Pros & Cons Of Living In An RVElijah White
Deciding when and how to live in an RV is a big choice that can completely change your life and may have you weighing the pros and cons of RV living altogether.
If you are on the fence about making the transition to living full time in a RV you might be looking for some of the biggest reasons to and to not do so.
RV living offers a unique set of challenges and rewards compared to living in a traditional home. While it is a lifestyle change that may not be for everyone it is a completely viable way to maintain a safe and proper home to live in despite some challenges.
Making the jump to RV living is both exciting and nerve wracking. While everyone will have different experiences, there are enough shared ones to go over common things most people love and hate about RV Life. Below I will share ten of my biggest personal pros and cons of living in an RV full time to help you make an informed decision on how you want to use your RV.
As a Full Time RV goer myself I know what it is like to downsize into an RV and start living out of it. I’ve also looked through other articles and blogs to find common complaints and complaints towards RVs to help inform you accurately.
The Pros Of Living In an RV
Seeing New Places In An RV
Even if you travel slowly or infrequently, if you are living in an RV full time you will end up seeing some amazing places along the way. Often long hours of driving can suddenly turn into excitement at a beautiful view or interesting roadside attraction.
Traveling with an RV like Traveling with Your Entire House
While staying at a nice hotel can be a comfortable luxury nothing beats the comfort and stability of your own home. One of my personal favorite aspects of staying in an RV is that everywhere I go my home is also there. After a day of exploring it can be relaxing to return to your own shower and bed.
It is also convenient when traveling to have access to a private bathroom and personal kitchen at all times, cutting down on time and money spent at travel stops. Taking our home and our cats everywhere we go might just be the single biggest perk of the RV goer lifestyle for My wife and I.
Pets Traveling Comfortably in an RV
It can be strenuous and stressful for owners and pets alike to travel in a cramped car or even worse an airline. Common pets like cats and dogs generally do not do well in crowded public spaces when already stressed from travel.
While there is an adjustment period, pets can bond to an RV as their permanent home and be comfortable inside. Adventurous animals will enjoy accompanying you on beautiful hiking trails and be more comfortable in their own space than in a car.
Following Good Weather in an RV
Some RVs are only made for warm climates while others can traverse snowy terrain and cold weather. Either way, the portability of an RV means that you can follow the weather you like best. Some RV goers consider themselves “snowbirds” and always drive somewhere warm and sunny all year round, enjoying 365 days of summer-like temperatures.
Being able to drive a state or two over to avoid the cold months is the deciding factor for some people looking into RV life and always being in your preferred climate for a long time can make it hard to sit around and endure a cold winter or scorching summer in a stationary home again.
Flexibility of Living in an RV
So long as your RV is in good driving condition it is liberating to have the freedom to move where you want. While it is not cheap in gas and camping costs, it is possible to go just about anywhere anytime you want if you plan on full time RV living. This means never missing a concert, festival, or any other annual event so long as you plan ahead.
The flexibility of RV living also makes travel less stressful. Instead of booking hotels and packing you can simply drive your rig and all your belongings to the next location at your leisure.
Is It Easier To Keep an RV Cleaner Than a House
RVs can easily become cluttered but they are also just as easy to tidy up. A thorough deep clean rarely takes more than an hour or two and leaves your RV feeling fresh and comfortable. While you will need to clean frequently and sweep everyday, tasks like sweeping the floor or wiping the counters only take five to ten minutes to fully complete.
Having multiple rooms in a house to keep up with can lead to several messes that all need dedicated cleaning time. Because an RV is so self contained everything needs to have an assigned place and be kept there. It keeps everything neat and organized and cuts down on time spent decluttering.
Working With a View From an RV
If you plan on living in an RV full time you will probably either need to work seasonally or work remotely. Seasonal work is available in many locations and can provide unique opportunities, while remote work is more abundant now than ever and can allow you the freedom you need to travel while providing the stability of a proper job.
An RV cannot always be kept somewhere with a beautiful view just outside your window, but with proper planning you can spend long stretches of time working through your daily routine and earning income with beautiful views of mountains, lakes, valleys, and oceans right outside your home window.
Cheaper Cost of Living in an RV
House expenses seem to never stop in a traditional home. There is always something that could be improved and always tasks that could be done. While the same could be said in a different way for RV living, the expenses generally come cheaper.
Monthly costs are the biggest savers, with even a high monthly payment towards an RV being cheaper than a Mortgage or rent payment towards a traditional house. Utilities can also be much cheaper and less abundant than at home.
