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7 Top Reasons People are Quitting the RV Lifestyle (2024)

| Updated Jan 10, 2024

RVers are throwing in the towel after years of dreaming and even years of RVing. Why are so many quitting the RV Lifestyle? Where do I begin…

With recent social and economic changes, the RV lifestyle has become more challenging. RV prices, fuel prices, and campground prices have jumped. Yet, somehow, campgrounds are still overcrowded to the point of making it difficult to get a reservation.

But now, we’re hearing how more and more long-time RVers are giving up the lifestyle. Is it all because of overcrowding? Or the rising costs?

Well, both are playing a big part, but they're by no means the only reason. After all, everyone expects the prices and crowds to calm down eventually. But it has forced avid RVers as well as those on the verge of becoming RVers to rethink things.

That rethinking has led many to sell or store the RVs that were once their home or main getaway vehicle. Or to give up on their dream of RVing.

However, despite all of the reasons below, Jennifer and I are nowhere near giving up the RV lifestyle, including touring the country. Yet, we certainly understand why so many are because of the following reasons…

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I feel like I should start by saying that not all avid or full-time RVers are calling it quits. There are still lots of them. Some are sticking with the lifestyle but making some changes.

And one very big change is this shift to owning your own land for your RV. That's one of the changes we've made by building on our land in Tennessee. Though, we still hit the road regularly to tour the country, explore, attend RV shows, visit family, and more.

But we love having a basecamp, a place where we know we can always have room, stay as long as we want, have our friends join us and truly get away from it all.

And we're not alone. A lot of other RVers are doing the same thing.

7 Big Reasons People are Quitting RVing

Quitting the RV Lifestyle
Beautiful, but crowded?

There are admittedly more challenges than ever before. So, we do understand why others are giving up RVing. 

Here are the biggest reasons some people think RVing isn’t worth it anymore.

1. Campground Overcrowding

There’s no way to sugarcoat that the campgrounds are downright overcrowded. The campgrounds are noisier than they’ve ever been before, and you’d only know that if you could actually get a reservation.

There has been some improvement recently. Entrepreneurs have responded to the increased demand by opening new RV parks, like the thousands of new RV sites in Florida. However, you're still pressing your luck if you don't book months in advance.

Though reservations are somewhat easier to attain, the campgrounds are still crowded. And, because so many newbies joined the club in recent years, you have to deal with more bad camping neighbors than usual.

That being said, the crowds will balance out eventually with the combination of people quitting the lifestyle and new campsites being built, like this one we just reported on.

2. Jump in Costs

photo of mike and jennifer at rv show - Quitting the RV Lifestyle
It's how much?

Economics 101 teaches us that supply and demand drive all markets, including the RV and campground industry. 

Because of the high demand and short supply of campsites, campsite prices have jumped significantly. Because of the high demand and short supply of RV mechanics and parts, maintenance and repairs costs have jumped. 

The high demand and short supply of new RVs have also caused a significant jump in RV prices (more than 40%!). This actually brings us to our next reason people are leaving RVing full-time.

3. Increased Used RV Value

Used RV prices have gone way up in recent years. All it takes is a quick look on Facebook Marketplace to see the high prices for RVs.

This tips the scale for a lot of RVers who have already been toying with the idea of selling their RVs. This is especially true for non-fulltime RVers who already have a house to go back to. 

However, this isn’t as true for full-time RVers whose used RV price wouldn’t make up for the huge price increase in the real estate market.

4. Virtual Work & Schooling

Ironically, one of the biggest reasons people are joining the RV lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons people are leaving it. 

There's no denying that there’s been an awakening in the formalized world that remote work and school are valid options these days.

So, while there will eventually be a significant decrease in crowding, RVing is highly unlikely to be “like it was before.” Some people just aren’t up for seeing what that new RV lifestyle will look like.

