Full-Time RV Living | Is It Realistic? | GoRollick
Written by Amber Friedman
Table of Contents
Who Lives in an RV? Why?
Full-time RV living isn’t for everyone, but more and more people are craving a sense of adventure and freedom that an apartment can’t bring. What better way to do so than to give up your brick-and-mortar living space and travel the country in an RV? Whether you have a young family or are planning on retiring, all age ranges and family types are embracing the excitement of being on the road. Explore whether the full-time RV lifestyle is realistic for you.
Where to park it: Permanent, Semi-Permanent, & Short Term
There are multiple options regarding how often you actually travel when living in an RV full time. You can be permanent, where you park it in one place and never move it again. Semi-permanent, where you don’t relocate frequently; or short-term, where you travel to different places on a regular basis. Here we will break down the how and why of each option.
Permanent, or stationary, RV living means parking your RV in one place and only living only there; similar to how non-RVers live in one house in one location. RV parks are the most commonplace for full-time RVers to find a permanent parking spot and pay a monthly “rent” for that space. Some RV parks cater to only full-timers, whereas others have a mixture of permanent spots and temporary spots. When choosing an RV park, it’s important to not only consider the location and aesthetic of the park but also look for things you consider essential. These might include a fitness center, trash pickup, laundry room, propane refills, and more.
Though a majority of RV owners use their RVs for traveling, there are plenty of benefits to choosing an RV as a permanent, stationary residence over a home, and it’s becoming more popular every day. After crunching the numbers, many find that paying for an RV, RV space, and utilities is significantly less expensive than apartment living or owning a traditional home. It also opens up your options as to where you want to live, as finding an open RV spot can be much easier than finding your perfect home in the area you would like to reside. Also, being stationary means you don’t have to necessarily own a vehicle capable of towing your RV, as most RV dealerships offer a delivery service. This can save you even more money on truck payments, gas, and insurance.
RV Parks or campgrounds that provide RV hookups and utilities are most common for semi-permanent living.
If you like the idea of traveling, but don’t want to do it very often, semi-permanent RV living may be a good option for you. This style also benefits people who like to follow the season of their choice and perhaps live in one part of the country half the year and another part the other half.
Due to constantly being on the go, having a truck capable of pulling your RV home around is very important. This style means you are not confined to only RV parks, and can potentially “Boondock” or “Dry camp” on a piece of land if your RV has the proper self-sufficient features such as a generator, solar panels, extra batteries, extra water tanks, and extra fuel tanks.
Short-term Full Timers love constantly being on the move and the adventures that this lifestyle brings.
There are many accessories available to enhance your RVing experience, however, living in your RV full time means thinking outside of the box when it comes to choosing accessories to enhance your RV home. Here are some of the most useful RV accessories recommended by full-time RVers:
- If you enjoy cooking, things like a Blackstone grill, portable NexGrill, and Masterbuilt electric smoker, in addition to your indoor and outdoor kitchen, can greatly enhance your meal prepping and eating experience. Though keep in mind these are more ideal for stationary full-timers, as constantly setting them up and breaking them down can become a hassle for frequent travelers.
- Solar Panels will help you conserve energy in a more cost-effective way, especially off-grid.
- Generators are standard in a lot of full-time RVs and provide power to your RV when you are not hooked up at an RV park.
- Wifi Booster or Portable Hotspot is important to have handy at most RV parks and especially if you are boondocking.
- Kingpin: A kingpin is a locking mechanism that helps stop someone from coming over and simply hooking up and towing your RV away.
Apps like RV Life are curated for RV travels to make camping simple. Not only do they help you plan your trip and campsites, but they also provide an entire RV community to connect you with others who can provide questions, advice. and maybe even make a few friends!
Bathroom and Shower
There are many things to consider when choosing an RV layout and amenities, especially when it will become your new home. Choosing a bathroom layout that accommodates your needs is one of the most important things to consider when choosing the best RV for your full-time lifestyle. Large showers and bathrooms with plenty of storage are always a popular option for full-timers. Also, if you have more than 2 people living in the RV, or plan to have guests over, a 2nd bathroom (or at least ½ bath) may be a good option to consider. For more information, check out our article on everything you need to know about RV toilets.
