Why do people choose to live in an RV? Most will say it’s because they are searching to live more intentionally. At least that’s why we did it 5 years ago! Maybe people are in search of a life with less stress and more peace. RV living isn’t for everyone. After going through 2020 we’ve noticed a shift of thinking in people, and also organizations that now realize their employees really can work from home and be even more productive. As we’ve said so many times, RV life is still life. It’s not perfect rainbows and unicorns every day. But after 5 years of full-time RV living and traveling, we know for us, it’s a perfect lifestyle. It does take a lot of adjusting and flexibility. However, if you’re willing to do it, the advantages are incredible! Here are our 10 reasons we think you should live in an RV (in no particular order).
Less Stuff – More Simple Life
Experiences vs. material possessions. We got rid of about 99% of our stuff. The stuff we thought we needed when in reality was just holding us down. Emotionally. The more we got rid of, the freer we felt. We gave a lot of stuff to our kids, we donated a lot and sold a lot. We moved into our RV with the things we need and use daily. We’re very lucky to have room for some of our favorite items like our Instant Pot, homemade ice cream maker, and a full-size breadmaker. But it’s all about choices. You learn just how unimportant some of the things you’ve collected over the years (or decades) really are. Those sentimental items you have stuck in a box and never look at can easily become something more cherished, by getting rid of them. Wait. What? Check out our blog: What To Do With Sentimental Items When Downsizing. We knew we were going to love this lifestyle, but we still thought we’d miss something. We do not miss anything. If you are unsure if you’ll like living full-time in an RV, you can always choose to rent a storage unit with some of your things you don’t want to part with right away, and test it out for a few months or a year, and then decide what to do at that point. You really learn to not need or want material things anymore. I personally believe it’s because your life becomes so much more fulfilled with adventures and experiences, and your sense of what makes you happy, changes.
A Unique Perspective
When we lived in our traditional home, we woke up every morning and glanced outside. The only difference every day was the weather. Waking up in my RV every morning with a different view has been worth it all. Justin and I often comment when we pass a house we think is pretty that it’s too bad their view never changes. We see things from a totally different perspective now. Having the freedom to go anywhere with our home behind us is wondrous. We push the limits sometimes to get to a place where the views are just epic, but it’s really all about that perspective and living with no regrets. Before RV life, when we would take vacations, we would rush to get somewhere we wanted to go. Passing by so many other beautiful places along the way, but we were in a hurry. We had a goal in mind. Now we travel much slower, and cover fewer miles and stop and linger more. That old saying about stopping and smelling the roses is exactly what we do.
Freedom to go where you want. How many people who live in a traditional house are stuck next to neighbors they are feuding with? I see it all over TikTok. You don’t get to choose your neighbors when you live in a traditional house. However, we do get to pick our neighbors – or not have any. If we end up in a situation where we are alone, and then someone shows up that we don’t really care to be near, our house has wheels and we can just move. It really is just that simple! We need 20 minutes to pack up, and we’re on the road again. We can live anywhere in the country the wheels will take us. One month it might be the mountains of Colorado or the lakes of Montana, and the next month it might be the hills of West Virginia or the waterfalls of New York. You can go from the open countryside to the city in one day. The possibilities are endless when your home is with you.
Before we chose our RV lifestyle, we lived in a little country farm town in PA. We often got deer in the yard, as well as squirrels and birds. But the wildlife we have been able to experience while living in our RV makes those encounters almost feel like nothing. From moose, bears, and foxes to turtles and bison and so much more. Though we are both animal lovers, we’ve both learned so much more about wildlife and we get to appreciate it more and more everywhere we travel.
I don’t know about you all, but I sat in a stuffy corporate office behind double computer screens. On my butt, all day long. My longest journey was heading to the lunchroom. I often felt very proud of myself if I took the stairs to the parking lot vs. the elevator. We now live a more physically active lifestyle. Hiking, kayaking, exploring different towns and we even picked up a couple of e-bikes (and yes, we actually pedal them most of the time). Washing and waxing the RV, maintenance, and walking the dog are all things that keep us moving.
