What Is Living Full-Time in an RV Like?

full-time RV

Full-timing in your RV: what’s the attraction? There’s got to be a good reason for people to downsize to the point that their home is on wheels. It turns out there are several good reasons, such as 5-star RV Parks like Woodland Creek, that make your life fresh and new. But first, let’s define full-timing. Living full-time in an RV means living there all the time, 365 (or 366) days a year.

If you own a home and live in your RV for 11.5 months of the year, you’re a traveler, not a full-timer (at least, that’s how full-timers see it). Many full-timers don’t own a home – they have no fixed address, which has both its charms and its challenges.

The Charms of Full-Time RV Living

  • Freedom. You don’t own a home or yard, so you don’t need a lawnmower and garden tools. Your home has wheels and can park anywhere you can fit. You can travel to jobs or work one job remotely. You’re free. 
  • Learning. You meet new people and will sometimes be glad to drive on, never to see them again. But the ones who make a lasting impression? Let’s say you’ll learn and see new things, both good and bad. You’ll be able to teach your children about the wider world.
  • Community. When you’re on the road full-time, you can build a new community you interact with online. For those who are considering “going full-time,” you can learn a huge amount from sites like iRV2, where your fellow RVers will patiently answer all your questions. Check it out: https://www.irv2.com/forums/
  • Opportunity. You can change your lifestyle, reduce your expenses, focus on your family – or escape an unhappy living situation by moving on. Do you have neighbors who disrespect your living space? Move on. 
  • Working remotely. Tired of working in a suffocating cubicle? Head on down the road – work from your RV, and perhaps even start a new career. There are all kinds of remote work, from doing office work on a computer to work-camping, nursing, or “gig” work – part-time or temporary jobs that you take as you need.

The Challenges of Full-time RV Living

  • Covering medical needs. One of the biggest challenges, especially if you have young children or are retired, is making sure you can afford your medical needs. Check your current health insurance and ensure you’re covered if you travel to other states, Canada, or Mexico. If you or a family member have medical issues or need frequent refills on prescriptions, talk to your doctor and pharmacy before making the jump to full-time life. 
  • Residency. When you sell your property and leave your town, you’re (sort of) homeless. Your driver’s license and vehicle registrations might expire, and you need an address to get new ones. You can’t vote. You need an official address to give to banks, credit card companies, or the IRS. Some companies and government organizations won’t recognize post office boxes. 
  • Staying in touch. With the internet and cell phones, staying in touch with friends and family is much easier than it was 20 years ago. Staying connected with businesses, doctors, and schools is much harder. You’re now on your own – you have no way to receive paper unless you have a printer, a fax machine, or go to the library, in which case you run off copies, not originals. Companies like Your Best Address can help with getting your driver’s license, registering your vehicles and RV, registering to vote, and tracking/forwarding paper mail.

Size Matters

  • RV size (too large or too small). The largest multimillion-dollar motorhomes are only about 300 square feet inside. The biggest fifth-wheel trailers are just over 400 square feet. You’re living in a tiny home even if you’ve bought something that’s so big you can’t drive it and can’t afford the payments. Decide what you need – too big can be as bad as too small.
  • Driving. RVs are quite large – no surprise there – and you’ll need to learn how to maneuver, back up, and turn corners. It’s a learning curve, but it can be done.
  • Weather. Remember the saying that trailer parks are tornado magnets? Well, guess what – there you are, right in the middle of the storm. RVs can move out of the danger zone, but you must stay alert to weather forecasts and be ready to move when necessary. 
  • Expenses. Costs may include fuel, RV park rent, electricity, buying food in an unfamiliar area, storage for those things you can’t give up, and mail service. Just like living at home, you can live sensibly or expensively. Build a budget and stick to it for the first few months.
  • Income. Will your money flow change when you are full-time? Maybe, depending on your choices. Again, build a budget that you can stick to before you jump.
  • Homesickness. This is probably one of the most frequent causes of full-time failure. 

Full-Timing Means Starting Over

Your current community may include family, local friends, school, church – a wide array of people you depend on for friendship and knowledge. 

Leaving your current lifestyle might not be easy. If your community is necessary to your emotional health, think carefully before you sell everything and jump into the full-time RV world. Make sure everyone involved is equally interested in starting over. Try it out before you sell the farm.

Many love being full-time RVers, but it depends on the person. You see all kinds of situations. Three spaces from one RV family is a happy couple who travel the country with their ten-year-old daughter. Four spaces from them is a retired couple who sold everything, bought an RV, and now the wife misses being near their grandchildren. 

Finding the Perfect Location for Full-Time RV Living

  • As with any life change, you’ll want to try different locations. Three states (South Dakota, Florida, and Texas) welcome full-timers. Some have several companies that specialize in full-time support. One favorite is Your Best Address (www.yourbestaddress.com). 
  • Texas has some excellent 5-star RV Parks. One of those parks is Woodland Creek. We have the room for large RVs and everything you can imagine within reach. 

Full-time RVing is not for everyone, but it can be exciting and will surely change your life. Finding the right place is a step in the right direction. 

Take your time, do your homework, and enjoy the process. You are about to enter the adventure of a lifetime! Call us when you’re ready to explore a 5-star RV Park and see what we offer. Our staff is standing by, ready to show you around and help you settle into your new neighborhood.