More and more people are choosing to RV full time as we did. If you’ve been considering taking this route as well, you may be wondering, “Is RV life worth it?” In our opinion, it absolutely is worth it. That said, full time RV life is not for everyone and there are both pros and cons of RV living that you really should know about before buying an RV to live in.
In this article, we will discuss both owning an RV pros and cons as well as the pros and cons of living in an RV. This will help you get a better understanding of what to expect from RV life and whether or not camper living full time is for you and your family.
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The Pros of RV Living
First, we will take a look at the RV pros, highlighting the many amazing things about RV living full time to help you see why so many people are jumping into this lifestyle and never looking back.
Freedom: Move Whenever and Wherever You’d Like
The first and most obvious benefit of camper living full time is the freedom it gives you. When your home has wheels, you can move wherever you like, whenever you like. You can plan to follow the sun and avoid winter entirely, and if you aren’t a fan of your neighbor, you can just pack up and leave. This is an enormous benefit and one that draws many people to this lifestyle.
Related post: RV Vacation Ideas
Always Have Your Home with You
Packing for a trip for an entire family can be stressful, and even when you pack really well, it’s easy to find yourself without things you’d like to have once you arrive at your destination. When you RV full time, this is not something that comes up. No matter where you roam, you always have your home with you.
Not only does this mean you always have all of your belongings everywhere you go, it also means you have your own bed, RV kitchen, and bathroom, providing a level of consistency not many travelers get.
Related post: Best travel accessories for long flights.
Save Money if Needed
While full time RV living can be a really expensive way of life, it can also be incredibly budget-friendly. If you find yourself in a place where you really need to save money while living in an RV, you totally can!
You can boondock for free on government land, use free dump stations and water sources, and even find inexpensive ways to go out sightseeing using reciprocal memberships and free community events.
Related post: Full Time RV Living Monthly Costs
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Reconnect with Nature and Family
Living in an RV means living in close quarters. Believe it or not, this is a pro in some ways. For one thing, living in such a small space generally means spending more time as a family, leading to closer relationships.
The small space (and the fact that you’re likely to choose beautiful places to park) also means you’re more likely to spend time outdoors and reconnect with nature, something that can reduce stress and lead to a happier life.
Minimize and Simplify
Another benefit of living in a smaller space? It forces minimalism and requires that you really think about what you buy and bring into the rig. Because clutter can be a major source of anxiety, this minimalism can actually lead to better moods, and the habit of deeply considering every purchase certainly creates a healthier attitude around shopping.
Related ebook: Organize Your RV Like A Pro
Lead a Greener Life
RV living full time can also be a more eco-friendly way to go. For one thing, living a life with less stuff means you create less waste. Many RVers also install solar systems that can run their homes, removing the need to use electricity that could be less than green. Finally, those RVers who spend a lot of time off-grid are forced to find ways to conserve water. This means showers are shorter and less water is used when washing dishes.
Related post: Dry camping essentials
Have Tons of Adventures
Obviously, the adventures you can have while you RV full time are also a major benefit. The United States is a beautiful place and is chock-full of incredible things to see, do, and learn about. By living in an RV, you give your family a chance to take in spectacular sights and unforgettable learning opportunities that may have been out of your reach otherwise.
Related post: Best things to do in Glacier National Park with kids
The Cons of RV Living
Of course, we have to include the cons on an RV pros and cons list. That’s where this section comes into play. Below, you’ll find a list of all the things we don’t love about full time living in an RV.
As we mentioned above, RVs are small. This means being more connected as a family, but it also means privacy can be really hard to come by.
Purchasing the right RV can help a lot with this issue, as can setting up a functional RV office for when you need a little space to work. Some families also find themselves setting up a Clam or Gazelle tent like this one outdoors or creating a hangout space in a vehicle in order to provide everyone the privacy they need.
Very Little Storage
Another problem with the small living space an RV provides? There is very little storage space in an RV. Yes, minimalism is great, but when the storage space is so limited you can’t even keep the things you truly need, you have a problem. For this reason, you will definitely want to consider storage when buying your rig.