5. Boondocking Spots Shutting Down

7 Top Reasons People are Quitting the RV Lifestyle (2024) 1
Garbage abandoned in wilderness areas results in shutting down boondocking areas.

Unfortunately, boondocking sites are still getting shut down at an alarming rate. Why? 

For one, the surge in homelessness is leading to boondocking sites being overwhelmed by people who don’t take pride in caring for their location. It’s frustrating but they’re dealing with bigger issues.

For two, so many people jumped into camping without learning (or caring to learn) proper boondocking etiquette. To me, this is even more frustrating than the homeless situation. Leaving a site unclean in these cases is just pure disrespect and laziness.

As such, state parks and other public places are shutting down boondocking spots for good. As disappointing as it is, you can’t really blame them.

6. Health Scares and decision fatigue

Managing health care while RVing has always been a challenge, and that was before there was a global pandemic. Some RVers have decided to give up RVing because they want or need access to more stable healthcare. 

Having family or friend support, a regular doctor, and access to a quality hospital are more achievable if you stay in one location. Thus, people are trading in their RVs for stick houses.

And that piles on to what is often called “decision fatigue,” the daily list of decisions that RVers must make as they travel to new places… finding places to stay, supermarkets, pharmacies, handling their mail, planning routes, etc.

That leads to a low level of stress that, over time, can become tiresome.

If that RVer is a full-timer, with a family, with no permanent home base, it can become overwhelming.

7. Home Sickness

If recent years have taught us one thing, it’s to not take our lives and family and friends for granted. That realization has led a lot of people to the open road, taking their families on road trips or visiting family across the country.

That same realization, however, has made many avid and full-time RVers homesick. Some realize they have had their fill of the open road and adventure and want to settle back in near their family and friends. They want to be readily available for or nearby those they love the most.

Your Thoughts on Quitting the RV Lifestyle

quitting the rv lifestyle - not us
We're still enjoying the RV Lifestyle.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, Jennifer and I are continuing our RV lifestyle. We have passed the 11-year mark as RVers (that still have a sticks and bricks – and a condo – and now some of our own land), and we expect that 11-year number to get even bigger. We will continue it as long as we look forward to each day on the open road.

And that joy is still the dominant part of our RV lifestyle.

But, I am really curious to hear from our community on this topic. Are you considering throwing in the towel? Are you still committed to the lifestyle? Please share your thoughts on quitting the RV lifestyle in the comments below and join the discussion in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-02-22

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.

44 Responses to “7 Top Reasons People are Quitting the RV Lifestyle (2024)”

May 23, 2023at1:53 pm, Frank Hoehle said:

My wife and I decided to sell our Winnebago Adventurer. We previously had a new Jayco Hummingbird, and a few used campers. The one thing that was noticed was the apalling lack of quality construction in any camper we ever saw or owned. They are all maintenence heavy pieces of junk. For me, campgrounds are like a trailer park, with rude, noisy neighbors and people way too close to me. For my wife, high gas prices and insane maintenance costs were hard pills to swallow as well. I’m thankful we got rid of our RV when we did and I hope never to own another.

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December 12, 2023at9:43 pm, Steven Bruner said:

I agree, we sold our travel trailer years ago. Poor quality construction and constant maintinance took the fun out of it for us.

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March 17, 2023at8:28 pm, MARK WALTHOUR said:

Just getting my new 96 Holiday Rambler painted and ready for the first time road. So my question is == Why is there not some sort of Airbnb for RV lots. Lets say I buy my spot in Vegas and swap some one for 2 weeks or a month in Tennessee then swamp for a spot in Florida ect…. Is this not possible or are there issues in doing something like this? I am retired USAF so I can stay at any Fam Camp in the US for not much but most bases are not exactly in the middle of it all. Anyone thought of this?

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March 18, 2023at10:06 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We think this sounds like a great idea but we’re not aware of anyone doing it. If you find someone who is, let us know! Team RV Lifestyle

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April 06, 2023at12:25 pm, Mria Bhanby said:

There’s an existing group that harvest hosts just merged with called Boondockers Welcome. That might be on the line of similar options to what you’re looking for.

