Full-Time RV Living: A Complete Guide
It is not weird or absurd anymore if someone you know wants to try full-time RV living. This kind of setup or lifestyle will give you unexpected adventures and delights. You can always guarantee that once you are behind the wheels, you can go anywhere even without leaving your comfort zone.
Today, a lot of things motivate families and individuals to settle their lives moving on the road. Escaping the horrors of housing loans and debts is one of the prominent reasons why RV living is getting on the trend. On the other, some people see that having an RV as a settlement is cool and beyond the conventional.
But of course, there is still the majority that is reluctant to entrust their investments to an RV. After all, the tradition still lives on. There's always this notion that RV living is cheap and does not guarantee any safety and comfort at all. Partly, this conception is right. But in the long run, it can be eventually disproven.
Living your life in the RV is a life-changing choice. It could either turn things for the better or worse for you. However, on my end, I am always optimistic that this mode of living can offer a myriad of benefits for you. In this guide, I will be teaching you all the essential aspects that you need to know before you move to an RV. Get all of these right and your life on the road will be full of fun and adventures!
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- #1. How Much Does It Cost To Live In An RV
- How Much Does an RV Cost?
- Hidden Cost Of Owning An RV
- Other Fees
- #2. Pitfalls No One Tells You About RV Living
- #3. Other Potential Problems You Can Encounter
- #4. Ways To Make Money While RVing Full Time
- #5. Pro Tips & Tricks
- #6. Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Is living in a small place tiring?
- Q: Can you still get internet, TV, and mail services?
- Q: How much does an RV park cost?
- Q: How long should you stay in a place?
- Q: How long is the transition process?
- Q: How to get fit while on the road?
- Q: Should you return to the conventional world
- Q: Where should I poop?
- Q: Washing clothes?
#1. How Much Does It Cost To Live In An RV
The first question that you should raise is the cost of living in an RV. As you can see, moving on an RV is not made to be free. Otherwise, all of us should have settled for them instead of killing ourselves over those $100,000 to $500,000 worth of house and lots.
The only thing that I can assure you here is that living in an RV is cheaper than our conventional houses. Say for example. If you can invest a $500,000 property, then it is not a long bow to draw that you can also buy an RV that cost $300,000. If your financial limits are at $100,000 or so, you should not be afraid to get $50,000 entry-level RV.
These are just the comparisons that define how much you can save by getting an RV rather than a "real" house. I am just trying to put an emphasis on the initial costs that would incur you if you decide to take one of these two available routes. However, just like I have mentioned, the expenses of settling on an RV is not free. Just like your home, there are still some maintenance and repair fees that you have to comply for you to keep the wheels running.
From the get-go, the first thing that you should consider is the price of an RV. Now, don't ever think that all RVs cost the same. In a similar leaning, you should not expect that every RVs you see have the same capacity, built, and longevity. Take note that the bigger and more powerful the RV is, the more expensive it gets.
To be more specific about this aspect, let me introduce you to the various types of RVs that are available today. In this way, you will know what you should get and why you should opt for them.
How Much Does an RV Cost?
Motorhomes are typically picked by those people who tend to do outdoor camping from time to time. But of course, that's not the only function that a motorhome can do. In fact, a motorhome is divided into different variants so that it can cater the different needs and financial restrictions of every people.
Compared to trailer type of RVs, motorhomes offer several perks. They are easy to mount in any area and provide sufficient space for their passengers while you are traveling.
Meanwhile, here are some of the basic types of motorhomes that exist today:
Class A $50,000 - $100,000
The class A motorhome is the most expensive among all the RVs that you can see today. They are the best choice for individuals who want to live their lives on the road for good. A class A motorhome can vary in form and design. You can custom-made models and convertible units. You can convert their drivelines into a puller or pusher configuration. Furthermore, their engines are powered by gasoline or diesel.
- Spacious interiors
- Cargo storage is sufficient
- Provides a lot of amenities.
- Difficult to drive
- Requires a towing vehicle
Class B $40,000 - $80,000
Many people refer class B motorhomes as the "camper." Sometimes, this category includes small vehicles that should not be considered as motorhomes anymore. Amusingly, class B RVs are made with a standard van chassis. It also has a raised roof so that it can drive upright. Similar to class A RVs, class B motorhomes come in gasoline and diesel models.
This particular category is easy to maneuver and drive. You can do a quick tour with this model or make it as your permanent home. However, class B motorhomes can only contain two to three people at maximum. Too many occupants and the RV will get cramped and uncomfortable. The equipment you install here should be compact, too.
- User-friendly maneuvering and driving
- Quick setup mechanism
- Inexpensive maintenance and cost.
- You can't store bigger appliances and amenities
- Small storage
- Only can cater few people.
Class C $50,000 - $80,000
This RV has a length that goes around 20 feet to 33 feet. Most of this mid-sized vehicles are built from existing truck and van chassis. The design of a class C RV is made to cater large groups of people. It is also a good choice for a full-time RV living because it does not have expensive operating cost. In short, you can say that this type of RV has some of the advantages of a class A motorhome, but minus the cost.
