For thirteen years full-time RVing has given us so much joy and adventure. My husband and I couldn’t imagine living any other way. Through all the pros and cons of the nomad life, we never encountered one big full-time RVing drawback so powerful it altered our ability to enjoy this offbeat lifestyle. And then the pandemic happened.
A Full-Time RVing Pandemic Reality Check
As my fingers tap away on the keyboard to write this, my steadfast RV-driving husband commandeers us into another state. A generous friend has offered us a full-hookup spot on her gorgeous mountain property. Knowing that we could be there a while, she insisted. And as independent and self-contained as we are, my husband and I agreed to her generous offer. We would be fools not to.
The pandemic fallout has hit the full-time RVing community hard, and we are only seeing the beginning of it. For starters, thousands of full-timers like my husband and I are competing for ever-shrinking numbers of long-term RV campsites at parks across the U.S. Also, the many RV travel resources we count on as boondockers are dwindling.
Apparently, the biggest disadvantage to full-time RVing is a global pandemic.
The UnWelcome Mat is Out
The welcome mat for full-time RVers like us has been pulled right out from underneath our feet. For example:
- The list of public campground closures is getting longer by the day.
- Many private RV parks are also shutting down to newcomers.
- Public land boondocking access is more limited.
- Dump station access is more challenging.
- Small tourist towns are telling visitors to stay away, amid growing reports of sentries standing guard to keep visitors out.
The weather isn’t helping.
Following the seasons has always been one of the biggest advantages of the nomad life, but now it’s also one of the biggest full-time RVing drawbacks. It’s the reason we left our previous location. Temperatures at our favorite Southern California snowbird getaway, Fountain of Youth, are slowly climbing into the 80s. The weather is perfect now, but triple digit heat is just around the corner. Our Arctic Fox is well insulated, but with just one air conditioner, even 110-degree temperatures are too much for it.
Is Home Still Where You Park It?
We had to accept that the global pandemic hit home and something needed to be done. In a blur of packing and prepping the fifth wheel, we fled to our friend’s property. We will be there tomorrow and hopefully, the people in her small town will not come at us with pitchforks when they see our out-of-state license plates.
The saying “home is where you park it” has always rang true for us. And while we still believe that a “home” isn’t a necessarily a physical place but a mindset, the advantage of being a property owner is now quite apparent.
The biggest full-time RVing disadvantage is clearly, not having a spot to call your own during a pandemic. Are the current circumstances enough to make me want to become a property owner again? Not yet. But as this growing pandemic proves, nobody ever really knows what the future holds.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.