The tiny house movement is growing by leaps and bounds in America, and more and more people are looking to RVs as small home options that have the added advantage of being able to take your house with you when you want to travel. Many Americans are increasingly interested in scaling down their lifestyles so that they have more leisure time to stop and smell the roses or travel the highways and byways of America. It’s no wonder that full time RV living is on the rise. As far as small homes go, the perfect travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome comes already equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and affordable lifestyle, whether you intend to park your RV for most of the year and just take the usual number of vacations, or you’re ready to take up permanent life on the road.
RV living has been around for decades, and longer than that if you consider the Gypsy wagons of old as some of the first towable trailers. It’s not a lifestyle for everyone, and there are things to consider before you embark on this adventure, but for the right people, it gives unprecedented freedom. You can learn more about the tiny house movement and RV living at Tiny House Blog. In the meantime, read on for some things to consider as you think about an RV lifestyle.
Is the RV Lifestyle for You?
There are important things to consider before you give up your home and commit to a full time RV life. Generally, people think first about the inevitable downsizing. Are you ready to give up a good number of your worldly possessions in order to live in a smaller space? What are the things that matter most to you? Will they fit into this new lifestyle? If not, then what are you going to do with your grandmother’s antique china dishes that serve twelve? If you are delighted by the idea of ridding yourself of “stuff” and keeping only what has the most value to you, then full time RV living might be ideal for you.
An equally important question to ask yourself is if you’re ready to spend all your time with your travel partner(s). In the same sense that there will be less room for your furniture, clothes and knickknacks, there will be less room for “personal space.” For some people, this is a perfect existence. For others, too much time together can be a challenge. So ask yourself how you will feel without a room of your own.
Other Things To Think About
What are your medical needs and what are you going to do about insurance? Perhaps you have insurance through an employer that you can carry over to a full time RV life. If not, there are a number of health insurance providers who have policies for full time RVers. You also need to be prepared for health emergencies if you’re living on the road.
And there are the little things to consider as well. Think about your mail and proof of residency. And how are you going to stay connected to your family? Campgrounds sometimes don’t have the kind of WiFi you’ll need for good internet access. Check out “ How To Live The Full Time RV Life,” by Andrew Odom, for an excellent list of considerations and some of the answers to these questions.
What Kind of RV is Right for Your Lifestyle?
This comes down to personal preference, but there are some guidelines that can help you make your decision. Some of it depends on what you already have. If you own a tow vehicle that you’re happy with, then consider how much it will pull and make your selection of a towable accordingly. A lot of fulltimers and snowbirders with tow vehicles will tell you that they like fifth wheels because of the private bedroom upstairs and the extra living space that the split-level design affords you. When you add slide-outs in strategic places, you will have a fifth wheel that is moderately easy to pull, but is spacious inside when you set it up. Look to manufacturers like Heartland, Evergreen RV and DRV for some of the most luxurious and well organized fifth wheels for full time living. You can often find pre-owned models at reasonable prices. Coachmen’s Chaparall and Lifestyle Luxury’s Lifestyle are also good bets. Fifth wheels and travel trailers have the advantage of letting you park your RV and unhook your tow vehicle to see the local sites and to navigate city streets.
If you don’t already own a tow vehicle or you don’t have one in mind, then you might consider a motorhome. Motorhomes have the advantage of being self contained, so everything is at your fingertips even when you’re going down the road. In recent years, motorhome manufacturers have worked hard to make these kings of the road more fuel efficient, so you may find that the cost of driving one full time is not much different than towing a large trailer or fifth wheel. Manufacturers like Winnebago and Newmar make some of the finest Class A motorhomes on the road, and each one is built with long-term RV living in mind. And if you already own a small car, these motorhomes can easily accommodate a tow hitch that will give you the option of towing a more fuel-efficient car for day trips.
If you need a wheelchair accessible RV, Newmar’s Canyon Star with a 3911 floor plan is a motorhome that was built from the ground up to accommodate RVers with wheelchairs. It features power wheelchair lifts, extra-wide halls and doorways, a roll-in shower with a fold up seat, and a roll-under sink. Winnebago also builds Class A motorhomes that can be “ability equipped” and customized to your needs. If you are interested in ability equipping a Winnebago, give our Guaranty RV Service Department a call. At Guaranty RV we always have a wide selection of quality new and pre-owned motorhomes to serve a wide variety of needs.
If you think that an RV might be your ideal tiny house, the only way to find out for sure is to try it. Walk through various fifth wheels, travel trailers and motorhomes. Imagine yourself in them. When you’ve narrowed down your options, stop by the Guaranty RV Travel Center and rent an RV like the one that appeals to you. Take a trip or park it in your favorite campground and find out for real what it’s like to live this way. Explore your options before you buy. And if you have any questions about finding the right RV for full-time or long-term living, give us a call.