The world is beckoning to you; and what better way to see it than from the comfort of your very own road castle. Many people are hesitant to try out the RV life for a number of reasons, but as an Irish-American husband, dad of three and co-founder of Portable Advisor, I have nothing but wonderful experiences to share.
My wife Sandy and I have been RVing since the mid-nineties after embracing the boondocker way of life. We now practice what we call the ‘Portable Lifestyle’ – the ability to ‘get up and go’ and explore new places throughout the year while maintaining our income.
Today I am going to help solve some of the most common misconceptions of RV living. By the end of this article, you should have a much greater understanding of what RV living is all about and why so many are living out this lifestyle.
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RVing is only for old people like us!
I can’t turn on the TV to watch the Travel Channel of HGTV without seeing several commercials about people in their 20’s and 30’s living in tiny houses. Those portable little abodes are not much more than an RV that looks like a house.
According to Country Living, these homes are only 300 square feet or less. That’s about the same size as a large RV. So, these young people are already living in an RV space without even knowing it.
In a study posted on Groups Today, students and millennials (people aged 18-30) account for more than 20% of travelers. According to my math, young people are living in small portable homes and traveling.
Sounds like they are RVers at heart that love to experience the comforts of home while traveling as much as my wife and I. We aren’t old, by the way. 60 is the new 30.
It’s not possible to earn a living on the road
A decade ago this doubt had more merit. However, with the increases in cellular technology, you have access to the internet almost anywhere you go.
That means you are always able to connect to information. A lot of campsites also provide internet services, which helps cover connection holes while parked.
For those looking to start out fresh and jump into the world of RV with a job meant specifically for RVers, Workamper provides listings and resources to connect your RV lifestyle with a consistent source of income.
Workamper provides full FAQ’s to help you find an ideal employer to match your experience and desired workload. Working on the road has never been more possible.
For those looking for a little more flexibility in their income to support an RV lifestyle, The Savvy Couple provides an outline for legitimate sources of income in the digital market.
Even if you miss a day or two because of your adventures, you are still able to generate income and pick up the slack once you are settled in at a campsite.
Staying in busy campsites with no privacy and strangers doesn’t sound like fun
Ok, this one is just silly. Living in a campsite is like living in an apartment complex, except your neighbors don’t share a wall with you. In my experience, most campsites are laid out in a way that gives plenty of space between us and the next camper.
The feel is more like a neighborhood where you actually talk to your neighbor. Plus, modern RVs are so well equipped that you don’t even need to go outside if you really don’t want to. If you are only tent camping you may run into privacy issues, but in an RV not so much.
One thing my wife and I love about the RV life is all the friends we have made. People you meet at a campsite seem so much less stressed than city folk. We have been able to make so many connections so easily that we can’t even imagine living a different lifestyle.
You need a different license to drive an RV
The size of a lot of RV’s scares many potential RVers away because they think they need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate an RV. Fortunately, most states in the US do not require a commercial license.
According to Changin Gears, a website dedicated to living the RV lifestyle, only three states and Washington D.C. require a CDL. However, each of these exceptions only requires the license if the vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds (D.C. and Hawaii), or longer than 45 feet (Indiana and Wisconsin).
Some states do require that you get a specialty license in addition to your standard license, but again those are only required for RVs and trailers that are of a specific length and weight requirements.
For example, California requires a non-commercial class B license only for RVs between 40 and 45 feet. Anything shorter doesn’t need a specialty license, and larger will require a CDL.
So, if you have an RV below the size limits in your state you don’t need to worry about that extra license.
I do recommend taking a class associated with the specialty licenses even if you don’t need one. Taking the class will teach you the skills you need to keep you safe and avoid the embarrassing situation that happens when you try a dozen times to line your RV at the campsite.
There are too many costs involved in vacationing in an RV
Any vacation costs money. Whether you are flying or driving you will have to start with the fuel or airline costs.
Then you are jammed in a tiny space getting uncomfortably close for few hours with your fellow passengers. Next, you have to pay for a hotel or similar accommodations.
On your vacation, you get the honor of paying for a bed that who knows how many people have used recently.
With an RV you pay for gas and the campsite fee, but you have lots of space to move around, and stop wherever or whenever you want. On top of that, you will have your own bedroom that only you have used.
Plus, you have a kitchen and bathroom available to you along the whole way which reduces costs for buying food at fast food joints or pricey restaurants.
One of my wife and my favorite features of RV travel is that we can haul almost anything we want without paying extra baggage fees. We can bring all our comforts and toys with us along the way, so we also cut out having to rent equipment when we get to our destination.
I have been RVing for decades, and have been able to successfully maintain an income while seeing some of the most beautiful sights in the world.
We have made so many friends along the way that every vacation feels like a slice of home.
The RV life is accessible to anyone with a sense of curiosity or adventure, and I know you can have the time of your life.