full time rv living tips

Beginner’s Guide to Full-Time RV Living: 10 Tips To Know

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If you are here, we know that you are curious or already in the process of setting an RV living schedule. Living on the road may sound daunting and overwhelming the first time it comes to your mind. However, having a clear understanding of this strange-bit mobile lifestyle will put you more at ease, at least for the considering and detailed planning phase. 

Researching and taking notes on some full time RV living tips will help your upcoming goal to be at its best. This is not a one-day task, but we have got your back.

RV living is always the ideal lifestyle of those who love to move while enjoying freedom to the utmost.

For the unstoppable traveling purpose, instead of renting accommodation in multi-star hotels or luxury resorts, many people now prefer trips to become closer to nature. They are comfortable having a so-called nomadic life, living right in their cars with an open idea: a home is where you turn off your engine. With that spirit, RV cars have been chosen more and more when people are becoming more liberal in this age.

RV stands for Recreational Vehicle, which is a vehicle specialized for long-distance travel with full amenities such as a refrigerator, stove, microwave, air conditioner, bed, etc. It is classified into several types, which we will discuss in more detail later.

full time rv living tips
Photo: AdobeStock

The first RVs came from the ideas of Gypsy men (Bohemian/Digan) who liked to travel and experience every aspect of wandering-around life. Instead of sleeping in flimsy tents, they used wagons to accommodate while moving across Europe in the 19th century. As time goes by, these vehicles’ designs and structures become more similar as houses installed with large-capacity generators, running gasoline, and domestic water tanks.

Overall, accompanying an RV full time takes mental strength and great planning and organizing ability. Imagine, you are living in a house with brick walls, multiple bedrooms, and large bathrooms, then on one fine day, you wake up in a space of only a few hundred square feet – a car. Feelings will change, experiences will be different.  

We will now address some pros and cons of this living style in more detail to serve you with a better initial understanding of how to prepare for full-time RV living carefully.

Challenges To Face When Hitting The Road

Deciding to live in a big car from now on, how does that sound to you? Excited, encouraged, worried, or intimidated?

With as much encouragement as we can say, be strong, as the challenges will befriend you every day, starting from the preparation stage to the point you are on the road.

The moment your mind fools you into thinking about your already achievement of a stable mobile lifestyle, something may strike and mess things up.

Here are some drawbacks when pursuing a full-time RV living you should be initially aware of.

1. Fatigue Driving Conditions And Parking.

With small vehicles such as bicycles or motorbikes, it is already tiring to control for a long time. Here we are talking about an RV, in some cases, a heavy-duty RV. Driving an RV for a long time will cause several problems if you can not handle it well. 

The risk of crash increases when the bulky RV’s driver travels on a not-so-smooth-and-wide road while being mentally and physically drained out. The driver needs to pay attention to vehicles and obstacles in all directions while utilizing his driving techniques to the maximum. 

Finding a good parking spot for a large vehicle, needless to say, is always a hassle. It would be great if your day-end destination is a spacious parking lot. But if you have no choice but a crowded lot, the experiences of traveling with an RV will, at that moment, leave a bad taste in your mouth. Not everyone can get a good RV parking spot, not every car can be properly parked.

2. Bad Weather

Experiencing bad weather while living in an RV is like going through harsh rehearsals and still being unstable.

The leek ceiling, falling branches banging against doors, wind whistling, lightning crashing, these unpleasant experiences could be written into a horror novel.

Here is a small full-time RV living note that we want to share. To avoid and prepare for the worst scenario during the dangerous stormy season, you should always keep a close eye on the weather. Not only that, you can park your RV in front of tall buildings that can block the strong wind and stay away from big trees.

3. Maintenance Issues While RVing.

Although RVs, in general, are not made equally, with variances in size, weight, construction materials, amenities, and longevity, they all have some common maintenance issues that must be addressed. Mold and water stagnation are the two main diseases of this car. Frequent cooking and bathing will lead to stagnant steam, not to mention air-conditioner moisture and breath, which can also make the best RV grow moldy and smelly. 