Meeting New People with Similar Interests
RVing will grant you the opportunity to meet tons of people. Whether you make acquaintances with the diner waitress or become friends with campground neighbors, you will always be crossing paths with more people than if not traveling.
You never know who may become an important part of your life and traveling in an RV is a sure way to end up with interesting and spontaneous friendships with all sorts of people you might never meet otherwise.
RVs Leading To Unique Experiences
Meeting new people is not the only opportunity on the road. Everywhere from travel destinations like National Parks and Historic towns to travel stops, roadway diners, roadside sights or attractions, and unexpected stops all offer the chance to spontaneously make permanent and unique memories.
The Cons Of Living In an RV
Do RVs Need a Lot of Maintenance
Owning an RV is a bit like owning a house and a car put together. There are maintenance costs and tasks involved for the living quarters just as much as the driving parts of the vehicle and slacking on keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance can cause huge repair bills in the future.
While generally it is cheaper to live in an RV than a house there are unique maintenance tasks that require research, learning, and buying materials like wall sealant and waste tank treatment chemicals.
Are RVs Cramped to Live in
While an RV usually offers adequate living space it can be hard to find storage space for belongings. Depending on what you decide to travel with as an RV goer you might find yourself stuffing bags under chairs and getting creative with storage solutions.
Most full timers have at least a storage unit or a family member they leave some property at year round. Some opt to add additional storage onto the top or back of their RV as a solution.
Driving and Chores in a RV
Not everyday is a fun adventure in an RV. Some days you may find yourself driving for up to eight hours only to pull into a campground and have to check in, unpack, hookup, make dinner, and whatever else needs done. Days like this can be stressful and tiring. Having no choice but to empty your waste water tanks before taking that much needed shower is sometimes part of the reality of RV life.
Planning RV Trips
Living in an RV year-round means always planning one to three months ahead of time for everything. It is important to know where you plan on being and what you’ll need when you get there.
It can be stressful to coordinate and budget for constant, neverending trips if you travel a lot in your RV. While it is possible to wing it and let adventure take you to your destination, you’ll still be counting miles and budgeting gas.
Amenities and Appliances in a RV
RVs are already tight on storage space, so extra amenities may not fit in your available living quarters. This means that extra kitchen appliances are hard to store and find counter space to use, misc items that don’t see as much use like clothing irons may take more room than they’re worth in cabinets, and certain amenities like a clothes washer or dryer may not be viable options.
Usually, only the largest sized RVs have room for even a compact washer and dryer set. Most full time RV goers rely on whatever local laundromat they are close to whenever laundry day inevitably comes around.
Temperature and Humidity in RVs
Because they are such a small space RVs can easily become too humid. Cooking releases enough moisture into the air that ventilation will be required. My RV needs a constant supply of fresh humidity traps to balance the air and keep it comfortable and while not overly costly, they are technically a monthly expense and task.
Start-up Costs of RV Living
Even though monthly costs in an RV are usually lower than traditional homes the start up cost can be difficult to account for. Besides a down payment or initial large investment there are also fees to license and insure an RV.
Renovations or minor repairs usually need to be done to older and used vehicles as well. Equipment like a trailer to tow a car behind the RV, water filters, closet organizers, or a canopy replacement can all add up to mean a large investment in getting started living in an RV.
Equity of Traditional Homes Vs RVs
RVs depreciate in value faster and much more than a house. While a mortgage on a home allows you to accrue equity, an investment in an RV usually means a loss in value on the money spent. RVs can be resold, repurposed, or rented, but it is no doubt a better monetary investment to buy traditional property.
Keeping up with Family and Friends While Living in an RV
It can be difficult to stay in touch with friends and family if you plan on living in an RV full time. Many months away from loved ones may be difficult to cope with, and almost all RV goers have somewhere they spend more time at to keep from being as isolated.
Dealing With Bad Weather in an RV
Being stuck inside an RV for several days at a time because of heavy rain can be boring and leave you feeling cooped up in the small space. It can be difficult to drive and set up or tear down a campsite during bouts of bad weather as well, leaving you stranded with no option but to wait out a harsh storm.
About THE AUTHOR
My wife and I bought a broken down 1984 Chevy A-Class 26ft RV and restored it back to working order. Now we both work remotely and live in it full time with our pet cats with the freedom to explore.Read More About Elijah White