I’ve got good news and bad news about fulltime RV living. It’s been two years and four months since we settled into our Big Foot truck camper along the banks of the Missouri River, and in that time, we’ve experienced an adventurous journey that we wouldn’t trade for anything; but, there is good news and bad news about fulltime RV living.
If you’re already living this fantastic life of freedom, your experiences will surely parallel the good news and bad news I share about fulltime RV living, and you may have insights to share something that I have missed.
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But, if you are still at the starting gate, ready to burst away from the old into the new… and you wonder and worry simultaneously about this lifestyle… the following good news and bad news about fulltime RV living will either persuade you to take the leap or cause you to rethink your plans.
The Good News: Simplifying your life by downsizing will be one of the most freeing experiences of your life. Getting rid of all the “stuff” that fills every room, every closet, drawer and garage will feel like you’ve lost 100 pounds, like you are being lifted as easily as a balloon on a breezy day.
The Bad News: Now that you have downsized and everything fits in your RV, shopping at the mall loses its appeal. No longer will you seek more “things” to decorate the walls of your house, more “tools and gadgets” to fill your garage, more dishes and clothes and shoes to fill the cabinets and closets.
You’ll quickly learn that buying anything new requires the removal of something you already have because your living space is limited. If you are a “keeper” of sentimental things, you’ll have to let go. Aunt Martha’s tea set will have to find a new home in order to make a space for what is necessary for fulltime RV living.
The Good News: Your social circle will expand! Pulling into a campground is like pulling up a chair on the front porch of a dear friend. Fulltime RV living brings you to a new environment where everyone is happy to see you, welcomes you with delight and loves to share stories of adventure and travel. It’s a huge difference from the suburbs, where everyone is focused on the daily grind of going to work and maintaining all the stuff they own at a fast pace… as if they wear blinders that prevents them from seeing and getting to know their neighbors.
The Bad News: If you are a loner and don’t like being around people, you’ll want to avoid RVers. They will draw you in with their welcoming greetings and invite you to come sit for a spell, pull up a camp chair, share a beer or iced tea, enjoy a grilled burger and sit around their campfire. It might be a life changing experience for you!
The Good News: Fulltime RV living gives you the magical opportunity to spend time with nature… see the beauty of this wondrous country, watch glorious sunrises and sunsets over beaches and canyons, sleep under the massive expanse of stars, capture the sights and sounds of coyotes and owls and frogs and whippoorwills.
The Bad News: Nature will definitely make itself welcome in your living space… frogs and spiders and mice and mosquitoes will find their way inside your RV. Stepping on a frog with your bare feet in the dark is a rude awakening to your day! Forgetting that standing with the door open at dusk is an open invitation for a wild mosquito party will find you on a swatting frenzy for the evening!
The Good News: Fulltime RV living brings out creative ingenuity you didn’t realize you have. All of a sudden you are a master organizer, a handyman and a creative designer and engineer as you find ways to make everything work smoothly… you become as ingenious as a survivalist in the wild. If your hot water heater goes out, the Bunn coffeemaker becomes an instant source of heated water for doing dishes. Plus, your widely expanded social circle (RVers at the campground or online) graciously shares advice and tricks for whatever problem you are trying to fix.
The Bad News: If you are not mechanically inclined, you’ll need to find a good RV specialist to fix the problems that come up when you begin fulltime RV living. How cool is it that the name of our local guy is James Bond! He is our go-to person when something isn’t working right because we are the mechanically challenged ones – able to hold a hammer, screwdriver and pliers; able to hook up the water hose and sewer and propane tanks… but haven’t a clue about pipes and circuits and gaskets and fittings under the hood and inside the camper.
The Good News: Every day is a new adventure when you embrace fulltime RV living. The open road is your canvas and you can paint whatever landscape you desire. Fulltime RVers come in all shapes and sizes… some travel constantly, some follow the good weather, some settle down and workamp or volunteer for months at a time. The colorful variety of the fulltime RVing lifestyle creates a beautiful masterpiece.
The Bad News: If you are not flexible, you’ll end up frustrated. With fulltime RV living, as in all of life, if you cannot adapt, change and accept things, you’ll find yourself filled with aggravation. If one thing doesn’t work out… if something breaks and causes a detour and delay in your plans… flexibility is required. Learning to go with the flow of life on the road, seeing every problem – big or small – as an opportunity for a new experience is necessary to this life of freedom.
That’s my list of good news and bad news about fulltime RV living.
Seasoned RVers will certainly have tons more to add to the list. This is what we’ve gleaned from 2 ½ years of living in our truck camper. As I said at the beginning, I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for any mansion, three bedroom house or apartment.
If you dream of living a life of freedom…
If traveling anywhere and everywhere is a constant pull on your heart…
If your eyes light up like a kid in ToysRUs when you see hundreds of RVs on a sales lot…
If passing a RV on the road stirs up a longing to trade places with the driver…
then the good news and bad news of fulltime RV living shared here will serve to help you decide if this lifestyle is for you.