When Sabrina and I decided to start living out of our RV, it was a big decision and one that we did not take lightly. There were a lot of things to consider and it took us almost a year to get everything in place before we could make the transition. We used that time not only to shop for our RV, but also to question “Is it right for us?” In this article we are going to share some of the questions we asked ourselves in hopes that it helps you decide if this is something you would like to pursue.
Before we start, let me say that if you are planning on keeping your RV in one spot for long periods of time with full hookups, then we really do not feel there is much difference between living in an RV versus an apartment or condo and you will be just fine. We change locations a lot in our RV, usually as often as every eight days and this is where we think some lifestyle adjustments will come into play.
Do you bend, or do you break?
I think it is important to know your tolerance level for when things go wrong. Sabrina and I are exact opposites when it comes to RVing. The whole world needs to be crashing down around us before I even sit up to pay attention, Sabrina not so much. The better you are at going with the flow, the easier it will be to enjoy and even laugh when there are things going wrong with your RV, campsites, road, traffic or even the weather. Not every day will go as planned, and we feel its important to be able to make small adjustments quickly to stay on track.
How are you with downsizing and living small?
This can be a big hurdle. Some people go “all in” by selling or donating most of their belongings and some put stuff in storage just in case. Either way, you will have to get accustomed to living with less. Sabrina and I decided to let go of nearly all of our possessions, meaning everything we now own fits in our RV and tow car. When we first started downsizing it seemed easy, but as time went on and we had fewer items to choose from it became more difficult to figure out what stayed and what had to go. Our best advice on this subject is to give yourself plenty of time to downsize. Even now, we look around and say we have too much stuff!
How will you support your new lifestyle financially?
Sabrina had already started traveling full time for her work, so adding the RV to our life actually made things easier. This may not always be the case, and you may need to come up with a solid plan for making income on the road. Maybe even a backup plan in case your first idea does not work out.
Can you say goodbye to friends and family?
When you pack up and hit the road you will most likely be leaving many people behind. This will not only affect you, but them as well. You will no longer be able to text your best friend and say, “Hey let’s meetup!” or tell a family member, “Stop by Sunday for the game!” Luckily, with today’s technology and social media you will be able to do video chats with loved ones and keep in touch daily. They will even be able to follow your adventures and live vicariously through you. When it comes to a holiday or big family event, you’ll be able to pick everything up and roll on over to them. Additionally, you will now be meeting and making new friends with every new place you go.
How will you handle maintenance and day-to-day upkeep?
It does not matter if you purchase a new RV or a used one, there is always maintenance that needs to be done. If your RV is new, you may need warranty work. Or if it is used and you do not feel comfortable doing work yourself, you will have to bring your RV to a dealer to have work done. This will involve scheduling appointments and bringing the RV to a shop where they could have it for hours or even days and you will have to find alternative living arrangements during those time periods. If you are a little handy, you may be able to save money and continue to work on your RV yourself while you live in it, but this still means you might have to change your plans to allow for the extra time to make repairs. Which brings me back to, do you bend or do you break?
Living in an RV can be a very rewarding experience. But, answering these questions will help you be realistic about what to expect and prepare for any potential challenges – which makes it much more enjoyable. What other questions would you ask while thinking of going full time in an RV?