More and more people are leaving their homes behind and taking off on the open road to live full time in their recreational vehicles. The idea of being able to pack up and go wherever you want is no doubt an appealing one. However, before you take the plunge it is important fully consider the pros and cons and make sure that it is something you will truly enjoy. Here are some things you should consider before deciding if full time RV living is right for you.
Considerations if You are Traveling with Another Person
1. Do you and your co-traveler(s) get along well enough to spend a lot of time together in a small space? When living full time in an RV it’s not always easy to get away and have alone time so it is important to think through whether or not you would be comfortable spending most of your time in close proximity to the other person.
2. Does everyone really want to do it? It is important that all the people you will be traveling with are fully on board with the idea of the RV lifestyle. Sit down and have an honest talk to make sure that it is something that everyone is excited about and that no one is just “going along with it” to make the other person happy.
3. Do you have children? While it is possible to take children on the road full time with you, it is extremely difficult. You’ll need to consider their education, which usually involves doing home schooling. Unless you do it right, this can leave them academically behind other children their age. Kids can have trouble making friends on the road since you rarely stay in one place long enough which can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness. Really think long and hard about whether or not taking your kids on the road with you is the best thing for them.
1. Can you live in a very small space? The size of an RV means that you will be very limited in what you can take with you. Many of the things you currently take for granted won’t be able to fit in your new home and you will need to be willing to do without them. Be prepared for a very bare-bones existence with fewer clothes, gadgets and “stuff” than you are used to.
2. Can you live with very little water? Taking long showers and baths is a luxury that you won’t be able to do in an RV unless you want to be stopping to dump the water all the time. You’ll need to get used to the idea of scrubbing up with very little water and limiting your showers to the bare minimum. This can be hard for some people who are used to taking long, hot showers.
3. Can you live without a phone? Cell phones have certainly made the RV lifestyle easier since they allow you to take a phone with you. However, as you travel the country you will find yourself in places where there is no reception. One day your phone may work great and the next you’ll be in an area with no coverage. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of being out of touch with people then you’ll likely have a hard time on the road.
1. Do you have enough money to travel? You’ll need to consider all possible expenses including gas, campground fees, park fees, food, basic necessities and other unexpected expenses. No doubt you’ll also want spending money so you can do things in the places you are visiting. Make sure that you have adequate money to handle anything that may come up while you are on the road.
2. Are you planning to work? Many people work while they are on the road picking up odd jobs here and there along the way. However, you shouldn’t count on being able to find work since you can hit dry spells where there are no jobs.
If you are planning to work online while you travel you need to consider that Internet access can be an issue in some locations. Sure, today’s wireless devices allow you to access the Internet more easily. The problem is, though, that you will be limited by the coverage area of your provider. That means there could be days where you are unable to get online.
3. Can you afford to repair your RV? If you are living in your RV you need to be able to take care of it if something goes wrong. Worst case scenario, it is a good idea to have enough money saved or on hand to replace the entire RV with a new one if something goes terribly wrong. If you lose your RV you will be homeless so be sure to have a backup plan for what you will do in case of an extreme event.
RV living can be very fun and very rewarding. However, it’s definitely not for everyone. The dream of living in an RV and the reality of actually doing it are often two completely different things. Be sure to honestly assess all of the pros and cons of the RV lifestyle before jumping in and doing it.