20 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing

20 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing

A recreational vehicle provides you with an opportunity to travel to different places without having to worry about accommodation. Having an RV as your residence can be a dream come true for most people. The convenience it brings to the owner is one of the reasons it has become popular.


Here are some figures compiled by Rving Guide to show the popularity of these mobile homes:

  • About 10% of American households aged 55 and above own a recreational vehicle, while 8.9% of people 35 – 54 years old own one.
  • The typical owner of an RV is aged 49, owns a home and earns an annual household income of $68,000.
  • Throughout the United States, 7% of households own at least one recreational vehicle representing 8 million homes with RV. 
  • In the United States, the number of fulltime RVers now number around 1 million.

Given the comfort that these vehicles make, many people have considered going full-time with their recreational vehicle.

For someone who loves to travel and explore, the RV has given them an alternative to flying by plane, train, or other means of transportation, It also eliminates the need to find a hotel where they will stay for the duration of their trip.

However, deciding to go full time on recreational vehicles entails a lot of thought and consultation. Switching from brick and mortar home to recreational vehicle may result in lifestyle changes.

If you are used to making frequent visits with family and friends, going full time on an RV can be a huge adjustment for you. Some people who are into RVing can still manage to visit their family and friends who are in different places.

Do some research first before making the transition. You can check out magazines to gain an insight on what full time RVing is all about. These magazines will also provide information about the different kinds of recreational vehicles.

So if you have decided to give full time RVing a chance, here are 20 things you need to know about living in your recreational vehicle.

1. A Bigger RV Is Not Always The Best Choice

big RV

Most of us have the notion that buying a bigger RV is better. While they may be super comfortable in terms of accommodation, bigger recreational vehicles can pose a lot of problems such as parking in camps, state parks, and forests. If having fun and excitement is your ultimate goal when traveling in RVs, bigger models may take the fun out of it.

According to a report by USA Today , smaller RVs can give you more versatility.

Another advantage of a small RV is that you can easily drive and park it. It gives you the freedom to explore a narrow road and eliminates the fear that you may not be able to turn it around.

Compared to a bigger recreational vehicle, smaller models offer more practicality. It is easier to make practical decisions with a Type C than a Type A RV.

2. Camping Clubs Just Can’t Cut It

join Club

Joining RV clubs is a great way to test the waters of RVing first before deciding to leave home and go full time.

While you do not have a recreational vehicle yet, just browsing through the brochures and leaflets that these4 clubs give out will make you want to switch right away.

Signing up for camping clubs is a great way to save on cost. However, you may find it useless especially in most camps that do not accept passes. Club memberships are not the same so be wise when considering them.

If you will be out most of the time and staying in sites or camps not accepting passes, your club membership is useless.

If you decide to go full-time RVing, memberships at certain parks during certain periods will defeat the purpose. Going full time on your RV is all about freedom.

To benefit from your camping membership, look at where you are traveling. Chances are you might find that a regional club has better offers than a national one even if they have the same cost. Likewise, you should look for a club that offers the benefits that best suits your needs.

3. Roof Mounted Accessories May Not Work

Hard mounted satellite dishes can be useful in making the reception of your Netflix or Redblock subscription in your RV clear. However, most camp sites or caravan parks have trees and obstacles that can block your line of sight which could render hard-mounted satellite dishes useless. It is better to use movable dish instead.

In the same way, your solar panels will not work without harnessing the power of the sun. Make sure to park away from trees and other obstructions. Solar panels will come in handy when you do not have access to electricity in the park or campground where you will be staying. In addition, it frees you from having to charge your batteries while driving.

4. No To Heavy Slides

Slides can be a great addition to your recreational vehicle as they can save some internal space. However, there is a tendency for some manufacturers to go overboard. Slides came into existence in the 1990s.

They started out small but eventually, manufacturers morphed them into what is now called as “super slides.”

While slides can give a homey experience to your RV, heavy ones can pose some real issues. When your vehicle is moving downhill and you get into an accident, it can crush whoever is sitting beside them to death.

5. It Is Easy To Find A Great Public Camping Site

camping site

With a little research on your part, you may find out that finding public lands for your camping trip can be easy. You can search through different websites until you find the right camping site for your trip.

Public campgrounds are owned by the state, city, county, or national entities for recreational use. Their advantage is that they are not crowded and cheaper than commercial sites. With a little bit of research, you can easily find public grounds for your trip. Here is a short guide on finding the right campgrounds for your RV:

6. You Can Make Do With Contract-Free Internet

contract free internet

Having an Internet connection on your RV can make your travel more fun and convenient. Finding the best Internet plan is a good opportunity for addressing your browsing and surfing needs while driving to your camp site.