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February 26, 2023at12:11 pm, John Corstvet said:

Julie and I got married in 1986. I had been tent-camping before that. She and her late husband had been truck-camping for years. Her Mon and dad had been truck-camping before that. When we got married, we tent camped for a year, then we purchased a tent-camper which we used for 13 years. In 2001 we get a used Jayco 5th wheel and Dodge pickup. We bought a new F-350 diesel\dually in 2004. We still have that layout which is put in a shed every winter. Even though I’ll turn 80 in May, we have no intention of slowing down our camping. We mainly camp in State and County Parks. We run out to New York and park under a tree in our oldest daughter’s backyard and play with the grandkids for a couple weeks each summer. Now that my wife is also retired, we are working on ridding Julie of her foiba of camping in non-electric sites. With my “old-guy” card, we are discovering a new world of camping in the alphabet soup of “BLM”, “USACoE”, “USFS”, and “NPS”. We really enjoy that half-price camping which we plan to do for many years into the future!

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February 27, 2023at3:20 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this – very encouraging! Team RV Lifestyle

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February 23, 2023at9:47 am, Bev Parkison said:

We’ve enjoyed this amazing lifestyle for going on six years (with a break during the pandemic to build a retirement home). Recently purchased an RV lot in a gated resort in southern Arizona. Using it as a western base and escape from Ohio winters. Love, love this lifestyle so much (just like the Wendlands) I own two campers! Once the learning curve is over, the rewards of traveling and exploring this continent are endless.

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February 24, 2023at1:20 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

So glad you shared this – and Mike and Jen couldn’t agree more! Team RV Lifestyle

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February 14, 2023at2:15 am, Nancy Hufstedler said:

My husband and I will be starting out on full time RVing. We are in the process of selling our house now. We have been dreaming about this for 30+ years. I can’t stand living in one place all the time. I am looking forward to starting our new adventures.

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February 14, 2023at10:34 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Best wishes to you as you start this new chapter, Nancy – All of us here at Team RV Lifestyle wish you only the best in this new adventure!

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January 19, 2024at5:07 pm, Lisa Boone said:

I would love to hear how the past year in your adventure has gone. My husband & I are considering (99.9% sure we will) selling our home & buying an RV to become full-timers. We are interested in all the hints/tips anyone in or new to the process can provide! Thanks so much, Lisa

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February 08, 2023at11:20 pm, Joan Thomas said:

Thanks for all the input. I have been considering going into an rv with little traveling. Now I have some real situations to consider while deciding what to do.
I haven’t yet bought an rv.

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February 10, 2023at9:54 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the feedback, Joan – It is good to weigh the pros and cons. Team RV Lifestyle

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January 12, 2023at1:38 pm, D AP said:

Trying to decide on buying an rv lot in an rv resort. At first it looked good but after crunching the numbers it’s about even with regular travel rving snd I think I’d get bored owning .1 acres of land

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January 12, 2023at4:34 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

RV resorts can definitely be expensive. Mike and Jen did not buy in a resort – which makes a difference. But crunching the numbers is the smart way to see if it makes sense for you – Happy Trails! Team RV Lifestyle

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November 29, 2022at5:11 am, John Maki said:

Can You Help Me? I have done everything humanly possible to get my 2022 No Boundaries travel trailer repaired under warranty. I do not skills have that you two have. My trailer has been at the dealership since October 10th, 4 of the 5 items has been repaired the last item is a rusty frame issue and these is being bounced back and for between Forest River and Pete’s RV where I purchase it. It’s now November 29 and Forest River and Pete’s RV will not acknowledge me, I emailed Forest River and called 3 times yesterday to Pete’s RV and no one got back to me. I do not know what to do now. Any suggestions. I know I can fix myself for about $100 dollars and to it I will need wait until spring. Another reason to quit the RV

