For many, the experience of camping in an RV is like no other. These small, moving homes make traveling so much easier, as they come equipped with everything you could need on a trip. Ease of travel and enjoyment often lead RV vacationers to consider full time RV life. However, living in an RV full time can be quite complicated, logistically speaking. Lack of a physical address and home base can make life a bit more difficult, as can the additional planning, factoring in of children and/or pets, income considerations, and making sure you have the necessary supplies to make it all work. Follow along for a quick guide to the basics of making full-time RV life possible.
The number one factor to consider before jumping into RV life is planning. This is not the kind of lifestyle that you just want to dive into headfirst without any prior planning or research. There are many factors at play here, and they all work together to make this life possible. If you are considering full-time RV living, you first need to do all the research you can. Read blogs, watch YouTube videos from other full-timers, and learn as much as you can about the lifestyle before making any additional choices. Then, create a game plan and/or a timeline for making it happen. This could include the purchase of an RV, renovations, buying supplies, and any of the other factors listed below. Planning sets the tone for the lifestyle that is awaiting you, so be sure to spend plenty of time here before making my further choices.
Once you have decided to go full time and planned out the basics, you will need to purchase an RV. Perhaps you already have one for vacations and trips, which makes this process much easier. However, be sure to consider whether or not your RV is the best one for you to travel in full-time. There are many factors that affect which RV will work best for you. These include the number of people/pets living in the RV, how you plan to travel, where you plan to travel, your comfortability with driving a large RV, and many more. What once worked best as your vacation home on wheels may not always work best as your full-time home on wheels. Check out this handy guide for a more in-depth guide to buying an RV.
Once you have your RV chosen, you will need to consider any modifications that need to be made to make it comfortable as a home. Do you require a built-in desk? Would you like to add a bookshelf or other upgrades? Do you want to renovate and add new floors or paint? How do you want to decorate? These are all things to consider and take care of before you hit the road. Check out our quick renovation guide for more ideas.
Once you have your RV, you will need to ensure that you have enough income to make RV life work. Perhaps you plan to sell your home and use the profits to travel. If this is the story for you, then it might not be necessary for you to work while traveling. This is also often the case for those who plan to RV during their retirement. Still, each of these situations requires the traveler to make a monthly expense estimate and ensure that they have enough monthly income to cover their expenses. See the last post for more information on expenses related to full-time RVing.
For those who are not yet retired and who are not planning to live off of savings while traveling, it’s essential that you have a plan for creating income on the road. This could be as simple and working a 9-5 job remotely or taking your already-established business on the road with you. However, it could also be much more complicated for those who have only previously worked a traditional, stationary job. There are many resources for those who want to work and live on the road full time, so if this is something you are interested in, there are hundreds of ideas and options out there for you.
For those who have children, the decision to live on the road full time is often more complicated. Do you want the child(ren) to have their own room(s), and, if so, where will they sleep? Will there be enough room to house everyone comfortably? Where will everyone sit while you are moving the RV? How will you store everyone’s belongings? These are all factors to consider when choosing an RV to live in full time with children.
In addition, you just consider schooling for the child(ren). Most people who live on the road full time with children end up homeschooling their children. However, there are also many online options and resources available for families considering this lifestyle. These are just some of the many questions that must be considered to make this lifestyle work.
Many people choose RVing as a means to travel because it is quite pet-friendly. Since you will be traveling in your own space, bringing your furry friend(s) along is much more doable than it is with traditional forms of travel. Your dog or cat will have their own space to live in, and they will get to explore new and fun places with you on a regular basis. However, there is a lot more planning involved if you plant to bring pets along. Is the place you plan to travel pet-friendly? How will you keep up with regular vet visits when your regular vet is so far away? Where will you store their food? If you have a cat, where will you keep the litter box? Will you always have access to stores that carry your brand of pet food? The questions are endless, and there is much to consider. Check out these articles on traveling with a dog and traveling with a cat for more ideas.
Even if you live in an RV and travel full time, you must have a physical address available for receiving mail, paying taxes, voting, and all sorts of other legal matters and logistics. Some full-timers use a friend family member’s address for mail and have their mail sent out to them monthly or weekly. This is fairly simple if you know someone who is willing to help. However, it is often easier to use a mail forwarding service to establish residency. This is a fairly complicated subject, but there are many companies that allow RVers to use their address as a mailing address and sort and send their mail to them on a regular basis. These are located all over the US, but the most popular ones are found in Florida, Texas, and South Dakota. See this handy resource on establishing a domicile for more information.
Finally, there are many items and supplies you will need to make this lifestyle work for you. Some of these are basics for RVing in general, such as hoses, leveling blocks, wheel chocks, and other basics. Additional supplies include outdoor gear, outside patio equipment, cooking supplies, temperature control supplies, and much more. Be sure to factor in everything you may need before setting out on your journey.
Considering the full-time RV lifestyle is exciting but also a bit daunting. There is so much to think about and so many factors to consider. Let this list serve as a guide on where to start. Once you have all the logistics worked out, there are so many more fun things to plan, such as where you will go and the places you will visit. Happy planning!
Have you considered full time RV living? Do you live in an RV full time? What other factors have you considered? What else would you like to know about full-time RV life? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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