Monday, January 30, 2023


Full-time RVer Newsletter #1, April 14, 2021

Volume 2. Issue 1
Welcome to the Full-time RVer Newsletter, published every other Wednesday by Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and full-time RV living tips from the pros, travel advice, and anything else of interest to full-timers or those who aspire to be. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.

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Quote of the day
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” —Muhammad Ali

From the editor

By Chuck Woodbury

Welcome to issue #1 of the Full-time RVer Newsletter from No, it’s not really issue #1 — that was way back in 2005. We published the newsletter until 2012, then, for reasons I cannot recall, we stopped. So we’ll just call this Volume 2, Issue 1.

And I must say, now that we bring it back, that much has changed since that last issue nine years ago.

The RVers have changed, their RVs have changed, and RVing itself has changed.

If you boil down the definition of a full-time RVer, it’s simple: someone who lives in a recreational vehicle 12 months of the year. But that could include a huge variety of people. It could range from the retired couple who live in a half-million-dollar motorcoach in an upscale RV resort to a “houseless” person who lives on the street in a decrepit RV. Most of us are in the middle somewhere.

Today, there’s an army of RVers who travel from job to job in comfortable fifth wheels and motorhomes. They’re wind machine workers, pipeline workers, and traveling nurses. The pandemic has changed the way millions of Americans now work — remotely, not in the office Monday through Friday. I expect that many of these people will buy an RV, hit the road, and work from whatever place fits their fancy. Many Millennials who could never have traveled like this in the past can do so now (and in fact, are doing it!).

And there are the entrepreneurs, who can run their business from anywhere. Why sit in the same place day in and day out, when you can see the country with a small rolling home, equipped with a computer, cell phone and some sort of internet connection?

And what about all those people whose homes have been destroyed in wildfires in recent years? Some will say, “Heck with buying a house and having it burn down again. Let’s buy an RV!” If a fire approaches, they’ll just pack up and hang out where it’s safe. Ditto for people displaced by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or even earthquakes.

The recent movie “Nomadland” profiled mostly older Americans who live in vans, who work temporary jobs (like in Amazon warehouses), and earn enough to get by. Some are so poor they carry a bucket along as their toilet. Some travel this way by choice, others by necessity. Are these people what you and I would include in the ranks of “full-time RVers”?

In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll try to make sense of what it means to be a full-time RVer. I suspect we will focus mostly on full-time RVers who do it by choice or for work, who are not so poor they poop in buckets. There is so much to love about the full-time RVing lifestyle, and with RVing suddenly being “cool” instead of “Grandma and Grandpa’s Playhouse,” you can bet the ranks of America’s nomads will grow, and quickly.

Did you miss last Sunday’s RV Travel Newsletter? 
If so, here is some of what you missed…
The latest news about RVing for RVers.
Are “bots” stealing your campsite? (Yes!)
National Parks want darkness. RV makers want light!
PLUS: Our latest RV Travel Podcast, hosted by Scott Linden

Be cool this summer.
Now use your RV air conditioner when you could never use it before. No kidding!


Some of these articles are from past issues of and have been updated for this newsletter. 

The myth of full-time RV life versus the reality

There is a myth about RV life: sitting by campfires in the sunset daily, happy hour with friends, and constant travel “hither and yon” with no worries except where to stop next. Those thoughts are popular and occasionally they do happen, especially for weekenders and short-term vacation travelers. But the truth may be far from that expectation. Here’s why.

Thousand trails signIs a Thousand Trails membership for you?

Two years ago, we asked the readers of what they thought of Thousand Trails. Did the members of the camping organization think it was the greatest thing ever, or just okay, or did they wish they had never joined. Here’s how they responded (with more than 30 readers leaving comments).

Camp hosts: What’s in it for you?

Many full-time RVers work part- or sometimes full-time as camp hosts, usually during the summer travel season. In exchange for a few hours of work a week, camp hosts receive a free campsite, usually with water, utility and often sewer hookups. Is this something for you? Here are some thoughts.

Downsizing The Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go 
Whether you’re downsizing to go full-time RVing or for other reasons, this best-selling AARP book will guide you through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime of possessions, to selling your home. The author helps you create a strategy and mindset to accomplish the task quickly and rewardingly, both practically and emotionally. Learn more or order.

Reader Poll

Reader poll

Are you a full-time RVer or in the planning stages?

Answer here and see how others responded.

