The RV world is populated by untold numbers of enthusiastic campers who dream of selling their homes and living full-time in their RVs or trailers. Some eventually make the dream reality. Still, doing so is not as easy as preparing for a two-week camping trip. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Going full-time in your RV opens the door to a whole new life. You can be mobile. You no longer have the maintenance and upkeep of a traditional home. You can chase your favorite kind of weather, whatever it might be. It is the ideal life to people for whom RVing is the best reason to get up in the morning.
If full-time RVing is something you are thinking about, don’t go into it unprepared. The following five tips should give you an idea of what you’re up against:
1. Set a Date
Tell people you are thinking about going full-time and they might start talking about things like insulating your RV and finding ways to stay in touch with family and friends. But before all of that, set a date. Determine the ideal date you want to be pulling out of the driveway.
Why start here? Because setting a date gives your decision some teeth. It gives you something to work toward and a reason to start working toward it immediately. Not setting a date makes it too easy to keep putting things off until you never get around to it.
2. Downsize Your Life
Full-time RV living requires significant downsizing. You just can’t take everything you own. Even the biggest and most luxurious RVs and trailers offer little more space than your average studio apartment. You are only going to be able to take what is absolutely necessary. Of course, there will be things you need to keep but don’t have to go on the RV. You’ll need to arrange storage – whether that means your child’s house or a rented storage locker.
3. Simplify Your Life
Next up is simplifying your life. It is not the same thing as downsizing. Downsizing is all about getting rid of possessions. Simplifying is about rethinking the way you do things. For example, you might consider yourself a gourmet cook. You might thoroughly enjoy preparing 3-course meals every evening. Doing that in an RV will not be easy. So start learning to cook simpler meals. Start learning to do more with fewer ingredients.
4. Prepare Your RV
Next up is the actual process of preparing your RV. As a full-timer, you are going to want some things that seasonal travelers do not necessarily need. One of them is RV skirting kits. Connecticut-based AirSkirts sells an inflatable solution that is easy to install. There are other skirting solutions that attach to the side of your RV with snaps. You’ll also want to think about water tank heaters, RV insulation, extra batteries, and additional propane tanks.
5. Move Your Accounts Online
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to move as many of your accounts online as possible. Learn to use your bank and credit card portals. Set up online accounts for paying your insurance, checking your Social Security benefits, making medical appointments, and so on. Everything you can move online reduces the amount of postal mail you have to worry about.
There are other things you should do to prepare for full-time RV living. The five tips offered here are enough to at least get you started. If you need more help, any of the numerous RV clubs around the country should be able to offer more information.