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7 Big Cons of RV Living (Part-Time & Full-Time)

| Updated Oct 22, 2022

The RV lifestyle is the dream for so many, but there are some serious cons of RV living. It’s important to understand the negatives of living in an RV before you fully commit to it…

During the pandemic, a lot of people seized the opportunity to leave their offices behind and hit the road in an RV. With home prices at an all time high, some even cashed out and moved into an RV full time.

Unfortunately, many people had a rude awakening. The difficult truths of RV living came crashing down on them, and it’s not the life they were expecting. 

Jennifer and I have been RVing for over a decade now. We’re not quite full-timers, but we spend about ¾ of our year RVing. 

In fact, the following cons of RV living play a big role in that remaining ¼ of the year spent at home.

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7 Main Cons of RV Living

7 Big Cons of RV Living

Before I start outlining the cons, I feel like I should emphasize that we do still RV ¾ of the year! Despite clearly understanding these cons (and dealing with them regularly), we still absolutely love the RV life.

So, this list of cons isn’t meant to turn you away from RVing. It’s meant to better prepare you for what you can expect.

1. RVing is Expensive

Despite what the tiny house movement would like you to believe, RVing is expensive. That’s especially true ever since the pandemic drove prices up across the board. 

The cost of RVs, campground fees, and fuel has hopped, skipped, and done an olympic-worthy long jump into expensive. (RV prices have jumped more than 40%!)

But guess what? RVing wasn’t cheap before the pandemic either. Sales prices, maintenance costs, repairs, and fuel are always more expensive than many people expect.

So, I want to make this clear. RVing can be more affordable than living in a house. However, it is not a given! 

You have to carefully research, plan, and budget if you want to qualify RVing as a “cheaper lifestyle.”

2. Campgrounds are Crowded & Reservations Hard to Get

I am a fan of serendipitous travel. I love to jump behind the wheel and hit the open road with only a loose travel plan.

However, that is getting harder and harder to do, especially since the pandemic.

We all know the number of RVers dramatically increased during the pandemic. So, the amount of competition for campsites greatly increased.

However, that’s not the only factor that’s making it difficult to find campsites. The other reason hits boondockers, like Jennifer and I, the hardest.

That reason is more and more boondocking spots are getting shut down. Less boondocking, means even more people having to stay in campgrounds than ever before.

3. Decision Fatigue

When home, you take for granted all the little things that are just “givens.” You don’t realize you follow a routine more than you’d think, even if you consider yourself a spontaneous person.

When you start having to make hundreds of decisions every day that you don’t normally have to make, it gets exhausting. But RVing requires that of you. 

Unless, of course, you meticulously plan your road trips in advance. However, you still have to make all those decisions during that process, too.

Decision fatigue is one of the cons of RV living I wasn’t expecting. It especially hit me hard since it’s heightened even more with my serendipitous-style of traveling.

4. Managing Your Health Care on the Road is Tricky (& Expensive)

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Even if you don’t overindulge and make yourself more unhealthy, managing your healthcare is still tricky on the road.

Filling your prescriptions, getting regular checkups, and even dealing with emergencies while traveling is challenging. 

As you can see in the above video, emergency situations while RVing can not only be a nightmare to live through but difficult to overcome financially.

You need to have a plan for managing your healthcare and emergencies before you start living the RV life. Here are a few resources to help:

4. Friends & Family Mock You (& Question Your Sanity)

This is another drawback that I wasn’t expecting when we announced to our family and friends that we were going to live the RV lifestyle.

I was surprised by how many people rained on our parade. They questioned our decisions and even our sanity. 

Over time, this will improve as you “prove them wrong,” but it was disheartening when we started out. That’s why I recommend reading How to Tell Family & Friends You’re Becoming a Full-Time RVer. if you plan to RV for extended periods of time.

7 Big Cons of RV Living

5. It’s Easy to Over Indulge

When people think of camping, we automatically associate it with vacationing. That means associating it with our favorite snacks, indulgent meals, sodas, and (for some) alcohol.

This association becomes a big problem when you spend a lot of time RVing, whether that’s part-time or full-time. It can even be too much for RV weekenders if you camp more weekends than not.

The temptation, along with the prolonged sitting that comes with driving long distances can be a recipe for disaster. (Sitting disease is a real health risk for RVers!)

You have to be prepared to proactively stay active! Which, by the way, is much easier if you travel with a dog. It’s one of the best perks of traveling with a dog.

7. RV Maintenance and Repairs are a Lot of Work 

I am not nor have ever been a handyman. However, out of necessity, I am handier than I’ve ever been ever since I became an RV owner. 

I had to learn how to be hands-on with RV maintenance and basic repairs. Before, I figured that a new RV wouldn’t be much work to maintain. And I figured any repairs could be easily handled by a professional. 

I was wrong! For one, there’s a big shortage of RV mechanics and the wait lists are long! For two, you have to be able to do things yourself when you’re camping in secluded areas.

I had to learn the hard way as I went. But, thankfully, there is now online courses you can take to teach you the basics of RV maintenance and repairs…

7 Big Cons of RV Living (Part-Time & Full-Time) 1

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-10-21

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.

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