If you’re considering the RV lifestyle, you may be asking yourself – is full time RV living brilliant or bananas? We asked ourselves the same thing.

We were very comfortable with our lifestyle back in Traverse City, Michigan. We had both lived in the area for several years, had great local jobs, and great friends and family we could rely on.

In 2018, we bought our first home together. We were absolutely in love with how adorable it was, and loved doing DIY projects around the house and in the yard.

One Sunday morning in 2020, we woke up and talked about how difficult it was being away from so many other people we loved and cared about across the country. As Beth was washing dishes and I was making coffee, I said โ€œWhat if we just go?โ€

โ€œWhat do you mean?โ€ Beth asked.

โ€œI mean, what if we lived on the road so we could see all the people we love?โ€ I explained.

Both our faces lit up – this idea is either brilliant or bananas. We sat down in our living room and started walking through every aspect of RV living, starting with the reasons it seemed brilliant.

Pros of Full Time RV Living

Everybody’s reasons for wanting to RV differ; some people have a bucket list of places to visit, others want certain temperatures year-round, and others are looking for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here were the reasons we wanted to RV full time.

1. Seeing the people we love

We have friends and family all over the U.S., and we wanted to be able to see them more than once a year or once every other year. Living, working, and traveling in an RV would allow us to do that.

A woman hugging her sister - full-time RV living

2. Not sacrificing all of our vacation time

With our jobs, we only got about 14 days off a year. That’s not much time when you consider that traveling to your loved ones will take one day on either side, plus the time spent with them. We ended up spending all of our paid time off (PTO) visiting people we love or taking time off at the holidays. That left no time for an actual vacation. Full-time RV’ing lets you travel to your loved ones and spend time with them without sacrificing PTO.

3. Never having to live in the snow again

Snow is fun…for about 4 days. Being from Northern Michigan, we didn’t get snow for 4 days, we got snow for 9 months. Not anymore. Living in an RV lets you chase the sun and stay in the warmth!

4. Exploring new regions of the country

Michigan is a really beautiful state. But there are 49 other states to explore! There are plenty of other states that are also beautiful and fun and full of life. Full-time RVing allows you to explore places you’ve never been, and wouldn’t necessarily travel to as a destination on its own.

A woman standing on top of a mountain - full-time rv living

5. Visiting vacation destinations without spending a fortune

A typical vacation means you have to fly or drive to a location, rent a hotel or vacation home, maybe rent a car, eat out for all your meals (unless you get a kitchen with your rental), and pay for local attractions, souvenirs, and experiences. It adds up fast! When you RV full-time, some of those costs stay the same, but the cost of a campground may be lower than a hotel, you can eat your own food, stay long enough to spread the fun out over a month instead of 5 days, and not feel like you need a vacation after your vacation.

6. Deciding where we go and how long we stay

While there are some limitations with the RV lifestyle (we’ll talk about those in another post), you get to choose where you want to go and how long you want to stay. Always wanted to see Niagra Falls? Go! Always wanted to explore the coast of California? Go! Always wanted to climb the mountains of Colorado? Go!

Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do – you can. See how we plan our trips ๐Ÿ‘‡

Cons of Full-Time RV Living

As we thought of transitioning from a 3-bedroom home to an RV, here were some cons for us.ย 

1. We had never camped or hauled a trailer before

That’s right. We had never taken a camping trip in an RV, we had never driven or towed an RV, we had never cooked a meal in an RV – we had zero experience living or hauling an RV. That meant if we wanted to live in an RV, we had a lot of learning to do.

2. We knew nothing about RVsย 

Obviously, due to the aforementioned “zero experience”, we also didn’t own an RV, knew nothing about them, and wouldn’t know how to repair or fix anything on one. In a house, we did all our own DIY projects, and we were used to being able to fix things. This made us feel like we had less control moving into an RV.

3. RV Living can be financially unpredictable

If you like predictability in your living expenses and day-to-day life, RV living will be a leap for you like it was for me (Beth). In a house, we knew the exact cost of our mortgage, taxes, utilities, car payments, etc. and we also knew the typical cost of our variable expenses like gas, groceries, and propane. With RV living, you can’t always predict what your campsites will cost, how much gas you’ll use in a given month, or how much propane you’ll need to keep the rig warm.

4. We didn’t have anyone to teach us

When we announced we were going to jump into full-time RV living, we had several people mention that they could help us if we needed anything, but we weren’t sure who to trust. We weren’t looking for someone to tell us how they’d “always done it” – we were looking for someone who could teach us how to tow, use, maintain, and enjoy our RV the right way – the safe way. We ended up finding an unlikely ally in this process, and he saved us! We also found TONS of helpful content on YouTube that taught us how to live this lifestyle.

5. we didn’t have a truck or trailer

This part was absolutely overwhelming for us. We owned a Mazda 3 and were leasing a Ford Escape. That meant we had to sell one, trade in the other, and find a truck that had the towing capacity we needed for…what size trailer? We didn’t know. We also had to find the trailer. But which do you find first – the truck or the trailer? Or do we get a motorhome instead? Oy vey. The questions were endless. Like everything else, we figured it out and can look back on it as one more thing we conquered.

6. traveling while working can be stressful

When you’re on vacation or a road trip, it seems really fun to travel fast and see the world – it’s thrilling because you have nothing to worry about but the open road. But when you live in an RV and are responsible for…life…it can actually be stressful to constantly be traveling. For instance, if you have a big work deadline but also have to move your home that day, it makes for a really stressful day. Unpredictable internet connection during that move can also double that stress.

Making the Choice that’s Right for You

Whether you live in a home, an RV, a yurt, or an igloo…you will always have challenges. When we moved into our first house, we had quite a few challenges. Within the first year, we had to replace our water heater, stove, washer, dryer, shower head and handle, a back door that let tons of water in when it rained, the garage lighting, the countertops, and the backsplash.

Did we know how to do any of those things? No. Did we figure it out with some help? Yes! We had no idea what homeownership would be like but we didnโ€™t let that stop us from buying a home.

So if youโ€™re thinking about full time RV living but are nervous because you don’t have any experience – just remember, itโ€™s not about what you have or havenโ€™t done, itโ€™s about what youโ€™re willing to figure out for the freedom on the other side.

If you have a family, check out Fulltime Families for resources. Wondering how to make money from the road? Check out RV Entrepreneur podcast for all things remote income.

Action inspires confidence – the more you learn, grow, and do, the more your confidence you’ll have. The more confidence you have, the more capable you’ll feel to tackle new challenges.

Here’s to living your best life, whatever you decide ๐Ÿฅ‚ย