Is It Practical to Live in an RV in 2023?

As RV enthusiasts, we get asked all the time if living in an RV full-time is practical. After all, leaving life in a traditional stick-built home and downsizing into a recreational vehicle is not a decision that should be taken lightly. But, we have to say, it is worth considering.

Full-Time RV Living isn’t Perfect

We won’t sugarcoat it, full-time RV living comes with its fair share of challenges. That’s why it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before making the leap.

The Top Pros and Cons of Living in an RV Year Round

The Pros Of Living In An RV Year Round:

  • Mobility: With an RV, you can travel anywhere and take your home with you. This flexibility and freedom are unparalleled.
  • Lower Expenses: Living in an RV full-time can save you a considerable amount of money, especially if you are retired and don’t really need to have a fixed residence.
  • Minimalism: Downsizing to an RV means cutting down on unnecessary stuff. This makes life simpler, less cluttered, and organized.
  • Adventure: Living full-time in an RV gives you the chance to explore the country, meet new people, and have new experiences.
  • Close to Nature: Many RV parks are surrounded by natural wonder and beauty, allowing you to immerse yourself in a peaceful environment.
  • Community: The RV community has a strong and friendly bond, where individuals eagerly share their experiences, information, and ideas.

The Cons of Living in an RV Year Round:

  • Limited Living Space: RV living can be cramped and confined. Living in a tiny space can make you feel like you are living in a dollhouse.
  • Maintenance: RVs require constant maintenance and repair. From tires to plumbing, there is always something that needs attention.
  • Lack of Privacy: Living in a small space with your loved ones requires a great deal of teamwork, coordination, and patience. Privacy is minimal, and boundaries are frequently tested.
  • Weather Constraints: Cold winters, hot summers, and extreme weather conditions can make living in an RV a challenge.
  • Internet Access: Staying connected and online in an RV can be problematic. Poor or spotty internet connectivity is common in many RV parks, which can be a barrier for many remote workers.

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After reading the pros and cons, you might be wondering if it’s financially smart to live in an RV. Let’s take a closer look.

Is It Financially Smart to Live in an RV?

Living in an RV can definitely save you money, and the costs of owning a home can add up in many ways that many people don’t think about like property tax, homeowner’s insurance, mortgage, furnishing, repairs, and maintenance. However, it also depends on where you choose to park your RV, your lifestyle preferences, and the types of upgrades you want to make.

Here are some factors to consider in terms of finances:

  • Cost of an RV: You can purchase an RV for as low as [$20,000] up to a staggering millions of dollars.
  • Cost of RV Parks: RV parks in desirable locations can be a lot pricier than others. The daily cost can range from [$25] to [$100+], depending on the amenities offered.
  • Utilities: Electricity, water, and sewage costs add up quickly. You will also need to factor in propane for heating and cooking.
  • Groceries & Supplies: While downsizing is the key to RV living, supplies and groceries will still take up a considerable amount of space. Plan accordingly, and factor in the costs of replenishing supplies constantly.

With all of that in mind, living in an RV can be a more affordable way to live for many people, especially those who have retired and don’t need to commute to work. However, if you’re working remotely then a steady internet connection is a necessity, and it can sometimes be hard to find in remote areas.

What is the Downside of Living in an RV Full Time?

Living in an RV full time can be challenging, but some of the biggest downsides include:

  • Tiny Living Space: With less than 200-400 square feet of living space, an RV can sometimes feel like you are living in a shoebox.
  • Maintenance: Keeping an RV functioning at its best all the time can be a job in itself.
  • Lack of Privacy: While RV life can be adventurous, you never disconnect from anyone and everyone, and sometimes that privacy can be hard to come by.
  • Internet Access: Finding reliable internet access in certain areas can be a major issue, making it difficult to stay connected with the world and work remotely.

If you can’t deal with these challenges, then living in an RV full-time may not be for you.

Is It Cheaper to Live in an RV Than a Home?

It can be! But it truly depends on factors such as upkeep and location. Here is a quick table:

Cost RV Living Home Living
Mortgage No Yes
Property Tax No Yes
Maintenance High Medium-High
Utilities Medium High

According to some surveys, a few RV users save up to 80% annually with the change in their lifestyle. But in comparison to bricks and sticks homes, the cost of upkeep, amenities, and appliances are relatively lower in RVs.

Remember, it depends a lot on the lifestyle you want to keep. There’s no doubt that the freedom, adventure, and low-cost nature of RV living draw many people every year. But don’t forget that this kind of lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Research before purchasing an RV: Each model offers a different kind of living space, mobility, and style. Consider the different types of RVs, floor plans, and the size of your family before you can make a purchase.
  • Temperature Control is Key: Although summers can be brutal, winter can be even worse. Invest in a good heater if you plan on living in RVs year-round, which can be both cheaper to run and more effective than onboard RV heating systems.
  • Plan Your Route Carefully: You might find that camping spots are less available during popular times like holiday sessions, so book in advance.
  • Join the RV Community: Many RVers have an active presence on social media, where you can ask questions, share experiences and connect with other like-minded people.


Should I Live in an RV Full Time?

It depends on your lifestyle preferences, financial goals, and willingness to adapt to change. Full-time RV living is certainly a unique experience and not for everyone. Before you make the transition, make sure to consider the pros and cons we mentioned above.

Is It Safe to Live in an RV Full Time?

Absolutely! But, like anything else, you need to be mindful of safety issues. Keep doors locked, use surveillance cameras, and avoid parking in secluded areas.

What is the Average Cost of Living in an RV Full Time?

The cost of living in an RV full-time varies depending on your lifestyle, but many RV users testify that they save up to 50% to 80% of their previous living expenses.

Reader Interactions

Have you or anyone you know lived in an RV full time before? What were your findings, and what advice would you share with us? Was this article helpful to you? Please leave us a comment below, and let’s keep the conversation going!

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