I am a full-time traveler in the United States. I am passionate about travel, minimalism, and alternative lifestyles.
There Are SO Many Great Reasons to Move Into an RV
If you are thinking about moving into an RV to live full-time, I implore you to do as much research as you possibly can. As with moving into a house or changing anything in your lifestyle, there will be pros and cons, and you need to make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for. My fiance and I have been living in our 24-foot travel trailer for almost a year now and we have learned so much even after the extensive research we did on this lifestyle.
Whether you are older and retired or young and adventurous, I believe the fulltime RV lifestyle has something for everyone! These are the top 10 things my fiance and I really love about this lifestyle. We hope you will take these small delights we have found in RV living and keep them in mind if you are making that leap into this lifestyle.
1. You Can Travel
I know this one will be at the top of everyone’s list for why they love living in an RV, and I don’t want to be too cliché but it is honestly the best reason to leave your “sticks and bricks” and move into a camper. You have the ability to just pick up and go whenever you want to and see things a lot of people will never be able to see.
A few years ago I went and visited the Southwest part of the United States and I fell in love. I have always lived on the East Coast and I realized I had no idea the scale of beauty the rest of the country held. The main reason we decided to move into an RV was to travel, and while stationary living is pretty fun and interesting compared to a regular house, our main drive (get it?) was to hit the road.
2. You Will Love Using Propane
This one may seen boring to people who have already lived in houses that ran on propane, but for us this was a small joy we found in living in our little travel trailer. We are both foodies and cooking with gas is just awesome. It got our pans really hot really fast and the food was ready before we knew it! More importantly, propane is a cleaner energy source compared to electricity. Everything about living small is better for the environment (that’s a blog for another time though). Because propane is a low-carbon fuel, it will not only cook fast, heat your RV fast, and save you money… but it is also so much better for the environment! And yes, I did just say it saves you money. This may depend on different people’s lifestyles, but for us, we are saving a ton of money on heat compared to what we paid in our townhouse. Okay, let’s move on before I start sounding like Hank Hill.
3. It Takes No Time to Clean
If you are a neat freak, you need to come to terms with this: living small = dirt and clutter. It’s just part of the lifestyle. But I can tell you as a long time neat freak and professional cleaner for five years, it is worth it. Yes, it will get dirty and cluttered much faster than when you lived in a house, but the PRO is you can clean it just as fast as it gets dirty! Have you ever just laid around on your day off, eating Doritos in your underwear, with the house wrecked (because you deserved it) and all of a sudden your mother-in-law is coming over in 5 minutes? You can't clean an entire apartment or house in 5 minutes! In an RV… you can. Your RV will get dirty and cluttered every single day, but it takes nothing to get your entire house clean within a few minutes.
4. It Is FUN
Living in an RV is like living in the tree house your dad never had time to build. It is FUN. The small counter tops and tiny appliances, the secret storage compartments the designers creatively put everywhere… everything about a camper is fun. It brings out that childhood wonder we start to forget as we get older. Every day is like a little sleepover in a clubhouse.
5. It Will Save You Money
So let’s talk money. This is going to be different for everyone. It all depends on an individuals lifestyle and circumstances. Where you are located, the type of rig you have, how much electricity you use and where you are getting the energy from. I already mentioned propane is much cheaper than running electricity so there’s that. But I also want to talk a little bit about minimalism real quick; before you move into a smaller space you need to sell your stuff. Boom! Now you have some extra cash! And guess what? You can’t buy anything new because you don’t have the space for it. So just with that alone, living in an RV will save you money. Another big one, is renting vs owning. Sure, you don't own a house technically but you will still own something that costs way less than mortgage. And let's face it, renting is just throwing your money away.
But the most important thing that will dictate how much money you spend is the way you want to power your RV. If you're going to be staying in an RV park hooked up to shore power, you will more than likely be paying rent for the lot and the cost of utilities (in the RV world, we call that “full hookups”). This is not the most cost-efficient way to live in an RV but it's the most common way to live because it’s easy. When your rig is not hooked up to shore power, you will be "boondocking" or dry camping and there are a ton of different ways this can be done.
I really want to encourage everyone to do research on how RVs run electrically with AC/DC power and learn about inverters and converters. It can be really confusing, but it is so important. I don’t want to write too much on the electricity part of living in an RV but as “boondocking” becomes more and more popular, I want to make sure you know there are tons of cheaper alternatives and investments, like solar panels, that can help you save money while living in an RV. The amount of money you spend or save really depends on how you are going to live in your RV and the energy you plan on using.
