What they don’t tell you about living on the road

49 thoughts on “What they don’t tell you about living on the road”

  1. That’s was such an interesting and informative read! I must say that I have had visions of living in an RV before, but having a little one in school make sure it pretty unrealistic 🙁 But if we do ever hit the road in style, I’ll sure be glad I read this article. I never thought of stuff like adding hours to a trip or traveling with the weather. Awesome post! Thanks!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  2. Cool post. I never thought of weather considerations with an RV. I just assumed you’d be able to go wherever you want whenever you want. But it makes sense. It’s funny the stuff people say when you live a life that’s much different than theirs and different from the norm. We have a small house (3 beds, 1 bath) that we’ve lived in since we got married. By now, all of our friends have moved further out in the burbs to buy thousands of more square feet than they’ll ever need. We get quite a few condescending comments that for some reason people don’t think are inappropriate.

  3. We are definitely interested in RVing. I appreciate Michelle’s honest take on things – remembering the repairs and having to shift because of the weather is important. We wondered about the trailer vs. RV issue when it does come to repairs. For major ones (that might take a few days), I guess you’d need a hotel/AirBNB, etc.? Maybe you’d need the same for towing a trailer too I guess (if you don’t have your vehicle)… just something my husband was mentioning.

    1. It depends on where you are getting the RV work done. We have a Tiffin now, and if you go to their facility in Alabama, then you can stay in your RV. They have an RV park and everything so that it’s easy as possible for their customers.

      At most dealerships, you’ll have to get out and hand over the keys to them.

  4. Very good write up of all the mainstream questions I hear a lot. We want to eventually RV 50 percent of the time in retirement, That’s a long ways away so Time will tell. My uncle has one of the larger drivable RVs. He ultimately regretted his purchase because of the stress of driving it around in east coast traffic. As such we’ll be starting on the small cheap travel trailer to see if we like it,

  5. Do you ever meet families on the road? I assume that would take the difficulty level up several degrees. You’d either have to do homeschooling or travel only during the summer.

    I’d live to RV full time, but with 4 kids, that’s an experience we’ll chase in a few years

  6. Neato! I’m sure RV living isn’t for everyone, and it definitely has downsides, but it does sound like a more freeing lifestyle. I’ve seen the multi-million dollar RVs and it does seem like RV living can be just as extravagant as non-nomadic living. It’s what you make of it. Gas prices will be much higher, but you also won’t have a mortgage. I also think it requires quite a lot of downsizing and simplification, which is really nice. I don’t think I could live in an RV since I’ve gotten spoiled to having a super-fancy kitchen.

    How do you guys do on food? Do you find that you eat out more when on the road? I know you can still do homemade meals in an RV but storage space is a little more difficult for bulk food storage.

    1. We eat out a lot, but that’s mainly because we like to try new restaurants all the time. We have a similar amount of storage space for our kitchen, so we have everything we need. We have a residential-sized fridge in our RV too 🙂

  7. We have never even rented an RV for a vacation, so it is hard to imagine living in one. You are right – many of your insights are quite surprising. What is most important is that I see you are having fun and that RV love few is much less limiting than one might think. We were thinking about renting one this summer for a week we will jump in!

    1. Enjoyed reading ur article & the comments. We also sold our 3800 sq ft waterfront Florida home, bought a 43 ft Class A motorhome (our first RV of any kind) & left for full time Rving Jun 11, 2016. We have never regretted it. I would add that anyone considering this lifestyle should be willing to learn & be flexible. There are many new systems to learn & maintaining them is less $$$ than replacing them!! On the road in Arizona.

      1. Congratulations on such a monumental downsize, Donna. A 43 foot Class A is pretty darn big, though! But hey, whatever you feel most comfortable in. Arizona awaits! It’s already in the 90s out here. 🙂

  8. I’ve never set foot in an RV. Mr. BITA has some fond childhood memories of RV holidays (his grandparents owned one). I don’t know if I want to live in one full time, but I definitely want to try one out for a holiday.

