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7 Signs RV Camping Isn’t for You

7 Signs RV Camping Isn’t for You

It seems like everyone you know is going RV camping. Maybe your best friend has a fifth wheel and takes his family out camping almost every weekend. Maybe your boss loves to boondock in his truck camper. Even your neighbor just bought a small travel trailer for fishing trips on the coast!

Now, you’re wondering if you should join the crowd. Well, let’s pause before you take the leap. RV camping isn’t for everyone (even though it may seem that way). Before you go out and buy a camper, we should discuss seven signs that RV life might not be for you. Let’s dive in!

7 Reasons You Might Not Be Meant for RV Life

Although it might look like fun on Instagram and YouTube, RVing isn’t for everyone. It’s also hard work and requires a hefty upfront investment. If you’re considering an RV for your family vacations and getaways, think about these seven reasons you might not be meant for this lifestyle.

Full Time RV Life 1 Year- Frequently Asked Questions

1. You Don’t Like Road Trips

If you don’t like spending hours in a vehicle, then RV camping might not be for you. Even on weekend excursions, you spend a lot of time on the road. And then there’s the potential stress of stopping for gas with an extended trailer behind you. 

Road trips require planning when you own an RV, so if you’re not a planner and don’t want to spend extensive time traveling, you may want to skip out on purchasing an RV.

2. You Don’t Like Meeting New People

One of the most enjoyable parts of RV camping is meeting new people. You listen to stories around the campfire, chat from one campsite to another, and learn about places other people have been. 

If you don’t like meeting new people, you won’t enjoy RV camping as much. Think of it as an Airbnb where everyone can see your living room and hang-out space.

Most RVers walk around after they’re settled in and like to say hello to their neighbors. Many build a community on the road with other fellow RVers. If this sounds uncomfortable, you might not be made for RV camping.

Truck camper driving down road at sunset.
If you don’t like spending a lot of time on the road or you need plenty of personal space, RVing is probably not for you.

3. You Don’t Like Small Spaces

It’s pretty clear that camping in an RV equals lots of tiny spaces. There’s little to no personal space. If you need space to decompress and relax, you might not enjoy the tight quarters of a travel trailer or motorhome. Plus, your kids might sleep less than ten feet from your bedroom, which isn’t enough space for some parents. 

And forget privacy when going to the bathroom. While the door shuts and locks, it’s not uncommon for the sofa or dining table to be right outside the bathroom door. 

RV camping requires adjusting to a small space and losing a lot of your personal space. If that sounds challenging, consider a different form of recreation. 

4. RV Camping Isn’t Cheap

The initial RV cost isn’t cheap, but the accessories you need also add up. You need a sewer hose, water pressure regulator, power cord, and so much more. 

And once you start traveling, things will break, malfunction, or leak, and you’ll need to either do repairs yourself or hire a mobile RV technician. RV camping can be expensive, especially if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance.

It does get easy as you settle down and get into the lifestyle, but upfront, be prepared to buy more things and fix what breaks. 

Pro Tip: Want a clearer picture of how much your RV start-up budget should be? We uncovered How Much Does an RV Cost to Own and Maintain?

5. You Don’t Like Having to Plan Ahead

As mentioned before, if you don’t like planning, you might not be cut out for the RV traveling. Travel days require planning ahead. Which gas stations are big-rig-friendly? What will you do for food? What roads are safest for your tall, long, wide, and heavy RV? To travel safely, you have to plan ahead.

Getting the best campsite also requires careful planning. If you want to go to the hottest, coolest, beachfront campground in Florida, you’ll have to make reservations well ahead of time. Or maybe you want to camp in a National Park with only ten sites available, you’ll have to make reservations months in advance.

RV camping might not be for you if you like making decisions and living on the fly.

Tom driving a Class A motorhome
Driving a large RV or towing a trailer can be intimidating for many folks.

6. Driving an RV Scares You

This one is understandable. Learning how to drive an RV can be scary. But thankfully, there are driving schools if you want to take that route, and there are big parking lots where you can teach yourself.

But if this is a constant fear that you can’t overcome, you’ll have a problem with RV camping. Unless your RV is stationary in a seasonal or annual spot, you have to drive your RV to new locations.

If the thought of breaking down in the middle of nowhere scares you, that’s understandable, too. But it’s also part of the RV lifestyle. You may have to deal with a tire blowout (maybe more than once). If you’re driving a Class A motorhome, you may have to deal with engine overheating. You just have to be as prepared as possible for these problems and deal with them when they occur.

Pro Tip: New to RVing and unsure what the different RV class sizes mean? Don’t stress! We broke down What Do RV Classes Mean? Differences Explained.

7. You Don’t Want to Deal with Sewage

The final sign that RV camping isn’t for you is if you don’t want to deal with sewage.

This is a regular task when living the RV life. Depending on how large your family is, you might have to empty the tanks every other day or every three days.

It’s possible that you might have an accident with the valve or hose during one of those days. You smell ghastly fumes with every pull. It’s just a part of life. If you can’t deal with sewage, you might not want to commit to RV camping.

RV Skid Mark Comic
Get access to our full comic library here.

Dumping the tanks is something we hate. That’s why we personally use a composting toilet.

Is RV Camping for You? 

The RV life is amazing. You have the chance to visit new locations, meet new people, and explore other cultures. You can choose where you want to visit and stay as long as you like. 

There are certainly downsides to RV camping, too, like dealing with untimely slide malfunctions and pests that get into your RV. 

So, if you’re considering RV camping for traveling and family vacations, take a hard look at yourself before you jump in. Are you cut out for it? Does this style of recreation really fit your personality?

If so, we welcome you to the club. We personally love RVing and strive to help you overcome any of your fears and apprehensions with RV newbie guides and more! You might also find some humor in our original RV Comics that poke fun at some of the unique quirks of this form of fun.

Is RV camping for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

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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Sunday 12th of December 2021

I mostly agree with your comments but not with your affirmation that not wanting to meet new people is a reason not to enjoy your RV. For those of us who like to get out and see the world despite the annoyance of other people being around, that is we introverts, the rv lifestyle suits us admirably. We are not antisocial, are usually happy to be polite and to chat if necessary to others, but very much prefer our own companyand certainly do look to meet people whom we do not know. . Boondocking is a great boon to us, we can leave you all behind and enjpoy the great outdoors alone! 'Hell is other people' - Jean-Paul Satre [although that quote is here used out of context}.So stop trying to put off we loners from our (preferably) sole enjoyment!!