Why I Love Living In A Vehicle

Most people probably think that living in a vehicle is not “normal” and probably a little weird, haha. Many people even make jokes about living in a home with wheels, like it’s something you shouldn’t aspire to. But, it’s my life, and I really, really love it! RVing is becoming more and more popular too….

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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Why I Love Living In A Vehicle #livinginavehicle #livinginacamper #rvlifeMost people probably think that living in a vehicle is not “normal” and probably a little weird, haha.

Many people even make jokes about living in a home with wheels, like it’s something you shouldn’t aspire to.

But, it’s my life, and I really, really love it!

RVing is becoming more and more popular too. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, there was a 17.2% increase in new RVs over just the previous year. That is a HUGE increase.

And, more than 9,000,000 households now own an RV, and surprisingly, the largest segment of buyers are between the ages of 35-54. More and more younger people are starting to see the appeal in RVing, and I have been hearing from so many readers who are interested in starting their own RV life.

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 again 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 living in a vehicle much, much more.

We’ve been doing some extensive traveling (in our Jeep) and living in a vehicle (our RV) for around 3 years now, and this has become our new normal, and I love it. And, we’re about to move onto a boat (more on that in a later blog post)!

If you’re interested in RVing, check out other RV-related content:

Here is why I love living in a vehicle:

 

Why I Love Living In A Vehicle - Living In A Camper Is Amazing!

I love the freedom.

Whether you’re living in a van, an overland vehicle, a big motorhome, or anything else, living in a vehicle gives you a lot of freedom.

You can choose where you want to live, and you can mix it up and change it all the time. You can also decide how long you will stay somewhere and travel however you want. Perhaps the city is for you? Or, maybe you just want to hike all the time! Whatever you decide, it’s about living your life how you want.

Related: The Honest Truth About Van Dwelling: Answers To The Most Common Van Life Questions

 

I love having all of my stuff with me.

You’ll see this talked about further below as well – but I really enjoy traveling in an RV because I can travel to tons of amazing places and bring everything I have with me.

While that may sound like I’m a hoarder and may have suitcase packing problems – it’s really just that I like to be able to bring my husband, dogs, my work, my clothes, food, outdoor gear, and so on with me.

Living in an RV just makes sense due to that because I can easily bring everything with me, wherever I go.

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.

 

I can be in perfect weather 24/7 when living in a vehicle.

I always get asked how we decide where we travel to in our RV.

The great thing about living in a vehicle is that you can MOVE it depending on the weather. And, that’s exactly what we do.

Since we can park our home wherever we want, we, for the most part, follow the weather. We like to stay in temperatures that are just perfect for us – somewhere around 70 degrees year round, minimal bad/scary weather, etc.

What we usually do is go north for the summer and down south for the winter. While I do wish the summer months were a little bit longer in some areas, there are plenty of places to explore further south while the rest of the United States is receiving a lot of snow.

Following the weather is something that we truly love.

Related: Living In A Boat Or RV? What Is Better?

 

I can live wherever I want.

Do you want to live near the beach? What about being near a city? Perhaps the mountains are for you? Oh, maybe it’s the desert?

Whatever strikes your fancy, you can pretty much do it when living in a vehicle.

We have parked our RV right on the coast and have had amazing beach sunsets. We have also enjoyed perfect winter weather in the desert (while everyone else was experiencing snow, it’s perfect in the desert). We have parked in national parks and have gone hiking right from our door. We have also parked in cities and have experienced that side of it too.

Living in a vehicle can really allow you to live in so many different areas – there’s something for everyone!

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 has been the best thing ever, and we truly love it.

Since me, my husband, and our two dogs began RV life, we’ve traveled tens of thousands of miles in our RV, with even more miles put on our Jeep.

Living in an RV means that you can live wherever you want. 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.

 

I can spend more time outside.

I’m much more active than when I lived in a “normal” house, and I believe that’s because living in a vehicle brings me to all of these amazing places that I just am dying to explore, hike, bike, and more.

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.

 

I can easily travel with my dogs.

A major reason for why we chose to live in an RV was because we, of course, had to bring our dogs with us. They are a part of our family.

By traveling via RV, our dogs can go everywhere with us. While it would be possible to travel full-time with them and not live in an RV, I think it just makes it easier on everyone to have a place to call home. Or, at least, it’s easier on me! 🙂

Related: 12 Things You Need To Know About Traveling With A Dog

 

Living in a vehicle means I can leave when I don’t like my neighbors.

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

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

 

I like not having a lot of stuff.

I’m the type of person who can get frazzled over the smallest stuff, and I much rather prefer to be laid back. So, my solution to this is to just have less stuff because then I have less to worry about.

Living in a vehicle means that you’ll have to downsize. While some people may not like the idea of this, getting rid of nearly all of your stuff is a great feeling, and I’m so glad I did it.

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, we have less things that need to be repaired, less things to replace, and so on.

And, 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.

 

I can spend more time with those I love.

One question I get a lot is, “But don’t you miss everyone – like friends and family?”

