Thinking about living in an RV? From downsizing your belongings to considering your finances, there’s plenty to think about before heading out on the road. Here are 19 questions to ask yourself before you commit to the RV life!
Are You Ready for a Big Change?
Moving from a house or an apartment into an RV is a major transition. It’s not the same as having a specific place to come home to every night. Although your space is limited on the road, it gives you new experiences and the opportunity to travel more easily. RV life is perfect for those who aren’t content staying still or living in one town for the rest of their lives. If you’re one of these people and you’re ready to switch up the traditional stability of a home, you should give RV living a try!
How Long Do You Plan to Live in Your RV?
One thing you need to decide before embarking on the open road is how long your journey will last. Is it going to be a short-term vacation or a full-time adventure? If you’re someone who has a passion for adventure and discovery, living in an RV full-time could be a great solution. On the other hand, if you have a family but still want to travel, a short-term summer trip can be a fun way to experience RV life.
How Much Space Do You Need?
If you’re going on an RV adventure, you’ll need to figure out how much space you need in order to choose the right size and type of RV. If you have a family, a fifth-wheel RV is a great choice, as they offer a wide variety of spacious floor plans so you can find the specific layout that will best fit your family best. If you’re traveling solo, consider choosing a smaller Class B RV as a more affordable option!
Are You Okay with Downsizing?
RVs are smaller than most houses, so you may have to get rid of some personal belongings before transitioning to life on the road. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle can help you transition into RV living, but you’ll need to make sure that you’re okay with downsizing. Before heading out on the road, make a list of the necessary items you plan to bring with you, and then come up with a plan to sell and donate the rest of your belongings. If you plan to eventually return to a house, think about putting your things into self storage.
Are You Going Solo or Traveling with a Partner?
You’ll want to figure out whether you want to live alone in your RV or bring a friend or significant other. Going solo is great for those who are independent but it can get lonely, and you need to be prepared if something goes wrong. On the other hand, if you’re living in your RV with a partner or friend, you’ll want to make sure your relationship is ready for RV travel since you’ll be with each other 24/7 and sharing the same small space.
What Is Your Current Family Situation?
Picking up your life and moving into an RV with kids is a fantastic way to bond as a family! With that being said, many challenges can come with it. Will you be okay sharing a small space with you and your children? Do you plan on homeschooling your children or only traveling during the summer? You may need to add some additional items to your RV packing list to keep the kids entertained while driving. These are just a couple of things to consider before bringing your family on the road.
Do You Have Any Pets?
Pets can make amazing travel buddies, but you’ll have to consider the amount of you space you have before bringing them along. Make sure your four-legged friend will be comfortable in a smaller space, and plan frequent stops for bathroom breaks and stretching. Also, if your cat or dog doesn’t enjoy being outside, RV living isn’t the best option since a lot of time will be spent outdoors.
Can You Handle Maintenance & Repairs?
If something breaks in your RV, will you be able to fix it? Your RV will drive many miles, and it’s hard to predict if, or when, something might go wrong. Before deciding to head on the road in your RV, you’ll want to make sure you can handle basic RV repairs and maintenance like checking the oil, sealing the roof, changing tires, and more. These are important skills to know because an auto shop may not always be close. Think about investing in safety gear like traffic cones, LED flares, jacks, a jump starter kit, and other tools to help keep you safe while you work on your RV.
What Does Your Financial Situation Look Like?
Whenever you make a big life change, you should map out a budget that fits your future needs. It’s best to get a rough estimate of what kind of RV expenses you’ll have so you can get an idea of how to utilize your money while on the road. Consider the initial cost of the RV, as well as expenses for any renovations, campsites and RV resorts, and an emergency fund.
Are You Able to Work on the Road?
