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RV-ing full-time is a thing a lot of people do!
Have you ever thought of living in an RV full-time? RV (short for recreational vehicle or camper) full-time living is an actual thing and it’s great. I know this because we are a full-time RV family.
We came to be an RV full-time family because I am against having debt. I want financial freedom, I don’t want to be a slave to a place or a mortgage. I suffer from wanderlust and I really do have a problem staying in one place for too long of a time. However, if I can take my home with me, that’s a whole other level of comfort.
Living in an RV full-time has afforded my family so much opportunity.
Michelle Schroder Gardener of Making Sense of Sense posted a question last week on her blog. Would you consider living in a camper to pay off debt quicker? I was one of the commenters that said that they live in their RV full-time. Some of the other commenters seemed kind of scared, or unsure if it would work for them.
It can be a scary thought to not be in a stick and brick home because it goes against everything that we were ever taught. We have been taught to go to school, get a job, buy a house and have a mortgage. That’s been done for years.
It’s nearly impossible to buy a house with cash these days.
I really hate debt. I had debt and then I got hurt and couldn’t work for almost two years and you can only guess where that got me. In a big fat hole. Fast forward 8 years and I’m debt free. Yay!!!
We do own our own property, which we love but it doesn’t offer the privacy or location that we get by staying on my mother’s property. We will see what this year brings if we move to our property or not. We may set up camp at our property, but I like the idea of staying at my Mom’s so we can keep an eye on her.
Did you know that when you own your property you don’t even own it?
That’s right, you are a tenant. It says so on the deed. With that said, do you really need to own any property? That’s up to you. I own my own property and I’d like to own more. I don’t really need a house right now though because I like the freedom of an RV.
My mother has a few acres and we spent half of the year on her property last year in our RV and loved it. She is a single mother, and her property is much closer to the kid’s sports and we just love that property, more than our won. We pay all the utilities and take care of the property for her. The time we are away (we spent the other half of this year in Florida) she cannot wait for us to come back.
There are RV’s that can handle almost any type of living situation.
Our RV is not for cold weather, but living in an RV full-time through all kinds of weather is possible. You can set your RV up to be off the grid with solar, wind and or a generator.
You can camp at state parks all over the country and follow the weather.
State parks are really inexpensive and in my opinion much better than a crowded campground.
You can save money by buying property and putting in a few concrete pads. This way you could live there, air b&b another camper or share with friends, siblings, or family. The sky is the limit. I am in hotels all the time for work, and I can tell you I much prefer to go on vacation with my house than to stay in a hotel. I don’t have to worry about bed bugs or to quote Phoebe Buffet that “Little black curly hair.” *Shudder*
When shopping for our new portable home, I already had a list of things that I wanted.
It didn’t take us very long to find our RV which was surprising. Once we found it, I knew that no other camper would be for me.
Here is the list I planned when searching for our home:
- A bunk house for the kids with a door
- Our bedroom to have an actual door
- Not tacky looking
- A kitchen island
- Something our SUV could pull
- Within our budget
The only thing our RV didn’t have was the island, but it had an outdoor kitchen which I didn’t even know that I wanted so that more than made up for it. Two refrigerators come in really handy. I don’t like my home to smell like food so being able to do almost all the cooking outside really appealed to me.
RV’s have come a long way.
Ours has two super slides and a washer and dryer. I love my RV shower so much too. It’s actually better than our house shower was and that was not bad at all. Trust me, it’s utilitarian luxury all the way because that’s just how I roll. In 2016 we spent over $24,000 renting our condo in Hawaii. Our RV cost us much less than that and we will have it for years to come. Talk about saving money. ?
Another perk of RV life is you can do little upgrades here and there as you go, paying what you can afford without creating debt. ? ?
We built a fire pit outside and got some anti-gravity chairs. Talk about comfortable. We have a nice little portable pool, a trampoline, and a tree house for the kids to play in. We never feel crowded. There are four of us in our RV, and that is about all that would fit in it full-time for me to be comfortable. When we go places for a vacation, we have enough room for 5 people no problem.
RV full-time living is more simple.
I really like to live a more minimal-ish lifestyle. I really am not a minimalist, but I do not like to have a ton of stuff. We keep our treasured memories and things at our property so we feel like the taxes are equal to having a nice storage unit. But that tax money isn’t money thrown out the window because we own it.
You may not believe me when I say this but I assure you it is true, our RV whom we named “Home”, is my and my families favorite house we’ve ever had. We have lived in some nice places (like at the beach in a high rise in Waikiki) but nowhere ever felt more like home than Home.
I never have to worry about paying a mortgage or even taxes on Home year after year. We actually own our home outright.
You can choose how you would like to live with your full-time RV Lifestyle.
Think about that, choose the life you may not have been otherwise been able to afford. That is such freedom!
RV Nomad – This type of RV Lifestyle is when you move from place to place. You can stay in campgrounds, state parks, or even boondock. How you do this is up to you. If you have kids this does not exclude you from this type of lifestyle. Home school, road school, or cyber school are all options for RV Nomads.