When being affected by the impact of time and weather, the operation of the specific components will eventually be under-functioned at some point.  

Maintenance issues can cause inconvenience in driving and some severe damages that require much costlier repair.

4. Expenses

Living in an RV full-time is not as inexpensive as many people believe. There are campground costs, site fees, maintenance expenses, internet, cell phone, and insurance payments that all add up. Although those expenses may be cheaper than those associated with a mortgage in a city, this is not necessarily the case compared to mortgages in more rural regions.

Eventually, even for a person or a group of people who have been living this way for many years, sometimes, they still wonder about problems that arise in the time of living and working in a not so spacious space with more limited living amenities. Moreover, issues such as financial risks and shortfalls will cause inconveniences for both mental and asset well-being.

With that said, to have a solid mind when sparking a roadie-adventure intention, ask yourself why you want this and explain them clearly to yourself, you will then be able to move forward with less fear and uncertainties.

If you are too hasty and rush to do it, you may regret missing out on tons of essential information that you wish you would know before starting something that is quite a big deal, a brand new lifestyle. 

Learn the details about the cost of living in an RV full time here!


Rewards Of Living In A Camper 

In addition to the limitations mentioned above, living full-time in an RV also brings quite a lot of fun experiences. RVing is not an option that can be decided and implemented in a short time. Many people have thought and prepared carefully, so this spectacular lifestyle transformation will bring them a lot of joy as nothing can bother them severely anymore. They initially take action and address the difficulties they will face in the coming time. 

Because of your mental preparation and careful planning before getting your dream of being on the road, here’s what you’ll get from living in an RV full-time. 

1. Freedom

Freedom is what you get the most from this nomadic way of life. You can go anywhere(with a plan) and do whatever you want. You can then break out the framework of ordinary routine and head towards a liberal life filled with many aspirations to conquer. Saying goodbye to family and friends, leaving the job at the office, there will be lots of things you have to give up and may regret later. 

However, in the end, your fulfilled goals and aspirations are what matters most. We still encourage you to pursue your magical goals, regardless of what others say. Feel free to welcome the coming days of sleeping with the night sky, you are almost there.

2. Simplified Living Style

Different from the large apartment before, now you will live in a car. As you may understand, living in such a minimalist environment requires a lot of skill and will. 

Living simpler, there will be fewer things to repair, fewer things to maintain and worry about. A simpler RV life can help you understand yourself better while giving you the ability to think through and dig deeper into your living decisions. This may later open up space in lives for more experiences and grand you more time with your family.

3. Slow Living Pace

Living on the road means having unhurried mornings, retreat time, and plenty of hang-out time. You don’t need to rush from one activity to the next or have a schedule full of things to do. It’s nice to have the privilege of spending that time in the morning and not have to be somewhere before 8 am. 

4. Experiences

The experiences of climbing, scuba diving, and seeing the world will be wonderful and unforgettable. Somehow, if you choose another way to live, there is no way you would have experienced all these.

Living a normal life will not give you enough time of the year to do more peculiar things. By making full-time travel the focus of life, you can experience many places and learn many things.

We have just gone through some of the positives and negatives of the RVing lifestyle. We hope this piece of information will clear your wondering out to some extent. 


10 Full Time RV Living Tips: Worth To Note

Once we’ve covered a few basics about life with a car under the stars, let’s take a look at the following 10 tips for living in a camper full-time. These tips are all written objectively because whether you can fully experience the trip of your life or not depends on your will, your ability, and your future orientation.

1. Selling Your House Or Not? 

You should decide carefully whether to keep the house or sell it to finance a long-term car outing trip. This decision will depend on how long you plan to experience this lifestyle, your age, monthly rent (if applicable), and home maintenance fees.

