Living in an RV permanently can be an exciting and adventurous lifestyle for those seeking to simplify their life, travel, and save money. But before committing to a full-time RV living, it's important to consider the pros and cons and understand the challenges that come with this lifestyle. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know to determine if living in an RV permanently is right for you, from the cost savings to the lifestyle adjustments, and how to prepare for long-term RV living.
Considerations for Full-Time RV Living
Pros and Cons
Before making any major life decisions, it's important to weigh the pros and cons, and RV living is no exception. Here are some of the most significant pros and cons of living in an RV permanently.
- Cost savings: Full-time RV living can save you a lot of money compared to living in a traditional home. You can save on rent or mortgage payments and utility bills, and even on groceries by being more mindful of how you cook and store food.
- Mobility: With an RV, you can travel anywhere at any time and take your home with you. This also allows you to avoid the stresses of moving and the expenses associated with it.
- Simple lifestyle: Living in an RV allows you to declutter and enjoy a simpler, more minimalist life. You'll have to get creative with storage and only keep what's truly essential, which can be freeing.
- Closer to nature: By living in an RV, you can be closer to nature, and wake up to beautiful scenery every day.
- Limited space: Living in an RV means living in a small space, which can be a challenge, especially if you're traveling with others. For some people, it can be difficult to adjust to such a small and compact living space.
- Less privacy: In an RV, you're in close quarters with others, so privacy can be a challenge. You'll also be living in close proximity to other RVers in campgrounds, which can be both positive and negative.
- Maintenance: Maintaining an RV can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you're parked in one place for an extended period. You'll need to take care of everything from the electrical and plumbing systems to the exterior and tires.
- Weather: In an RV, you'll be exposed to the elements more than you would in a traditional home. Extreme heat and cold may be difficult to regulate without proper insulation and heating/cooling systems.
When it comes to living in an RV permanently, the type of RV you choose is crucial. Here are some common types of RVs and their pros and cons:
- Pros: Luxurious and spacious, with features like full kitchens, large living areas, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.
- Cons: Expensive and a little trickier to handle on the road.
- Pros: Nimble and easy to drive, they are small enough to travel in cities and park in regular parking spaces.
- Cons: Less spacious, with limited storage and living areas.
- Pros: Smaller than Class A but larger than Class B, and can tow another vehicle behind them. They are generally less expensive than Class A.
- Cons: Space can be limited, and the overhang can make some tight turns a challenge.
- Pros: Large and spacious like Class A but require a truck to tow them, offering more mobility.
- Cons: Expensive and require a truck to tow them, which can be an additional expense.
- Pros: Easy to tow and can be unhitched at your destination for day trips. Can be more affordable than other options.
- Cons: Can be more susceptible to motion and sway on the road.
What to Look for in an RV for Full-Timing
When shopping for an RV, there are a few key features to look out for that can make a big difference in your comfort and safety on the road:
- Size: As mentioned, the size of the RV is important to consider. It should be comfortable enough to live in, but not so large that it's difficult to navigate on the road.
- Storage: Look for an RV with ample storage, both inside and outside, to ensure you can bring everything you need and keep the interior clean and organized.
- Floor plan: Choose an RV with a floor plan that has a comfortable living area, sleeping area, and kitchen. The layout should be conducive to your lifestyle needs.
- Durability: Make sure the RV is built to withstand constant use and exposure to the elements, with high-quality materials and construction.
- Insulation: If living in an RV in extreme temperatures, make sure the RV is well-insulated to keep the interior temperature comfortable.
- Power source: Depending on how you plan to camp, you'll want to ensure the RV has the proper power sources, either a generator or solar panels, to keep the lights and appliances running.
Booking Accommodations While Full-Time Traveling
When it comes to booking accommodations while full-time traveling, here are some tips and resources to consider:
- Plan ahead: Book campsites, RV parks, and other accommodations well in advance to ensure availability and to get the best deals.
- Consider boondocking: Boondocking, or camping on public lands, can be a great way to save money and avoid crowded campsites. Just be sure to research the regulations and safety protocols beforehand.
- Use apps and websites: There are many websites and apps that can help you find and book campsites and RV facilities. Popular ones include RV Trip Wizard, Campendium, and Hipcamp.
Traveling Full-Time in Your RV
Living in an RV permanently means being on the go, exploring new places, and meeting new people. Here are some tips for traveling full-time in your RV:
- Budget carefully: Just because you're saving money on rent doesn't mean you can spend recklessly. Be sure to budget carefully for expenses like gas, food, and attractions, and save for unexpected repairs and maintenance costs.
- Embrace the flexibility: One of the best things about RV living is the flexibility to change course and go somewhere new at any time. Embrace the lack of a set schedule and take advantage of the things you can only see and experience while on the road.
- Meet other RVers: RV living can be a lot more fun and rewarding when you connect with other people who share the lifestyle. Attend RV rallies, join online forums, and be open to making new friends along the way.
Common Questions About Full-Time RVing
Is RV living cheaper than owning a house?
Living in an RV permanently can be significantly cheaper than owning a traditional home, but it depends on where you're parked and how you're living. RV park fees, gas, and other expenses can add up, so it's important to budget carefully.
How can I live in an RV full time in one place?
If you want to live in an RV permanently but want to stay in one place, consider finding a long-term RV park or campground with full hookups. You can also look into buying a piece of land and setting up your RV on it.
How long will an RV last if you live in it?
The lifespan of an RV depends largely on the type of RV, how well it's maintained, and how often it's used. With proper maintenance and care, an RV can last for decades.
Can you live permanently in an RV?
Yes, it's possible to live in an RV permanently if you're willing to adjust to the lifestyle. Many people find it to be a rewarding and fulfilling way to live.
How do you prepare an RV for full-time living?
To prepare an RV for full-time living, consider:
- Decluttering and simplifying your belongings
- Installing additional storage and organizational systems
- Upgrading insulation and power sources
- Making sure the RV is mechanically sound and in good shape.
Quick Tips and Facts
- The average cost of a new RV ranges from $10,000 to $500,000 depending on the type and features.
- Boondocking on public lands or in Walmart parking lots can save you money on campground fees.
- Some RVs have a washer and dryer, while others require regular laundromat visits.
- It's important to have a designated mailing address for mail and packages, as you won't have a permanent address.
Living in an RV permanently can be a fulfilling and exciting way to see the world and simplify your life. But it's not for everyone. Consider the pros and cons, think carefully about the type of RV you choose, and prepare well for life on the road. With the right mindset and preparations, you can enjoy the freedom and adventure that RV living has to offer.