Friday, December 9, 2022


Avoid the most common full-time RVing mistake


By Julie Chickery
Embarking on a full-time RV adventure is exciting! In fact, it is so exciting that many new full-time travelers make the same error, which is rushing to see and do it all! This leads to several problems, including putting a big dent in the wallet. By taking your time and avoiding this full-time RVing mistake, you’ll enjoy the journey so much more and will also save a few bucks along the way. 

Living like you are on vacation

The most common mistake that new full-time RVers make is living like you are on vacation. What I mean by this is racing across the country in an effort to check everything off the bucket list. This also often includes dining out regularly. Now add every tour and activity along the way. While it may sound like fun, these behaviors can actually diminish your full-time RV joy. It also can drain funds and cause serious travel fatigue.

In the video below, my husband and I discuss how we fell into this trap, as well as how we turned things around during our six years on the road. 

Travel fatigue

The first drawback to living like you are on vacation as a full-time RV traveler is that you can quickly get travel fatigue. Hitting several national parks in a year may sound like a dream, but packing up and moving the RV every few days can start to wear on you. Not to mention that the miles may literally start to wear on your RV. 

Murphy’s Law

You remember Murphy’s Law? Things will go wrong at the worst possible time. Now think about what happens when you plan to move every few days and something breaks on the RV (as it inevitably will). Most new RVers aren’t aware that the dealership will typically have to order parts from the manufacturer. If you are on a tight schedule this will put a serious wrench in your travel itinerary (pun intended). Avoid this full-time RVing mistake, by allowing additional time for the unexpected. 

Budget busters

Living like you are on vacation is a sure way to bust the budget. The great thing about exploring the country in an RV is that you can often save money, but that means using your RV kitchen instead of dining out every night. You can avoid this full-time RVing mistake and save quite a bit of cash by taking advantage of length-of-stay discounts like weekly or monthly rates at campgrounds. 

My advice: Take time to smell the roses

My husband and I have found so much more joy by taking time to smell the roses. After our first exhausting six months on the road, we slowed down and started staying a month per location. With this new pace, we were able to enjoy each destination fully and even find the hidden gems that you don’t often hear about. 

This also allowed for those problems that sometimes occur such as pesky weather or maintenance and repairs. Just think how disappointed you would be if you only allowed yourself a week at a destination and it happened to rain five of those days! 


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1 year ago

The art form, in relationship to the above, longer stays at reasonable prices. Since that is becoming more difficult- maybe it’s time to solve the challenge or hang up the full time thing.

1 year ago

Great post! We’re starting our thirteenth year of full-timing and went through what you describe. We now have some favorite spots we return to each year where we stay at least three weeks at a time. Like you, we see much more, get to know a community more intimately, and are much less stressed. It also gives us time to get regular maintenance done not only on the RV — but us! We like to say we know we’re full-timers because our hearing specialist is in one state, our optometrist is in another, and our dentist is in a third state 🙂

To Dave — we’re able to stay a month (or longer) in private RV parks. And although we started out just stopping in and staying as long as we wished, we now have to make reservations at least a year in advance for extended stays (even at places we’ve visited for ten years or more that are in the boonies). Lots of RVers out there, so the longer you want to stay someplace the more likely you’ll need to make a reservation.

Dave Pellegrino
1 year ago

Most places only let you stay for 2 weeks at a time. Where are you finding these monthly sites at? And what kind of sites are they? State Parks, national parks? Private campgrounds?

Phil Atterbery
1 year ago

Hi Dave, mostly, the private grounds. The federal & state camps like the turnover. Next time you’re in the RV Parky app, look at some of the commercial parks for their weekly & monthly rates.

1 year ago

You are correct that you may be limited to 2 weeks but you only have to move to a different park and you can return in 2 weeks. Moving every couple weeks is not bad. Moving every other day is a pain. We have also stayed at camps where you pay for 6 and get the 7th night free. Also mid-week in campgrounds may be cheaper, so stay weekends in free locations and go to a campgrounds mid-week to dump and resupply water. And there are RV clubs where you get great discounts. As the author notes, this is your life, not a vacation.