For many, living and traveling in an RV seems like a dream life. The RV lifestyle is more accessible than ever, thanks to advancements in technology, transportation, and work-from-home jobs. Still, there are several things you’ll want to consider before you set off on your first adventure.
What you should consider before living in an RV
Pros and cons
Living in an RV gives you the freedom to travel the country as you please. Your backyard might be a state park one week and a casino the next. Still, you’ll face numerous challenges along the way. Luckily, many of these experiences make for good stories, and you’ll learn something new with each issue.
One of the best things about traveling full-time is meeting new people. Immersing yourself in various cultures, hearing new stories, and learning new things will quickly become your new norm.
Although living in an RV can be rewarding, there are numerous downsides to consider. For example, you may feel stressed when things go wrong. Tires will blow, essential RV components will fail, and you’ll get lost from time to time. As fuel prices rise, so does the RV travel cost. The costs associated with fuel and RV parks will eat into your money for leisure, and you may miss out on things you want to do. Still, most get used to the adversity associated with travel and feel it’s all worth it in the long run.
How to know its right for you
You’re already off to a good start if you love camping and travel. Still, those who get the most out of RV living don’t mind getting their hands dirty. You’ll have to dump your gray and black tanks every day or two, and it can be a messy job. When things break, you’ll want to learn to fix them yourself; taking your RV to a shop can leave you without it for days or weeks. If you aren’t naturally handy, that doesn’t mean you won’t like RVs. Many learn to love the minor repairs, as they learn new skills along the way.
The lack of space is the most important consideration; even the biggest RVs feel cramped from time to time. If you don’t mind small spaces or feel you don’t utilize every room in your home anyway, you’ll likely feel right at home in an RV.
Where to park and live
There are RV parks in every state in the country. Some include dog parks, laundry facilities, recreation areas, or pools. If you’re working from home, you’ll want to consider a park with a good Wi-Fi connection.
When you’re ready for a change of scenery, you may want to consider staying in a state or national park. In many cases, these parks don’t have excellent Wi-Fi. Still, you’ll love the beautiful views, hiking, and recreation they offer.
In between parks, you may stay in parking lots from time to time. Truck stops, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrels, Casinos, and other locations often don’t mind RVs staying overnight. Apps like Harvest Hosts can connect you with places you may not have considered, such as wineries, museums, or farms with overnight RV parking.
How much it costs
Costs can vary depending on the time of year and the states you travel to. For example, staying in Florida during the winter can be incredibly expensive, since it’s a popular destination for those looking to avoid cold weather. On the other hand, RV parks in many states offer discounts during colder months. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,200 for a month-long stay in an RV park. Paying for a spot overnight or one week at a time usually results in higher costs.
You’ll have to consider what you’ll pay for fuel and food while you travel. You can save money by packing your food, although this can feel cumbersome at times. Fuel costs vary from state to state, so you’ll want to Google the average cost for each new state you visit. To figure out what you’ll pay for fuel, divide the total miles you’ll travel by the number of miles you get per gallon of fuel. Multiply that number with the average cost for a gallon of fuel in the state you’re traveling through to get a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay.
How to work
Numerous jobs are ideal for full-time travelers. Many RVers are retired, but those working from home often write, optimize search-engine results for content producers, or drop ship small products to other businesses. Realistically, any job that allows you to work from home and earn enough to support yourself is a good choice. Some businesses let you work in virtual call centers to help their customers; these can be great entry-level jobs for nomads. You’ll need a reliable mobile hotspot to work from home while traveling. AT&T has a range of mobile hotspot plans, but many have limited data, and you’ll pay a premium if you exceed its limits. Visible is one of the few mobile carriers that still offer unlimited hotspot data, but you can only use it with one device. Still, there is a range of GL.iNet products you can use to split the signal to multiple devices. Many digital nomads have at least two mobile hotspots from different carriers, just in case one works better in a particular location.