There were several concerns we carefully considered when we decided to full-time RV. Keep in mind that die-hard full-timers will probably laugh at what we call full-timing ... that is, living in an RV full-time in a garage ... and traveling in it part-time. Our purpose, however, in sharing this information is simply to help you consider alternative living possibilities ... such as our 'hybrid' RV lifestyle.
These were our main concerns ...
RV's are much fancier and better built today than in years past but they will probably never outlast a conventional home. To make sure your RV will last as long as you want to use it, plan from the start to keep it in a garage or shelter if you do not plan to be on the road all the time.
Also, consider the weather conditions of where you will likely be using your RV most often. Search any of the forums on this site about RVing in the winter or in 100+ degree heat and you will find lots of tips, tricks and advice ... and some regrets! Of course, RVing in a heated and air-conditioned garage eliminates all of these problems. :)
ONGOING EXPENSES ...
There are a number of attendant expenses that go along with RVing that you should anticipate fuel, personal property taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses, to name a few. (Do you know how much it costs to replace all the tires on a 8-wheel big rig motorhome?!!) Be sure to budget for these to make sure that your RVing lifestyle doesn't come to an end quicker than you planned. Search the discussion forums on this site for plenty of great advice.
The type of RV you pick truck camper, travel trailer, toy hauler, fifth wheel, motorhome doesn't matter provided it's well built, meets your needs, and you can afford the 'after the sale' costs. But, the amount of depreciation you will incur may matter a lot. The simple rule is ... the more you spend, the more you will lose. That's not necessarily a negative but it is prudent to think about how this fact of RV ownership may impact your budget, retirement, or even estate plans.
Do you have a 'go-along, get-along' personality or do you freak out when you can't control everything? This self analysis is more important than you might think. Read our caution note below. Then re-read it. As an ancient Greek sage once said, "Know thyself."
As Nike says, 'Just do it!' If you don't have the kind of zeal for RVing that is embraced in that slogan, you may not be a perfect match for full-timing. Proceed carefully.
||CAUTION! ... Do not rush out and sell your home unless you know without reservation that the full-time RV lifestyle is right for you. Think long and hard about the financial aspects of abandoning your 'conventional' housing, and what truly makes you happy.
Some folks feel more comfortable with a lot of 'things' around. If you're one of them, buy a bigger house and put more things in it. In an RV, your #1 daily task will be figuring out how to get rid of 'things' because you have no room for them.
Some folks are clueless when it comes to even the most basic of maintenance tasks, such as taking out the trash. If that describes you, stay home with your maid.
Some folks attach an unflattering label to anyone living in a home with wheels. If labels bother you, you may not be a candidate for this lifestyle. (You may exclude yourself from this advice if you have so much money that you fancy RV 'labels' that cost much more than a fancy 'stix & brix' house.)
But still, if an RV fancier than the one you are planning to buy pulls into the parking space next to you, and you turn any shade of green, keep your house. Trying to keep up with the Joneses in an RV will put you in the poor house nearly as fast as burning your money.
If you have a severe phobia of bugs and dirt, stay home with your Swiffer® mop, vacuum cleaner and hermetically sealed windows. You will not like nature. It is definitely not as sterile as your whole house HEPA air filtration system.
Finally, and perhaps most importanly, if your 'better half' annoys you most of the time, by all means keep your house. Living in less than 400 square feet will not make a bad relationship better. :)
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