If you plan to keep the house, you’ll need to pay more attention to its safety and cleanliness while you’re away. Maintenance and cleaning fees can add up if you can’t find a reliable source.

Many people starting a full-time RVing life tend to rent out the house they are living. It can partly solve the monthly financial burden of your days on the road and put you at ease knowing that you still have a home to return. If choosing this way, make sure to find a reputable renting host or a proper managing company to help you. 

If you choose to make the bolder decision, whether to sell or cancel your tenancy, you should also prepare and consider it carefully. Try to keep your campsite expenses the same as or less than your prior house payment while budgeting, then you’ll be alright.

With the belongings in your house, if you want to keep them, find a place to store. You can send it to relatives and friends. Moreover, nowadays, many storage services are springing up at different prices, so storing stuff at these places can be a pretty good option. You should research carefully and consult relatives to choose the one with the best price and services.

2. Tidying Up

You can’t bring everything with you on an RV journey. Unnecessary things will make your living space narrow and untidy. Living in a room cluttered with furniture will reduce the fun and worsen the travel experience. No one wants to live in a messy room, you should determine this in advance to decide which kind of furniture you should bring and plan to place them more neatly.

Moreover, even though you are already armed with an RV for unstoppable camping trips purpose, you may still want to rethink when it comes to organizing it occasionally. When camping, you may need more space for amenities and food storage. Emptying everything and starting over might be beneficial.

3. Plan the Budget and Monthly Expenses

You may think being far from the ex-house would not cost you as much. Be conscious. Things may get steamy real quick if you are not aware of everything you spend throughout a month. Traveling in an RV does not mean you will be free from financial problems since finance is always a big issue in life, especially when you live in a car. 

Divide the money into small parts for easy tracking such as renting, insurance, maintenance fees, food spending can be more effective than just estimating. Make a specific plan to calculate the details, you can then save a lot of time and avoid financial risks during your time on the road.

When budgeting for petrol and camping fees, keep in mind that the more frequently you move from one location to another, the more money you’ll need. Similarly, if you plan to stay in one place for several months, your expenses will reduce. 

In addition, campground prices may range from nothing if you’re boondocking to $90-$100 per night if you’re staying in a high-end one during peak season. 

Regarding the RV, you can choose to buy an RV for full-time living before hitting the road or pay a monthly rental. Please consider and calculate carefully so as not to fall into a budget deficit.

In general, there will be the main fees you need to pay attention to such as the campground and parking spot prices, gas budget, RV insurance, maintenance fees. A month, depending on your living standard, travel frequency, and people living, your expenses will range from as little as $300 to about $4,000-$5,000.

4. Take Note On Suitable RV Type and Car Insurance

RV models are designed and graded to suit the needs and tastes of buyers. You don’t need the most luxurious but the most suitable one. The best RV to live in full-time needs to cover your every need for comfortable accommodation and amenities. Conventional RVs divide into 3 popular classes.

RV Class A is the biggest and most expensive one, measuring between 9 and 14 meters in length, about the same size as a bus. This model has the space of a standard house, such as a living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and runs on gasoline or diesel engines. It also has a modern electric and water system.

RV Class B, also known as Van Camper, is from 6 to nearly 8 meters long. It usually does not have a dividing panel between the cabin and the living area. The B model is equipped with a kitchen, a bathroom, and a compact bed. The driving and side seats can be converted to form as a desk. With a compact appearance, RV Class B is suitable for families of 4 or less.

Some popular brands of specialized RV Class B cars in the US are Roadtrek, Airstream, Advance RV, Free Spirit, Gulf Coast, or Sportsmobile… The Toyota Hiace, Ford Transit, or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can also be modified to be an RV.

RV Class C, aka Mini Motorhome. On the hood, there is a device used as a cab-over bunk. The chassis resembles the heavy-duty truck chassis, with a length of 6 to 13 meters, and a weight of 4.5 to 6.8 tons. 