Specifically, class C RVs have roomy living interiors than their class B counterparts. You can also store a lot of cargos and appliances here. In fact, you can find models that offer master bedrooms. Accessibility is one of the biggest selling-points of a class C motorhome. However, take note that driving this vehicle has almost the same difficulty as class A RVs.
- Spacious enough to cater one family
- Comes with additional storage area or sleeping quarters on its top
- Not as expensive as class A motorhomes.
- Driving and maneuvering are still a difficulty
- Can't be taken on the road without a separate truck.
2. Truck Camper $3,000 - $50,000
It is undeniable that a truck camper is one of the most cost-efficient options for people who want to live in RVs. It is considered as a recreational vehicle because of its innate compact size. However, you should be aware that there are truck campers that are bigger than their cousins. Of course, their prices will go higher, too.
The most compact truck campers can only fit one or two people. Furthermore, the storage space of this truck is not that big, too. You are also not allowed the install large gadgets or appliances here. But on the upside, this truck has good height clearance. It is also capable of tackling tough and rough roads, which may come difficult for other RV models. You can also lower the profile of the truck to improve its fuel efficiency.
- Easy to set up and mount on campsites
- Driving this truck is easy and less daunting
- Cost-efficient operation and maintenance
- Accessibility to the driver's seat is an issue
- It has an innate high profile.
3. Pop-Up Camper $10,000 - $40,000
Just like its name suggests, the chief capability of a pop-up camper is "popping up." It has the capability to collapse into a compact vehicle once you are on the road and "disassemble" if you are camping on a site. Pop-up trailers vary from one design to another. Some have a simple and basic design while others are more complex and large, which you can compare to those high-end RVs.
There are good things that you can get riding in a pop-up camper. First, it is a good choice for those who put practicality as their top priority. It is a cost-efficient RV because it is lightweight and compact. Second, there's no need for you to get a towing vehicle just to pull this trailer. It can be towed by small cars and trucks. However, it is notable that a majority of pop up campers today have small interiors. As a result, their capacity to hold many people is limited.
- It is a cheap and cost-efficient choice for RV living
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to maneuver and drive
- Can be towed by small cars.
- Doesn't have enough room to accommodate a single household
- Not enough defense against the external temperature.
Special Feature: The Best Pop up Campers.
4. Travel Trailer $15,000 - $30,000
A travel trailer is a variety of recreational vehicle that can provide the biggest interior space. Because of this, the RV allows larger accommodation. This one is a good choice for RV living because of this factor. It can be subjected to multiple appliance upgrades there is enough room to do it.
However, take note that a travel trailer cannot run on its own. It still requires a towing vehicle before you can take it to places. Of course, the towing vehicle should be powerful, most preferably a truck. Small cars can never do the job. If you are looking for comfort on your journey, a travel trailer is a perfect choice.
- Comes with all the basic amenities
- Large internal space
- Comfortable and conducive for full-time RV living.
- Requires a large truck for towing
- Costly maintenance is necessary.
Special Feature: The Best Travel Trailers.
5. Fifth Wheel Trailer $15,000 - $150,000
It is notable that a fifth wheel trailer has almost the same features as the regular travel RVs. However, there is one chief difference between them. A fifth wheel trailer has a gooseneck connector that allows it to be attached to the towing vehicle. Standard trailers do not have this feature. A gooseneck connector can offer various perks and some restrictions, too.
With the gooseneck, a fifth wheel trailer can be towed easily. The former commonly extends to the rear portion of the towing vehicle and connects to the bottom of the trailer. This kind of connection enhances the leverage that is present in the middle of the towing truck, allowing the driver to maneuver the entire fleet easily.
The overhanging component on the bottom of the trailer ensures that the latter will maximize the interior space it has. Regular travel trailers don't have this feature. As a result, the fifth wheel trailer became an ideal choice for families who want to try RV living. But on the other hand, choosing the towing vehicle for a fifth wheel trailer is quite quirky. Specifically, the vehicle should have a flat or open bed.
- Strong and foolproof connection due to the gooseneck component
- Comes with better and roomy interior space
- Features a lot of modern appliances and amenities.
- Limited selection of towing vehicle
- Can get costly.
6. Toy Hauler $12,000 - $80,000
You can always consider a toy hauler as a unique form of a utility trailer. This one is crafted from the combination of sports utility trailer and travel trailer. It is a good choice for those who want to carry their dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and ATVs while they are camping. It comes with the rear storage in where you can store these vehicles. There is also a folding wall that can serve as a ramp. Meanwhile, the front space of the toy hauler is used as a living quarter.
Right from the start, a toy hauler is not the best choice for people who want to try RV living. It is better to be utilized for outdoor sports applications. It still has the basic components as other trailers, but it may not come with the appropriate space to contain many people. The trailer is big, but only a small part of its interior can be of use to the campers. In fact, you might not like to dwell in here because of your innate proximity to the engines and motorized parts.
- Serves as a camper and utility carrier at the same time
- Large interior space
- Good for short excursions.