However, signing up for an Internet plan for your RV may not be the choice. There are many much cheaper options that you can consider for your RV.

The truth of the matter is that you can get excellent Internet service without a contract. Your Android phone can also be used for mobile data and Internet access .

Try rooting the phone to get full access to your phone’s capabilities.

Staying connected on your RV or motorhome need not be a one-time installation. It should be dependent on your location. Besides, some camping sites may have an Internet connection that you can tap. The best option is a contract-free connection as it will allow you to find the best plan whenever they are accessible.

7. Take Your Time On The Journey

take time for journey

One benefit of recreational vehicles is that it gives you an opportunity to be on the road more often. But it may not be wise to do so. Appreciating each spot that you visit may be a more fulfilling and richer experience.

Don’t rush to be on the road once again after just arriving at your destination. Forget about your schedule for once and appreciate the surroundings. If possible, take the secondary roads and avoid the interstate to truly appreciate the scenery.

8. Pack Light

pack light

When going on a trip on your RV, we have the tendency to bring everything we have when there is no need to. You may be tempted to bring as many tents or equipment as you can. The truth of the matter is that traveling light is recommended.

This will be more beneficial to you as you may be able to have more storage space on your RV. Get rid of stuff that you do not need. This will be a cost saving option as you will not consume fuel much.

This also applies to other stuff such as shoes. You won’t need 8 pairs of shoes or all the kitchen appliances that you use in your house. Most of the gizmos designed for recreational vehicles are either useless or not needed. Bring only what is essential.

9. Check The Weather

check weather

The weather is one factor that can ruin your trip on your RV. Recreational vehicles offer mobility that you can move to a different location when the season changes.

The best thing to do is plan your trip keeping in mind the weather. You can look for parks that are weather-dependent. For example, there are campsites where you can stay in during the winter.

Others who are living in their RVs move out for a few months during the winter. When the weather has warmed up, they return to their RVs and head on their way again. Full time RVing can still be fun despite the weather as long as you are prepared.

You can try investing on a barometer and other weather-checking devices to make sure that it will not ruin your planned vacation.

10. Going Full Time RVing Is Affordable

One important thing that potential full-timers need to know is the financial aspect involved with it. While full-time RVing can be more affordable than living in a brick and mortar one, you will still need to kick in some income.

Some full timers fund their RV lifestyles with pensions, social security, military or corporate pensions. For those who do not have these facilities, they have the option to build substantial savings.

For some people, the cost can be a source of disappointment to go full time on their RVs. The truth of the matter is that they are totally manageable. You can be flexible when it comes to your expenses.

There are ways you can get savings on your camping, fuel, health insurance, taxes, and others. Whether you prefer going on the road or staying in costly resorts, the choice is really yours.

11. Learning How To Clean Is A Must

The downside of owning an RV is that you cannot afford to be messy. At some point in time, you will learn how to keep your RV spic and span. The good news is that your vehicle is compact so cleaning it will not be that hard unlike in a traditional home.

Your normal duties may include washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, or throwing the trash.

Remember that you do not have enough space for letting your dishes stack up. You are only allowing ants into your RV. Dirty clothes must be cleaned right away. It is important to be neat and tidy with your RV.

12. Make The Most Out of The Space In Your RV

Recreational vehicles have a limited space so reduce clutter as much as possible. For instance, your RV has only one table that will serve several purposes.

Make sure to check out all possible storage options in your RV. You may have to do some renovation such as adding hooks or pockets on the cabinet and closet doors. You may also consider a hanging wastebasket.

13. Bring Out The Handyman In You

One thing that you need to bear in mind when going full time on your RV is that you will be taking it wherever you go. Although they are smaller than a traditional home, repair costs can be quite expensive.

Aside from the usual wear and tear, your RV can also get damaged due to other factors. Your motorhome will experience bumps and vibrations as they traverse roads, interstates, and even gravel driveways.

The good news is that everything in the RV is easy to fix. Most things found in your motorhome is similar to your brick home so you can fix any issues yourself. So if you are quite confident with doing some repairs, go ahead and try.

All you need is a small tool set and the repair manual. However, if you are not that confident, then you have to pay someone to do the repair and it will cost you.

Another thing you should be wary about is when the unthinkable happens like if your RV is consumed by fire or stolen? While we are not thinking that these will happen to your vehicle, it is always to be prepared than sorry.

Unless you have the budget to buy a replacement RV, you are better off having an RV insurance to shoulder these expenses.

14. You May Have To Consider Mixing Work And Leisure

There will come a point in time that you will consider mixing full time RVing with getting a job. Working on the road may be essential to supplement your income. There are jobs that may require a commitment to one location while others can be done on the road. There are many options available so think of the impact it will have on your desire to do full-time RVing.

