RV Living Full-Time | What the Lifestyle is Really Like

RV Living Full-Time | What the Lifestyle is Really Like

RV Living Full-time | What is it like to live in an RV?

Is it all it’s presented to be on Instagram and Pinterest?

Seriously, when we were making the decision to go tiny I was so in love with the idea that I would be on Pinterest for hours.

I would look at all of the amazing RV renovations and think to myself, how awesome living in one would be.

A cozy little home on wheels that just happens to be perfectly decorated.

What an amazing way to live!

But is it really like that?

RV Living Full time

Before we took the leap, we wanted to know what life in an RV was truly like.

We learned quite a bit from reading forums, and also from Facebook groups dedicated to living in an RV full-time.

We found that the majority of those who opted for the minimalist RV life was truly enjoying it. This not only gave us peace of mind about our decision, but it also helped to fuel the drive to make this dream of ours a reality.

Plus my husband and I loved the idea of a simple life and having less. Personally, Matthew and I believe…

“happiness isn’t in the things you possess but in the moments
and experiences you encounter.”

As I mentioned before, I may have been a little Pinterest and Instagram obsessed during the beginning of our journey. I dreamed of the perfectly organized, cozy, and minimalistic lifestyle that social media presented.

With fewer belongings, I imagined it would be much easier to keep things organized, and simple.

But what is living in an RV full-time really like?

So let’s get into it….

What it’s like to live in an RV…

Living in an RV is really cool! At least we think it is!

Having the ability to get up and take your home anywhere you want is a sense of freedom that you just don’t get in a house or apartment.

Knowing you have the ability to go and travel anywhere, from the Grand Canyon in Arizona one week to the Beaches in Florida the next is exhilarating.

However, if you’re planning on staying at RV resorts there is some planning that has to take place. Many RV parks require reservations ahead of time.

– what it’s like Cleaning:

Honestly, it takes about an hour to clean the whole place including dusting, sweeping, mopping, dishes and putting away laundry.

Less time cleaning and more time enjoying life.

I hate cleaning and knowing that I don’t have to clean an 800 square foot apartment or a 1,200 square foot house is a stress reliever.

Now, we do sweep on a daily basis because dirt and dog hair accumulates a lot quicker in a small space.

– what it’s like Hooking up the Trailer:

Hooking up our trailer is heavy work. Therefore, we prefer to have us both working together to get it hooked up properly with our sway bars.

We purchased the Husky Sway bars and had the gentlemen at Route66RV in Oklahoma when we purchased the rig, set it all up for us properly.

The bars were a non-negotiable for us when we bought the travel trailer.

The reason we have the sway bars is to help keep the travel trailer from swaying from side to side.

This swaying could result in dangerous overturning, especially when traveling on flat roads with high winds or passing big 18-wheelers.

– what it’s like Leveling:

Leveling the RV is a process that can take either 20 minutes or an hour depending on your site.

It helps when you have leveling blocks. Trust me, we didn’t purchase these right away and totally regretted it!

After all, we were newbies and we thought we will be fine.

Our RV was unlevel for the first 2 months of living full time. It was uncomfortable and frustrating.

Also, not every site is going to have level concrete pads to park on.

So again, these are a must and leveling as best you can is not only good for your RV but also good for you.

If you hate things being unlevel like I do, you need to have levelers on hand. We use the block levelers by Camco.


– what it’s like Packing:

Packing up the RV to get ready to go on a trip can be time-consuming. We like to have it clean before leaving anywhere.

We also have dishes and things that can break, so we have to pack them up with towels or bubble wrap.

There is a total checklist of things that have to be checked, tucked, packed, and taken care of before actually hitting the road.

Our RV doesn’t give us access to the Fridge when traveling because of the slides, so we have to pack a cooler to save on food and buying unnecessary road trip food items.

Luckily, we do have a fridge though that runs off electric and stays cool for up to 4 hours, so we don’t have to worry about food spoiling while driving.

– What’s the deal with Water?

Water preserving is a learned skill. Shorter showers are a must, turning off the water when brushing your teeth or doing the dishes starts to become a habit.

The more water you use, the quicker your grey tank fills up.

Our Grey tank is only 35 gallons and fills up fast. If you are running only from your fresh water tank, you definitely learn to conserve water even more because that is only 40 gallons.

So, having water bottles, a water filter in the fridge, and jugged water is a good thing especially if you are going boondocking or traveling.

– What it’s like dealing with Black and Grey Tanks:

The emptying of the black and grey tanks can get annoying, but it does become a normal process especially if you are living full-time and/or boon-docking. Honestly, it is disgusting and stinky!

We always have disposable gloves handy for release days. Our sensors to our tanks have never worked like they did when we first purchased.

Therefore, we have learned over the course of living full-time when it is time to release the tanks.

Also, We use to use the GEO method, but we quickly moved over to HAPPY CAMPER.

This product is AMAZING! You can read more about our Tank situation and why we recommend Happy Camper in our post: RV Tank Treatment – Comparing the GEO Method to Happy Camper

– What it’s like organizing:

The perfect organization takes time and figuring out what you need and what you can go without does too.

We still have things that we want to better organize like clothes and miscellaneous drawers.

However, we have figured out what we truly need to live comfortably, and honestly, it’s not a lot.

One benefit of living tiny is having less storage and less wall space because it prevents over shopping. I am a Target Lover!!

I love browsing around Target to see all the cute decor items, but I find myself thinking “where am I going to put that?”

Less space, less shopping, less money spent on miscellaneous items.

– You will Never STOP Learning!!

There is so much to learn about RVing! For example; how to clean out your hot water heater or check and seal your windows and roof.

Always staying on top of things, checking them and providing preventative maintenance is a must when living in an RV.

