Everyone has that moment while they’re on vacation in their RV absorbing the scenery when they say to themselves “hey, I could totally live like this.”
For some people, that feeling goes away after a week or two of stingy showers and cramped kitchens. But for the rest of us, living in an RV full time sounds like a dream come true.
Think about it: you get to travel as much as you please and see new things every day. Or if you find a spot you like, just chill out there for a month or two. (A month in the Pacific northwest anyone?!)
Living full time in an RV certainly comes with its challenges. These are challenges you won’t want to deal with as they arise. Instead, plan ahead and be as proactive as possible.
Oh, you’ll also need to get creative – like really creative.
Things to consider before living in an RV full time
Half of your problems when living full time in an RV come from not having enough space. You’ll never have enough space for storage or activities no matter how hard you try.
The other half of your problems come from lacking a stable location and address. No one’s living situation is unique so like we’ve mentioned above, you need to get creative and stay flexible. What works for one person living in a camper might not work for your personal situation.
Browse places you can stay
You don’t necessarily need to set an itinerary (you probably won’t stick to it anyways), but you should at least look for places to stay ahead of time. Keep your options open: parks get crowded in the summer months when school is out for the season.
When you’re living full time in an RV, it’s probably a good idea to at least be prepared to boondock if you have to – even if it’s not your ideal setup.
Plan your diet and physical activity
RVs don’t allow much room for weight sets and physical activity. Browse local maps for hikes and other workout options. What if it rains? Consider investing in a Planet Fitness membership: they’re cheap and you can use any gym nation-wide.
You’ll also need to plan your diet. How will you cook in a tiny kitchen? Meal planning is crucial to avoid eating junk food for every meal.
How will you get internet and phone service?
Sure, it’s nice to unplug every now and then, but you should still make sure you’ll have a functioning phone wherever you travel. Consider upgrading your phone plan or switching your service. Check your coverage map.
Don’t rely on park Wi-Fi. You should instead purchase a portable Wi-Fi hotspot if you’ll need internet access on the road.
Contact your health insurance company
It isn’t glamorous, but you need to make sure you’re covered wherever you plan on traveling. Many insurance providers won’t cover out of state emergencies or doctor visits.
Plan personal space and privacy
If you’re living in a camper alone, this item doesn’t really apply. For everyone else, you need to plan time for yourself. No matter how much you love your significant other or travel partner, everyone needs personal space now and again.
Budget your savings. Will you need an income on the road?
Gas and park fees will probably be your biggest expenses. Do you have enough money saved? What will you do if you need extra money on the road?
Working online is great for folks living in an RV full time. You can also post on local job boards or trade groups for side work. Either way, internet access is crucial to making money on the road.
Get ready to downsize and stay flexible
Will you be returning to your old home? If not, you may need to consider renting a storage space for your belongings. Try to sell as much as you can bear to part with so you have enough money on the road.
Only pack what you absolutely need. Remember that your kitchen table will constantly be covered with stuff and your closet will be packed to the brim with random things. Be prepared to part with many conveniences and appliances.
Tiny house vs. RV living
Tiny homes are sleek and modern, but they aren’t really designed for travel. Sure, you can pack them up and move them when you need to, but RVs are designed for mobility. If you want to see the country, there’s really no question when it comes to a tiny house vs. RV: RV wins every time.