Several years ago, the author of a popular book called Outliers stated that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of practice. Experts have tried to debunk that theory, but I’d like to think it holds up. After all, my husband and I have dedicated 87,600 hours of our lives into full-time RVing since 2007, so I believe this makes us at least somewhat of experts about this lifestyle.
As we approach our 10 year full-timing anniversary this spring, here are the five full-time RVing lessons I’ve learned about being a nomad.
1. Living in a small space takes practice.
When researching floor models we researched how to choose your first RV. But ultimately we were clueless about the realities of living, working, and sleeping inside the RV. The most common phrase said by couples living in a small space is, “Can you move please?”
To keep the kvetching down to a minimum, over time we’ve developed a silent symphony when tackling daily chores. For example, when I’m washing dishes and Jim needs to put something inside the cabinet over my head, I’ve learned to duck before he even asks me to move. You learn to accept your space is small and you deal with it.
2. Over-planning is your worst enemy.
Resorting to some RV trip planning tips is smart so you’ll know where to get fuel, find great RV parks, and avoid road hazards. But too much reliance on pre-defined trip itineraries leaves no room for adventure or mishaps. Obsessively planning your every move leads to expectations that can shatter in seconds when something goes awry. It can also prevent you from enjoying spontaneous and unforgettable choices while traveling.
3. Anyone can be a nomad.
RVers of my parent’s generation hit the road for good when they bid farewell to the working world. Now, more of us are too impatient to wait until we’re old enough for an AARP card. Full-time RVing is not your grandpa’s lifestyle anymore. Whether we work from home or seek temporary seasonal work, the full-time RV demographic is different now.
Today, anyone with a bad case of wanderlust can enjoy the best this lifestyle has to offer. We’ve met dozens of young full-time RVers. The only caveat is you must have a sustainable way to support it.
4. Things break. Deal with it.
When things go wrong in a sticks-and-bricks home, it’s easy to avoid non-emergency repairs. But if something in your RV breaks and you want to keep your home on wheels moving, it’s best to cope with the situation quickly. Ongoing movement and jostling just makes the problem even worse. That’s when having a sustainable income source pays off.
5. The worst full-time RVing advice on the Internet is still true.
While it’s important to visit an RV show and explore different floor plans and RV styles, I still feel it’s a bad idea to pay top dollar for a brand new RV when you’re new at full-timing. In my 10 years on the road I’ve met many full-timers who stay on the road a year or less. When they quit, they lose their shirts trying to sell their expensive rig. Don’t. Do. It.
After all this time, I’m still learning and have no plans to call it quits. Perhaps I could be way off-base with my five best full-time RVing lessons. So, if you believe I am, please comment and share your own full-timing experience below.