The RVing Lifestyle: Living Full Time in an RV

RV Camping on the Beach

Sunrise on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore.
Sunrise on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore. | Source

Full-time RVing: Why Do It?

To some, the concept of living full time in an RV might seem crazy. People who suddenly decide to give up their homes, sell or store their belongings, pull up stakes and hit the road with the intention of living and traveling in their rigs full time are certainly "out of the box" thinkers willing to take risks. While it may not be for everyone, it’s a lifestyle filled with adventure, travel and the challenges of a constantly changing scene.

Choosing the RVing Lifestyle

Do you wonder why people choose full time RVing? Many good reasons include:

  • Live a simple life with less stress. No house means no lawns to mow, no property taxes to pay, no big house to clean or paint or maintain. A small living space means no “stuff” to dust or worry about. Living in an RV eliminates a lot of stress from their lives.
  • Have more time to do the things you love. Those who live on wheels leave behind the mad cycle of demands on their time. Because you are likely to move at any time, it's unlikely that you'll be asked to make many time commitments unless you really want to. Your days belong to you, and you are free to spend your hours doing whatever makes you happy. No more committees, no more meetings, no more deadlines. Go hiking everyday if you wish, or read a book all afternoon. Get up at 6 to see the sunrise or sleep till noon. There are no schedules. I tell my “sticks and bricks” bound friends that every day is Saturday.

  • Travel and see the country. This is one of the best reasons. Living in an RV, you can pull up stakes every week or every day and move on to the next interesting place. You can follow the sun in the winter and be in a warm climate year around. You can see all those wonderful places you’ve dreamed about or go back to the favorite spots of vacations past and spend a month seeing Yellowstone National Park and the Olympic Peninsula or the Florida Keys. In eleven years, we’ve crossed the county five times, visited every state and spent several months in Canada and Alaska. We still haven’t seen it all!
  • Live on less. If you prefer a luxurious lifestyle, you can certainly have it while living in a million dollar RV and staying at expensive resort style campgrounds. But most full-time RVers live a very modest lifestyle by seeking out places to camp cheaply. You can live on less by starting out with an affordable used RV, staying in reasonably priced campgrounds and living on a budget. For one thing, you won't buy a lot of stuff – there’s no place to put it! You won’t want or need a big wardrobe. Unless you are a country music star, you won't need a lot of fancy clothes or jewelry, either!

Living in an RV Full-Time: Who Does It?

Who decides to store or sell all of their belongings, give up their house (known as the “sticks and bricks” in the RVing community) and hit the road? Thousands of people are full-time RVing including:

  • Retirees. Retired people are probably the largest segment of the RVing population. Newly retired couples are often active, healthy and ready for a lifestyle change. Even without large retirement funds, many find that they can afford to live on less while on the road, and make do with only their Social Security incomes if they are careful.
  • People whose jobs require travel. Construction workers, writers, artists, traveling nurses, and consultants can find it convenient to own an RV and move their home from one job location to the next.
  • People who want to escape the “Rat Race”. There are many who have just decided to escape the rat race. They give up their jobs and houses, buy an RV and embrace the RVing lifestyle. To support themselves, they may do seasonal or temporary work for a few months, then travel for a month or two. Some have businesses they can operate from their RVs. Artists, writers, consultants, salespeople, and performers are all to be found among full time RVers.
  • Volunteers. Many people who full time RV volunteer at National Parks and Monuments, National Wildlife Reserves and historic sites. Usually, in return for a certain number of work hours, park volunteers at these places are provided with a free campsite. Other RVers volunteer their time with the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, churches, schools, museums and other non profit organizations.

Planning to RV Full-Time: Where to Start?

  • Learn more about it. If life on the road appeals to you, you will probably want to learn more about it before taking the big step. There are some really good books available about buying your first RV, remodeling a used RV, working on the road, and preparing to go full-time. Get on some websites dedicated to RVing or camping like the Escapees or Good Sam RV Club and read their discussion forums. They’re free and full of information and personal experiences.
  • Make a plan. Decide if you are going to sell or rent your home. Set a date for putting the house on the market. Decide if you will put your household belongings in storage or sell everything you can’t take with you. Look into storage units or methods of selling out. Are you going to live on retirement pensions or will you work? Make a budget and financial plan. Set a target date.
  • Make lists. Start a notebook with different sections and make lists of what to take, what to store, who you need to contact, etc.
  • Start downsizing. It’s never too soon to start sorting through your stuff. Sell, give away or throw out whatever you no longer need. Start packing the RV with what you’ll need on the road. Pack up things that you want to keep, but don’t need for daily living.

