11 Reasons to Choose RV Life

It’s been over a year since me, my husband, and our two dogs started living the RV life full-time. People keep asking us when we will stop traveling, grow up, and buy a house again. Well, not anytime soon! While I know that traveling full-time and RV life isn’t for everyone, I also know that…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

It’s been over a year since me, my husband, and our two dogs started living the RV life full-time.

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!People keep asking us when we will stop traveling, grow up, and buy a house again.

Well, not anytime soon!

While I know that traveling full-time and RV life isn’t for everyone, I also know that I don’t want to live in a “normal” home anytime soon.

Now, don’t get me wrong, living in a house can be great. And, when I owned one, I loved it at the time. However, I just love RV life much, much more.

And, I don’t think I’m alone.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, in 2016 RV sales reached their highest total since 1977. More than 9,000,000 households own an RV, which is also the highest level ever recorded. And, buyers between the ages of 35 and 54 are the largest segment of RV owners, so there are a lot of other young RVers who are pursuing this lifestyle as well.

Just a few years ago, I never thought I’d live in an RV. It was never a dream of mine or anything like that.

However, one step into an RV and I knew it was for me. Living in our RV full-time has been the best thing ever, and we truly love it.

Since me, my husband and our two dogs began RV life about a year and a half ago, we’ve traveled thousands of miles in our RV, with even more miles put on our Jeep (which we recently turned into an overland vehicle).

We’ve already traveled to many awesome places in our RV, such as:

  • The Pacific Northwest – Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, Hoh National Rainforest, La Push Beach, and many other beautiful places. 
  • Utah (many times) – Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, and many other places.
  • Colorado (many times) – Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, and many other places.
  • “Home” in Missouri.
  • Mississippi.
  • Arizona – Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Sedona, and many other places.
  • California – This was a part of the Pacific Northwest trip, but we continued on and hopped along beaches all the way to Los Angeles.
  • Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

And much, much more.

We have many plans for this year, which include exploring the west coast some more, possibly hitting up Alaska (if we have time), making it up to Canada, and more. RV life can change quickly, so our plans may change as well. But, that’s the beauty of RV life – you are flexible with where you go!

If you’re interested in RV life, check out these other blog posts on Making Sense of Cents:

Here are 11 reasons to choose RV life and full time RV living:

 

Twin Lakes

You can live by the beach, mountains, desert, and anywhere else.

Living in an RV means that you can live wherever you want to live. The United States has so many beautiful places to see and live, and because it would be hard to just pick one place, RV life allows us to live in as many as we want.

And, it’s more than just going on a vacation, which is nice too, but I love being able to bring my entire home with me. This way I’m not forgetting anything, and because my home is always with me, I still get to live comfortably.

If you want to spend your summer in the mountains and your winter near the beach, you can do that. If you want to do the opposite the following year, you can do that too.

If you want to have your front window open up to a beautiful national park, you can even do that.

By living in an RV, you can choose to live wherever you want.

Trip of a Lifetime

You can spend more time outside when full time RVing.

One of the best things about RV life is that you can park your home wherever you want to. We love being able to do things outdoors, and we usually pick places that make that even easier. So, we like to park next to hiking trails, bike trails, rock climbing routes, and more.

This is great because we can usually just walk or ride our bikes to wherever we want to go, which allows us to spend a ton of time enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

One of my favorite spots we stayed in 2016 was at Pine Cove Campground (pictured below). This was pretty much just a parking lot, but it had great views and it was right on the water. It also provided several hiking trails, mountain biking trails, paddle boarding, and more. Plus, Breckenridge was just a bike ride away with all of it’s yummy food and delicious beers.  It’s a great all-around spot and it was just $20 a night.

 

Pine Cove Campground

It’s amazingly beautiful living in an RV.

You simply cannot beat the views we’ve seen out the window of our RV.

And, there have been many of them.

We’ve seen beautiful national parks right outside our window, amazing mountain ranges, desert landscapes, lake views, wild animals, and more.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

 

Our dogs love RV life.

Okay, so I can’t be exactly 100% sure about this since my dogs can’t talk to me, but they seem pretty happy whenever they are able to explore new places (like the picture above), sniff new things, go on long hikes, and so on.

Our dogs are much more active now than they ever were before and seem pretty happy to me.

 

You can follow the weather.

Since we can park our home wherever we want, we can follow the weather. We like to stay in temperatures that are just perfect – somewhere around 70 degrees year round.

Following the weather is something that we truly love.

After all, who wants to be too cold or too hot?

