Living in a Small RV: The Pros and Cons

Last Updated on March 6, 2024

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Key Takeaways:


  • Maneuverability: Small RVs are easier to drive, park, and navigate through tight spaces.
  • Cost-Effective: Lower purchase price, fuel costs, and maintenance expenses compared to larger RVs.
  • Versatility: Can access remote campsites and navigate narrow roads that larger RVs cannot.
  • Minimalism: Encourages a simpler lifestyle with fewer possessions and reduced clutter.
  • Eco-Friendly: Smaller size means lower carbon footprint and environmental impact.


  • Limited Space: Restricted living quarters can feel cramped, especially for extended periods.
  • Storage Challenges: Limited storage space requires careful organization and prioritization of belongings.
  • Lack of Amenities: Smaller RVs may lack certain amenities found in larger models, such as full-size kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Comfort Trade-Offs: Sacrifice some comfort and convenience for the benefits of compact size.
  • Potential Resale Value: Small RVs may have lower resale value compared to larger, more popular models.


Living in an RV can sound like a dream. Small RVs can be a great way to live on the road while you travel. What could be better than the comforts of home while being on a long road trip at the same time? Every day brings you something new and adventurous.

RVs offer a lot of flexibility and freedom, but there are also some downsides to living in a small RV. While you might love the lifestyle of living in one, you might realize that it actually takes more effort than you imagined. It’s safe to say that not everyone can live and maintain an RV lifestyle. Living in an RV is a big choice to make, so you need to be aware of the pros and cons before you jump in.

Pros To Living In An RV

Imagine traveling the country without worrying about packing up your things or finding a place to sleep for overnight. With an RV, you can go wherever you choose. Many people love living in RVs because they are self-contained units which means that all of your utilities and belongings are with you at all times. Without the extra cost of rent, it is possible to save a lot of money while living in an RV. This is the perfect way to break free from a 9-5 job and discover all that you can in this great country.

You might find yourself saying goodbye to homeownership once and for all when you start traveling around in your RV. Most RVs are small enough that they do not require much effort to clean. You can easily find an RV that is well-equipped for cooking and has a full bathroom. Living in a small RV could mean that you don’t need as much stuff, freeing you from the stuff that you don’t need.

Of course, there will be times when you want to settle down and stay somewhere for a while, but with an RV, you won’t need to worry about the stress of committing to a new lease and uprooting your life. It is very easy and tempting to just take off on another adventure as soon as your time at one spot runs out. This type of freedom can be addicting, which is why some people choose to live in RVs for good.

Some pros to living in an RV are as follows:

It is Cheaper

Living in your RV can be cheaper than living in a home with regards to mortgage, utilities, and other monthly expenses. Of course, first, you will have to find a way to support your full-time RV lifestyle. When you live in your RV, your rent is only a few hundred dollars a month especially if you boondock most of the time.

If you have the finances to buy the RV outright, you have even less to worry about each month. Even when you factor in campsite, gas, insurance, and running costs, the overall monthly expenses can be much lower than you pay when living in a house.

More Time in Nature

Did you know that being outdoors is proven to improve both physical and mental health? Living in your RV can also make you healthier because you are spending time outside. You get to see the beauty of nature every day. It is easy to forget about your daily stresses when you are constantly surrounded by beautiful scenery.

When you live in your RV, you have easier access to nature than you do living at home. You can get back to real nature and go completely off the grid if you want, unplugging from the world every now and then. You just need to get groceries and empty your tanks from time to time.

Easier to Move

When you live in a house, you have to pack up and find a new place to rent. When you live in an RV, it’s much easier for you to relocate. You can drive your RV straight from one spot to the next which means that packing up is quick and easy for most people. You don’t need to worry about hiring a moving van or packing your things into boxes. It’s almost like you are always in the process of moving when you live in an RV.

Living in a home is more permanent and more of a financial burden when it comes to moving. When you live in your RV you can move around as you please.

Personal Growth

Some people say they have learned more about themselves after living in their RV. They have learned how to be alone, improve their social skills, and enjoy the company of others even when there is no one around. Some people have experienced a new sense of freedom they never thought possible when they started traveling the country.

Living on the road allows for personal growth. When weather complicates plans or things break, you learn to adapt. You learn new skills and are able to fix and solve problems more efficiently because you do not have easy access to call someone to do it for you. As a result of the different responsibilities, you become a more adaptable person.


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Most people love the freedom that comes with living in an RV. You are able to travel whenever you want. Unless you still have a full-time job, no one is telling you how long you can stay anywhere and what time of day it needs to be before you move on. This type of unlimited independence is a dream for many people because they get it without having to work for it.

You get to go wherever you want and stay as long as you please. You can travel from time to time or take your RV on a cross-country trip if that is what you prefer. It all depends on how much driving you have in mind each day since gas does add up after a while.

You get to see the world and experience things you never knew existed. You can go skydiving in Mexico, snorkeling in Florida, or skiing in Colorado. The possibilities are endless when it comes to traveling and you control all that since moving around is easy with an RV.

Living Idly

When you live in an RV, it’s easier to slow down and relax. Working from home is becoming more popular as a way to earn money while living in an RV. You can take up a trade or learn new skills that allow you to work from anywhere.

They enjoy traveling and do not need deadlines, bosses, and schedules to reach. They are able to plan their own route and go where they please. You can support your RV lifestyle by working online. For example, blogging is a popular way to make money while traveling in an RV.

Cons to Living in Your RV

With all of the pros discussed above, it seems like living in an RV is one of the best ways to live life, right? As good as it may be, it also has its downsides.