RVing and Camping in National Parks

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon | Source
Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Park.  Michigan
Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Park. Michigan | Source
Imperial Dam. Arizona
Imperial Dam. Arizona | Source

Places to See by RV

Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Saguaro National Park, Arizona | Source
Buffalo at Custer State Park, South Dakota
Buffalo at Custer State Park, South Dakota | Source
Elk at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Elk at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming | Source
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming | Source
  • Arrange to keep in Touch: Almost all RVers find that a laptop computer and a cell phone are necessary to life on the road. You can use the internet to pay bills, check your bank and credit card statements, look at your phone bills and keep in touch with friends and family. I updated our list of personal and business contacts into the cell phone directory so that we could look up numbers easily. Before you leave your "sticks and bricks", be sure that you update all of your email address books and back up your computer to an external drive. I also use the computer for keeping financial spread sheets and maintaining a database of campgrounds as well as a travel journal. I store my digital pictures on it, too. All this is too important to lose -- back up often!
  • Internet on the Road. Different people choose to do this in different ways. You can connect to wireless internet (WiFi) at many campgrounds, rest areas and businesses. This is sometimes, but not always free. The downside is that these services are sometimes spotty, slow and sometimes inconvenient. Security at free WiFi sites can be poor, too. The upside is that using them can save you money as you don’t have to pay a monthly fee or purchase extra equipment. A second option is to purchase a broadband modem for your laptop. This USB gadget can be purchased at a cell phone provider or online and there is a monthly charge. We chose this option and have a Verizon Broadband service. We find that service is good in most areas, though it can be spotty where you don’t get cell service. If you have a smartphone that can be used as a personal hotspot, you can eliminate the broadband modem and use that. A third option is satellite internet. This is probably the most reliable service and great for very heavy internet users or those who conduct their businesses on the internet. However, there is a substantial investment for the satellite equipment as well as a monthly fee for the service. In addition, the satellite receiver needs to be positioned each time you change locations.
  • The Pets: If you will be traveling with pets, make made sure that they also have check-ups and have their shots updated. Proof of rabies vaccination and shot records should be placed in a take-along file as many campgrounds required this paperwork of pet owners. Campgrounds have very strict rules about pets being on leashes. As we travel with cats who weren't used to being put on a leash, we bought them harnesses and leashes and started getting them used to the idea. Placing the litter box in a convenient location was somewhat of a problem. In our first RV, we placed it on a rubber liner in the bathtub. We got a plastic tub with high sides and purchased clumping kitty litter. We cleaned the box twice a day, so it never really smelled. The main problem was that the cats tracked bits of litter all over the RV and we did have to vacuum often. One thing that saved our furniture was their big round scratching pad (Turbo Scratcher), which we found room for it under the dining table. When we upgraded to a bigger RV, we moved the litter box down into a basement compartment. We cut a cat-sized hole from the stairwell into the compartment. The little box can be cleaned from the outside, and we get a lot less tracked in little this way. Oh, and the cats love it.
  • Passports. It's a good idea to get passports taken care of before going on the road as it will take a while for processing. Since we planned to cross the border into Mexico for dental work and into Canada on our way to Alaska, we decided to get new passports before leaving New York. Another thing to tuck into our files along with birth certificates and copies of our will.
  • Insurance. In addition to RV and car insurance, you may also want to insure the personal belongings in your motorhome. Companies specializing in camper and recreational vehicle insurance are most likely to understand your needs. Check with your health insurance provider and make sure that you will be able to use it anywhere in the country. You may want to consider purchasing a service contract on your motorhome. These are pretty pricey, but major repairs can be even more costly. One last thing, do get an emergency road service (ERS) from a company that understands RVs. Good Sam offers an ERS. Escapees also has affiliates who offer good ERS plans. Even changing a tire on an RV can be a major undertaking, and not something everyone is physically able to do.
  • Important Papers. Invest in a small file box that will fit into a closet or in your under-bed storage for insurance policies, bank files, passports, birth certificates, pet files, copies of any contracts (loans, storage, cell phone, retirement plans, etc.). Carry all the manuals and service records for your RV and tow vehicle together. Carry instructions and troubleshooting manuals for your computer, camera, phone or other electronic equipment. We carry a copy of the previous year’s income tax return for reference and have a folder for all tax related items. Remember that you’ll be filing from on the road somewhere. If you keep important financial or other information on your computer, be sure that you have a backup in a safe place. I found that a flash drive will hold all my important computer files, and carry it in my purse.

Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge.  Olympic National Park, Washington.
Hurricane Ridge. Olympic National Park, Washington. | Source

The Nitty-Gritty. How Should I Prepare to Go On the Road?

So your house is sold, you have your RV. What else do you need to think about?

  • Health and Medical. Many people decide to keep their family doctors because they will be returning periodically to visit family and friends. Because we wanted to start with a clean slate, we both had thorough physicals before leaving. Get prescriptions filled and updated, have eyes checked and get copies of all prescriptions to take with you. If you have any chronic conditions or serious health concerns, carry copies of medical records with you.
  • Mail. You will probably want a real address somewhere. There are mail services all around the country, but most full-timers choose one in Texas, Florida or South Dakota because those states are friendly to full-time RVers and make it fairly easy to establish a new state residency. These states do not have a state income tax which makes them even more attractive. We chose to go with Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. All of our mail is sent to our address at their facility. They receive our mail, sort it and send it to us twice a month. The frequency of mailing can be changed at any time, but this works for us. At our request, they throw out bulk mail so that we don't pay postage to receive junk. We called or sent change of address notification to magazines, insurance companies, cell phone company, etc. The one problem that took awhile to resolve was that the post office wanted to change our box number to a suite number or delete it all together. The Escapees also runs a huge and efficient mail service out of Livingston, Texas. Since you will probably become a resident of another state, you’ll make your life easier if you choose a mailing service in the state where you will establish residency.
  • The RV Community. Not everyone does this right away, but most wanna-bees like to join a camping club or an RVer’s organization like Escapees or Good Sam. You can be as much or as little involved as you wish, but their magazines and websites alone are worth the fees. These clubs have thousands of members, publish their own magazines and have on-line information and support groups. The Escapees also have a network of campgrounds throughout the U.S. which are reasonably priced for members. They hold national rallies as well as local get-togethers. Escapees’ BOF (Birds of a Feather) groups are people with similar interests, like beading, computers, square dancing, who keep in touch through electronic newsletters and meet national rallies, popular snowbird destinations, boondocking sites and at the Escapees parks. Good Sam has local clubs, rallies and get-togethers throughout the U.S. More specific groups geared to owners of certain brands of RVs like Airstream, Holiday Rambler, Winabago, Born Free and others have their own newsletters, magazines and rallies. Any of these groups welcome new members and are more than willing to help newcomers to their life-style.
  • Money Management on the Road: You don’t have to change your current banks or financial institutions, but you do need to change your legal address with them. Some banks require that you do this in person, so get it taken care of before you go on the road. Set up on-line bill paying, money transfer between accounts and account viewing so that you can take care of your finances on line. We also ordered new checks with our new South Dakota address on them. We already had direct deposit and on-line bill paying set up for our checking accounts. We set up automatic payments for insurances and the few other bills like storage fees that would be the same each month. Because we knew that we wouldn't receive paper bills in time to make timely payments, we set up monthly automatic payments to our charge cards for more than the expected minimum payment. By doing this, we avoided late charges, and we could send additional money by a few clicks to our on-line bill pay. Most people don’t carry a lot of cash, so a debit card is a must. Rather than paying expensive ATM fees, get cash back when you buy groceries or other items at Walmart or a grocery store. Most don’t charge for this service.

Have Fun and Happy Trails!

For most people this will be a huge life-style change and it’s common to be nervous and apprehensive about it. Just remember, you can stay in a “safety zone” of a local campground until you have all your loose ends tied up. And there aren’t too many things that can’t be taken care of long distance by phone or internet. As you travel, you will meet many new comers like yourself as well as many experienced campers and RVers who are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience. My best advice to you is BE FLEXIBLE and HAVE FUN with it. There’s a great adventure ahead!

