What Is RV Living?
A recreational vehicle, generally abbreviated as RV, is a vehicle or trailer that has space designed for accommodation. RV living is the lifestyle of living in a vehicle-like home. RV living can either be stationary, where people move their RV to a location away from their home and camp there while using the RV as home.
There is also mobile RV living, where people move around with their RV in a nomadic fashion.
Different Types Of RVs
This recreational vehicle is usually towed by a road vehicle to provide a place for dwelling that is more convenient and safer than a tent. A caravan, just like other recreational vehicles, offers people the opportunity to have a near-home experience while on a journey or vacation without having to pay for a hotel or Airbnb.
With your caravan, you can also stay alone if you want to enjoy some serenity. In some countries, the RV is restricted to certain places for people who can pay for the services.
There are different caravans ranging from basic ones that look just a little better than a tent to sophisticated ones equipped with many rooms, all fitted with the right furniture and other home equipment. Caravans are constructed using fiberglass or metals and are very popular around Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Europe.
This type of recreational vehicle is towed and can easily be collapsed for easy movement and storage. When set up, this RV gives more space than its size when collapsed.
A good thing about this RV is that it is affordable, making it the most preferred RV among RV lovers. Aside from the cost, people also like them because of their small size, making them easier to tow than other RVs.
Most pop-up RVs have a trailer frame, soft walls, pull-out bunks, and hard roofs. There is provision for a freshwater tank, a sink, interior lighting, two bunk beds, a DC power source, and a storage cabinet.
Many of them also have exterior showers, refrigerators, propane tanks, storage trunks, furnaces, roof vents, shower toilets, wastewater tanks, microwaves, and an oven.
This is an RV that you can transport in the bed of a pickup truck. It is commonly known as cab-over and slide-in in the United States and the rest of North America, while it is known as demountable in English-speaking European countries.
A modern truck camper has many of the amenities present in the home, including an oven, microwave, furnace, stove, bathrooms, showers, etc. Truck campers can be moved on and off a vehicle using the four-corner jack. This helps the trailer to be raised into the back of the truck. The camper is then held to the truck using either chains or spring-loaded tie-downs.
Aside from adventure seekers who are known for using RVs., truck campers are popular among professions that involve regular migration, such as hunters, horseback riders, and fishermen.
These are self-propelled RVs. They have spaces large enough to contain two to eight people while sleeping. The sleeping spaces can either be fixed or converted. This is to form another part of the interior of the recreational vehicle, such as a fold-out sofa.
There is a kitchen area which contains some cooking equipment. The type of equipment will depend on the type of motorhome and the model; standard equipment usually found there include a stove, refrigerator, oven, and sink. Some models typically come with a microwave. A motorhome also has a portable bathroom equipped with a sink, toilet, and shower.
Motorhomes have a cab section with space for a driver and one other person. In some models, you can also have a lounge included.
Pros Of RV Living
Opportunity for Adventure
One of the primary reasons people choose to live in recreational vehicles is because it offers the opportunity to explore different places. Having a moving home gives you that liberty to move around the country at will.
You can decide to be at the park today, move to the beach the next week, and then travel to an island far away the following week. RV living gives you that opportunity to have fun and adventure.
Great Time with Loved Ones
RV living allows you to spend more time with family and friends. You can imagine the fun of moving your recreational home. For someone that loves visiting friends and loved ones from time to time, you can drive your RV to a friend's place and stay there for an extended period. This allows for greater bonding with friends and family.
Home on the Go
One of the multiple benefits of having an RV home is the privilege of being with your entire house on the go. You don't have to worry about packing your belongings and risking forgetting one or more of your belongings. With your RV, you move your entire belongings as you travel, and you have access to all your home appliances, clothing, food, and others wherever you go.
Grow Your Relationship
Sometimes you want to be alone with just your partner and children, away from the hustle and bustle of cities and towns. With an RV, you can quickly move away from the crowd and have a quiet time with people who mean the most to you. This quiet time with your special ones helps you bond, understand each other and deepen relationships.
Move with Your Pets
Without an RV, bringing your cat, dog, and other pets with you when you travel will be challenging. However, with an RV home, you can move with your pets, and the best part of it is that the pet will always feel at home since the living conditions are the same.
Spend More Time Outdoors
The space inside the RV is always limited, and this means that most activities are carried out outside. You have your meal at the picnic table and relax in hammocks. If you are moving with your RV to the mountain, you spend most of your time hiking, and if you are going to the coast, you do a lot of beach activities. So, having less space indoors helps us to stay outdoors, play together, and stay healthy.
RVs are typically small in size, and the implication is that it takes less time to clean up. You can clean an average RV in less than an hour for deep cleaning, while a quick job will take you a maximum of ten minutes.
The best part of it is that you don't worry about the yard; there is no need for weeding, trimming flowers, and doing all those time-consuming house chores. RV simply makes life easier for everyone.
Having a mobile home gives you the freedom to move to places you love, visit people, travel far away from home, and have some quiet time all by yourself, and many other advantages that come with having a recreational vehicle.