Surprisingly, by living in a vehicle, we are actually able to see more of our friends and family. This is because we can park our home right in their driveways (sometimes, we can’t always fit), or somewhere nearby.

We have family and friends all over, so before it was hard to see them all. Now, we actually see them more and have a lot more fun.

 

I have less maintenance and repairs.

Since my home is a lot tinier, I also have less repairs and maintenance. There’s no yard to mow, leaves to rake, less monthly bills to handle (electricity, water, sewer, trash, etc. are usually just one campground “bill”), etc.

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.

With an RV, we do have some new tasks and maintenance chores that don’t go along with a house, such as dumping our sewage. I can imagine the looks on all of your faces, but it’s just routine RV life for us now.

 

Why I Love Living In A Vehicle - Living In A Camper Is Amazing!

I can work and travel all at once.

I absolutely love being able to work and travel. It gives me motivation to do better, and having an amazing view while I work is refreshing as well as beautiful.

Living in a vehicle makes working and traveling much easier, especially since I can just bring my whole life wherever I want to go – and work while I’m at it!

Others can do it too – you don’t need to blog like I do. We’ve met people who 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. 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 service 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 a vehicle 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.

 

Living in a vehicle is fun.

Sure, living in a “normal” house may be fun, but living in an RV is a lot of fun for all of the reasons mentioned above.

Everything is just more fun in an RV, haha! Eating at home is more fun, working is more fun, watching a scary movie in an RV is more fun, and the list goes on and on.

Living in a vehicle brings us a lot of joy, and I’m so very glad that we are able to do this.

Are you interested in living in a vehicle or traveling full-time? Why or why not?


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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.

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  1. My retirement goals include a lot of traveling, but I would prefer to have a house and travel at times, but not all the time. Even after a great vacation I always enjoy being back home. I might change my mind if I ever tried traveling full-time, but for now I don’t think it’s for me. I do see a lot of perks though, like having less unnecessary stuff and following the weather.

    1. This is really the great part about having a boat or an RV – it is your home ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for this list of benefits Michelle, I know this is something that I want to do one day but you brought up a few points that I hadn’t even considered.

  3. Janet

    I’ve ben dreaming of living in a “tiny house” or house on wheels since watching the documentary Minimalism. How is the bathroom situation though? What do you do about that?

    1. Not sure if I understand what you mean? We have a bathroom ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Eric

    what do you do about receiving snail mail? (i.e., hings that are non-downloadable or random important mailings?) I sometimes get a random Social Security Statement (Im 39) or a donation statement (even though I asked for email pdfs to save postage) or even a rebate check.

    1. We belong to a mail forwarding company, called My Dakota Address. All of our mail gets sent there, and then this company forwards our mail to wherever we are. It’s very easy and not a problem at all.

  5. I really enjoyed this post and looking at the pictures of your RV life. It’s great you are an inspiration to others looking to live with less. I hope the “fewer maintenance and repairs” part stays true with the boat, haha. We have definitely found them higher but we have an old boat – 1972! I can’t wait to read about your next adventures.

    1. Ha, yeah there will still be a lot to do! We had an older house, though, so there was always something broken.

  6. Great article. These are all of the reasons we love full-timing in our RV. Did you guys end up using your Jeep pop-up much to camp? We have thought about a 2nd smaller vehicle or trailer for Baja but I would hate to store something when we aren’t using it.

    1. We used it a little but it was hard with the dogs. We plan on keeping the Jeep and using it a little during hurricane seasons, most likely.

  7. Great article. So many of your reasons for loving full time are the same as ours. From 70 degree weather to hiking and biking and having our pups with us. In just 2+ months weโ€™ve found we love full time RVing even more than we thought we would.

  8. Your RV looks absolutely fabulous! The kitchen looks so tidy and polished.

    I can’t wait to try the RV life one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My wife and I own a 2012 class A gas but we also have a bricks & mortar home in Wisconsin. We travel about 6,000 miles/year in the motorhome. I own an investment management business but, with today’s technology, I’m able to work almost anywhere. Really, I consider myself to be semi-retired in that the flexibility I have allows my wife (she’s a part-time substitute elementary school teacher) and I to travel whenever we wish. As you discuss, there are many advantages to the “RV life.”

    However, one significant cost that is often forgotten about is the tremendous depreciation of the motorhome. We originally paid around $140,000 for our 35-foot Itasca – and now, almost 6 years later, it continues to depreciate just like any vehicle (with the possible exception of a Ferrari). Contrast that to our home which has appreciated handsomely over the years (although paying real estate taxes each year dampens that, too).

    What it really comes down to is this: It’s a lifestyle decision.

    1. Yep – RVing isn’t always a way to save money.

  10. Enjoyed your positive and uplifting article. This is my 9th month living full-time in my camper. I’m parked on an ocean beach right now and will sleep here again tonight listening to the sound of the waves. I’ve changed so much since going on the road 9 months ago–I see more things more carefully everywhere I go (helpful for my photography), I have slowed down and don’t rush as much, and I have learned tons about new places and have met so many interesting people and their lifestyles. I’ve found that I don’t try to make my home on wheels a mock version of a house, but allow it to be exactly what it is and that brings a lot of conversations my way.

