If you have ever thought of living, working, or enjoying life in an RV trailer, then you are not alone. More than 1 million Americans have chosen a mobile RV Lifestyle, spending at least part of the year on the road. These people include young couples, millennial, and Baby Boomer retirees.
Regardless, some people think that people who decide to live in an RV trailer full-time are crazy. This is not the case. Those people are simply trying to embrace life on the road by living a minimalist lifestyle.
In this article, we are going to highlight everything you need to know about living in a travel trailer full time. Read on to learn more.
What Is An RV Trailer?
An RV trailer is a recreational vehicle that is towed by a truck or any kind of towing vehicle. The vehicle provides a place to sleep, which is more comfortable and protected than a tent. RV trailers are also described as motorhomes without a motor. They can be pulled by a variety of tow vehicles such as trucks, smaller cars, and mini-vans.
Different types of RV trailers
These include pop-up trailers referred to as fold-downs and tent trailers, hybrid travel trailers referred to as expandable trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and toy haulers. No matter what it looks like, if you can pull it, cook, or sleep in it, then it would be considered an RV trailer.
Benefits of Full-Time RV Trailer Living
Several challenges go along with living on the road in an RV trailer full-time. However, there are many reasons why all the problems are worth it. For instance:
- Living in an RV trailer full-time allows you to see beautiful nature firsthand. Think of waking up early morning to dusky mountains and purple-hued skies. Living in an RV trailer full-time means that you can park your home somewhere amazing and experience what nature has to offer.
- Living in an RV trailer full-time is like being at home while traveling. It makes traveling so much easier when you have a comfortable, familiar home base that comes with you.
- Living in an RV trailer full time saves you more money. It is easier to find an RV campground, parks, or resort that is affordable.
- Living in an RV trailer full-time gives you the freedom to travel anywhere and anytime you want. If you do not like where you have parked your trailer, you can move into another location.
Know Your RV Trailer Needs
Do not buy an RV trailer that is too large to tow or one that will force you to downsize. If you are alone on the road, stick to a unit that is 38 feet long or under. Anything bigger may be hard to tow or will not fit in some RV parks or campgrounds.
You should also stock up on emergency supplies and other essentials. While many RV campgrounds, parks, and resorts have a Wi-Fi connection, it is possible to go completely low-tech. If you want to live off the grid, gas-powered solar panels or generators are essential. That is not all. You may also need emergency roadside supplies as well.
How Much Money Do You Need To Live On The Road?
Several people have been asking questions about the cost of living in an RV trailer fulltime. Most of these people think that RVing is extremely cheap and usually believe that only low-income earners would ever do it.
That is not the case. A mobile RV lifestyle can be very expensive or extremely cheap, depending on your needs. Typical RV expenses include the cost of buying an RV trailer, gas, insurance, campgrounds and RV parks, entertainment, food, cell phone, internet, and miscellaneous.
These expenses may be too much for you if you are no budget. Nevertheless, the good news is you can travel for a lot less and make cheap RV living possible. How? Look at the tips below:
- There are several excellent places in the United States where you can camp free. Most of these places allow campers to pay only the fees for sewer, water, and electric hookups.
- You may need different types of insurance when traveling or staying in an RV trailer. You will need to choose insurance companies that offer cheap premiums and attractive discounts to lower the cost of your mobile RV lifestyle.
- Whatever amount of money you spend on food at home is probably similar to the amount you will spend while traveling in your RV trailer. This is because your RV trailer has the same kitchen appliances found in your home.
- Some RV parks and campgrounds offer free recreational activities for campers. Try integrating these outdoor activities into your next camping trip, and hopefully, you will be lowering your RVing costs.
The Cost of RV Trailer
Travel trailers are smaller and cheaper compared to other types of recreational vehicles. For instance, a used RV trailer that can accommodate up to two people can cost anywhere from $10,000 or less. While a smaller RV trailer will spare your budget, you will need a unit that is more powerful to tow around hard-to-navigate places. If you do not have a towering vehicle, it means you will also need to invest in one.
Where to Park Your RV Trailer
When you want to launch a mobile RV lifestyle, one of the biggest dilemmas you will face is where to park your RV trailer. Most RVers will tell you that reserving a spot in a campground or RV park is the way to go. Others will tell you that it is hard to find a secure place.
Do you want to hear our opinion? Okay. One of the best things about living, working, or enjoying life in an RV trailer is that you can park the unit wherever you want. This means you can visit awesome places, visit your family and friends, or simply follow the weather. Below are some of the places you can park your trailer.
- You can park it overnight at truck stops across the country every day. If you choose this option, just keep in mind that truck stops bring all sorts of people in and out of the parking lot. So make sure to lock the windows, doors and keep valuables out of sight for safety.
- Many casinos allow RV trailers to park when the spaces are available. Some casinos charge a small fee during holidays and peak weekends. It is important to contact the management ahead to inquire about the price before parking.
- Walmart encourages RV riders to park at their stores. They have parking lots with designated RV parking spots. Make sure to check with a staff member before parking to ensure your trailer is not towed overnight.
- Schools also allow RVers to park their travel trailers, so long as you have donated to a cause, attended an event there, or the parking lot is empty. Make sure to park where school officials tell you to do so. Otherwise, you may block traffic or cause issues for students moving about campus.
- If you are traveling cross-country and have a family member or a friend in town, they might let you park your RV trailer for a night or two. Reach out to your network during your journey when planning to park on private property.
Working While Living In an RV Trailer
Working while living in an RV trailer is a great thing you can ever do. It can help you better manage a healthy work-life balance and everything much better. Moreover, having breathtaking views of the surrounding nature while you work is motivating. Think of sitting in the passenger seat up front, updating your travel-related blog while glancing at the outdoor scenery right outside the window. The experience is so refreshing and fulfilling.
