Are you considering living in an RV full time? Or are you new at RVing full-time? A long-time full time RV family shares tips and tricks to help you enjoy this lifestyle.
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Traveling and living in an RV full time is an exciting adventure, but there is a little bit of a learning curve to this lifestyle. Some parts of RV living are challenging and it really helps to have a few things figured out in advance to help you deal with the bumps in the road.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy your RVing adventure.
How To Choose The Right RV To Live In And Vehicle For RV Life
There are so many options for RVs that it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the models and features. It helps to make a list of your RV living must-haves before you begin the shopping process.
Consider an RV floor plan that works both for your daily living space needs but also has a size that fits into the locations you wish to stay in.
For example, a large RV has amazing daily living space but doesn’t fit into most national parks and some state park campgrounds. You have to find the right size balance to meet your needs.
Also, consider the vehicle that is best for sightseeing once you arrive. Going with a drivable RV often means that you can choose a smaller tow vehicle that is easy for sightseeing.
However, choosing a large fifth wheel requires you to have a large truck as your vehicle. Having a large truck can be a huge pain to park and get around sightseeing in many areas.
Some families or couples choose to have a second car. This allows them to tow with a large truck but also have a second vehicle to sightsee in.
This option can sometimes be a challenge to fit both vehicles and the RV into a campsite. Some campgrounds actually have a 1 vehicle rule.
So you can see it is really important to choose the right size RV and vehicle to work with where you plan to stay.
Check out: How To Find The Perfect RV Campsite
Choose The Right Full Time RV Living Insurance Policy
There is a common misconception among RVers that a regular RV policy is enough for full-time RV living. This is not only false but can be very costly.
You need to get a good RV insurance policy specific for full-time RVing to have the right protection.
A full-time policy can include increased coverage on your contents since most of your possessions are with you in the RV.
It can also cover you in case someone gets hurt at your RV, has emergency hotel coverage while your RV is being repaired, and can include RV replacement coverage on a newer RV.
Pro Tip: If you are a member of the RV club FMCA they have an excellent insurance agent that can help you shop for the best price and understand coverage options. This is how we selected our policy.
Have A Savings Account For Repairs And Problems That Pop Up When You Live In An RV
It’s not if but when things will go sideways out on the road. It’s part of this lifestyle but not as big of a deal if you are prepared.
Keep a savings account and consider a monthly repairs and maintenance budget to handle things as they come up. Sometimes the repairs are the main unplanned expenses but there can also be the expense of a hotel or rental during repairs.
Other issues like health problems or weather/wildfire events, can also cause you to have to stay in an area longer than you planned or cause you to reroute. Changes to your travel plans can end up costing more than you planned.
Pro Tip: If you find yourself without your rig during repairs, consider renting a cabin or a park model at a campground instead of a hotel. Sometimes this can save you money.
If you have campground memberships you can also get a discount at some places on rentals.
Choose The Right Roadside Assistance Plan For RV Living Full Time
Roadside assistance is a really helpful service to have when you are spending so much time out on the road. In RVing it is important to choose a roadside assistance plan that covers the size of your RV.
It’s not very helpful if you are on the side of the road in a big rig and a regular tow truck shows up! You can add this coverage to your RV insurance. Just make sure that when you call to use this service, they know the size of your unit.
Part Of A Campers Life Is Preventing RV Tire Blowouts
Have you ever noticed how common RV tire blowouts are? Not only does a blowout usually result in lots of damage to the side and underneath of your RV, but it can be very unsafe.
RVs, especially travel trailers and fifth wheels, sometimes come with very very cheaply made no name tires that blow so much they are referred to as bombs. It hurts to purchase either a new RV or a used RV and then have to turn around and buy new tires but it is worth it!
Our first new fifth wheel that we began our full-time RV adventure in had the cheap no-name tires. We did a little research and found out that the tires had a very low-speed rating and were only weight rated for our trailer EMPTY. That’s right empty with nothing in it.
Luckily we did this research and bought new tires before we began RVing. Upgrade the tires to save yourself this future headache.
To prevent blowouts you also need to check your tires every travel day. Check air pressure, check/tighten lug nut torque, and visually check for bulges or issues. We travel with a small air compressor so we can quickly adjust tire pressure when needed.
Tire blowouts can also be caused by driving your RV too fast and by overloading your RV past its cargo-carrying capacity. Both of these conditions can be unsafe but also put added heat or pressure on your tires. Know your weight limit and keep your speeds down to prevent blowouts.
