Do you want to consider the pros and cons of RV living to help you decide if the lifestyle is for you? Then, you’re in the right place.
Have you ever considered giving up your sticks and bricks home in favor of a life on the open road?
If so, you’re certainly not alone.
In recent years, many people have embraced the nomadic lifestyle made possible by recreational vehicles (RVs).
And it’s easy to see why.
From the freedom and flexibility to the cost savings and sense of community, there are many compelling reasons to try RV living.
You’ve been dreaming of hitting the open road for years now. You picture yourself behind the wheel of a sleek RV, wind in your hair, steering toward distant horizons.
But is RV life really for you? It’s a big step, after all.
While RV living can be a great experience for some, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
There are some genuine downsides, too, that you should consider before making the leap.
Read on if you’re on the fence about whether or not to take the plunge.
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Pros And Cons Of RV Living
RVs have been increasing in popularity as a way to travel and see the world.
There are many pros to living in an RV, but some cons should be considered before deciding to go full-time RVing.
The Advantages Of RV Living Year Round
RV living has many benefits, from increased freedom and flexibility to cost savings.
If you’re on the fence about making the switch, here are ten reasons to consider RV living.
1. Freedom & Flexibility
For many people, the lure of RV living is all about freedom and flexibility.
If you no longer want to be tied down to one location, an RV makes it possible to pick up and go whenever the mood strikes.
You can explore different parts of the country (or even the world) without worrying about putting your house on the market or finding a new place to live whenever you want to change locations.
2. You Can Live Wherever You Want
One of the best things about RV living is that it gives you the freedom to pick up and move whenever and wherever you want.
Whether you’re chasing warm weather or stunning scenery, there’s no need to be tied down to one location.
Just pack up your RV and hit the road!
3. It Can Be Relatively Inexpensive
While RVs can vary significantly in price, they are generally much cheaper than buying or renting a traditional home.
And when you factor in things like reduced utility costs and eliminated commute times, the savings only go up.
That said, be mindful of RV park fees. They can be much higher than you might think.
Here are a few money-saving ideas to help reduce the cost of full-time RV living:
- Avoid expensive loans – try to buy an RV outright or at least comfortably within your means
- Boondocking (free camping)
- Shop around for budget-friendly RV parks and campgrounds
- Install solar panels to reduce your electricity bills
Read more: The Best RV Solar Panel Kits
4. You Can Travel Whenever & However You Want
Another great thing about RV living is that it allows you to travel whenever the mood strikes you.
Gone are the days of planning and saving for months (or even years) in advance.
Spontaneous weekend getaways are as easy as packing up and hitting the road when you live in an RV.
When the wanderlust hits you hard and fast, there’s no need to wait for vacation time to start packing up your RV.
Just unhook and go.
And since RVs come in all shapes and sizes, you can pick one that perfectly suits your travel style—whether you’re looking for something luxurious or simple and lightweight.
5. You Can Meet New People Easily
But perhaps one of the best things about RV living is the built-in sense of community. If you enjoy meeting new people, RV living is definitely for you.
There are dozens of online communities dedicated to helping RVers connect with one another, and it’s easy to make new friends when you’re on the road.
When you live in an RV park or campground, you’ll quickly get to know your neighbors and develop relationships with people who share your love of travel and adventure.
You can exchange tips about local attractions, favorite camping spots, and more.
Plus, many RV parks have planned activities to help everyone, especially kids, enjoy their stay and meet some great new friends.
6. You Can Bring Your Pets Along For The Ride
If you’ve ever had to leave a pet behind when going on vacation, then you know how difficult it can be.
Thankfully, that’s not a problem when you live in an RV!
Many RV parks are pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry (or not-so-furry) friends along for all your adventures.
7. It’s A Great Way To Bond With Family And Friends
One of the best things about RV living is that it gives friends and family a unique opportunity to bond.
Families can spend quality time together without worrying about anything else, without distractions from work or school.
If you’re looking for a way to spend more time with your loved ones, RV living may be just what you’ve been searching for.
8. You’ll Never Have To Deal With Bad Weather Again
What do you do when a hurricane is bearing down on your neighborhood, or a winter storm has made driving conditions too dangerous?
If you’re like most people, you hunker down at home and wait it out—but not if you’re living in an RV!
If the weather predictions are too dire where you are, just pack up and head somewhere warmer (or cooler) until things blow over.
