Some people think that those who live in an RV are out of their minds. Another category of people believes that a mobile RV lifestyle is an exciting alternative lifestyle choice.
For instance, when Jessica and her husband Robert Meinhofer told their friends they were moving into a recreational vehicle, most of them thought that this couple was crazy. They had several questions in their mind. How could they leave their 2,000-square-foot mansion to live in a 250-square-foot recreational vehicle? Was this a midlife crisis? What would they do with their stuff?
The hardest people to convince about their decision were Jessica’s parents, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in New York and worked extremely hard so that their daughter could live comfortably and have a better life. They could not understand why their daughter wanted to live like low-income earners.
Well. Which group do you fall in?
We are not sure what you think, but truth be told, a mobile RV lifestyle is so attractive. In fact, according to The Washington Post, more than 1 million people in the United States live in motorhomes. These people comprise of couples who have ditched their houses to live in RVs, trailers, and motor homes. They say that RV living makes them happier and improve their marriages.
What does “Home” Really mean?
To help you understand why people live their comfortable mansions to live in RVs, motorhomes, and trailers, let us first understand what a home is. For many people, home means many things that we have highlighted below.
- A secure, cheerful place where you are loved, cared for, and respected.
- An enjoyable, happy place where you can live comfortably, laugh, and learn the things you do not know.
- It is where your heart and memories are.
- A home is where your dreams and hopes are.
As you can see, a home is a lot more than bricks and woods. Any place that is secure, comfortable and one that fulfills all your needs can be called a home. For instance, an RV is called a mobile home for a reason. The whole point of a mobile RV lifestyle is traveling and living in comfort.
When you live in an RV full time, you bring all your accommodations along with you. You know which kitchen cabinet to open when it is time for coffee in the morning and where exactly you will sleep each night. Your recreational vehicle or camper is supposed to feel like a home away from home.
RV Basics for New RVers
A recreational vehicle, commonly abbreviated as RV, is a towable or motorized vehicle primarily used for traveling on the road or staying in various camping locations. It can be a 45-foot long mobile vehicle with all the comforts of a home or a small pop-up trailer with a bed and other few items. No matter what it looks like, if you can pull it, cook, or sleep in it, then it would be considered an RV. Below are some of the RV Basics for those who are new to the mobile RV lifestyle.
- What to Pack
What to pack in your RV varies depending on the available space and personal preferences. If you are planning to live in your RV full time, you will need enough space to pack your dishes, shoes, clothes, and other valuable items. Driving into the forested campground and sitting around a campfire in the evenings can be a traumatizing experience because of cold. So be sure to pack a few cold-weather clothes and warmers before you depart. Many RV campgrounds have a washer and dryer on-site, so you do not have to worry much about the hassle of cleaning your clothes.
If you are still unsure about what to pack before you begin your camping trip, make sure you can up with a checklist of things you will need. Make a checklist for things like food, water, clothing, dishes, and beddings.
- Where to Go
With a recreational vehicle, you can go anywhere you want. You can just stay on the road, visit any of the national parks, or make a reservation at any RV campground. If you are planning to stay on the road, make sure you bring a map, a Smartphone, or a GPS device to guide you. It’s recommended you carry a paper map atlas, in case your Smartphone loses some network signals, or your GPS devise gives you wrong signals.
- Different Types of Campgrounds
There are different types of campsites you can choose for your RV. These include an RV resort, an RV park, and an RV campground. An RV resort offers ultimate luxury for all types of RV campers. They have many extra facilities and amenities such as electric, water, sewer, and cable TV hookups, Wi-Fi, swimming pools, and other extras. RV parks are more surrounded by nature but have less extra amenities.
RV campgrounds, on the other hand, are much more primitive. Most of them lack electric, water, and sewer hookups. They are a cheaper option for campers who are on a budget. So, it is advisable to check out what a campground offers before you make your reservation or drive your RV.
- Maintenance Tips for Your RV
If you want to keep your RV in excellent condition, here are some maintenance tips you will need to keep in mind.
- Clean the water tanks
- Some annual maintenance must be done on the brakes, wheels, tires, and axels, but all of this is inexpensive when compared to maintaining a vehicle.
- Protect computers and appliances by purchasing a surge protector.
- Check your tire pressure before you head out on a trip.
- Use biodegradable toilet papers
- Replace RV batteries before they completely wear out.
- Lubricate pop out rails and relevant components at least once a year.
- Prevent bugs in your RV
- RV Dump Station Types
It is important to dispose of human waste properly when you live in an RV full time. You can choose to dump your waste in a Sani dump station, dump point, or an RV dump station. The dump station you choose is up to you to decide.
Finding a dump station does not have to be a difficult task. For instance, sanidumps.com is one of the RV dump station directories that help people find dump stations by following simple steps. The site categorizes those dump stations as public, municipal, private, RV park, non-park, rest stop, truck stop, resort, campground, waste disposal, commercial, pay, free, or donation.
- 30 Amp or 50 Amps
Almost all recreational vehicles are equipped with power cords to plug in electrical devices. These power cords are also known as the shore power connection. They are available in two amperages: 30 amperage and 50 amperages. A 30-amperage power cord has three prongs, while a 50-amperage power code has four.
If your RV 50-amp power cord, it means you will need an RV campground with a 50-amp hookup. While many RV campgrounds, resorts, and parks have RV electrical hookups for both30-amp and 50-amp power cords, some of these camping locations have only 30-amp electric hookups. Therefore, it is a good idea to purchase an amp adapter to adapt your amperage down to 30 to reduce your energy cost.
- RV’s Electricity Hogs
Some devices that you plug into your RV draw quite a lot of power, while others draw very little. In general, devices that generate cold or heat will draw a lot of energy. If you have a 30-amp power cord, you cannot run too many of these devices at once. Some of those devices include kitchen appliances such as coffee makers and microwaves, hairdryers, or conditioning units. All of these devices are all electricity hogs. Devices like stereo, speakers, and TVs use considerably less power.
