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In recent years, more and more people are giving up their daily grind and move to an RV for year-round living. And though it used to be done mainly by older travelers, today it’s something people of all ages are trying to do. If you’ve also decided to take this road, here are a few tips on how to live in an RV full time.
Tips on How to Live in an RV Full Time
Start by Getting to Know Your RV
You don’t need to be an RV guru but you should know your vehicle before driving. This means get that hefty stack of manuals that came with your RV and read them.
Learn how everything in your RV works. This would allow you to tackle many of the repairs yourself, without relying on roadside assistance and random auto body shop employees.
Get to know the plumbing, electrical, and propane systems of your RV. Understand also what are the general maintenance requirements. Learn how to patch a leak, change a flat tire, change oil, etc.
We also recommend downloading all the manuals as pdf versions. This will make searching for a specific topic faster and easier. And it will provide you with a backup if you happen to lose the paper versions.
If you don’t have an RV yet, we recommend renting a few different RVs for short getaways. This would allow you to test their different types and will give you an idea of which type would work best for you.
Have the Right Gear
By equipping your RV with the essential accessories, you’ll be able to prevent many headaches down the road. That’s why before you transition to full-time RV living, do some research to figure out what gear you’ll need. For example, if you would like to be able to enjoy hot showers, consider buying hot water heater, particularly a tankless water heater. To be able to stay warm in the winter, get a space heater. Or if you would like to be able to work on the road, consider getting a Wi-Fi booster. With the right gear, you’ll be able to ensure the proper functioning of your vehicle and will also be able to make your living in it more comfortable.
Downsize Your Possessions
RVs come with limited storage space. This means that you’ll need to downsize your belongings. Just keep what you need and get rid of anything that may go unused.
You can get rid of the excess stuff by holding a yard sale, sell it on eBay, donate it or invite family and friends to find something they need. You can also rent a storage locker but if you’re having a difficult time shedding items from your life, you might not be ready for full-time RV living.
After downsizing your possessions, in the beginning, you might still end up with too much stuff. But after living in your RV for a few months, reevaluate your belongings again and do a spring cleaning to get rid of things that don’t add any value to your RV life. Use the time to reorganize and optimize your storage.
And down the road, you’ll need to build a new minimalist approach to shopping. First of all, don’t buy something that you think you might need in six months. Buy only what you need at this particular moment.
On top of that, to prevent all the stuff piling up in your RV, take on the mentality if you bring something into your RV, then something has to go. This minimalist approach will make your RV life much more enjoyable and as a bonus, it will also save you money.
Make a Checklist
Everything should have its own place in your RV. A confined space, such as an RV, can quickly become cluttered. Moreover, it can be dangerous if your stuff starts flying off the counter when you turn a sharp corner. That’s why it’s important to always put everything back in its place in order to keep the space tidy and safe. It will also make packing a lot faster since you’ll know where everything goes.
To ensure all that, you can create a pre-departure checklist. It will serve you as a reminder of all the steps you need to take before hitting the road. The checklist can include such items as securing all the belongings, turning off the water and generator, closing windows, etc.
If you’ll be RVing with a significant other or family, remember that communication is key. If you’re frustrated or angry with each other, the small space of your RV can start to feel even smaller. And this can put stress on your relationship. That’s why it’s important to have good communication.
If you’ll be owning your RV, you’ll also need RV insurance. And there are different insurance decisions that you’ll need to make, such as accidents, thefts, and illnesses. There are many different options but the most common RV specific insurance policy usually includes a hybrid of auto insurance and homeowners insurance. It protects your vehicle and its automotive parts, as well as your personal belongings, against damage and theft.
When choosing an insurance policy, keep in mind that many policies don’t cover accidents if you live in your RV full-time. Look for a dedicated RV insurance policy and make sure that it covers you if you’re a full-time RVer.
Expect the Unexpected
When living in an RV full time, things are bound to run off course from time to time. You might hit severe weather, get a flat tire, or having leaking plumbing. To deal with all this, it can be helpful to be prepared for the unexpected. Think of different emergency scenarios and create a plan of action for each one.
First off, set aside a fund that you’ll be able to use for unexpected repairs. Secondly, carry a spare tire, so you’ll always be ready if you get a flat one. And lastly, create a plan for emergency situations. What will you do if there’s a medical emergency and you have no phone signal? If you need to quickly evacuate, do you have easy access to all the most important essentials?
Join RVing Clubs
Join different RV clubs to get access to a wealth of valuable information from people who already have been RVing full-time for many years. Moreover, there you can find invaluable campground information, as well as everything else we’ve covered on this list, from insurance policies to maintenance assistance.
Planning your transition to full-time RV living can be intense. However, all the hard work will definitely pay off when you finally hit the road. But keep in mind that even with the most meticulous planning, you’ll still stumble upon unexpected mishaps down the road. And that’s fine. Just be flexible and have a positive attitude. After all, RV living is all about freedom and flexibility.