Don’t worry though; we reached out to several RV-living friends and published several posts to help you with RV organization and storage. Learn about storage ideas for RV closets to help you use your space better. Or, check out our suggestions for RV bedroom hacks to may give you some ideas on simple things you can change in your bedroom to make more space.
Weather can Be a Problem
Weather can be scary even when you live in a solid sticks-and-bricks house. Tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding are all very real things that can cause serious damage to a house. That said, those things become even scarier when living in an RV.
Strong winds have been known to knock RVs over, and heavy rain can destroy a camper that isn’t well sealed. For this reason, RVers must consider the weather as they plan their travels and be ready to move if the forecast isn’t looking so great.
Honestly, one of the pros of owning an RV is that you can pick up and move your house if bath weather is on it’s way, such as a hurricane. Follow the nice weather patterns and your house on wheels should be better than safe.
Related: 20 RV Road Trip Planner Apps
Finding Routines Can Be Difficult
For many families, a good routine is crucial. Unfortunately, finding routine when you live and travel in an RV can be a bit tricky.
Travel days have a way of throwing everything off, and a bad travel day might mean late bedtimes for everyone. If you arrive in a new location and find there is a lot to see, you might find yourself skipping your homeschooling or work to fit it all in.
It isn’t that you can’t have a routine when RV living full time, but it does take more effort for sure.
Juggling Responsibilities and Travels is Hard
In the same vein as the point above, juggling all of the things you need (and want) to do while traveling full time is very difficult, sometimes to the point of feeling impossible.
Obviously, you have to keep up with your work, but you also have to make sure if you have kids, that they are keeping up with school. You also need to be on top of taking care of regular household chores such as using your RV washer and dryer daily or going to a laundromat. Staying on top of RV repairs and maintenance, traveling from one campsite to the next, and somehow fitting some sightseeing into the middle of it all.
The best solution to this problem is to stay in each place a little longer, but even then it’s still a struggle. Also, planning out easy RV meals can make food prep easier and takes that off your plate of responsibilities.
Internet Access can Be Limited
Most full time RVing families need RV internet for work. In the past, most people stayed connected using the cell signal provided by a mobile hotspot. In some areas, this was fine. In other areas, there was no connection at all.
Now that we have Starlink satellite internet, this is not as big of an issue as it used to be, but it can still come up in tree-covered spots or if Starlink is out of the budget.
Maintenance and Repairs Never End
We mentioned keeping up with repairs and maintenance above. It’s important to note that keeping up with these things is no small task.
RVs really aren’t designed to be lived in full time, and that means lots of continuous use is inevitably going to lead to broken parts and pieces that need to be repaired and replaced. On top of that, RVs required fairly regular maintenance. The repairs and maintenance together can take a significant amount of time and money to stay on top of.
RVs Depreciate in Value
Buying and caring for a house is an investment. Unfortunately, this is not the case for RVs. Motorhomes and trailers begin to depreciate the moment they leave the factory, and living in one only makes the value of the thing decline more quickly.
You should never expect to sell a used RV for much, but you can expect to get a lot of memories out of your rig, something many families find more valuable than money.
Should You Live in an RV Full Time?
After reading the pros and cons of living in an RV full time, you might be wondering if it’s for you. I may be biased, as our family THRIVED and grew SO much from our full time RV living experience. Yet, you’re going to have to answer this one for yourself.
If you want to learn even MORE about RV living, the steps needed to make it happen, grab a copy of our ebook sharing ALL of our best tips and everything you need to know to launch into full time RV living.
I hope the top RV living pros and cons helped you out a bit. Clearly, there is a lot to love about RV life, but there are also some drawbacks that might cause certain individuals to shy away. Really consider these pros and cons of RV living and how they might affect your family’s full time RVing experience to decide whether this is the life for you.
If you, like so many others, decide that you definitely do want to try RV living full time, then be sure to check out our FREE resource of setting up your RV Budget.
Get inspired about the pros and cons of RV living full time by watching our stories.