Couple enjoying minimalist living as they live in an RV full-time

What It’s Like to Live in an RV Full-Time

There is a lot to love when you live in an RV full-time. The limitations and burdens of a typical home living don’t bother you. Also, you can explore beautiful places and enjoy budget-friendly living.

According to research by The Washington Post, there are more than one million Americans who live in an RV full-time. Many agree that this lifestyle makes them happier and has helped better their relationships.

However, as tempting as it is, RV life isn’t for everyone. Certain factors like companions, financial situation, and space determine whether RV living is right for you.

If you think you might want to live in an RV full-time, read this guide to make an informed decision.

Why Do You Want to Live in an RV Full-Time?

Various compelling reasons can make anyone consider RV living. These include:

It Is Affordable

Compared to buying an RV, purchasing a home is expensive. Plus, once you are tired of living in your RV, you can sell it and get a good portion of your investment if you have kept the vehicle in good condition.

You Have the Freedom to Move Anywhere

Signing up for a home, mortgage, or apartment limits you. You have to live in that location until your contract expires or you sell your home. But people living in an RV have the freedom to move anytime they want. As such, you can take a temporary job in various parts of the country or move your home to a different location in case of an emergency.

You Can See Breathtaking Views

Many of us want to own a home with an ocean or mountain view. However, such a home is incredibly expensive. With an RV, individuals can live virtually anywhere they want. You can choose and change views as much as you like. For instance, this week you can spend it in the forest and the next, you can live in the middle of the city.

Enjoy a Simple Life

A big home or apartment offers lots of space to store things that you might not need. However, since RV living offers limited space, every inch counts. Therefore, instead of having too much stuff that you don’t need or have the space for, you can use that money to create a memorable experience.

For example, rather than buying a lot of electronic gadgets or furniture, you can take your loved ones to dinners or national parks with that money. But this doesn’t mean that RV living doesn’t have its basic comforts. Many RVs have satellite internet connections, satellite television, and other communication forms.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in an RV Full-Time?

Well, the cost can be as much or as little as you want it to. Note that people are different and have different lifestyle preferences. So the amount varies from person to person.

Of course, if you stay in luxurious RV resorts with amenities like private casitas, heated pools, private patios, etc., you will spend more. But you can make the cost affordable by living in places with no or few amenities and hookups.

Also, traveling slowly saves you on gas costs. As such, it lowers your living expenses. Generally, it will cost you about $2000 to $3000 per month to live comfortably in an RV, especially if you do upgrades to make boondocking easier.

But there are various ways you can make your RV life more affordable. These include:

Joining Camping Clubs

Thankfully, various camping and membership clubs are available and offer discounts. All of them can help you save money. However, you’ll need to decide what your goal is first, and then look for a membership that supports that goal.

Practicing Boondocking

Also called dry camping, boondocking is free in many places. You can boondock for quite some time and save lots of money if you know how.

Save Food Money

RV travel can increase the cost of your food. But you can save money through meal planning, cooking and freezing meals, packing lunches, and using a slow cooker to cook your dinner while you are away. Additionally, it also helps to do your grocery shopping when you are near discount stores and use coupon apps like Instacart.

Find Free Fun

One trick to making your RV living inexpensive is to find free fun. Many popular attractions require you to pay. However, there are many hidden places that won’t cost you a dime. Watch out for free days at local zoos, museums, and festivals, as well as other community events.

Take Advantage of Free Wi-Fi

If you need the internet for work, you may have to pay for solid cell service. But, if you only need the internet for leisure purposes like watching videos, you can explore the various ways of getting free Wi-Fi in your RV. Then you can cut out an internet hotspot to reduce your expenses.

How to Know Whether You Are Ready to Live in an RV Full-Time

Woman who lives in an RV full-time cleaning and organizing the space

If you want to live in an RV full-time, here are some questions to help you know whether you are ready for this lifestyle.

What Will You Sacrifice to Live in an RV Full-Time?

If you own a home, you have to consider selling or renting it. Also, you should be ready to downsize since RV storage is very limited. Full-timers have to think about how they will dispose of many of their belongings or whether they are willing to pay for storage.

How Will You Make Money While You Live in an RV Full-Time?

You can earn money in various ways, even if you change locations frequently. For example, you can run a virtual business like blogging or authoring. You can also check seasonal jobs on websites like Workamper.

How Will You Manage Your Obligations?

Moving into an RV doesn’t mean that you leave obligations like taxes or insurance behind. You will still need an official state residence. Again, plan on how you’ll send and receive mail by choosing a reliable mail forwarding company.

How to Pack Your RV for Full-Time Living

One of the challenges people face preparing to move to RV living full-time is what to bring in the RV. Since it is minimalist living, you may need many tips to get started. So, here are our tips for packing for a full-time RV life.

Pack Basic Items

It might not seem like it, but you don’t need many supplies and tools to live comfortably in an RV. You need basic items for operating an RV — that is, wheel chocks, propane, water, an inflator, a sewer hose, and leveling blocks. Then you can add accessories like a storage rack, solar panels, a tow bar, and more.

Don’t bring items that you can buy on the road unless you need them and your storage space allows you to. We advise getting the bare minimum, and then you can always buy others if you wish.

Think About Where You Will Park or Stay Most of the Time

When boondocking, there are things that you wouldn’t necessarily need and those that you will need. For instance, you might need more camping supplies like outdoor tables, lanterns, and coolers. But if RV parks are your thing, you might need a propane fire pit, kayaks, hammocks, or golf clubs.

Bring Your Everyday Items

You need to carry clothes for both warm and cold weather. But since you’ll also want to save on space, only bring clothes that can pair with different things. The idea is to have different clothes that can be worn often and interchangeably, saving on your wardrobe space.

Also, pack household items in quantities of one or two per person. You don’t need a full set of cups, towels, or plates. Save on sink space by carrying only what is needed.

Lastly, bring other things that are important to you. But be cautious about the weight your RV can accommodate. Again, avoid cluttering. Put everything in a safe spot where it won’t break easily during traveling.

Still not sure of where to start when you want to live in an RV full-time? Neighbor can make RV life easier for you. We offer places to park and store your RV, among other things. Reach out for more information about our offerings and how we can help you.

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