What People Wish They Knew Before Living Fulltime in an RV

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Instagram and other social media platforms are excellent places for those living fulltime in an RV to share their adventures.

However, most people treat social media as their highlight reel and only share the exciting and positive aspects of life. This creates a distorted reality for those considering the RV lifestyle.

We strongly encourage anyone contemplating living fulltime in an RV to have a more realistic view of the lifestyle.

Today, you can learn from the mistakes and regrets of other RVers living fulltime in an RV. We’ve gathered some of the most vital pieces of information that RVers wish they knew before hitting the road. 

Is It Possible to Live in an RV Fulltime?

Living in an RV fulltime is becoming trendier. More individuals and families embrace remote work and learning, which they can often do from anywhere.

The nomadic lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it can be an incredible way to live if you can adjust.

There are some areas where living fulltime in an RV isn’t possible or easy to achieve. This could be due to local rules and regulations or the weather.

Inclement weather in the winter and summer can make living in certain areas challenging. However, you can make modifications and adjustments to make the lifestyle possible.

Pros of Living Fulltime in an RV

One of the biggest pros of living fulltime in an RV is that your home has wheels. If you don’t like the weather or the area, you can pack up your things and go.

Many people embracing fulltime RV life often use their rig to take them across the country. They can experience the unique landscapes and cultures they had previously only seen in pictures.

If you embrace RV life, you must also adopt a minimalist lifestyle. RVs don’t have vast storage, which means reducing your belongings.

The less stuff you have, the less you’ll have to pick up and organize. Many RVers love how quickly they can clean up the clutter around their home on wheels.

Read More: Considering the fulltime RV lifestyle? Well, we can bet these are the Two Things That Are Stopping You from Full-Time RV Living.

Cons of Living Fulltime in an RV

Living fulltime in an RV is no picnic. Keeping your RV in working order can seem like a never-ending task.

Many components require regular attention to keep everything running efficiently and effectively. Failing to do so can void warranties and create severe issues for your rig.

While tiny living sounds incredible, reality hits hard when you realize you’re living in a couple of hundred square feet. Many people trade-in homes with bedrooms that are more spacious than an RV.

If you’re planning to live in an RV fulltime with other people, you’d best get comfortable being close to them. The weather won’t always cooperate, and you might be stuck inside for several days.

RVs are notorious for breaking parts. If you’re not comfortable learning how to fix things, you’ll need a bottomless wallet.

Paying for repairs can get expensive quickly, and learning how to resolve fundamental issues is crucial. 

What You Need to Know Before Living in an RV Fulltime

When it comes to things RVers wish they knew before living fulltime in an RV, there’s no better source than actual RVers.

The following are responses from real RVers in a large Facebook community, stating what they wish they knew before they dove into the RV life.  

Choosing the Right RV is Important

One mistake that many RVers make is not choosing the right RV. This is typically the result of people not knowing what they need from an RV or how they plan to use it.

No one-size-fits-all RV exists for every person or family wanting to live fulltime in an RV.

Many RVers hit the road in their dream rig and quickly discover it’s not perfect. It’s not uncommon for RVers to upgrade to a more suitable rig within the first year or two of living on the road.

Don’t make the mistake of wasting money by not doing your research. Walk through RVs and ask as many questions as possible before signing on the dotted line.

Don’t feel pressured to purchase a rig you’re not confident will meet your needs.

Pro Tip: Here are 5 Big Considerations for Choosing RV Floor Plans when considering which RV is right for you and your family.

Interior of a new RV showing the kitchen, dining area, couch, and driving area.

Nothing Will Prepare You Enough

You can watch every YouTube video and read blogs about RVing, but you’ll likely learn much more by experiencing it yourself.

There is no such thing as a perfect RVer. Everyone makes mistakes, breaks things, and has trouble backing into campsites.

Extend grace to yourself and anyone traveling with you. Adjusting to RV life isn’t easy, and it can be highly stressful.

The first few months of adjusting can be overwhelming for everyone jumping into the lifestyle. Many RVers consider throwing in the towel and calling it quits during the first few months.

Resist the urge to give up and remind yourself and anyone traveling with you why you embraced the lifestyle in the first place.

Expect a Lot of Maintenance

Many RVers vastly underestimate the maintenance they would need to do on their RVs.

Many moving parts and items can work themselves loose as you tow an RV down the highway. Things are going to break, and you’ll need to address them.

Most RV manufacturers include a maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual. Failing to follow this schedule can void warranties and leave you responsible for repairs.

Some items require yearly maintenance, while others could require you to check them every 30, 60, or 90 days.