- Living quarters are close to the engine and other potentially hazardous elements
- The interiors cannot be utilized fully by the campers.
Hidden Cost Of Owning An RV
Don't ever think that all the expenses that are required to operate an RV are upfront. Some of them are lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike your pocket. Of course, I am not saying that these hidden charges are a form of cheating. Their existence proves that there are still some fees that are not written in black and white receipts and documents.
These are some of the hidden costs that come when you start living on your RV:
- It is notable that those RV owners that have their personal storage space on their properties can park without any worries. Even if you are living on the road, it is still a good idea that you have a dedicated area in where you can park freely. Always remember that renting a parking spot can cost up to $2,500 to $10,000 annually.
- The campsites near cities and urban areas are more expensive than those that are found in villages and small towns. Many are unaware of this fact. Many are baffled why their annual parking cost is way higher than some RV owners. They didn't realize that most of their rendezvous are metropolitans and other modern conurbations.
- Electricity is another hidden charge that can sneak off your back. If you are running multiple appliances and gadgets in your RV, it is already a given that your electrical cost is high. In the opposite manner, those that only have simple amenities on their RVs don't worry too much about their annual electrical cost. Today, some are already opting for solar panel installation. Although they are seemingly expensive, they can substantially cut down your power bill.
- The faster the RV runs, the more gas it consumes. This one should already be obvious right from the start. But then again, people often shrug off this factor. RVs and coaches are heavy. Therefore, their require a high amount of force before they can move. If you want to speed up your pace, cranking on the gas pedal is the way to go. However, doing this increases the fuel consumption of your rig. If you want to ensure that your RV will never become a fuel hog, always maintain a moderate speed. You can just settle to 50 to 60 mph while you are driving your trailer.
- The wearing and tearing of RVs are completely normal for RV. That's a solid proof that you have been through a lot of adventures and journey. But this doesn't mean that you have to let them stick around. Otherwise, the overall convenience and functionality that you can feel while riding the system will be significantly lowered. You have to prepared for regular oil changes, which happens every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
- It is also necessary for RV owners to make their rig immune from winter and cold temperatures. You have to safeguard the entire vehicle from being compromised by the frigid season. Winterizing the RV is a process that enhances the defense of the RV against strong and harsh atmospheric conditions (i.e, snow storms). This kind of service has a varying price, depending on the size and complexity of your RV. However, the minimum cost for this service is just around $100.
Special feature: Do you need a special license to drive an RV?
The spending doesn't stop after you purchased your RV. There are still some accumulating expenses that you have to deal to make sure that the vehicle will run efficiently while on the road. You have to keep these expenses in check and controlled to avoid blowing up your bank account.
It is quite bad if you are blindsided by these extra costs. Just like owning a regular home, you should already anticipate the incurring expenses that come after the purchase of the property. How much does it cost to own an RV? Check out the financial breakdown I made below!
1. Sales Tax
When you are going to purchase an RV, you should be aware of the sales tax. There are a couple of states that don't require this fee. Meanwhile, other states mandate the inclusion of this tax, depending on the original price of the RV. Take this as an example. A state that has a mandatory sales tax of 5% will need you to pay an extra $5,000 if you are going to get a $100,000 RV. Obviously, the more expensive the RV you are going to get, the bigger the sales tax you are going to pay.
If you are planning to live in your RV, it is essential that the latter comes with the insurance. Always remember that you can't get a housing or flood insurance for your trailer. After all, it doesn't fall under the category of a standard dwelling. It is a mobile residence, which disqualifies to such kinds of warranties.
Instead, you should acquire an automobile or vehicle insurance for the trailer Fortunately, the price of the vehicle insurance is not that big, especially if the recipient is an RV. After all, insurance companies consider as rarely used utilities. Therefore, there is an assumption that RVs and trailers are less susceptible to accidents. But of course, it is a give that all insurance plans vary in price. It will always benefit you if you conduct prior research before the purchase.
3. Towing Vehicle
Before you get an RV, you have to secure first your towing vehicle. There's a good chance that you are going to need this amenity, regardless of the trailer type that you choose. After all, most trailers and coaches today require a towing vehicle that would carry them. RVs can't run by themselves. That's already a given.
Specifically, a towing vehicle is another major expense that you have to deal. Of course, these units are not cheap. They will also cost thousands of dollars. In fact, a towing vehicle can become more expensive than the trailer. Furthermore, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to towing vehicles. You have to ensure that the truck or car is compatible with the current rig that you have. You can't expect a fifth-wheel trailer to be hauled ba small cars.
Additionally, you have to mind the connection or the hooking device that will connect the trailer to the towing vehicle. These components are not cheap either. But these towing hitches are necessary to ensure that your RV will remain intact and secure while you are on the road.
Regardless of the make of your RV, is still not impervious to damages. All of the RV parts and accessories do get old every time you use them. Every car owner should be aware of this fact already. Once you can have your own vehicle, you have to prepare for its regular or annual maintenance. In fact, you should be wary about sudden and unwanted repairs and troubleshooting. They are always there, and they like to catch you off guard.
