If you’re considering the RV lifestyle, it’s helpful to understand what you’re getting into. Some RVers choose to live on the road and others plan a trip or two every year. Before you purchase an RV and commit, explore some of the pros and cons of RVing.
The RVing Lifestyle Has Both Pros and Cons
Live a Frugal Life
RVing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be. To live more frugally, plan your trips carefully and learn to cook on the road. Restaurants and take-out will get expensive quickly. You’ll learn how to do more with less and most RVers enjoy the minimalist lifestyle.
Even in a large rig, you’ll have limited storage space for your belongings. Living frugally means you learn to appreciate the things you have and often begin to prefer experiences over belongings.
Freedom to Travel
For most people, RVing is about traveling. You have the chance to see the country and even the entire continent from the comfort of your home-on-wheels. If you’re not enjoying a particular town or campground, move on to the next area. Seeing new places and having new experiences are the reasons many RVers choose to hit the road.
Pros and Cons of RVing: It’s a Spontaneous Lifestyle
When you live in an RV, you don’t always know what to expect. One town may seem uninteresting while the next town has a number of things you’d like to do. There will also be new places to eat and new people to meet. As an RVer, you will often face spontaneous choices. Many people enjoy the adventures and appreciate the challenges of making a home on the road.
Cons of RVing
You will need fuel for your rig. Depending on the size and model, you can expect poor gas mileage. Some RVs only get around 6 to 8 miles per gallon. If you plan to spend a lot of time on the road as opposed to staying parked at a campground, make sure you budget for the fuel costs.
Constant Decision-Making is One of the Pros and Cons of RVing
Being on the road means you won’t be able to settle perfectly into a regular routine. At home, you probably have a favorite grocery store and pharmacy that you use every time you do the shopping. RV living introduces uncertainty to your lifestyle.
In each new town, you’ll have to find a grocery store. Every day you’ll be making decisions that you didn’t give a second thought to while living in a house. Where will you walk the dog? What are the best restaurants? You may need to quickly choose a mechanic or vet without being able to ask friends or family for recommendations.
Some RVers find that constant decision-making is exhausting, while others enjoy the newness of each experience. Whether this is a pro or con largely depends on your personality and comfort with new situations.
No matter what type of RV you purchase, you’ll spend money on repairs and maintenance. Make a budget and set aside money every month for unexpected repairs. RV repairs can be costly and finding a service technician isn’t always easy. Regular maintenance is more expensive than on a car or truck. Expect to spend more on oil changes, alignments, and replacement parts.
You’ll also have to maintain the living spaces. The carpet will need to be cleaned and the upholstery may be inspired by a trend that is 10 or more years old. Like a homeowner, you’ll want to update the inside of the RV to suit your personal tastes.
RVing Can Be Lonely
Unless you’re great at making new friends, you might find the RV lifestyle a bit lonely. Depending on where you camp and how frequently you move from one place to the next, you might not make connections often.
If you get along well with the family beside you in the campground, they will probably be gone soon and you may not see them again. Full-time RVing can be difficult for people who regularly want meaningful social interactions.