If you scroll through Instagram or TikTok, you might think the RV life is full of red canyon sunsets and beautiful sandy beaches. The spectacular scenery and unforgettable experiences never end, providing a journey of adventure and delight.
However, no one posts the bad experiences, the hard times, or the ruined plans. If you think full-time RVing is in your future, consider what these new full-time travelers really think of the RV life. It might still be worth it, but be ready for challenges along the way.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Full-Time RVer?
A full-time RVer is someone who travels in an RV all year. Some full-time RVers still have a sticks-and-bricks house they return to for holidays or a few weeks, while other RVers sell everything to travel the country.
Full-time RVers aren’t on a vacation or camping trip. It’s their life, so they work from the road, do school from the road, do laundry on the road, and everything else in daily life.
Take the first step; learn how to easily become an RV nomad.
What Is It Really Like to Live in an RV Full Time?
Different full-time RVers will tell you varying opinions of life in an RV. Some have luxurious half-million-dollar Class A motorhomes and stay in resort-like campgrounds, with amenities from yoga classes and on-property restaurants to RV detailing.
Others prefer to boondock, so they’ve spent money to outfit their rig with solar panels and upgraded lithium batteries. They rarely stay in campgrounds and travel to remote areas. These are two very distinct experiences of full-time RV living.
However, some similarities among most travelers are the small living space, internet connectivity, and simplicity. Everyone who lives in an RV downsizes. Even the largest Class A isn’t much more than 400 sq ft. Living in a small space is a challenge, no matter your family’s size. No one ever seems to have privacy, and you need to use rooms for multi-purposes.
When people live on the road, internet connectivity is crucial. Full-time RVers aren’t looking to escape their phones and emails on a weekend camping trip. They have to work, and many rely on the internet. The internet connectivity battle is ongoing.
Finally, most full-time RVers choose this lifestyle because of the experience. Stuff becomes much less critical. For families, spending more time with their kids is of utmost significance. Even if a parent works a 9-to-5 job, having less stuff and focusing on quality time creates a different family experience. Simplicity and memories reign.
What New RV Owners Should Know
However, living the full-time RV life isn’t all sunsets and s’mores. Life can be challenging, expensive, and inconvenient at times.
People choose this lifestyle willing to deal with what obstacles come up. Regular RV maintenance is critical and becomes part of daily life. Having teenagers who don’t like their tiny bunks and want more privacy is a constant battle. Plans quickly change when severe weather rolls in.
Full-time RVing is an incredible way to share life. It’s an exciting way to see the country and the world. But dealing with tire blow-outs, slides that don’t retract, roof damage from storms, and other issues can be cumbersome, expensive, and exhausting.
Maintaining relationships across the miles takes intention. Making new friends on the road is difficult. Loneliness is genuine at times.
New RV owners should know that hitting the road full-time isn’t for everybody. It’s not as glamorous as Instagram and TikTok make it out to be. There certainly are perfect days that would make anyone jealous, but most days are filled with regular life — washing dishes, teaching the kids, checking emails, cooking meals, etc.
What New Full-Time RVers Really Think of RV Life
The RV industry has burst onto the scene over the last few years. New RV owners are booking campsites and getting outdoors.
Others are taking the plunge into full-time RV living. Some families stick it out and spend years on the road, while others realize this life isn’t for them and head home within a few months.
Our Thoughts After 7 Weeks into Full Time RV Living 2022: RV Life
At the time of this video, Chris and Katrina have been traveling full-time for seven weeks. Chris and Katrina share their likes, dislikes, and surprises in their journey. They love visiting family they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. They also love spending so much time outdoors.
Katrina recently shared the rising cost of food everywhere they travel. It was more expensive to buy groceries than she expected.
Chris also shared the costly rates of campground fees during the winter in Florida. They’ve been more limited in enjoying entertainment and other activities because of the high cost of nightly stays.
There haven’t been too many dislikes for the traveling couple, but Katrina did explain that she struggled with internet connectivity. It is challenging to find reliable internet as they travel from place to place.
Starlink has become more accessible for RVers and could change how they stay connected on the road.
Retired to an RV! What were we thinking? Is RV living for you?
The Cruising Two is a retired couple who have traveled the country for a couple of years in their 37’ Cedar Creek fifth wheel. They sold their home in 2017 and had a dream of spending their summers in England.
That didn’t pan out, so they bought an RV with hopes of visiting their son in California and daughter in Connecticut more often.
At the beginning of their travels, they moved around the country frequently. However, they have chosen to slow down and travel between a summer and winter spot.
Before the Cruising Two hit the road, they had never camped before, so RVing was a new experience. They learned some things the hard way, like how to navigate the healthcare system while traveling full-time and dealing with the challenges of a broken-down tow vehicle. Because of some of their hardships, they decided to slow down and be stationary for more extended periods.
FIRST WEEK OF FULL-TIME RV LIVING | Rookies On The Road
Rookies on the Road is a traveling YouTube series created by a young couple living in their 22’ Imagine travel trailer. The comical YouTube channel, Crosby Grace Travels, chronicles rookie mistakes during their full-time traveling journey.
They share having problems with ice, failing to insulate their water hose during freezing temperatures, and not checking ahead of time to see if the Blue Ridge Parkway was open after a day of snow.
Rookies on the Road shows their fair share of disappointments during their first week of full-time RV living. However, they enjoyed visiting the mountains of North Carolina and exploring Asheville.
This video is like a daily diary that showcases real-life in an RV–from cooking dinner, putting away the Murphy bed on travel days, to shoveling snow to get the RV out. These two have an excellent sense of humor and hope their mistakes bring laughs to others while keeping other RVers from making the same mistakes.
How Hard Is Full-Time RV Living?
Full-time RVing can be lonely for kids and adults. It’s challenging to maintain friendships and make new ones when constantly traveling. However, it’s possible with effort.
Full-time RVing can also be expensive. When things break and need repairs, it can cost thousands of dollars. It’s not just the cost that’s hard to swallow.
These problems can happen at any time. Finding an RV mobile technician or a local RV shop can be challenging, depending on the location and season. It could take weeks to get something fixed.
You can learn the lifestyle of becoming a handyman on the fly, setting up and tearing down your campsite, traveling from one location to the next, making plans, and booking reservations. The lifestyle isn’t demanding. Still, full-time RVers quickly learn that to make it work, they have to be flexible, deal with conflict, plan ahead, and prioritize “me” time for everyone.
Is It Financially Smart to Live in an RV?
RVs don’t appreciate like real estate. If you think selling your home and moving into an RV is a sound financial decision, it’s not.
However, full-time RVers don’t make this decision because of the financial investment. They want to experience life with their kids, travel and see the country, and do things most people will never try.
It’s also not always cost-effective. Payment for an RV and a vehicle can be as expensive as a house payment. The food budget may increase because food prices vary country-wide. Plus, full-timers usually enjoy trying the local cuisine and eating out more often.
Fuel is another massive cost. For some families, the overall budget is higher, while for other full-timers, they’ve cut costs and saved money in the long run.
Is Full-Time RVing Worth It?
Full-time RVing is what you make of it. If you thrive on stability and structure, you may be disappointed and frustrated with RV life. If you handle conflict well and enjoy flexibility, you’ll tackle the challenges of full-time RV living and enjoy the journey.
Every RVer travels differently. The stories from Chris and Katrina, the Cruising Two, and Crosby Grace Travels are just three personal experiences. There are full-time RVers with many anecdotes to share. So how you RV and how you view the positive and negative results will be up to you.
Do you think full-time RVing is worth it? Will you be selling it all and hitting the road soon?
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