Deciding to live in an RV full-time can be one of the best decisions you make. However, getting to that point requires some forethought. Are you financially prepared to live this lifestyle? Which type of RV should you live in? Where will you live? These three questions alone may overwhelm you, but no need to worry. Below you will find resources that will help you answer four of the most important questions to ask yourself before full-time RV living.
Though mobile living can be more economical in the long run, RVs and RV renovations can be costly. Be sure to ask yourself if you can afford this lifestyle change and how you will finance it. It's important to note that although your RV will serve as your full-time home, RVs are not eligible for mortgages. So, you'll need to consider other financing options.
Many people who opt for full-time RV living have decided to do so because they want to simplify their lives. In this case, they may have saved up the money they will need to purchase and renovate their new home on wheels. However, if using your savings is not an option, you can also use an RV loan or a personal loan. RV loans are great, but your living space must be RV certified to qualify for one. Alternatively, personal loans can be used for anything. If you decide that a skoolie (modified school bus) or van is better for you, you can still use a personal loan without worrying about RV certification.
The amount of money you need to start your new lifestyle will depend on a number of factors, including whether or not you plan to buy a new or used RV, a pre-renovated RV, or a modern RV. In addition, you will also need to account for fuel if you plan to be on the move often. Last but not least, consider the household expenses you will be responsible for.
There are many types of RVs. How do you know which will best suit your needs? The most obvious factor to consider is how much space you will need. Will you be traveling alone, with a companion(s), or with a family? The number of people that will be traveling with you will impact the amenities you need. Families will likely prioritize a large common space, which can be found in class A motorhomes or fifth-wheel trailers. Couples may find that campervans or travel trailers provide more than enough space for them to live out their simple living dreams.
Another important factor is how much you plan to travel. All RVs are mobile, but some are easier to maneuver than others. Size makes a difference. If you have a large motorhome, you need to be comfortable with operating a vehicle of that size. This may include driving a motorized RV or towing a towable RV. If you opt for the latter, do you have a vehicle that can tow heavy weights?
There's really no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining which RV type is right for you because everyone's needs are different. A single traveler may still opt for a large motorhome if they like a lot of space. It all comes down to what you need, what you can handle or maintain, and what you can afford.
Even the largest RV can only hold so much. While it's easy to make the inside of an RV resemble a home, it's impossible to fit everything you would normally have inside of a house. You'll need to downsize prior to making the transition and maintain a simplistic lifestyle once you make the move. There's nothing worse than a cluttered, small space. Start now by donating or selling things you definitely won't be able to take along with you.
You can prepare yourself for the change by testing out RV living before committing to this new lifestyle. Determine which RV would best suit your needs, reach out to local RV rental companies about pricing, and then set a date for when you would like to begin the trial. To get the most out of this practice run, be sure to discuss what you would like to do with your travel companions. It's important to make sure everyone is on board and available to begin the trial period on the same date. You should also take some time out to decide what you will bring along with you and how you will minimize expenses at your existing home. This is crucial, as you want to simulate what it will be like to live in the RV full-time as closely as possible.
The trial run should help you decipher whether or not full-time RV living is for you. There's no shame in deciding to stick with living in a traditional home, but it's better to figure that out before you sell your home, end your lease and get rid of many of your possessions.
Unfortunately, you can't just park your mobile home anywhere. Several states do not allow residents to legally live in any structure on wheels full-time. That doesn't mean you should give up on your dream of RV living, but you may need to research RV friendly states.
Where you live will also depend on whether you plan to constantly be on the go or stay in one spot for the majority of the time. Even if you are always on the move, you have to stop to sleep sometimes. If that's your plan, you may want to look into campsites in the area you will primarily be in, as well as those you plan to travel to.
If you want to live a more stagnant lifestyle, you may consider buying a small plot of land or paying a fee to live on someone else's. Again, this can be tricky, as some states will only let you live in a recreational vehicle temporarily or in certain areas. Find out what the stipulations are for your region. If you need help navigating this process or making sense of the information you find, you can always visit an RVing Website or join RVing Facebook groups. The latter will help you get answers to your questions and make some friends along the way.
These four questions only scratch the surface of everything you should consider before venturing into full-time RV life, but by pondering them carefully, you will be well on your way to a simple, successful, and unique lifestyle.