A man who has been living fulltime in a RV looking at his Class A engine

It’s Challenging to Wear Your Active Dogs Out

Many dog owners miscalculate how many walks they need to take their dog on to help them burn off energy. A dog can burn an enormous amount of energy running around your house or in a fenced-in backyard. I

f you’re planning to take a dog with you while living fulltime in an RV, get used to going for walks.

Some campgrounds go out of their way to show hospitality to all campers, including dogs. You may hit the jackpot and find yourself in a campground with an excellent area for dogs to run free and play with each other.

However, for the safety of all campers, most campgrounds require dogs to stay on leashes when not in these areas.

Pro Tip: Check out the Dog Camping Gear You’ll Actually Use to make the adjustment to RV life easier on you and your pet.

A dog that is living fulltime in a RV laying in the back of a truck hammock sleeping

WiFi Isn’t Readily Available  

Connecting to the internet can be tricky when living fulltime in an RV. Most campgrounds see an internet connection as unnecessary, as many campers are trying to disconnect from technology.

Many who jump into RVing often underestimate how hard it can be to find a quality wifi connection for work or school.

Depending on your needs, you may have to purchase equipment or data plans to establish an internet connection for your RV.

However, you can spend thousands of dollars on equipment and data plans each month but still not have service in some locations. 

Keep in Mind: WiFi as a fulltime RVer matters and these 6 RV WiFi boosters will help to majorly improve your signal!

It Costs More Than You Think

Many RVers quickly discover that RVing can be very expensive. While many get into the lifestyle thinking it will save them money, that’s not always the case.

When you factor in the cost of a truck payment, trailer payment, fulltime RV insurance, fuel, campsite reservation fees, and the costs of seeing some of the exciting places you’re visiting, it can get costly very quickly.

As RVing has become incredibly fashionable in recent years, prices for RVs, trucks, and campsite fees are all rising.

When you combine these inflating prices with the hefty increases at the fuel pump, many RVers are changing their RV travel plans.

You Won’t Need As Much Stuff As You Thought

It might surprise you how much stuff you don’t need.

Humans are weird creatures with a habit of filling empty spaces. Moving into an RV forces you to eliminate all of the non-essential material things from your life.

While many RVers declutter when moving into their rig, it feels like a never-ending process. You’ll constantly evaluate items around your RV and question if things are essential or not.

You don’t want to waste the limited storage space in your RV.

Even a Four Season Camper Is Hard to Heat or Cool

While the RV sales staff may brag about how comfy you’ll be in a four-season camper, they’re not always simple to heat or cool.

Four-season trailers often come with features like an enclosed underbelly, extra insulation, and tank heaters, but it can still be challenging to stay cool or warm during extreme weather.

If you’re planning to stay in an area that experiences severe weather conditions, you can spend hundreds of dollars each month on propane. RVs often lack quality insulation to keep the warm air in your RV.

Living in an RV during the heat of summer can be miserable. Even RVs with multiple air conditioners can struggle to keep up. If you’re paying for electricity, expect a massive electric bill during the summer months!

You’re Always Cleaning

There’s always a mess despite decluttering, embracing minimalism, and living in a couple of hundred square feet.

Because RVs aren’t massive living spaces, a few things out of place can make a room or space feel very cluttered and messy.

You will constantly pick up things left lying around your camper, and you’ll also spend ample time sweeping. As hard as you try to keep nature outside your rig, it always finds a way into it.

Keep in Mind: Since you’ll be spending a lot of time cleaning your RV, you’re going to need some of the best RV Cleaning Products Every Fulltimer Should Own!

You’ll Wish You Did It Sooner

One of the biggest regrets of many who live fulltime in an RV is that they regret not embracing the lifestyle sooner. It’s common to hear RVers talk about how they wish they wouldn’t have waited so long to travel and experience the lifestyle.

So if you’re on the fence about the lifestyle, listen to the countless RVers who were in your shoes. They spent years dreaming and thinking that the life wasn’t possible.

However, once they took the risk and ignored their fears, they discovered it was feasible.

A couple sitting at a picnic table with their RV in the background. They have been living fulltime in a RV for years.

Living in an RV Isn’t Picture Perfect, But It’s Worth It 

If you jump into living fulltime in an RV with unrealistic expectations, you will experience disappointment.

Travel days won’t go as planned, you’ll have rude neighbors in some campgrounds, and you’ll likely be irritated at travel partners when you can’t maneuver into a campsite. It’s an evitable part of the RV lifestyle.

Despite all the possible frustrations, the lifestyle is worth it. Experiencing some of the most incredible landscapes and locations in the world is a reward in itself.

However, meeting like-minded people and families sharing a similar lifestyle is priceless. Where is the first place you’ll travel in your RV?

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