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!
Disclaimer: Flights of Fancy Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. We have no relationship with manufacturers. Flights of Fancy Mom is also an Affiliate with Boondockers Welcome.
These are great things to consider before starting a full time life on an RV. My husband would love to travel via RV all the time. I will share this post with him. We are considering this for sure.
I think living an RV would be fun if you are just going to travel for a little while. I can not see myself doing at full time, unless I had a job that allowed to work from home.
Dee, it’s funny. I actually can’t wait to live in one full time. South in the winter, North in the summer. I can work with that! Well, as long as I can get myself situated to work from home that is!
We love our toy hauler. But have never considering living in it full-time. These are some great tips. I definitely like the cost saving idea.
I have a friend that just started an adventure like this! She absolutely LOVES it! When I get to retirement age I think I might do something like this! I love to travel!
I have some friends who have sold everything and have done this. Quite the leap of faith but they love it. I do not know if I would be able to convince my wife of this, but it does sound like an adventure!
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This is a great article. We grew up traveling a lot in our RV. The summers we spent the entire summer going from one coast to the other and back again. Such great memories. This is certainly something I want to do as I get older!
I think about this often. I would love to travel the country in an RV. That is our goal for when we win the lottery, notice how I said when and not if? lol We would love to travel and see everything and the only thing that holds us back is the cost and my daughter being in school. The lottery would allow us to travel and pay for a private teacher.
Some days I think this would be an awesome way to live. But I have five kids so not exactly practical for us, lol.
These are great tips. I love to go RVing, but I don’t think I could live in one full time. It’s too confining for a lifetime of it.
Personally I have never been one to say that I would consider doing this one day. My brother on the other hand, lives across country and is getting ready to buy a huge RV so they can come see us more often with their four little kids. Maybe a vacation in his would change my mind! 😉
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We used to own an rv park. If we need an RV I told the hubby we could rent one. I love this article it’s something to think about.
I could not live with my 5 kids in an RV full time, but we could definitely do a one month trip! It looks like it would be such a fun time. I think it would also bond our family together, being in such close quarters. This is definitely a bucket list item for me!
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I have fond memories of traveling to Florida from Canada in an RV…what a wonderful experience! Not sure I’d be ready to live in one though!
We’ve thought about doing this! Just for a year or so to full time travel as a family.
I’m too much of a homebody. I’d love to do this for vacation though!
I don’t know if living in a RV would be for me. I’ve actually never been in a RV! They look fun though.
Living in an RV is definitely cheaper than getting a house, but I don’t think this is for me. It would be nice though to travel with an RV
It would be fun for my family! I’ve thought about RV last year and I think, we should try it next year in full year.
I have considered this option but I will probably wait until the kids move off. I think it would be awesome to travel anywhere that you want. However, I do have to factor in my health problems so we would need to keep a small home so that I can continue seeing my health care team.
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Sounds like a great way of life. Wish I could live this way. But we have 7 pets and I just don’t know where they would all go.
You would be surprised at how many people live in RV’s with animals. Of course, it also depends on the size RV you’d have. I’m looking for nothing bigger than 21 foot. But, there’s 30 foot one’s that the animals would love!
RV living definitely wouldn’t be for me, but my grandparents did it once they retired and all the grandkids were older and absolutely LOVED it!
I think I would love traveling and living in an RV. But I love my pets so it would be so hard for me to travel with them!
I would love to rent one for a week or two and travel around to test out how I like it. I can see myself really enjoying the RV life!
I am forwarding this to my mom! She has been thinking about selling her house and doing this! This article has so much great info for her!
RV living isn’t for me yet, but it’s probably something that I might reconsider as I get older. I love the idea traveling across the country in one.
Sounds like living in an RV is so much fun! We love going on road trips and seeing new places so I think this is one thing that we would enjoy doing. We’ll see. 🙂
I love the idea of just being a gypsy at heart, go anyplace at any time. The joy it would be to have such freedom. I would need to get better at pulling and backing up such a home!
I am one of those on the fence people. We are not considering doing this YET but have thought of doing it later on in life. Then again later on in life it may be more difficult! Your article did answer a lot of concerns and questions though so thank you for that!
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Absolutely! I’m doing it later in life. Waiting until after my daughter graduates high school. Hoping to get a few years in, traveling the country before I decide it’s too much!
I really enjoy camping, we go at least every other week in the summer. I really can’t imagine doing it full time though. We are always thankful for our personal space after coming home from a family camping trip.
We used to own and RV park and saw this alot. I would love it for a short period of time but couldn’t do it all the time. The downside is the expensive gas. I think for people wanting to see the world this is a great idea. I say start with a short period of time and see if you can handle it.
That’s actually great advice. The lifestyle sounds wonderful and people romanticize it, but once you start living it? Could be a whole different side. Thanks!
You’ve posted an awesome article. All the information is very helpful. I love so much campaign. I’ve benefited from your blog.
Really There are many benefits available if you live in the RV.
Thanks for sharing the helpful post!
Car trouble can bring your road trip to a screeching halt and may leave you paying for unexpected repairs. While it’s important to conduct regular car maintenance according to your manufacturer’s recommended intervals, you may also want to have certain aspects of your vehicle checked out before a road trip.