Fulltiming Secrets You Wish You Knew One Year Ago

Living full-time in your RV can be a fun adventure. Of course, it also has the potential to be a bit of a nightmare. If you are going to live in your RV full-time and have the experience be a positive one, you need to have a good plan in place before setting out. Whether you are getting ready to full-time for the first time, or if you have been doing it for a while and wish to improve the experience, the tips included below should help you get the most out of this lifestyle.

Fulltime RVing 2Life Can Be Simple

Many people freak out at the start of their full-timing experience because they think they will need to somehow cram everything from their home into their RV before they head out. That simply isn’t true. You don’t need most of the things that you own, and your life will probably be more enjoyable without them. Think about all of the stuff in your house – when was the last time you used most of it? Exactly. Leave a lot of your material possessions behind and enjoy the freedom.

It Isn’t That Scary

Life doesn’t change all that much from day to day, even if you switch from living in a ‘traditional’ home to living in an RV. As long as you have a good plan and the financial side of your life in order, you should be just fine. Many people put off trying to live full-time in an RV for years because they are scared of the unknown. Put aside those fears, replace them with a logical plan for how you are going to make this lifestyle work for you, and take the plunge when you are ready.

43Everyone Needs Space

If you are going to be living in your RV full-time with a significant other (or if you already are), it is important to acknowledge the fact that everyone needs their own personal space. Even though you are on this adventure together and you enjoy spending time with one another, it is healthy for all involved to maintain your own personal hobbies and free time. Plan alone time into your schedule so you don’t eventually drive each other crazy within the walls of the RV.

Good Weather is Your Friend

Is is certainly possible to live in an RV while dealing with bad weather outside, but why would you? One of the great things about living in an RV is that you can always fire up the engine and head somewhere different. Think ahead in terms of likely seasonal weather conditions and plan a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy the kind of weather you love. Remember, this is up to you in terms of your personal preferences – some people love hot weather, while others prefer cool and breezy. Whatever weather it is that makes you feel at peace and at home, point your RV in that direction.

Life at Your Own Pace

Another of the great benefits of full-timing is the opportunity to slow life down and live at your own pace. Even if you are out on the road with an ultimate destination in mind, you probably don’t need to rush all the way to get there. Take your time, see things along the way, and enjoy life at a pace that most others don’t get to experience.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Took the plunge 2 months later laid-off from work. Thank goodness I got out of a $1100 monthly lease. On the road, more job opportunities and plenty of adventure with the TV off. Never looked back.

  2. Been full timing for two years now. Took a while to find the right RV. Like a home, RVs have issues too. Learn as much as you can about how to fix the little things. Weigh the cost of factory warranties vs just fixing it with a local RV guy. This is the life!

  3. Advice request I’m about to embark on full timing and have never done it even once. Trailer or RV? Single with 2 active dogs and an electronics freak, that’s my lifestyle, so I don’t want to disconnect from conveniences like satellite and internet. Seems like with a trailer I have many more pulling options and get a lot more for my money, but with a driveable rv while much more expensive I could pull a jeep for some offroading. I hate to overspend because I don’t know how many years of it I can take, I’m honestly more worried about challenges like finding places to park the rv without being gouged. Any books you would recommend that are very recently written or blogs?

    • Also let me add I’m the type that just jumps in and does it I have no fear when it comes to changing, so I don’t feel the need to rent one and “see if I like it”, I’ve always loved travel and moving so I have no doubts about what I’m getting into, I just need advice to avoid pitfalls from others who have done this with dogs. So far most of teh RV parks I have called on the west coast seem very dog-unfriendly, these dogs will need to be outside a lot even in an RV lot because they are border collies.

