5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Planning to RV Full-Time

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Over the last several years, there’s been a drastic increase in the number of people embracing full-time RVing. Unfortunately, most only see the highlights and quickly decide to jump into the lifestyle.

While seeing epic landscapes and priceless sunsets can be rewarding, it’s also vital that you consider the negative aspects.

Today, we’re diving into the five pitfalls to avoid while planning to RV full-time. This way, you’ll be more prepared and set yourself up for success.

Let’s dive in and get started!

What Is Full-Time RVing?

Full-time RVing is when you use a recreational vehicle as your residence. However, there are varying types of full-time RVing. Some park their rigs in a spot and remain stationary while living out of their camper.

On the other hand, others choose to travel from spot to spot. This could mean staying in campgrounds, RV parks, or boondocking on public lands. Many travelers visit county, state, and national parks throughout their adventures.

Finally, some combine the two styles. They may travel for a portion of the year and then remain stationary for the other portion. Luckily, one of the great things about full-time RVing is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You’re free to enjoy the lifestyle however you prefer.

Is Full-Time RVing Hard?

Unfortunately, full-time RVing is typically much more challenging than social media influencers make it seem.

While some include mishaps and when things don’t go according to plan, a majority do not.

Accordingly, it can often feel like everything goes smoothly and that there are puppy dogs and rainbows every day.

One of the first things many full-time RVers discover is that planning and flexibility are essential.

Traffic jams, flat tires, and other unexpected events can cause travel days to not go according to plan.

As a result, you must learn to go with the flow and embrace the unexpected. It can be a tough adjustment if you’re not this type of person.

Additionally, securing camping reservations can be challenging because RVing has become incredibly trendy in recent years.

Subsequently, you may need to plan several weeks or months ahead of time, especially if you’ll be visiting a popular area.

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Planning to RV Full-Time

The key to staying on the road is avoiding the five pitfalls when planning to RV full-time. These mistakes can quickly derail your adventures and cause you to throw in the towel.

1. Not Understanding How Expensive Full-Time Life Can Be

Many think that because you’re living in an RV, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money. While this can be true, it’s certainly not always the case. You could spend substantially more than you did in a sticks-and-bricks house.

Expenses will significantly depend on your financial situation. Some standard expenses include RV and truck payments, campground reservations, fuel, food, and the cost of any adventures.

Your RV and truck payments are typically easy to predict. However, many drastically underestimate how much they’ll spend on fuel and campground reservations.

Luckily, there are some ways you can minimize your expenses. The longer you stay in one place, the cheaper it will be. In addition to saving money, you’ll also get the opportunity to experience an area more deeply than just passing through.

2. Not Doing Your Research

Another mistake many people make is not doing enough research ahead of time. For some, this includes how to maneuver and use their camper. We’ve encountered some individuals who have never towed or driven a large vehicle until they started full-time RVing.

Luckily, while the learning curve for full-time RVing is rather steep, it typically gets easier with time. The more you can get used to your rig and spend time traveling, the more knowledge and experience you gain.

We strongly suggest watching YouTube videos and following others who have spent years on the road.

These individuals have learned a thing or two during their travels and share it with others. Their videos and tips can help you prepare for the unexpected events that can occur while RVing.

3. Not Making Friends

One of the most complex parts of full-time RVing is that it can be incredibly lonely. Many who embrace this lifestyle leave their friends and family behind.

Those individuals who move from spot to spot often discover that getting to know others can be tricky. They’re rarely in a place long enough to form more than surface-level friendships with others.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to follow those you interact with in campgrounds on social media.

You can follow their adventures and exchange direct messages to stay in touch. You never know when your paths may cross again.

4. Not Booking Campgrounds in Advance

As we mentioned earlier, campground reservations in some areas can go incredibly quickly. If you plan to stay in a popular area or over a holiday weekend, booking in advance is essential.

If not, you may struggle to find a place to park your rig. Places like the Florida Keys or national parks will require you to plan several months ahead, especially in the winter.

If you’re not much of a planner, boondocking is one of the best ways to get around this. However, you’ll need to be as self-sufficient as possible.

This means having a way to create power, store water, and dispose of waste. When done correctly, you can enjoy epic spots with more space and privacy than a campground.

5. Not Having an RV Exit Strategy

While many full-time RVers plan to embrace the lifestyle for the rest of their lives, that’s typically not the case.

Most set out for a couple of years and then decide to return to a more standard living arrangement. However, this transition can be challenging and stressful without an RV exit strategy.

Smoothly leaving full-time RVing behind requires you to think through various decisions. You may need to have a plan for selling or storing your camper, where you’ll live, and how you’ll afford it.

Whether renting an apartment or buying a house, it’ll require money. You’ll also need to purchase furniture and other items you may have previously sold.

Avoid These Pitfalls While Full-Time RVing

Sure, full-time RVing has some pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid. However, despite the risks, the lifestyle is still worth it. Once you learn to navigate these issues, the lifestyle can be rewarding. You’ll be able to experience new places and create priceless memories with the individuals you love most. 

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