Approximately 9 million RVs are currently on the road in America.
A great portion of these RVs are seasonal, meaning that they hit the road for occasional vacations.
But an impressive percentage are full-time mobile homes, enabling owners to travel the States with all of their belongings in tow.
Camper life has definitely been romanticized in recent years. Hipsters and retirees alike are embracing the independence of life on the road!
But what is full-time RV living really like as a way of life? In this post, we explore the pros and cons of living the mobile camper life.
Keep reading for more!
Full-Time RV Living: The Pros
Ah, camper life. What’s not to love? Here are the advantages of full-time RV living.
1. Low Cost of Living
Full-time RV living is very likely to be quite kind to your wallet.
Many people assume that life on the road can be costly, especially if it involves frequent eating out, endless RV campground fees, insurance costs, and maintenance bills.
And let’s not forget the cost of the actual RV itself, which can clock in between $10,000 and $300,000 (used or new!).
However, RV life almost always entails a lower cost of living than other modes of existence, especially if you are accustomed to renting or, in some cases, fronting a monthly mortgage bill.
This makes it one of the most sustainable modes of living out there.
RV campground fees vary from state to state. Some can be quite pricey, especially if they offer RV hookups and other campsite amenities, but most RV-ers end up paying around $1,000 a month (or far less) for accommodation.
It is also possible to park your RV in a fee-free area, such as national forest land, a friend’s driveway, or a Walmart parking lot.
Just like traditional homes, RVs come replete with kitchens and food storage space, enabling drivers to cook on the road rather than depend on restaurant fare. What’s more, you can always finance your RV purchase or buy a used vehicle (often for less than $10,000).
2. A Minimalist Lifestyle
Some RVs are luxury-grade, meaning that they are pretty much the same size as small homes.
Standard RVs, however, naturally encourage a more minimalist lifestyle. When you’re living full-time on the road, you have to be very deliberate about the belongings you carry with you.
RV space may simply limit you in what you can or cannot bring, and most RV-ers end up trimming down to the essentials.
Studies indicate that a minimalist lifestyle can have a profound, positive impact on our mental health. In fact, materialism–having lots of things–has been linked to depression, loneliness, and anxiety.
Some people may baulk at the idea of living full-time in such tight quarters, especially if they aren’t RV-ing solo. Yet it is possible to live the full-time RV life with pets, a partner, and even children in tow.
The key is to select the camper that suits your needs for space. RVs range widely in size and style. Browse these campers for sale to get a taste.
3. Accessibility & Community
Anyone with the verve for on-the-road life and the means to front the initial cost of an RV can live mobile.
This is very different from the housing market, which often prohibits individuals of certain incomes from cost-effective home ownership.
A mobile existence also means that you can always take your home with you to visit friends and family. Full-time RV life means that you can stay connected to the communities you love, and also meet some fascinating fellow RV-ers along the way.
Full-Time RV Living: The Downside
Before you go out and buy an RV yourself, be sure to consider the potential disadvantages of living life on the road. Here are the downsides of full-time RV living.
1. The Need to Plan
RV life may promote more wandering, but cost-effective and seamless RV life requires a little bit of planning.
Some RV campgrounds may be full during certain times of the year, requiring reservations ahead of time. Campgrounds may also have a limit on how long you can park your RV.
Packing can also be a challenge for some people. Because of their limited space, RVs require careful storage of select belongings. Planning this storage–and making sure these things are accessible as you travel–takes time and effort.
Yes, sometimes your plans may even get thwarted. Your RV may break down in the middle of nowhere, for example, or you may end up quite far from a grocery store, gas station, or hookup.
The art of full-time RV life requires the capacity to plan for the future and maintain flexibility when these go awry.
2. Mobile Can Get Tiresome
Some RV-ers quickly tire of road life, especially because it always involves motion. Whether you’re hopping from campground to campground or re-packing and packing your pantry, such constant motion can be wearisome.
Finding a place to park your RV can also be a constant source of anxiety for RV-ers, especially if you are trying to save money on campground fees.
Despite the range that RV life can give you, it can also foster a certain loneliness. At the end of the day, you may feel yourself longing for an anchored home.
3. Where Do I Work?
RV life may be highly accessible, but it does have caveats in this respect. People who are able to work remotely are more likely to benefit from mobile living.
Those with brick-and-mortar jobs may struggle, however. In these cases, most RV owners choose to live out of their RVs in one community (rather than traveling the states year-round).
Remote workers may also always find themselves at the mercy of flaky internet, which can be a persistent problem depending on where you travel.
Given these advantages and disadvantages of full-time RV living, what’s the verdict?
In general, RV living presents its challenges, particularly when it comes to work and space limitations. However, for the right person, full-time RV living can be ideal, especially given its low cost of living and minimalist lifestyle.
Are you a full-time RV-er meandering North America? If you find yourself near Missouri, make sure you visit these amazing attractions!