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You Know You’re a Full-Time RVer When…: A Guide to Identifying the ‘Lifers

You Know You’re a Full-Time RVer When…: A Guide to Identifying the ‘Lifers

Imagine waking up to a different view every morning or sipping your morning coffee while gazing at a breathtaking mountain range. These aren’t scenes from a dream vacation. For full-time RVers, this is everyday life. Full-time RVing, once a niche lifestyle, has gained immense popularity recently. But what does it mean to be a full-time RVer, and who are these adventurous souls? 

In this blog, we’ll dive into what it means to be a full-time RVer, explore why full-time RVing has become so trendy, and learn how to identify the ‘lifers.

You Know You’re a Full-Time RVer When…

Now, let’s dive into the fun part: how to identify the ‘lifers.’ If you exhibit these signs, you’re probably a full-time RVer, too. 

#1 You Have Best Friends All Over the Country

One of the joys of full-time RVing is the opportunity to meet incredible people from all walks of life. If you’ve ever lived this lifestyle, you’ve probably realized the stark contrast between your life and others. As you drive to your next boondocking spot and stock up on water and food, you see people in their daily grind. Sometimes it’s as if time is in slow motion for you because you don’t have a job to commute to or typical homeowner responsibilities.

The only people who can truly understand what it’s like are your fellow full-timers. It’s easy to make fast friends with other RVers on the road because you have so much in common. Before you know it, you’ve made friends in various states, and your social network spans coast to coast. You cherish these unique connections and are grateful to have friends in many places, but you can’t deny that this lifestyle can feel lonely. 

friends eating dinner
Meeting up with friends around the country is one of our favorite parts of RVing.

#2 You Know How To Move With The Weather

RV’s are all poorly insulated compared to houses. It doesn’t take long to realize living in in extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable. Most full-timers will “Chase 70” at some point in their travels. This means learning where and when the best weather occurs. Many of us have spent a winter in Florida or the desert southwest and summers in the north or mountains.

Chasing the weather is so common amongst the full-time community that many communities are formed when gatherings take place in the winter. Florida and the southwest are so popular that hundreds of thousands of full-timers have the opportunity to cross paths with friends who have been off somewhere else for the rest of the year.

RV community gathering
Most people think that living a life on the road is solitary, but we have found the exact opposite. Gatherings in the winter and traveling with others can be very rewarding.

#3 You’ve Learned Not to Sweat the Small Stuff 

If you’ve ever lived in an RV for an extended period, you know that it requires ample adaptability and patience. From engine problems to road closures, anything can happen. Once you accept this and learn to live in the present, you can become a pro at handling unexpected challenges. After a while, you’ll understand which situations require concern. Full-time RVing has taught you to appreciate the joys of life and not let minor inconveniences ruin your day.

inside rv
Budgeting well is an important part of full-time RV life, just as if you were living in a traditional house.

#4 You’re an Expert on Finding Free Resources

Full-time RVing isn’t always the cheapest way to live, and expenses can add up quickly. However, if you love this lifestyle, you may never want the party to end. So what do you do? Conserve resources. You’ve mastered the art of frugal living on the road. Whether it’s free campsites, discounted fuel, or budget-friendly meal planning, you know all the tricks to keep your expenses in check. You’ve also become adept at boondocking, where you can camp off-grid for free or at minimal cost.

#5 You’re a Budgeting Connoisseur 

Traveling and budgeting often go hand in hand, and because of this, full-time RVers are often good at managing money. If you live in your RV, you probably track your expenses meticulously and know how to stretch each dollar. You might have a monthly budget for gas, or know how many nights you can stay in a campground before you should search for free boondocking sites. Maybe your financial skill came from the sticker shock from your first few months on the road, or maybe you’ve learned from the financial problems that led you to this lifestyle. Either way, your budgeting expertise allows you to continue your nomadic lifestyle without worrying about running out of funds.

#6 You’ve Almost Destroyed Your RV More Than Once

If you’ve been on the road long enough, you’ve likely encountered some nerve-wracking situations. Mishaps are part of the journey, and if you’re lucky, you’ve come away safely with an epic story to tell. Did you go down that super sketchy road in hopes of scoring an amazing boondocking spot? How about accidentally melting your brakes while coasting down a steep hill? If so, you’re not alone. Well-traveled RVs almost always gain a few battle scars.