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December 02, 2022at3:57 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Hi John – So sorry you are having a hard time getting your trailer repaired under warranty. that has to be so frustrating! Mike and Jen really have no way to help with a situation like this. Maybe contact your attorney general’s office or the better business bureau in your city/state for suggestions? Best of luck! Team RV Lifestyle

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January 28, 2024at6:48 pm, Kate Lester said:

Yikes, sorry you are dealing with this. We were looking intoa Forest River TT, buying at Pete’s Rv. I think we need to rethink this whole thing. I wish you luck.

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October 16, 2022at9:32 pm, Kathy Day said:

Mostly we are quitting because of aging…both us and our travel trailer. My mobility is limited, and I have a lot of arthritis pain and difficulty maneuvering in the small space. Our camper has some water damage and my husband is tired…of fixing and maintaining. We have been camped all over the country and some in eastern Canada. WE have loved it but now we will hold the memories forever and quit the lifestyle.

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October 18, 2022at3:18 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Bet you and your husband have wonderful memories of your camping adventures… thanks for sharing, Kathy – Team RV Lifestyle

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April 21, 2022at2:55 pm, Cathy Marshall said:

I had the best 3 month of my 61 years staying at an RV resort in Summerfield Fl. Now that I am back in MI I miss the friends I made there. I can’t wait to go back again for 3 months next year. To me home is depressing. The big house, no nearby activities like Pickleball & lack of the close-knit community feeling is a bummer. I can’t imagine stopping RV travel for the winter months. To each his own I guess.

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April 22, 2022at11:35 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Hi Cathy – Mike and Jen have no plans to quit, either. Sounds like you are in a wonderful RV resort during that time in Florida. Thanks for sharing – Team RV Lifestyle

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February 27, 2022at6:42 am, Jeanine Acree said:

We are parked on.daughters land, it’s a win win

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February 26, 2022at11:24 pm, Lori Pastor said:

Gas Prices!

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February 26, 2022at6:51 pm, Gary Shortt said:

Quit last year after 6 years. Found it easier to tent than to find an R.V. site. We go with others who like the amenities, so hardly boom docking at $75 a night. Even with Airstreams there is constant maintenance and they are really only 3 season campers.

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February 26, 2022at5:29 pm, Mark Harris said:

Never new there was a name for it or other people felt the same way, but decision fatigue along with over crowded campgrounds is the reason we stopped. We looked at a few rv campgrounds to buy but at that point way stay in an RV if you are not enjoying the travel. We are very happy and content in our stick and bricks When we want to visit a couple places once or twice a year we just get an Airbnb It’s a lot less expensive and much less stress than RV travel

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January 12, 2023at2:08 pm, D AP said:

Same here had about five good years looking to buy a door in rv resort but isn’t cheap snd in some ways what’s the point of a house on wheels if u aren’t going anywhere

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January 24, 2023at10:41 pm, Kelly Urner said:

Same here. We’ve been RVing for 8 years and just recently stopped. Bittersweet decision as we’ve had a wonderful time and have seen and experienced things we never thought we ever would or could. Life changes, though. Main reasons we quit was the rising costs, overcrowded campgrounds and dealing with neighbors who feel like the rules don’t apply to them. We’ll still continue our adventures but we’ll do it via Airbnb. Cheaper, less stress and much easier. We absolutely love our stick house and have no regrets walking away from the RV life. It was great while it lasted but it’s time to turn the page.

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February 23, 2022at2:55 pm, Debra Waldon-Myers said:

I’m old, I’m tired but would never quit camping. It refreshes us. We are primarily boon dockers and yes, many spots are being closed down, but we have been able to locate other spots. Sometimes we are less then 10 miles from our home in rural Oregon. We are rural but there is something about being in the middle of “nowhere” that offers the change we enjoy. We enjoy seclusion and nature.

