RV Living Full-Time | All you need to know
Are You Ready to Live in Your RV Full-Time?
Living in an Rv Full-Time is a big step. Some of the topics you may want to think about include:
- How are my finances impacted if I live in an rv full-time?
- What will happen with my house?
- How much will my life change?
- What can I do to make my transition easier?
- How will I live in an rv full-time with kids?
- How will insurance work?
- Where will we go?
- Will my rv be safe?
- How do I find the right full-time RV for me and my family?
How are my finances impacted if I live in an rv full-time?
Living in an RV Full-time will not necessarily change your lifestyle or way of life. You might consider living in an RV Full-Time because it appeals to you personally, not necessarily for financial reasons. The impact depends on several factors:
How do I set up my finances so that I can live in an rv full time?
Setting up your finances to live in a rv full-time is not that hard. First things first:
- What is my 'why' for being in an RV?
- How much money do I need to live comfortably in an rv full-time?
- How much do I have saved in savings now that I can use for living in an rv full-time?
Are you living in an rv just for the fun of it or do you have a different reason? Know why you are doing what you are doing.
If your 'why' is because of financial reasons, how much will it cost per month and for how many months can I do this before I run out of money. Will it be cheaper to live in an rv than an apartment or other residence?
Have a number of at least how much you will need to live each month. Like if it will cost $500 per month and you think you can do this for at least one year comfortably.
What will happen with my house?
There are many steps you need to consider if you want to live full-time in an rv. Let's start with the most challenging first: your home.
If you decide that living in a house year-round isn't for you, then you might have to think about selling or renting it. You can sell your house and try to make a profit depending on the current market. Or, you could rent out and use the income to fund your rv lifestyle. It's not easy to downsize from typical life styles into what fits inside a travel trailer or motorhome. Living in an rv full-time means being able to pack up all of the things that make us feel comfortable and happy, even temporarily.
You will most likely have to sell or give away a lot of your furniture and other stuff. There is just no room for most of it. The best way to decide what's really important, would be to pack up everything you own and see if it all fits into a few rooms at your house. You may also need to have some strong conversations with family members about what items they might be able to hold on to.
How much will my life change?
Your life will change in many different ways. Firstly, you'll be able to choose where you want to live for the year (or longer) based on your preferences. You will soon realize how long a 12 hour drive feels like after driving it 3 or 4 times per week. Also, once you stop paying rent and utility bills you will have more money in your pocket each month to save up for retirement.
These are just some of the things that will change. What about the negative aspects of living in an rv? How will that change your life? Well, I'm not going to lie and say there aren't any. It's too easy for me to just say it's all sunshine and rainbows.
However, the list below are things most RVers discover when they first start full-time RV living:
- If you don't have a plan and know exactly where you're going to stay every night then that can be stressful.
- Just thinking about where your next stopping point is going to be will cause anxiety for some people.
- There's really no easy way to describe this situation other than an inconvenience.
- If traveling by RV full-time is something you have never done before then there will be times you might just want to give up.
- The perseverance that it takes to just keep going will be stressful at times.
- You'll miss your friends and family a lot more than you ever imagined you would.
- The longer you're on the road, the harder it gets to make new friends. This is something that many full-time RVers have issues with and don't even realize it.
What can I do to make my transition easier?
For starters, you need to learn and know how to do basic things in your motorhome or rv that most people take for granted such as: the basics of electricity; using & disposing of waste & gray water safely and correctly; scheduling maintenance; and knowing what the heck a LP/propane tank is and what to do with it when you're done with it. You need to understand your water pump; hooking up a 7-way trailer plug correctly including auto, lights, reverse light & brake signal wires; and knowing how to connect an exterior 50 amp power cord to know if your rig is wired correctly.
You need to learn the alerts and warnings on your dashboard gauges which will keep you from getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere by an overheated engine, low oil pressure or a failing transmission, for example. Learn to read and understand your dashboard gauges quickly so you can focus your attention on other things like driving, navigating and using a CB radio.
To make the transision to full-time rving easier is to research all you can about RVing. If you're thinking of buying an RV then learn how to make sure it's a good one. There are plenty of resources online that can help you make a good choice or at least better knowledge on the subject.
Here are some things you can follow to make rving easier:
- Once on the road, do not take anything for granted.
- Make sure your water and food sources are always clean and sanitary.
- Learn to cook outdoors, inside, or in an electric skillet if you have the option.
- When it comes to food, learn how to use a dehydrater or smoker.
- Keep your sewer tanks clean and dispose of waste properly (yes even when camping!).
- Follow manufactorer's guidlines for all appliances in your RV.
- Keep all appliances serviced and take good care of them to prevent any break downs.
- Stay in a campground that has full hookups. It's worth it for power, water, sewer, trash dump site, and access to cable tv/internet if you so choose.
- Do not rely on free campgrounds unless your forced to by weather or emergencies.
- Read more about setting up your RV for living.
If you are going to use an RV full-time, you need to learn the basics of driving an RV including how to start it cold in the winter so your engine won't stall. You also need to know when things like battery cables, belts or hoses should be replaced or if they just need tightening; where the windshield washer fluid reservoir is located as well as which liquids can be safely used in your water system. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by all of this info and there's more, trust me, ask someone with experience for help. In some cases, working on your rig may require special tools plus safety precautions such as wearing gloves and goggles.
How much does it cost to live in an rv?
The biggest expense is the gas you may put into getting from one place to another. Other than that, living in an rv is pretty much the same as living in a house, except you live a lot smaller which should save you some money.
