Congratulations! By choosing to read this post you have made an important step to learn if RV life is for you. This blog post will cover points that new RVers overlook. Be honest with yourself as you read through them so you can determine if this lifestyle is for you, consequently avoiding a costly mistake. In addition, what makes people feel hesitant when considering an RV life including cost, time commitment, and safety.
If this sound like something that would make sense in your life, we encourage you to keep reading!
What is the definition of RV lifestyle?
An RV lifestyle is the type of lifestyle that encompasses people traveling in an RV or van part time or full time, with all the joys that come with it.
People who choose this are known as an RVer. RVers have the freedom to roam and a way to discover new adventures while having their belongings with them.
Recommended reading: What is Your RV Personality Profile?
Why it’s important to learn if RV life is for you?
Firstly, it is crucial to first learn if RV life is for you to avoid making a costly mistake. The allure of traveling and the freedom it brings, can cause people to jump the gun on purchasing their first RV.
Secondly, it’s easy to be impulsive when you see the beautiful floor plans offered in larger RVs. Beware of purchasing an RV you are inexperienced to maneuver, you may feel intimidated or nervous driving your RV to the point of it not being enjoyable.
Furthermore, avoid buyer’s remorse, know what you’re getting into before signing any documents.
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Points overlooked by new RVers
Don’t buy the wrong RV
The reality for many new RVers when they realize their rig not the right one for them, they make the choice to downsize their camper a short time after hitting the road.
Above all, be aware of the depreciation in value, you can lose 20% after you drive off the RV lot according to J.D. Power.
Given that, an RV at $40,000 will in minutes depreciate $8,000 or $100,000 you lose $20,000 in depreciation. Shocking! (I don’t know about you but that isn’t a story we want to share with friends around the campfire.)
Generally, this point is often not considered regarding fueling your RV or vehicle with your RV in tow. At smaller gas stations their pumps are set up in a way which is not ideal to maneuver a larger RV. Consequently, this can be the cause of many accidents.
PRO TIP: Take an exit that has multiple gas stations so you have more choices and can avoid accidents at the gas pump.
Why do you want this change in lifestyle?
Your first step to learn if RV life is for you is figuring out your WHY?
- Do you have a dream to live in an RV?
- Are you simply curious about the lifestyle?
- Would living a nomadic lifestyle suit you better than tied down to one location for years on end?
- Is this a plan to use as a long-term solution?
- Do you enjoy meeting people?
- Do you love the idea of traveling and seeing new places?
- Have you been dreaming about a simpler lifestyle, or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle?
Partner and/or family
Are you are unsure whether your partner will be agreeable with RV life? Do your research and prepare a list of benefits to discuss with them. Anticipate questions and concerns they may have and be prepared with possible solutions.
Discuss with your family, if they are against it, you may have to give up the idea of RV living – for now. Above all, don’t lose hope. This doesn’t mean that you can’t revisit it in the future. How long should you wait before trying again is dependent on what your situation is.
RV life for children
Consider how long you’re willing to stay in one location. There are a variety of methods for education, including Road Schooling and Unschooling. How will your children feel about it, and why is that important to you?
Dealing with Change
How are you at dealing with change or difficult situations? RV life will be challenging at times. Dealing with traffic, directions, detours, travel mishaps and booked campgrounds can be stressful.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like change, or afraid of difficult situations, then RV life might not be for you.
We knew we wanted to travel the country without having to make any commitments to a set schedule, and finally found the perfect match with RV life. From our experience we realized our attitude towards inconveniences made a difference to our RV experience, and it will for you too. Always plan, don’t be in a rush, and be realistic that not everything will go according to plan. It’s all part of your RV journey.
Getting creative with small spaces
Everything must have a purpose (dual purpose preferably.) Organize your belongings to designated spaces. You will have outside storage, in the bays of your RV. The size of your bays varies with different types of RVs.
Firstly, due to limited space inside, getting creative with how to store your belongings can get tricky. Secondly, weight is an issue if you go over the weight limit of your camper and towing vehicle. To determine this, there is a system for calculating your gross vehicle weight. (GVWR and GVW)
What is the difference between GVWR and GVW?
What’s the difference between GVWR and GVW? The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount of weight the trailer can safely hold and transport, as rated by the manufacturer. The gross vehicle weight (GVW) is how much the trailer, and its payload weighs together.
Downsizing: Parting with your belongings
Items you’ve collected over the years might be difficult to let go, it can be a daunting task. If you have a minimalist mindset, you will be successful in fitting your belongings into a tiny space.
Deciding how much you are willing to part with will help determine if RV life is right for you.
If you find there are items you just can’t part with, consider passing them along to family members, or renting a storage unit. (We don’t recommend doing this, it’s extra money you can have on your adventures.)
2 Potential deal breakers for new RVers
Relationships in an RV
With different types of personalities in a small space, relationships in an RV can be testing, communication is the key.
Allow everyone to voice their opinion, and listen without interrupting. Apologize when needed, or compromise, then let the situation go. Most importantly, deal with issues and find solutions as soon as possible.
Privacy is limited, so give your loved ones space when they need it and let them know you require the same in return.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Should you suffer from claustrophobia or don’t love people on top of each other with minimal separation then this might not be the life for you.
You might also be interested in: The Reality of RV Life: 9 facts you don’t want to miss
Nature and campgrounds can be noisy
The first thing that we noticed about RV life was the noise. While sleeping (or trying to sleep) you hear what’s going on outside your RV.
Have you have been camping before? If so you will know nature can be noisy. Additionally, in campgrounds you will often find the following distracting.
- People talking
- Loud music
- Cars driving by
- Highway traffic
- The sound of vehicles locking at night with a key fob (Please don’t be that person.)
- Dogs barking
- Generators running through the night
- The worst is when somebody might stop by with a knock on the door at inconvenient times
You might also be interested in: How to start your RV life
How much does it cost to live in an RV for a month?
Is money a concern? What is your budget?
The average cost to live in an RV every month ranges from $500-$2500. Depending on the size of your family, your preferred choice of camping style, how frequently you travel from one destination to another, and how much you want to spend.
Discuss your budget, travel style and logistics carefully with your partner and family. There are many ways to have an RV Lifestyle on a budget.
Lastly, we strongly recommend if it is money that’s holding you back, don’t let it…you may have limited income in your home state just as well as in a state with majestic mountain ranges or soaking up the sun on beaches.
10 Reasons RV life IS for you
- If owning a home is not important to you and never will be, RV life is for you.
- Do you want to spend your days outside, RV life is for you.
- Don’t have the economic resources to maintain a home? Then RV life is for you.
- If being self-sufficient appeals to you, RV life is for you.
- If letting go of your possessions and limited spaces excites you, then RV life is for you!
- Someone who wants to live a simpler lifestyle and be more environmentally friendly, then RV life is for you.
- Someone who wants to live off the grid and escape the rat race, then RV life is for you.
- The thought of not having a permanent address is not unsettling, then RV life is for you.
- Anyone who loves camping and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, then RV life is for you.
- Someone who seeks new adventures and opportunities, then RV life is for you!
Questions from other readers on this topic
In conclusion, we hope this blog post provided clarity for you to learn if RV life is for you, and make the best choices for you and your family.
More importantly, take time to ponder the pointers we discussed before you commit to this lifestyle.
Further more, be honest with answers with these topics- it can be a costly expense and you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you are excited and know this way of life is for you, we’re excited for you too! Learn more with this post: How to Start Your RV Life.
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What do you see as your biggest hurdle to start planning your RV dream life? Share them in the comments below.