Check out my other articles on full-time RVing, and on travel and camping in the U.S. See you soon!

Copyright ©2010 Stephanie Henkel

© 2010 Stephanie Henkel

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Comments 72 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

My parents had several RV's but did not live in them full-time. You have certainly laid out good suggestions for people considering that lifestyle. From your travels you should have endless subjects for good hubs! Look forward to reading some of them.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA Author

We've enjoyed RV living so much, and I'm looking forward to writing more about the RVing experience. I appreciate your nice comment, Peggy. Thanks for looking at my first hub!

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Stephanie,

I think this is your most comprehensive site about the RV life and is a great place to start for anyone considering doing this fulltime. There's a lot to plan in advance, but it seems like once the basics are in place, it's footloose and fancy free!

I just enjoy living vicariously through your adventures (smile).

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Happy. When starting out, we were awash in lists of things to do, and I used some of them to write this article. Knowing that you've covered all the bases is so important to your peace of mind once you do go on the road. Now that we have a home base again, it's easy to pick up and go at any time because we've already taken care of all the details. In fact, it's time to go again!

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Cool! Very, very cool.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Haha, that's why we're going -- it got cool, VERY COOL!

KidsPartyFavors profile image

KidsPartyFavors 5 years ago

Very cool featured places!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks! We do enjoy traveling in our RV and being able to see so much of the U.S.

the clean life profile image

the clean life 5 years ago from New Jersey Shore

Excellent hub Stephanie. I love the part about no grass to cut, no taxes, etc. This is simular to a hub I wrote on living the simple life. I am as we speak downsizing to a 55+ community and have just bought a double wide mobile home. No finish basement, no grass, no taxes. I am now remodeling it with new kitchen and rugs etc and can't wait to move in. My house now is just too big for two people. I love all the photos you have taken and my favorite is pan handle in Florida (Beautiful)

Thanks for sharing and Voted Up and Beautiful. Great job!!!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you for your very nice comments, Clean Life. I think that a 55+ community would be a great next step when we are past our traveling stage. For now, we are enjoying our travels. There are so many beautiful places to see in our beautiful country and we love trying to see as much as possible while we can.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

Voted up and awesome! What an exciting life - to live on the road, to see our beautiful country. You have offered so many helpful tips. This is an excellent guide for someone who may want to try the life, or even someone who is just curious how people manage the Gypsy life.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for visiting my hub and for your comments, Dolores! We have enjoyed RVing immensely and love being able to go wherever our wheels and whims will take us.

World-Traveler profile image

World-Traveler 5 years ago from USA

One of the advantages of RVing is the ability to eat in the RV saving a tremendous amount of money while travelling. And, the RV is also your hotel and home away from home while travelling or on holiday at the beach. Thanks for more informative information on RVing. And, thanks for the memories. I wish I still had my 13 foot Jewel trailer. Compact but everything was in it including a shower!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

In these days when we're all trying to economize, living and vacationing in an RV can certainly save a lot of money. Your Jewel trailer sounds like a perfect size for traveling and camping. Maybe you'll try it again one day.

Rachelle Williams profile image

Rachelle Williams 5 years ago from Tempe, AZ

The idea of hitting the open road seriously appeals to me. both of my kids are gone and grown, and they have kids of their own.

It would be relatively easy for me to pick up and hit the road...but I'm a bit scared.

Thank you foe sharing this informative hub. Voted Up.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Rachelle,

If you seriously like the idea of RVing, you might want to try it out by renting a small RV for a weekend or a week to see how you like it. You didn't say if you'd be traveling alone, but if you do, you wouldn't be alone. I know of several women who travel by themselves.

There are also RV clubs that have weekend camping trips. By joining one of them, you'd have an instant support network to help you through your first few trips.

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on my hub!

Rachelle Williams profile image

Rachelle Williams 5 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Renting out a small RV for a weekend sounds like a lovely idea. I'm going to look into it. Thanks for the tip!

tamron profile image

tamron 4 years ago

I always wanted to travel in an RV. I met a couple that broke down in front of my farm. I told them I could pull there motor home up on my property with my tracktor and they could hook up to the power.

They traveled everywhere we became really good friend they would bring me all kinds of goodies from all over.

