We recently celebrated our one year anniversary of being fulltime RVers and I’ve got to say for the most part it has been pretty amazing. Of course, no lifestyle is perfect and all adventures have ups and downs. Overall, we do feel like the positive aspects far outweigh the negatives. Here are a couple of our least favorite things about RV life. Missing family/friends
Unfortunately, Chris and I are not very handy. When we first moved into our RV we had one problem after the next which was pretty stressful. Sure, we knew there would be problems but we were surprised we had so many right of the bat. We were very happy we bought the warranty with the RV. We had a leaking roof, a leaking generator, a bunch of electrical issues and more. The electrical issues were more than just stressful they were scary. No one likes to come home to the smell of burning wires and that happened a couple of times. Of course, things break in a house as well but you don’t normally have to pack up your whole house and take it somewhere to get it repaired. You can also call a mobile repair person but that can just add to the cost and sometimes you still have to take it in. We have also had some issues with RV repair shops, especially the mobile repair man who disappeared on us in the middle of fixing something. A lot of them tend to take their sweet time, too. We now normally try to find a place that is recommended by the RV Park we are staying at. We have had pretty good luck with that.
Chris and I are both very close with our families so leaving them was the hardest part about leaving Houston. We miss celebrating birthdays and holidays with friends and family. We hate that we are missing our niece and nephews’ games and recitals. When you are out travelling, your relationships with people back “home” can change, too. You are off on this adventure and their lives are continuing the way they were. Conversations become more “where are you” than “how are you”. The first couple months were pretty hard for me. We were feeling pretty isolated. Over time we have both adjusted to it. Birthdays and holidays can still be a little hard. In the past year, it has helped that we have met some new amazing RVer friends and spent time with some wonderful family members who we have been able to visit during our travels.
We really don’t argue much but driving days stress us out and always get the best of us. We both tend to get frustrated at each other, but I think we are both just trying to make sure everything gets done properly and we don’t forget anything. Chris normally tackles unhooking everything outside while I pack up and secure everything inside. We get our tow vehicle ready together and hook it up. After all of that, we normally do a 4 or 5 hour drive to a new place. Once we arrive, we unpack it all and hook everything up again. It can be pretty tiring.
Trip planning really should be fun, but when you are moving so often it can feel like a lot of work. You have to choose the location, then research the RV Parks in the area, then find out if they have availability and on top of that we need good wifi for Chris’ job. We normally try to find a point of interest and then plan around that. It’s hard to find a campground during a holiday and sometimes we forget about those. We learned the hard way if you want to stay in Phoenix in February or March you better plan months ahead of time. Planning your driving route ahead of time is also a must. We use google maps to plan our route and then double check it with our Rand McNally’s Truckers Atlas. One time we screwed up and didn’t plan our route thoroughly when leaving Pidgeon Forge, TN. We ended up face to face with a narrow twisting road that looked like a roller coaster. We knew there was no way we could go down it. We had to hurry up and unhook the car (in traffic on a two lane road) so we could back up and turn around. I just ended up driving separately to our next location. We learned a valuable lesson that day and have been way more thorough since then.
One of the first nights we stayed in our RV the propane/ CO2 detector kept going off. At first, we were really scared we had some kind of leak and ran outside. Then, later we found out our detectors were 10 years old, and it was time for new ones. Anyways, for some reason lately our propane detector in the living room has started going off again. We think it has to do with the trash. It likes to go off at 2 am and freak us out. It’s really annoying.
We have also always felt like we are constantly playing a game of “what’s that smell?”. We had the burning wire smells and we have stinky smell that tends to get stuck in our washer/dryer combo. When our gray and black tanks are about ¾ full we know because we get a sewage smell that comes out of our fan. Maybe someday we will get these all under control or maybe it is just part of RV Life.
Even with all of the negative parts, we are so happy that we are able to live this life. We have seen a lot of older couples on hikes or at campgrounds with health issues and feel so lucky we are able to travel while we are young and healthy. We are very excited to continue learning and growing on our second year on the road.