Just ensure you head in the right direction before things become precarious.
9. You’re Always At Home
Whenever you move homes, there’s always that phase where half your stuff is in boxes and half is still out on the curb waiting to be donated or thrown away.
With an RV, though, everything you own fits right inside with you—no purging necessary!
All your stuff fits in one place—and it’s always with you.
10. You’ll Get Closer To Nature
One of the best things about RVing is that it allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature instead.
When was the last time you sat around a campfire under a blanket of stars?
Or woke up to the sound of birdsong instead of honking horns?
If peace and quiet are what you’re after, RVing is definitely for the win.
The Downsides Of RV Living Year Round
Living in an RV and hitting the open road sounds like many people’s dreams come true.
And while there are certainly some great things about RV living, it’s not for everyone.
Let’s explore why you might want to think twice before trading in your sticks-and-bricks house for a life on four wheels.
1. Lack Of Space
RVs are smaller than a typical house or apartment. So things may feel cramped once you’ve packed your gear and strapped in the kids, pets, and partner.
After a few months of living in close quarters, it’s not uncommon for people to start feeling claustrophobic.
If you value your personal space, RV living may not be for you.
Choosing the right RV class and size are crucial factors in avoiding this problem.
The good news is that there’s an RV out there for everyone. So whether you’re looking for something luxurious or budget-friendly, there’s sure to be an option perfect for your needs.
Read more: Choosing The Best RV Size For Your Lifestyle
2. Limited Storage Options
In addition to the lack of space, one of the cons of RV living is the limited storage options.
This can be a problem if you enjoy cooking or if you need to store seasonal items like winter clothes or holiday decorations. Or if you think you can’t live without all your “stuff.”
RV living demands a relatively minimalist, essentials-only approach to belongings.
3. Poor Insulation
Some RVs are not well insulated, which means they can be pretty drafty in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer.
Climate control is a major consideration if you live in an RV in an area with extreme weather conditions.
Preventing condensation is critical to your health and the long term good of your RV.
Read more: Winter RV Living Tips
A high-quality and easy-to-use RV skirting solution is critical. It will help keep the RV warm in winter and cool in summer, so reduce your heating and AC costs.
We highly recommend inflatable Airskirts for ease of use and speed of setup.
4. Maintenance Issues
RVs require a fair amount of maintenance and upkeep, and things can go wrong unexpectedly.
For example, the plumbing system might spring a leak, or the generator might conk out without warning.
That maintenance can be expensive. And since RVs depreciate quickly, you can also expect to lose money if you decide to sell yours down the road.
Keeping on top of regular maintenance routines will help you spot necessary repairs early.
You can help reduce maintenance costs by learning more about your electrical system and polishing up your DIY skills.
5. Potential High & Variable Cost Of Living
RV living can be expensive.
Yes, you’re saving on rent or a mortgage, but the other associated costs can add up.
- you have to pay for gas to get where you want to go,
- you have to pay campground fees (or stealth camp which isn’t always safe or legal), and
- you have the constant upkeep of your RV.
RVs are basically like houses on wheels, requiring just as much maintenance, if not more.
While the initial cost of buying an RV may be less expensive than buying a house or apartment, they’re not cheap.
Take care to buy within your means and choose an affordable RV. You can find great used RVs for considerably lower costs than a brand new model.
Plus, the cost of living in an RV can be higher than you might expect. Worst of all, if you move regularly, your costs from month to month will be variable.
Gas prices vary by state, and how far you travel and camp fees will be inconsistent.
Managing your budget when living full-time in an RV is a little more complex than living in a house.
Take time to manage things closely to help live within your budget.
6. RV Living Can Be Isolating
One of the biggest challenges of RV living is the isolation that comes with it.
You can always find other RVers to connect with when you’re on the road. Still, those relationships are often fleeting since everyone is constantly moving around.
And it’s not the same as having neighbors you can pop over to for a cup of sugar or chat.
This isolation can lead to loneliness and even depression for some people.
Consider this in your RV lifestyle if you’re the type of person who craves human interaction.
7. There Are Limited Community Amenities
Unless you live in an RV on a permanent site, you won’t be able to easily access the same local services.
For example, Angela used the same hairdresser for 20 years before we began traveling full-time. In the last 5 years, she’s never used the same hairdresser more than once.
The same goes for doctors, dentists, opticians, and vets.
