Full-Time RVing: 15 Things to Keep in Mind Before Committing to a Lifelong Journey

There are many types of RVers out there. Some will only ever need an RV for casual use, taking a few trips but not much more or only renting a camper. Part-timers will enjoy life on the road for part of the year and then relax in their permanent homes the rest of the time. And then there are the full-timers, who never move out of their RVs.

Full-time RVing is a lifestyle unlike any other, and it can seem appealing. However, the transition can be a significant decision with lots of prep work involved. If you're someone who's on the fence about whether you want to commit to full-time RVing, here are fifteen things you should consider before changing up your lifestyle.


Just like with any other home, living out of your RV comes with expenses involved, like food, gas, repairs, RV costs, insurance, and more. However, with full timing, holding down a job can be tricky, especially if you're regularly traveling from place to place. Outlining a budget before you hit the road is essential.

Repairs While Full Timing

Keeping your RV in top shape becomes much more pressing when it's your home as well. At a minimum, you should know how to handle the fuse box and basic plumbing, as well as ways to patch up common issues like leaks. You don't need to become a mechanic overnight, but the more you know about your RV, the better shape you'll be in if issues strike while on the road.

Insurance Needs

You want to have insurance coverage before you become a full-timer, but what you need will be slightly different than living off the road. At a minimum, you should have coverage on your RV for any damage it may take, as well as protection for damaged or stolen personal belongings you'll keep inside the trailer. You can also find medical insurance designed for full-time RV campers.

Internet and Phone Connectivity

When you only RV on occasion, staying hooked into the internet may not be your highest priority, but that can change when your camper becomes your home. Most campgrounds will have available wi-fi for when you stay there, but you can also use hot spots and satellite connections to stay wired while on the road. While it's up to you how much tech makes it in, you should research networks to get proper coverage.

Working with a Game Plan

One of the top benefits of full time RVing is that you have the freedom to go wherever you like, whenever you want. However, if you only travel aimlessly, you may find yourself missing out on local events by a few days or not thoroughly preparing for what's ahead. Most full-timers work on exploring the north during summer than head south for the winter months. You should always at least plan your next week or so to get the best out of your time and travels.

There Isn't Room for Excess

Modern RVs may be more impressive than their past counterparts, but they still only have so much space in them. When heading on a trip, it can be easy to leave behind the non-essentials at home, but that's different when your RV is your home. Be prepared for when you start picking out what to take to reduce even further. If you don't do it before setting out, you'll likely toss more out along the way.

The Right RV Is Essential

Think of picking out your RV for full timing like picking out a house, because that's what it will be. Sure, you can trade your RV later down the line, but you'll save money if you pick the right one the first time. Mid-range RVs around twenty-four feet usually have enough living space to be comfortable but won't be too large that you can't fit them into campgrounds.

It can be tricky with so many RV manufacturers and camping trailers to consider, but it's worth the effort! Consider renting different models to get a feel for them before purchasing.

Don't Just Get a Membership for the Sake of It

Camping clubs are out there as a way for RVers to have access to campgrounds within the network. Whether or not a club membership is worth it will depend on the places you like to go. For example, a club may not cover spots far out in nature, so it won't be worth it if that's where you want to camp. Consider the membership locations list and only get one if it fits you.

You Don't Get a Break from the People Around You

Whoever else is in your full time RVing team will be with you all the time. And since it's a contained space, you may not be able to get the distance you need in certain situations. Some relationships can handle that amount of interaction, and some others can't. To figure out if you and your potential RVing partner are up for the task, it's best to try an extended trip to see how things go.

You Still Need a Permanent Address

Even if you don't have a permanent home to return to, a permanent legal address is necessary for handling your bank account, vehicle inspections, voting registration, and more. Each state has its own set of laws, so make sure you abide by them before hitting the road.

Prepare for Pest Control

Between bugs, rodents, and other wild creatures, pest control can become an issue if you don't tend to it. The best approach is to be proactive and regularly check for any areas where pests can get in, especially underneath your RV.

Don't Neglect Your Tow Vehicle

Yes, picking out the right RV matters since it effectively becomes your home. But if you choose a travel trailer, you'll also need a tow vehicle that can handle whatever RV you attach to the back of it. Confirm that your tow vehicle can handle both safely towing your RV and stopping with the extra weight behind it.

Children and Pets Aren't Always Compatible with Full Timing

Is it possible to full time with a dog along for the ride or a couple of kids? Yes, but doing so brings an extra level of challenge to life on the road, between handling the company, managing the messes pets can bring, and other tasks like the potential need to homeschool your kids. Think carefully if you can manage the company or if it's better to wait until your traveling party is smaller before full timing.

Rushing Isn't Necessary

It's easy for new full-timers to work themselves up and rush from state to state, location to location—but you don't need to. Part of the benefit of free timing is the freedom that comes from staying wherever you like. Enjoying the journey in addition to the destination will let you get the most from this lifestyle.

Practice Runs Will Help You Prepare

You don't want to go through the trouble of finding an RV, selling your home, and setting out only to realize full timing isn't for you. The best way to be sure is to take several practice runs; how you handle a long trip will give you a good idea if you're suited for the lifestyle or not. You can also half time—part of the year on the road, the other at your permanent residence—to ease your way into it.