Slower Pace of Life
In our life before moving into our RV, we were always in a rush. We didn’t realize it until later, but our weekends were planned by Wednesday and our Sunday nights were left with always needing one more day to accomplish the things we crammed in our weekend and didn’t get done. If we planned to do something fun like a hike, it was always evaluating how long it would take us because (say it with me now) we have to get home and complete the rest of the chores that were on the list. Now we live life with a general plan and travel with a general direction in mind. Did I ever mention it took us about 2 months to travel the 444 miles down The Natchez Trace Parkway? You can read our 3 part series here: Driving the Natchez Trace Pkwy (Part 1 of 3) Sometimes we plan to leave where we are on a certain day, and the day before deciding to stay another week. We used to be too busy to really take in what was going on around us and to really enjoy it. Life moves too fast. Life is more than getting from point A to point B. It’s about enjoying the journey, and everything around you. Tomorrow is never promised! Enjoy every moment of this life we have.
Community / Road Family
The RV community is the number one thing we were most surprised about. It’s unique and diverse. We love it! We see more ingenuity in using what they have, and we’ve seen some weird things. Although it might take you off guard at first, it’s all good! It’s fair to say we’ve definitely run into “unhappy campers” out there, but for the most part, the people you meet in the RV community become your road family. The thing about the RV community is that everyone helps everyone. In reality, the RV community is small, but I can promise you there is someone not far from you willing to help you out in any way they can, and you always keep an eye out for each other. It never matters what your background, race, politics, or religious beliefs are. You are accepted and supported. It feels like a safer place to be. I don’t know about you, but when we lived in our traditional house, we hardly knew anyone in our community. We worked. They worked. And there was so much going on that even on our days off, we never ventured past the property line we were mowing. You’ll often find yourself traveling together or planning meet-ups.
RV life might just be the best thing you’ve ever done. It also might not be, but until you try, you won’t know. We’ve both learned so much of our country’s history. We’ve been able to walk the same paths as historical figures and experience the history in so many small towns we didn’t even know existed. Not only have we learned so much about our country, but we’ve learned so much about each other. We’ve now been together for over 30 years and married for over 29 years. But living in 39-feet together for 24 hours a day has taught us so much about each other we never knew. We’ve learned about maintenance on our RV, and how things work. Even if you don’t think you want to learn, you will just generally pick things up. Things will go wrong, and you will have to learn how to deal with them. Life is still life. But these things make you stronger and make memories. You can always call someone professional to come to help you, but it really does pay to learn it yourself.
We have become more environmentally friendly. When you have only so much water, and electricity doesn’t come from the grid, you learn to conserve and we’ve become more aware and we use only the water or electricity we need. American’s are generally so wasteful, and we don’t even realize it. We don’t leave lights on, and we don’t take 20-minute showers anymore. Something else we do every time we are out on our public lands is we pick up trash. Sometimes it’s a lot of trash. We always find it so very sad that people use our country as their personal dumping ground. Most often we find a public trashcan or dumpster within just a few yards of a pile of trash, which always seems so senseless. We use much less gas since we don’t drive to work every day, but it does even out with the fuel we use to drive our home around to all these grand places we get to live in for short amounts of time. We are simply more aware of our surroundings and aware of the utilities we use because they are more limited.
Some people think that living in an RV is sad. We often get reactions of “I’m so sorry” when we tell people we live in our RV full-time. Unfortunately, people look at it that way. However, we also have the opposite reactions where people often express that this lifestyle is their dream. We know there is a difference between having to live and choosing to live in an RV. Home is always been our soft place to fall. Home is where our story begins and ends every day. It’s where we work, laugh, cry, cook, entertain, make memories and make mistakes. If you want to live totally off-grid, you can. If you want to live year-round in the RV park, you can do that too. You can have as many conveniences as you want. These days so many things are compact and moveable. From Netflix and hotspots to washing machines and dishwashers. You can make your home fit your needs. Even if it’s on wheels. We have lots of those creature comforts and have added a few things too. Like lithium batteries and solar power so we can live more self-sufficient. We can keep our lifestyle running perfectly, just from the energy we get from the sun!
I’ve mentioned it before! RV living isn’t for everyone. I read posts of people who have done it and after 3 or 4 months hated it so much, they went back to a house. And that’s perfectly awesome! Everyone gets to make choices that work best for their needs and wants. For us, however, it was about living simply, giving more, and expecting less. It was about giving back to communities and people we meet along the way. We are so blessed and so lucky to have had the experiences we have had, and we are both looking forward to many years of making new memories, experiencing new things, and giving back even more.
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