Veteran campers know that living the RV lifestyle can teach you a whole lot — not the least of which is how to safely dump your sewer tanks. (Hint: rubber gloves and a sturdy hose are absolute essentials.) Other items high on the list: how to cram your wardrobe into a teeny-tiny closet and the best way to smoosh a week’s worth of food into a mini-fridge.
But on a broader scale, full time RVing can offer some important life lessons you might not glean as quickly elsewhere. After all, living in a motorhome is full of all kinds of unique experiences, and a few challenges, too.
Whether it’s discovering the importance of community, finding the best ways to save a few dimes (hint: sign up for a Passport America membership!), or just remembering to stay open-minded, here are a few RV life lessons our family has learned from living the RV lifestyle.
Life is a journey, just like a good RV trip — and like any journey, you’re bound to run into a few surprises.
Life is better in motion.
When it comes to travel, some of us are more hesitant than others. After all, foregoing the stability of home life for a while does come with certain challenges.
But an RV combines the freedom of road tripping with the cozy creature comforts you’re used to. It truly is the best of both worlds!
RVshare owner Sarah Grant talks about her family’s annual month-long journey in Texas, describing the multitude of different places her rig allows her to explore. “We’ve had this RV in campgrounds, parking lots, natural areas that you wouldn’t think an RV would go, like along brooks and in the Texas hill country,” she says. And even on such a long journey, she doesn’t get homesick like she was afraid she would.
“It’s like our hotel on wheels,” Grant says. “We have all the amenities of home.” In fact, rather than homesickness, she encountered the opposite problem — she found herself missing the wheels when she was back in her sticks-and-bricks abode!
“This became home,” she concludes.
Stay open to new experiences.
No matter what your day throws at you, “Go into it with an open mind and know you’re going to have a good experience,” says RVshare owner Becky Dempsey. Yes, she’s talking about first-time renters taking the plunge into this new way to travel… but the advice can easily be applied to every aspect of life.
After all, the only real constant you can count on is change (and, yes, taxes). Approaching each new twist and turn life brings you to with an open mind is key to enjoying every moment to the fullest.
Full Time RVing
Want some insider tips on how to live the RV life — or any life — the best way possible? The first step is to think globally. That way, life gets better for you and everyone around you.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Yes, you’ve heard this one before, but it’s one of the most important full-time RV living tips out there. By minimizing waste, conserving water, and reducing our carbon footprint, we help ensure that the world will be around for our children to enjoy after us, and their children, too — not to mention keeping a small living space clean, tidy, and free of odors. Everyone wins!
Family RV Life
Traveling with your children is one of the best gifts you can give them: they’ll have the opportunity to learn so much more than they would in even the best classroom setting.
Here are a few more life lessons learned by traveling with the fam.
It’s not about where you’re going — it’s about who’s going with you.
When it comes to life in an RV, as long as you’re surrounded by your favorite people, almost any activity can turn into a cherished life-long memory. Whether it’s a hike in the woods, a day wandering around town, or a long afternoon lounging in the hammock, any destination is made exponentially better when you have your friends and family along with you for the ride.
Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive.
From hosting a challenging family scavenger hunt around the campground to swapping stories around the fire, some of the very best RVing moments are completely free of charge. (OK, maybe you’ll have to buy s’mores ingredients, but that’s about it.) In fact, enjoying life’s simple pleasures is the whole point of camping.
So whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or just your significant other — or yourself! — don’t forget to pay attention to the little things that make camping so rewarding: birdsong, mountain breezes, and the beauty of the natural world around you.
Frugal RV Life
RVing can be a great way to start living smaller and saving money… provided you do it right. One of our best tips for saving money on the road is to sign up for a Passport America membership, which will get you 50% off each time you stay at one of its nearly 1900 participating campgrounds.
But there’s more to it than signing up for discount club memberships and cooking your own dinners — though both of those are definitely good pieces of advice! Here’s the real skinny on saving up on the road, and in general.
Pack light — you need less than you think.
When you’re living in a small camper full time, taking everything you own is impossible… unless you don’t own all that much. And if you’re staring at your house full of gadgets and gizmos wondering, “Is RV life for me?” — we encourage you to consider ditching some of the extra goodies. (Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a helpful guide if you don’t know where to start.)
It might sound painful to give up your carefully-crafted coffee mug collection or seventeenth pair of shoes, but you might just be surprised at how much better you feel with less clutter. And besides, there’s one thing you can always collect more of as an RVer: destinations!
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