Limited Space

One of the biggest problems with living in an RV is how little space there is. You only have a small area for all of your stuff, and it’s impossible to store everything you own. You have to limit what you bring along, or it won’t be easy to get around inside your RV.

There is not as much room in an RV as you had at home. This is especially true for the kitchen, which is especially small in RVs. You need to get used to the limited storage and space to work and move around and it can feel confining. The smaller space also leads to clutter, so it is important to get rid of everything you do not use daily and remove all trash right away.

Things Break

An earthquake at home causes damage, but this is rare. Every time your RV moves, things are at risk for breakage. Each drive is like a small earthquake for your home on wheels. You can limit this by using non-glass dishware, and by securing valuables and breakables before each drive.

Even when driving on smooth roads, things can break. You will be driving on some rough terrain and some of your stuff may not handle that well. The vibrations alone could cause a dish to fall off the shelf and crash into pieces on the floor or cabinets can open and their contents roll around in the back.

No Control Over Climate

When you get too hot or cold at home, you change the house temperature. In your RV, you will have heating and cooling systems but the outside climate is beyond your control. There can be extreme weather conditions where you are parked, so you need to take precautions.

Many RVers complain about how cold their RVs can get at night. When it gets cold, the windows let in the natural air. The same goes for when it’s really hot out. If you are parked somewhere that has much colder or hotter weather than your RV is designed for, then you need to find somewhere different to park or do something about the temperatures inside your home on wheels.

The weather has more impact on an RV than it does on a house due to the lack of insulation. Most RVs lack insulation the windows are thin and they do not keep out the outside temperature. If you do not take proper precautions like adding insulation, then heating or cooling it will be non-stop work.


Driving an RV can be stressful. As relaxing as the outdoors can be, if you have an RV, finding spaces to stay for overnight can be a challenge. Larger RVs have more comforts but they can be difficult to drive and maneuver, and many sites do not easily accommodate larger models. You need to plan ahead for stops and routes in order to avoid any stressful situations.

Having the responsibility of an RV is also stressful. If something goes wrong, you are responsible for fixing it. Be sure you know how to address any problems that arise before they happen; if not, your trip could be ruined or cut short.

Living in an RV can be a wonderful experience and a great way to explore. You get back to nature and can nourish your physical and mental health. You also save money each month. But when you live in an RV, be aware of the downsides and how to prepare for them.

Before selling your home and hitting the road, make sure that you take into account all of these factors. If you are ready to face the challenges of living in an RV, then it can be a wonderful experience. Ultimately, living in your RV is an adventure and as long as you are prepared and plan ahead, you can have the time of your life.

2 thoughts on “Living in a Small RV: The Pros and Cons”

  1. Your rent is low mostly if you are without utilities off in the desert or woods with no one around. Water is most critical even if a shower a month is not 1 of your requirements. Low rent with water and electric is possible in areas no one wants to be, at least not for long. The holding tanks will not last long until you need to dump them. Usually a full hook up site where people actually want to be will be $700 to $2000 a month. Best not listen to the hype by the media. Rent an RV for at least 6 months before committing. Few can live full time in a sub $25,000 trailer. We long time and $75k paid for a 5th wheel with MSRP of $109K. That 4 cyl clunker is not going to move anything. A new truck set to pull is around $65K and up, or buy someone else’s problems.

    1. We all live this lifestyle differently. Some want to live in the burbs, some want to discover and travel.

      Yes it is way cheaper if you boondock more. You can stay out West on most BLM lands for up to 14 days. Then you need to move to another place. Most of who boondock can go for about two weeks without moving, I personally can stay in one place without moving, my tanks and fridge can support me for about two weeks. You need good batteries, solar power, helps to have a generator. If you have a trailer or fifth wheel then you also have a separate car that you can use to run errands any day.

      If you do want to live in the burbs then yes, it won’t be much cheaper for you than renting an apartment. I do not think that I would live in an RV if I wanted to live in the suburbs. I live in an RV Because I love traveling, discovering, and LOVE nature!

      I personally do not LOVE parks. People live too close to one another, I prefer boondocking where I am with friends but not that close to one another. We have space and when I look outside I see nature instead of concrete parking pads with RVs nearby. To be honest, I do like parks sometimes to do laundry, use some amazing facilities, swimming pools etc., or want to run certain errands in the area. But that’s about it.

      I personally did not rent an RV for months before committing. I think many people do not have the $100-$250/day for that. Renting an RV is extremely expensive. Renting one for 6 months? In the best-case scenario, we are talking $18000 here. I don’t think many can afford losing that money. You can get a nice trailer for that! Usually, RV rentals don’t come with unlimited miles and it cost more to fill your gas tank too. You will feel you want to keep moving to use your money’s worth! Your costs will be just high. I’ve heard this idea before but I don’t recall knowing anyone who rented an RV before living the lifestyle. I do not believe it is the same lifestyle on a Rented RV than on yours.

      One thing to note that in the beginning of full-timing many do travel faster. Want to see more. If you decide on this lifestyle is for you long term, you will slow down. Then your costs will go down. Sometimes I stay in the same area for a month or more.

      I think many know that this lifestyle is what they want. They research. They look at blogs like this. They think about it for a while. Then they commit to it and try it. You can always go back. Sell your RV, buy a home… I don’t see why not you could not go back.

      My best advice is DO NOT BUY something that you cannot afford! Get something that won’t put you upside down in huge debt if in two years you decide that you don’t want this lifestyle anymore. That’s the key. If you have 18k to rent, you can get a nice trailer for that and actually do it. Your needs and wants will change as you gain experience living it.

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