Have you ever thought it would be fun to sell the house and take off in your RV full-time? That’s what we did a few years ago and we have not regretted it. We love our life of travel and adventure where we are always learning about new places and meeting new people. It’s not something to rush into lightly, however, as it takes quite a bit of preparation and willingness to adapt to this new lifestyle.
As with any new endeavor, there are pluses and minuses. Each RVer is different in their needs, abilities, expectations, and attitudes so you have to decide for yourself which things you can live with. Although we have learned that full time RV living is not perfect, to us the positives far outweigh the negatives. But as with everything in life, there are two sides to every coin. Read on to learn about the pros and con’s of RVing full-time and to see if it’s right for you!
Guest Post by Robin Buck
Amazing Travel Experiences
Ups: There are some key things that stand out as positive aspects of full-time RV living. At the top of our list is the opportunity to travel to new places and have amazing adventures. So far during our four years on the road we have traveled 59,000 miles to visit 38 states and 26 national parks. We have crossed some fabulous places off our bucket list and seen some of the most beautiful locations in our country.
Downs: When you are used to living in one place, adjusting to moving and traveling on a regular basis can add some stress to your life. Before each trip we have to decide where to go, plan our route, research campgrounds, make reservations, and locate big rig gas stations and rest areas along the route. Then it’s time to pack up camp, make the driving trip to the new destination, and set up camp all over again. It’s exciting at first but can get a little old if you travel frequently.
Comforts of Home
Ups: While we are traveling, another selling point for me is having many of the comforts of home with me. I love that I can sleep in my bed each night on my own comfortable pillow. No messing with packing and suitcases for each destination either. Our residential size refrigerator, in addition to a convection oven, makes eating healthy meals easier on the road. We even have some small seasonal decorations to make the RV feel homier.
Downs: While we do have lots of comforts with us, we also have a lot less storage. Living in your RV will require serious downsizing of your belongings. We have learned that we don’t need all the things we had at our house, but sometimes you miss a few of them. In addition to storage, the living area itself is smaller. Getting used to sharing one small living space or maneuvering in a tiny bathroom is not for everyone.
Flexibility and Freedom
Ups: Living in an RV allows great mobility, freedom, and flexibility. You can decide where you go and how long you stay in a place. If you are tired of one location or don’t like the weather, then just pack up and head to a new destination. There is also a sense of freedom in choosing how we spend our days and knowing we are not part of the daily rat race anymore. We can enjoy being in nature and taking life at our own pace.
Downs: Sometimes you don’t want to leave a place but are at the mercy of unpredictable weather. Tornados and hurricanes are especially dangerous in an RV so you may be forced to leave the area for your safety. Snow and freezing temperatures can cause havoc with pipes and other systems if you are not prepared to be camping in cold weather. Even high winds and thunderstorms can be frightening in a recreational vehicle.
RVing with Kids/Family
Ups: A truly special plus of living in your RV is the quality time you have together with your loved one or family. Yes, it might be an adjustment at first to be around each other 24/7, but the memories and fun you experience together is wonderful. We have embraced a simpler lifestyle with less material possessions but have a renewed sense of appreciation and joy throughout each day. We are grateful to wake up every morning to a new adventure we can savor and enjoy with our favorite person.
Downs: Sometimes you just want a little space to yourself. Having only a few hundred square feet can cramp your style if you are used to doing your own thing. Some people have been known to get a little grumpy if they don’t have their “me time.” Communication is key, along with being patient and considerate so that you don’t get on each other’s nerves. We also miss the companionship of our family and friends back home.
Cost of RVing – Click Here to Learn More
Ups: Everyone thinks that life on the road is more affordable than owning a house. If you do a good job of managing your spending, you can actually save money. Using campground memberships or boondocking are great ways to save on fees. Also, your food budget will be lower if you cook your own meals in the RV. Those who are willing to travel less often can take advantage of weekly or monthly campground rates and also keep fuel costs down. We have found that occasional workamping can bring in some extra income or at least cover the cost of rent and utilities.
Downs: In addition to the cost of the RV itself, we have found that the price of both camping sites and fuel have risen quite a bit over the last few years. Visiting new places frequently also comes with the added expense of sightseeing and fun outings while you are there. Since RVs are complicated vehicles with lots of moving parts, things can and do break. Therefore, you don’t want to scrimp on RV insurance or doing important regular vehicle maintenance.
Weighing the Ups and Downs
Just like everything in life, you have to weigh the good and the bad. For us, the positive benefits we have gotten out of full-time RV living have definitely been worth any downsides. We can’t imagine being able to see and do all that we have without the freedom to travel the country in our motorhome. Yes, there might be a day that we say we’ve had enough, but for now the open road keeps calling our name!
Robin and her husband, Mike, are Air Force veterans and empty nesters who travel full-time in their Entegra Anthem motorhome. Always ready to explore, they love nature and wildlife, meeting new friends, and discovering America’s many hidden gems. Robin chronicles their adventures and experiences on her travel blog RVing with Robin.