Maintenance involves both replacements and upgrades. If you want to improve the performance of your RV, you have to make sure that all of its components and appliances are always in their top shape.
For example, the cost of tire replacement is around $2500 or more. If you want to install a new toilet, you have to prepare at least $200 or less. These aforementioned expenses will come necessary for those who are living in their RVs. If you let them deteriorate, your setup will never be convenient and conducive.
Some people think that the travel cost of an RV is not that expensive. Depending on your routes, operating an RV can become an expensive ordeal. On the other hand, it can become cheap for those who limit their mobility. Most of the RVs today can run 8 to 20 miles per gallon. Its gas mileage is significantly shorter than ordinary vehicles. Therefore, you need a lot of gas to keep it running at extended distances.
It is crucial for you to plan your itinerary before you thread it. You have to determine how much it will go to cost you to traverse point A to point B. If you can analyze your route, you might discover some shortcuts and other fuel-curtailing tricks out there. For those who are planning to live the rest of their lives on RVs, these pieces of information are necessary.
6. Utility Cost
The utility cost is an actual reflection of your lifestyle as an occupant of the RV. There will always be a huge difference in the expenditures of those who are living with frugality and those who are seemingly luxurious. The basic utility cost of living in an RV is around $50 to $60 per month. This expense can go higher for those who are keeping a lot of things on their rig. It can reach as high as $400 or more per month.
For those who will just keep their RVs on their respective properties, paying all the utilities like water, electricity, and sewer is necessary. For those who just want to settle on campgrounds, they will only have to pay for the electricity. After all, most of the campsites today already include services like water and sewer in their final quotation. Of course, individuals that tend to stay in a designated RV park won't have to worry about these fees at all.
Determining the price of the electricity is quite easy. You just have to know the size of your RV, the appliances and gadgets stored there, and the location in which the vehicle is placed. Furthermore, your way of living can further amplify the power cost that you are going to pay each month. If you have limited finances, you have to restrict your lifestyle. Do a proper planning to avoid paying the unwanted charges. Always remember that you can enjoy the sweet life of traveling without being broke in the process.
#2. Pitfalls No One Tells You About RV Living
Aside from the recurring cost, another issue that can be attributed to RV living is its safety. After all, your RV doesn't have walls. Once you park it, it is already a hot target for robbers, burglars, and other criminals. I don't want to think about grim things, but all of these are within the realms of possibilities.
Of course, it is inevitable for someone to encounter these ghastly rumors. And although some of them are real, it is still fortunate that they are not prevalent. However, you should still be careful.
- Right from the get-go, RVs are hard to infiltrate. Not because they have complex anti-burglar lockdown systems, but because they are not the ideal target of these ill-minded creatures. RVs and trailers do not have multiple compartments, unlike ordinary homes. There is no place to sneak in here. Once a robber attempts to breach the RV, the residents will notice it immediately. Before he can enter, the robber would have been beaten to a pulp. After all, secrecy and cunningness are thief’s codes.
- The items that are within our RVs are truly valuable for robberies. Fortunately, getting inside the RV requires a lot of hard work. After all, most individuals that prefer RV living are preppers. They are always come prepared. Of course, you can also repel away these threats away by carrying a licensed firearm. Take note. It should be a licensed one! Although this approach is optional, toting a weapon can certainly establish a solid line of defense.
If you want to improve your safety while living on your RV, you have to be wise and vigilant. You have to be aware of the basic things that you should do to keep your mobile abode safe and sound. Here are some of them.
- The first thing that you have to exercise is your awareness. During the night (or any part of the day), you must not open the door of your RV to strangers. Even if they are asking for help, you should never open the door. You have to ask several questions and inspect the gestures and movements of the person. If you sensed something suspicious, better arm yourself already.
- Second, always be wary where you camp. Some RV owners out there will just settle for any available spaces out there. After all, it is quite understandable that they are trying to lessen their parking expenditures. Doing this is okay. But you just have to make sure that you can inspect the place before you make a temporary stop there. It would be great if the there area is clean and free from street graffitis. The presence of these scrawny elements is proof that the area is a gang rendezvous. You don't want to wake up in the middle of the night being surrounded by them.
- Third, it is better if you can conceal yourself inside the RV. During the night, I recommend that you should use your own bathroom rather than going to the public one. Strolling and wandering outside make you an easy target, especially if you are a woman. Robbers will get the idea that you are easy to break.
- Fourth, never reveal your name openly. I have seen a lot of RVs that comes with a welcome sign board in where the names of the owner are engraved. On the lighter side, it is an act that shows your hospitality. It provides your RV with a friendly ambiance that can certainly attract anyone, even robbers. It is better to create a stern and private atmosphere than tagging yourself as a vulnerable target.
- Fifth, make sure that you have a sturdy safe box. If things are going wrong already, the safe box can protect your important documents and items from being nabbed too quickly. Robbers won't consume too much time to open a firm and rugged storage. Doing it allows you, the victim, to react and call the authorities for reinforcement.