Use Resources To Minimize Travel Interruptions When Things Go Wrong RV Living Full Time
Mobile RV Repair
One of our favorite ways to handle issues and keep rolling down the road is to use mobile repair. We have used mobile repair services all over the country and have always gotten amazing service.
The benefit of mobile repair is that they come to you at your campsite to complete the service. This allows you to stay in your RV and continue your trip. We find that they are usually faster as well so you aren’t waiting around to get an appointment.
Sometimes you can also request to use a mobile repair service as part of your new RV manufacturer warranty instead of taking the RV to a dealership. You really have to ask and negotiate for this option though.
Explaining that you are a full-time RVer, how long the wait is to get a service appointment at an RV dealership, and that you would have nowhere to stay during the service is helpful to negotiate this service coverage. It is at least worth a try!
Another great resource to help keep you on the road is using telehealth services for everyday minor medical issues. Most insurance plans now cover this or you can even get a separate plan for telehealth. This is a great resource for RVers because you don’t have to wait around for an appointment and you can use it wherever you are.
Also, check out: When SHTF Full-Time RVing: 8 Ways To Keep Rolling
Find The Right Travel Pace To Avoid Burnout Living In A RV Full Time
One of the most common mistakes that new full-time RVers make is traveling too fast and trying to do too much. We did this too!
Most new RVers are so excited to try to see and do as much as possible that they create a travel pace that has no time for daily living. This can quickly lead to burnout.
The truth is that RVing full-time is not like living on vacation. In between all of the amazing experiences daily living is still happening; bills, grocery shopping, medical appointments, laundry, work/school, cleaning, trip planning, etc.
When we first started camper life, we fell right into this trap. After a while we just found ourselves exhausted and stumbling from one city to the next. We weren’t really taking it all in and enjoying it all the way we should have been.
We had to take a step back and slow down our RV travels. We started staying in each place a little longer to make time for sightseeing days and for rest/daily living days. Then we were rested and ready to keep going.
Don’t feel bad about slowing down or adjusting your plans. You will get to all of those places eventually and when you do you will be able to enjoy them even more!
Also, check out: How To Find Life Balance RV Living Full-Time
Make Reservations As Far In Advance As Possible For RV Living
The popularity of RVing and travel, in general, has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. Camping locations, national parks, and basically anything that requires a ticket or reservation, has gotten more challenging to book.
Always make your camping reservations and travel plans as soon as possible. Yes, your plans may need to change but at least you have something available. It can be hard to book so far in advance.
In fact, many of our peak season camping reservations are made a year in advance, but this way we have at least a plan in place. If we have to change our plans we can.
Pro Tip: We have a few tricks up our sleeve to get the really tough reservations. I share all of our tips and tricks in our FREE GUIDE: How To Score Sold-Out Campsites In State and National Parks.
Don’t Expect Everyone To Understand Why Your Dream Is Living Full Time In A RV
When we decided to sell it all and hit the road, we quickly found quite a bit of resistance from friends and family members. We were totally excited about this new life adventure while the ones we care about most were concerned that we had lost our minds!
Sometimes friends and family will come around after they see how this lifestyle works for you or how amazing your experiences are. They may see your happiness and start to support your dream.
But they may never come around. The truth is that this lifestyle is hard for many people to understand. It is simply a lack of understanding of what full-time RVing is all about.
Whether you receive the support of friends and family or not, always remember that this dream was placed in your heart and not theirs!
Avoid The Comparison Trap In Full Time RV Life
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing your travel journey to others. We all fall into this trap sometimes. Comparison really can be the thief of joy.
You are on an adventure that is uniquely yours. Your RV, where you travel, how much you see or do, how you camp, and how fast or slow you go are all part of your journey. It was never made to look like anyone else’s. Find what works best for you and enjoy it.
Just remember that you are writing your own unique story and oh what an adventure it is!!!
Were these tips helpful to better enjoy the full-time RV lifestyle? Leave a comment and let us know. I hope that if this is your dream, you don’t let anything get in your way.
RVing has become popular and harder to get reservations. I spill all of my secrets in my FREE guide: How To Score Sold-Out Campsites In State And National Parks
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Enjoy your adventure detour!
Scott and Van of The Adventure Detour are travel writers focusing on RV travel, family outdoor travel, national parks travel, and hiking. They have been full-time RV living and traveling across the US since 2015. In 8 years of full-time RVing, they have visited 38 national parks so far with the ultimate goal to see them all. They work as digital nomads while roadschooling their daughter nicknamed Sissy. On the way to all 50 states, they have visited and hiked through 42 states so far. The travel bucket list is forever growing!