Last Updated on July 5, 2023
*** First Month Living in a Van – 2016 ***
I am writing this story by the beach, sitting in my lounge chair, with the laptop in hand which is awesome but living full-time in a class B RV has its downsides.
It’s been a month that I’ve been living in my RV, and it definitely has great benefits like never being in a rush or punching a time clock. I don’t have to hurry home after work or run back home to change before a night out on the town. This gives you an incredible amount of extra time. You don’t even realize in your daily life, how much time it takes to always head back home to either eat, get dressed, or even sleep. The RV also has a toilet and shower so no going home or searching for the necessary equipment for natural functions.
After living one month in my Class B RV, these are my downsides:
1) Occasional loneliness
There is all this extra time to spend on one’s self, but the solitude can be real. When I was working 40 hours a week, I didn’t go anywhere during weeknights. I would go to work and then back home. You don’t even notice that besides your coworkers, there are days sometimes when you don’t spend time with anyone else. Now, I have all this extra time and sometimes I feel lonesome. I try to organize and attend weekend camping events. I also spend some time with friends and that helps.
2) Charging my laptop
Even though most parks, resorts, and state parks, can offer full hookups, they are more expensive than just parking on the street. I spent a few days on the beach in a State Park without hook-ups but to make sure to get my phone and laptop charged I need to use my generator, but it’s loud and annoys me. I usually use it for a couple of hours, charge my things then turn it off. Most parks don’t allow generator usage after 8 pm. I do have solar panels that keep my battery charged but to use the regular 110 to charge my laptop would require an inverter (looking into buying and installing one now).
3) Netflix and multitasking
I like to watch my Netflix shows with the laptop in my hand doing something else. Even though my TV is only 12V my Roku requires to be plugged into power. Since you cannot use the generator after 8 PM, and that’s loud anyway, I can only use my laptop to watch Netflix but cannot multitask as I normally would.
4) Water and dumpsites
When I am not plugged in, I always have to think about water and dumpsites. After about 3 days, I need to make sure to refill my water tank and dump my toilet. I cannot be without those for extended periods of time.
5) Can get expensive
If you plan to drive around a lot or always want full hookups, it can get expensive. These sites at better places can be up to $100 a night, that’s like paying for a motel. This month I spent time in nicer resorts for around $50-$60 per night and I spent a whole week in the desert for $105 with a Passport America membership. I am in California, which is pretty expensive. To balance the costs, I end up spending half my time in sites with no hookups or sometimes I find a good neighborhood street and sleep there overnight. Still this month I paid half as much as I normally paid for rent in LA.
6) Weather can really affect you
When going to work or back home, the weather doesn’t affect you as much and you hardly notice whether the streets are wet or dry. When you live in an RV, you don’t want to be in it all day. When it rains, or it’s too windy it is not fun to be outside. I spent a week in the desert, in an RV park that was surrounded by fruit orchards. It was full of flies. That is not much fun. The flies kept landing on me when I tried to sit outside to relax or work.
So far, these are the negative sides of my new lifestyle, but I still enjoy the RV very much. These are the things that make living in the RV more difficult, but the good is outweighing the bad. Now it is time to take a walk along the beach and prepare my lunch.
*** UPDATE in 2020; 4 years later ***
It is interesting to re-read my old posts. It’s been 4 years since I gave up my apartment in LA and have started living in an RV full-time. Let me go over the above points again:
- Loneliness: I don’t get lonely very much. I joined Xscapers years ago where I met many friends. If I am RVing, I usually travel together with friends with occasional side trips. I am only alone if I want to. I really hardly ever feel lonely.
- Charging devices: I have a better battery setup, solar, and inverter. Now I can charge my devices using my lithium batteries and it is no issue at all. With the right solar setup, you don’t have to worry about electricity at all.
- Multitasking: for the above reasons, this is also not an issue anymore. I have an Unlimited AT&T hotspot, which provides me with all internet I need.
- Water and Dumping: I upgraded my RV to a small Class C RV in 2018. Since then my freshwater tank and my black water tank are way bigger. I can go for about two weeks before needing to fill up my water or dump it again.
- Expensive: since I have many friends who boondock, and boondocking is free on BLM lands, I spend way less. I travel slowly, staying at the same location for weeks. I hardly stay in parks anymore. I also gave up my rented driveway in LA.
- Weather: yes, that is still the case. If it is windy, too cold, or too hot you won’t like it that much. Also, there are many locations that have mice, and they like moving into your RV. You better bring traps with you!
I guess, the downsides are now:
- That I don’t have a separate car: my RV is small, and I can drive to town when I want to, but I still have to pack it up before I go into town. The Transit is too weak to tow a vehicle, I will probably upgrade my RV to be able to tow a separate vehicle.
- Need a couch: I would like an RV where two people comfortably can watch TV together. My current RV doesn’t have a couch. My next one will have one!
I cannot think of anything else now. Life is pretty good, especially when you already know this lifestyle pretty well.
*** UPDATE in 2023; 7 years later ***
Life has taken me on an incredible journey of exploration since I started my remote lifestyle. One significant change I’ve embraced is upgrading my RV to a Coachmen Leprechaun, a larger and more comfortable space that truly feels like home. With its cozy couch and ample room, even though it measures a modest 28 feet in length, it provides me with the perfect balance of functionality and comfort. This new RV is also set up with an 850W solar system with a 3000W inverter, my boondocking needs are met.
While I no longer reside in my RV full-time, my adventurous spirit continues to guide me. I now spend approximately six months in Europe, spending precious time with my elder parents, and a few months each year embarking on thrilling international travel experiences. In the past two months, I immersed myself in the wonders of Asia, exploring five countries over the span of two months.
During the periods when I am away from the United States, my home on wheels finds a safe and secure abode in a reliable storage facility. This arrangement allows me to embark on my global adventures with peace of mind, knowing that my RV will be waiting for me upon my return.
In the summer of 2022, I did a 3-month long road trip through the North East. With each state I visited, I felt a profound sense of accomplishment, as I can now proudly say that I have explored all 50 states of this great nation. I really loved Tennessee, the Smokeys, Vermont and Maine. I’ve visited some old friends from way back then when I first arrived in the U.S. in the year 2000.
This summer I set my sights on Colorado, where I will spend some time with my fellow RVing friends. From there, my adventurous spirit hopefully will take me to the North West, driving along the breathtaking coastlines of Washington, Oregon, and California.
- That I still don’t have a separate car. As my international travels increase and the cost of storing two vehicles would become burdensome. It’s only a practical and financially responsible decision that aligns with my current lifestyle.
Last update on 2023-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API