Over the years we collect a bunch of stuff. The best way to de-clutter is to pack up, sell and donate your stuff and move int your RV full-time. Full-time RVing has become a new way of life for me and for many Americans. Exploring the open road with no boundaries is said to be a very liberating experience. As fun and exciting as it may be to hit the open road in your RV, there are a few things that I’ve learned since I’ve been living in my RV full-time:
15 Things to Consider Before Moving into Your RV
1. RV Maintenance
Even though I have roadside assistance, it’s important to be comfortable with fixing small issues when they arise. You don’t have to be a master mechanic, but you should understand how to fix and maintain your RV. Every RV will come with a manual and you should make time to get familiar with this. The more you know, the better able you can spot troubles before they are too bad. You can also employ important preventative tips to take the best care possible for your RV.
Learn to be comfortable with preparing leaks and performing basic plumbing. Be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks with a garage and plan them according to your travels. If you know you are going to be in a rural area for an extended time, take your RV in for a check before you leave a major town.
Always be sure to have the required tools on hand to fix the common problems such as flat tires, coolant and oil replacement and engine troubles. Living in your RV can be fun, but you need to be prepared to take care of it on the road. You will have more fun when you have less mechanical issues to worry about and peace of mind comes with regular maintenance and care.
Your RV is not as big as your home, so only take what is necessary. Everything you don’t need can go in storage. Roof racks or ladder racks come in handy for storing equipment such as bikes and camping gear and frees up space inside the RV. Packing to live in an RV is a good way to get rid of clutter that you no longer need. Whatever doesn’t have sentimental value can be sold in a garage sale or can be donated. Remember, that you only need the things you cannot live without once you go on the road.
3. Practice First
Before you make the move permanent, try a few practice runs. Many RVers wish they had done a few smaller trial runs first because it allows you to figure out what you really need and how to prepare. More than a weekend is needed to do this and it helps you decide if you like campgrounds or if you like being isolated. While it will not mirror exactly what it is like to be s full-time RVer, you get a better idea of what you need and how you will cope being on the road and away from your home.
4. Size Matters
When you think of living in your RV, you will probably think that you need the biggest RV (as close to the size of a home as you can get). However, most full-timer RVers report that bigger is not always better. Having a large RV makes travel difficult because there is usually additional maintenance and it doesn’t always fit in to the spots and places you want to go. While you want to be comfortable, you should not go overboard on the size and only get an RV to match what you need. Having too much space can also mean filling it with unnecessary junk and clutter.
It is essential to have full insurance coverage in the event anything bad happens. Accidents, theft, and illness can all occur and you need to be prepared. There are two coverages that full time RVers state are mandatory; replacement value of the RV in case it is damaged or stolen and replacement of all personal belongings. There are many coverage options to choose from so select according to your lifestyle and desired plans.
Living full time in your RV is manageable and flexible when it comes to costs of living. There are options available to save on insurance, gas, registration, and camping fees. Living on the road usually means limited funds, so you need to make the most of every dollar. Make a budget and plan according to what you normally do and where you will be going so you know how much you will be spending every week. Seasonal and part-time work is often a necessity while living in your RV to help keep cash flowing.
Many RVers wish they had planned ahead according to local weather. As you plan to travel around, plan your destinations according to weather changes. Look ahead at forecasts so you can be prepared in the event bad weather is expected. You will enjoy your time much more when you are prepared.
Your diet will certainly change once you are living out of your RV. Food storage is limited so make sure you plan for keeping food fresh. Fruits and vegetables need to be kept in green baggies and can or freeze as much stuff as possible. Stock up on groceries whenever you come across grocery stores to ensure you eat right while you’re on the road and avoid fast food.
9. Stay Connected
Your life will be easier if you can stay connected, so make sure you have Wi-Fi wherever you go. If the kids are with you, they will definitely ant Internet access. If access is limited as you travel, be sure to check hotspots and Internet cafes in the towns you pass through.
Sitting around the RV is no healthier than sitting on your couch at home, so get up and move. Plan to explore the areas you go to and hike or bike around. Plan to get some exercise every day, to keep you healthy so you can get more out of your new RV lifestyle.
It is pretty easy these days to find campgrounds set up to support RVs. Look ahead to find the sites that accommodate RV’s and have all the necessary connections. Often there are websites designed to make searches easier, so you only have to go to one place to get all the campsite information you need.
12. Camping Clubs
People that join the full time RV life often sign up for camping clubs because of all the hype surrounding them. In retrospect, many RVers wish they had avoided these. Despite the number of freebies you will get, there are many places that do not accept club perks. Depending on where you like going and what you want to do, the perks of these clubs may not help you. It is best to research before signing up so you don’t waste your time or money.
Slides are a great addition to RVs because of the amount of space they give you internally. Just be careful not to go overboard. Some manufacturers get a little crazy, creating monster slides that seem to be engineering dangers. Slides that are too big can cause issues because of the additional weight. Be sure you get s slide that you need and nothing more
With the kids being on the road too, you need to plan for their education. RV living means they will have to be home schooled which means you need to be prepared to get everything they need. The advantage to living on the road is that cultural, historical, and geographical lessons will be amazing. Just be sure they get in the math, reading, and writing too.
15. Take Your Time
RV living has one great advantage in that you can take your time. It is not like the family vacation her you have a week to fit everything in. Many full-time RVers wish they had slowed down in the beginning. Now that you are on the road, you have all the time you want. Take your time to see what you want at the pace you want. When you truly slow down, you will get more out of RV living and more out of life.