    1. Thank you! Sounds like you are at a great spot right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. how is parking rent around santa barbara or malibu or that sought after california coast? if it was just me and my dog, we would sell out for a big sprinter conversion but mrs. me ain’t hearing it. that’s ok.

    1. Not sure – it all depends on the type of campground, the length you plan on staying, etc.

  12. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Your RV is gorgeous! I guess I’ve never seen the inside. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love hearing about the RV experience. I’d totally be open to it; I’m lucky to have a job that doesn’t require a physical office. Maybe one day, ahhhh.

  13. Deanna Castro

    I absolutely love your kitchen and dining room!
    We live in our RV full time too and just today I said โ€œOur home needs new tires.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚

  14. RVing seems like a really cool way to live. I think we’ll probably end up using geoarbitrage and moving overseas for a more “permanent” base but then spend a few months here and there traveling around via RV. Living in one place too long makes me restless! My wife and I are both nomadic by nature.

    1. I LOVE the nomadic lifestyle ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Fred Leamnson

    You are truly an inspiration to me. You’re living my wife and my dream at a FAR younger age. You and the personal finance blogging community are opening my eyes to a brave new world. We are seriously talking about selling our house (maintenance and upkeep stink!), paying off all debt and living freely while we work toward our goal of the RV lifestyle.
    It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a while. I now have my wife totally bought into the idea. Have to get the blog producing enough revenue to get serious. We’re definitely heading in that direction.
    Thank you for your transparency in sharing your story. You rock!

    1. I hope you are able to do it some day! RVing is amazing.

  16. Brandon Pann

    That’s my goal as well … Living in suv or motorhome. And want to travel and camp all the state.

    1. I hope you reach your goal!

  17. I don’t think I’d ever RV personally, but I can imagine embracing can life for a period of time. Thanks for sharing the inside scoop!

  18. Love the idea of living in an RV. We just sold our lake house, paid off all our debt – including the lake house it was over $250,000 – and we feel amazing now that we are living a debt free life. One day, I see myself in an RV or tiny home or something that allows for more freedom and travel. Love your blog – it’s inspiring!

  19. RV life seems like it would be fun. I would love to be somewhere where it’s 70 degrees all year. That would be the life

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

    You have to write a post discussing some of the crazy people and situations that you have encountered.

    1. Hahaha, I should write something on that subject. We have definitely parked next to some crazies.

    2. The Curious Frugal

      Yes! Good post idea.

  20. Cam MacDougall

    Michelle, this post is amazing thank you do much for sharing! My girlfriend and I have sold all of our stuff, gone remote and are moving to Bali in October of this year. Like you, we just felt the urge to go and to taste the limitless freedom of lifestyle travel and adventure. I recently listened to you on Choose FI and loved it, thanks for dropping all that amazing knowledge. I am curious though, what would be your biggest tip for someone saying bye to convention, and hello the the open road? All the best!

  21. We have been living in our RV full time now for thee years. We started out with just two kids, and now have three. It’s absolutely the best thing we ever decided to do. It brings us so much more freedom, in SO many ways.

  22. Have you a post that goes over typical expenses to living full time in a RV? That is what I’m worried about. I’ve heard of people saying you’d need to save like $40,000 to “live” for a year, without a job of course.

  23. I love this post! It is my dream to own an RV and travel all across the country and just go wherever I want to go, whenever I want to! I love it when you post things about your life! You are so inspiring Michelle!! I have been following you for a long time! Good luck on your boat travels! I can’t wait to read all about it!!!

  24. Katherine

    Hi! I’ve been researching full-time RVing when I retire at the end of this year. A Class A + toad seems like the setup that would work best for my needs. Do you think you would be handle that set-up on your own? Or do you really need a partner to handle the set-up/break down/maintenance? Love your blog!

    1. My husband did everything himself. So, yes, I think it is definitely possible. We’ve also met many other singlehanded RVers, both male and female and they do just fine too.

  25. I love this and agree on so many points! My boyfriend used to live on a boat and it was so dreamy falling asleep on the water and it made everyday life feel like we were on vacation every day! We’re planning to move back onto a boat as soon as we can.

  26. Jennifer Garces de Marcilla

    Sounds nice for a young couple or retired couple, but wonder how it would work with two kids? Curious if you know if any families who have embraced the event life :).

  27. The good news about living in an RV is not having to be confined to living in one place. You pay yourself to travel and blog about it. You make money moving around and having that awesome flexibility to make money talking about places you’ve been in your RV. And you never have to worry about being confined to a routine such as waking up in the morning and going to a cushy day job and working with people that probably get sick of seeing you at work everyday. All you need for the RV side hustle life is motivation, speech recognition, a laptop, a domain name and a blog to make yourself a “side hustle millionaire.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep up the good work Michelle! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Awesome Experience to live in a vehicle wanna try…