Are you dreaming of a life on the open road as a full-time RVer? If so, what are you waiting for? Going full-timing isn’t as hard as you might think, it just takes a dash of independent spirit, a bit of planning and a splash of commitment to live within your means so that you can stay on the road for as long as you want.
These inspirational starter tips can make your road trip dream happen faster than you imagined:
Talk to Other Full-Timers
The full-time RVing community is a friendly one and experienced road trippers are always happy to share their experiences with others who are thinking about doing the same. Introducing yourself to online RVing communities is a good way to begin but first do your research; review common topics about full-time RVing, check out full-timing discussion forums and create a list of relevant questions to ask the community.
Next, scout out members in situations like yours, whether that means finding young families who are on the road, solo travelers or retired adults. Most RVers in your situation had the exact same worries, concerns and questions as you, but the more you can tailor your question to your exact scenario, the more valuable insight these road trippers can provide.
But don’t waste too much time researching on the web; nothing can take the place of personal, face-to-face encounters and attending a RV rally is a terrific way to get the inside scoop from a whole lot of full-timers at once. Many rallies are RV-brand specific but general ones also exist and will be helpful in your research. The iRV2 community plans a yearly national RV gathering; why not consider getting involved with the planning process and attending? If you don’t have a RV yet, consider renting a motorhome to take you there.
Paint a Picture of Your Full-timing Lifestyle
This is a fun time to dream and paint a picture of what you want your RVing life to look like. Magic happens when you commit pen to paper so start by creating your full-timing “dream board” on a giant sheet of paper taped to a wall. Use it to categorize and jot down “bucket list” style items like:
- Favorite types of RVs and Why
- Favorite Types of Campgrounds
- Favorite Types of Destinations
- Famous Places I Want to Visit
- Fun Things I Want to Do
- Volunteer Workamping / Jobs I Might Like to Try
Creating a dream board is a fun way to watch your full-timing vision develop. It also helps families communicate their preferences and wishes to one other, so if you have others who will be road-tripping with you, be sure to involve everyone in the dreaming process.
Know What RV Lifestyle You Can Afford
One of the most popular questions that aspiring full-timers want to know is: “How much does full-time RVing cost?” The problem is, no matter how many people you ask, there is no good answer to that question because it completely depends on each person’s financial picture, spending and savings habits. If finances aren’t your thing, if you’re unsure about what you spend every month, your income is sporadic or you’re constantly struggling to pay the bills, hitting the road isn’t for you – yet.
Before you ever attend a RV show, first stop and ask yourself: “How can I afford to live on the road?” With a little research and self-discipline, the answer is easier than you think.
For example, if you’re serious about full-timing, take a crash course in household budgeting, then pay off your debts to ensure a worry-free life on the road. Some easy steps you can take right away include:
- Tracking monthly expenses on a spreadsheet or budgeting software like Quicken
- Comparing your expenses against your income and knowing what your bottom line is.
- Draft a financial a plan to get on the road. For example, assign dates to paying for your RV, eliminating debt and establishing an emergency savings account.
Get Rid of Stuff
Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, downsizing is a major chore for anyone who’s about to hit the road. On the other hand, it’s a refreshing step that you can take now to help you feel like you’re achieving your dream, even if it’s a year away.
- First, make a list of basic things you need until your bon voyage party, such as kitchen and bathroom essentials.
- Then, start selling excess items that you can easily replace should you decide to stop full-timing, such as cheap furniture, extra sets of dishes and sporting goods items gathering dust in the garage.
- Use the cash to start a special “road trip” savings account and you’ll be on your way before you know it.
Going full-time RVing doesn’t have to be complicated; the web is filled with tons of great books, resources and RV travel blogs to help you create a realistic plan with achievable goals to get you on the road faster. Along the way, you’re certain to encounter a few curve balls that will test your commitment, but as financial guru Dave Ramsey says, “The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.” Stick to your plan and like thousands of other happy full-time RVers, you’ll make your dream happen too.
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.