- It would be great if the box is both fireproof and waterproof. It should be able to withstand strong impacts, too, if in case the burglars would gun it. But most importantly, the safety box should be affixed to your RV. In this way, thieves won't be able to carry it.
#3. Other Potential Problems You Can Encounter
1. You Don't Have Neighbors - When you are planning to do RV living full time, you have to realize that you are shackling yourself towards isolation. Well, there are some instances in when you can meet new friends, especially if you are going to park on a public campsite or a local community. But most of the time, it will only just be you and your family alone.
Of course, being isolated for too long is not advisable. It can lead to some psychological issues such as depression or anxiety. To ease this problem, one must make sure that they will go to destinations that allow them to mingle with other people.
2. No Safety Net - RV living will entail you to travel distant and unexplored places. You are going to leave your comfort zone here, and that only means that you are also leaving your emergency contacts too. When you are on your turf, getting help in case there are damages to your vehicle or dangers on the road is easy. But when you are living your life on the wheels, such kind of convenience is not available.
One of the best things that you can do here is to do preventive maintenance on your vehicle. In this way, you can avoid untoward accidents or damages while you are traveling. It would also be better if you can take a detour on pit stops from time to time. Doing this can minimize the potential problems that you can encounter.
3. Privacy - You will eventually have to deal with this pesky issue. Unless you are not comfortable with breaking your barriers with other people, I do advise that you have to travel by yourself. After all, it is already given that RVs don't offer compartments in where you can have your privacy. Things will be open always, and that is something you have to deal with.
If you have some arguments with your partner, better solve it quickly. Otherwise, you will just be burdened by the fact you are going to see your begrudged person all the time.
4. Health - I am not saying that living in an RV can cause deleterious problems in the future. It is not like that. However, one of the key issues here is your access to health services. Always remember that you are going to move from one place to another. Some of these places don't even have hospitals and clinics to offer.
Various emergencies, such as giving birth, require immediate medical treatment. Living in an RV will somehow allude you to such service. There's no way you can anticipate when a fever or accident will strike.
For now, the best thing that you can do is to store medicines inside your RV. Have your family members checked every time you are stopping by to a town that has a hospital. If you are expecting a pregnancy delivery, always be wary about the conditions of your partner. If they are acting up unusually, you must go the nearest hospital to your vicinity.
5. Internet - Living in an RV full-time is quite difficult, especially to techies. Most of us are not accustomed anymore to wake up and not seeing our Facebook newsfeed. Finding your abode in an RV will require you to expel this kind of indulgence. Whether you are going to like it or not, you will be traversing areas that don't have these means of connectivity.
If you just want to watch your favorite shows, I do recommend that you should try investing on a portable satellite for your camper. With them around, your convenience and entertainment can never be curtailed.
#4. Ways To Make Money While RVing Full Time
Some are daunted to make the big move because of monetary reasons. You see, a lot of people are concerned with how they can sustain the expenses necessary for full-time RV living. I have already mentioned all of the upfront and hidden costs that come from this type of investment.
Living in the wheels means that you are ready to leave everything behind--and that includes your work. You have to say goodbye to all types of conventional occupations out there. The continuous travels will disqualify you to work on a regular schedule. And if it does, you will still have a hard time sustaining them.
So how can you earn enough bucks while you are living the nomad life?
Fortunately, there are multiple ways on how to do this. If you are wise and diligent enough, you can actually enjoy your adventurous lifestyle without compromising your resources or livelihood.
Type Of Works That Are Ideal For Nomads
Most of the campers and RV residents that I know are employed in seasonal jobs. They don't have physical offices in which they report or conduct their business. Instead, they utilize the space in their RVs and convert it into an intuitive workhouse. That makes thing convenient for them to a certain degree.
If you are living in an RV, it is pretty given that you are going to engage in business sooner or later. This move is plausible and practical, considering that you are no longer required to hunt a job. You just have to create it by yourself. Of course, there are certain advantages here. The biggest one is your mobility. You can conduct business everywhere because you have all the means to do so. The cost of logistics is no longer an issue because you are prepared for it by default. You can move from one place to another easily.
Are you wondering what kind of business you can do while you are on the road? Here are some of them:
- Consultation services
- Law services
- RV-related services and sales
- Nursing and babysitting
- RV repair and tutorial.
As you can see, not all of the businesses you can do in an RV are RV-related. You just have to be wise enough to ensure that the business that you are going to conduct is compatible with your current setup. Furthermore, you don't need a lot of technical background or knowledge to do these things.
After all, you got the internet as your ally. You can learn a lot of things with the extra bandwidth that you have. However, it would still be great if you have prior training or experience in the business that you are going to partake.
Other Tested-and-Proven Job Opportunities For Modern Nomads
1. House Caretakers
One of the best ways to earn a good profit while you are on the road is caretaking other people's house and properties. This type of work is typically short-term and seasonal. However, there are some instances in which it can become a long-term opportunity. Someone might ask you to look over their expensive home while they are away on vacation. Of course, this task will give you a hefty amount of fee.