8. You Might Have To Sacrifice Privacy
RV living in campgrounds or resorts may be challenging if you enjoy your privacy.
Most sites are relatively small, and your neighbors will be pitched close by, so there’s not a lot of room for privacy.
9. Missing Friends And Family
This is one that we have struggled with quite a bit.
It can be really tough being on the road and away from friends and family for long periods.
For us, it’s been difficult to attend important events like weddings and birthdays, especially when we travel far away from home.
But, we’ve found that staying in touch via social media and video calls has helped to fill the gap. And, when we get to see our family and friends, it’s much more special.
10. Ropey Internet Access
One of the most frustrating things about RV living is patchy internet access and cell phone service.
This can be tough if you need to work online or keep in touch with friends and family back home.
There are ways to boost your signal, like using a cell phone booster, but sometimes you’re just out of luck.
Read more: How to Get Wifi in Your Camper
11. Laundry Can Be A Challenge
Doing laundry is one of those mundane tasks everyone must do, but it can be a bit more challenging when you’re living in an RV.
There are a few options for doing laundry on the road:
- Use the facilities at a campground or resort.
- Find a laundromat in town.
- Use a mobile laundry service.
- You can do your laundry by hand.
- If you have space, install an RV washer and dryer
Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s essential to choose the one that makes the most sense for you.
Read more: How To Do Laundry On The Road
12. Dumping Waste
Dumping your waste is one of the less glamorous aspects of RV living, but it’s something that you’ll need to do regularly.
Depending on the size of your RV, you might have a black water tank (for toilet waste), a gray water tank (for shower and sink water), and a freshwater tank.
You’ll need to empty these tanks regularly, which can be done at most campgrounds and RV parks. There are also mobile waste services that will come to you.
13. Bugs & Critters Love RVing Too!
One of the downsides of living in a small space is that you’re more likely to deal with bugs and critters.
And, since RVs are often parked in wooded areas, you might deal with more than just the occasional ant or fly.
There are a few things that you can do to keep bugs and critters at bay, like using bug spray and keeping your RV clean.
But, at the end of the day, you’ll just have to accept that living in an RV means dealing with a few more critters than you might be used to.
What We Love Most About Full-Time RVing
Full-time RVing is a great way to see the world! We’ve seen so many amazing places and attractions that we would never have otherwise.
The flexibility of travel is incredible. We can go wherever we want, whenever we want.
The convenience of taking our home with us wherever we go is really nice. We never have to worry about finding a place to stay or packing and unpacking our things.
Meeting new people and making friends have been one of the best aspects of full-time RVing. We’ve met some fantastic people, some who have become like family to us.
It’s really fun experimenting with different types of camping – from dry camping in the desert to boondocking in the middle of nowhere. Each experience has been unique and exciting.
Having our own little home on wheels has allowed us to really get to know different parts of the world in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we were just passing through them.
Is Living In An RV Full Time Right For You?
When we decided to hit the road in our RV, we had no idea what to expect.
We knew people out there lived in their RVs full time, but we weren’t quite sure what that was like.
We met all sorts of people living the RV lifestyle – some who loved it and some who hated it.
Some of the people we met were retired and could travel wherever they wanted. They loved the freedom and flexibility that RV living offered.
Other people we met were young families saving up to buy a home.
They loved being able to see new places and explore without having to worry about packing up and moving every few months.
But then there were also the people who hated RV living. They missed having a permanent place to call home and felt like they were always on the move.
They missed being able to put down roots and make friends in one place.
The critical thing to consider is whether or not you’re happy doing things on the go all the time.
If you like having a stable home base and settling down in one place for a while, then RV living may not be for you. Not unless you want to live on a permanent site.
But if you love constantly being on the move, it could be the perfect way to live your life.
The bottom line is that RV living is not for everyone.
You need to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s right for you.
It seems like every day, another young couple is packing up their belongings and hitting the open road in an RV.
And while the allure of a nomadic lifestyle is strong, there are some very real downsides to living in an RV that you should consider before making the switch.
There’s no doubt that RV living has its appeal—but it’s not suitable for everyone.
Before switching to full-time RV living, carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s right for you.
So, what do you think? Is living in an RV full time right for you?
If you’re still on the fence, we encourage you to give it a try—you just might find that it’s the best decision you’ve ever made!
What’s your experience of living in an RV? Are there any pros and cons of living in an RV year round? Leave a comment and let us know!