  9. I appreciate the insight and experience Michelle offers. RVing full-time is on our radar. We’ve done it enough on a smaller scale over the past 10 years that I know it’s a lifestyle we would love. We’ve traveled in our travel trailer a few weeks at a time and found out the hard way a couple of times that the GPS time is wrong. Always.

  10. How about living with kids in an RV? Do the people that manage it all homeschool?

    I’ve got two of the little buggers, and I doubt I would have the patience to homeschool them.

    After reading the post, it gives me the impression that RV’s are very fragile. Hitting 30F and having things break is…hardly cold at all. What happens when you hit really cold (sub zero) temps?

  11. thanks for sharing your experience about living in an RV. This is something I have been dreaming about for years. I haven’t had the stomach to quit my job and pursue living in an RV but hopefully someday. I think it takes a lot of courage. I hope you continue to find enjoyment from your travels.

  12. My husband and I live in 320 SF and his side of the family is more of the ‘why don’t you have more at this stage in your life.’ My family knows me as a nomad, minimalist and a free spirit, who can’t be tied to a cubicle, even for 6 figures, so they understand.

    RV’ing sounds awesome to me, but I think I would prefer something small like a van. We talked about doing this in the future. But, our first goal is to backpack the world once or twice in the next couple of years. Then, settle to van life in the U.S. For me, I agree with the community…. it would be a lot of fun to meet others on the road.

  13. My parents have traveled all over North America in their RVs. Alaska, most of Canada, and back and forth/up and down the U.S. a bunch of times. They have no problem with weather (they’ve visited family in Minnesota in -30F windchills and visited more family in Oklahoma at 110F) but they’ve been at it for a bit longer than you guys have 😉

    I loved our Class C when I was kid – I remember exactly which cubby I put my books in for the summer!

    When they finally sold our motorhome they downsized to a RoadTrek since it was now just the two of them. It’s surprising how roomy those are! I think the two most common Class B brands are RoadTrek and PleasureWay and they’re both extremely well thought out in terms of space.

    Since they retired they’ve been in a big ol’ Class A and absolutely loving it. You’re so right about making friends all over! They’ve gotten to the point they will meet up with friends in different states the way a lot of us would meet up with friends for coffee in a different suburb 🙂

    Thanks for the article, Michelle! It’s always fun to read your travel stories!

  14. — also — I have no idea how I’ve missed your site before now, but I’ve been devouring pages for the past half hour 🙂 Super stoked to have found you through this post!

  15. Gosh – this makes me want to hop in an RV and go!! Your trips sound amazing – all those national parks sound like an amazing adventure. I hadn’t thought about the amount of time it would take to drive somewhere though it totally makes sense…and the cold?! Definitely things to think about. I think I would prefer warm weather anyway if I had the ability to be location independent. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures, Michelle!

  16. The RV lifestyle is our goal. We’ve already started saving money for it. Thank you for the peek into your life to help those of us that are interested in full time RV living!

  17. My husband and I have decided to do this in 2018. I am going to travel nurse and our youngest will go with us (we will homeschool him). We are all super excited and still have plenty of time to get things together. We have always wanted to go back east and looking forward to meeting and seeing new people and things. We are going to get a trailer not an RV because we will both need separate vehicles. Thank you for the informative article. It is refreshing to see that people actually make it work while living in a non traditional fashion.

  18. Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I’ve thought about taking an extended trip in an RV once my older kids are through (or in) college, so I’m interested to learn more about what it’s really like.

  19. Wow, that was super interesting! I grew up in Miami and I always used to daydream about sailing around the world one day in a 30-40 foot boat. That’s sort of like RV’ing on the water, right?

    Now that I’ve gotten older and a little more comfortable, I’m not sure it holds the same appeal it used to. I do think it’s pretty cool though!

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