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Important Things To Consider Before Full-Time RV’ing

Have you ever considered downsizing what you own and full-time RV’ing with your family? 

Creating Coghlans Things To Consider Before Full-Time RV'ing

There are some pretty amazing benefits of downsizing what you own. You will be able to spend more time with your family and see the world in a whole new light. Although this life can have some incredible benefits, it is worth looking at the downsides before you decide to list all your possessions on Facebook marketplace.

Where Will You Park It?

Most cities in the United States have laws prohibiting how long you can inhabit somewhere mobile. You may find that you can store an RV places that do not allow you to sleep in it. Looking up the laws in the area you wish to travel will help you avoid fines.

Boondocking – Staying For Free

Some hope to save a lot of money from ‘boondocking,’ which means staying in an off-grid (no water/electricity/amenities) location. You will need to check with the city to see if you are allowed to live in your desired location. This is going to be the least dependable option – and the one people anticipate happening far more often than it actually does.

Pay To Stay While Full-Time RV’ing

When you are full-time RV’ing, another option for overnight solutions would be staying in an RV park. These often have amenities such as water, cable, power and sometimes even playgrounds, gyms, and pools you can use. They are also more secure because you are around other people (which may or may not be a benefit to you). These campgrounds can be pricey, so make sure to check out prices and see what it would actually cost you to park your RV.

A state park is another great place to explore and park your RV – although most recreational campers will plan their trips up to a year in advance, so it could be difficult to find a spot in a pinch if you don’t plan ahead.

Creating Coghlans Things To Consider Before Full-Time RV'ing

As for RV parks and state parks, you have different amenities available to you that you may not find while boondocking. Internet access, bathrooms, water, and electrical hookups are just some of the many things they offer at these parks.

Does Your Work Require Internet?

Be mindful as a full-time RV’ing family, that even when a park says they have internet access, it may not be a strong enough signal to use things like video streaming or uploading videos. Not all areas of the park will have the same internet strength so you may want to try a few spots before committing to one.

Solutions For Faster Internet

Most phone companies do offer boosters or hot spots. Remember, these are not going to be as strong as your internet coming straight from a router but can be a good option if your job is internet dependent. These boosters will cost extra, and sometimes charge you if you go over your usage.

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Properly Disposing Of Your Waste

Knowing where to properly dispose of your sewer, grey water tanks, and garbage will be very important. You will also want to know how to refill your RV with clean water.

Even Though You Love the Idea of Full-Time RV’ing, These Vehicles are not Built to Live in Full Time.

This is especially true for families, when you have four, five, six or more people in the RV.  A retired couple and their dogs are going to have a lot less wear and tear than a family of five living in a bunkhouse RV. When your pumps, heating, and A/C units go out it can be more difficult and expensive to fix than your average home repair.

Buying New or Used?

Buying new has some perks, such as not having to fix anything yourself because your vehicle will come with a warranty. This can feel really appealing to someone who is trying to avoid epic disasters while on the road.

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Downfalls to Purchasing New?

Besides the equity you lose by purchasing new, using your warranty can be timely and location intensive on your end.  Although the company may fix your broken part for free under their warranty, repair shops can be backed up to six months. If your water heater is broken, that’s just not going to cut it when you need to shower today. They also only contract with certain dealers, which means you’ll need to get your RV to that dealer in order to have it fixed. So if it breaks down in a state where there is not a mechanic around who works with your warranty, it can cost a lot to get your vehicle to a location where there is a repair shop you can work with.

Unseen Extra Costs to Full-Time RV’ing

You will need to purchase things to fit into your RV, such as storage solutions, new cookware, extra hookups, and more. Keep in mind that when you purchase these items they can be specific to an RV and may not be the ones you already have at home. Another cost that you should budget in is buying a surge protector for your RV in case of a surge in electricity. An electrical surge can hit your camp and take out all the electrical in your home – and you don’t want that!

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Towing Your New Home

As far as towing goes, you will need to keep in mind how heavy the items are that you add to your RV. When towing, lighter weight materials are preferred, for your engine and gas mileage.

You can choose to purchase a tow-behind or a motorhome that you drive. Either way, you will want a vehicle to drive around town.

You need to know before you buy your RV how to calculate the height and weight. It’s your responsibility to know how tall your vehicle is when driving. You will also need to calculate how heavy your vehicle is when it’s empty, and when you’ve added in all your possessions and water. Knowing your height is also very important when driving on or under bridges with height and weight limits. There are apps that can help you with these calculations, but at the end of the day, it is your responsibility to make sure you know where you can, and can not go with your vehicle.

Creating Coghlans Things To Consider Before Full-Time RV'ing

Alright, I hope I haven’t lost you. I really do believe full-time RV’ing can be a wonderful way to help you spend quality time with your family and explore new places. By educating yourself on the challenges that may arise, you will be better prepared to handle them along the way. Allowing you to fully enjoy your new adventure.

Carissa Coghlan

Carissa Coghlan is the mother to three beautiful children, seven and younger. She stays at home full time and homeschools her oldest son. She loves drinking coffee, crafting and organizing her home. She grew up in the bay area of California, and will always feel most at peace standing on the beach hearing the waves crash onto the shore. She has a podcast, called Creating Coghlans, where her and her family are striving to live a more intentional life, filled with more understanding and grace.

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