RV Mooch Docking – This is what I like to do. You park at a family or friends driveway or yard. I don’t really like that it’s called mooch docking because we make it less expensive to have us there. We pay all the utilities and maintain the property. We make sure that it is better to have us than to not have us.
RV Home at Home – This is parking on your own land. This is a great option to do if you are remodeling or building a home. You can also just put up an RV port on your own property which is a pretty great idea.
RV Boon Docking – Parking for free anywhere you can. Cracker Barrel, Walmart, Cabelas are excellent places to boondock. You can park in their lot overnight for free.
Personally, Cabelas is my favorite boondocking spot. If you buy something you can dump and fill up your water tanks for free. Plus, the one I like is huge with such a huge parking lot you can even bring your horses and turn them out in a small grass pen.
Boondocking is a great way to save money when you are driving from one pace to the next.
There are so many benefits to living in an RV.
When you RV full-time you spend more time outdoors.
The kids are outside all the time. I love it. My kids have the type of childhood I had. I practically lived outside. I grew up on a horse farm, so I was always outside doing some type of activity. Today, kids have little reason to go outside when they are in school all day or playing with electronics.
Living in a smaller space, everyone wants to be outside. You can create an entire outdoor living area. We do almost all of our cooking outside, we have the fire pit because we love to sit out by the fire at night.
Living in an RV you get more exercise.
We are always out bike riding or running around outside or swimming or something. Living in a small space it’s so much fun to get outside and do some activities. RV living is an outdoorsy type of lifestyle. You get closer to nature and get more exercise.
RV-ing can be inexpensive.
So how much extra does this vacation lifestyle cost me? Nothing. It’s all paid for. We do pay my mother’s bills because we get to camp on her property for free, but we would pay bills on our own property, it’s not extra at all.
Plus, my Mom doesn’t have to pay any utilities when we are there. Or pay anyone to cut the grass, or do any of the maintenance around her property.
If you stay on someone’s property make it that you are benefitting them. Be considerate and helpful make them want more of you and you will be welcome for life.
This is the way we choose to live, our way is inexpensive. Other ways may not be as inexpensive. You make your own price. I can only speak from my own experience. If I were spending time in luxury campgrounds my lifestyle may not be so cheap. This is why I say it can be inexpensive.
You can split expenses and be close to family.
Maybe you have a parent who is struggling to pay their expenses and should not be left alone all the time. Living in an RV is really an ideal way to allow your parent to have the freedom they desire while keeping an eye on their well-being.
Mooch docking is also a great way for parents to help their children start to gain some independence when they are just starting out. Or for college kids to save money when they go home for the summer. Depending on your situation you may be able to live in some type of RV for your college housing. The sky is the limit when you live in an RV.
You can choose your own view.
Do you want to have an ocean view? Pull your home up to the beach and get it. Just like that. I love my Home. If you don’t like the direction your home is facing you can turn it around.
Living in an RV full-time with kids is so much fun!
OK, now I bet you are wondering how do we live in our RV full-time with kids? We had to find the right RV and by RV I mean travel trailer. Our kids have the bunk house with their own beds, a couch, and TV. It’s kind of like a little apartment and they love it. The bunk house even has a built-in spot for the dog’s bed.
We cyber school the kids so we are not bound to one place so we can take off and go on trips when the flight loads are light and there are not any crowds. We get to take exotic trips because we have the extra income from living in our RV.
When RV living full-time you have a smaller environmental footprint.
We reuse and recycle more than ever. We only keep the best stuff and things that we don’t use we give away or donate. You can’t have stuff hanging around that you don’t need because the real estate is just too valuable.
You are really forced to live with less, and you start to really live well. You become so streamlined that you only keep things that do double duty and are really great. You keep no crap because you don’t have space for it. I actually now have a much better wardrobe because I use a clothing subscription service.
RV’s are much easier to clean than an actual house!
It literally takes minutes to clean your small space as long as you keep it uncluttered. Houses are so big they take much more effort to clean. In a house, when space is not at a premium you tend to keep more junk simply because you have the room for it.
You can take less costly vacations when you live in an RV.
We take more vacations than we used to because we already have our home, if we want to go camping once a month at a state park for a few days it literally costs us less than $100. How many people can go on a beautiful vacation at the lake for $23 a night?
Less space and that means you spend less money.
You can’t be out shopping and buying things all the time because you don’t have anywhere to put them. If you do buy things, you may have to get rid of something else to find a spot for it.
When you RV full-time you become more organized.
OK, this is true for me and I am extremely organized by nature. But I do think you have to become more organized in a small space if you want to function optimally. I really enjoy organizing my small space. It’s so much fun.
What are your thoughts on living in an RV full-time? Are you a full-time RVer? Has it ever crossed your mind? Did you know that this was even a popular thing to do? Let me know in the comments and I’d love to answer any questions you may have about our alternate lifestyle.