Yes, there are lots of extra things to buy/do like installing an rv toilet and shower if you do not have an rv that comes with those things. You have to be able to afford the rig you want. The average monthly payment for an RV loan is $515 per month. This monthly payment can be thought of as rent payments for your home. If you are leasing or renting a house, this is similar to the monthly rent payment on that property. Of course, if you own the property, those rent expenses go away unless you rent out part of it for income (like many people do).
If you want a bigger rv there will also be additional fees. For instance, if you buy an rv that is 19 feet long and then decide a few months later that you want to upgrade it to a 21 footer, it may cost you $3000 or so for the upgrade since you have already made the initial investment on the smaller one.
How will I live in an rv full-time with kids?
Living in an rv with kids is entirely possible. There are families out there living in rvs full time with kids since the early 1980s.
This is a little different than living in an RV as a couple or single person traveling the country and just using your home on wheels as a hotel room most nights after driving all day from place to place.
It is not easy but it can be done if you plan it carefully and consider safety and suitable housing very important. There should always be enough space for you and your kids to move around freely, you do not want to be living with kids in a cramped rv.Things to consider when living with kids in an rv:
- Older Kids
- Younger Kids
Older kids don't like to be treated as small children, they want to have their privacy and space, so one of the biggest problems is sleeping arrangements.
Most people in this case separate the boys from girls because you will need more room than when traveling with two adults who can share a bed together. It is hard but not impossible for parents to sleep on different beds each night while living in an rv full time. You just need a lot of patience. Especially if one or both kid(s) have some kind of anxiety disorder it could become very stressful at times with less space. I know families that lived together for years until something happened and stability broke down (like dad leaving mom). In my own family that happened when my dad got the opportunity to work overseas. He also decided to not come back home. Sad story, but it does happen.
Younger kids will adapt more easily to RV living. A family where the kids (6 & 8) are already used to sharing a bed for over six months when their dad decides to go full-time in an rv, will not complain at all. It can definitely be done. Just invest into some good curtains or dividers so you get your personal space at night time.
Younger kids seem to sleep better if there are familiar things around them at nights time (their favorite stuffed animal, pillow etc). Also having toys available for them seems to help sleeping as well.
Where will we go?
You have to think about where you will be living in your rv. An rv can be a great way to move to another state or country. You have to choose somewhere you can park your rv for longer periods of time.
If you are smart about it, you could park your rv in areas where there is no electricity or water hookups. There are always free places to dry camp or boondock, but make sure that it is safe to do so. Be aware of people in the area and that they won't break into your rv while you are not there. Check with local authorities for rules and regulations on this matter, as well as information on dump stations in these areas (you will definitely need a working toilet).
In some cases, you might even go stay at a truckstop or rest area when your kids have more energy than usual (or lack thereof). Just remember to bring enough activities for them to keep them busy throughout the day.
Will my rv be safe?
When you start to think about living in an rv, you will always want to know if you will always want to know if you will be safe. You may be worried about theft, or you might want to know if your rv will be safe from natural disasters. You also might just wonder how much you'll feel like a nomad when it comes to the safety of your home. Do not worry, there are things that you can do, and I'll also give some tips in this post on ways that those horrible storms don't even matter.
It depends on where you go and what kind of security system you have for your home (if any). It probably depends on the type of vehicle that you use for an rv. There are several things that you can consider doing for safety purposes while living in an rv full-time:
- A lot of people decide to get an alarm system . In fact, it is mandatory if you live in a mobile home. This way, you can be alerted to break-ins and intruders or natural disasters like a flood or other turbulent weather conditions.
- If you have items that could fly around your rv due to high winds, make sure they are securely fastened when the bad weather comes. You should do this even if you don't leave your RV though because one thing about storms is that they create wind gusts strong enough to throw things at houses and into windows so even if windows are closed or boarded up there's always a chance of something happening.
- There are also ways for preventing damage from floods such as moving any electrical equipment higher than normal off of the floor.
- Make sure that any food is stored higher than normal in the cabinets. Just because you're not used to storms don't be complacent during severe weather, always prepare for a worst-case scenario and you'll be ready if it happens to you.
- It's also important to have your fuel tank as full before the storm comes. The reason why is because there may be a need to relocate your RV due to rising waters or other dangers associated with flooding or other natural disasters (such as tornadoes). It's better safe than sorry so just fill 'er up!
- I know we told you earlier about being cautious but let's go over safety again real quick prior to leaving on our adventure. If at all possible move from where any type of storm might pass through. If you are in your RV and there's a lot of rain, high winds, flood warnings etc., it might be recommended to move out of harm's way (i.e. rising water levels). The reason why is because the higher wind flow can knock over an RV if it parks on uneven ground or gets caught in a current and is displaced from its foundation.
- You might not like to have neighbors but thieves are less likely to try and get into your rv if you have neighboring rvs close by. If you're the only one in the campground it will be easier for a thief to take advantage of that situation.
- It's best to have a car nearby (and not hidden) that you can run out and get into if there is any trouble happening. I'm sure many people already do this if they park overnight but just wanted to mention it.
When you think of an RV, what comes to mind? Is it a camper that's parked in the driveway for family vacations or is it something used by people with no other option but homelessness? The truth is more and more people are considering living in RVs as their sole residence because they can't afford rent. There are many reasons why this trend has been growing over the years. If you've never thought about giving rv living a try, take some time to learn more about how these homes have changed so much since we were kids. You may find yourself wanting one! What do you know about rvs now after reading this blog post? Do you agree with our conclusion that "more and more" people are choosing to live in an rv.