Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Can full-time RVing help overcome a midlife crisis?

Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
I think my husband is having a midlife crisis. Even though he is only 49, he says he’s burned out and wants to get an RV and travel for a year or so. That’s OK with me, but there is so much involved in making a decision like this.

We have the money. We could actually retire early by changing our lifestyle a bit. He has worked hard his whole life. I hate to deny him this escape plan. How should we proceed? Just take the leap? I would appreciate some advice. —Midlifer’s Wife

Dear Midlife Wife:
It all sounds familiar to me. I’ve done this more than once myself. Everyone has varied circumstances. You really need to make all these personal decisions on your own and carefully. That said, I would suggest you not be afraid to explore this move. If you have never experienced the RV lifestyle, I would advise baby steps. Some people are not cut out for it, although it might sound appealing.

Don’t sell the farm without trying out this great escape first. Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. An example would be long-distance hikers. I see a lot of people who have spent months preparing to hike a long trail, such as the Appalachian Trail. They read an account in the paper and it sounded appealing. After quitting their job, buying equipment, and planning logistics for months of hiking, I find them on the side of the trail in deep thought. They have hiked about a 100 miles with all their worldly possessions on their back. They look at me and say, “What was I thinking?”

The point is, go slow. Take a couple short trips. Most people find out this is a great lifestyle. Even getting away from a high-pressure job for awhile can help you think clearer. A job can kill you. I know, I had one once. Life is full of adventures and you only go around one time, so don’t be afraid to try a few things. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.





Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nanci Dixon
3 years ago

I had dreamed about the full-time RV lifestyle for over 40 years and am so thankful my husband was willing to try. We did a six month RV trip after retirement and returned to our house in the summer. Best thing we could have done was to try it out first. Loved the lifestyle, sold the house, all the stuff and have been full-timing for 2 years. Have found that camping back in the area near our old home in the summer is more than enough time with our kids and grandkids.

3 years ago

If he actually said “I’m burned out” the burnout probably started a long time ago. Life is short and you don’t have the luxury of a do over but you can make a change for the better while you still have a chance. You don’t have to sell the farm to experiment with the RV lifestyle. My hat is off to you for supporting his dreams and to him for having the courage to go after it. You will never know until you try and a day WILL come when it’s too late.

Karen & Ron Kleven
4 years ago

Karen & I went full time for 10 years and supported the lifestyle with on the road employment. We sold advertising for a RV Directory and we loved every minute of it.
If you have not RV’ed before though, I would recommend a trial run first. It is a wonderful lifestyle but it may not be for everyone.

William Forbes
4 years ago

Renting at first is good advice – in addition to the floorplan, pay attention to quality. Chucks’s statistics show you have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a lemon if you aren’t careful, so rent first and buy used. RV’s aren’t houses – you can’t take long showers, water pressure surges in most units, tank management is a reality, lots of other differences which some people consider defects in addition to real quality problems.

Jerry X Shea
4 years ago

“Worked his whole life” and he us 49. OK.
Think of it this way – remember your 1st house? Remember how quickly you “out grew it?” Same goes for an RV. I agree with the others, rent one and try it out. You will learn, in talking with other RVers, just what you will need for your type of lifestyle if you decide to buy one. Or, save money and for 1 month do everything at your kitchen coffee table. Eat, go on the computer, have a drink but only use your kitchen table. Stay as close to each other at all times, 24/7 because that is what life in a RV will be like. Only because it is true, there are many “RV stories” of couples in which the husband worked “day & night his whole life” only to discover that being with his wife 24/7 – – just try it out 1st. Good luck.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jerry X Shea

Best answer ever. It doesn’t matter how big the RV is, it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll be together at the kitchen table. That’s RV~ing.

Gene Bjerke
4 years ago

The quickest and easiest way check out the RV life is to rent one for a couple of weeks. It needs to be longer than a weekend because it will take you a few days to get into a different routine (hint: take along less than you think you will need). You might even be able to find more than one kind to try out. If you don’t like it, it has only cost you a few dollars. If you do like it, you already have some experience to apply to finding a rig you like.

Alaska Traveler
4 years ago

If it is indeed “midlife crisis” count yourself lucky. The most typical thing these guys do is find a younger woman. If you have enough money regardless then jump into it. My only point of concern is finding the right vehicle. We went through 5 of them till we found an acceptable one.

4 years ago

Great advice to take trial baby steps, but once it feels ok …. don’t look back. Just make sure your making life changing decision based upon something drawing you towards it, not something pushing you away from where you are.

4 years ago

After our younger next door neighbor died in his sleep, we began full time RV travel at age 52. You never know when time is up. We have now been full time for 10 years.

Sign up for the RVtravel Newsletter

Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.