Another thing to think about is how you’ll make money while traveling in an RV. You’ll want to make sure you have space in your RV where you can work effectively and have reliable internet, especially if you plan on freelancing or working remotely. Non-traditional careers like freelancers, artists, and social media influencers allow you to create content on the road and earn a living. If you’re not a digital nomad, there are many great travel work resources to inform you of seasonal or temporary jobs.
Can You Live with Limited Technology?
You may not always have access to the internet while in your RV, so you’ll want to evaluate how often you use streaming services and your phone. While there are options for installing WiFi in your RV, they can be costly and there’s a chance it’ll be spotty while you’re on the road. Additionally, battery power in your RV for charging your devices may be limited. If it’s important to you to always have your phone or laptop charged, you may want to invest in some kind of power inverter for your RV.
Are You a Good Driver?
RVs are huge vehicles and they can be difficult to maneuver, especially if you’ve never driven one before. While you don’t need a special license to drive your RV, it’s a good idea to practice driving on an open road before your trip so you can learn things like your turning radius and braking distance. Also, you’ll want to make sure you know your RV’s height and width for when you encounter tunnels. If you want some extra assistance, a backup camera can help when it comes to pulling in and out of parking spaces.
Do You Live a Flexible Life?
If you’re thinking of moving into an RV, it’s important to get comfortable with being spontaneous. You may not always know where you’ll set up camp for the night, where you’ll shower, or where you’ll get food, but that can be part of the fun! Just be sure that you can handle a little bit of uncertainty and show flexibility while living on the road.
Do You Like When the Seasons Change?
While most modern RVs are equipped with an HVAC system, they work differently than what you use in a traditional home. Also, if you’re traveling in an older RV camper, it may not have an adequate heating and cooling system or great insulation. During the summer months, you may need to purchase a portable AC unit. And in the winter, you should consider adding a space heater or fireplace to stay warm in your RV. Be sure to monitor heaters closely and keep flammable items out of their way.
Are You a Fan of the Outdoors?
It’s no doubt that you’ll get close to nature while living in an RV full-time. From exploring the trails near your campsite, hanging out in a hammock outside your camper, cozying up next to a bonfire, or setting up a tent for the night, a lot of your time will be spent outside! Because of this, you may want to invest in some outdoor items like an RV awning, outdoor lighting, comfortable chairs, or anything that will help you make the most out of RV living!
Will You Like Living at Campsites?
As you’re heading out on the road, you’ll have to decide where you plan to park your RV overnight. Unfortunately, you can’t do this just anywhere. Many times you’ll want to plan your stops in RV-friendly cities that have options for campgrounds and RV parks. These are safe options for you to set up camp for the night and allow you to connect with other travelers. Just be sure you’re prepared for campsite costs and the potential for limited running water.
Are You a People Person?
Expect to interact with all kinds of people while traveling in your RV. When you stay at campsites, you’ll be meeting people from all walks of life from solo travelers and retirees to families with kids. If you’re looking for ways to connect with the RV community, there are apps available like RVillage that help you meet up with campers near you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to new people. Part of what makes RV life so great is the people you meet along the way!
How Will You Stay Healthy on the Road?
Think about how you’ll keep yourself safe and healthy while living in your RV. Have a first-aid kit handy as well as an emergency plan in place, so you’re prepared if you or a family member gets sick or injured. Another way to keep yourself healthy on the road is by maintaining a nutritious diet. Even though RV life may not be a typical lifestyle, you can still live like you’re at home by making it a habit to buy groceries and cook your own healthy meals.
Do You Have an Idea of What RV Life Is Like?
If you’ve never traveled in an RV before, you’ll want to get an idea of what RV life is like before deciding to be on the road full-time. Do some research about the best places to park overnight and take a look at online RV forums to see what other travelers have to say about their experiences with RV living. That way, you learn what to expect, decide if it’s the right move for you, and prepare for your adventure!
Moving into an RV and need a solution for downsizing? Extra Space Storage has secure storage facilities located across the country for you to store your belongings while you’re traveling. Find storage units near you!