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Full-Time RV Living: How and Why We Live In An RV

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We’ve been full-time RV living since 2016 and haven’t looked back yet!

With the rise of RV living the past few years a lot of people are trying to figure out why someone would get rid of all their things to live full time in an RV.

That’s understandable, really. You’re taking you and your family from a 1200+ square foot home/apartment/condo and shrinking it all down to live in something that’s 150+ square feet.

It’s quite an ordeal.

Not everyone handles the downsizing portion that well because you’re essentially getting rid of all your comfort items and pairing down to the “essentials”. Or, the things you can’t ever live without.

This can cause a lot of emotions for people.

So, let’s dive in and see if full-time RV living is the right answer for you and your family…

Is Full-Time RV Living Right For Your Family?

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re considering downsizing to live in an RV… full-time… forever… until you decide you want a house again.

Some people have swapped over to the RV lifestyle for good, but that’s not every case.

After being in the tiny niche a while, you’ll start to see some families are doing it for various reasons and not all of them stay in their RV’s very long.

So, you have to make a decision as why you’re considering swapping over to living in an RV.

Are you doing it:

  • to save money?
  • to get closer to your family?
  • to travel?
  • to save while your dream home is built?
  • to give your kids a roaming education?
  • just to downsize and live with less?

There is no right answer here.

The only answer that matters is whether you think it’s the right answer and IF living in an RV full-time is the answer.

woman outside of a bumper pull rv that she's full-time rv living in

Why You Might Consider Full-Time RV Living?

Many folks shift over to RV living because they’re wanting to save money.

And, this is a great way to do it, but you have to also consider the cost of staying in campgrounds.

Some campgrounds are as cheap as $300 a month, but I’ve heard of some places costing around $2100 a month during the summer peak season.

If financial reasons are why you’re considering living in an RV, then I would definitely shop around for places to stay!

Like I listed above, there are many reasons to consider living in an RV full-time.

We chose to live in an RV because we don’t plan on living in this area long enough to warrant buying a house.

So, that could be a great reason to live in an RV.

If you’re not planning on staying in an area long enough to justify buying a house (less than 5 years), then staying in an RV is a great alternative.

Apartment cost can be just as high as a house note, but staying in an RV is a much cheaper option.

Related Post: A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

How to Decide On an RV For Your Family

The easiest way to decide on what kind of RV you should get for your family is by looking at the size of your family.

If you have one child, your RV could stand to be a bit smaller.

But, if you have two or more children you might want to consider looking for something with a bunkhouse built into the floorplan.

Next, you have to decide whether you’re going for bumper pull or for a fifth wheel RV.

This will likely be an easy choice… If you don’t have a vehicle with fifth wheel capabilities you’ll likely go with a bumper pull RV.

Unless you want to upgrade your vehicle, of course, then you can definitely go with a fifth wheel.

We had a bumper pull first and then we upgraded to a fifth wheel. For our family, the fifth wheel was like buying a single-wide trailer size-wise. It’s been such an awesome decision.

With that said, you can always size up later.

OR, if you decide neither the fifth wheel nor the bumper pull is right for your family, you can always go with a driving camper.

They’re a bit on the more expensive side, but they come with the advantage of not needing anything to tow it.

If you have two regular vehicles though you’ll likely be towing one vehicle while the second person drives the other.

My BIGGEST tip… Do NOT buy a brand new RV. You’ll lose 20% market value as soon as you drive off the lot… ask me how I know ?.

Downsize Your Life To Full-Time RV

There are two options for this really…

You can:

  1. downsize your house and sell/give away all things you won’t use
  2. downsize your house and put everything in storage

Most people fit in one of those two categories. We know people that have done both.

We have our items at our family-owned house and our neighbors have their items in storage. I know another family that sold everything and packed up their most prized items and set out in their RV.

There’s no right or wrong answer here.

My best suggestion… Once you have your RV then I would say move all the things you THINK you’ll need in an RV and see where you stand.

Other folks use the pile method:

  1. separate all items into – need to keep, want to keep, would like to keep, toss
  2. once everything is separated, go through each pile and take inventory
  3. time to start discarding more items and pair down
  4. toss/give away things you don’t need to keep
  5. time make hard choices on what you’ll actually keep
  6. if necessary, get a storage unit

If that’s not your cup of tea…

You can go out in the backyard and create a full-size replica (on the ground of course) of how big your RV is and start pretending you’re putting stuff in their respective places.

Going tiny is hard, but it’s completely worth it.

woman sitting on the couch playing a guitar in her driving rv where she's full-time rv living

Why We Chose to Living In an RV Full-Time

Our RV living journey started when my husband was offered a job four hours south of the home we were staying in.

We knew we didn’t want to live in this area permanently and so rather than buy a house or stay in an apartment (way more expensive actually) we decided to buy his parents RV and live in that on a military base.

After about 1.5 years we upgraded our bumper pull RV to a fifth wheel RV and it has been amazing!

We’ve been here since the end of October 2016 and we’ll likely be here another year or two.

It’s been tempting looking at houses around our area, but we keep coming back to the fact that we don’t want to live here permanently.

It’s lovely in our campground, so that is definitely helpful.

How to Get Started With RV Living

If you’ve read this far and are still interested in the RV lifestyle then that’s great! You’ll likely love it as much as we do.

Basically, to get started you first have to decide to get started.

Next, you have to find your RV and buy it.

Then comes the downsizing!

After that… you move in :).

I’ll be creating a mini-guide to help you get move-in ready for your new RV life.

Be sure to put your email in the box below so you can be notified as soon as it’s ready!

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