Have you ever thought about living in an RV full time? It’s a big decision – going on an extended vacation or a weekend getaway is one thing, but making a home in a mobile, small space is another matter. We don’t want to dissuade you from getting into the RV lifestyle, but we do want you to consider the pros and cons before going on the road. In this article, we offer our top 10 full time rv tips.
Take a Practice Run
If you think you’re ready for full-time RV living, you should consider how much experience you have. What’s the longest trip you’ve ever taken? Before putting your house up for sale, take an extended practice trip (or two). Going mobile is a choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and it will greatly affect the lives of you and your family.
Do Your Research
There’s an RV for every traveler, and they come in different sizes, shapes and amenity levels. Before hitting the road, walk through a few RVs; if you rent one for a practice trip, you’re doing twice the research. Trying out different kinds of recreational vehicles allows you to come away with a better idea of which features are important – and which you don’t need.
Clear out the Clutter
RV living involves learning how to get by with less space. Those living on the road full time say that you will need to decide which things you really need, and which items to donate or give to friends and family. If you can’t stand the thought of getting rid of many of your possessions, full time RV living may not be right for you.
Get Medical Coverage
Most of us don’t like to think about it, but accidents happen and people get sick. Some doctor visits can be avoided by packing essentials into your first aid kit – but no one can prepare for every roadside emergency. Consider buying medical insurance from a company that offers policies for those who engage in full time rv travel.
Cover your RV
If you want to live on the road year-round, you’ll also need an insurance policy that covers your RV. It will, after all, be your home – and your policy needs to reflect that by protecting your appliances, heating and electricity sources, and other possessions. These policies work in much the same way as homeowner’s insurance does.
Maintain your RV
Living the RV lifestyle means keeping your home on wheels running smoothly. However, if you’re in a new town, it can be difficult to know where to get RV service. Some mechanics will come to you for service appointments, or you can do some online research to find a service center near you.
Get an Address
By Federal law, all citizens of the US must have a permanent address. Once that is established, you can rent a PO box. Some full time RV residents use mail forwarding services, of which there are many available. One big advantage of the RV lifestyle is that you can claim resident status in a state that lacks an income tax.
Get Discount Passes and Cards
During your time on the road, you will undoubtedly visit many RV parks, campgrounds and tourist attractions. You can save quite a bit of money by getting state or national park passes and by signing up with a camping club. Associations such as AARP and AAA offer discounts at many attractions – it’s worth a look!
Prepare for Reactions from Family Members
Going on the road full time is a big decision – not just for you, but for your family as well. Selling your house means getting rid of most of your possessions; if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, your leaving will have an even greater impact. Family and friends may initially be surprised, but once you explain your reasons for embracing the RV lifestyle, they are likely to be supportive.
If you don’t already have one, buy a laptop or tablet with Wi-Fi capability and get to know it before leaving home. Mobile devices are a good way to stay in touch with friends and family, and there are a variety of ways to maintain an Internet connection while on the road (such as fixed and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots or satellite Internet service).
Above, we’ve given you a list of the top ten things we wish we had known, but we’ve saved the best for last. Living the RV life means getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime! You’ll be able to come and go as you please, enjoying the freedom of a life unencumbered by material possessions. Explore all the wonderful things this country has to offer, and live your life on the open road!