Harvest Hosts’ NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr. tomorrow, Thursday, April 15. If you buy a membership today, it’s only $67.15 a year after a 15% discount for an entire year of unlimited overnight stays. Use HHFRIENDS15 at checkout for the discounted rate and to lock it in forever, regardless of how much the membership fee increases in the future. Learn more or join.

Quick tip

Selling your RV on consignment? Be careful!

Whether you are moving up to a Class A motorhome from a travel trailer or even downsizing, there are many ways to sell your existing RV. Placing your vehicle on consignment is an option, but did you know that most RV insurance policies exclude coverage for vehicles while they are on a consignment?

Since the RV is on a dealer’s lot during the process, you may assume it’s responsible for insuring it. Actually, it’s not – the responsibility stays with the owner. You may also say to yourself, “Why do I need insurance if I’m not using my RV and it’s just parked at a dealership?” Well, a lot can happen during the sales process. For instance a potential buyer, unfamiliar with driving a larger vehicle, could take it on a test drive and accidentally hit another vehicle. Or a fire on the grounds could spread to your RV, resulting in a total loss. Storms and falling tree limbs may also cause significant damage, not to mention theft and vandalism.

Full-time RVing doesn’t mean major eating change

Despite the fact that a lot of “high-end” motorhome builders have eliminated the “old-fashioned” oven, it seems many full-timers still eat much as they did before they went on the road. Here’s a sampling of some of the “menu items” full-timers take to eating and how they prepare them.

Long-term costs for the full-time RVer

When working out the “hows” and “what ifs” of full-timing, most prospective full-timers focus on costs like fuel, RV park fees, and the how-to of keeping up with medical. One person thinking about the lifestyle had a provocative question: What kind of costs will I have in keeping up the RV? Find out.

Full-timer pleads, “PLEASE don’t buy me anything!”

Full-time RVer Nanci Dixon asks her friends and family to please not buy her anything – her RV has too much “stuff”! See what Nanci suggests you buy your full-time RVing friend or family member instead of gifts.

Your assignment

What advice would give an aspiring full-time RVer?

Here is where you get a chance to tell us something, rather than the other way around. This question is for current full-time RVers. It goes like this: What advice would you give to someone who told you they (or he or she) was planning to buy an RV and live in it full time? Based on your experience, what would you say? We’ll publish as many of your responses as possible in the next issue of this newsletter.

Retired or retiring soon and thinking about full-timing? This book is for you!
A Practical Guide to Full-Time RV Living: Motorhome & RV Retirement Startup by Jack and Shirley Freeman is a wonderful guide to how to get started full-timing after retirement, and how to live an affordable life on the road. They’ve done a wonderful job answering any questions you may have about this next chapter in your life. Check it out here.

Featured recipe

By Barbara Mitchell, Aurora, Illinois
This is so quick and easy to make. You can use it as a main dish if you add chicken, or as a side salad to accompany steak, chicken, lamb or pork. Perfect for a side dish at a campground BBQ.

Learn more and get the recipe.

If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.

RV Daily Tips Staff

Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

This website utilizes some advertising services. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Regardless of this potential revenue, unless stated otherwise, we only recommend products or services we believe provide value to our readers.

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

This newsletter is copyright 2021 by

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1 year ago

We are not full timers, just didn’t work out, but we have talked to many and never felt any wished they hadn’t done it. Most were happy people and what more can you ask for? Didn’t feel the movie Nomadland represented most RVers experience.

John Crawford
1 year ago

This is my first full-time newsletter and it is so depressing I think I’ll cancel my subscription. I’ve been Full-time for 5+years and love it. The key is not to jump around all the time but stay a week or two in one place to get to really know it and the people. There is so much to do and see within driving distance that you can stay busy every day. We love to get acquainted with the local restaurants and their unique food. There is so much history in these cities to learn about too. I’ve had 55 years in a stick and bricks with all the upkeep. You go from 3,000 Sq ft to 300 Sq ft and the maintenance becomes nothing.

1 year ago

Chuck, it seems to me that some people do not know how to read – or definitions of words. I found no problem with the article.

Wren Grace
1 year ago

I wish there was a way to “like” certain comments…

Ival Secrest
1 year ago

Some of the previous comments took me by surprise. Have some of us become too sensitive to certain words, that is, looking to be offended or thinking that others should be offended. We were full-timers for the years 1999-2006 and have just returned to the lifestyle. We have met many wonderful people via our RVing lifestyle from all walks of life and were never concerned with their wealth or social standing. Life is too short to be offended. Hopefully, we can exhibit love and respect to all the people we encounter in life, recognizing that can be difficult in some situations. If we follow the example of Abraham Lincoln, we will all be better people.