Although taking care of other people's properties sounds too foreign, many are actually in need of this service. For example, the online newsletter Caretaker Gazette publishes thousands of related opportunities every year. You can check other sites like the WorkingCouples.com if you are interested to do such endeavor.
But of course, you should never forget Craiglist. This is a foolproof site that will give you the opportunity that you are looking for!
2. Remote Occupations
Working remotely is not a foreign idea nowadays. The internet has already opened the possibilities to do such. You can earn a living even if you don't go outside your RV. As long as you have a secure and solid connection, you can tackle a lot of online occupations out there. We call this endeavor as freelancing. This line of work is flexible, but it can yield a great amount of money if done right. Your skills matter here.
Web programmers, designers, and developers are among the most in-demand freelancers nowadays. The same with content writers, researchers, and SEO consultants. However, there are still other stints that you can do online. Here are some of them:
- Virtual assistant
- Customer support
- Videography (mostly Youtube)
- Application building and development
- Online tutorials
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Fitness and personal coaching.
3. Selling Products
Another way of earning money while you are on the road is selling products and services. If you have some valuable stuff that you don't anymore, just sell them online. There are some people out there who have supported their travels through this method. The things that you can sell are limitless. From old guitars down to unused couches, you can sell them all through various online-selling platforms.
If you are into online selling, you can just start a thrift store or a garage sale. They will eventually attract buyers, especially those who want to see the items personally.
However, let me remind you that selling your own stuff can never be sustainable. Your pre-loved items are limited in number, right? Sooner or later, you have to develop your own products, goods, and services if you want to keep things rolling. Alternatively, you can also become a third-party seller. You can always sell items like water filters, solar panels, and things that are hot and in-demand for modern nomads like you!
#5. Pro Tips & Tricks
RV living is not something that you can grow accustomed to after a few months or so. It has a learning curve in which you have to cope up. Otherwise, you would eventually give up on this lifestyle.Acclimatizing yourself to the nomad way of living isn't easy. In fact, it is present with different hurdles and challenges that can test your patience, practicality, and skills. Of course, there are a lot of matters and aspects that you have to deal here. From repairs down to keeping your travels safe, all of thee things require attention.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways in which you can polish your RV lifestyle. These tips and tricks can help you hurdle some of the annoying and perennial problems that you can encounter if your permanent residence is on the road.
1. Egg Storage - Even if you have a big RV, it doesn't mean that you have an unlimited space to work with. It will always be the contrary. Always remember that an RV can never be resized anymore. Therefore, it is essential that you will choose small and compact appliances to install in your RV. Downsizing is one of the golden testaments in a full RV living.
If you are struggling with a tray of egg, it is better if you can cut it into two. In this way, you can stack the tray before you store it in your small refrigerator.
2. Heat and Light Negation - Your RV doesn't have the built-in insulation. And if it does, it would not be too sufficient. Heat and light are among the detrimental elements that can destroy the convenience of your travels. Once you start hitting the road, there are no shades anymore. You are already at the mercy of these things, which is truly undesirable.
There are ways to keep the heat and light from coming inside your RV. One of these is by using foil bubbles. Cut the material and make sure that it can fit the blinds or windows of the vehicle. Doing this will prevent the RV from heating up inside, especially during the summer. The bubble wrap can also provide shade in your window, in case you want to sleep without being disturbed by shafts of light.
3. Lessening Harmful Chemicals - It is important that your RV is an eco-friendly vehicle. Being a nomad is not an excuse to throw garbage, residues, and chemicals wherever you pass by. You should never exercise that habit at all. You should try a green living.
For a consistent power supply, install solar panels. After all, your vehicle is always exposed to the sunlight. You can always get a sustainable and clean power supply with this setup. There's no need for you to buy batteries over and over again.
Instead of using a chemical-based cleaner, you can just settle with a detergent and water softener mixture in cleaning the water tank of your RV. The composition also makes the surface of the tank slippery, prohibiting any material to stick to them.
4. Checking the Propane - Living without propane in your RV is considered impractical. That's how important this component is. This is the only acceptable fuel source for this kind of setup because of its cleanliness and affordability. It is also widely accessible because it is being sold virtually everywhere. You can use propane to cook meals or to power your heater up.
Because of its importance, it is necessary that you know how to check the propane level of your RV. Specifically, you have to gauge how much is left in the tank and when you should buy one again. Ideally, you can check the amount of propane during the morning. The spot is where the dew has stopped is the current point of the propane level.
You can also pour scalding and boiling water to the sides of the tank. Observe where the condensation begins because that's the part you are looking for. You can also weigh the propane tank. A completely filled tank has an average weight of thirty pounds. This excludes the overall weight of the tank.
5. Cleaning the Black Tank Dump - If the black tank of your RV is almost full, the sound it produces will turn differently. You will be hearing scary and vexing gurgling sounds that can make you worry. Sometimes, the appearance of air bubbles can take place. When any of these incidents occur, it means that the fill level of the tank is almost at their maximum already. The only solution here is to dump all the residues to the closest dumpsite near your current location.