6. You Will Spend More Time Outdoors
Like I said before, we have a pretty tiny travel trailer, so going outside more is not only a perk to living in an RV but it is also essential. Sometimes in a house, you can get so caught up with binge watching TV and then going to another room to do something else, but when you live tiny, you basically only live in one room so it will force you to go outside: You start to go on walks and adventures more. A lot of outdoorsy people will live in an RV because of this, so if you love going outside, this lifestyle will be great for you! If you aren’t an outdoorsy person, maybe you can start!
7. There Are So Many to Choose From
This is something we love about RVs in general: there are so many. If you are considering getting an RV but you aren’t sure if the right one is out there, I’m telling you right now – it is! There are travel trailers, toy haulers, Class A RVs, 5th wheels, truckcampers, campervans… There are so many options for just the general type of RVs. But then you throw in the length options, the slide options, and the floor plans, there is a lot to decide! You decide to check out an RV dealership and you see some have giant windows, WIFI extenders, a faux fireplace furnace, charging station, outside kitchens, grills, and solar prepped. It can be overwhelming for sure. Breathe.
Just like if you were moving into a regular house, there are certain things you like and things you don’t like, so take some time to look around dealerships and find out what you want, need, and don't like. We wrote a list for ours and just jotted down notes as we looked to help us find the right RV for us. If you miss your chance “on the one” I guarantee you, you will find an even better one because it happened to us twice. If you were too late to get the RV of your dreams, just remember how many there are out there. Be patient. The perfect RV is out there for you.
8. You Hear the Most Beautiful Sounds
When you live in a camper you are basically camping, right? It’s not the same as tent camping, but you still get that camping feeling, you know? Especially at night. You’re sleeping safe in your RV, bundled up in your blankets, the walls are paper thin but maybe you decided to open the window for a summer breeze and the sound of frogs and crickets just fill your ears. There is nothing like night times in an RV. You can hear everything outside, which may be scary to some people but it can be soothing. And the wind and rain sounds during a storm – you hear everything. The click-click-click of the residual raindrops hitting the roof after a storm. You feel like you are in nature and it just feels so warm and right and calming. There is nothing like it in the world.
9. You Will Value Your Belongings and Space More
Minimalism is a huge part of full-time RV living. Before we moved out of our townhouse we had a huge yard sale and sold about 80% of our belongings (I’ll insert that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeG1NR-unLY&t=2s). I have never been a hoarder and my only collection was my books and records which I decided to give to a family member to hold on to for me. But you just can’t keep everything if you are moving from a big space to a small space. Some people will have a really hard time with this… selling things or donating things. Trust me when I say this, it feels good once you let go. When you let go of something you know you don’t need, it clears a little spot in your brain where you can store more valuable things. Once you start minimizing your life and you live tiny, you will see things completely different. For me, I had a lot of kitchen items people have given me and I don’t know why I kept them. I had cookie jars and multiple ladles and spatulas and all kinds of random stuff I accumulated. I had to really think hard about what I needed, and I sold, donated, and gifted everything else.
When we lived in our townhouse we had a spare bedroom that was just a storage room. It was like a giant junk drawer but a whole room and now living in an RV, we are not taking up any more space than we need and it feels good. We would spend our entire day at work to come home to a huge apartment where we slept. Although we loved that apartment and made a lot of great memories there, it seemed like the only thing it was doing was collecting things and being expensive. When you put junk, the past, and giant houses behind you, you begin to value your space and belongings more, and in turn you value your time more.
10. You Will Have More Quality Time
Quality time is definitely a perk to living in a camper. When we lived in our townhouse, we would often be in different rooms hanging out, texting each other from the other rooms, and it just wasn’t very intimate. It was easy to just do our own thing in the apartment but never really hang out, you know? So moving into the trailer was definitely an adjustment, it will be an adjustment for anyone, but the quality time we have had inside the RV and outside the RV was really worth it. Everything feels so cozy in our little travel trailer, that we really just love to cuddle with each other and hang out together. It forces us to hang out but in a good way because like I said above, it’s like hanging out in our own little secret clubhouse and it is fun. We go outside more, we travel, and we just enjoy this lifestyle together.
I feel very blessed to have my best friend as my fiance and very lucky to not fight with him very much, we genuinely get along great. Moving into an RV with someone will test your relationship, and even though we have a healthy and good relationship, we do miss our privacy sometimes and we will fight on occasion. It just comes with the territory.