1 year ago

To me RVing is a big tent with all welcome, including those in hiker trailers and vans. I hate to see an RVing publication narrow its focus down to big rigs and big budgets and mostly older couples. Today’s cooking piece seemed to imply most of us cook just as we did back home. Um, not in my little rig I don’t, and don’t want to.

It is “RV Travel” however, so if I had to exclude people from focus, it would be the stay-putters, who are permanently parked. If you’re not traveling, you’re just living in a home made of fiberglass instead of bricks, and we don’t have much in common.

1 year ago

Love the newsletter, not a ‘full-timer’ but want to get my wife into becoming a ‘more-timer’ instead of short trips. Look forward to the information available. My brother has the TT membership and wants me to be a part of it but am hesitant in jumping into that world. We have been flexible with our trips so far and from what he has told me, there are limitations with the membership and the locations. Hitting the road next month, coach has been in the shop, but weather is warmer and I am not looking forward to all the grass growing at home!!!!

1 year ago

I’m a fulltime RVer and know many other fulltimers from all walks of life. People who poop in a bucket are not necessarily poor. Many choose that way because it’s either simpler or easier to deal with the waste. Or they want to save space in their smaller rigs. You cannot judge someone’s character or level of wealth by what rig they have or what they poop in.

Magee Willis
1 year ago
Reply to  Angelack

So very true!

Kimberly White
1 year ago

Are these people what you and I would include in the ranks of “full-time RVers”?”

Really, editor? “These people”?

Way to “other” and divide people at a time when that’s the last thing any human being in this country—or on this planet—should do.

You may someday find yourself so poor that you too must “poop in buckets.” Although that is not my lot at the moment, I will not subscribe to a blog whose editor presumes he and his readers are too good to associate with those who earn less than what is deemed enough to feel superior to others.

The people in Nomadland were complex and loving human beings. By contrast, you sir, appear to be poor in spirit.

Paul Cecil
1 year ago
Reply to  Kimberly White

Did we read the same editorial? First, Chuck gave a description of individuals portrayed in the movie Nomadland, and then asked are they full-time time RVers. I read nothing that was demeaning in his statement. How would you have phrased it? His use of the word “these” was only intended to reference back to those he described. Yes, I have seen the movie and his description is accurate to me.
The entire editorial is a look at the makeup of the full-time RVer community. And it opens up the discussion when we use the phrase “full-time RVer” what do we mean by it. At one time when I heard that phrase I would think of my parents who after retiring bought a 5th Wheel and traveled around the country for a number of years. But today who is a “full-time RVer” obviously has changed with so many individuals choosing to live full time in a RV for a variety of reasons.

Carson Axtell
1 year ago
Reply to  Kimberly White

I agree that Chuck’s reference to the “houseless” and “poor” seemed pretty condescending, but he also said that future articles would “try to make sense of what it means to be a full-time RVer,” even if he did continue to be dismissive of those who “poop in buckets.” It’s probably just too difficult, once one has become accustomed to a certain level of comfort and convenience, to imagine others deliberately choosing to live with fewer material luxuries. I look forward to seeing if he will decide to include the less fortunate, or those who choose more basic amenities, in the exclusive membership of “full-time RVers”…

1 year ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

I’ve never considered what some may call “less fortunate”, because they poop in a bucket, as being unworthy of the lifestyle many of us choose. The main objective I see is to get out and do your thing and if it’s done in nature, from my perspective, all the better. I moved quite a bit when single and everything I owned went with me in my car. I would really like to downsize but have so much stuff I don’t want to do without. I could do without it but choose not to. Such is the internal struggle.

1 year ago
Reply to  Carson Axtell

My husband and I lived in an RV for 2 years on our own property and rented out our house to get ahead on bills. We ‘pooped in a bucket’ because we didn’t want to deal with getting the black water tanks emptied. I built a box and there was a toilet seat just like normal. It worked great and there was no smell. It was a bit of work to empty out the buckets but so is emptying out a black water tank.

1 year ago
Reply to  Kimberly White

I really need to stay out of the comments section.

Lisa D
1 year ago

Reader Poll link is broken. I get this message:
We seem to have misplaced the page you were trying to reach.
Here’s a code that means nothing to most people: 404 error.
Hit the back button and try again to see if you get through this time.
If not, drop us a line using the Contact Us button below.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Lisa D

Shoot! Thanks, Lisa. It’s been fixed. Have a great day. 😀 —Diane at

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