Thankfully, the RV life lets us just leave whenever the temperature is something that we don’t fully enjoy.

We really only have clothes for one season, so we avoid places that are cold. I pretty much wear dresses, sandals, shorts, and/or tank tops year round, which is really nice and comfortable.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

Downsizing is liberating.

Living in an RV means that you’ll have to downsize. While some people dread this, getting rid of nearly all of your stuff is extremely liberating.

When we sold our house and moved into an RV, we donated and got rid of a lot of our belongings. At first it was difficult to get rid of so much, but it became easier as time went on.

These days, all we have is what we have with us. We have a small amount of everything, and we like it best this way.

We are much more mindful of what we buy, we waste hardly anything, and this is allowing us to save money as well.

Plus, when you’re RVing, you no longer have a need to buy as much stuff because the outdoors take up all of your time. Before we would waste time going to the mall, Target, and other stores- but we hardly ever do that now. Instead, we spend a lot of our time exploring new places.

Read more at Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

No more yard work or other house work with RV living.

One of the best things about not having a normal home is that we save a lot of time when it comes to routine things that come with a normal house.

This includes dealing with monthly bills, such as electricity, water, sewer, trash, etc. Now we just pay one fee whenever we go somewhere.

We also don’t have as much maintenance and repairs to do. While RVs aren’t perfect, there’s less that goes into an RV than a house, which means that we don’t have to do things like rake leaves, mow the grass, and so on.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

Food tastes better when living in an RV.

Me and Wes always talk about this, but it’s true – meals in an RV always taste better. I think it has to do with always having great views (as mentioned above) and just being happier with life in general.

 

RV living means you can move if you don’t like your neighbors.

I think pretty much everyone has lived next to a neighbor that they didn’t like. The great thing about RV life is that if you have a crazy neighbor or someone who you don’t get along with, then you can just move your home!

And trust me, we have done this a few times in order to get away from some not-so-friendly and/or crazy RVers.

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

You can work and travel at the same time.

Yes, you can do both.

We’ve met many amazing people while RVing. Some are retired, but others are like us and also trying different things in order to make their traveling dreams a reality. I know that thinking about making money while traveling can be a scary thing for many people, but it has really allowed us to live our dream life.

This factor is something that holds many potential full-time travelers back, but it shouldn’t! Don’t let making money on the road hold you back from living your dream, because even though it may seem big, it’s something that can usually be worked around.

Related articles on how to make money while traveling:

To be able to live in an RV full-time, I run an online business which consists mainly of this blog- Making Sense of Cents. It is a lot of fun being able to work and travel at the same time.

At first, I thought it would be difficult. I thought internet would be hard to find, that I would be too distracted, and so on.

I’ve come to find that I’m more motivated than ever when it comes to working, and having a great view out my window each day definitely helps as well.

If I want to take a break from work and go on a hike, I can do that. If I want to go on a mountain bike ride in the morning before I start answering emails, I can do that.

The list goes on and on!

Living in an RV makes traveling and working (and living) much more enjoyable because I can bring my home everywhere I go. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, bringing a suitcase, or anything – I just have it all with me.

Also, I’ve had a lot of you ask what I’m using for internet. I am using a Verizon MiFi Jetpack. I also have AT&T for our cell phones so that we are always covered. This may sound crazy, but every RVer we’ve met has the same set up.

Note: Read more about how I earn a living on the road.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

You’ll want to travel full-time for as long as you can.

RV life is a lot of fun, and due to that I know that I want to do this for as long as I can. Our next adventure will be to sail full-time, probably even some backpacking and long cycling trips too.

I’m so glad that I gave RV life a shot in 2015, because my life is so much better due to it.

Are you interested in RV life or traveling full-time? Do you want to learn how to live in an RV? Why or why not?


Filed under:

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Honestly I admire your choice, but living in Rv isn’t for me, maybe for holidays a little determinated time ok, but not forever. However I can understand your point of view and probably this is right choice for you!

    1. Everyone likes different things πŸ™‚ There’s nothing wrong with that.

      1. I think “Everyone likes different things”, is key. What I took away from the post was a list of places you’ve visited and compiled a short list from that of where my wife and I might visit this summer by RV. I think planning will be a big part of the process for my wife and I. Looking forward to this adventure unfolding. Thanks for Sharing!

  2. Go Finance Yourself!

    I’ll admit, it does look like a great way to see the country. And following 70 degree weather would be pretty awesome. I don’t see us going the RV route but I can definitely see the appeal and why it’s becoming more popular.

