30 Pros & Cons of Living Full-Time in an RV (With a Family of 5)

30 Pros & Cons of Living Full-Time in an RV (With a Family of 5)

Deciding whether living full-time in an RV is for you is like romanticizing dreams of adventure, simplicity, and the promise of unfettered freedom. There are pros and cons.

Living full-time in an RV is a choice that invited us to embrace the open road. We had been relishing the beauty of nomadic living. Yet, it’s also a decision that came with a duality of emotions, where the allure of exploration collides with the challenges of limited space, constant change, and the quest for stability.

In this blog, we’ll navigate the pros and cons of living full-time in an RV, drawing from our firsthand experiences and guided by empathy and introspection.

I’m going to share insights into the unique plot twists that form when home is wherever the wheels roll and shed light on the highs and lows of this unconventional lifestyle.

living in an RV full-time

30 Pros of Living Full-Time in an RV

Embracing the nomadic lifestyle as a family of five wasn’t just okay; it was actually awesome! Full-time RV living can easily get a bad rap but the courage it took for us to finally take the leap almost makes the risk worth it.

Before we get started, I asked the kids what their favorite part of living full-time in an RV was and their answers are awesome:

Leland (11 yo): “Getting to meet new friends and going different places”
Everett (8 yo): “Lunch time [laugh], kidding. It’s meeting new friends like Leland.”
Scottie (5 yo): “Playing with my toys in my bed.”

Living full-time in an RV with your family means opening your heart to adventure, creating lasting memories on the road, and teaching your children valuable life lessons beyond the classroom. Here are 30 pros worth noting:

  1. Unlimited Backyard: Our backyard is ever-changing, from serene lakesides to rugged mountains, offering endless exploration and bonding with nature. It’s like waking up to a new canvas every day, ready for family adventures.
  2. Minimalist Lifestyle: Embracing simplicity, we value experiences over stuff, leading to a more intentional way of living that encourages us to focus on what truly matters.
  3. Constant Adventure: Each day brings new adventures as we explore diverse landscapes, creating moments of discovery and wonder that weave into the tapestry of our family’s story.
  4. Quality Family Time: Living closely fosters strong family bonds, encouraging communication, collaboration, and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
  5. Budget-Friendly: By cutting down on home and utility expenses, we free up more funds for enriching experiences, future plans, and financial security.
  6. Nature’s Neighbors: Our neighbors are the soothing sounds of nature, replacing city noise with tranquility and the beauty of the great outdoors.
  7. Flexible Itinerary: We thrive on spontaneity, changing our scenery whenever we please, exploring hidden gems off the beaten path, and letting the road guide our adventures.
  8. Eco-Friendly: With our smaller living space and conscious resource use, we contribute to reducing our carbon footprint and preserving the environment for future generations.
  9. Educational Opportunities: Homeschooling on the road offers our kids real-world learning experiences, allowing them to engage with diverse cultures, ecosystems, and historical sites.
  10. Community: As part of a welcoming RV community, we find support and camaraderie on the road, creating connections that make our travels even more enjoyable.
  11. Endless Exploration: We discover hidden treasures and off-the-beaten-path destinations, infusing our family adventures with unique experiences and stories to share.
  12. Outdoor Living: Our living room is the great outdoors, encouraging a love for nature and outdoor activities, from hiking to stargazing, right at our doorstep.
  13. Adaptive Lifestyle: Our lifestyle adapts to our family’s evolving needs, ensuring our living situation always suits us perfectly.
  14. Customizable Spaces: We personalize our RV to cater to our unique requirements, optimizing functionality and comfort for every family member.
  15. Disconnect to Reconnect: By reducing screen time, we encourage face-to-face interaction, fostering deeper connections and more meaningful conversations.
  16. Embrace Minimalism: We shift our focus from material possessions to the richness of experiences, teaching our family the value of a simpler, more purposeful life.
  17. Lower Living Costs: Enjoying financial freedom with reduced expenses, we save for future adventures and build a secure future for our family.
  18. No More Commutes: We bid farewell to stressful daily commutes, allowing us to spend more quality time together and relax at our own pace.
  19. Family Adventures: We create cherished memories as we explore together, nurturing a sense of togetherness and strengthening our family’s bond through shared experiences.
  20. Reduced Home Maintenance: Eliminating the hassles of home upkeep frees up time for family adventures, reducing stress and responsibilities.
  21. Seasonal Living: We chase favorable climates, avoiding harsh weather and embracing our preferred seasons, enjoying the best of each location.
  22. Stunning Sunsets: Every evening, we savor breathtaking sunsets as our backdrop, reminding us of the beauty in each day’s end.
  23. Adventure Stories: We collect tales of our travels, creating a treasure trove of stories and experiences to share with loved ones, leaving a legacy of adventure.
  24. Healthier Lifestyle: Encouraging active living and outdoor activities, we promote a healthier lifestyle for our family amid the beauty of natural settings.
  25. Waking Up to Nature: We replace the urban hustle with serene natural surroundings, waking up to the gentle sounds of nature and scenic views.
  26. Downsizing Benefits: Focusing on what matters most, we appreciate the value of experiences over material possessions, finding contentment in simplicity.
  27. Inspiration Everywhere: Drawing inspiration from new places and cultures, we nurture creativity and spark curiosity in family members of all ages.
  28. Minimal Commute: Our workplace is wherever we park, eliminating daily commutes and providing more quality time with family.
  29. Instill Wanderlust: We teach our children to appreciate diversity and nurture a love for exploration, encouraging a lifelong curiosity about the world.
  30. Unique Experiences: Our family becomes a team of adventurers, living a unique and ever-changing story filled with experiences money can’t buy. 🚐🌍🌟

