The saying, “Not all those who wander are lost.”, is one of my favorites. I feel it illustrates the allure of full time RVing. Year after year, more people are adopting this lifestyle and taking to the open road. Whether to live nomadically or merely to downsize from a larger residence, living in a motorhome enables experiences that you would never have otherwise.
For example, as the owner of an RV or fifth-wheel, you can park at an RV campground or on your own—or a friend’s—property and live as a permanent resident in one location. On the other hand, you can become a full-time traveler, wandering the country and having adventures with all of the conveniences of home right at your fingertips. In fact, you may never have to pack a bag again. Either way, here are just a few of the things to consider before deciding whether or not the RV lifestyle is for you.
Do You Enjoy Traveling?
If you love seeing new places and people—or if you become easily bored—you are in for quite an adventure. If, you find travel a bit stressful and find you miss the stability and predictability of a stationary life, you might want to consider taking a few practice RV trips or living in an RV park instead. Fulltime travel is unlikely to be a good fit.
Benefits of Traveling in Your RV
Even if you decide to primarily stay in one place, living in your RV means that you can pick up and travel anytime you want. You don’t have to clean your home before leaving in order to avoid returning to a mess; it goes with you. You don’t have to worry about who slept in the bed the night before (or am I the only one gets a bit creeped out by that thought in a hotel?) because you will be sleeping in your own bed.
PLUS, your pets travel for free! We have several fur-babies and finding accommodating hotels can be difficult and expensive. With your motorhome, though, you can bring all of them without incurring additional fees. Their and your routine doesn’t even really have to alter.
Can You Live “Small”?
By the time a person considers living in an RV, they often have acquired years-worth of stuff that ranges from the necessary to the nostalgic. In order to live in the reduced space of a motorhome, you need to minimize. This can be difficult and even emotional. Some full-timers suggest taking pictures of everything that means something to you. This allows you, in a sense, to “keep” everything. A photograph—better yet, a digital one—takes up far less space than your 7-foot artificial Christmas tree, etc.
On the other hand, the smaller space equals fewer chores, as well as lower heating and cooling costs. Plus, cleaning is much easier since everything is on one floor.
Can You REALLY Live “Small”?
Living in an RV means there isn’t a lot of “personal space” if you share a residence. How well do you get along with your significant other and/or children? Will you be able to live in their company 24-hours each day? This is another reason to consider taking a long practice trip first. Also, talk to other full-timers and ask them what the lifestyle is like before committing to it yourself.
Can You Afford It?
Well, that depends. What type of lifestyle do you intend to adopt? If you dream of a simple life with a small RV, then with a few thousand dollars or a bit of saving you will likely be able to purchase one. If you want an apartment-sized coach, however, you should plan to spend about the same amount as an average house payment—or even more. Plus, there are the added costs of site rent, fuel for traveling, propane for heating and cooking, as well as fees for satellite or mobile Internet. It’s also advisable to keep extra money available for repairs and upkeep.
When traveling, however, you can reduce expenses by cooking in your RV instead of eating out. Our kitchen, for example, has a three-burner gas stove, a microwave/convection oven, a residential-sized refrigerator, plenty of counter space, and of course my slow cooker. Dining out is a treat instead of a necessity.
Plus, with an RV or camper, can live just about anywhere you want, in comfort. For free, you can stay “off the grid” dry camping in the desert, by a lake, or even in a parking lot.
By considering these aspects, you can determine whether or not a fulltime RV life is for you. Enjoy the panoramic view of the world from your captain’s chair, as you tour in style or join the community at your favorite RV park. Either way, live in confidence that the lifestyle you chose is the right one for you.
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