10 Things They don’t tell you about Living Full Time in an RV
by Stephanie Arwine
Stephanie is a full time RVer who works from home. Her passion is helping small business take advantage of the online space to market their business to their target audience and drive income and positive feedback from their customers. If you are looking to build your small business feel free to reach out and request a FREE 1 hour consultation.
As most of you may know, I decided two years ago to live full time in my RV. I had just left a long time relationship, now single and really didn’t have the money to rent/buy AND buy furniture to live in. So, I thought why not buy a motorhome that already has furniture. I wanted to downsize from a house and at the same time downsize my expenses. All I would need to do would be to buy dishes and find a place to park. Boy did I have a learning curve. I often laugh that if there was a mistake to be made living in a motorhome, I made most of them my first year.
But I am not alone in this downsizing movement. RVs are becoming popular again, and YouTube is flooded with people living and working right from their mobile homes. As I talk to my neighbors, there are as many reasons to live full time in an RV as there are people who do.
However, many of these YouTubers tend to gloss over some of the big negatives of living in a home the size of most people’s back porches.
Do you want to know the truth about what it means to live in an RV? I’m not holding anything back, so read on to learn what I think are the ten biggest challenges of living together in a tiny space.
1. Every bit of space needs to have multiple purposes.
Throughout my RV I have one table, and it has to work for a ton of different purposes, which means that coffee and laptop and groceries are usually on the table at the same time, among other random items, which gets old fast.
In other words, my office is my kitchen table, dining room table, where I relax, is my kitchen, and is my flat space where I put everything that doesn’t have an obvious home.
Every day that passes where I haven’t fried a computer by spilling coffee on it is certainly a success worth celebrating.
Part of the reason my table is so cluttered is the fact that I make an income online… so office equipment is a must.
2. Minimal natural light.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a really big challenge in our lives (I don’t actually have this… but you know how it is), and I had to buy extra high-quality lights just to make myself feel alive! The good news is these lights don’t take much power (I added solar power as a supplemental power source) so I can keep them on without guilt.
3. Cooking is a challenge.
Minimal counter top space means that meals need to be simple because there just isn’t room to make anything else. For that reason, I am a big fan of the one pot meals!
4. Scant storage space.
My closet is about two feet wide. And I wear a lot of bulky shirts and track pants that take up a lot of room.
There is not much room to store “seasonal” wear. So winter coats and winter wear is stuffed in one wardrobe, while summer wear is stuffed in another. Not ideal, but the good news is that it is just me.
5. Sleep interruptions.
If you find yourself restless and awake in the middle of the night you’re kind of out of luck, as there isn’t enough space in an RV to hang out respectfully while someone else is resting. (assuming you are traveling with your spouse or family)
6. No privacy!
This is especially true when you are living in an RV Park. Most parks have RVs parking right on top of each other and even those that don’t… well RVs aren’t insulated for privacy.
If you are living with your spouse, there is not much privacy from each other as well. You will definitely know each other’s daily routines. The good and bad.. including bathroom… ugh
7. No place to put all my possessions.
No basement, no large closets and no real garage space means I often am limited in where I can store tools.
Unless you choose to buy property to put your RV on, there isn’t an option to have storage buildings or other places to store things that won’t fit in your RV. Although using rental storage facilities is always an option, I have learned from neighbors that the option of renting a storage facility becomes just another place to store “stuff” and not very practical.
8. All that dirt.
The amount of filth I track in is incredible, especially since it gets concentrated in such a tiny space. This means I usually sweep my RV twice a day and vacuum twice a week.
9. General wear and tear.
Things in RVs aren’t necessarily designed for 24/7 use and tend to be fragile and expensive to replace.
Because I purchased my motorhome used (a 1997 Bounder), I have had several things I have had to repair or replace. Some of that is due to age and some due to poor decisions made my first winter living full time in my home.
10. Messy charging station.
I already have no space to live, but I still have to keep the laptops charged, camera batteries, cell phones and other electrical accessories. I have a swamp of cords under my kitchen table which wouldn’t normally be a huge deal, but it really encroaches on my already tiny space!
Full Time RV Living Blogs
Now… I am not full time RV living like most people – I am completely stationary and have no intentions of touring around the United States in my motorhome! That said, whether you are traveling the country or living in a park, here are some quality blogs that will help you Live Life to It’s fullest in your RV:
- 10 Things to Consider When Choosing an RV Park
- The Solid Truth About Number Two
- 5 Handy Ways to Use Magnets While Camping
So…why do I do the full time RV living thing?
Why go through the inconvenience of living in an RV for years at a time?
I may make it seem challenging to live Full Time in my Motorhome. But the reality is that I love it First and foremost, living in an RV allows me to live both independent while living in a unique community.
Living in an affordable RV and an affordable RV Park allows me to live within my budget and have the security that I will have a safe place to live through my retirement.
These ten challenges might be annoying, but I think the inconvenience is well worth it.