5 Truths About Full-Time RV Living
1. Connectivity is variable, you need your own data infrastructure.
You can NEVER depend on RV Park WIFI. It’s occasionally good, mostly terrible, sometimes serviceable, but never consistent. You need to have your own data infrastructure. I have an infrastructure consisting of 2 wifi hotspots (one on AT&T and one on Verizon), 1 mobile hotspot, and 2 cell phones that I tether from to make sure I’m covered as broadly as I can be. In the states, this works well, but in Canada, I couldn’t use them all and had to monitor my data usage closely.
2. Weather will bum you out. You need a backup plan.
When you live in a small space, especially with children, rain can make things difficult. The same is true of a home, but the space is larger so you don’t get cabin fever nearly as quickly. Especially in a dirt campground, rain makes things seem worse than they are.
Our solution? Make a plan.
Just about every locality has a local library…that’s always a free option. There are also Museums and Science centers that you can look up. With our AZSTC Reciprocity passes, we can get access to a TON of places. I’ve made this handy map that we reference when planning our trips. It gives us an at-a-glance view of the science centers nearby.
If you’re like us, you want a plan that doesn’t break the bank every time the weather gets you down.
3. RV Parks & Campgrounds are HIGHLY variable. Roll with it.
If you’re a full-time RVer like us, you’ll be booking places site unseen. And sometimes you pick the least-worse place among your options, so don’t get bent out of shape if the place is not the nicest, or the sites are close together. Just remember, you’re passing through and this will all be a distant memory soon. If your perspective is off, and you only focus on the negatives, you’re going to be miserable.
For longer stays though, do as much research as you can so that you can get setup in a place you will enjoy, or at least will enjoy the area.
4. Stuff will break. But you’re gonna be ok.
In the time we’ve been on the road, I’ve had to fix quite a few things that have broken, but fortunately, the fixes were fairly straightforward, and RV part stores are just about everywhere. Not only that, your tow vehicle might leave you stranded on the side of the road. Just about every full-timer I’ve talked to has had this happen. In times like these just remember that you will be ok. Even at 4:45 on a Friday, you’ll still manage.
Just ask for help with a smile on your face and you’ll often find that same attitude reflected back to you. I’ve found it’s a good exercise in humility.
And the payoff? You get to experience the best of humanity.
5. Everyone is watching you. Shrug it off.
We live in a 30 ft travel trailer. Every time we show up at a campground, all the neighbors are suddenly very interested in what we’re doing. We’ve actually had our neighbors turn their chairs around to watch us back in.
The saying usually goes, “Nobody is really watching you.” – but in this case — they are.