That said, there are different jobs you can do while living in a recreational vehicle as a digital nomad, working on seasonal jobs. These include:
- Working as a programmer writing computing codes for software, websites, and apps
- Working as a web developer building, maintaining, and fixing websites
- Working as an app developer, building the layout, functions, and features of an application
- Working as an SEO expert, helping a website stand out in highly competitive search engines
- As a social media marketer to help create and maintain a brand’s public face.
- Working as an affiliate marketer, referring customers to a service or product to earn commissions every time a sale is made
- Working as a customer support representative, supporting customers when problems arise
- Working as a copywriter, writing various types of website content such as blog posts, web copy, product reviews, product descriptions, and much more
Making Friends When Living In an RV Trailer
This is another interesting thing about the mobile RV lifestyle. There is an instant connection, many laughs after just a few moments of meeting each other in an RV trailer, campground, or park.
During your stay, feel free to knock the door of other RVers and ask them if they want to hang out with you for drinks that night. Most of the campers will be happy to connect and spend a night with you.
RV Trailer Fuel Costs and Environmental Impacts
Larger RV trailers run on diesel, which currently costs around $2.75 per gallon. Diesel engines, as they burn diesel fuel, emit many nitrogen compounds to the environment. These facts give diesel fuel a bad name, even though the fuel emits lower amounts of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide compared to gasoline.
Therefore, if you are planning to stay and work in an RV trailer full time, it’s important to take care of the environment by choosing your RV trailer wisely and limiting your mileage. Ask yourself why you want to live in an RV trailer full-time and then choose a recreational vehicle the environment can tolerate.
Dumping Your RV Trailer Wastes
It is important to dispose of human waste properly when you live in an RV full time. However, when you are living in an RV, using the toilet is no longer as easy as just flushing. Emptying your RV’s holding tanks can be a challenging process and must be done with maximum care to avoid unpleasant spills and microorganisms.
When it comes to dumping the wastes, 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. 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.
RV Trailer Storage Needs
Living in an RV trailer also requires you to take care of your possession. This means you will need to consider safe places to store your most important and valuable items. These items include prescription medications, travel documents, and electronic devices.
Besides your personal storage, you will also need to consider where to store your RV trailer. Below are self-storage solutions that would best fit your needs:
- Storing your RV trailer in your garage-As far as RV trailers are concerned, a standard garage will provide units that run on the small side. If the RV trailer you need to store is larger than this, storing it at your home may be more convenient.
- Storing your RV in your driveway or backyard-, storing an RV trailer on your driveway does not cost you anything. Last-minute road trips are much easier to pull off when your RV is on your property
- Storing your RV at a self-storage facility: The greatest benefit from any type of RV trailer storage in a self-storage facility is security
- Outdoor RV storage: Outdoor RV storage entails parking your RV trailer in a designated spot on the storage facility’s property. This is typically the most affordable option and an excellent solution for short-term storage.
- Indoor RV storage: For a small RV trailer, indoor storage can be a great option. It is the most expensive option, but also offers guaranteed safety and protection.
RV Trailer Cleaning Needs
Another benefit of living in an RV trailer is being forced to downsize. Living in a recreational vehicle full-time force one to get rid of excess material things that tend to accumulate in a more sedentary lifestyle. After spending several days on the road without reliable internet service or cell phone, you can opt to fill your days with personal improvement and meaningful activities.
RV Trailer Maintenance Needs
If you want to keep your RV trailer in excellent condition, here are some maintenance tips you will need to keep in mind.
- Annual maintenance must be done on the brakes, wheels, tires, and axels, but all of this is inexpensive when compared to maintaining a vehicle
- Cleaning the water tanks
- Protecting computers and appliances by purchasing a surge protector
- Using biodegradable toilet papers
- Checking your tire pressure before you head out on a trip
- Replacing RV batteries before they completely wear out
- Preventing bugs in your RV
- Lubricating pop out rails and relevant components at least once a year
Lessons for Successful Full-Time RV Living
Here are the top tips that experienced full-time RVers recommend to newbies.
- Slow down: When you first hit the road for an RV lifestyle, your primary intention probably is to see it all. Seeing everything is one of the most significant benefits of living and traveling in an RV trailer. However, this will exhaust you to the point of giving up.
- Practice makes perfect: Do whatever you can to practice living in an RV full-time before you hit the road. Practicing before your trip will help you learn what you need to enjoy this lifestyle. Practicing before the tour will also help you get comfortable living in a small space and towing it to different campsites.
- Consider buying a used RV trailer: Most RV trailers are not designed for full-time living. This means that these units can quickly show their age, especially if they are used regularly. Buying a used RV trailer might mean buying a few extra headaches, which can include everything from stubbornly slow slide outs, sagging mattresses and cushions, plumbing problems, and leaky roofs.
- Learn how to adapt. You are going to experience many days when things do not go as planned. For instance, your RV trailer may experience a tire puncture or stumble into a darkened shower before you reach your destination. If any of these things happen while on the road, you must learn how to adapt to each situation.
- Keep your budget low: As stated earlier, living and traveling in an RV full-time can be either very affordable or very expensive. It all depends on self-discipline, goal, and lifestyle. It is, therefore, vital to create a budget for your new mobile RV lifestyle and do your best to stick to it.
Getting ready to work or travel full-time on the road with your recreational vehicle can be overwhelming. However, if you take the guidance and advice of people who have done it before, things can be a bit easier for you. Have you traveled exclusively in an RV trailer? What lessons did you learn that you would like to share with others?