People who go full time on their RVs think that once they get on the road, it’s a long stretch of leisure all the way. However, full-time RVing is not flexible as many think it is.

15. Can You Handle The Costs?

While living in a recreational vehicle is cheaper than traditional homes, you still have to find a way to generate income to defray costs that you will incur.

There are many options that you can consider in order to supplement the financial aspect of living full time in a recreational vehicle. For instance, there are some who take part-time jobs.

Others get funding from social security, military pensions, and others. There are also some who build substantial savings to handle the costs. It will take a great deal of discipline if you take this route. Here are some tips on handling the costs.

16. What About My Home?

If you sell your house and realize that full time RVing is not for you, where will you go back? So if you are not yet 100% committed to going full time in your recreational vehicle, don’t sell your house just yet. This is easier said than done because some people might not be able to handle the service costs of both the RV and the house.

A great way out of this predicament is to make your house a rental home and let a property management firm handle the rental. This is a win-win situation because you get to keep your home.

17. There Are Different Types of RV

Choosing the right recreational vehicle is an important decision when deciding to go fulltime RVing. Please be reminded that there are different types of RVs for you to choose from:

  • Class A RVs are like buses mounted on a large truck chassis. It comes in diesel and gasoline options.Fifth wheel trailers are perfect if you prefer to have substantial space. They are towed by large pick-up trucks. Their mount point is found in the truck bed requiring large tow weights.
  • Class B are smaller RVs perfect for those with a limited budget. Class B RVs is perfect for those who are not looking for high-end amenities. They are useful for “stealth parking,” which is great for reducing parking costs on a campground. 
  • Class C is smaller than Class A which makes them more maneuverable in camp sites with limited space.Travel Trailers are pulled by a towing vehicle such as a small sedan. This is a good starting point if you are still just pondering to go fulltime with your RV.

18. You Need An Exit Plan

There will come a point in time when full time RVing is no longer possible for valid reasons. It could be due to old age, failing health, or you just miss your old home and would like to be closer to the kids. When that time comes, it is best to have an exit plan in place. Make sure to have a budget when this time comes.

Some clubs and parks have amenities that combines the benefits of both full-time RVing and the safety net of on-site care. It will allow you to post your travels with like-minded individuals and couples.

19. What Will I Do With MY Personal Possessions?

One of the many issues that you need to address when going full time is your personal possessions (https://hubpages.com/living/answer/155232/how-do-you-downsize-possessions-for-the-fulltime-rv-lifestyle). RVs are designed to provide comfort when traveling across the country. The convenience you are looking for disappears if you will bring along your possessions. The good news is that there are proper ways you can handle them when transitioning to full-time RVing.

The first option is to sell the items that you do not need. This is a good way to raise cash to defray the costs associated with going full time on your recreational vehicle.

Clearly, all these superfluous personal possessions need to be handled somehow. One option is to simply sell everything. The advantage of this is that you can potentially raise quite a bit of cash, which can come in handy in covering some of the upfront costs associated with the transition to full-time RVing.

Another option for addressing your possessions problem is to store them either in a storage facility or leaving them with a friend whom you really trust. If you are going on an RV for the first time, this is the recommended option. Living in an RV can be a great experience but it is not for everyone.

Storing your possessions somewhere is a good option because should you decide to go back to living in your brick and mortar home.

20. Can I Get Health Insurance?

health insuarance

Another major issue that you need to contend with when deciding to go full-time Rving is health insurance. If you have a full-time job in a company while living in an RV, then you can rely on this for your health insurance.

However, if you are traveling around the country, getting coverage can be the real challenge. Most health insurance is dependent on your home address and you may already be at a beach when the time for medical care kicks in.

If you have just retired from corporate work and decided to go fulltime RV, you might be able to avail of COBRA coverage. You might be able to avail of health insurance for a period of 18 months after leaving your job. While you will be shouldering the entire premium, this is the best option rather than applying for an individual plan.

For low-income full-time Rvers, you can apply for Medicaid. Coverage is given out by individual states so your eligibility will depend on your chosen state of residence. For those who are past the retirement age of 65, a health insurance option is Medicare.

This is administered by the Federal Government through Social Security offices. Most full-time Rvers who have reached the “traditional” retirement are eligible for some coverage using Medicare.

These are the factors you need to bear in mind when considering going full time on your recreational vehicle. While it can give you an opportunity to explore different places, there are also adjustments you have to make. Think long and hard before deciding to jump into the fulltime RVing craze. Just because it worked for one does not mean it will work for you as well.

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