Preparing for Full-Time RV Living: Tips & Tricks
More people than ever are choosing to set out for full-time RV living. So, now more than ever it’s important to know how to prepare for full-time RV living. Below we will be detailing some of the best RV living tips and tricks as well as other important knowledge for responsible RV travel.
DISCLAIMER: Not Everyone's Built for This!
RV ownership is not something to take lightly. Don’t forget these big-picture questions like income, healthcare, mail, and other legal paperwork when creating your RV preparation checklist. It’s okay if you’re not sure yet. Before setting out 24/7, consider taking a test drive and see how you like full-time RV life. Anticipate the possibility of decision fatigue and other signs of burnout.
Tip: Create a Vision Board to Provide You with Visual Reminders of Your RV Dreams and Goals
A common tool for keeping your goals and intentions in mind is a vision board – a collage-like display of photos and cut-outs pasted onto poster board. For aspiring full-time RVers, these visual reminders will help you to envision your dream RV life and take actionable steps to get there.
You Can Never Have *Too Much* Space When Living in an RV
Full-time RV living is like living in a mobile tiny house. Use creative RV storage ideas to build the habit of “a place for everything and everything in its place” and avoid unintentional messiness down the road. With mindful RV storage solutions, you can take everything you need and a little more without feeling cramped and cluttered.
The following RV organization ideas will help you get in the right headspace for your prepared packing plan.
Tip: Hooks, Hooks, Hooks
Some of the best full-time RV living must-haves are good sets of hooks to improve your organization and make great use of vertical space. Use command hooks or magnet strips for lightweight items in cabinets and on walls. Suction cup hooks work great for your windows or the bathroom. RV shower curtain hooks can also maximize the use of space in the bathroom.
Tip: Expandable Shelves
RV shelving can be notoriously sparse, so one of the best RV shelving ideas is to use expandable RV storage shelves in your pantry and other areas. These will keep everything organized and are great for designating specific spaces for your appliances and other items.
Tip: Put Everything You Eat into RV Food Storage Containers
Prevent pest infestations and improve sustainability with airtight containers. They also keep your snacks and leftovers fresh while saving more space than their original packaging. The best food storage containers for RVs include food-grade silicone baggies, collapsible storage containers, and an under-cabinet produce hammock.
It’s Gonna Cost You!
Before you commit to living in an RV full-time, costs should be calculated and understood. While you won’t necessarily be paying off a mortgage or paying bills for a house, you’ll have other regular payments to consider with RV ownership:
- Campground hookups
- Registration/insurance fees
- Food and entertainment
- Potential loans/RV payments
Let’s take a look at some ways to save money with creative RVing.
Tip: Join a Campground Membership Club
If you know you’ll be in one area for an extended amount of time, invest in a local RV campground membership. RV clubs and RV communities are great ways to receive discounts on camping grounds as well as connecting with fellow RVers and take advantage of other great amenities.
Alternative Tip: Go Solar to Not Rely on Campgrounds for Electrical Hookups
Solar panels for RV roofs can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to collect energy from the sun while you travel. Then, you’ll have more freedom to camp anywhere you like for the night without having to find an electrical hookup.
Tip: Stay on top of ways you can save money on groceries, and other material needs
Check to see if any campgrounds or RV parks near you provide any complimentary meals. You can also look into a variety of cashback and coupon websites and routinely compare offers to your RV preparation checklist. As you travel, you can also search for food and thrift bakeries, thrift shops, and other discounts on goods and materials.
There's a Whole World Out There to See, and Some RVer Favorites Too!!!
We’d be kicking ourselves for not suggesting some of the best places to visit in an RV – and they’re right here in Florida! We highly recommend adding them to your itinerary soon.
(For additional locations and information, check out VisitFlorida.com.)
Travel with The Weather!
No matter where you go, keep the local climates in mind and prep for responsible RV travel. For example, recreational vehicles aren’t exactly built for tight, icy backroads. And long stretches of hot weather take a toll on your RV’s air conditioning unit. Anticipate the weather wherever you’re headed and plan accordingly.
Tip: Consider Investing in an RV That is Four-Seasons Ready
If you plan to travel all around the United States, consider investing in a four seasons RV. Builders of these specific RVs know how to insulate RV in summer and winter to prevent leaking energy and temperature transfers to keep your costs down.
Tip: Make Sure Your Water System is Protected
Part of responsible RV travel is making sure your RV water system is protected. Four seasons RVs are built to protect the pipes and prevent freezing which could be disastrous.
Make Sure to Find a Camping Site That is Safe, Clean, and Has Room for Full-Time RVs
It’s important to do research and plan for where you’ll be camping out each night. Avoid areas of high crime and campsites under construction and pay attention to what kind of hookups you need.
Another option is “boondocking” – “dry camping” without sewer, water, or electrical hookups. Anticipate your needs as not everyone may be ready or feel comfortable with boondocking RVs as an option.
No, But Seriously, You MUST Stay on Top of Potential Hazards.
Being RV-safe also includes being on guard against potential hazards like RV fires or carbon monoxide poisoning (RV generators, fridges, and engines can be common culprits). Also be sure to secure your items, especially those susceptible to breaking if they fall.
No One Ever Said RV'ing Wasn't a Challenge, and You Should Pat Yourself On The Back For Mindfully Considering The Possibilities of Full-Time RV'ing!
Taking the time to incorporate RV living tips and tricks will pay off once you’re on the road. At RiverBend, we’re experts in all the things to know before living in your RV full-time. We are here to help you choose to rent or own a lot in our quality RV community and guide your transition to full-time RV living.