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November 04, 2022at7:43 pm, Cavayo Sapien said:

What about running bin to Bigfoot ?

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February 22, 2022at2:57 pm, William Browne said:

Another reason and one that is affecting us is aging and all that goes with it.. Things like using durable medical equipment , loss of energy needed to set up and tear down and all that goes with it. Physical issues that just keep coming up that make everything just a bit harder.

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February 20, 2022at4:01 pm, Marguerite Schrader said:

Promoting that everyone should buy their own land to camp on is sort of like promoting time-shares or cottages. After a while, people figure out that they would like to go to more places than their private campsite, but they’ve sunk their money into it. RV’ing is a way to travel and see America. We’ll all figure out how to do that post-pandemic. If everyone were getting out of RV’ing, the campgrounds wouldn’t be crowded. Seems like we are fishing for a headline that isn’t really there.

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February 21, 2022at11:44 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank you for your comment.

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January 13, 2023at1:04 am, Renee Bickar said:

I really enjoy living in our RV four months of the year; however it is expensive and not easy to find spots. It appears with housing shortage many are finding it more affordable to live in RV’s. I believe that adds to difficulty finding spots. We are from Michigan and travel through Florida. I believe cost of RV’s are going to turn around and RV prices will go down. In fact, I see a lot more availability of used RV’s that are not selling with prices dropping compare to last year. I would never buy a new one. The prices are absurd and quality poor, especially those built during pandemic. Tomorrow we’re going to look at a few new to us RV’s. I am nervous as our 2004 Sunseeker runs well and would hate to end up a lemon. I would like some updates though….

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February 20, 2022at12:21 pm, Trish Fenstermacher said:

I’m not convinced that owning land for an RV, in proximity to others also owning land, (at a very reasonable price) where there are no rules or covenants, and everyone has “your land, your way” is going to be anything but the same thing found in campgrounds. Anyone could let anyone stay on their land, in any manner of camping, noise making, loose pets, and any activity they choose. Theft and drug use can come to the vicinity just as at a campground. Nice idea, variety of folks.

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February 20, 2022at3:18 pm, Alan Laurie said:

I agree 100% with Trish. We live on 18 acres with neighbors having the same size property more or less, it can still be difficult. I cannot imagine an area with no CC&R’s. 5 acres is pretty small and the combination of beer, motorcyles, four wheelers and who knows what else can ruin a perfectly nice weekend. Unfortunately in this day and age people just don’t care about their neighbors. I”ve been camping since I was a little kid with my parents, I long for those days, times where people respected others privacy.

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February 21, 2022at11:45 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the input.

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February 20, 2022at8:06 am, Bev Parkison said:

First of all everything has gone up in price, not just RVs or campsites. Secondly there will always be disgusting people whom don’t care about anything or how they throw their trash around. I’m hoping people leave the RV life in droves but don’t see that happening. Like anything else it’s what you make it.

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February 21, 2022at11:45 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

You’re exactly right. Make the best of it.

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February 27, 2022at6:39 am, Jeanine Acree said:

We are parked on our daughters land helping them out..RVing has ment security for both of our familys

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February 20, 2022at7:50 am, Dana Sawyer said:

COMMENT – Now in our 10th year (2 part-time, 8 fulltime) of snowbird/workcamper/adventurer, we are dropping the work but plan to continue the snowbird and adventurer lifestyle as long as we are healthy and enjoy it. We did recently purchase a home in a well known Tennessee RV community that provides the safety net and staging area for each upcoming adventure.

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February 21, 2022at11:46 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Happy trails to you!

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February 20, 2022at7:11 am, Karen Hartley said:

We stopped full-timing and bought a home base at the start of the pandemic. We like having a safe spot near family. Still in a smaller RV about eight months a year.
I also think decision fatigue is a reason to stop RVing. You just get tired of all the decisions new places require and long for familiarity.

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