Whether you’re looking for an escape from a cubicle or want to take yourself and your family on an adventure, there’s much to learn and look forward to when it comes to the RV lifestyle. Check out this article and find out everything you need to know to have the adventure of your life!
What Is The RV Lifestyle
The RV lifestyle is all that it implies. Families and young couples ditch their 9 to 5 life and trade everything in for an RV and a life on the road. They travel all over the country, see amazing things, meet incredible people, and collect a lifetime of stories to share. But living on the road year-round isn’t for everyone. Before selling everything you own to embark on this 24/7 adventure, there are a few things you need to know.
Before Deciding On An RV Lifestyle
There are many things to consider before embracing the RV lifestyle. Camping World has a list of excellent points to consider. First, you need to figure out just how much space you’ll need. Are you a young couple living childfree? If so, you won’t need as much space as a family of five. Even more important, Camping World recommends a test drive of sorts; taking an RV out for an extended period of time – something longer than a holiday weekend – to see if it’s something you and your family can handle.
Camper Report lists RVs as starting anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000 depending on a number of different factors. And then there’s RV insurance. Overland Insurance is one of many websites with information on RV insurance prices. They estimate that RV insurance could cost up to $2,000 annually. That’s quite the expense to incur without really knowing if you’re compatible with the RV lifestyle. So maybe before diving into an RV purchase, consider renting an RV first.
Cruise America provides a few guidelines for determining how much an RV rental would cost. Factors in determining price include the number of roundtrip miles, the number of days needed, and the cost per night the dealership will charge for the rental. They listed a rough estimate for the cost of renting an RV for a 500 mile trip at $670. And that doesn’t include the cost of gas.
The Pros Of The RV Lifestyle
Every lifestyle has benefits. Mapping Megan – a blog written by an Australian journalist and American photographer – provides a wealth of information on living the RV lifestyle. A few of the pros they listed include the overall cost. Living in an RV will probably cost less than living in a brick and mortar home. Then, of course, there’s the freedom. There are few places you can’t go to in an RV. Plus, your entire home will make the journey with you.
The Cons Of The RV Lifestyle
But with the good, comes the not-so-good, according to Mapping Megan. Space is a HUGE factor. An RV is essentially a tiny home on wheels. If your plan is to live in an RV full time, you will have to be prepared to sell or store a lot! And for the things you bring with, you’ll need to make sure it’s packed well so nothing falls over and breaks while you’re on the road.
The last con mentioned on Mapping Megan is the size of the RV. Driving something this large can be really stressful on narrow roads, difficult to park, and hard to find places to park it for camping. So before you hop into an RV, make sure you have your stopping points planned out and know which campgrounds are RV friendly.
Read More: 10 Amazing Zero Waste Travel Tips
Campanda just might be your one-stop source for an RV packing checklist. In fact, they have a number of printable checklists available to make packing super easy. Follow Your Detour also has some handy packing tips, perfect for people who want to embrace the RV lifestyle full time. One recommendation they make is to avoid packing anything that can easily be bought while on the road. Surprisingly, they also recommend bringing anything and everything that’s a staple in your life. Find room to store them so that you have all the comforts of home in your RV. And as far as packing clothes is concerned, Follow Your Detour also recommends packing for every kind of weather.
While we’re on the topic of staples – things we can’t live without – let’s talk about packing the internet. Do It Yourself RV has three suggestions when it comes to having internet in the RV. Make use of free public Wi-Fi that’s available at travel stations and fast-food restaurants. Use the data through your cell phone network. And last, but definitely not the least expensive, purchase a satellite dish for your RV from a company such as Viasat or HughesNet.
Earning Money While On The Road
Choosing to ditch the 9 to 5 lifestyle is fine but keep in mind, you still have to make the payments on your RV. For most people, finding a job that allows you to work remotely makes the most sense. RV Inspirations has an article citing how 25 full-time RV families earn an income while they’re on the road. The positions mentioned include earning money from blogging, cybersecurity, running a craft business on Etsy, and social media management. Multi-level marketing positions are also another way for individuals seeking the RV lifestyle to earn money while on the road. MLM positions include Usborne Books, BeachBody, Monat, and B-Epic.
