Traveling in an RV is a unique experience that can change you for a lifetime. As you take more trips and travel farther from home, you may begin to wonder: should we even go back? Becoming a full-time RV family has its benefits, but the risks can keep you from making the leap.
We spoke to a full-time RV family to learn more about this massive lifestyle change and tips they have for how you can help plan your journey.
Find an RV That Fits Your Family
Before you begin to transition into the full-time RV lifestyle, consider how much space you’ll need. Unlike solo-travelers, your RV will need to fit your whole family. Small toy haulers won’t typically cut it, even for the most rugged of travelers.
Bunkhouse trailers and other large options will be your best bet. Of course, you know your family best. While you browse through trailers on the lot, make sure you have a list of must-haves and a list of preferences. You can likely find the perfect RV that has it all, but remember that changing your lifestyle means changing your habits. You may need to make a concession or two when finding an RV that will work for your new life.
If you already own an RV, an upgrade may be a good idea. Unless you originally planned to go full-time, you likely didn’t get an RV well-suited for permanent residence. It’s always worth investigating new options, and we can help you find an RV that fits your needs.
Moving Out of Your Home
The first step to becoming a full-time RV family is to step away from your anchor point – your home. It is one of the hardest things you will do, even if you don’t plan to sell it. The feeling of safety and security from your home is a strong one. As you near the last day of living in your home, you will likely feel trepidations.
These feelings often go away quickly once you begin to realize your new-found freedom. Your RV will become your new anchor point, even if it can move all over the country.
Costs of Life on the Road
While they’re often far less than living in a house, being a full-time RV family has its costs. No two families will have the same expenses, so it can be hard to judge what your month-to-month bills will look like.
Your RV, family size and overall lifestyle will have a dramatic impact on your monthly bills. Just because you left your home behind, doesn’t mean you left the costs of living behind too. Plan your monthly budget around items like:
- Camping Fees
- Storage Fees
- Internet/Phone Plans
Some families turn to an RV life in retirement, using amassed funds to pay for their freedom. But if you’re going full-time earlier in your life, you’ll need to find new ways to keep up with your costs. Full-time RV families often turn to odd-jobs or telecommuting positions that allow them the freedom to work as they travel.
If your skillset is applicable to these fields, you should be able to find something that fits. Just remember to always plan your budget so you can relax instead of worrying about next month’s bills.
Stay Connected on the Road
You can disconnect from your home, but it’s hard to disconnect from the internet. Especially if you work remotely, you’ll need to find ways to stay connected to the world while you travel it. You typically have three options:
Cellular – This is your go-to for communication. It’s available in most places, depending on your carrier. While the costs can be high if you use a lot of data, it’s the most mobile option you have.
Public Wi-Fi – Campsites, restaurants and more often free Wi-Fi for travelers. Planning your stops to take advantage of free Wi-Fi can be a huge boon to your costs. Always look for signs advertising free Wi-Fi. Remind your friends and family that Wi-Fi extenders are popular gifts for RVers!
Satellite – Despite a higher cost, satellite can be one of your most reliable ways to stay online. As long as you avoid dense forests and deep valleys, you’ll be able to find a connection.
Most RVers will find a way to use either cellular or satellite combined with ample public Wi-Fi usage. Veteran full-time RV owners always recommend trying to keep as much of your life offline as possible. Download movies and games, have paperback books and other entertainment just in case. You never know how long it may be until you get another signal if you’re out in the woods.
Celebrate Quality Family Time
Cozy living quarters means you’ll be seeing your family a lot. But that doesn’t equate to quality family time. It can be easy to overlook when you’re always chatting or near each other. One of the most frequent thing we hear from full-time RV families is to make sure that you set aside time to enjoy each other’s company. Some of the top recommendations are:
- Family game nights
- Distraction-free discussions (no phones or games!)
- Learning new hobbies together
- Family book clubs
You’ll find something that works for your family. All that’s important is that you find it and make it a regular event.
Don’t Plan Everything
Unlike taking RV trips every weekend, you have a unique freedom with your time when you live in an RV every day. If you try to plan out every day to the minute, you’ll dilute the impact of that freedom.
It’s perfectly fine, and even recommended, to stick to a budget and an overall plan about where you go and what you can buy. But don’t skip interesting roadside attractions or avoid new experiences just to stick to your plans.
Remember that full-time RVing is about the adventure. Take advantage of it and go where the winds take you.
Being a Full-Time RV Family Doesn’t Have to Be Forever
The last wise words our RV families have to offer is this: your new lifestyle doesn’t have to be your last lifestyle. Being a full-time RV family is an amazing experience, but you may eventually long to return to a traditional, fixed location life. And you can!
If you’re worried about making the leap into full-time RVing, remember that you can always go back too. Some choose to stay on the roads for the rest of their lives, but just as many find their way back to their hometowns too.
Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. If it’s not right for you, you can always move back home and save your RV trips for the weekends again.
Find Your Full-time RV! Contact RV Wholesale Superstore
If you’re looking for a great RV, the professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at 844-601-1171
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