There is also a trailer, a wheeled house with full equipment without an engine that is towed by a large container tractor or SUVs.

With the same price as an apartment, buying an RV is not a simple task. However, passion is always a motivation. Many people decide to buy a big car and make it an RV. That is also why forums on RV, motor homes, and camping cars are flourishing on social networks and attracting tons of members to participate.

If you’ve made this point, you may comprehend all of the RV classes. Think carefully and choose a suitable one.

Moreover, finding RV insurance might be challenging as you live in an RV or camper all of the time, we can say that most insurance companies will refuse to cover it. 

If you’re planning to buy a new RV, make sure you read the warranty beforehand. Geico and Good Sam provide the most reliable RV insurance options for full-timers at a reasonable price. You can check them out to have a better grasp on this issue.

5. Health Insurance and Remote RV Job Seeking

Health insurance while RVing full-time is always a concern because it is your health, one of the most vital things in life. There are both insurance alternatives for individuals and families offered by companies. You may be eligible for a subsidy based on your income. 

Make sure to look into your healthcare alternatives since they might not be as expensive as you think if you are about to change professions or start your own business. You must always be aware and educate people around about the importance of health insurance. It can be your savior when your health does not allow you to get out of bed.

In terms of employment, when living full-time in an RV, finding a remote job is essential to help you earn money to live a nomadic life on your own. Leaving things to go on a trip doesn’t mean leaving all behind. You can’t be in the jungle and eat wild fruits for such a swinging but unstable life you choose to follow.

When being a remote employee, you only need to ensure the work process and quality are on schedule via the Internet. At the same time, this position can also enjoy all the regimes, benefits, and rewards like ordinary ones.

It is no coincidence that remote work has become the choice of many as it is suitable for people living in the digital age. The benefits of remote working are time and cost-saving, freedom, and active work management. 

If you intend to take your career on the road, you will need to have a strong internet connection in place. Many remote employees use smartphones as work hotspots. If you require a secure network, this is an excellent option as you may get online as long as you have a good signal. 

To enhance the mobile service, invest in a cell signal booster. Wi-Fi boosters and even satellite internet are other internet choices to explore. There are a variety of solutions available depending on your need.

Update your knowledge and professional skills to increase the competitive rate at work right today. Good luck!

6. Mark Ahead The Destinations

This is a note that many may already know but don’t take seriously. Making thorough research before heading toward the destination will never be redundant, especially information about weather, customs, and local laws. 

It will help you plan lay in a more active status, from preparing clothes, handling sickness due to weather inadaptation, allocating driving time, or choosing the right stop.

If you want to participate in outdoor activities such as hunting or diving, remember to make research or read some full-time RVing blogs to acknowledge the laws of the places or the destined ecological zones. 

7. Find Good Campgrounds In Advance

Drivers who want to explore the country in an RV will have time when they want to take a break in the RV parking lots and campgrounds. To master all tips for living in a camper, you need to keep an eye on them.

tips for living in a camper
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Not all RV parking lots are the same. Campers can find RV parking places in states or national parks as much as privately owned campsites. Their quality will depend on your wallet, more or less. Reputable chains of RV campgrounds such as KOA and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park operate across the country and require some constant movement from one destination to another.

Take a look at some high-rated US campsites, you may need them someday. 

  • Horse Thief Lake Campground (Hill City, South Dakota)

Address: 24391 SD-87, Hill City, SD 57745, USA

Tel: +1 605-574-2668

Horse Thief Lake Campground is a pretty clean, no-frills campground with rustic yet charming beauty. Not to mention, this place is in a very convenient location to access the natural wonders of South Dakota.

You can sometimes see buffalo roaming nearby Custer State Park or herds of wild cattle running through the Black Hills Wild Horse Reserve. In addition, Mt. Rushmore is just 12 miles apart, while Crazy Mountain and Mammoth are also just a short drive away.