We have ended up down 2 track cliffside crumbling roads, had our brakes go out on the trailer on a steep hill, and ended up in flooding roads in Mexico, to name just a few. While these situations are never great, part of the adventure is coming out the other side with a neat story.

truck camper boondocking
Boondocking gets you to remote areas and can lead to memorable encounters.

#7 You Have at Least One Sketchy Boondocking Story

Boondocking in remote areas can lead to some memorable encounters. You may have parked in a secluded spot, only to have curious wildlife investigate your RV. Perhaps you’ve come across an unusual character that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Either way, you never know who or what you’ll run into when traveling off the beaten path. Hopefully, these stories have become tales shared around campfires.

full time rving
Full-time RVer life can take you to some epic destinations.

#8 You’ve Been Places that Most People Haven’t 

RVers visit some interesting places. However, we don’t only mean popular destinations, but the places in between. There are small towns and back roads that only locals drive, or the gas fields of west Texas and the abandoned towns of southern California that are never in travel ads. These experiences may have given you a different perspective on life. Always observing, you might learn more about human nature than most people, and you’ll have stories to tell because of it. 

Suggested Reading: Check out our full-time house on wheels!

Full Time RV Living Finances - One Year on the Road

What Is Full-Time RVing?

Full-time RVing when you make your RV your permanent home. Instead of living in an immobile stick-and-bricks home, you travel between locations, exploring new destinations and experiences. Your RV becomes your shelter, kitchen, bedroom, and office. It’s a unique way of life offering freedom and adventure. But why has it become so popular in recent years? 

First, the rise of remote work has made it possible for people to earn a living while on the move. This newfound flexibility has encouraged many to explore the world while meeting their work commitments and making a living. Also, who wouldn’t love the idea of living a simpler, less materialistic life that allows you to travel? RVs provide the perfect balance between solace and exploration. You can sleep in the comfort of your bed among massive sequoias or along the white sands of the Gulf Coast. The choice is yours. With so many people hopping aboard this trend, the decision to full-time RV isn’t so outlandish anymore. 

Moreover, full-time RVers come from all walks of life. They include young digital nomads working remotely, retirees seeking adventure in their golden years, and families who want to homeschool their children while traveling. The diversity among full-time RVers is remarkable, but they all share a common passion for the open road and a desire to break free from the constraints of traditional living.

Full Time RV Life 1 Year- Frequently Asked Questions

Full-Time RVing: Reality Versus Expectations

However, full-time RVing isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Before you envision this lifestyle as endless sunsets and campfires, it’s essential to understand that it’s not always a smooth ride. Like any lifestyle, there are challenges and sacrifices, and the reality might differ from your expectations

First, it might not be as affordable as you think. RV gas, maintenance, and repairs can add up quickly, and that doesn’t include living and travel expenses. If you’re thinking about moving into an RV to live off practically nothing, you might want to think again. 

Then there’s the issue of limited living space. Occupying a smaller space means downsizing your belongings and potentially letting go of some favorite things. It can also be challenging to live in close quarters with your family. If people are fighting over the bathroom before moving into the RV, imagine transitioning to 200 square feet of space. 

Lastly, there’s burnout and travel fatigue. RVing is a constant adventure, whether you’re up for one or not. If you’re traveling the country, you’re constantly deciding where to stay next. There are multiple factors for each decision, like hookups, electricity, wifi, and campground fees. Some full-time RVers combat this by settling into a campground for a month or two or having a home base. RV living can be a bit more complicated than living in a house. 

Being full time in an RV means you are more likely to experience both the good and the bad. This was some flooding we experienced in Mexico.

Pro Tip: If you’re new to full-time RVing, check out our tips for avoiding first-timer mistakes.

Full-time RVers are a Different Breed 

Full-time RVers are a unique and adventurous bunch. They’ve chosen a life of freedom and self-discovery, and they often love feeling untethered from the demands of traditional living. Whether you’re a full-time RVer or are dreaming of diving into this lifestyle, cultivate a zest for life that’s truly inspiring. Because ultimately, it’s not only a lifestyle, it’s a mindset. It’s about breaking free from the ordinary and embracing a life of adventure and exploration.

So, if you find yourself smiling and nodding along to the signs we mentioned above – congratulations, you’re officially a member of the ‘lifer’ club. And if you’re considering taking the plunge into full-time RVing, remember that the journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. So pack your RV, hit the open road, and savor every moment of this extraordinary lifestyle!

Did this blog resonate with you? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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