      • Border collies dont need run outside time actually they are the perfect apartment pets they more mental stimulation then physical trust we know from experience we have a border collie and 4 border mixes and i worked at a border collie rescue for many years we have trained them for agility and to become hearing alert and serivice dogs just keep in mind they dont need to run all the time keep them mentally busy so they dont get in trouble

      • Hi Dave, Although we have never been RVing full time (yet) My wife and I and Kids when they were younger camped in a 21 foot travel trailer . My wife and I still use the same trailer to go out, and sometimes I go out alone too. We use a pickup truck to pull it and nice to leave the trailer at a place, not having to pack every thing up and go out in the truck for side trips or for shopping. Myself I would recommend a trailer. preferably one without slides as they can cause grief , either by leaking or by jamming. For power, a lot of good quality solar panels are available or a small portable lightweight generator if you plan on being off grid. With a big motor home, and if you tow a small vehicle behind, you do have two engines too look after. I like my electronics too, so internet at a camp site is a must for the stuff I do. ( not work related ). We like our movies too so take along a good supply of DVD or Blue Ray movies to watch. You can get a nice player and TV to watch them on at Best Buy or similar stores. I am a cat person so they are easy to look after on trips, but any campgrounds I have been too are dog friendly. All they ask is to have your dog on a leash. Hope this helps a bit.

    • There are camping organizations that offer, for a fee, cheaper camping. We belong to Coast to Coast and RPI (Resort Parks International). You can stay for a week at a resort for $10 per night; although some do charge extra for 50 amp and wi-fi. To belong to Coast to Coast or RPI, you will need a “home park.” Our home park costs $189 to join plus a minimal yearly fee. Coast to Coast charges $99.95 per year. RPI charges about $79 per year. Then there is Passport America, that is about $44 per year. The park rates are different throughout the system but the charge for Passport America is 1/2 of their usual charge. Then there are the Corps of Engineer parks, most of which cost about $20 per night and are usually very nice. Also, some Corps of Engineer parks give a little discount for seniors. State and National Parks are also a good option. We have been RVing for years, not full time but about nine months of the year. Hope this will help.

    • Trailers and motorhomes each have their advantages, so it largely depends upon your traveling style. Most motorhomes, especially ones with hydraulic leveling jacks, take far less time to set up, so if your stops are brief they make the most sense. If you can get a pull-through campsite you won’t need to disconnect any vehicle you have in tow. Another advantage of a motorhome is that all of its facilities and comforts including a built-in power generator are accessible while traveling, whereas occupying a travel trailer while its on the road is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Trailers, on the other hand, usually cost less and the nicer ones offer considerable amenities and comfort. Traveling in rented motorhomes provided us with the insights to make the most suitable choice for my wife and me when we made our purchase nearly five years ago. Buying an RV that is barely used and well-maintained can save you a load of money. Our lifetime membership in Passport America has already more than paid for itself. Camping in state parks, national parks and national seashores is usually far less expensive than staying in commercial campgrounds but you’ll need to bring your own power, water, TV and Internet access when staying at many of them.

    • Bry & I sold our home and moved into our 5th Wheel 3 years ago – we stayed in a park ’til I finished work – last May we went full time – love it!
      Campground Hosts in the summer, travelling and exploring in the southern US in the winter.
      With Solar & a generator, we boondock
      most of the time and enjoy the space and freedom that it allows – as well as much easier on yhe budget – our dogs like it too.
      We’ve developed (with trial & error) a good system for saving water and power.
      Good luck & enjoy!
      Oh yes – hot spots, laptops and cell phones with data R US!
      B

    • Bry & I sold our home and moved into our 5th Wheel 3 years ago – we stayed in a park ’til I finished work – last May we went full time – love it!
      Campground Hosts in the summer, travelling and exploring in the southern US in the winter.
      With Solar & a generator, we boondock
      most of the time and enjoy the space and freedom that it allows – as well as much easier on yhe budget – our dogs like it too.
      We’ve developed (with trial & error) a good system for saving water and power.
      Good luck & enjoy!
      Oh yes – hot spots, laptops and cell phones with data R US!
      B

