Do you have the full-time RVing dream? Is hitching up and rolling away for good something you just dream about or are you working hard to hit the road? If you’re making plans to ditch the stick house and roam like a gypsy, here are seven things I’ve learned in seven years on the open road.
1. There’s no perfect campsite. Have you ever watched this amusing scene unfold? You’re settled into a campground when a new temporary resident pulls in. They circle the wagons at least five times while slowing down and pointing out different spots, until finally the camper stops at the original one that caught their eye. Save yourself the time and effort; the first campsite you see is probably the best one for you. Don’t burn daylight looking for paradise, it’s right in front of you!
2. RV gadgets are your friend. There’s a reason why so many goofy RV gadgets have been invented; there’s a need for them! For example, those refrigerator tension bars that are such a pain in the butt to use: Yes, they’re a hassle but a greater hassle is cleaning up the mess from things that fly out of your cabinets on bumpy roads.
3. Stop trying to find the cheapest fuel. Finding cheap gas is a losing battle; even if you save a few pennies at one fill-up, you’ll lose twice that amount the next time you need to fill up (usually in a hurry, right alongside the interstate. Don’t bother dragging the RV all over town in search of the cheapest fuel, convenience is king when you’re dragging a 40′ house on wheels.
4. RVers are the nicest people. It’s true. RVers are among the nicest people you’ll ever meet. When you pull into a park, you have an instant common interest with your neighbors. You may not be best friends with everyone you encounter, but there’s a certain connection that you share with people who totally understand what it’s like to haul a home on wheels down the highway for the last eight hours. Where else in this world do you find that kind of camaraderie?
5. Your GPS will get you into trouble. Electronic gadgets have their purpose but when you rely on them to tell you how to get from Point A to Point B, you’re very likely to drive yourself right into a river. Learn how to read a paper map and carry them with you so that you have reassurance about your ultimate destination.
6. There will be breakdowns. Even the most expensive luxury rig will have mechanical challenges. RVs are homes on wheels and they start to come apart as a result of your highway adventures. Don’t let a mechanical challenge upset you too much; these things happen and they’re all part of learning how to roll with the punches and live life to the fullest each day you’re lucky enough to have in front of you.
7. And finally, the biggest thing you need to remember as a full-time RVer: Slow Down! There’s a reason why your home on wheels is called a recreational vehicle. Take your foot off the gas and really explore your surroundings for as long as possible. All those places you dream about visiting will always be around in one form or another, so take time to appreciate what’s in front of you right now. After all, you worked hard enough to escape that traditional lifestyle. Now go flaunt it and have a ball!
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.