Before you empty the tank, make sure that you fill it with ice. Doing this will clean the walls of the tank, making sure that it is clean and completely free of any unwanted contents.
6. Shutting Down the Plumbing - There are some instances in where we have to leave our RVs for extended periods. It is not all the time you are going to stay here, after all. But before you step outside, make sure that you shut down the plumbing system. Your RV should come with a manual that tells you how to do this procedure.
Learning how to turn off the plumbing of your RV can become a complete lifesaver. In cases where there are some damages or failures in the plumbing system of the RV, cutting off the source will prevent the further increase of damages and pesky clean-up.
7. Working with Gas Ovens - A gas oven is a great amenity for every RVs. However, they also cause one of the most annoying problems that you can experience while living in your RV. Most, if not all, of the RV gas ovens today will burn or toast the bottom part of whatever type of food you insert there.
One of the key solutions to this problem is by inserting a pizza stone of the bottom section of the RV gas oven. But take note that the stone will not be placed directly above the burner. When this component is in place, all those unwanted burns will be gone. The pizza stone can also promote equal distribution of heat for better cooking results.
8. Using a Water Splitter - There is a necessity to integrate a splitter to the water source of your RV. Doing this will allow you to get an additional spigot in where you can attach a hose. You can use the hose for other tasks in your RV such as cleaning. Aside from this, a water splitter enables you to lessen the pressure of the water before you detach it. As a result, the chances of being sprayed will be avoided.
9. Making the Shower Clean - Many of us are quite conscious of the cleanliness of their showers. This is your primary bathing area, after all. Coming into a dirty shower space is a disgusting sight. Even those who live in their RVs don't want their showers to be stained with unwanted dirt and residues.
General cleaning is always recommended to keep the tidiness of your shower. You can also use a super absorbent towel or cloth to ensure that the shower stall will always be dry. The cloth can also stop the appearance of molds and stains. The process might annoy you from the start, but it will always be a worthy thing to do.
10. Opting for LED Lights - There are multiple ways in which you can optimize the energy usage of your RV. One of these is by replacing the ordinary incandescent bulbs with LED units. We already know that LED lights are energy-efficient light sources. Specifically, a LED light only utilize around one-tenth of the energy that is used by the conventional bulbs.
Of course, this is a great approach to save the batteries of your RV. Always remember that you don't have an unlimited power supply when you are living in your RV. It is wise if you can mitigate all the components that consume too much power.
11. Optimizing Small Spaces - RVs, by default, feature a myriad of cabinet storages. This setup is quite ergonomic because they allow us to organize our stuff. However, in the long run, you will realize that these spaces do not really amplify the space that you can utilize in your RV.
To fully maximize these cabinets, you can install wire baskets on them. You can attach the basket to the top of the cabinets or the area behind their doors. These baskets also keep the stability of your items while your RV is threading a treacherous road.
12. Installing Fish Eye Mirrors - If you are planning to get a large RV, it is wise that you invest in fish eye mirrors. Take note that bulky RVs are susceptible to blind spots. A fisheye mirror is the most cost-efficient way of solving such problem. Alternatively, you can also install RV cameras. They will allow you to maneuver your vehicle, especially when on backing or parking.
13. First Aid Kits - There's no other alternative for this one. Living in an RV will require you to move from one place to another. Of course, this would mean that you will be distancing yourself from medical facilities and clinics. We always hope and pray that emergencies will not come in our way, but if it does, we have to be prepared.
It is better that you have the essential amenities and supplies in your RV that can ensure your survival. If the accident or illness is dire, make sure that your first aid kit has all the necessary items to keep yourself above the danger level.
#6. Frequently Asked Questions
Despite all the pieces of information that I have given you, I am pretty sure that there are still some questions that linger in your mind about RV living. Don't worry if you are like that. After all, considering this mode of lifestyle is not an easy decision. Like I am trying to emphasize here, there is various stuff that you have to take into accounts such as the expenses, sustainability, and safety.
Living full-time in an RV is quite intriguing. It is not because this lifestyle is shrouded in mystery. However, there are only a few people who are too open about it. And even if there's someone that can share his/ her story, you can't still guarantee that the ambiguity will be gone.
Maybe you are just needing some additional insights regarding full-time RV living right now. That's why I am here to elucidate these things to you. I have compiled some of the most asked questions on my blog about being a modern nomad. Take note that I may not have covered the things that are bothering you. If you are still baffled with some other matters, just drop them in the comment section below!
Q: Is living in a small place tiring?
It requires an adjustment process, especially if you are used to living in huge living quarters or residences. There are a lot of things that are missing on an RV that you can find in your home. For example, you can't expect RVs will have a private bathtub that you can utilize.
There are luxuries that are not present anymore in an RV because of the limited space that it offers. You have to understand that you have already downsized your living before it will sink to you. It may take time, but you can get used to it. For now, the best thing that you can do is to explore the outside world with your RV. In this way, you won't feel cramped.
Also, organizing your stuff can optimize the available space in your RV.
Q: Can you still get internet, TV, and mail services?