  3. This is incredibly motivating stuff, Michelle. Thank you. My wife loves your lifestyle and would be more than happy living that way for a long, long time. I might be good with it for a 3 to 6 months, but who knows once I get out there? I would love to get the chance to find out some day.

    Question for you. We have a 16-month-old. Do you come across a lot of RVers with young children who are doing it full-time and not just on vacation? I’d be interested in that one as would my wife.

    Thanks for the fun article,

    Dave

  4. Amanda @ centsiblyrich.com

    Love it, Michelle! I know we would love the RV life too. But our kids have different ideas right now (being close to friends is pretty important when you’re a teenager). So, we are actually selling our camper. That said, I’m pretty sure Alan and I will buy another in a few years when the kids are on their own. We’ve camped for 20+ years and it’s something we love.

  5. That sounds like heaven! I would do this in a heartbeat after the kids all moved out .Although I am not sure I would survive the winter months in a RV. Might have to head down south for a few months.

    1. We don’t do cold in the RV – that’s why we love RV life! We can move to warmer climates.

  6. They can be as expensive or cheap as you want them to be – just like with a house. There’s oil changes fixing things that break (nearly everything that’s on a house is comparable to an RV – there’s AC, water lines, heat, walls, kitchen, bathroom, etc.).

  7. Michael

    It is good to see that you are living your dreams πŸ™‚ We are very happy in our home and I may rent an RV out for a vacation to form an opinion.

  8. Roger

    I would be interested in what size RV you travel in. The large ones can be very expensive, and I believe I would need the space. Don;t like to be cramped in like a van size.

    1. We started in a van-sized one but now we’re in a 38 foot diesel pusher. Our dogs like more space so we got something bigger, and we needed something that could tow our 6,000+ pound Jeep.

      1. Cindi Parramore

        We just bought a 36 foot motor home and a Jeep Cherokee to pull behind it. We were told the Jeep was flat tow ready but found out yesterday we need to install a flat tow wiring kit. No one seems to know where we can get that done, not even the car dealership. Help

        1. Have you gone to an RV dealership? Car dealerships don’t specialize in that so they wouldn’t be where I’d go.

  9. These look like the best places! After college I lived down on the Gulf Coast for 5 years, it was a wonderful experience. If you are looking for a place [next winter], defintiely check out Gulf Shores, Alabama or areas along the Emerald Coast! πŸ™‚

  10. Glad to hear it’s working well w the dogs. We’re FIRE’ing in June 2018, and are planning 6 month trips in a 5th wheel with our 3 dogs!

    Hope to see you “out there”!

  11. We have been traveling more and more. Last year did a 6 week camper trip with our kids, and will do another one this summer. We have thought about taking a 6 month-12 month trip with the kids. Full time travel is something we would also do for sure once the kids are grown. At least for a while. Right now public education is how I find time to work! =)

  12. Lindsey Mozgai

    I love hearing stories about your RV life! It sounds so awesome! How do you manage work life balance now that you are RVing full time? How many hours do you work a day/week?

    1. It’s still pretty similar. I try to have fun during the day and work at night πŸ™‚

  13. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Hee hee hee, I love the idea of avoiding annoying neighbors. We’ve been contemplating planting gigantic bushes and installing a fence to soften the noise from our own annoying neighbors. Oy.
    Do you find that RV living is overall cheaper than stationary living? I know costs like gas may make it less affordable, but I was just curious.

    1. RV living can be as affordable or expensive as a person would like. There are many of the same costs.

  14. Sounds like RV living is Da Bomb! My parents bought one a few years back an love it. We go to the ADK’s for 2 weeks every year. It would be a dream come true to be able to travel and have that kind of freedom.

    Thanks for the motivation as always!

  15. Emily Gardner

    Amazing! My husband would love to try this, but I’m not sure I’m up for the challenge. With a baby on the way, eeekk. We are planning on taking my online business full time in August so we will have the opportunity, but not quite sure if I’m ready.

  16. 11 great reasons right there Michelle. Especially more time outside, living wherever you want, and downsizing. Thanks for the continued inspiration and advice on RV life!

    1. How will your family be traveling once you get here? By RV? Or hotels?

  17. Ree Klein

    Hi Michelle,

    I love reading your RVing posts. We bought one two years ago and I’d love to do at least a year living full time.

    I’m sure you’re aware of Heath and Alyssa Padgett…they’re at http://heathandalyssa.com/. They have an interesting story and just put on a great RV Entrepreneur’s Summit, which they live streamed on Facebook.

