So, you think you want to become a full time RVer? Are you ready to sell most of your things and hit the road? To some people, this sounds like a dream. Others may be on the fence trying to decide what they want to do. Do your research! Research how to tell if a full time RV life is for you. This has to be a lifestyle you want to live and are ready to throw in 100%. Hopefully, this post will give you more insight as to whether it’s the life for you or not.
Is Living in an RV Full Time the Best Decision For You and Your Family?
Living in a motor home or camper full time may not hold appeal to some people, but to others, for various personal reasons, it may be the best idea for them. There are many factors in making this decision. First and foremost, it is a lifestyle change. You have to make sure you are 100% prepared for how your life will change. In a society of what seems to be “McMansions”, living in an RV may seem like you’re moving into a one-room shack.
In a fairly recent trend, cost of living has risen, where people’s incomes have not. Trying to find ways to cut down on the cost of living has been on many people’s minds. But, all without giving up the comfort of a good roof over their head.
The cost of a mobile home (RV, Fifth Wheel, Travel Camper) is significantly cheaper than buying a regular brick and mortar home unit. While it may seem like an insane idea, well over nine million people have made this transition and live in them full time.
Living the RV Life Has Many Benefits
Over nine million people live in motor homes and trailers full time because there are many fantastic benefits. If you think I’m crazy for stating this, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- When was the last time you had the freedom to wake up and decide you wanted to see someplace new? Then had the ability to eat breakfast and get on the road that same morning?
- How often have you ever had the luxury to go wherever you wanted to, stop someplace unplanned because you found something interesting to see, eat what’s in your own cabinets, cuddle under your own blankets for a nap, or at bedtime, without the hassle of having to make reservations?
- Have you ever had the ability to just up and leave someplace when you were ready to move on without having to break a rental lease, sell your property and then find another place to live?
- Are you tired of having to upkeep your home? Paying property taxes, mowing your lawn or feeling like you are stuck with neighbors that end up being your opposite in every way?
If these questions made you think, then maybe you’re not as sold on the whole stuck in a rut feeling and having to make the best of it. RV living may be something you want to think about. Food for thought.
Being a Full Time RVer Can Be a Money Saver
If you plan carefully, living in an RV can be a lot cheaper than you think. Check out my previous post on RV Budgeting that Won’t Break the Bank. What can the RV Life Cost? Having a budget may seem to have the opposite effect that you were going for. Having the freedom to do what you want.
But, if this is a lifestyle you want, you have to be smart about it! I also recommend RV Living: Call Me Gypsy from Amazon for great tips on living a full time RV life and other hacks. A good book for you solo travelers, like me, is Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget: Go Small, Go Now. Doing this teaches ways to save money when buying travel units by using books like the two shown above. As well as understanding which expenses you avoid and which you must be able to cover.
One example of saving money, if you stay in a campground, you do not pay property taxes, have to worry about home maintenance costs, such as lawn care. You do not need homeowners insurance and unless you took out a loan, you have no mortgage payments. Full time RVer’s pay less for certain utilities, as shown in my budget post linked above, than they would in a house. There is also no need to purchase furniture, appliances or television sets!
However, they must pay for their campsite, licenses and their vehicle payments, if any. If you choose not to stay at a campsite, and do what is called Boondocking, you eliminate campsite fees as well. Check out my post on Boondocking ~ How to Find Your Free RV Campsite.
If you are brand new to living the RV Life, here are some initial costs that you may have:
- Prices for new travel trailer units can be as low as $8,000. A good used motorhome with all the luxuries of home can be bought for $20,000 or less. A new high-end luxury motor home can run as high as three million dollars. A higher end luxury fifth wheel travel trailer can cost upwards of $50,000.
- A new vehicle with enough power to pull your new home is the same cost you would pay even living in a brick and mortar home. You can purchase a used one for less than $20,000.
- Annual RV insurance will average $500 depending on the price you paid for your unit. Again, not much more than a brick and mortar home.
- Utilities will generally be less than $100 a month, sometimes quite a bit less. Significantly less than a brick and mortar home!
- Living year round in a decent campground can cost as little as $225 or upwards of $700 per month. Or, if you are willing to move your travel trailer every 14 days, this cost would be free.
As you can see, there are different scenarios, so in many cases, your decisions will determine your costs. And if you choose to give boondocking a try, there is a community of people who allow full-timers to park on their land for a night or two. You can purchase a membership at Boondockers Welcome – Be My Guest RV Parking.
Being a Full Timer Has Many Other Benefits
Here are some other benefits you might want to know about:
- You would be safer in a travel unit than in a house because you are surrounded by others who live closer to you than in a home. The RV Community is a very close one and people look out for one another. Campgrounds, for the most part, have good security and are regularly patrolled.
- In the event of an environmental crisis, such as a hurricane or tornado, just hook up your home to your vehicle and drive away from the danger.
- If you decide to stay at a campground, some of them offer spacious lots and have amenities such as workout rooms and Jacuzzis. If you’re not one to move around all the time, you can set up your outdoor living space to suit your lifestyle. Hello firepit and screened in porch!
- Most new RV’s have better, more luxurious amenities than the average home. If you purchase an older model at a lower cost, you can remodel it to suit your needs. Travel campers sometimes come with amenities such as a washer/dryer combo, big screen TVs, satellite dishes, side by side refrigerators and even king sized beds. Better than my current apartment!
- Quite a few of the more residential style RV parks offer organized activities for residents.
- If a neighbor gets on your nerves, just hook up your home and move to another site.
- If you have a problem with your campground, you can just leave. There are no contracts to worry about breaking.
- Other than washing and sometimes waxing your travel camper and taking care of general maintenance and cleaning, there is very little physical labor. More time to do what you want.
- Travel Campers are used as a vacation home as well. So you don’t have to live in it full time.
- If you’re a gypsy at heart like me. This gives you flexibility because your lifestyle allows you to live wherever you choose to.
- While the living area is small, it’s less that you have to clean. Giving you more free time to enjoy daily living.
- There are hospitals that offer on-site hookups in the event, you have to go to the hospital and your stay is extended. This will save you a fortune in room and board!
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