All-Year-Round Summer Experience
If you stay in a recreational vehicle, you can decide what climate you want to reside in for each season. For people that are very allergic to cold and do all they can to avoid extreme cold, you can decide to constantly move around with your RV to avoid staying in places with extreme cold. For instance, you can decide to move to states like Florida and Arizona, where it is less cold during winter.
Cons Of RV Living
As a homeowner, you would be aware of how often maintenance expenses come up. This is even worse in RVs, including the new ones; they tend to develop one issue or the other nearly every other time. Common maintenance problems in RVs include defective gas alarms and blown tires.
Messes Up Your Budgeting
The cost of RV living is never the same everywhere in a country, and this makes budgeting for an RV life a bit difficult. You can get to a place and discover that the price of essential commodities like food, medicine, and fuel has doubled.
You can also get to a different location, and the cost of RV parking in the campground where you will stay has increased astronomically. All these uncertainties discourage many people from full-time RVing.
Hectic Laundry Cleaning
Although it is possible to take your washing machine and dryer with you in your recreational vehicle, it is not practical due to lack of space. This means that you will have to spend a good number of hours at a laundromat.
Although some RV parks are equipped with washing machines and laundry, the numbers are never enough. So, you have to wake up very early to beat the crowd.
Lack of Privacy
Most people who live as full-time RV usually settle at campgrounds, and this means living very close to other campers. While RV living is a great opportunity to meet new people and network, it can be frustrating for people who enjoy being alone.
For instance, you can’t step out of your RV in the morning without changing from your night clothes for fear of bumping into your neighbor. Again, some neighbors might want to chat with you at a time you don’t want to. It can be very challenging for those who are not used to such a lifestyle.
Bugs and Mildews
Living close to nature means there will always be bugs and mildews around. You will have pests, too, because it is not practical to seal every entry point. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see spiders in the bathroom of your RV.
So, you have to do a spider sweep after each bath. You also have to deal with ant infestations in your home and, in humid places like Florida, mosquitoes are particularly common during winter.
How To Plan For Full-Time RV Living
Decide On the RV Design
The first thing to consider when deciding to live in an RV full time is the choice of the vehicle that meets your needs. When choosing your RV, space is the most important factor that should guide you. Many RVs out there range from all-in-one motor homes to trailers that need another vehicle to pull.
Based on their size, RVs are classified into Class A, Class B, and Class C. The most important thing is to go for one that meets all your needs, especially one containing all your essential items.
For instance, with Class A RVs, you can even tow a small car and use it to run errands when you get to your camping location.
Before you purchase an RV, check each available option in person to know the best option for you and your household. And once you decide on the RV style you want, try renting it for a week to better understand how it works before paying for it.
Test Out the RV Lifestyle
Try staying in an RV for an extended period while you still have your stationary home; this will help you gauge if you're cut out for such a lifestyle. If you are not comfortable living in an RV, then you have to attend RV training.
There are many RV training sites where you can go and learn the rudiments of RV living. They will also guide you on how to drive and maintain the RV and all the equipment in it. A little bit of training can go that extra mile in making your travel fun and safe.
Sort Out Your Belongings
Because of the limited space in an RV, it is necessary to sort out everything in your house and decide what you need to sell, throw away and take with you. Try to bring along fewer belongings where possible.
For instance, if you have some clothes and footwear that you have not used for long, you can sell them off. Also, remember that some belongings may not be used frequently at home but will be needed in your RV. An example is an outdoor rug and foldable chairs; these two may not be regularly used at home but are essential items that you will need at campsites.
Think About Finances
Finance is a vital factor to consider before living full-time in an RV. You have to think about generating money for the new location you are moving to. It could be getting a job at your new location, a remote job that allows you to work from anywhere or doing some work for other people in the campsite to generate money.
Do some research and know what you need to do to have a consistent cash flow as you move. Furthermore, you need a budget to guide you so that you don’t overspend.
Register Your RV Home
There are many documents you need to change to reflect your new home. The first is mail handling. You will have to shift most of your paper mails from physical paper to emails. This change can be done easily on the websites of most firms such as banks, telephone, and insurance companies.
Have your vehicle registration and also establish a state residency. Finally, living in an RV full time may require you to obtain full-time RV insurance.
The final thing to decide is the regions you plan to visit, the nature of their campsite and their climates. Full-time RV living has been made easy with mobile apps. These apps are RV-friendly, unit-based destination guides that show you the best lodging options, the best place to get fuel, RV dump station, and others. These apps can help you prepare for emergencies, save money and make your journey enjoyable.
Talk To Residency Service Providers
Living in an RV full-time is fun and adventurous. After acquiring your RV for your adventure, you have to establish a state of residence. Before choosing a residency for your RV, check out states with very low tax rates. States like South Dakota do not have a state income tax, social security tax, or inheritance tax.
Their property tax is one of the lowest in the US. If you need help in obtaining a state residency for your RV, many residency service providers can help take that stress off you at a very affordable price. Moreover, should you need assistance in managing and switching over from solid mail to virtual mail, a professional mail forwarding service will have you covered.