Your Most Popular Inquiries, Answered!
When we first started thinking about starting an RV Life it was years ago, but we had a lot of questions. It took us a lot of time to prepare for our adventure, and a lot of reading during that time. Since hitting the road, we have had several questions that seem to be re-occurring from our followers, as well as, fellow campers that we’ve met along the way. In this article I highlight what our most frequently asked questions are, and our answers to them. Maybe they will help you in your decision to pursue the RV Lifestyle like we did.
Why Did You Choose To Live In An RV?
The thought of freedom and getting to see/do/go wherever, whenever. We had always planned that this was our retirement goal. We would work and save like we’re supposed too, then when we retired, we would hit the open road. Then we were hit with a scary health issue and re-evaluated our plan. We decided that if we waited until ‘retirement age’ we may never be able to do all of the things that we want to do, or go all of the places we want to go. We opted to move up our plan and take the time now. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and our health scare really put that into perspective.
How Do You Get Your Mail On The Road?
Originally we didn’t think this would be so much of an issue. We figured that with almost everything being online these days, we wouldn’t have to think about paper snail mail anymore. Most of it was junk mail that came anyway. However, you do still need an address. You need an address for identification purposes. Plus, when your credit card expires or get’s lost, you need an address for them to mail you the replacement. There are several companies out there than can assist with transitioning into the RV Life. We did our research and found the one that worked best for our needs. We are members of an RV club, Escapees, that helped us establish residency in South Dakota, a state that allows transients. They collect our mail, and we have it sent to us when we are at a campground long enough that allows packages.
What Do You Do For Work or Money?
Right now, nothing. We’re banking on savings and we budget everything. When we decided to move our semi-retirement up, that was our plan. We said we would do this for 2 years, then settle back down in a house and go back to work. Now, we are trying to get our blog website and YouTube channel to grow to make money from them so we can continue this lifestyle for as long as possible.
How Do You Decide Where to Go?
We are trying to check as many things off our bucket lists as possible. So we go where the things we want to see are. We have stopped at a lot the National Parks that we’ve always wanted to see. Plus, we like to follow good weather. With so many regions of the United States that have varying weather patterns and temperatures, we try to go north in the summer, and south in the winter and work our list. Kinda like snowbirds that wander. Plus we stop and see friends and family along the way. We actually see friends and family that moved away from our home state more frequently now that we are on the road. We aren’t tied to a 9-5 work schedule and limited vacation days.
How Often Do You Travel?
At the beginning, we traveled a lot more. We were on the road every 3-4 days trying to get in as much as we possibly could, and see all of the people we could. The whole RV Life was new to us, and honestly, even with as much research and planning as we had done, we didn’t think about how frequently we should travel. We met another Full Time RV Couple when we were in Florida, and Kelly pointed out to us that we didn’t have to do ‘All Of The Things,’ we could always go back. And really, by not doing everything the first time, you give yourself a reason TO go back. A year in, and now, we have slowed down. We try to travel only once a week at most. Optimally, we want to stay places for at least 2 weeks. Moving so fast we felt like we were missing out on a lot. We were trying to cram everything in so quickly that we really weren’t experiencing or appreciating any of it. Yeah, we knew we had a limited time schedule with 2 years, but we also wanted to enjoy our time too. Slowing down has afforded us the opportunity to do our YouTube channel and our articles. Plus it has given us the time to meet new people along our journey.
How Much Does It Cost A Month To Full Time RV?
This is a loaded question. Everyone’s budget will be vastly different. Plus it depends on how frequently you’re moving, and where you’re staying. When we travel, we don’t like to go more than 250 miles in a day. With the diesel truck towing, each drive day can average us about $250. An average cost for 1 night at a campground is $50. We have to pay to do our laundry in a laundromat now. We are currently averaging about $5.00 per load for that. Plus there are the costs for the things you want to do, your entertainment expense. When we were traveling every 3-4 days, our fuel costs could be as high as $1000 per week. Plus $350 a week in campsite fees, and then 2 loads of laundry, and then entertainment. It was costing us more to live on the road than to have a house and the bills that come with that. By slowing down and trying to stay places for 2 weeks, our fuel expense is much less. Only about $300 for 2 whole weeks because we aren’t towing which reduces your fuel efficiency and we aren’t driving long distances all of the time. Some days, we don’t drive at all because we are staying at the camper all day. We have learned how to find and do more dispersed camping which reduces and sometimes eliminates the cost of the campsite. In addition to boondocking, a lot of campgrounds offer a weekly, or even monthly, discount. We will still always have the laundry cost, but we’ve even reduced our entertainment budget too. Instead of paying to go see a concert, or the Kentucky Derby, we are enjoying the National Parks, our hikes, fishing, all of the other things that are on the bucket list for when we retire that we never had the time to do before.
