RV

One Year of Living in a RV – Pros & Cons

 

The end of August marks the one year anniversary of living full time in our RV. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year! When we went into this, I had two little girls, was pregnant with our son, and we had no idea what we were doing! Now, our girls are 4 and 2, our son is 10 months, and we’ve learned quite a bit about this fun lifestyle. We love living this way and we’ve even managed to inspire other families to live in a RV. 

However, it’s all not rainbow and roses. There have been some snags along the way and some learning curves. So in celebrating our one year anniversary, here are the pros and cons for living full time in a RV.

PROS

1. Change of scenery!

I get restless constantly, no matter where I live. I was getting tired of being forced to live in a place for a year minimum. Life was too unpredictable and I didn’t like not having the option of moving. In a RV, our home stays the same, but we’re constantly moving. I love being able to move around whenever we want to. 

2. Less cleaning

I was tired of constantly cleaning our last place, even though it was only 800 sq. Ft. While this place does get dirtier sooner, it also takes way less time to clean. It leaves me more time to actually live life and enjoy time with my family.

3. Cheap traveling

We didn’t travel often in the past, because hotels were just too expensive for us. However, with a RV, we take our home with us and we can find places that are 1/3 to 1/2 cheaper than most hotel rooms (and that’s the cheaper hotel rooms we’re talking about.) It saves us tons of money when we travel that can be used for way more useful or fun things. 

4. Less spending

I used to love to window shop many stores. Now, I no longer do it as much, because where on earth would I store it in this trailer? With 5 people living in 350 sq. Ft., there isn’t much room for decorations. Looking at furniture is out too. Almost all the furniture is already provided, so there’s no point in even looking. Besides, that money needs to go to way more important things, like everyday basics! 

5. Cheaper living

Notice I said cheaper, not cheap.  There are definitely ways to save money while living in a RV. Our rent right now is about $850 a month, which is amazing for this area! So it can be done!

CONS

1. Rent can be expensive.

So how is this category be in both pros and cons? If we were paying full price in the Pacific Northwest area, our total “rent” would come out to between $1300-$1700 a month. For that price, I could easily rent a small two or three bedroom apartment or house. However, if you can find the right place, you can get that number lowered significantly (as our $850 a month proves.)

2. Heating costs are ridiculously expensive

Well, for an RV. In the winter time, this RV can get freezing cold. We figured out our average propane cost for the winter months is about $200. In the summer, our propane costs are about $25.

3. No washer and dryer.

There is no washer and dryer in this RV, so this can make the laundry complicated. There’s pretty much two options, hand washing or a laundromat. Hand washing is hard work and I would be doing it constantly for 5 people. The laundromat isn’t cheap. Whatever is your preference works. Doesn’t make is any easier though.

4. The black tank

Having to deal with your own waste is a little gross, but part of the RV lifestyle. Thankfully, the whole system is simple and easy. I’m just glad my husband does it for me! 

5. Plastic sinks

Seriously, this is a no go. The sinks stain like crazy, collect a grimy, dirty layer of scum and require this soft scrub to even clean it. One of the main things I have on my list is switching the sinks (especially the bathroom one) to a much easier material to clean, probably metal for it’s lightness. 

6. Not enough room for my books.

Seriously, not enough room. When we moved, I managed to downsize just about everything. Except books. I could never get rid of my books. However, I do have a majority of them in storage until we find a way to stash more books in this place. Surprisingly, my books aren’t the ones causing trouble. It’s the kid’s books that are overflowing and honestly, its getting really annoying. It’s at the top of our to do list to get this problem fixed! (Mostly so I can raid my books in storage and bring a bunch into the RV. I’ve missed them!)

NEUTRAL

1. No dishwasher

I’ve found out I actually don’t mind washing dishes by hand. I find it much more efficient for a RV, since unless the dishes are washed consistently (several times a day), we tend to run out of dishes very quickly. 

2. Packing up the whole RV to move

While sometimes this can get annoying, we’ve managed to streamline this process and really, it is necessary to move the RV. So I don’t pay much attention and it has the added bonus of forcing me to keep the place clean and picked up.

So here are the pros, cons and even neutrals about living in a RV for me. However, I’m loving this life and am so grateful that we’ve had this opportunity. I’m looking forward to the next year and seeing what it brings!

Would you live in a RV full time?

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2 thoughts on “One Year of Living in a RV – Pros & Cons”

  1. Hey Amanda! As an older married couple who have our children out of the home finally after 37 years we are enjoying the RV Life too although we have stayed in one place the whole year and have not moved around. Our rent including propane is close to $500 a month here in Centralia and we work here so we have not taken the RV anywhere because we got it just to live in. We don’t own a truck to pull it with either. I agree with the part about being expensive to heat in the winter but if you average out the summer and winter months for propane and electricity it is not so bad. I actually have a washer dryer in my trailer and I love it. It was one of the things on my list that I did not want to be without. Even with just two people we were spending $50 a month doing laundry and that was not fun either. Depending on what type you get you can get a stacking smaller version or ours is one machine that both washes and dries and that is pretty cool. We moved into this situation for financial purposes and we have a goal to save up for a few years to purchase a small house again so we are committed to this lifestyle until we have raised the money we want. We are really determined to stay debt-free and this allows us to both live well and save so we are pretty happy about that. What are your long term goals?

    1. Wow! Thanks for commenting! I love hearing what you are doing with RV living!

      For us, we’re not sure exactly what our long term goals are. I mean, eventually I want land to homestead on and we want to build a house on the land. I’m just not sure when that will come into play for our family. Right now though, we are happily raising our family, trying to find a private RV spot that we can rent that isn’t too expensive, trying to save money so we can pay off our debt, and hopefully traveling in the winter when my husband isn’t working. Who knows what the future will bring!

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