Driving and having a flat because your tire has developed dry rot is not fun and can be a disaster.

We personally have not experienced that, but have heard and read horror stories on Facebook RV groups we are apart of.

Also learning and planning a travel route is a skill and takes time and research.

Again, NEVER stop learning!!

Final Thoughts

I do have to admit, it is a lot like what I imagined but it does come with some lifestyle changes, and the renovation process is time-consuming if you choose to make interior changes.

You do, however, come up with some creative ways to store and organize your things.

Also, the many items that are not used on a daily or weekly basis end up not having a place in your new RV home.

So, while some things have changed with the way we live, the RV feels like home.

We’ve lived in a nice 1-bedroom apartment after we got married and the RV doesn’t feel any different.

We still watch our favorite shows, cook normally on our stove, take a little quicker showers, and enjoy life as we did in our apartment, plus now we can take our home with us anywhere.

I hope this helps anyone looking to go out and buy an RV understand, at least our perspective, on what it’s like to live full time.

Do you live full-time or plan on making the transition?

If so, what is it like for you to live in an RV or what do you expect it will be like? Leave a comment below!!

Pin for Later 🙂

RV Living Full time

Living In An RV – Top 5 Things We Wish We Knew Before

Living In An RV – Top 5 Things We Wish We Knew Before

Living in an RV gives you the freedom of being able to take your home anywhere.

Knowing that you can change your own view from the beach one day to the mountains the next is exhilarating.

However, it is a completely different lifestyle than a stick and brick home or apartment.

Before jumping into living in an RV, there are some things that I wish I did more research on.

None would have changed my mind, but it is great information to know and consider. Information like RV parks, the plumbing situation, and additional preventative maintenance to seals and slideouts.

So let’s get into the 5 things we wish we knew before living full-time in an RV.

1. The Cost of RV Parks

Yes, while many think living in a tiny RV cuts down your expenses drastically from a house or rent payment, the reality it’s not much.

The lowest RV parks with the full hookups of water, 30/50amp (depending on what you need, ours is 50amps) and sewer are between $30-$50 a night. Do the math, $30 a night Times 30 days, that’s $900 a month. Not much less then a 1 bedroom apartment when you factor in the RV payment if you have a loan.

Now, there are options of “boondocking” and many RV parks can run discounts if you pay monthly and in advance.

There are also some great options to buy yearly packages that allow you to visit multiple parks in a certain region for a good price. Thousand Oaks Trails has some great options for yearly park packages.

2. The RV Age Limit

Now, we wanted to buy new due to personal reasons, however, it definitely is something we wish we knew. It would have helped when we were thinking of buying used and renovating.

Check out our post on Should you Buy a New or Used RV? Analyzing the Pros and Cons! 

If you are looking to purchase used, please know many RV parks do not accept anything older than 10 years old.

Now, I have heard that some RV parks will make exceptions depending on the renovations and upkeep on RVs. That’s something you definitely want to look into though.

3. Grey and Black Tanks

I wish we would have known more about the grey and black tank situation.

Living in an RV is a totally different way of living. We learned about the sensors, dumping, and treatments basically on our own and googles help. It seems easy, for example, once the sensors indicate they are full, release them.

However, no one said the smell would fumigate the whole RV and after every dump, you have to put in treatments to help with the smell and break stuff down.

After a month of living Full-time, we found “Happy Camper” tank treatment. Seriously, this stuff is like GOLD to RV’ers. If you haven’t tried the “Happy Camper” tank treatment, it’s it 100% worth it and you will never buy another tank treatment again. You can get some on Amazon here.

Also, we didn’t realize the sensors would get dirty and pretty much never go back to notifying they were completely empty.

4. RV Suburban Hot Water Heaters

Never in my life did I even consider flushing/cleaning out a hot water heater.

We quickly realized when our hot water started to smell like rotten eggs. Ewwww gross! However, it’s common and happens when the water is high in natural minerals.

Now, there are two types of hot water heaters that are used in RVs, Suburban, and Atwood.

Ours happens to be a suburban that requires a metal rod to absorb the bad bacteria when water gets hot. Once the anode rod is deteriorated it needs to be changed. If not changed then the tank can corrode from bacteria.

We flush our hot water tank about once a month because we run off well water and the minerals accumulate in the bottom of the hot water tank. We only replace the anode rod once it’s completely deteriorated.

Update: Replace your Magnesium Anode Rod with an Aluminum Anode rod to get rid of the Sulfur Rotten Egg smell in your RV hot water tank.

5. Window and Roof Seals

Now, we bought our RV brand new, straight off the lot 2019. We had the idea, “it’s brand new, we shouldn’t have to worry about anything for a while”…. wrong!

We learned quickly when I woke up to go to work, it was raining not only outside but also through one of the slide windows. Water was just pouring in that we barely could keep up with the towels.

It was not fun, but with a shop vac, fans, and more towels it ended up being okay.

We bought an all-weather sealant to seal it up on the outside because there was no way we could get it to a shop. When you live fulltime in an RV, something’s as simple as sealing a window is easier just done on your own.

Now, we check our windows and roof after rain and at least every 60-90 days.

Final Thoughts

There are many other things we wish we knew but these are definitely the top 5. Now, I know some of these things seem like things we should have known. However, we didn’t because it was something so new to us and that’s okay.

We learned as we went, after all, we just changed our complete lifestyle. We both grew up in sturdy homes, where you didn’t worry about where to dump your dirty water or having to clean out your water heater.

I hope this article brings light to anyone considering purchasing their first Rv, whether it’s living fulltime or just something for the weekends. It’s an amazing journey!

Tell us about what you wish you knew before buying an RV or living in one. Comment below! Sharing is Caring! Help others get an Idea of what it’s like to live in an RV. Tweet, Pin, Share!!


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