Knowing how to prepare for full-time RV living can be both exciting and scary. You’ll likely go back and forth many times on how you feel about the decision. However, the lifestyle unlocks a world of freedom that many never knew existed. Let’s take a look at some tips on preparing for full-time RV living.
10 Tips to Prepare to Live in Your RV Full Time
If you’re planning to hit the road and travel full-time in an RV, we’ve got 10 tips to help you prepare! Let’s get started.
1. Minimize Your Belongings
No matter the style or size of your RV, you’re going to need to downsize as you learn how to prepare for full-time RV living. Starting this process months in advance allows you to avoid stress. Some items will take a while to sell or require a bit of work to get rid of. If you can sell things off, you could earn some extra cash in the process.
Many RVers minimize their belongings before moving into their RV, but then a few months later downsize even more. Once you’re traveling in your RV, you’ll likely discover how little you need or find items that aren’t as essential as you previously thought.
2. Find Remote Work
It’s easy to forget that many people taking Instagram-worthy pictures of their travels don’t work. However, most full-time RVers aren’t insanely wealthy and still need to work. It’s essential to find work you can do from the road.
Remote working is gaining popularity among many employers. As a result, there’s a chance that your current employer might let you work from home. However, it’s best to start this conversation early in case your employer says no. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to look for other remote working opportunities.
Many full-time RVers teach online, manage online stores, or work seasonal jobs. The possibilities are endless! Giving yourself a generous amount of time allows you to make sure you can be financially stable while on the road.
3. Find a Way to Get Your Mail
There are many mail-forwarding services available to full-time RVers. The rules regarding residency will vary depending on where you want to call home. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations regarding residency.
Texas, Florida, and South Dakota are popular residency states among full-time RVers. Many of the mail services in these states will hold your mail until you tell them where you want it sent. Some will even scan your mail and only send what you approve and not send junk mail. However, if you have a local relative or close friend who will let you use their address, you might get by using that.
4. Get Health Insurance
Hitting the road in your RV doesn’t make you immune from sickness or injury. Doing your due diligence and verifying your health coverage is essential. Know what’s covered and what’s not. Verify where you’ll need to go if you have an emergency. Don’t forget to check with any RV clubs or organizations you join to see if there are any cheaper alternatives or discounts.
5. Find a Mobile Internet Solution
One of the most challenging obstacles full-time RVers run into is a mobile internet solution. Whether you need the internet for work or play, you need a solid mobile internet connection while you’re on the road. Unfortunately, campground internet connections are often inconsistent and of low quality.
Many RVers who require a quality connection will have multiple data plans from different mobile internet providers. This redundancy helps when one provider lacks service in an area where you’re camping. If access to the internet is essential for you, begin researching your mobile internet option and any equipment you’ll need.
6. Get RV Insurance
When your RV is your house, your insurance needs will vary. Standard insurance on an RV covers damages caused by you or other drivers. However, when you’re living in your RV, your needs are slightly different. For example, you’ll need a hotel during warranty work or tow when you break down on the side of the road. These are often items that standard insurance won’t cover.
A quality RV insurance policy keeps the uniqueness of your situation in mind. You’ll be happy to hear your policy will cover a hotel or tow when you need it most. Be sure to shop around and look for discounts when it comes to getting RV insurance.
It also isn’t a bad idea to think ahead and consider an RV extended warranty. Typically, the ones offered at the dealership are overpriced and don’t cover what you’ll it.
7. Set a Budget
Learning how to prepare for full-time RV living means an entirely new budget. You’ll likely eat out less but spend way more money on fuel and campgrounds. Having the conversation now helps ensure that everyone understands the budget. It’ll be very tempting to try to go to every kids’ attraction or event, but it’s just not possible.
There will be some things that you’ll have to say no to, and that’s OK. The great thing about full-time RV living is that you can always choose to come back another time. Missing out on something gives you the excuse to come back again later.
8. Cut Your Buying Habits
Cut your buying habits drastically. Stop buying things unless it’s essential. You’re not going to have the room to have excess clothes or other items that don’t get used regularly.
Your spending habits will quickly switch to buying items for the RV or items to enhance your RVing experience. You’ll find yourself tempted to make impromptu purchases when you know you have no place to store them.
9. Learn Some Basic RV Skills
One of the best things you can do in the months leading up to full-time RV living is learning. Learn as much as you can about correctly towing, using your RV, and making general repairs. It will get costly if you need to call a mobile tech to your campsite for every minor issue. If you’re able to fix it yourself, it’s not worth your RV sitting on the dealer’s lot.
Be sure to start acquiring a set of essential tools to help with projects around the RV. In addition, keep an eye out for any special bolts or nuts that require unique tools. Growing your tool collection is a great way to make your RVing experience easier.
10. Book Your First Campsite
Before preparing for full-time RV living, the final step is to find a comfortable campground to relax in for your first campsite. Use resources like RV LIFE Trip Wizard and RV LIFE Campgrounds to research your campsite and make an informed choice.
It’s important to remember to check the site for length and levelness. If you’re new to RVing, you don’t want your first time setting up at a campsite to be stressful. Go on the trip with a plan to hike or see something new to bring more excitement to your new adventure. With a little bit of effort, you’ll find a quality campsite to launch into this new lifestyle.
You can watch YouTube videos or read blogs, but one of the best ways to learn how to prepare for full-time RV living is to get out and do it. Now that you know how to start preparing get excited and come up with a plan. Set a goal date for launching your lifestyle and break the task into small, easy-to-achieve steps. It’s surprising how quickly you can progress towards your goal of full-time RV living.