    I also noticed that you are going to try living full time on a sailboat. I was raised with sailboats and have done several bareboat trips (Virgin Islands several times and most recently Belize). I bet you know of Jason and Nikki Wynn @ http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/. They did the full-time RV gig and now are living full time on a sailboat! You should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!

    Anyway, thanks for the great reads and motivation πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, I know all of those people πŸ™‚ They are all great!

  18. Wow! Just awesome! The freedom and simplicity of minimal ‘things’ sounds amazing. Honestly, I must say that I would miss the yard work. But I’m weird like that. Love the image of Dillon Reservoir in Colorado. It used to be even more beautiful until the pine beadle moved in killing most of the evergreens in Summit County. What mountain are you guys on in the third to last photo? My guess is Mount Democrat?

  19. Brittany

    This is my dream! I’m currently trying to figure out how to make a living from home, which is easier said than done. Once I get that figured out, I’m out of here!

  20. Jessa

    I am so jealous. I am trying to get the hubs but I think we’ll stick to apartment living for a while.

  21. Christi Johnson

    People who tell you to “grow up” are haters. lol

    I wish I could travel full-time and go wherever I wanted all the time. That sounds like an incredible lifestyle, Michelle, and I am so happy for you two! Thanks for sharing. Even though I am single, I might try to follow your lead in a year. I just took a cross-country trip from NC to California, and I did it in two days going and three coming back. It was BRUTAL, but it helped me to see that I really want to explore more of the country without the pressure to be anywhere specific. You’ve lit a spark under my butt! Thank you!

  22. Gonna retire in five years and can’t wait to start a my new vagabond life! Going to buy a sport-utility camper with a drop down back to load my motorcycle in. Sell my house in Florida and follow the weather and blacktop!

  23. Miguel Bustamante

    Hi Michelle. This is my first time reading your blog and I live it! I just subscribed to your newsletter and I’m looking forward to reading more. Thank you,

    Miguel Bustamante

  24. ReachingTheCrest

    All of this sounds great! As long as this lifestyle works for you guys I say go for it. There is a lot that ties you down once you get that house.

    Great pics too.

    1. Yes, I’m glad we sold our house to RV full-time πŸ™‚

  25. LIsa

    Just discovered your blog–so great! Last summer I had to quit work after 26 years in health care, to stay home and care full time for my elderly mom with dementia. I love to travel, and hearing stories from a friend who RVs full time with her kiddo and dog has made it a dream of mine. That dream is helping me stay strong! In fact I’m thinking about starting a blog about how I manage my ‘double life’ (RL as caregiver, dream life as RV vagabond)–I mentioned it in a couple of online groups I belong to and was surprised how many people either have been or are in the same position.

  26. Poor Student Hacks

    Beautiful photos! This looks really fun. Thanks for sharing your RV experience. I’ve been looking into the RV life lately, and while I can’t really imagine myself doing it right now, it definitely looks appealing.

    1. It’s a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

  27. claudia

    Thank you I’m single but that’s not going to stop me from living the best vagabond life.

  28. Couldn’t agree more! We’re RVing in Europe, although a bit different than in the US, the benefits are the same πŸ˜‰ It is also a perfect way to travel full time with kids!

  29. Lindsay

    Michelle can you tell me a little bit more about your jetpack. Did you purchase an antenna to go with it? Do you have a plan with Verizon or do you use the prepaid cards? What does a speed test for you service average? I see Verizon has a newer model out and I’m wondering if yours is so reliable that I should give it a go or opt for the next version. Thoughts?

    1. To start off, I highly recommend checking out this website – http://www.rvmobileinternet.com

      I do not have an antenna to go with the Jetpack – I didn’t even know that was a thing, unless you are referring to a booster.

  30. Jeremy Thompson

    It’s nice to know that RVs are there to help people escape the pressures of life and enjoy the simplicity of relaxing in a large open space with those who are closest to them. For now, I’ll try going to a RV park since my family is already planning to have a vacation soon. This may prove to be a new insightful experience. Thanks for the great read!

  31. I was just recently thinking about spending a few years of my life traveling with my fiance around the world in an RV. That is why learning that we could be able to live anywhere possible while being able to bring the comfort of my home with me with the help of an RV is extremely convenient. It makes me want to pursue the idea more and more. I’ll be sure to have a talk with my fiance before purchasing an RV and see if we have enough savings to make it through our trip. Thanks!

  32. Michael Lee

    Living in an RV gives you a lot of freedom of mobility. One thing that I have always wondered about is having internet while living in an RV, I feel like it would be much more difficult. I have been thinking about downsizing to a hard floor camper but I want to know about internet first.

