Life on the road can be an adventurous and fulfilling lifestyle choice. The idea of living in an RV, traveling from coast to coast, and waking up to new scenery every day is an exciting concept. However, RV living, like any other lifestyle, has its pros and cons.
In this article, we break down those pros and cons. While everyone’s situation is different, this will get you thinking about whether the RV lifestyle is really for you! If you feel that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, then the open road may indeed be calling your name.
Freedom and Flexibility
Owning an RV means having the freedom to travel and live wherever you like. You can change locations when the weather gets unfavorable, or when you simply yearn for a new view.
With your home on wheels, you are not bound by the conventional constraints of a static living arrangement. You can wake up beside a serene mountain range one day and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean the next. You can explore every corner of the country at your own pace, in your own time, and on your own terms.
The liberty to switch locations also allows you to avoid extreme weather conditions, choosing instead to follow the sun, the snow, or the foliage depending on your preference. Whether you’re a digital nomad needing a change of scenery, an adventurer seeking new landscapes, or a retiree wanting to explore the country, the freedom granted by RV living is unparalleled.
You’ll Find a Community of Fellow RVers
Another notable advantage of RV living is the unique and tight-knit community it fosters. The RV community is a diverse, welcoming, and supportive network of individuals and families sharing the same adventurous spirit and love of travel. There are plenty of online forums, Facebook groups, and meetups where RVers share tips, provide advice on various locations, and help each other troubleshoot RV-related issues.
This sense of community extends beyond the digital world too. When parked at campgrounds or RV parks, it’s common to find fellow RVers quick to offer assistance, share a meal, or simply indulge in good conversation around a campfire. This camaraderie among RVers isn’t just about shared knowledge and assistance, it’s about building meaningful connections and friendships that add to the richness of the RV living experience.
RV Living is Cost-Effective
When managed properly, RV living can be more economical compared to living in a traditional home. You can save on expenses such as rent, electricity, and other utilities. When we say cost-effective, we refer to the potential financial savings associated with RV living as compared to a traditional home. You also save on utilities such as water, electricity, and gas, which are typically lower for RVs.
Moreover, the flexibility of RV living allows you to travel according to your budget. For example, choosing to stay at more cost-effective campgrounds or boondocking (camping without hookups) can save significant amounts of money. Additionally, some RVers even choose to work on the road, taking on temporary jobs or freelancing to fund their travels. Therefore, with proper planning and budgeting, RV living can indeed be a cost-effective lifestyle choice.
Living in an RV means living with less. This encourages a simplified, minimalistic lifestyle that can be less stressful and more rewarding. It’s about keeping only the essentials and saying goodbye to clutter. This philosophy fits perfectly with the RV lifestyle.
Minimalism in RV living forces us to evaluate what we truly need and use, eliminating excess and creating a space that is efficient and organized. A minimalist lifestyle can also lead to less stress, as there are fewer possessions to worry about and maintain. It can contribute to financial savings too.
You get to live in amazing places you may not be able to afford otherwise
The RV lifestyle affords an unmatched opportunity to call some of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive locations home, even if just temporarily. Imagine waking up to the breathtaking view of a serene mountain range, or sipping your evening coffee while overlooking a stunning beach sunset. Such experiences are the norm rather than the exception when living in an RV.
Traditional housing in these picturesque locations often comes with a hefty price tag, making them inaccessible for many. However, with an RV, you can enjoy these stunning landscapes and captivating views without the financial strain of expensive mortgages or rentals.
One of the biggest downsides of RV living is the limited space. You have to downsize your possessions and constantly manage your limited storage space. The lack of space can feel particularly restrictive when the weather conditions confine you inside the RV, or when you want to entertain guests.
Living in an RV requires you to be thoughtful about what you truly need, and to let go of items that don’t serve a purpose or bring joy. Thus, the limited space in RV living not only affects physical comfort and storage capacity but also necessitates a significant mental shift in how one views possessions.
While living in an RV can be cheaper, the maintenance costs of an RV can be varied and unexpected, potentially offsetting some of the savings from not paying traditional home or rental fees. These costs stem from the necessity of regular upkeep and occasional repairs to both the vehicle’s mechanical components as well as items in the RV living space.
Additionally, the nature of RV life means these homes-on-wheels experience more wear and tear than a stationary home. Weather exposure, road vibrations, and occasional off-grid parking can lead to additional strain, necessitating further maintenance.
Uncertainty and Instability
While the freedom of RV living is a pro, it can also be a con. Embracing the RV lifestyle often means letting go of the predictability that comes with a stationary dwelling. The constant moving from one location to another may introduce a level of instability, as there is always an inherent unpredictability with travel.
This might include unforeseen weather conditions, unexpected breakdowns, or challenges finding suitable and safe places to park overnight. Although some might find these surprises to be part of the adventure, others may find the lack of a fixed and familiar environment stressful.
The social aspect can be challenging as well. It can be more difficult to form lasting relationships due to the transient nature of the lifestyle. So, it is essential for those considering an RV lifestyle to factor in their tolerance for uncertainty and their need for stability and social connections.
Weather Extremes and Hazardous Driving Conditions
The RV lifestyle inevitably involves exposure to a variety of weather extremes and potentially hazardous driving conditions. Travel is not always sunny highways and clear, starlit nights; one may encounter severe storms, high winds, heavy snowfall, or extreme temperatures that can not only make driving dangerous but also significantly affect the comfort and safety of your RV.
Extreme heat can put a strain on air conditioning systems and make staying cool a challenge, while extreme cold can cause plumbing to freeze and demand more energy to keep the interior warm. Handling an RV under high wind conditions or slippery roads requires skill and patience. Moreover, weather conditions can change rapidly, especially when moving through different geographical locations. So it is crucial to check local weather forecasts regularly, take appropriate safety measures, and be prepared to adjust plans accordingly.