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Becoming Full-Time RVers? How to Tell Family & Friends in 5 Steps

| Updated Mar 25, 2022

Those becoming full-time RVers are usually filled with excitement and can’t wait to share the news. Then, they’re met with negativity. Here’s how to break the news to family and friends…

Your family and friends don’t mean to rain on your parade. In most cases, they’re trying to protect you from what they perceive as a risky or even crazy endeavor. Or, they’re trying to protect themselves from being apart from you.

Living in an RV full-time (or even part-time) is a drastic lifestyle change. And as we all know, change can be scary. If not for us, for those around us. 

So, while you may be super excited to share the news of your new adventure, be prepared for a not-so-excited response. Here are some helpful tips on how to tell family and friends you’re becoming a full-time RVer.

5 Tips on How to Break the News

Becoming Full-Time RVers - having the conversation
Set aside time to answer questions.

Yep, I said, “break the news,” not “share the incredibly exciting news!” Because as exciting as it is for you, your family and friends are likely going to need some explanation and patience to see it your way.

The following tips should help your friends and family to come around more quickly.

1. Set Some Time Aside

For your closest friends and family, set some time aside to have a whole conversation about becoming full-time RVers. Invite them over for dinner or meet them for coffee. 

In the best-case scenario, they’ll respond with an “Oh my goodness, we’re so excited for you! Tell us all about your plans!”

But in many cases, it’ll be more like a blank stare or fake smile and “What do you mean you’re becoming full-time RVers?” 

Either way, you’re going to need some time to explain your plans.

2. Be Ready for LOTS of Questions

Becoming Full-Time RVers
Answer all the questions.

Whether you get a positive or negative response, you’re going to get a whole lot of follow-up questions. 

A lot of times, the questions may seem insulting, as if you haven’t put a lot of thought into this, even though you have. Questions like, “But what about your house? What about an income? What are you going to do if…?!” 

Instead of feeling attacked, remind yourself that you had all of these same questions yourself. So, it’s natural for them to worry about these things, too.

After “breaking the news,” I suggest you address that they’re going to be concerned right away. Something like, “I know you’re going to have a lot of questions and concerns– all of which I’ve had myself. So, I’m ready to answer any questions you might have.”

This usually calms this down a bit. Instead of launching a barrage of questions at you, they’ll likely take a breath and start a conversation with you.

3. Reassure Them of Your Love

When becoming full-time RVers, many are surprised that some of their family and friends feel betrayed by the decision. They feel like they’re being left behind.

Again, this is coming from a place of love because they don’t want to be apart from you. So, they’re going to need some loving reassurance that even though you’re leaving, you’re still going to be there for them. 

Be prepared to explain that you’re going to video call, text, and email often. And let them know that you’ve already figured out how to get mail while on the road.  

You may also want to discuss how you’ll likely have more quality time, even if you don’t see each other as frequently. After all, being nearby doesn’t usually mean you see each other all the time or for extended periods of time. 

But when you come to visit, you’ll be spending great quality time with them. Or, they can meet you at one of your destinations and have that kind of quality time together, too. 

Many RVers who’ve gone full-time actually enjoy more quality time with their family and friends than before.

4. You’re Telling, Not Asking

Becoming Full-Time RVers - having a conversation
You've put a lot of thought into it.

At some point in the conversation, your family and friends may try to talk you out of your decision. You’ll need to politely tell them that you’re telling them about your plans, not asking them for permission. 

Something like, “I know you may not want me to go, but I’ve put a lot of thought into this and it is something that I want to do. It’s something that I am going to do.”

If they insist, you can nicely just say it directly, too: “I hear you, but I’m not asking for your permission.”

5. You Can Always Quit

Becoming Full-Time RVers
You can change your mind.

What?! Quit?! But I thought we’re trying to convince them it’s a good idea!

Well, we are, but usually, the scariest thing about a big decision is the sense of permanency. As in, you’ve decided to go full-time RVing, the decision is made, and you’ll never return. 

But most decisions aren’t permanent. 

Your friends and family may think this is a big mistake, but even if it is, it’s not unchangeable. It’s not like you’re starting a life sentence on the road. 

Sometimes the final reassurance your loved ones need is, “Look, I’m excited to try this and I think I’m going to love it. But, if I don’t, then I’ll stop. It’s better for me to try it and see for myself than to not try at all.”

Besides, most full-time RVers expect to settle down into a house again sometime. It’s a natural cycle that usually occurs at the 3, 5, or 10-year mark.

Understanding that it’s not forever, can help soothe your family and friends’ nerves. 

Let me end by saying, however, that you shouldn’t let other people’s fears and negativity keep you from doing what you’ve been dreaming of. Some people will never support or understand your desire to live and travel in an RV. 

Sometimes you just have to drive away and prove to them that you (and they) will be okay.

Your Advice on Becoming Full-Time RVers

Have you dealt with a negative response to becoming full-time RVers? How did you and your loved ones overcome it? Do you have any other advice for those about to join the RV lifestyle? Please share in the comments below or join the conversation about this topic in our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-03-25

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “Becoming Full-Time RVers? How to Tell Family & Friends in 5 Steps”

March 25, 2022at8:31 am, Bev Parkison said:

We lived our dream in a comfortable fifth wheel for 41 months. The pandemic cut short the adventures when we decided to build the retirement home on land we already had and spent our summers on. When we revealed our plans to sell my big high maintenance house and move in a fifth wheel most family and friends were supportive and excited for us. We heard some negative remarks, like “Why would you want to live in a tin box?” and “You will be spending too much money and need it in your old age.” from one family member. This family member had not seen a modern RV and had no idea how nice they were. Once he got to see it he was surprised. The negativity is mostly jealousy from not having the ability to embark upon such an epic adventure. We were able to visit family and friends across the country that we hadn’t seen in many years. I documented the journey on Facebook for family and friends to follow us and that was a great way to stay in touch. Once we were in California’s Yosemite Valley with no internet or cell phone service for several days. My sister became concerned because she heard about wildfires on the news and couldn’t get in touch by phone. I was finally able to get a post up and she was relieved we weren’t near the wildfires! So glad we ignored the naysayers and lived our dream. So many great memories!


March 25, 2022at3:24 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing, Bev! Your story is very encouraging and it sounds like you are having some wonderful adventures! Team RV Lifestyle


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