Shop RVs with bathrooms.
Internet, Mail, and Other Small Conveniences
There are many things we take for granted when living in a home that is important to consider when transitioning to living in an RV.
Most parks have wifi services, but there’s no guarantee that it will be a good, strong signal. Some RVers buy WiFi boosters and antennas to help amplify the park’s wifi, but what tends to work the best and provides the strongest signal, if your budget allows, is having a portable hotspot device with unlimited data.
Some RV parks offer mail services such as mailboxes for each site, but not all of them will. This is important to know beforehand because if there are no mailboxes or services offered by the park then you will need to look into 3rd party mailing services, such as Good Sam Mail Service, Escapees, and Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA).
Another important thing to keep in mind when considering full-time RVing is the limitations associated with financing and getting RV insurance. If you can pay cash for your RV purchase, then financing won’t be an issue. However, if you’re like most people and would prefer to make payments on your new home, you’ll want to make sure you finance the RV loan with a bank that will give RV loans to full-timers. Most banks see such loans as riskier, but as this style of living becomes more popular, banks are relaxing on these rules. Please consult your RV dealer at the time of purchase to make sure you are not breaching a financial contract by using your RV as a permanent residence. Some insurance companies won’t insure an RV that is used as a home, so consult with your insurance agent to ensure you have the proper coverage in place.
How to Utilize Storage
Living in an RV usually means most of the physical items you own now have to fit into an RV, which means downsizing for most people. Unless you want to pay extra for a storage unit that may or may not be close to where you decide to park your RV, it is important to choose an RV that has plenty of storage for your needs. Check for adequate closet space in the master bedroom, and plenty of storage space in the kitchen and bathroom. Also, it is becoming more popular for RVs designed for full-time living to not only offer storage space in the front but in the back as well! Some even come with pull-out storage trays that help with accessing your belongings on a regular basis. There are also many storage boxes and accessories available for RVers that you can find online.
For extra space, shop RVs with slide-outs.
- Choose a truck that can safely tow your RV if you plan to travel instead of being stationary.
- Firearm: If you are a registered firearm carrier, having one on hand can help with safety. Depending on the type of RV you have and the state you’re in, your RV may be considered a domicile rather than a vehicle, which makes traveling with a weapon of this sort simple across many state lines (but not all.)
- First aid kit: Having a classic safety essential, such as a first aid kit, will help you be prepared for small medical emergencies.
- Home security camera: It is very helpful to be able to see who, or what is outside of your RV without opening the door. You can also use a security camera inside to keep an eye on your pets or belongings while you’re away.
- Alarm system: Install alarm systems into your RV just as you would in a traditional house. Many will send you phone alerts regarding any suspicious activity.
RV laws differ by state, and these typically have to do with the overall length and weight of your RV (and tow vehicle if applicable.) Be sure to do your research regarding laws for any state you plan to travel through to avoid complications. In case this is your first RV experience, read up on 6 RV Rules You Didn’t Know About.
It’s not an easy lifestyle, and there are challenges, but if you go into it with an open mind, as prepared as possible, and can see the challenges as a part of the journey, then this style of living may be just what you are looking for.
GoRollick works with the best dealers in the country who are dedicated to price transparency and a great buying experience. With GoRollick you can get an upfront price and a special offer on your next golf cart, plus savings on after-purchase products. Then when you’re ready, you can shop at one of our Certified Dealers. GoRollick also ensures that you get access to all available manufacturer incentives. If you’re curious about what’s currently available, you can check out our incentives page here.
Not quite sold? Maybe this will help. Use our guide on How to Take Advantage of Powersport and RV Manufacturer Incentives on Your Next Vehicle Purchase to get the most bang for your buck, and when you are ready to buy, check out our list of the latest available manufacturer incentives to ensure you are getting the best price available for your camper.
- See nationwide inventory, specs, and incentive information
- Get an upfront, transparent price on your desired Camper
- Receive special offers on both the Camper as well as additional accessories
- Take advantage of Bonus Savings plus the option to Buy From Home from select Certified Dealers
- Shop at one of our Certified Dealers who are committed to providing an exceptional buying experience