Best Smartphone Apps For RV Living
Smartphone apps can be an RVer’s best friend and there is no shortage of apps. But the apps you need will vary from family to family. Curbed has apps that will help you plan your road trip and help you find gas stations, as well as help you navigate offline. Compact Appliance has a list of apps that will help RVer’s find free Wi-Fi hotspots, find parking lots where they can park for the night, and an app that will allow you to keep a packing checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Last on our list – but not Google’s – is RV Share. RV Share has a list of apps that include assistance with a satellite dish aligner, a weather radio, and a cell phone coverage map for every major cell phone company that will allow you to find out what kind of service you’ll get while you’re on the road. This can be very handy in particular if you need to make a Skype call or go live on Facebook or Instagram.
Traveling With Kids
If your full-time RV lifestyle includes traveling with school-aged children, you’ll need to homeschool them while you’re on the road. That will mean choosing a curriculum such as Abeka, Classical Conversations, or The Good And The Beautiful. Of course, these are just three curriculum options available. There are plenty of others to choose from and a ton of support groups for both parents as well as kids. Another option for homeschooling is unschooling. Full-Time Families defines unschooling as a non-coercive, child-led option. Just be aware that every state has its own set of homeschooling requirements.
Keeping your kids socialized while on the road can be a bit of trick. Fortunately, there are a lot of kid-friendly campgrounds across the country. Rover Pass is one of many websites with a list of the top 50 RV campgrounds for kids. Utilizing a website like Rover Pass will help you find kids for your children to play with while you’re camping.
Read More: How To Choose A Homeschool Curriculum
Traveling With Cats
For many families, the RV lifestyle will include traveling with pets. Dogs are fairly self-explanatory. You’ll need their food and any toys they can’t live without and you’ll have to stop every so often to walk them. Then there are people who want the RV lifestyle to include cats. Cats are a bit trickier because of their litter boxes. Fortunately, living the RV lifestyle with cats has been done before and we have the information on how to do it.
Harvest Hosts has a wealth of information on how to travel with cats. First up, if the RV in question is a trailer or fifth wheel, Harvest Hosts advises that the cats will have to ride in the car with their human companions. Then there is the matter of the litterbox. The last thing any pet-owner wants is to walk into their RV and find clumps of cat litter scattered all over the floor.
If you have a cabinet that can store the litter box, great! If not, Harvest Hosts recommends placing the litter box inside of the shower while traveling to help keep it stable and any mess confined. Also mentioned on their list of tips and tricks for traveling with cats are hiding spaces. More than likely, your cat will need a place to hide inside the RV while you’re out hiking or swimming. Try to create a hiding place for them so they can do so.
And on one final note, pet owners should keep a list of animal hospitals closest to each of their stopping points, just in case their fur-babies need medical assistance while they’re on the road. Vet Locator is a website that will help you find animal hospitals by zipcodes. Make sure you collect this information before you get on the road so you won’t have to frantically search for it in the event of an emergency.
Read More: 20 Gifts For A Pet Lover
Living the RV lifestyle will be the adventure of a lifetime for many people. But, it comes with pros and cons as well as many new and different responsibilities. Do your research. Go on practice runs with your kids and pets before committing to it full time. And do your best to be prepared for the unexpected. After you’ve done everything you need to prepare, sit back, relax, and enjoy the new scenery.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on HOW TO SAVE FOR TRAVEL WITHOUT MISSING OUT ON LIFE.
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Sources: Camping World | Camper Report | Overland Insurance |Cruise America | Mapping Megan | Campanda | Follow Your Detour | Do It Yourself RV | RV Inspirations | Curbed | Compact Appliance | RV Share | Rover Pass | Harvest Hosts | Vet Locator