When it comes to my internet, I usually prefer data plans from mobile service providers. Even if we don't have a wired connection, we can still access the web with the data. If you are in the United States, you can try Verizon for phone service accessibility. They have a wide network coverage. Anywhere you go, there is a signal. However, I am not pretty sure if things are the same if you are in the mountains of Texas. I have heard that the signal is pretty bad there.
Notably, many commercial RV parks have WiFi connections. That's a good news already. However, the signal is snail-like. It can certainly frustrate you. That's why I recommend on using these data plans instead to ensure the stability of your connection. It would also be great if you have a cell phone booster to further optimize the speed of your internet.
Mail is not really an issue for me. Most of the mails that I receive today are in the form of emails. For hard mails, I just let them get forwarded to my brother or mother. I just drop in their places if I am nearby. I don't like watching TV, so it is not an issue for me, as well. But you can always settle for Netflix and Youtube, right?
Q: How much does an RV park cost?
Many of RV owners stay at RV parks and campsites. But there are other places in where you can settle, such as those national and state parks.
For now, RV parks are the most convenient choice for an RV owner. After all, these parking spaces have all the essential amenities that you need for your survival and convenience. Such of these are showers, bathrooms, and wash areas. There are some parks that offer pools, but I didn't really bother availing such kind of indulgence.
The cost of an RV park is $30 per night. However, this is just the threshold. The price can still escalate, especially if you are on the West Coast. If you are a part of the Passport America and Good Sam, you can get discounted prices for availing parks. If you feel that this is out of your budget, you can freely stay on the boondocks.
Q: How long should you stay in a place?
This question doesn't have a definite answer. I don't really impose a time limit on myself when it comes to staying in a place. There are some destinations that are worth staying for a month simply because they are beautiful. If the place has a favorable weather condition and temperature, staying there would be great.
However, these are not the only factors that can determine the conduciveness of the place. You have to consider its accessibility as well. You can't stay in an area in where there is a weak internet connection. You can never finish your projects there. Meanwhile, I don't spend too much time on places that have high criminal activities. I don't risk myself to that kind of predicament.
Q: How long is the transition process?
Moving from your home to an RV is not easy. I can personally attest to that. It is something that can burden you for months or years. Those who have numerous properties will have this process on another level of difficulty. Specifically, they will have to sell or dispose of their excess items. From your television set, entertainment systems, down to your bedroom, you have to scrape them off.
You have to downsize your clothes, too. Always remember that there is not enough storage space in an RV. You have to completely overhaul your life before you can start anew with your RV. It is a daunting thing to do. But I am not saying it that it is not doable. It might just take time. But don't get discouraged. It is better to polish everything before you start moving in.
Q: How to get fit while on the road?
Apparently, there are no gyms inside your RV. You can enroll or subscribe to any fitness programs because you are moving away already. Well, from here on, you will be moving from time to time. That's why it is a curious thing how some RV owners are still in their top shape.
Installing exercise gears and equipment inside your RV is impractical and stupid. You will never want to waste those precious space just for these things. However, you can still workout your body through other means. You can do push-ups, curl-ups, and other unassisted exercises. Of course, you can run outside. You have the world as your entire playground. Therefore, there should be no reason to let your body get shabby and flabby.
Q: Should you return to the conventional world
Unless you are just trying out things, there is no reason for you to return to the real world, as what they are calling it. People are trying to criticize us and the way we chose to do things. I have encountered a lot of people that told me that I am an irresponsible individual for leaving all my responsibilities.
But I did not. I just got a new approach to dealing with them. I still do work online 40 hours a week or more. I still do things normally. It is just that this time, my life is already behind the wheels.
But if you find the journey to tiring or inconvenient, you can always drop the ride already. You are always free to stop and rest.
Q: Where should I poop?
I know many of you are quite embarrassed to ask this question. But don't worry. We are all friends here. I am here to help you out, even to the tiniest details.
If your body wants to excrete or throw the waste that it contains, your immediate destination is the restroom, right? However, is this amenity present to RVs? Technically, RVs, are using specialized tanks (e.g. black tanks) to contain your residues. The black tank is the one responsible for keeping your RV free from the smell and dirt of your poop.
Meanwhile, a freshwater tank is the one that sustains the drinking water of your RV. The grey tank provides the shower and sinks water.
Q: Washing clothes?
Washing your clothes is pretty easy when you are living in your RV. In the first place, you are not going to pack a lot of clothing. A couple of shirts and pants is already enough to keep you moving. You have to pack light if you want to live in an RV. Just always remember that the storage space of the vehicle will never be sufficient to cater your needs.
If you want to wash your clothes, the best thing that you can do is to go to an RV park. Make sure that the park has a washing area or laundry machine. There, you can tidy your clothes again. Some will opt to invest in a portable washer. However, take note that these machines are made to be small.
These are the necessary things that you should know about full-time RV living. If you are planning to move your residence in your wheels, then it would be great if you can already study the details that I have given here. By doing this, the transition process will not become too difficult for you. You can enjoy the destinations and the adventures and stories that you can create while you are driving.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Tell me in the comment section below!