When they came I would load there freezer and fridge with all kinds of meat and I did a lot of canning so there never left empty handed.

We had lots of good times! They really loved and enjoyed RVing so that is why I want to be an RV'er

Great Hub Very Interesting!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Wow, it sure sounds like that couple broke down in the right place! Thanks for sharing the story of your RVing friends. I hope that you'll join them on the road someday. Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and comment!

gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 4 years ago from Florida

Great info on the RV lifestyle! I'm just studying up, especially about the cat situation. As always, thanks for sharing your vast knowledge on all that is "RV".

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Gryphin - Many full-time RVers travel with cats as well as dogs and other pets. Cats in general seem to be very adaptable to the lifestyle as long as they have their basic necessities. Thanks for visiting! Perhaps we'll meet you and your furry friends on the road someday!

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I absolutely love your idea. And in this Hub you explicated it so wonderfully. Thank you for the education. I have been seriously considering this for some time now.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

James - I'm so glad you found this article useful! Living full time in an RV is a unique and wonderful way of life, but it does take some thought and planning to make it work. Good luck with your future RVing plans!

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hi Stephanie,

I don't think you could possibly have more wonderful detail in this first hub of yours. Awesome! I believe even people who never ever thought about an RVing lifestyle would consider it once reading your article. Great job! I need an RV!!!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Sharyn's Slant - I do have a soft spot for my first hub, and truly appreciate your kind comments! I wrote this to help people to understand the RVing lifestyle and give those who are considering it a clearer picture of what it's like to live full time in an RV. Though my goal wasn't to recruit new RVers, I'd be thrilled to meet you on the road some day! :)

LA Girl profile image

LA Girl 4 years ago

Thanks for answering some of my most pertinent questions. And putting my mind at ease about this new adventure I'm about to embark upon.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

LA Girl - Glad that my article was helpful! Good luck with your new lifestyle!

Ms Dee profile image

Ms Dee 4 years ago from Texas, USA

This is just the kind of getting started info I was looking for! Great article :). My husband and I are beginning to get our minds in gear to 'make the plunge'.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Ms. Dee,

Glad to know that this article on Living Full Time in an RV was useful to you! It takes time to make that final decision to "make the plunge", but I think you'll be happy you did!

jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

Count me in! My husband and I want to live in an RV when he retires. Haven't decided if we want to do it full-time/permanently or not, though. Ah, well, we have about a decade to decide.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Jellygator,

When we started full-timing, we intended to do it for a year. When the year was up, we continued our life on the road for another 4 years before buying a house to use as a part time residence. It's a great life, but nothing is written in stone. You can do it for as long as you wish, then go back to living in a house either full time or part flexible and enjoy!

emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

That is very cool. The other day I went up to the hospital for a post-op checkup and there was a big RV there and I thought to myself, wow that is awesome. I just recently had surgery and my family stayed at a hotel a few minutes away, but if a loved one was having real tough surgery or was really sick, just bring your RV and you got your home on wheels!! So convenient! Great hub, enjoyed reading it, I'll vote it up too.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Emilybee - We actually did this when my mother was hospitalized. It worked out well to be close to the hospital, and we saved the price of the hotel room in an area that was quite expensive. Thanks for sharing your experience!

woodamarc profile image

woodamarc 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I love the RV life, or the little I've experienced to date in comparison to your journeys. And when I retire, I'll be doing just that full time. Looks exciting, I can hardly wait. Wishing you all the best in your travels.

woodamarc profile image

woodamarc 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I can hardly wait to do this. What a way to seen the world while economically it is also very affordable.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Woodamarc - The RVing lifestyle is easy to get hooked on, isn't it? I know you'll love it, and I hope you get to do some of it before retirement! Thanks for stopping in to read and comment. Happy travels to you, too!

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI

Fantastic well written article of life on the road. I would love to do something like this. Pack up my mom and I and hit the wide open road. Perhaps it is something I need to really consider as it would be ideal.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Crazybeanrider - Life on the road does offer a lot of freedom to travel, see new places and meet new people. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

You have written a champion RV hub here. It is so full of great tips about this lifestyle. I have often wondered if it would be a fun life and if I would feel connected to "community" living in an RV. Travel is a great way to spend life instead of watching tv.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Starstream - I think that it takes some effort to feel connected to the RVing community, but joining an RVing club helps a lot. Or, if you're not a joiner, just going out and socializing at your campground. People are friendly! Travel does keep our minds and spirits active!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Stephanie,Something I would never have thought about or considered, but your wonderful article has sold the idea to me!