Do You Get Sick Of Each Other?
Haha! Sometimes. We’ve opted to live in 400 Square feet of space together with a dog. Getting sick of being so close with each other does indeed happen. But outside is part of our space too. When we find ourselves getting annoyed with one another, we can go about doing something independently. Doug may go work on a project outside, like doing an oil change. Or I may just go fishing while Doug is working on that project. Really, sometimes I just go grocery shopping by myself so we have time away from each other. We find that we only really get sick of each other when we’ve been trapped in the camper for a few days because of rain or bad weather. When we are busy doing things, or out and about outside the camper going fishing or hiking, we rarely get sick of each other. We enjoy each other’s company and companionship. I mean, after all, isn’t that why we got married in the first place. We chose the camper that we have for Full Time Living because of the space it provided. We’ve never been together 24/7 before, and weren’t looking to get divorced just because we actually see each other now. After over a year of living in it and traveling, we both agree, we should have opted for a smaller camper. We don’t actually need all of the space that we have with this one.
What Are The Favorite Places You’ve Been?
There aren’t many places that we haven’t enjoyed. We appreciate the multiple cultures within the United States that we’ve had the opportunity to experience. And we enjoy seeing the changes in landscape across the country too. It’s funny how completely different areas can be, yet still have so many similarities. However, we both fell in love with Montana and South Dakota. Before starting our Full Time RV Life, we both always loved Texas. We still love Texas, but we haven’t even been back there! We were surprised by how much we enjoyed Arkansas. And we can’t wait to get back to the Southwest like New Mexico and Arizona.
Do You Have A Washer & Dryer? How Do You Do Laundry?
We do not have a washer or dryer in our camper. The option was there. The space and hookups were provided with the style and model of our camper. But we opted to utilize the space as a big storage closet and Lagertha’s room. We made this decision because of the reviews we read, and the people we spoke with, the washer and dryer for camper’s don’t always work the best, they use up a lot of electricity, and take a long time to complete their cycles.
Do You Cook In The RV?
Hard yes! I’ve always enjoyed cooking and make food to be enjoyed. So the kitchen in the RV was a pretty big deal for me. It did take some time getting past that living in the camper wasn’t a permanent vacation of camping food. But now, I cook almost every night. There was also a learning curve to cooking in the camper. Everything is smaller. The burners on the stove are closer together. The oven barely fits a small cookie sheet. Plus when you use the stove or oven, it heats up the camper a lot. We use a combination of cooking inside and outside depending on what I’m making, the weather, and where we’re camping. When dispersed camping, we do a lot more cooking outside because running the A/C to cool it back off is harder.
What is The Best and Worst Thing About Living the RV Life?
The Best thing is still, by far, all of the amazing people that we have met along the way. No specific place we can go could possible replace the connections we’ve made on the road. We now have friends in Tennessee, Florida, Montana, Louisiana, Illinois, and quite a few other states too. But the freedom that we have to go wherever we want is a huge bonus. It isn’t vacation mode all of the time, but we get to explore and experience so much that our beautiful country has to offer by being mobile.
The worst thing thus far has been sticking to a very strict budget to make this lifestyle last as long as we possibly can. We both worked so hard to get to this point where we didn’t have to look in the checking account to go shopping, that being on a strict budget again has been a lot more difficult than either of us anticipated. Initially we both figured, “We know how to be broke, so being on a tight budget won’t be a problem, we’ve done that before.” Unfortunately, we all really get used to the lifestyle we’re living and forget the struggle that comes with going back to where you started sometimes.
Hopefully the answers to some of these questions can cure your curiosity. But really I hope that these questions and answers can help you in making the decision to whether the RV Lifestyle is something you’re ready for. Is it something you can do? And if it’s something that you are willing to endure, because for all of the glorious moments that we have, there are still a fair amount of moments and times of distress too.