Last Updated on 12/05/2023 by Glynn Willard
It’s been over three years now since we sold everything and moved into an RV to travel the country and live the RV lifestyle.
Do we regret our decision? Absolutely not.
Did we learn a few things about ourselves? Absolutely.
Most importantly, would we have done anything different along the way?
Honestly, YES there are a few things regarding camper life we would have done a little differently.
But most aspects, we would not change.
We have since sold our RV, made a few financial changes and are currently shopping for our next RV.
That might tell you something about how in love with the lifestyle that incorporates some part of full-time RV.
We hope our experience helps you prepare to have your own campervan or RV to enjoy the experiences we’ve had as a family.
What would we have done differently living full-time in an RV?
We would have paid for two hotspots.
Yes, we found that being connected was more important than we thought. And not just for our channel or social media.
Turns out, when you’re in an area with a different carrier and you already used your roaming data, it’s near impossible to research things to do in your surrounding area.
Yes, Starlink is making leaps regarding connection for those living in a recreational vehicle.
Those individuals who we’ve come to know who have multiple carriers, seemed to have a lot fewer issues.
It took a while, but we eventually switched out to two very different carriers allowing for a much easier connection.
As time has passed, we’ve learned a thing or two about the different ways to stay connected on the road.
I wrote a great article covering a great way to obtain mobile internet almost as good as in a traditional home.
Best Off Grid Options To Get Internet (Nomad Ways)
Looked for a small home-base sooner.
It didn’t take long before we started to crave a small traditional home to return to and cool our jets.
We sold a giant expensive house, but still craved a “nest” that’s our own.
Staying with my parents is nice and appreciated, but it never feels like home.
I see this trend happening now with a lot of the bigger channels. Very few seem to truly embrace the “true nomadic RV” experience.
And I don’t blame them. It makes sense to be a part-time RVer rather than living the full-time RV life.
That is, of course if your remote job or business allows for such an expense.
The longer we’re at this, the less we want to be totally nomadic.
We feel like a small home-base with the ability to work from anywhere and take 2-3 month trips would satisfy all of our travel desires.
It also makes it easier to change how we travel (planes, trains, boats, etc).
If you’re considering selling it all, think carefully about what your perfect scenario looks like.
We would have moochdocked with friends more often.
We found over time that we missed our friends and family more than anything.
Then we also figured out how easy and wonderful it is to take your RV to a friends house and stay awhile.
This will of course only work if they have the appropriate amount of space.
Many of our best and favorite times were when we were moochdocking with friends.
It’s always nice to return the “moochdocking” favor by helping around the house. A lot of time, that’s better than offering cash or a dinner.
It can get lonely boondocking most of the time, so more frequent stays with friends would have been nice.
I’m not discounting the joy in meeting new people or experiencing each new place.
Just mixing in a more moochducking with friends or a favorite family member.
Learned more about RV maintenance sooner.
We heard it and read it all the time before we left. Make sure you get to know how to maintain your RV.
We also always heard to set a certain amount of money aside for RV repairs since it’s when, not if you’ll need repairs.
This is very true! We were fortunately prepared for one of our wheels falling off the trailer.
We really did learn a lot quickly, but could have learned even more about some of the important preventative RV maintenance.
For instance, learn more about bearing, wheel and brake maintenance as well as the electrical systems and solar panels before we hit the road.
We still feel like we don’t know enough about the electrical system if it fails. But this is quickly changing as we make progress.
Being at the mercy of a repair service when boondocking on public lands in a remote location is not a nice feeling.
If you decide to full-time, make sure you really learn about preventative maintenance as well as RV repairs.
Additional ways to earn or supplement our income for full-time RVing.
Yes, we sold our business and have some money to live on for a while. But it will run out eventually.
We never imagined how much time producing a channel and blog would take for almost no return on investment (for a long time).
As of this writing, it’s not enough of a monthly income to even fill up the truck with diesel.
Will this change eventually? We hope and are putting in the time to make it so.
But part time remote jobs would have made better financial sense. Or more time work camping.
Regardless, an unrealized benefit is the fact that our kids (and us) will be able to watch these videos long into the future.
That’s worth all the effort on it’s own.
So, if you plan on going full-time and hope to make a living off a blog and channel, reconsider if you’re not already doing it and are an expert.
A realistic time frame for a blog or channel to take off is 4-5 years. That’s a long time waiting on those affiliate links and ads to come through!
Again, we love producing content, but it may not have made the best financial sense to us.
Consumed less alcohol in the beginning.
We’re health fanatics, but I (Glynn) still like to enjoy local beers while on the road. All good, right?
What I didn’t realize is that being in a camper in campgrounds or RV parks elicits the desire to drink more.
First, because you feel like you’re on vacation being in a camper.
And second, a lot of people around you in a campground are enjoying libations.
As time went on, I found myself drinking more than usual on days I normally wouldn’t drink.
