So, you’re thinking of living the RV life – Lonely Planet - Deepstash
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Why do people choose an RV over other methods of long-term travel?

Why do people choose an RV over other methods of long-term travel?

  • Partners need room to do their own things
  • Friends and family can visit
  • People want to travel more but don't want to give up the convenience of spaces such as a kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
  • Having a place to call home (that actually feels like a home): having something to come back to at the end of the day that felt like a home, rather than just a suitcase or a small vehicle.

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Where you sleep

There are quite a few places you can park your RV at night. The most common.

  • Campgrounds: Using campgrounds that provide hookups is the classic RV parking method.
  • Boondocking: Boondocking refers to finding a piece of land to camp on where you’re not hooked up to anything. It’s much more affordable than staying at a campground but does require some investment up front.
  • Moochdocking: Moochdocking is where you set up camp on a friend or family member’s driveway.

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What type of RV should you get?

What type of RV should you get?

While selecting your RV is a very personal choice, there are a few things everyone should consider:

  • Power to get over mountain passes
  • Personal safety considerations: Especially when traveling solo, when you're parked somewhere for the night, have the ability to simply move into the back to go to sleep (without going outside)
  • Ease of use while driving
  • Age of the RV: A newer vehicle will likely need less renovations within. However, older RV electronics can be easier to maintain for those without a lot of RV knowledge.

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How do you finance your RV?

For the most part, there are two options for buying your rig:

  • Purchase it outright
  • Finance
  • It’s very similar to a car purchase, and financing makes breaking into the lifestyle a realistic achievement for those without too much in savings.

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How much does RV life cost?

How much does RV life cost?

The cost of RV life will depend heavily on how, where, and when you prefer to travel.

  • The daily cost of living for items like food, campsites, and gas will vary wildly depending on the area you’re in. If you’re seeking out big destination areas (as many travelers like to do), you’ll be spending more money than elsewhere.
  • Speed of travel: No matter where you park your rig, slowing down can help you save money.
  • RV life can work for every budget: In general, however, you can spend as much or as little as you want. Some get into RV life to save money.

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What do RVers do for income?

  • Some have their own businesses that allow them to set their own hours. Some make money from YouTube, Instagram, and their blog.
  • Many work regular full-time corporate jobs that are remote. Some work just part-time to cover daily expenses. Some work seasonal jobs and travel the rest of the year. Others live off savings for a while.

People make their transition all different ways. You have to figure out for yourself what will give you the independence to live in your RV while still making enough money to meet your financial goals.

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What safety essentials should you consider?

What safety essentials should you consider?

  • Wasp spray: Wasp spray can be used as a personal defense item.
  • First aid kit: Do your best to be prepared for small medical emergencies by purchasing the classic safety essential, a first aid kit.
  • Home security camera
  • Motion-sensing security lights
  • Alarm systems. Get alerts on your phone if there’s suspicious activity.
  • Built-in GPS for the internet: it allows you to see where your rig is as well as how fast it’s moving.
  • Bike lock
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Automatic fire suppression systems
  • A kingpin is a locking mechanism that stops someone from coming over and taking your towable RV.

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What are the best parts of RV life?

Seeing friends and family: Living in an RV makes it much easier to see friends and family. As one couple put it, they’re now able to visit with family they would normally only see at weddings and funerals.

Spending more time in dream destinations: When you work a traditional 9-5 with limited PTO, your travels are also limited. Over the course of a year, you may go to a couple destinations for a week at a time. Because it’s a lifestyle rather than a vacation, living in an RV allows you to stay in these places for longer stretches.

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Some challenging aspects to living on the road

Some challenging aspects to living on the road

  • Small living area: RVs are usually much larger than vans, but they’re still tiny in comparison to the stationary homes people leave behind.
  • Managing personal space can be a significant challenge.
  • Living on the road, you're at the mercy of the weather.
  • Planning exhaustion: You’re constantly planning everything from where you’re going to sleep at night to what hikes you’ll doing that week.
  • Campground scarcity: It can take time to get repairs and parts. Additionally, campsites are filled far ahead of time in some areas of the country.
  • Slight changes in daily chores: One of these is laundry.

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Before hitting the road

  • Financial planning: Make sure you’re entering this lifestyle responsibly. Ideally, you should begin with as little debt as possible.
  • Decide what to do with your home: keep it or sell it.
  • Determine your residency.
  • Downsize: You will need so much less than you think you will.
  • Organize: When you have such a small space to work with, organization is key.
  • Prepare to make mistakes: As with anything you try for the first time, there’s a learning curve during which mistakes will happen.
  • Dive in: The only way to learn everything you need to know about RV life is by jumping in.

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