When recreational vehicles were invented, manufacturers probably never dreamed that someday people would call these contraptions “home.” Even today most RVs are designed for short stays. Although RV designs are more sophisticated than ever, only select enthusiasts like me will live in them every day. With few exceptions, the common pros and cons of full-time RVing living are shared among all of us.
The Pros and Cons of Full-time RVing
Whether you’re working on the road or cashing social security checks, you and your fellow travelers all share the good, bad and ugly of living in a rolling home. I’m an optimist, so let’s start with the pros of ditching a sticks-and-bricks.
Three Good Things About Full-time RVing:
1. Say goodbye to Yard Work
Drive around on a springtime Saturday morning and you’ll see people cutting grass and pulling weeds. But not you, because you’re out having fun instead. Your RV requires no fertilizer, a John Deere lawn mower or leaf blowing.
2. Your Neighbors are Great
RVers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – usually. The few times that your neighbor is a jerk, you can pull up stakes and find a new neighbor by lunchtime. Just make sure you get your annual RV maintenance jobs done so you can actually leave.
3. Vacationing is a Way of Life
According to CBS News, “the average American worker is entitled to 16 days of paid leave. But the length of the average vacation lasts just over four days!” As a full-timer your vacation lasts as long as you want it to. Even though I work, I have far more opportunities to enjoy vacation-like activities, like the short but sweet hike I took this afternoon in the Sonoran Desert where I’m currently snowbirding.
Three Bad Things About Full-time RVing:
1. Privacy can be Limited
Everybody knows your business when you live in your RV when at a RV park. Your neighbors know when you had a fight with your partner. Your partner knows when you had too much lactose for breakfast. If you’re shy or squirmy you’d best get over it if you want to live with others in a rolling home of any size.
2. Grime and Clutter is more Obvious
It literally takes less than 30 minutes to clean your RV. But if you go RVing with pets, enjoy dry camping or have a smaller RV like I do, you’ll quickly realize that dirt and clutter has no place to hide. The more compact nature of RV living quarters magnifies every spec of dirt and clutter. So, if you have a low-filth tolerance be warned. You might end up cleaning your rig more than a regular home.
3. Packing your RV Refrigerator Takes Practice
This last con is less of a problem if you have a luxury rig with some of the largest RV refrigerator models. But for the rest of us with traditionally-sized RV refrigerators, grocery shopping day is an ordeal. Each time you come home with groceries you’ll spend time carefully arranging your weekly eats to ensure circulation flows freely. This is something you never consider with a residential model and there are quick tips to organize your RV refrigerator.
I’ve experienced all the pros and cons of full-time RVing over the last 10 years. Even though I’ve had a few tantrums about them, I still wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything. Would you?
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.