The Big RV Lies Everyone Tells You
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but RVers are lying to you. Quite a few lies are going around the RVing community, and we’re here to set the record straight.
While some of these lies are a result of misinformation, several are just downright lies. Today we’ll tackle 14 lies that you should stop believing. Let’s get started.
Don’t Fall for These RV Lies
You’ve probably heard or possibly even spread some of these lies. However, it’s time to get the truth.
1. Boondocking Isn’t Safe; You Need Protection
This is a lie often told by people who have never boondocked before to caution others from giving boondocking a chance. The idea is that because you’re far from others, you’re somehow more likely to encounter seedy people or require some sort of protection.
The truth is that boondocking is no less safe than camping in any other location. There’s an inherent safety risk, whether you’re in a campground, RV park, or boondocking site. You never know who your neighbors are or how they’re going to behave. One could argue that since boondocking often gives you more space and privacy, it’s actually safer.
2. You Shouldn’t Travel with Full Tanks
This lie is often based more on personal experience and preference than actual truth. It’s usually a good idea to travel with some liquids in your black and gray tanks to clean them while traveling down the road. However, what about your freshwater tank?
There’s no definitive answer when it comes to whether your freshwater tank should be full or empty when traveling. Many manufacturers don’t recommend it, mainly because they don’t want to be responsible if a situation damages your RV. However, for every RVer against traveling with full tanks, there are several saying they’ve done it for years and never had a problem.
3. RVing Is Easy
This isn’t a tiny white lie; it’s a bold-faced, massive lie. The RVing lifestyle can be challenging at times. You have to worry about tank levels, camping reservations, and navigating a massive rig on unfamiliar roads. While we love the RVing lifestyle, it’s most certainly not easy.
4. It’s Always Instagram-Worthy
It’s easy to look at RV Instagram accounts and be envious of how amazing the lifestyle must be. But there’s often a bigger story behind each picture.
It’s easy to forget that Instagram and other social media feeds are filtered. We’re not talking about digital editing, but mental editing. You’re likely going to think twice about the angle you choose to avoid that pile of dishes on the counter or the unfolded laundry on the couch. It’s then easier for the audience to imagine that the rest of the RV is equally as perfect as your photo.
The reality is that there will be plenty of times in RVing that aren’t Instagram-worthy. However, remember why you chose RVing during these moments and reflect on the positives.
5. RVs Are Easy to Drive/Tow
This one gets spread either by someone who spent their entire career driving semi-trucks across the country or someone who has never towed a day in their life. While RVs can become easy to drive and tow with experience, they won’t start that way.
Heavy winds, construction, and torrential downpours are just a few of the conditions that may test your towing and driving skills. Going into a situation with too much confidence can cause you to overestimate your skills and underestimate the conditions on the road.
6. Boondocking Is Rule-Free
Anyone telling this lie is likely the reason many boondocking sites are getting shut down. No matter where you boondock, there are still rules. This helps preserve and protect the land so others can enjoy it as well.
There are boondocking rules for where and how long you can camp and the activities you can do while camping. Even if no one is around, fire restrictions and other limitations still apply. Just because you don’t get caught doesn’t make it legal.
7. You Can’t Run an Air Conditioner on Solar Power
Someone who doesn’t have solar, or has a smaller solar setup, may spread this lie. It’s possible to run an air conditioner on solar power. It may not be cheap, but it’s most definitely possible.
Running an air conditioner on solar power often requires a massive battery bank and extensive setup. A setup of this type can cost upwards of $20,000. As we said, it’s possible, but often very expensive.
8. Travel Days Are Fun
It might be better to say that travel days can be fun. You’ll spend some travel days making memories and some trudging along. Flat tires, detours, and other mishaps can make a travel day a harrowing experience.
9. It Feels Like Camping All the Time
You may feel at first like you’re camping, but the longer you RV, the more you’ll feel differently. Folks go camping to get away and switch to a slower gear. However, RVing, especially if you’re full-time RVing, often feels nothing like camping.
If you’re still working or have children in school, you have all of those responsibilities on top of RVing. While there certainly will be times that feel like camping, it’s not going to be all the time.
10. RVs Are for Older/Retired People
In the past, traveling the country by RV was comparable to taking an Alaskan cruise; it was mostly for older or retired people. However, as remote work and road schooling have gained popularity, many families are choosing to hit the road.
This phenomenon has led to the creation of groups specifically designed for traveling families. These groups organize meet-ups and other activities to help connect families that share a passion for traveling.
11. RVing Is Cheaper Than Living in a House
This is one partial lie that many accept as truth when they begin researching the RVing lifestyle. This is a partial lie because RVing can be cheaper than living in a house, but not always. You can easily replace a mortgage payment with a truck payment. Combining a large truck payment and camping fees can amount to more than a monthly mortgage.
If you’re hoping to RV and save money, it will require a bit of planning. Eliminate as much of your monthly payments as possible before hitting the road. Embrace boondocking. Research which camping memberships best fit your preferred campaign style.
12. OR: RVing Is More Expensive Than Living in a House
On the flip side, some say RVing is more expensive than living in a house. As with the previous lie, this will depend a lot on how and where you RV.
Buying every RV gadget or accessory, whether you need it or not, will add up quickly. You may also spend more on fuel than you might anticipate, especially if you don’t like to sit still for very long. If you can’t boondock, you can easily spend hundreds, possibly even thousands, each month on campsites. However, making a few wise choices can make RVing cheaper than living in a house.
13. The Best Type of RV Is a Van/Class A/Fifth Wheel/Etc.
You have to pick the RV that best meets your lifestyle, family, and RVing needs. You can listen to input from YouTubers and members of online communities, but ultimately the best type of RV for you is the one that provides you optimal enjoyment. What works for one RVer likely won’t work for the next. No RV manufacturer offers a one-size-fits-all RV that checks the boxes for everyone.
14. It’s Safe to Travel with Your Propane On
While many RVers travel with their propane on and make excuses to justify it, it’s not the safest way to travel. If there was an accident and your propane was on, it could spark a fire. Propane is highly explosive.
While many RVers justify traveling with their propane on to keep their fridge cool, this is unnecessary. If you’re not planning to travel more than several hours, there’s no need to worry about the temperature of your fridge. An RV fridge, like a cooler, holds in cold air.
Everyone’s RVing Experience Is Different
When someone gives you advice on RVing, it’s important to remember that everybody’s RVing experience is different. What works for you may not work for another RVer reading this same article. Everyone has different experiences and preferences. Consider different perspectives when giving or receiving advice on RV living. What are your tips for RVing?
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