This post has been sitting in my drafts since July! Oh my, I'm so behind!
With all of the people taking advantage of the housing market right now and posting “new full time RVer here - just sold my house!” I wanted to share what we have learned as full timers. Most people start out confident that this is a cheap way to live and they are going to save money hand over fist. They make spreadsheets and plan. And then they become full timers. 🤣 What have we learned as full timers? Well, the list is long, so I’ll try to summarize a little: Living in an RV is not like living in a house. It gets hotter inside in the summer and it’s harder to cool (no, your two AC’s aren’t meant to keep you a balmy 65 degrees when it’s 95 out and you’re in the sun). It gets colder inside in the winter and it’s harder to heat. (Frozen pipes and poopsicles for those not prepared!) You can’t run everything at the same time. You’re limited on how much power you can use and when you use too much at the same time? LOL! Surprise!! That’s a no. Poop smells 🤷🏼♀️ So does pee 🤷🏼♀️ And now you have to dump it Everything gets dirty faster, especially if you have kids and pets. You’re always cleaning and heaven help you if it’s muddy outside because it will be inside too. Also, bugs exist outside, and now inside your house on wheels (hey there roomie!). Internet.... LOL!!! Just ignore its existence. You don’t have space or storage, and you DON’T have privacy. Everyone is listening and watching, you smell your neighbors (yes, smell), and you literally have no place to put that shoe rack you just bought because you’re sick of tripping over everyone’s shoes that are in a pile at the front door.
Dogs bark. Kids scream. People are loud and some are inconsiderate and rude. Things are made to break in an RV. You’re always doing maintenance or “things”, even if it’s new. If you need repairs, be prepared to do it yourself unless you have to go the warranty route, and if you go for warranty work, expect to not have your RV for a solid 6 weeks at minimum, if a repair man can’t come to you. It’s not that much cheaper to live in an RV unless you paid for it in full and paid for your tow rig in full. (Or of course if your mortgage was $3,000. Then sure, it’s cheaper.) But when you start calculating the actual costs, it adds up, fast. Campgrounds, RV parks, resorts and private lots are filling up or full. Space is limited in many areas due to the mad rush of people jumping on this bandwagon. As such, cost has gone up for everything, and wait times have become horrible. The infrastructure of the camping world wasn’t prepared for this.
Your tow vehicle break down? Do you have a backup or are you stuck until they fix it? Do you have an emergency fund for that? Now trucks are even harder to find and some even on back-order. BUT... You meet some seriously amazing people, and when you take the time to get to know them and hear their story, it’s usually a good one. So take the time. These might be new life-long friends! You make some great memories with your new friends and your family. Whether it’s nights around the campfire, going for bike rides with the kids, exploring new areas, or watching the sunset on the beach, there’s memories made every day. You get to see a lot of amazing things, and you have the freedom to go wherever, whenever. It CAN be a little cheaper to live this way. You just have to do it right. Everyone is starting or living this journey for their own reasons, and this post wasn’t intended to dissuade or promote this lifestyle - it was just to share. Honestly, I have heard horror stories of people doing this and everything just went completely wrong for them. We have been very blessed everyday and I'm a big promoter that everything happens for a reason. Some of those situations we can look back on and see that God put people in our lives at a specific time to help us when we needed help and we were there to help people in their time of need. With all of the ups and downs we are still living it and loving it, and will continue doing it for more years to come.
We do probably spend more money than we did with a house, but it isn't towards a mortgage and insurance, it's towards memories like horseback riding, museums, tubing, eating at interesting and local restaurants and just having adventures with them.
Being stationary for a while has made me realize how much fun we have had as a family together and I couldn't imagine anything different for the next few years. We thought we would find property and have a home base, but I'm not ready yet. I still remember the feeling that I had at closing 4 years ago and couldn't wait to get out of there to see new things. I cannot wait to show the new baby all the places that he can go!
This has been an experience for the kids that we could never replace living in a house. They wouldn't see the monuments that probably won't exist by the time they have kids, they wouldn't have the history in person, they wouldn't have the memories of playing with their siblings around a campfire and fixing s'mores, meeting new people that even they consider family! The kids have blossomed into these little adults, carrying on conversations that they wouldn't have otherwise, telling them their favorite places they have seen and what they did there.