In the cozy confines of our RV, we discovered that less truly was more, savored quality family time, and forged connections that shaped our family’s story for years to come. πŸšπŸŒπŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸŒŸ But we didn’t live in Lala land… we knew it came with many challenges.

30 Cons of Living Full-Time in an RV

Those pros are tempting but living full-time in an RV hasn’t been a walk in the park. It’s been glorious and equally glorified.

Pros and Cons of living full-time in an RV as a family of 5

My kids had some not-so-great opinions about their full-time RV life so far. Their opinions matter to my husband and I and it’s important to share their perspective. I asked, “What is the worst part of living full-time in an RV?”

Leland (11 yo): “We don’t get to play with our friends from back home.”
Everett (8 yo): “Nothing!”
Scottie (5 yo): “When we drive, it’s bumpy.”

We’ve enjoyed most of our time squeezed into a 250-square-foot living space but there have been cons. A fair amount of cons, here’s 30:

  1. Space Constraints: Living in close quarters can strain family dynamics, making it challenging to find personal space and privacy for each family member.
  2. Storage Challenges: Downsizing possessions becomes a necessity, causing stress as cherished items are left behind or stored in limited spaces.
  3. Privacy Issues: Coexisting in a confined space can occasionally lead to tensions, making it difficult to carve out alone time.
  4. Schooling Challenges: Homeschooling on the road demands dedication, and finding suitable educational resources while traveling can be a constant hurdle.
  5. Socialization Concerns: Children may miss the stability of consistent peer interactions, potentially affecting their social growth.
  6. Routine Disruption: Constant travel disrupts daily routines, impacting the family’s sense of stability and predictability.
  7. Maintenance Costs: Frequent RV repairs and maintenance incur unexpected financial burdens.
  8. Fuel Expenses: Large RVs guzzle fuel, creating budgetary strain, especially during extended journeys.
  9. Safety Concerns: Ensuring the safety of both the RV and family members in unfamiliar locations can be a constant source of anxiety.
  10. Limited Amenities: RV living offers only basic amenities, requiring adjustments for a family accustomed to more comforts.
  11. Weather Dependency: Unpredictable weather can thwart travel plans, necessitating flexibility and altering schedules.
  12. Healthcare Access: Finding dependable healthcare providers while on the road can be a challenge, affecting overall healthcare quality.
  13. Schooling Legality: Navigating homeschooling regulations in different regions can involve bureaucratic complexities and potential legal hurdles.
  14. Navigation Stress: Driving and navigating a large RV, especially in congested areas or unfamiliar terrain, can be a constant source of stress.
  15. Cooking Challenges: Small RV kitchens limit meal options and preparation, potentially impacting dietary variety.
  16. Tire Issues: Frequent travel wears down tires, resulting in maintenance and replacement expenses.
  17. Laundry Hurdles: Locating laundry facilities while traveling can be inconvenient, adding time-consuming chores to the daily routine.
  18. Internet Reliability: Maintaining a stable internet connection, vital for work or schooling, can be unreliable in remote or rural areas.
  19. Budget Flexibility: RV travel expenses strain the family budget, potentially limiting other financial goals and aspirations.
  20. Campground Availability: Securing suitable campgrounds during peak seasons often requires booking far in advance, leading to stress and competition.
  21. Environmental Impact: Larger RVs have a more significant ecological footprint, potentially conflicting with environmentally-conscious values.
  22. Generational Needs: Meeting the diverse interests and requirements of different age groups within the family can complicate planning and decision-making.
  23. Pet Considerations: Traveling with pets involves additional logistical challenges, such as pet-friendly accommodations and care responsibilities.
  24. Waste Management: Dealing with waste disposal in an RV can be unpleasant and inconvenient, requiring vigilance and proper disposal practices.
  25. Long Drives: Extended hours on the road can lead to fatigue and restlessness among all family members, affecting the overall travel experience.
  26. Routine Healthcare: Managing chronic health conditions while on the road may necessitate extra effort in finding suitable healthcare providers and maintaining prescriptions.
  27. