Fulltime RVing is a different lifestyle, all right. We loved the five months we spent last winter and spring, exploring New Mexico and staying in the NM State Parks while continuing to run our internet business and write books.
We often talked about the best reasons to be a fulltime RVer, and about fulltiming ourselves. Here are the top five reasons to make your home on the road, and then the one that surprised us.
1. Low Cost
Living in a portable home tends to be very reasonable in cost. Sure, some rigs are expensive but everyone can get something that suits their needs and skills. We got a 1982 Tioga with low mileage for under $3,000, from friends who were leaving the country. Kelly remodeled it to suit our needs so that by the time we began roaming in it we must have had at least twice that original cost invested in it… but that is very cheap for a home that suited us and our dogs so well!
Here it what it looked like inside when we set off on our trip. Much homier and way more functional!
Otherwise, living expenses for RVing tend to be modest or at least under your control. You can decide how many miles you go and thus how much gasoline or diesel fuel you use. You can go to grocery stores, get takeouts, eat in restaurants. You can’t buy a lot of stuff because where are you going to put it? You can stay in public and private campgrounds, in national forests, and possibly on private land owned by friends.
You can pick your climate. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.
Ditto with your views. At least half the places we stayed had stunning views.
Ditto with your neighbors.
Ditto with how close you are to a town or city.
RVers naturally fall into conversations with each other, mainly in campgrounds but in other places too. People walk in the campgrounds, some with dogs, some without, and they get to to talking. We’ve made friends in one campground with people and then run into them again in other campgrounds and gradually developed deeper connections. People stay in touch via email, Facebook, and cellphones. At one campground we stayed at last year, there were get-togethers for Christmas and the New Year. People help each other out, with rides to town and much more.
Being in a small living space you pretty much have to live more simply. How many tables do you have to leave projects out on? One or two at the most. Of course, there is always plenty to do. Many people are online a fair amount, either working as we were or staying in touch with friends and family, planning their trips and the like. Many RVers are quite physically active and go walking or mountain climbing or bike riding, though not everyone is like that, of course. There is lots of diversity in lifestyles but by and large they tend to be pretty simple. Of course, doing laundry and getting groceries are recurring tasks that may be a bit more demanding logistically than for people who live in houses.
5. Green Lifestyle
People may think of the gasoline used by motorhomes and consider that fulltiming couldn’t be a green thing to do. But actually, many people on the road drive less than when they commuted to work. Also, some of the most popular setups you see in campgrounds are pickup trucks with trailers or fifth wheels, giving the people a way around. Even the large rigs that tow a small car often choose a tiny one.
It typically takes less to heat the thing that it does to heat a house, and water use is also typically less.
All in all, there are many ways to live a more green lifestyle.
6. You Might Fall in Love with a Place and Move There
That’s what we did… or it might be more accurate to say “That’s what happened to us.”
We had been considering the fulltiming lifestyle but ultimately it didn’t work for us and the main reason is that we love to garden. Even with our greenhome and coldframe at our place in Colorado, we had a limited growing season.
We were scarcely back in Colorado a month before we put our house on the market, an idea we had talked about before we got back. But we knew we had to be there to get clear about what to do. Our home sold in under a month, and we moved to Silver City, NM, where we bought a cute little old adobe house in a historic part of town and walking distance to downtown. We’re settling in there, making new friends, welcoming visits from our RVing friends, and starting to garden.