Full Time RVing: 5 Key Considerations
More than 1 million people are full time RVers, according to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), and at least twice as many are “almost full timers,” living in their RVs about half of the year. The dream of a carefree, nomadic life can be appealing for couples and families of all ages. But if you’re hearing the siren song of living a life on the road, there are a few things you should consider before jumping in.
Is Full Time RVing the Right Lifestyle For You?
Daydreaming about hooking up the RV, loading the family into the car, and hitting the road for destinations unknown can be great fun. But full time RVing is a major lifestyle change for a suburban family used to the creature comforts of home. So, the first bit of advice is to take it slow and make sure the reality lives up to your dreams.
Full timing is very different from a weekend trip or a week-long vacation, and not everyone is suited for the nomadic life. Certain members of your family may adapt to the changes more readily than others. A month or three in your RV with your crew will give you a much better understanding of what full time RV living is really like. Not only will it help you understand how you can (or can’t) all live together in a smaller space, it’ll teach you what the essentials really are – and aren’t. Do you need five different sized pots and 4 sweatshirts per person? It might seem like it at first, but after a few months on the road, your perspective may shift, even if you’re in a spacious RV like a Bowlus.
A great way to learn about the full time RV lifestyle is to talk to other full timers. Ask them about the pros and cons. By and large, RVers are a friendly lot, and they’re typically quick to lend a hand and share their experiences (and if they see you pull in towing your high end Bowlus travel trailer, you can bet they’re going to want to talk to you). Follow other full timers on Instagram and do the same kind of research you’d do when making any other major life changing decision!
The bottom line is, it’s far better to discover your family is more suited for part time RV living before you sell the house and downsize all of your possessions.
Home is Where You Park It: Choosing the Right RV
A big part of any successful full time RV experience is making sure that you have the right rig for where you want to go and what you want to do. When you think of full timers, you may think of a Class A with multiple slide outs. But according to RVIA data, only 9% of full timers have a Class A. Forty-five percent live in a fifth-wheel and 31% are in a conventional travel trailer. So which is the right one for you?
Certainly large motorhomes and fifth-wheels offer many of the amenities of home, but they have their downsides. First, if you’re choosing a life on the road, neither of these options are as easy or as convenient to drive or tow as a conventional travel trailer. And while you may think the bigger the better, consider that many RV parks, national parks, and most boondocking sites have size limitations and the bigger your rig, the fewer places you can camp.
A Bowlus is the best RV for full time living because it offers the best of both worlds. Not only will you have more site choices because it’s smaller than a motorhome or 5th wheel, but with Bowlus’ hand-crafted, best in class features and unique storage solutions, you won’t have to leave any of the essentials behind.
Your Office on Wheels: Working While Full Time RVing
Full time RV living isn’t just for snowbirds and retirees. In fact, a recent RVIA report shows that only 43% of full timers are retired, 35% are over the age of 55, and just 11% have no children in the home. This would indicate that a large number of full timers are actually families and working-aged adults.
With the growth of online and remote work opportunities, there are a lot of ways to make money while RVing full time. You can achieve your dreams of working and living on the road when you’re living in a Bowlus luxury RV because it’s the ideal home office. Our aluminum camper takes its aerodynamic design cues from the 1930s original, but it’s actually the world’s most advanced travel trailer.
Designed for today’s technologically advanced work environment, all Bowlus models have charging stations for your cell phone, tablet and laptop. To make sure you can reach the outside world, the units are equipped with a cellular booster. The Endless Highways Edition includes a robust router and an antenna pre-wired on the roof. Just hook up to an external Wi-Fi, or up to two cellular networks, and you’re ready to do business. To make sure you can work from literally anywhere, Bowlus offers an incredible lithium battery and a highly efficient solar system. When you’re in a Bowlus, you can work without electric hookups indefinitely!
To Plan or Not to Plan: Destinations (Un)Known
One of the best parts about full time RVing is that the pace of life is considerably slower. Or at least it should be. When you’re towing your home behind you, you don’t have to rush from place to place. You have time to linger, get to know the area, its food and its people. Plan to stay in places for more than a couple of days. But it’s also important to learn to balance “the plan” with impulsiveness. Sometimes the most memorable experiences will be a suggestion from a local. Revel in the nomadic life by staying open to new ideas and opportunities, even if it’s off your planned route.
The Business of Full Time RVing
So you’ve tried out a couple of longer trips, you’ve learned a lot along the way, and it’s decided. Full timing is the life you want. Congratulations! There are still some major decisions to be made before you’re free to hit the road. First, what are you going to do about your house? Are you selling or renting? What about all the things in that house? Are you selling or storing what you’re not bringing with you?
If you’re selling your home, you’re going to need to establish a new place of residency. Many travelers set themselves up in a state that’s friendly to full timers like South Dakota, Texas, and Florida. Even when you’re on the road, there will be mail to deal with (many full time RVers use a mail forwarding service), along with driver’s licenses, RV insurance, health insurance and other medical needs, and all the things that need some kind of permanent address. And don’t forget Uncle Sam – you’ll still need to file federal and state taxes each year.
And now, the only thing left is to decide in which direction you should point the car.