Last Updated on 08/07/2023 by Glynn Willard
Have you thought about living in a camper fulltime, but you’re are not sure if you’re ready to take the risk?
We’ve found so many different perspectives and reasons for living fulltime in an RV in our travels.
Some resembling our reasons for going fulltime and some very different.
So the best we can do is share our experiences with you to help weigh your decision or just give you some insight.
Allow me to peal back the curtains to the realities of camper life.
What’s It Like To Live In An RV Fulltime?
The initial vision is parking your rig right next to a glacial lake and waking up to a steaming cup of coffee and a grand view.
Well, that’s certainly picture worthy and it does happen on rare occasions, but it’s really not the norm.
Sadly, social media has glorified the fulltime camper experience skewing the viewers perspective about what it’s really like.
All your problems and difficulties will NOT simply vanish. Some are exchanged for different issues or even amplified, but there’s much to consider.
So, if you’re considering fulltime camper life as an escape from life’s challenges, I strongly urge you to reconsider.
But if you’ve got your ducks in order, it may be worth considering.
I can sum up fulltime RV living with one word. GROWTH!
Yes, growth. There were so many new skill sets to learn that our brains were constantly exercising. This is a good thing.
And it’s not what I expected when we made the decision to sell it all and go fulltime.
Day one began the long road to learning both from failure and realizations. Despite all the YouTube research you’re doing, most of your “learning” will happen on the road.
Bottom line, despite the ups and downs, life on the road is amazing!
Let’s crawl down the rabbit hole of living as a family in a camper.
Pros Of Living In A Camper Fulltime
There’s a lot of pros to life on the road with your family (again, our perspective). So many, I may forget a few.
- You’ll develop a new bond with your family.
- The new skills you’ll learn stay with you for life and come in handy.
- The photos and video you collect will be with you for years to come.
- A new social circle of like minded friends will develop and grow.
- Living with less develops a whole new meaning (a good one).
- There’s a sense of freedom that few experience.
- Cleaning your house is super fast and easy!
- If you don’t like your location, it’s easy to move.
- You can easily visit friends who live far away. Moochdocking in their driveway is a plus!
Cons Of Living In An RV Fulltime
We’ve faced our fair share of difficulties living on the road. Here are a few cons based on our experiences.
- The tiny space gets old real quick! But you’ll spend most of your time outside, right? No, you won’t.
- It’s not as easy as one thinks to find great campgrounds or boondocking locations.
- Severe weather is scary and dangerous in an RV.
- Home maintenance takes on another meaning. Something always breaks due to the constant movement.
- Repairs can literally put you out of “house and home.” And it can take a long time and be costly.
- Dumping tanks and finding fresh water if boondocking comes with its own set of challenges.
- Your living expenses are less predictable than being stationary. We stayed on budget, but it wasn’t predictable.
- Regardless of your social circles, it can get lonely. Missing friends and family is real! This is especially true when we boondock way off the beaten path.
- If you don’t have a source of income, you can rapidly burn through savings. If you’re looking for cheap RV living as an escape, look elsewhere.
- Doing laundry in different laundromats gets old.
- You might have to store a lot of stuff.
- If one of you gets sick, you’ll likely all get sick.
Our Favorite Experiences Living In A Camper
How much space do I have to write? The list is almost endless, but here goes.
- Not only showing our kids the Grand Canyon, but riding bikes along the rim. The kids will never forget that experience.
- Stumbling on a gorgeous beach in Destin, FL while taking our laundry to a laundromat. And it was a national park to boot.
- Fulfilling our bucket list to ride the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad in CO.
- Visiting and staying with our best friends that would normally require a vacation.
- The kids learning how to and excelling at riding ATV’s on private land.
- The boys learning to kayak from some amazing locals in Florida.
- Visiting so many great museums along our path has been memorable.
- Meeting a cool military commander and getting a private tour of the military’s Chinook helicopters
- Staying in one of our subscribers driveway in Ouray, CO and taking an epic hike there for the birthday.
- Watching the sunset at White Sands National Park.
- Hiking a “Rails to Trails” hike at 8,600′ in Cloudcroft, NM.
- Boondocking for the first time in Sedona, AZ. The morning hikes in the red dirt with the most beautiful scenery as the sun rose were breathtaking!
- Having the boys learn about history, geography and geology through experience rather than a textbook.
- Hiking in the snow in The Ruby Mountains (a hidden gem) and catching Zach on video losing his shoe in the snow.
- Driving the truck on the salt flats in Utah. Although it required immediate cleaning.
- Stumbling on a hidden spring in ID and spending an hour soaking.
- Towing a long way down a scary dirt road in The Sawtooth Mountains only to unveil one of the most beautiful boondocking locations.
- Rose finally being able to figure skate on the famous outdoor rink in Sun Valley, ID.
- Name the national park and we’ve likely been there.
- Turning the adversity of having a wheel fall off into a great learning lesson. It also led to meeting a great family.
- Getting our feet wet or swimming in every Great Lake.
- Celebrating Rose’s birthday (twice) in Flagstaff, AZ.
- Last but not least, making so many great friends along our journey!
I shouldn’t say “last but not least” because the list could go on and on!
Our Worst Experiences Living In A Camper
There were only a few negative experiences. Some of them turned into great experiences, so read with a grain of salt.
- The fear of tornado warnings in your direct area. We simply got hotel rooms if that type of weather was approaching.
- One of our wheels falling off in the middle of the desert in AZ. Ultimately, this became one of our best experiences.
- Having to turn the trailer around on a single lane dirt road with no outlet. It was not labeled.
- Picking up contaminated water and all suffering from nausea and diarrhea for over a week.
- The check engine light coming on in the tow vehicle after towing to 11,000′.
- Severe winds in Utah strong enough to potentially flip any RV.
- After ten hours of driving, having plan A, B and C fail as options for a boondocking location. We shared a site with a kind camper.
The list is short for a reason and it’s legitimate.
Any Regrets Living In An RV?
No, the positives all outweigh the negatives. I believe this is the case because:
- We started with zero debt.
- We paid cash for our trailer and tow vehicle.
- We had substantial savings.
- We domicile in a tax friendly state with easy homeschool laws.
- We both have an entrepreneurial background, i.e., we’re used to the lack of predictability.
When I go back and watch some of our older YouTube videos, I literally tear up with joy and gratitude.
At no point will lay on my death bed and state “traveling fulltime with my family was such a mistake!”
So, once again, zero regrets!
Wrapping Up Living In A Camper Fulltime
If you took the time to go through the list of our favorite experiences fulltiming in a camper, it paints a picture of all the amazing opportunities.
The best part was how inexpensive or free most of our best experiences were.
It’s easy to get lazy on the road. It takes effort and planning to travel to the best places, but it’s worth it for the memories.
I hope we’ve given you an idea of what it can be like if you decide to live in a travel trailer fulltime.
Where will you go first?
We appreciate any help we can get to bring you great content. Donate or buy us a coffee on our Ko-Fi site. You can also follow along and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Reset Your Journey.