    1. Internet is easy. There’s lots of solutions πŸ™‚

  33. Thanks for pointing out how living in an RV can mean that you can comfortably go on a vacation wherever you want. My son tells me that he has burned out from his corporate job, and he needs a change of pace. I will be happy to advise him to consider living in an RV for some time since he will be able to opt to enjoy the great outdoors as comfortable as possible. That will certainly get him his mojo back.

  34. What an interesting article you have here! Great home on wheels and should have a durable and safe rv window as well. Had a great time reading this. Thanks!

  35. I took a break from fulltime RVing for the last year to try the “normal life”, and I can’t figure out why I would do that to myself or anyone else. So many unneccesary bills! Annoying aspects and completely frustrating quirks. Without a college degree and a paved road of favors from a very supportive network there isno job that pays a liveable wage anywhere in the US in todays era. Unless you work two jobs or have an employer that allows 30+ hours of overtime a week. I’ve been traveling since 1998, and working the seasonal industry (ski resorts, National Parks, cruise ships, summer resorts & gateway towns) for the last 10 years. The other day I got hired through a skype interview for an island beach town on the east coast that gets slammed in the summer. Never met this employer, never been to this location and didn’t know anyone to pull any strings or put in a good word for me. This job comes with a guaranteed $15/hr + tips that according to the hiring manager usually amounts to around $750 a week. Plus employee housing for a whopping a $75 a month, or I could bring my RV and stay all summer on the beach for free! Also includes 3 free meals a day. Early shift on my friday, and a late shift on my Monday. Giving me an extra half day on either side of my weekend. As well as a free pass to all of America’s National Parks, and a $500 a month bonus if I stay till the end of the season (October 1st).

    Or I could stay here in nowheresville capital of America slaving at a dead end job to contribute 50% of every paycheck to someone else’s pocket? RV life has so many advantages its unbelievable absurd. Anyone thinking about rvlife take the jump. You’ll won’t regret. You’ll make some mistakes and incur some RV nightmares when you first start out, but its all part of the adventure. I have a friend who urban boondocks in Minneapolis this winter where it reached NEGATIVE 30 degrees at one point working for a temp agency at a manufacturing plant who stacked up $25,000 in 4 months. Because his monthly obligated bills amounted to less than the average cell phone bill, and was allowed to work all the overtime he wanted.
    He is now taking his nest egg to drive from MN to the end of South America and all the way back up to Alaska. He sacrificed the bitter cold for 4 months so he could go on a 23 country 45,000 road trip covering all of North, Central & South America.

    If your thinking about buying an RV here is a great write up https://aowanders.com/complete-guide-to-buying-an-rv/ If your still not sure go rent an rv for a weekend. Take a field trip to your local RV Dealership and browse all the different makes and models. Don’t want to buy an rv but want a job that comes with employee housing, meal plan and benefits you’ll actually like……tis the season. All seasonal employers are recruiting now for the busy summer season. Any iconic vacation destination in the US that you’ve been dreaming of visiting will pay you, house and feed you to spend the whole summer there. The grand canyon charges $16/week to live in one of the 7 wonders of the world. All of the National parks have an employee dining room and housing that only costs you $7/day. All of Alaska is hiring right now. Be a zipline guide, sea kayak guide, bear touring guide (no experience necessary). Remember Alaska is cut off from the rest of the world for 9 months of the year, and Canada’s new border crossing restrictions make it more challenging to road trip up to the last frontier. Maybe thats why cruise ships have been overbooked last 3 years in a row. Custer South Dakota, Jackson Hole Wyoming, South Lake Tahoe California, Bar Harbor Maine, Moab Utah, Outer Banks North Carolina, Key West Florida are just a few of the places that could set up shop this summer. Everyone is hiring if your looking for something new this summer.

    Whether that is RV life or just a break from norm take a chance this year and do something that is for your benefit. Chase down your dreams, and dial in your goals. If you want something you have never had before you have to do something you’ve never done before. Happy travel y’all.

  36. Steve

    You were raving about how great the RV life is in 2017 and in 2019 you’re living in a sailboat. It seems like more of a way to hype your blog than a real love for the RV life.

    1. What an odd assumption to make. Just because I’m no longer full-time RVing means that I don’t like it?

      I still have a campervan. I still absolutely love RVing and I know we’ll be RVing for well into our future.

      Curious – why do you assume that I no longer like it? You don’t ever try anything new?