If you’re an avid RVer who always gets a case of the end-of-vacation blues when you start heading back from a memorable camping trip, the thought of turning your RV treks into a full-time lifestyle may sound quite appealing.Many RV enthusiasts have done just that; they have given up their stationary lives and homes for life that’s constantly in momentum and full of adventure. They’ve traded staticity for mobile living, and they will likely never look back.
If your heart belongs on the road, this may be the option that best fuels your true happiness, but before your jump into any decisions, it’s important to think hard about all of the factors to see if you’re truly ready and prepared to make such a life-changing decision.
That being said, here are a few starter questions to help you get started:
Do You Have the Resources to Fully Commit?
There are countless variables when it comes to knowing if you are in a solid enough financial position to make the commitment to live on the road. Budgeting is a hugely important factor to do before you make the transition, as you don’t want to feel unprepared and stranded.
Whether you plan to fund your treks with savings or retirement income, you have a job (such as a web developer or internet marketer) you can manage on the road, or you plan to seek out side jobs here and there, money is an important thing to carefully consider.
Here are some of the resources you should take some time to plan how you’ll fund:
• Campground stays and amenities (laundry, internet, showers, etc.)
• Maintenance for your RV
• RV and health insurance
• Phone bill
• Recreational activities
• Mail services
While not having to shell out money on rent/mortgage will help you save a great deal, there’s still a lot to think about. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here’s a great breakdown of RV expenses and advice from a couple who has been full-timing for quite a while.
How Will You Manage Alone Time?
If you embark on a full-time road-trek with any other person, you should make sure it’s someone who you know incredibly well and someone you can communicate with easily. Preferably, it should be someone who you’ve previously traveled with for extended periods of time, so that you know that both of your moods and travel preferences can work in harmony.
No matter the case, living in small corridors can be tough, as tensions can mount quickly if either party begins to feel cramped. The way to prevent this scenario is to come up with a plan beforehand.
Maybe you can go off on a walk at the campground while your partner stays inside of the RV, or your partner can go run an errand while you stay behind. Either way, the trick is calmly communicating your needs before small things turn into a big deal.
What Are the Best RV Parks for Full-Time RVers?
Finding the proper destinations to park your RV is a huge part of being successful in your journey. Take the time to thoroughly research which RV parks would be best for your needs, and most importantly, which campgrounds allow extended stays.
Some enforce a limit of about one month, whereas others don’t have a cap of how long you can stay. In fact, some offer long-term camping discounts, meaning that if you plan to stay for a prolonged period, you can pay upfront and save some money in the long run. Always ask the park attendant about stay limitations and deals in order to find the most ideal parks to set up camp at.
What Will You Do With Your Belongings? Your Mail?
This can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of starting your full-time RV life, but it’s not an area you should overlook. Clearly, you can’t take all of your belongings with you, so take some time finding the best option for you.
You can have a garage sale, or post items on Craigslist, in hopes of accruing a bit more money before your trip by selling your extraneous belongings. On the other hand, if you have sentimental items, or you plan to return to the ordinary life one day, ask a relative/friend to hold onto the important things for you, or consider renting a storage unit to pack your items away.
Now as far as mail is concerned, the easiest route is to have your mail sent to a friend or relative’s and pay all of your bills electronically, but if that’s not an option, there are many mail forwarding services you can look into, even some that cater specifically to RVers.
You can learn more about these services here.
What About Healthcare While RVing?
Healthcare is a critical matter to sort out, as you need to be able to get the proper care if you have an urgent matter come up on the road. Not having insurance can leave you broke or in debt when you have a health-related issue that needs to be addressed.
It can be a bit tricky finding solid medical care when you aren’t staying in one place long enough to have a primary care doctor, and likewise, figuring out how to fill up your prescriptions can be a headache.
The good news is that while the ins out outs of getting coverage as a full-timer RVer are confusing and complicated, other RVers make it happen, so you should be able to find a solution too.
Most of the problems stem from regulations dictating that healthcare recipients have to stay in the same county or state where they sign up for health insurance for a certain percentage of the year. Similarly, other companies don’t provide coverage outside of a certain network.
There are ways to work around this, so your best bet is to network with fellow RVers to find out how they merge healthcare with full-time roadtripping.
To get you started, here’s an in-depth post that covers the pros and cons of many of the options RVers have available to them.
Summing It Up
Deciding to hit the open road and never look back is not an overnight process. There are many elements to think over, and the truth is that it’s a lengthy and complex process to smooth out all of the kinks.
At the end of the day, however, feeling the wind through your hair, and having nothing but sight-seeing and new adventures to look forward to should make all of the miniscule details more than worth sorting through.