By Nanci Dixon
We have been on the move and meeting a lot of wonderful people. I can sometimes guess the full-time RVers by the telltale license plates: Texas, South Dakota or Florida. I have started an informal survey by asking them what they love about the full-time RVing lifestyle and what they hate about the lifestyle, as well as some of the things they think are hardest about RVing.
Here’s what they said.
6 reasons to love RVing
- Visiting friends and family across the United States. One couple said that they have gotten to know distant cousins and family that they never would have seen otherwise. During the pandemic, they wouldn’t have gotten on planes, rented cars or stayed in a motel. Visiting friends and family across the U.S. is a huge draw for older RVing couples, who have children and grandchildren across the country.
- Sleeping in your own bed. No sleeping in an uncomfortable bed with questionable pillows. No wondering how clean the hotel room really is. Especially in today’s world, staying safe and healthy is particularly important.
- No need to pack. Everything is in the RV and comes along with you!
- Check off the bucket list. Have adventures, see the national parks, the largest ball of string, or even leap from an airplane in your destination of choice!
- RVing is versatile. You can work camp, home school the kids, be weekend warriors, work remotely or not work at all!
- Pick the weather. Being able to drive your home means you can be in the weather conditions of choice. Like it warm in the winter? Never want to hold a shovel and shiver again? Go south. Miss the colors of fall? RV in the northern states. Want hot and humid or hot and dry? The choice is yours. How about cherry blossoms in the spring?
6 reasons to hate RVing
- It is harder and harder to find a campsite, particularly if for more than a day or two. Campground crowding is real. It takes more planning, more flexibility and more patience to land a site.
- Costs are going up for RVs, parts and campsites, both overnight and seasonally. Living in an RV is not necessarily cheaper than living in a stick-and-brick house. With the RV boom, sites are at a premium. Even canceling a reservation will cost you money!
- Something is always breaking. It is a house on wheels after all. Screws fall out, jacks collapse and the water pump quits. Things break in a house too, but every repair in an RV seems more of an emergency and needs attention sooner. There may be a thousand plumbers to call when a pipe breaks in a house, but mobile RV plumbers are few and far between. Don’t even try to get a next-day appointment at an RV service center.
- RVing is complicated: Tanks need dumping, mail needs forwarding, routes must be made around doctor appointments, taxes need doing and trips need planning. Wi-Fi connections can be slow or nonexistent, and cell service is sometimes without a single bar.
- Being far away from family and friends can be tough. Some people miss their church groups, their hobby clubs, neighbors, schools or even their favorite stores.
- Knowing the lifestyle will come to an end. One couple that has been full-timing for 15 years are now in their mid-70s and said that what is hardest is knowing that they will need to end RVing at some point. There needs to be plan B, even when you want to stay with plan A.