Voting up

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Movie Master,

While full-time RVing is not something most people consider, it's a great way of life. Some people choose to do it for a few years before buying a house again, others have lived the full-time RV life style for 15-20 years. It's addictive! Thanks for stopping in...I'll look for you out in the boondocks! :)

mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

I always imagined doing something like this. I thought it would be an amazing life and a great way to see the whole United States (which is on my bucket list). My only problem is that I would want to be near my family way to frequently. Still I must admit you make it sound even more appealing and I just could not stop reading. Awesome hub!

viking305 profile image

viking305 4 years ago from Ireland

Oh I have always wanted to be able to live like that. On the road and free. I was only saying the other day that it is my dream to get going.

Great article with all the practical necessities written about in detail.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mythicalstorm - Actually, one of the reasons we decided on this lifestyle was because our grown sons were suddenly moving to different parts of the country. By living in an RV, we were able to visit them for several weeks at a time, but still have our own space. It gave us the opportunity to spend more time with distant grandchildren, too!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

viking305 - Dreams can become reality, if that's what you decide! I'm glad you found this article useful. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Stephanie, My husband and I would love to give this a try when we ever get a chance. I just love the idea of freedom of your commitments and time. I know it's probably not completely stress free but to wake up and look out of your window to see something like Crater Lake can only be good for you :o)

Voted up, wonderful hub!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Jools99 - RVing brought us closer to nature and gave us the opportunity to see so much of this country. Our years as full-timers were some of the best times of our lives! I do hope you and your husband are able to give it a try!

Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

This is my wife's dream. I am nearing an age where this is a possibilty, so your article was very interesting to me. Thanks for the hub, and I greatly enjoyed it. Will defintely read more of your writings!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mr. Archer - I'm glad you found my article interesting.Full-time RVing is quite a change from living in a sticks and bricks home, but it's a fun and exciting life. Best of luck on making your dreams come true!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

This is a great idea, I just wonder what you do in bad weather, etc, or do you pay attention and stay clear of it? It would mean freedom. Do you run into undesirable characters much camping? Interesting ones? Or does everyone keep to themselves? I do have a million questions because it really does sound like a great idea.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Jackie Lynnley - Bad weather? We avoid snow and cold weather by following the sun, wintering in the southwest usually. In hurricane season, until this year we hang out in the northern states like New York, Michigan or Pennsylvania. Of course, some bad weather can surprise you. During bad rains or thunderstorms we just pull in the awnings, put anything loose away and batten down the hatches.

We have had a few scares with tornado warnings, but that can happen wherever you live. If we're expecting bad weather, we find out where the nearest shelters are and get an emergency kit ready to take with us if we have to run for it. So far, we haven't had to do that.

We've never run into unsavory characters while camping, and we've camped in many remote areas. Usually, other campers are friendly, but not intrusive. Do read my other hubs on full-time RVing for more insights into the RVing lifestyle!

Thanks so much for your interest and you comments!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I have always envied people who drive across the country in an RV. Sounds like so much fun and adventuresome.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mary615 - Full time RVing is both fun and an adventure! One never knows where the road will lead, and what adventures will be in store tomorrow. While this life isn't for everyone, it was a wonderful experience for my husband and me - I wouldn't change a minute of it!

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Relationshipc 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

This appeals to my husband and I in a big way. The only thing is that we have a dog who barks at everything, and we are very concerned about disturbing others in campgrounds trying to get some peace. Any thoughts on that?

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Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA Author

Relationshipc - We've found that most RVers we've met are animal lovers. Many people travel with their dogs, but most of them are well trained and fairly quiet. I have to be honest, a dog who barks all the time will not be loved, and if other campers complain about the barking, you may not be welcome at the campground. If there is a way to train your dog not to bark so much, you might want to look into it now. I hope you are able to find a solution that will work for you and your pet.

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ttravis5446 2 years ago from U.S.

Very nice hub. I'm planning on going full time at some point in the next few years.

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Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

ttravis5446 - Good luck you your plan to go full time! It's a lot of fun and a great way to see the country. We love this simple life!

