area. This is often because they work in an office, so they need to stay in a general area.
Still, other RVers travel the country and move every few weeks. They usually have remote jobs and are considered digital nomads.
Can You Live in an RV Full Time?
You can live in an RV full-time. But you do have to have a residential address. You can use another family member’s house that you also claim as your own.
Or you can set up a residential one through a company like America’s Mailbox. If you remain stationary, some campgrounds may let you set up an address there, but not all.
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7 Reasons to Avoid Full-Time RV Living
Even though many families choose the RV lifestyle, it’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most people.
Here are seven reasons to avoid living in an RV full-time, from dealing with repairs to feeling lonely and isolated to struggling to get consistent Wi-Fi.
#1 Campgrounds Are Getting Crowded
Over the last few years, the RV industry has exploded, and new RVers have emerged. These new campers usually don’t travel all over the country, living in an RV full-time, but they take up spaces in campgrounds for weekends and week-long vacations.
When traveling full-time, you don’t have the luxury of just choosing a campground when it’s available. You have to transport your home, and you need a place to park it. It’s getting more difficult to find availability without planning many months in advance.
#2 Things Constantly Breaking
RVs are notorious for poor craftsmanship. Even some top-of-the-line campers are built very similarly to the entry-level units.
RVers commonly deal with poor pipe connections that lead to water leaks. Having to replace cabinet handles and trim pieces that break becomes a regular nuisance.
RVs can’t always withstand full-time living. So when you live in one every day, things constantly break.
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#3 It Can Be Expensive
Because things constantly break, repairs and maintenance can get expensive. And when you have big repairs, like replacing the water-damaged floor or fixing a roof damaged in a hail storm, the bill skyrockets.
But this isn’t the only cost. Traveling isn’t cheap. From increased fuel prices to increased campground fees, living full-time in an RV isn’t always more affordable than owning your own house or renting an apartment.
#4 It’s Unpredictable
Because of the growing number of travelers, you can’t just pull up to a campground at night and ask for a site. You have to plan weeks, even months, in advance.
You might have to forego your plans because you can’t find anything available in that area.
Travel days are also unpredictable. You never know when a tire will blow out and set you back several hours.
You never know when an accident will block your path. You may have to reroute through a downtown area with low-lying limbs and narrow streets.
#5 It Can Be Lonely
If you don’t intentionally seek out other full-time travelers, you may get lonely on the road. Some families find friends early on and travel together, making memories. But this is hard for many full-time RVers.
If you’ve left a host of friends behind or if you’re an introvert, loneliness is a real struggle. Technology can only help you stay in touch so much. It’s great, but it doesn’t replace sitting around a campfire with a group of friends.
#6 RVs are Tiny
One of the biggest challenges to RV living is the lack of space. Traveling solo in a Class B van is hard. Traveling with a family of six in a Class A motorhome is hard.
Regardless of the size of the rig, they’re all tiny. And the number of people inside adds to the struggle. Teenagers want privacy and little kids want room to play.
Parents need space to work. It’s a constant battle. Some people simply don’t enjoy living in such cramped quarters for an extended period.
#7 Inconsistent Wi-Fi and Data Caps
Most RVers who travel full-time rely on the internet for work and play. These remote workers need consistent Wi-Fi no matter where they travel to have daily video calls or access to company websites.
Kids want to stream and game. Although reliability has gotten better and providers have begun offering more unlimited data options, the choices aren’t unlimited.
RVers still experience dead zones. This can pose a struggle when living full-time in an RV.
Is Full-Time RV Living Worth It?
This answer will be different for everyone. For RVers who have chosen a stationary life by living in an RV rather than a house, they can save lots of money.
Maybe they need it to pay off debt or take a few vacations a year. They may find full-time RV living worth it.
For other RVers who have chosen to travel full-time, the memories and experiences are worth more than any of the sacrifices and challenges the RV life brings.
Getting rid of all of the stuff to focus on family relationships and enjoy the outdoors overcomes dealing with the loneliness or unpredictable nature of travel.
Still, others have chosen the full-time RV life and now want to settle down because it didn’t work for them. The lack of space and expense was too challenging, making life unenjoyable. So the answer to this question is personal.
What is it for you? Do you think full-time living is worth it? Have you considered selling it all and hitting the road?
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