Full-time RVing is arguably more popular than it has ever been. All kinds of folks, from adventurous retirees to telecommmuting millennials, are ditching their stick and brick houses and 9-to-5 jobs for a more mobile lifestyle, hitching up their homes and hitting the road.
Technology has provided plentiful opportunities to work remotely, not to mention tools for staying connected with friends and family. Workamping programs like Amazon's CamperForce [Check out this interview with See Simple Love for a first-hand perspective on CamperForce] allow full-timers to make a living while traveling. It's really never been a better time to be a full-timer.
Although full-time RVing has more than it's fair share of perks, it's not all adventure and gorgeous views and nights 'round the campfire. All too often, full-timers have to find out the hard way about the downside of living in an RV.
Our awesome bloggers, Kelly, Lisa, and Emily, are all seasoned full-time RVers, and Heartland RV's Social Media Manager, Marie, spent 6 months living full-time in a travel trailer. I decided to pick their brains about the things they wished they'd known before they went full-time.
That's a pretty informative video, but that's not all there is to know about full-timing. When I asked, Kelly, Lisa, Emily, and Marie what they wished they'd known before they went full-time, they had plenty to say on the topic. Here's their answers:
Kelly, rvthereyetchronicles.com - "You definitely have to 'like' your partner in order to full-time, as you'll be sharing a very small space. It definitely wouldn't hurt to take a couple of trial runs for a month or two at a time to ensure that you're as compatible in an RV as you are in a 1,600 square foot home."
"[Kelly's husband] Michael says, 'I wish I knew how easy it was to get distracted by other people stopping to chat or offering to help.' Don't let anyone or anything distract you from your routine. Kindly tell people that you'll gladly chat when you're all set up. Dropping the 5th wheel on the back of our truck after someone interrupted our routine was a costly mistake."
"From one of our gate guarding friends, Len: He wished he knew that he should ALWAYS have good tires on his rig as if/when you should have a blow out it produces a LOT of damage to your RV. Investing in a tire pressure monitoring system can be a HUGE help in avoiding catastrophes."
Lisa, Always On Liberty - "We have a spare key in a designated place in case of an emergency when we're not home and if the fuzzyheads need to get out of there or if either of us have a dumb@&$ moment of leaving the key inside. The latter of the two has been the case on MULTIPLE accounts."
"We fell in love with our Landmark's split bathroom. I could take a shower while he ummmmm... And "my" sink in the Captain's Cabin is awesome. He has his sink, I got mine and we are happy happy go go!"
Emily, OwnLessDoMore.us - "I wish I'd known how much *more* work my husband would do than he did when we lived in a sticks-and-bricks house. If you're looking for housework parity in your relationship? RV'ing is a great way to find it. Tim does far more work now than I do, especially on the exterior work and so-called blue jobs, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm also not afraid to admit that I'm keeping score. Ten more years of this, and I'm thinking we'll be just about even!"
"I wish I'd had a better understanding of what it *really* means to share one bathroom in 355 square feet of living space. There is no such thing as total privacy, and there are definitely no secrets. It's a level of intimacy that not every couple can handle. I'm not even sure *I'm* handling it all that well, and it's been 18 months!"
"I wish I'd known that being the youngest chick 'round the campfire is not always a bad thing. I was 46 the year we started full-timing, and I quickly learned that... well... when compared to our RV park neighbors, most of whom are 20 years or more my senior, I still qualify as a looker!"
Marie, Heartland RVs - "I wish I'd known how important the "trial" trip is when you buy a travel trailer. After my first purchase of a used one, we skipped down the road with zero worries. First stop in December, we had no heat and had to sleep in Tennessee in bitter temps. We all got sick (even my cats). Needless to say, I was sick the entire 10-day cross country road trip to Washington state. However, we made it safe 'n' sound!"
"Another tip is to keep in mind that paying for the larger bathroom is WORTH EVERY PENNY. I full-timed with a tiny travel trailer bathroom. Thought I'd lose my mind with the lack of head room and bumping my elbows against the walls when I'd try to dry my hair every morning. I ended up doing my hair in the living area because there was more room."
"I also remember learning the convenience of auto leveling, which I didn't have on either of my travel trailers. One of my first trips we were so tired from driving that we just pulled over and the door wouldn't open and shut properly. I kept staring at it like..."great...it's broken. Figures!" Nope. It was just my misunderstanding of leveling so the latch would work properly. hehehehe....I was quite the newbie at one time."
"Always go outside with your keys in your pocket. Even if it's only for a few minutes. I locked myself out once and could NOT get back in. LOL! My husky and I were stuck outside for a while in the rain before one of our RV neighbors took us inside their camper to wait for my then-husband to get back. This is also where getting to know your neighbors helps! Be friendly. You never know when you might need to lean on each other for help."
There you have it, some good things to think about it if you aspire to becoming a full-timer. If you are already a full-time RVer, I hope you will add your own thoughts in the comments.