  4. I’m really surprised no one has replied to you. My husband an I have been full timers for a year. We’ve been on the road since January. We spent a month at Canyon Lake, TX and then took a week headed west to Thousand Palms for about 10 days. Then back eastward at a leisurely pace to Oklahoma City where we are now. It’s not that parks are unfriendly toward dogs. They have to be careful because even the “friendliest” dogs may attack other dogs. So all dogs have to be on a leash, usually 4-6 feet long. They usually have a “dog park” but it’s really a dog Latrine. We googled for a real dog park everywhere we went. But no matter how friendly A dog is, putting a bunch of dogs into an enclosure will lead to some scuffles. Our liger dog, 65 pounds, is not a confrontational dog st all. She just wants to play, and not with barks and growls. It doesn’t takes the other large dogs in an enclosure to realize that and they attack her. We’ve had her to the Animal ER enough to know that if there are more than a few dogs at a park, we move on. If your dogs are well-behaved and MIND you, (We can’t let Maggie off leash because she loves to run, too, but doesn’t listen) you can usually find an open field where you can let them run. Or go to the dog parks at odd hours. I try to walk our dogs at least once a day for three miles or so. It helps them and me.
    As to the other challenge, which RV to get. We went back and forth with the same indecision. We found a 5th wheel that the deal was just too good to pass on. We, too, just took the plunge. We are a retired military family and we’re very used to packing up and going at the (seemingly) drop of a hat. So that wasn’t a problem. After a year, we are finally thinking that a motor coach may (probably) be better. But with the cost of the 5th wheel and loss of equity, we’ll probably stay in it another year before trading. Unless we get another really good deal.

  5. My wife and I are contemplating selling our house and going full time in an RV. I’m semi retired, and the wife is still working full time. If we sell we’ll have enough to buy a good TOAD, and I would like a 5th wheel toy hauler, so I can take my Motorcycle along and use as a second vehicle. I was leaning toward a motorhome, and decided to go with a 5th wheeler instead. My theory was that, if the motorhome broke down, there goes my home into a shop for who knows how long, and we go to a motel and spend more money. At least with a 5th wheel, we can drop it somewhere, and at least live in that while the toad is being worked on. I’m leaning toward a Chevy/GMC one ton dually for a toad. Definitely with a Duramax diesel. Figuring on living in WI/MN/UP in summer and southern Alabama/LA/MS in winter. Anybody know of some good spots down there? I’m thinking of some Army COE campgrounds. I’ve heard they’re pretty reasonably priced.

  6. We sold our house and went full time Jan. 2011. We went with a 5th wheel toy hauler for a couple of reasons. 1) We had a motorcycle at the time and 2) We knew we would have some boxes from the house to deal with over time. There has not been one second of regret making this decision. Both of us were still working full time and found a park close to work. I was laid off 2 months later so we were relieved to not have a house payment…which had gone up every year due to taxes. We bought a small chest freezer that is in our garage area and my husband has his computer and tv back there as well. The information we have gotten from various people over the years was, if you aren’t going to be on the road very much, a 5th wheel will give you more living space. If you are traveling more, a motor home is easier to set up when you get to your destination. We have moved a few times since 2011 and actually hired someone to move it for us. We may get a 1 ton truck in the future but figured it was a big expense to just drive back and forth to work.

    As for the dog runs. It’s hit or miss with any park you go to. We don’t have our dog in a run with any other dog. I don’t want to run the risk of a “friendly” dog hurting ours and don’t want to run the risk of our dog getting sick with what ever another dog may have. Most people don’t pick up after their dogs which is always an issue. Most parks will have a leash requirement and some even have a breed restriction. The park we are in right now has a rule you can’t tie your dog out when you aren’t outside with it, but some people don’t abide by that.

    Good luck with your choice. It does come down to your personal preference and the space you want and what you enjoy doing.

  7. My husband and I are really wanting to buy a Rv and travel full time. The only income we have is his disability and ipers check of 2000 a month is this enough to make in a Rv full time.

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