This is a dangerous tight-wire to walk. It doesn’t help that so many states sell alcohol in the grocery store.
That’s not the case in our “full-time residence” state of DE.
Not only was I spending more money than necessary, but my sleep was getting worse from the alcohol.
I missed out on too many productive opportunities due to just having two or three beers the previous evening.
Yes, I’m that sensitive to alcohol.
I have since cut way back to normal amounts consumed while living in a sticks and bricks house. But I had to learn the hard way.
If you regularly consume alcohol, prepare yourself to exercise discipline when you initially start full-time RVing.
Less time for the kids on tablets.
This is something that evolved as Rose and I spent more time producing the channel while boondocking in the same location too long.
We would visit the attractions on our list and then stay to work on content.
During this time, the boys would finish their schoolwork, play outside for a while and then gravitate to the tablets.
Yes, we still could have limited time more, but even I could see the desire to join their friends on Minecraft servers.
It was their only connection to their friends.
And moving days are long and boring in the truck, so we allowed them a lot of time on the tablets.
Now we wish we had been more creative. The older they get, the more difficult it is to redirect their attention elsewhere.
Please don’t misinterpret this as a family who spends no time together. We do, but the tablets come out a little too often these days.
What we wouldn’t change about our full-time RV experience.
We’re so glad we didn’t buy a big RV!
When we first started, we had visions of roaming the country in a big, luxurious super C.
Not only would that have left us in debt, it would have really limited the style of camping we embraced.
We’ve found the low cost, easy maintenance and agility of a small travel trailer to far outweigh the small living space.
Besides, all of our best memories happened outside the RV.
We might think differently if we lived RV park to RV park.
Most importantly, we stayed within our financial budget and remained debt free. Debt can cripple any lifestyle.
And there’s nothing inexpensive about living an an RV. Especially if you’re maintaining the same standards as your previous life.
I now find myself scratching my head trying to figure out how we can move into a camper van and live the van life.
Just think of the low financial overhead and agility!
Fine, that might take us too far out of our comfort zone (pun intended) with no personal space.
Boondocking was the way to go!
We thought we’d like state parks the most. But it turns out we fell in love with boondocking on BLM and national forest land (public land).
The only problem; there are very few places to boondock east of the Mississippi. Yes, they exist, but nothing like the West part of North America.
This meant we spent (and spend) a lot more time out West.
We’re not complaining because it’s a preference, but it is limiting since most of our friends are east.
If you plan on going full-time, consider boondocking some of the time.
It’s free, you have more space and your schedule can remain open ended.
We love national parks!
Yes, national parks are one of our primary destinations.
With the National Park Pass, they’re basically free based on the amount of use the pass gets.
Of course, they’re beautiful and we work the Junior Ranger program into the kid’s education.
They also offer some great hiking opportunities!
I’d say the only problem that evolved was the boys become numb to all of the beautiful parks because we went to so many.
That minimized the enthusiasm some of the time.
If you have kids and go full-time on the open road, space out the national parks, so they don’t become novel.
Mix in the museums, excursions and fun activities that they want to do.
What were our big “Realizations” living in an RV full-time?
We value being debt free more than we thought.
I thought we would love the travel and all the sights more than having no debt. I was mistaken.
Having any debt that cannot be paid off on a monthly basis has crept to the forefront of our love for this lifestyle.
We never want to go back. And we only ever carried a mortgage in the past. That’s it!
It’s such a liberating feeling not basing your decisions on having to repay a loan. It’s awesome!
Although many decisions are based on available funds.
In my world, that’s staying ahead of the curve!
Keep that in mind when you’re selling your house and buying an RV. I mean really keep it in mind!
I (Glynn) really wanted more free time.
Even though I had a lot of time off from working in the business, I spent a lot more time working on the business.
Too much in fact.
At the time, I didn’t realize what I was missing. I was missing time with my family and hobbies.
Ultimately, it was unhealthy to my psyche as well as my family.
I didn’t even realize my craving for more free time even existed until we “reset.”
Now I understand that spending more quality time with the family and on hobbies is at the top of the list whether we’re in a home base or on the road.
We love having our kitchen and bathroom with us all the time.
Yes, we’ve become spoiled when traveling. “Daddy, I have to Pee” is a lot less stressful when all I have to do is pull over.
The same goes for the “I’m hungry” statement. We like it so much, we’re willing to have a class B as our daily driver and road trip vehicle when we have a home base again.
If you already have a camper, you understand that it can be the best way to travel!.
Our “Reset” incorporated more than we realized.
We grew acutely aware that refining our mindset was equally important to selling everything and living in an RV. That didn’t take long.
It forced us to take a deep dive into what a reset really meant to us and look back at all the traits that helped us reset several times in life.
Helping you refine these traits for your reset might just be our next chapter
What would be better for you? A mindset change or picking up and living in an RV? Or both? Think about that!