Considering RVing Full Time? Here’s Some Insight!
We were only supposed to RV for 6 months… 4.5 years later, we’ve lived in 43 states and have no immediate plans of stopping. You could say we’ve learned a few things over the years and we’d like to pass on some insight that may or may not be useful for your situation.
You Will Probably Hit Stuff
RVs can be big. Even small RVs are big if you’re used to driving a car. Pretty much every RVer we know has at some point hit something.
When we had our 26 ft Class C, we flew out to visit Danielle’s family and put our RV into storage for a few weeks. While pulling out of the storage facility, I didn’t notice a large outside light sticking out of the building and sent it flying into the air.
With our 44 ft 5th wheel we’ve run over countless curbs and had a lot of close calls but luckily we’ve only run into 2 trees in a campground that we entered but didn’t fit into. If you’re not sure if you fit, DO NOT take the risk. It was an expensive repair, thank goodness for insurance.
You Can Work Full-Time In Your RV
When we started RVing, it was going to be temporary. We loved it so much that we wanted to continue our travels. The only challenge was we didn’t have an income as we were “supposed to be” traveling on our way to relocate near Danielle’s parents to settle down.
So with 10 days left of our trip before the budget was depleted, a bell went off that RV dealerships need social media to increase sales. Being social media experts AND full-time RVers, it made a lot of sense to start this business.
Now, we’re able to run one of the largest social media companies in the RV Industry 100% from the RV as we travel. WiFi is a lot easier to come by than we expected, and it’s only gotten better over the years with technology upgrades.
To keep us connected we use:
- AT&T for our phones
- Verizon for WiFi (unlimited for roughly $120/month)
- Sprint for WiFi (unlimited for roughly $50/month)
- We can tether WiFi from our phones
Travel Fast And Slow Down
We love covering a lot of ground to see as much of this country as possible. There’s SO MUCH out there! The challenge is it takes time to plan, pack up, move and explore. That’s fine if you have the time, but we have kids and a business.
We’ve learned that we need to slow down and get into a routine. That allows us to focus on running and growing our business.
A way to compensate and still see a lot of new and exciting places, is we binge on our travels and will take a month or two at a time with extensive travel. We’ll take these high volume travel trips 2-4 times a year where we cover A LOT of ground. The rest of the time is staying in a couple of different regions for longer stays.
RV Resorts Are AWESOME
Glamping at an RV Resort is one of Danielle’s favorite things to do. Heated pools and any sort of amenity you could want can be found at some of the high-end RV resorts.
Seriously, if you’re looking to live the life of luxury, these are great options to not only have all the amenities you desire, but to do it in super scenic areas.
We bought a Thousand Trails Membership when we started RVing and have been very happy with their resorts across the country. There have been other private resorts and even some KOAs that have really blown our minds.
We often get asked, “Which ones are the best?” That’s not a good question. A better question is, “Based on the things you’re looking to experience, what’s the best resort?” We’ll be coming out with a full list of RV resorts that we rave about soon.
Boondocking Is Even Better!
This is nature at its finest: going to the middle of nowhere, in nature’s best areas, and camping with no hookups. While there’s quite a bit of variety of boondocking options, it’s usually done off the grid.
We LOVE getting off the grid and enjoying some quality time spent in nature, like these insane boondocking spots:
Get Off The Freeways, But Make Sure Your Path Is Safe
The best roads are the back roads. They lead you to destinations you couldn’t have imagined existed.
Just make sure that your back road isn’t going to have a low bridge, a curve you can’t make, or any other obstacle you’ll need to avoid. Get a good RV GPS like the Co-Pilot RV so you avoid hitting a bridge like this one near the Natchez Trace RV Resort that’s been hit a few too many times. In fact, a 5th wheel plowed into it while we were camping here.
Visit And Explore Small Towns
Small local spots offer some of the best travel experiences. When you’re RVing, you have the ability to soak in and actually take time to experience the areas you’re in.
For food, you’ll often get HUGE servings, quality food and even find some unique things on the menu.
People are happier and friendly in small towns and often you can walk most of the town in a very short amount of time.
Our best dining experiences have been casual local spots. It’s more exciting, because you never know what type of experience you’ll have.
“Situations” Will Come Up
Whether it’s because you hit something, something broke, or a skunk got in your dog gate, expect that there will be challenges you’ll have to overcome. Keep your cool when it happens and be prepared so that you can manage it when it does. A few things you’ll want easily accessible:
- Vehicle/RV Insurance
- Warranty and Extended Warranty
- Roadside Assistance
We’ve had a few breakdowns both at campgrounds and on the side of the road.
Other RVers are Super Helpful
Need a hand? Whether you want it or not, you’ll have people trying to help you out while you’re maneuvering your rig. The other side of it is they’re helpful in other areas also, like playing a tune around the campfire, providing local travel tips, or a variety of other random things you’ll get helped out with.
When we first started RVing, I had some great tips from veteran RVers who I’m sure could tell I was a rookie driver. It took me awhile to get comfortable driving such a large 5th wheel (44ft). Now I feel comfortable behind the wheel but often if we’ve been parked for awhile and time has past since I’ve pulled the beast, I feel a little nervous. It’s a little exciting.
You Can Visit Family Often
Family is important to us. It’s easy to say but when life happens it’s tough to do in actions. We all get busy and back before we were traveling I was working as an executive in Newport Beach, CA. I ran a team of people and rarely was able to get back to visit my family in Minnesota. Toss in a significant other’s family and it doesn’t allow for family time to be much of a priority.
Now that we’re RVing, we schedule a couple months or so per year, sometimes longer, to be near them or even park on their property with hookups. That ability to be near family and spend quality time has made this entire adventure worth it.
You Will Sleep At Walmart
Sometimes when you’re traveling long distances and have much more ground to cover you just need a place to park and rest for a few hours. We didn’t know people did this until we started researching RVing and started our trip the first night at a Walmart before taking off to San Diego!
We’ve spent many nights in Walmart in passing along, with Home Depot and Lowes.
Roadside Attractions Are Fun
Quirky stops make people smile. Take the time to pull over when you notice random roadside attractions. They give you a reason to randomly get excited over something silly and are fun to look back on for years to come.
There are a lot of fun spots on and off the grid. We’d love to hear in the comments of a few of the quirky places you recommend.
That about sums it up for some of the things we’ve realized while on this Full-time RV Adventure. I’m sure there’s a lot we’re missing, and things fellow RVers could add: feel free to in the comments.