A motorhome is a type of self-propelled recreational vehicle, which offers living accommodation combined with a vehicle engine. They comprise up to 15 percent of all recreational vehicles sold. They are built in a wide variety of styles, lengths, and configurations to satisfy all the needs of RV campers. If you are new to adopt a mobile RV lifestyle, here is what you need to know about Motorhome basics.
- Different Classes of Motorhomes
Motorhomes are classified into three categories. These categories include Class A, Class B, and Class C.
- Class A motorhomes: They are 21 to 40 feet long, built using a solid heavy-duty frame, and can sleep up to eight people.
- Class B motorhomes: They are small; 16 to 22 feet long, and they can accommodate up to four people. They do not have slide-outs, are most comfortable to drive, have the best fuel economy, and least expensive.
- Class C motorhomes: They are between 21 and 35 feet long and sleep up to six people. Just like Class A motorhomes, they have slide-out units that expand interior living space.
- Motorhome Features
All motorhomes have similar features, which include a driving area, a passenger area, a sleeping area, a bathroom, kitchen, and storage. Other standard features include a permanently installed sink and cooking facilities, a dining table for the diners to have their meals, at least one bed of about 1.82 meters long, and a permanently placed water tank with a minimum capacity of 10 liters.
- Driving a Motorhome
As stated earlier, motorhomes are self-propelled recreational vehicles. They have a powerful built-in engine, allowing you to drive it back and forth. When driving a motorhome, you must get used to how big the vehicle is. Their big size makes it difficult to make turns, clear train tracks, or switch lanes. Once you understand how to work on blind spots, driving a motorhome will become more comfortable over time.
- Motorhome Tips
- Class A motorhomes are most popular with full-time RV couples and larger families who need larger space for longer trips.
- Class B motorhomes are most popular with couples or travelers who want to drive smaller recreational vehicles.
- Class C types are most popular for medium-size families who are planning to have extended-stay vacations.
- Motorhomes can pull a towable car, an enclosed trailer, a boat, or a small travel trailer for additional living space or fun.
- Make sure the motorhome has a powerful motor to meet all your travel needs.
Travel Trailer Basics
A travel trailer is also known as a camper trailer or a caravan. It is a type of a recreational vehicle that is towed by a truck or any kind of vehicle to provide a place to sleep, which is more comfortable and protected than a tent. It is also described as a motorhome without a motor. If you are a new RVers, here are a few travel trailer basics you need to keep in mind.
- Different Types of Travel Trailers
Pop-ups: They are also referred to as fold-downs and tent trailers. Their sleeping accommodations, easy towing, and low cost make them an excellent choice for family camping needs. They can be pulled by a variety of tow vehicles, including trucks, smaller cars, and mini-vans.
Hybrid travel trailers: These are also called expandable trailers. They have different types of amenities. They are better insulated, easier to tow, and offer more storage compared to pop-ups.
Fifth-wheel trailers: These are the excellent choice of travel trailers out there. They come in a broad range of floor plans, sizes, and amenities.
Toy hauler: This type of travel trailer provides the best of both worlds for RV enthusiasts and it has become increasingly popular.
- Towing Considerations
Travel trailers need to be towed by another vehicle. These types of recreational vehicles are attached to the towing vehicle and can be more challenging to control when switching lanes or turning. Depending on the size, you can tow with something as small as a motorcycle. For big travel trailers, towing becomes more difficult if you are new RVers.
When towing, you will be dragging the unit behind you. This means that the travel trailer may fail to react the way your towing vehicle does. If you do not know how to handle the unit when it starts to sway, the chances of causing an accident are very high.
- Storage for Your Travel Trailer
Unless you are allowed to store your RV on-site or live in an area with some acreage, you will need to consider some kind of storage for your vehicle. If you are planning to live in an RV full time, you will need your travel trailer on site all the time. Therefore, you will need to find a local storage facility that you can utilize before purchasing your unit.
Choosing the Best Option When You Want To Live in an RV Fulltime
If you have ever considered buying a travel trailer, you have probably thought of buying a motorhome as well. If you have struggled with this decision before, you do not have to worry. To choose the best RV, you need to ask yourself the following option:
- How many people and pets will be staying or traveling in the recreational vehicle you intend to purchase?
- How long do you plan to stay on the road or in the RV campground?
- Where do you plan to drive or tow your RV (rural, city, snow, mountains, or desert)?
- Do you plan to invest in a new or used RV (Used options can save you a lot of money, but they will require more maintenance and repair issues)?
- Where will you store the recreational vehicle you want to purchase (home storage is always more convenient and cheaper)?
- Are you planning to camp in a full-service RV campground or a primitive campground (camping in a primitive campground requires you to purchase an RV with a backup water system and generator)?
- What is your RV camping budget? How much are you willing to spend?
- What services will you need for your mobile RV lifestyle (propane, electricity, water), and how will you get it (plug-in electricity, onboard tanks, solar, generator)?
- If you want to purchase a travel trailer, you need to consider what vehicle will pull the unit before you purchase. You may fall in love with a particular travel trailer but found out later that the tow vehicle you have is not compatible with the unit. So before you purchase any travel trailer, find out if you have the appropriate tow vehicle already.
- How comfortable are you when driving a travel trailer versus a motorhome?
- How convenient are when setting up and taking down an RV?
The good news is, no matter what kind of recreational vehicle you choose, you will always enjoy a mobile RV lifestyle. If you have any questions about purchasing a new or pre-owned RV, where to park your RV, or the best campground to enjoy a luxury RV lifestyle, feel free to ask us in the comment box below.