  • Boyd’s Key West Campground (Key West, Florida)

Address: 6401 Maloney Avenue, Key West, FL 33040, USA

Tel: +1 305-294-1465

Boyd’s Key West Campground on the beachfront, just a few minutes walk from Key West, has been in operation for over 50 years and is family-owned. In addition, the location near the tropical park will make this place ideal for every family’s intimate vacation.

Boyd’s also prides itself on having a pool area, beach, and amenities that are not inferior to other Campground areas. It has up to 250 camping spots and is always crowded.

  • Yosemite Pines RV Park (Yosemite, California)

Address: 9794, 20450 Old Hwy 120, Groveland, CA 95321, USA

Tel: +1 209-962-7690

Although there will be areas for RVs to rest inside Yosemite National Park, they are all kept in “original” condition and do not come with amenities. 

If you’re going on a road trip with your family, especially one with young children, you should consider parking at a spot outside the park. Yosemite Pines RV Park locates just 22 miles away. It’s a family-friendly place where the little ones can play with the Alpacas on the farm.

  • Zion River Resort (Virgin, Utah)

Address: 551 E State Route 9, Virgin, UT 84779, USA

Tel: +1 435-635-8594

Located in the heart of Utah and very close to Zion National Park, this RV Resort offers a wide range of choices according to your ability to pay. 

With a fully equipped kitchen, game room, and concierge service, Zion River Resort is a worth-trying place after a long trip. All you need to do is chill next to one of the most famous national parks in the US.

  • Solstice Motorcoach Resort and Country Club (Nevada)

Address: 345 Mystic Dr, Mesquite, NV 89027, USA

Tel: +1 844-567-5741

Solstice Motorcoach Resort and Country Club are located between Sin City and Southern Utan. If you’re looking for a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas or enjoy the beauty of picturesque Utah, Solstice is also the perfect campground for an RV adventure.

8. Find Companions Sharing The Same Passion For RVing 

This is another tip for full-time RVing. If you are not going with your family and team up with close friends who share the same interest as you in going on the road trip, the journey will be just as meaningful. Nothing can compare to a trip to discover new lands and have chances to understand more about yourself and your loved ones, right?

A small note for you is you should go with a responsible person to ensure that in the event of a conflict, no one will separate themselves from the group, leaving the other person behind. 

9. Communication 

Believe us. You will never be comfortable sharing a place with someone who doesn’t share your opinion for a long time, not even in ordinary life, let alone in an RV.

Living together but not sharing, consulting, asking each other’s opinions and feelings can only cause unsolvable issues and pent-up emotions. These problems, once filled up, will become the last straw when no one can stay calm and be patient for a full-time-shared life anymore.

Live with specific plans and goals, let each day pass meaningfully and happily with the people you love and respect. Get to know each other better and head towards a full-time RVing you have spent a whole year planning by communicating. Open your heart, speak your mind and share your opinions. By then, no matter which direction the story goes, believe that all problems will clear up one day.

10. Clear Your Mind and Enjoy The Trip

Last but not least, one of the most valuable RV living tips and tricks that we want to share with you is to relax. 

Your journey will not always be perfect, and you are bound to encounter some difficulties along the way. Reacting harshly to the situation will only make it worse. Clear your mind and be well prepared for anything that happens. With an open mindset, nothing is impossible.

Take a deep breath and enjoy the feeling of the wind in your hair. You are about to spend some wonderful free time without being constrained by anything. The future is always unpredictable, enjoy it right today. No matter which direction your plans turn, just know that you will always have these beautiful traveling moments with family and friends to remember.

Wrapping Up On Full Time RV Living Tips

We – RVing Trends hope that this article has provided you with some helpful full-time RV living tips for this lifestyle approach and your upcoming trip as well. 

If you have already made up your mind, have a happy and meaningful road trip with your loved ones on the RVs. See you around. 

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