As romantic as the notion may seem, here’s why you may want to think again about fulltime RVing…
Jennifer and I have been RVing since 2012 and know better than most what life on the road is like. However, some are surprised to learn that we are not actually full-time RVers.
Although we do live in our RV about ¾ of the year, we still have a stick and bricks home in Michigan. No matter how much we love the RV life, we’ve never jumped into it fulltime.
Well, along the way we’ve learned about the various challenges fulltimers face. Plus, we still like the stability of having a home base. So, we decided that near-fulltime is better for us.
Fulltiming may very well be the right choice for you, but it's worth pausing to think again about fulltime RVing before you pull the trigger. Here are some things you should consider first before completely embracing the RV lifestyle.
6 Pitfalls of Fulltime RVing
Unbolting yourself from a foundation and turning the key to an RV may feel like the ultimate freedom, but like everything in life, fulltime RVing has its pros and cons. We all love to highlight the pros and are quite familiar with that long list.
However, it is important to discuss the cons, too. Before people leave their regular way of life in the dust, they need to have a clear idea of what they’re getting themselves into. So here are the most common pitfalls that fulltime RVers don’t always see coming.
The Honeymoon Period
When people fall in love with RVing, they see through the rose-colored glasses of a newlywed. They see mostly bliss and adventure and sure, there may be bumps in the road, but that’s just part of life’s adventure right?
But then, of course, responsibilities and logistics start piling up. The love remains but the day-to-day becomes harder. And no matter how aware you are of this “honeymoon effect,” you can’t truly prepare yourself for it because it’s different for everyone.
So, my advice for people longing for the RV lifestyle is to follow your heart but lead with your brain. Stop and carefully consider the challenges once the “new car smell” wears off.
Speaking of those challenges…
Too Much Change Too Fast
Humans are extremely adaptable but too much change too fast can still be massively overwhelming. Even if the changes are for the better, it can still leave us feeling lost.
When people switch to RVing fulltime, it’s usually tied to another big life change, like retirement or a career switch. Things that have been a source of stability for years if not decades, like a house and job, are now gone.
It’s hard to predict how that feels because emotions are unpredictable. What seems like an exciting new chapter in life can feel too much like closing the book on another part of your life.
Too Little Connection
As much as Jennifer and I love being connected with nature, there’s no denying the usefulness of being connected online. Even with today’s technology, campground and off-grid wifi is still too unreliable.
As bloggers and YouTubers, we clearly need a strong internet connection to support our livelihood. And that’s true for most people who work from home– even if that home is on wheels.
A strong, reliable connection is in fact one of the main reasons Jennifer and I keep our sticks and bricks home. When we’re home, we’re able to work more efficiently and effectively than we often can on the road.
Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure
Family and Friends Feel Abandoned
A lot of people considering going fulltime do consider how they will miss the family and friends they leave behind. But, too many people don’t consider how their family and friends feel being left behind.
That oversight usually hits them when they’re excitedly sharing all of their plans but only get hurt looks and cold shoulders in return. You may think they should be happy for you and, in most cases they are. But that doesn’t mean they’re not sad about the distance that will grow between you.
It’s really important to talk to those closest to you about how they feel about you leaving. A lot of times, they just need reassurance that you’re not going to leave them behind in the dust. Other times, they may need you to ease into fulltime RVing just as much as you may need to (more on that at the end).
Fulltime RVing is NOT a Fulltime Vacation
One of the biggest and most dangerous misconceptions is that fulltime RV life is going to be one big vacation. It’s a very common yet unhealthy mindset because it leads to unhealthy habits.
New fulltime RVers often make the mistake of overindulging on food, drinks, and plain old lounging. They overlook the importance of staying healthy while RVing.
When you go on vacation for a week, you can get away with overindulging. But you can’t get away with it week after week and month after month on the road.
Health Care Doesn’t Travel Well
Yes, there are doctors and hospitals and pharmacies all across this great country. But, logistically, managing your healthcare on the road can be very difficult.
Transferring and refilling prescriptions, scheduling check-ups, and going to those check-ups can be a real hassle. Unfortunately, it leads to a lot of people missing doses of their medicine and skipping out on physicals and other checkups.
Worse is when an emergency strikes. And yes, emergencies do happen on the road, as much as we like to think we’re invincible when we’re having fun.
Jennifer and I have both ended up in hospitals in random locations because of health emergencies while traveling. Thankfully, we received excellent healthcare but our circle of support was far away. They’re fun campfire stories to share now but they were stressful situations at the time.
It’s very important to take stock of your health and accept that it needs to be a big determining factor in how long you can RV for. I mean that in the short term and long term, too. We’re all getting older and at some point, our health will most likely ground us to one location again.
But What If I Really Want to RV Fulltime?
Then you absolutely should! I didn't write this article to necessarily deter you but rather just to get you to think again about fulltime RVing. To really consider if it's a realistic and good decision for you. If it is, then that's great!
But there is no reason you have to do it all at once in one dramatic swoop. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older and wiser is that you should transition, not jump into big life changes whenever possible.
Most experienced RVers recommend you ease into full-timing. It's usually easier on you and your loved ones, and more emotionally manageable. If anything, it will build your confidence and make you more sure about going full time. Or, it will reveal a better balance for you like it did for Jennifer and me.
Boondocking Makes Fulltime RVing Easier
Want to learn how to boondock?
We created a PRINT version of our most popular guide to help you with the most common boondocking problems. We get a ton of questions from our subscribers about how to get started boondocking that range from where to go and wild animals to water conservation to what equipment to use and more.
Throw off the shackles of traditional RV Parks and campgrounds, stop paying high fees every night that you spend in your RV, and experience the boundless amounts of nature while boondocking!
You’re done with the noisy RV parks, the 3.5 feet of room you have squished in between two other RVs, and other people’s kids running through your campsite?
You’ve ditched the hookups, the concrete blocks and have replaced them with self-leveling and Navy showers?