You Definitely Should Not Go Fulltime

You Definitely Should NOT Go Fulltime

A few days ago I wrote about the benefits we’ve experienced as a result of our decision to live, work, play, and explore as fulltime RV dwellers. It’s not all sunshine and roses though. There is a serious downside to living in an RV and you should probably stop thinking about going fulltime.

A few days ago someone posted this to a Facebook Group I follow:

Worst part of full time rving 1.2.3. Go!

More than 60 people chimed in to say that not having a bathtub is no fun, washing dishes by hand gets old, and no one likes emptying a holding tank – especially if you forgot to empty it prior to pulling your trailer all day in the summer heat (yikes!).

For some the worst part of fulltiming was poignant.

Kids missing “home”…

For others the worst part was more practical.

No washer/dryer!

For more than one, the reason was a bit…personal.

Lack of privacy with (my partner).

Once the final vote was counted, some common themes kept popping up. Here’s the unscientific tally.

Reasons Not to Fulltime

So that’s it. Obviously, you hadn’t thought this through properly, this crazy idea you have of living in an RV. I’m glad to have opened your eyes.

You can thank me later.

Ok, so I jest. Fulltiming is awesome. Sure there are downsides to living in an RV, but there are plenty of downsides to living in a sticks & bricks as well!

So what are the most commonly cited downsides to fulltiming?

  • You’ll miss the comforts of home. Your bathtub, if you have one, will be tiny. Showers will have to be quick, water pressure is often lacking, and plan on getting a dehumidifier.
  • It’s a tiny space, and there is very little privacy. Finding alone time, either with or without your spouse, is hard. You’ll be able to hear your neighbors at times, and you’ll probably have a hard time getting all your stuff into your RV.
  • When you live in an RV you sacrifice certain work-saving modern conveniences. You’ll be washing dishes by hand, vacuuming more frequently as the outdoors tend to come in, and dealing with holding tanks way too frequently.
  • You’ll miss your family and friends. There’s no way around this one. You’ll miss birthdays, anniversaries, and coffee dates (or poker night).
  • Lastly, an RV is not a house. Things will break, it will shake in a stiff breeze or whenever someone just walks around, insulation is only minimal, and when a storm blows up you’ll sweat it.

Those five categories covered nearly 95% of the “worst part(s)” posted by fulltimers. Let’s deal with them one at a time.

You’ll miss the comforts of home living in an RV? Yep, sure will, but if the comforts of home keep you home the loss is much greater.

You’ll suffer from a lack of privacy? Absolutely, but you’ll also gain the ability to live better with others as you curb your lifestyle to be a better neighbor and RVmate. If you have kids, I think there’s a good chance they’ll end up being a lot more flexible than their peers – able to thrive in living situations their peers wouldn’t be happy in.

There will be extra work to do? Yes. You’ll be washing dishes by hand, dealing with holding tanks every few days, and setting up a travel trailer is no five minute process. But you’ll also be gaining back some of your weekends and evenings since you won’t be cleaning and maintaining the yard and square footage that go with a sticks & bricks house.

You’ll miss those left behind? Yes, you will, but you’ll make new friends along the way, there’s a huge online fulltiming community you can tap into if you want, and there’s always email and Skype to keep up with the folks at home. Heck, your house is on wheels. Go home every once in a while!

You’ll be living in a RV, and they don’t build those to the same standards as a sticks & bricks. Ok, so I don’t really have anything good to say about this one. It’s true. But you’ll get used to it.

Does fulltiming has some downsides? Sure, as does everything in life. All potential living situations have their pluses and their minuses.

So here’s the deal. Add up your pluses. If you aren’t fulltime yet, why do you want to go fulltime? If you are fulltime, why do you do it? Is it the chance to see new places? The chance to spend more time with your kids? A pause from the busyness of stationary life? The freedom to roam and work towards a debt-free lifestyle?

Now compare those to the minuses.

How do the pluses and minuses stack up for you?

I know that for us, at this point in our lives, it just isn’t even close. Fulltiming has some minuses, but the pluses win by a mile.

2 comments

  1. I am single, getting close (6 months) to retirement. Kids are grown and spread out all over the US. Mom and Dad too. I thought about doing this for a while because I do not have my own YET! (Apt.) The only thing is I would be alone. Not sure what to do.?

    1. Hi Deborah! Thanks for the comment!

      I can see the appeal in RVing with your family spread out like that, and also see reason for pausing to make sure it’s the right fit. There are many fulltime RVing groups on Facebook you could reach out on. I’m sure you’d find other folks in your situation who could give you situation-specific advice. If you’re on Facebook look for the groups “Full Time RVing” and “Full-Time RVers”.

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