We wanted to share what we wish we knew before we started full-time RVing, but thought it would be fun to hear from others as well. In this article, four full-time RVing couples relay what they wish they had known before hitting the road.
One primary lesson learned about full-time RVing is how much maintenance is required, even when the RV is new. Bryce from More Than a Wheelin’ said he wish he had been better prepared for the amount of maintenance and repairs that would be necessary on their new Class A motorhome. Even with a warranty, service work can be inconvenient or even inaccessible. This is something we have also lamented about a time or two. Click here to see our video where we discuss whether or not we think our new RV warranty was worth it.
Financial issues prevailed as the most common theme in this discussion. It is a hot topic among many full-time and prospective full-time RVers. In fact, we’re asked questions about it so often that we even wrote a book based on what we’ve learned over 3 years of full-time RV living and travel. Click here to see Full-Time RV Finance available on Amazon.
Section I: Budgeting For The Full-Time RV Travel Lifestyle. Covers the full range of topics from purchasing new or used, how much to spend, and factors like depreciation and financing.
Section II: Earning Money On The Road. Provides numerous examples of ways to earn an income while traveling. From workamping and travel jobs to starting your own business, this section provides numerous case studies of full-time RVers financing their RV travels.
Section III: Saving Money On RV Travel. This section gives you ingenious tips for saving money on campgrounds, fuel, and many other full-time RV expenses.
Lindsay from Follow Your Detour relayed that she wished she knew how affordable the RV lifestyle could be. It really is about setting priorities and budgeting. She surveyed several other full-time RVers on how much they spend monthly on a variety of RV life-related expenses. Click here to learn How Much It Costs to RV Full-Time.
Camille from More Than a Wheelin’ wished she had known about how many remote work opportunities were available. She says she stressed out about it too much in the beginning, and now hopes to share how easy it is to find remote work with others. Click here to get your free copy of the resource she created called 21 Remote Work Websites. Worries over earning an income on the road are shared by many. In fact, Ed of The Virtual Campground is registered to attend an RV Repair Technician program in a few weeks, but he wishes he had gotten a head start on it before they started their full-time travels.
Liz of The Virtual Campground wishes she had learned more about boondocking, or camping without hook-ups. It is a great way to save money but requires a little planning. Click here to read our tips for boondocking success.
We don’t boondock a lot because we’re a little spoiled and like our hook-ups. However, I wish I had known that there were plenty of other ways to save money while traveling. In the 3+ years, we’ve been on the road, I’ve learned all about them. Click here to see our video on Saving Money at Campgrounds.
Choosing The Right RV For You
Dan from Follow Your Detour also provides some great advice about choosing the right RV for you. For example, they started with a Fifth Wheel like us. While our 44′ Fifth Wheel is perfect for our lifestyle (you can see it here), Dan & Lindsay realized that they wanted to travel to places that required a smaller rig. Now they have a 24′ Winnebago Navion that is perfect for them. He recommends that you consider renting before you buy, and we couldn’t agree more. Click here to read an article about Why Renting Before Buying is such a great idea.
Finally, Sean shared that he wished he knew how easy it was to connect with the full-time RVing community even while traveling. Last week we attended the RV Entrepreneur Summit where we reconnected with friends and made new ones as well. Events like the summit and large gatherings like those in Quartzite each year are a great way to enjoy the fellowship of other full-time RVers. Click here to read about other ways to Make Friends While Traveling Full-Time.
What to Learn More About Traveling Full-Time?
Read our article on How to Prepare for Full-Time RVing where we cover all the basics that you need to know to get started on the path to the RV lifestyle. Specific topics include what to do with your home, where to establish a domicile, how to get your mail, how to plan for healthcare, and how much it costs to RV full-time. Each topic also includes a companion video.
What Do You Wish You Knew Before RVing Full-Time?
Please leave us a comment and let us know what you wish you knew before RVing full-time. If you’re still in the planning phase, feel free to ask any questions you may have. We’d love to hear from you!
The thing we wish we knew about was something we actually DID know about, but still had a hard time avoiding. The issue is travel burnout. We knew if we tried to do too much too fast we would exhaust ourselves, but even though we tried to avoid it, it still happened.
There is a lot to see in this country and we want to experience everything, but the reality is driving the RV, setting up, breaking down, constantly trying to figure out new places, dealing with normal life stuff on the road, and going out and taking advantage of what’s around us in any given place, can all be exhausting.
What we’ve learned is we need to truly consider several things when determining our routes and our campgrounds. We now really think about where the campground is located in relation not just to points of interest, but also normal life necessities (grocery stores, etc.); we really think about how long we want to stay in any given location (we used to think a week was enough, but now we are pushing toward ten days or two weeks for most places); we now seriously limit our travel mileage (we used to limit ourselves to 200 miles per drive, but now it’s more like 150 – and, oftentimes, much less than that); and we really think about what kind of campground we want to stay in (state parks vs private) depending on the location.
These are just additional considerations that we didn’t fully appreciate when we started out, but applying the lessons we’ve learned (the hard way) has reduced our stress a lot.
Even when we stay in one place for a while I find I try to do too many activities and get burned out too. I would like to have shorter travel days, but Sean (who does the driving) wants to just push through. When drove from Pensacola, FL to Central TX in 2 days!
Wooooowwwwww!! That is CRAZY!!! I’m tired just thinking about driving that many miles that fast!
We stay monthly. Monthly rates are generally cheaper and it gives you time to rest and relax, create new friends, and take your time checking the area out. Plus, who wants to spend their time packing and unpacking all the time??
We definitely agree and also stay a month often.