We love RV life for many many reasons. We also love to help and encourage others to take the leap into the lifestyle.
But, more importantly, we like to keep it real.
We may post a lot of photos on Instagram that make it look like the full-time RV lifestyle is truly livin’ the dream. And in many ways, it is. But there are definite sacrifices too. We’ve met up with many other full-time RVers on the road and every time we do, inevitably, we always talk about the ups and downs of RV life.
We’d had the conversation so often that we decided to gather up all these confessions of full-time RVers and share them with you. Whether you are considering taking the leap into full-time RVing, or are currently an RVer and can relate to these confessions, we hope you enjoy!
We miss long, hot showers.
Okay this one probably isn’t very surprising to other RVers. But if you’ve never traveled in an RV, you may not understand. Yes, we have a shower in our home on wheels and yes, hot water comes out of it. However, our hot water tanks are obviously not as big as a house’s tank.
During a typical shower, I have to turn the water off at least 4 times. I rinse then turn the water off and shampoo my hair and soap up. Then I rinse again and turn the water off while I condition and shave. You get the point. So typically my showers are rushed. Oh and the water pressure? Not great.
The positives (because I’m just not a negative person so I always try to find the bright side): You conserve water! Also, many RV parks and campgrounds have free showers. So, if you really are craving a good shower, you can find it. It’s just not the same as walking in your own bathroom and having your products right there.
Sometimes, we aren’t very environmentally friendly.
Okay, before you judge us, overall the lifestyle is extremely “green”. We use less of everything because we need less. We never leave trash behind, we don’t dump illegally, and we take care of the trails and parks we visit.
And I mentioned our small water tanks and how we conserve water, right? Well there’s a down side to that. When we aren’t hooked up to city water at an RV park, in order to conserve water we tend to use more paper and plastic. If we’re “boondocking” (dry camping without hookups), we don’t like using our limited water on dishes and would rather save it for those quick, rushed showers. So instead of doing dishes, we use paper plates and plastic cups utensils.
We purchase bottles of water too. Do we recycle? That’s not always easy…it’s hard enough to find dumpsters where we can throw away all the garbage we are creating.
Oh and we’re gas hogs too. Those RVers in vans aren’t quite as bad, but the average RVer gets anywhere from 7-10 miles per gallon! And we’ve created a life of travel. Sorry, not sorry.
We don’t work out or eat healthy as much as we thought we would.
We were very optimistic when packing our RVs. We saved space for yoga mats, weights, and various workout equipment. I can count on one hand how many times I have pulled out and used that equipment.
We also had visions of doing drop in yoga, cross fit, and barre classes in the various cities we visit…nope! Glad we didn’t purchase that Planet Fitness membership. It doesn’t matter how many locations they have spread across the country, we still wouldn’t go.
Instead, we use nature as our gym. We hike, bike, kayak, climb everywhere we go! On good days we may go for a run. But we still miss those group classes, weight machines, and the satisfaction you get from breaking a sweat at the gym (sorta).
“We will buy fresh food every few days since we have limited refrigerator space” we said. Not exactly. Usually we are so busy exploring new places after we get off work that we are constantly looking for quick and convenient meals. Frozen pizzas and hot dogs are typically on our weekly menu. Also, since we travel so often, we eat more fast food than we used to.
We can blame it on a lot…a lack of routine, sometimes a lack of good produce in the grocery stores that are closest, small storage for groceries, a small kitchen that is at times difficult to cook in, etc. But our healthy habits have taken a bit of a back seat. However, our mental health is at an all time high!
Our “personal upkeep” and hygiene isn’t a priority either.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. We don’t shower every day (and it’s not always because of the limited water supply). Our idea of getting dressed is putting on athletic clothes…or the same clothes we wore yesterday and maybe even the day before. Haircuts are few and far between. Manicures and pedicures? Ha! Makeup? What’s that?
We ain’t even ashamed of this!
We have severe FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
We place full blame for this one on social media, particularly Instagram. Every time we open up the app, we see other RVers and adventurers killin’ it! They are parked in the most amazing boondocking spots under the milky way, or capturing photos of some of the most beautiful places. It seems like every day, we’re adding a place or activity to our bucket list because of a photo we see on Instagram.
That’s right…we are adding to our bucket list just as quickly as we are checking it off! Funny how that works! Sometimes conversations with other travelers turn into listing off or “one upping” each other on the best parks, countries, cities, etc that we’ve been to. No matter how much you’ve seen and explored, FOMO still creeps in.
Sometimes, we just want to lay inside the RV and watch movies all day. But then bam, FOMO hits you. You have a limited amount of time in this particular location…you can’t miss out or skip anything. Then you open Instagram and see what so-and-so just posted and remember that awesome shot that was nearly the whole reason you came to this location. Before you know it you’re out the door, on top of a mountain, and streaming live for all to see.
*Drama was added for effect.
*Warning: FOMO can cause serious side effects like exhaustion, spontaneous trip planning, a lack of gratitude, and is overall just silly.
We don’t have campfires.
We don’t think of our life as “camping” so we don’t do “camping things”, like having a campfire and s’mores every night. Okay, let’s leave s’mores out of this because we would eat s’mores every day if we could. But, campfires require firewood that we don’t always have access to and they also stink up our clothes and home with smoke. Campfires are saved for special occasions like having visitors. Unless you have a propane fire pit, which is something on our wish list!
We don’t miss our old conventional lives.
No amount of sacrifice will outweigh the benefits of full-time RVing. We don’t miss our space, or going into an office every day, or yard work. The freedom, the travel, and the experiences are only a small piece of our overall happiness. We feel at our best when we’re on the road…more creative, more focused, more energized, the list goes on. But those are secrets we are trying to keep to ourselves.
…just kidding! This life is open to everyone. If it’s your dream, what are you waiting for? How can we help you? Write us an email or type any questions or comments below and we promise to get back to you. We’re here to help you get past the hurdles, fears, or uncertainty that is standing in your way.
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we like to find a day use area attached to a state park and walk in and use the showers 😉
Yes to all of these. I would kill for a hot shower, live for microwave food (I rarely ate that on our house), and my paper towel usage has gone up 500%. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Haha so true. I feel like we burn through a roll of paper towels every other day! Definitely wouldn’t change anything!
Love it! We don’t boondock so ours is more like living in a small apartment that can move. We also stay on a lot of military bases that typically have great gyms and lap pools. Due to that, my problem is definitely FOMO! So thanks for the warning on that.
Thanks for reading Julie!! You definitely have a bit more luxury…but you guys deserve it for your service! Watch out for that FOMO though 🙂
I love love love every word of this post!! My husband and I started full-timing last November and have encountered SO many of the things you talk about!! All the farmers markets we were going to attend – so much dry shampoo I should have bought stock -campfires are so stinky and wood is crazy expensive – getting a little cranky as we go from one place to another thinking about all the stuff in the middle we’re missing – looking like fools as we lunge, squat, and high knee along our dog walks…
Great insight – great honesty! <3
Glad you loved it! I loved writing it. I knew our fellow RVers would appreciate and relate to it. Loved YOUR comments too, they made me laugh!! Now go take a shower! Ha!
This is SO good (as I sit here in my sweat pants with hair that hasn’t been washed since… I can’t actually remember)! 😂
Ha ha! Sad thing is, we are out of the RV for a bit and these habits have followed us! Now we have no excuses, though!