Why one couple quit full-time RVing


By Chuck Woodbury
Most accounts of full-time RVing on YouTube present a romantic picture of going “where you want, when you want,” and doing so affordably. And, yes, sometimes that’s true.

But for these two veteran travelers, the reality of full-time RV living was far different from what they expected when they set out in their fifth wheel trailer: Living “the dream” of seeing America with the comforts of “home” while earning their living operating an Internet-based business simply didn’t pan out.

They discuss why boondocking did not work for them, about the difficulty they encountered when trying to find places to stay without reservations, and of troubles maintaining dependable Internet access.

If you are considering full-time RVing, do yourself a favor and listen to this couple’s message. It’s not a side of the story you often hear, but I can tell you from my recent two-years of full-timing, most of their observations are ones I share.

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Ival Secrest

We were full timers for 8 years soon after our retirement and now are in our RV for 6-7 months. First, we both understood the commitment, had an understanding of the cost and recognized limitations and risk. We volunteered, joined a couple camping organizations, parked at relatives from time to time, used FMCA Mail Forwarding and sometimes paid full price for a campsite. We rarely boondocked because that was not our lifestyle.

Lisa Chester

I have been RVing for a year. I’m retired so I dont need internet to survive, but I guess I’m shocked that they think they could roll into state parks and get a site without planning ahead. I’ve been staying at state and local government RV parks, public RV parks and KOAs. I usually have internet access. I have verizon and a jetpack. So if the campground doesn’t have access or good wifi. I can use my own. That being said, you cant go to BLM land in middle of nowhere and expect 4 g. Just saying. Anyhow, I love the lifestyle.

Carson Axtell

This video confirms precisely what I have thought for awhile now: That any definition of “the grid” has to include internet access. I guess I’ve been spoiled by all my past experiences car/motorcycle camping and backpacking off-grid in the “BC” days — “Before Cellphones” — and I find internet access more a luxury than a necessity. But who knows where internet connectivity will be in ten years? By then, it might be impossible to “get away from the web”, altogether…


As much as I love to rv and escape from the trappings of modern life, we do need to connect to the internet. We find the internet in the U.S. is extremely lacking. In Mexico, you can find it for free in small-town plazas, in front of public schools and public buildings. We find it in the U.S. at libraries but many times it is not an open signal or we need to pay for something such as Starbucks or McDonald’s. For all it’s made out to be, the internet signal is still lacking enough to keep us from full timing. We’re more boondockers than park lovers.


We have been full-timing for just two years, so maybe our perspective is different, or maybe our expectations aren’t as grand as others. We have had crowded campgrounds, horrible weather, no internet, bugs, wild animals but we still love it. We were fortunate to be able to retire in our mid-50s and don’t have to worry too much about money. The idea of going back to our old lifestyle makes me nauseous. We take every day as a new day and a new gift. Go with the flow.

Jeff Evans

Everything is relative and our own experiences and expectations vary. My wife and I full-timed for 4 years. I work full time running my business and have rarely been hindered while traveling. We carried cell phones & internet hot spots from 3 carriers, and in 4 years and 48 states only found ourselves with zero service once – in Copper Harbor, Michigan. (Actually a welcome break). For us, traveling was less expensive than our home lifestyle. We moved a lot our first year, and in years 3 & 4 slowed down. Likewise we were cognizant of where we traveled – we avoided the Deep South & the desert in summer, & the north in winter. We still travel 6-7 mo/yr & love it.

Tommy Molnar

Anything “satellite” is expensive, whether it’s phones or internet access.


I think they overlooked the fact of access to Satellite Internet which would be available as long as you have a clear path to the satellite. There is also satellite mobile phones available to keep in touch anywhere anytime. Their particular lifestyle and work appears to be suited more for what they are doing now versus the RV lifestyle. I wish them well!


OMG, deja vu all over again while listening to this video! Even though my husband and I are retired, we experienced many of the same issues this couple did in recent years when we were full-time RVing — lack of decent internet in many locales, problems with reservations, crowded campgrounds and RV parks, etc. (Yes, I realize we were part of the problem!). The lifestyle was affordable for us because we usually stayed at military or public sites during our 15 years of extensive RV travel, but it just wasn’t fun any more so we sold our 5th-wheel a couple months ago. At this point we don’t know if we’ll ever get another one.