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Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Wow this is your first hub? It's awesome! Perfect for someone who is considering RVing. I'm thankful you are an RVer since you take your Facebook friends along for the ride :)

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Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

Sunshine625 - I'm thankful that this hub started me on the road to Hubland where I've made so many wonderful friends along the way! :)

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NatNat34 20 months ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

My husband and I just started RVing...great article with lots of helpful tidbits!!!

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Stephanie Henkel 20 months ago from USA Author

NatNat34 - So glad you found some helpful information in my article! Congratulations on beginning your new lifestyle, and happy travels!

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jgshorebird 12 months ago from Earth

Good Hub. Enjoyed it, but I don't know. I like sailboats.

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Stephanie Henkel 12 months ago from USA Author

jgshorebird - We've met some people in our travels who live full-time on their boats. It all depends if your recreational vehicle is on land or water, I guess.

Bonnie 9 months ago

We are in the process of selling our house and going full time. We have been campers for years and are ready to buy a fifth wheel. We have done a lot of reach search on going full time, but actually doing it will be an experience. I'm glad there are so many people like you who let us know what it's like out there. I can't wait. Our goal is early spring this year. See you on the road.

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Stephanie Henkel 9 months ago from USA Author

Bonnie - Good luck with your plans to full time! We never regretted our decision to sell our house and hit the road over 10 years ago. It's a great experience, and I hope you love it as much as we do. Happy Trails!

tarra 8 months ago

hello i am a lady in her forties with 2 cats that have never bin outside and am considering on talking with hubby bout permanent living in an rv. we have no kids so space isnt an issue for us. i have been toying with the idea for years and wondered what the good ,bad and ugly is of this sort of thing is like. thing is we spend most of our income on bills and never get ahead and i often wonder can rv living in alberta canada be done? thing is we have big dreams on retiring in british columbia and the way things are going i doubt thatll happen for us as we seem to get deeper and deeper in to dept.we love the outdoors in summer and well we tend to stay indoors in winter so having a warm place to live is a must. can one get a camper made so that the winter freeze dont bite and cats can be happy. what is the best camper to live in considering that winters in alberta do hit -40 c at times? what is the average cost of the up keep of a rv? is a moterhome best or a tailor best? what kind of challenges would a person face if one was to do this with in the first year(ie costs,repairs,life challenges,ect)? how would one get a morgage for a rv if one has bad credit? any information on this subject would be grand.

Karen 8 months ago

Thanks for all the info!! My son and I are in the process of moving into a camper, but it will be stationary. . we consider this our training module to full-time RV-ing and are having so much fun with this transition!! Love all the links and will take full advantage of these.

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Stephanie Henkel 8 months ago from USA Author

Karen - What a great idea...a training module! :) It will be even more fun when you are ready to hit the road and enjoy all of the wonderful travel in your RV. Good luck and happy travels!

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Stephanie Henkel 8 months ago from USA Author

Tarra - You can certainly adapt your travel so that you can escape the worst of winter and spend those cold months in sunny climates. Although it is possible to live in an RV in winter, it's not easy to keep comfortably warm when the weather gets really cold. I'd advise packing up and heading south! As far as your questions about costs, it's really hard to answer. Of course there are maintenance costs on any RV, but a lot would depend on the age of your rig and, if used, how well is was previously maintained. We have only owned motorhomes, and like the convenience of having everything at our fingertips while traveling. We do tow a jeep. Many people are perfectly happy in travel trailers, but you must have a good vehicle with which to pull it. If you purchase a motorhome in really good condition, you can expect the first year upkeep to be minimal, but there are no guarantees. You might consider purchasing a service contract to cover cost of repairs should something go wrong. There are websites that give sample budgets for full time RVing if you do an internet search. How much you spend would depend on your lifestyle, how often you travel and your personal needs and habits. It's all very individual. I couldn't advise you on credit problems.

Tammy Keeling 8 weeks ago

Thanks this is great for my husband and I are planning to do this by next summer. We have already started doing many of these things but this helped so much by letting us know we are on the right track.

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Stephanie Henkel 7 weeks ago from USA Author

Tammy Keeling - I remember how exciting it was planning our full time adventure! Enjoy the journey, and maybe we'll see you on the road!

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