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10 Years Living the RV Life Taught Us These 10 Things

| Updated Nov 9, 2022

After 10 years of living the RV Life, Jennifer and I have learned countless things but these 10 things stand out the most…

Jennifer and I are what I like to call “near full-timers.” We travel about ¾ of the year but spend the remaining time at our sticks and bricks home.

And we’ve done that for the past 10 years. So, some rough math means we’ve lived and traveled in our RV for about 90 months of the last decade! 

Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot about living the RV life along the way. While we’ve learned more than I could possibly fit in an article (or even a book!), there are some lessons that stand out. 

So, I’m going to share those top 10 things we’ve learned and provide some helpful resources pertaining to each. That way, you can learn from our experiences and better prepare yourself for life on the road.

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10 Top Things Living the RV Life Has Taught Us

We’ve learned both practical and philosophical lessons on the road. The best of which I’ve outlined for you below. 

I hope you enjoy these insights and share some of your own in the comments at the end.

1. Practice Builds Confidence

We’ve had small Class B or Class C campervans for most of our RV life. So, adjusting to driving our RVs wasn’t much different from driving a minivan. 

However, we’ve recently purchased a fairly big 5th wheel and tow vehicle. Pulling a 5th wheel trailer was pretty far out of my comfort zone. Jennifer’s too.

But, over the years of RVing, I have learned that practice in all things builds confidence. Whether it’s setting up camp, doing basic maintenance… or pulling a 5th wheel trailer.

So, Jennifer and I took on the challenge head-on. After less practice than we expected, we’re both confident in our abilities to drive it. 

Here are some helpful resources if you can use a confidence boost as an RVer:

photo about the joys of family camping

2. More Quality Time with Family (vs. Quantity)

Now, it’s obvious that an RV opens the door for more quality time with the people you travel with. However, most people don’t realize that it can greatly increase your quality time with those you “leave behind.”

When we started off, we were really worried about the time we would lose with our family and friends by our sticks and bricks house.

But we were happily surprised by the reality. It turns out that whenever we were in town, everyone excitedly got together and we spent more quality time together.

Helpful resource:

3. The 330 Rule is a Great Rule

If you haven’t heard of the 330 Rule yet, get ready for it to change how you travel! As the video above explains, the 330 Rule will save you from RV burnout and enable you to have a more enjoyable time overall.

The 330 Rule goes like this: Don’t drive more than 330 miles in a day & arrive at your destination no later than 3:30 pm.

The video explains the reasons why, or you can read this article to learn more. (Including why we prefer it over the 3-3-3 Rule.)

4. You Need to Take Less Than You Think

When we first started RVing, we thought we were being minimalistic. Well, we quickly learned that we were still overpacking even in our attempts to “edit down.”

I recommend you check out our FREE RV Packing List (PLUS 3 Best RV Checklist Apps). Those resources will help you pack and stock your RV better.

5. A Place for Everything & Everything in Its Place

On that same note, whatever you do bring into your RV needs a specific place just for it. This follows the Marie Kondo organization method

You need a place for everything and everything needs to be put right back in its place after use.

If you don’t, clutter will quickly amass in the small living quarters of an RV. It will start to feel messy and uncomfortable, stealing joy from your travels.

6. Things Will Break (Expect It & Accept It)

I don’t care whether you bought a brand new, top-of-the-line RV, something will break. Probably in the first year of owning it. Maybe even in the first few months.

That’s simply a reality of RV living. I suggest you laugh it off as much as you can. Otherwise, the frustration of the whole experience will quickly sour your love of RVing.

What’s even more frustrating is a lot of these breaks will be at your own hands. So, I suggest reading 43 Dumbest RV Camping Mistakes.

7. Everyone Needs “Me Time”

10 Years Living the RV Life Taught Us These 10 Things 1

If you’re traveling with someone, it’s important that everyone gets some “Me Time.” This is always true, but it’s especially true when sharing a small living space. 

Be sure to schedule, take, and give Me Time for both yourself, your spouse and anyone traveling with you. If you don’t, small irritations will turn into friction which will turn into fights.

No matter how well you get along, you still need Me Time. Be sure to read the following:

8. Date Nights Are Still a Must

Date nights are just as important as Me Time. You may think that since you’re in each other’s company all the time, you don’t need to plan special time together. You’d be thinking wrong.

It’s still important for any relationship to carve out special time to spend together when you focus on each other. Here are some fun activities that might help:

9. You Need to Know RV Maintenance Basics

Remember how I said that at some point something will break? Well, that leads to another important lesson. You need to know some basics of RV maintenance.

When I started out, I was not handy. In truth, I’m still not that handy. However, I am a lot handier than I used to be out of necessity. 

Your RV lifestyle will be much easier if you know some basic preventative maintenance and repairs. I also recommend this great RV Tech Course you can take online.

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10. We Live in a Beautiful Country with Amazing People

Last but not least, 10 years of living the RV life has taught us that we live in a beautiful country with amazing people. Regardless of what social media or the news says, we are so blessed to get to RV across our nation.

Jennifer and I have seen more awe-inspiring sights and have had more life-changing experiences in the last decade than we can list. 

We’ve met countless people along the way who have shown us kindness and a zeal for life that will revive anyone's good opinion of humanity.

We’re also so thankful for the amazing people who follow our blog and podcast. Thank you! And we hope to see you on the road.

10 Years Living the RV Life Taught Us These 10 Things 2

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-11-08

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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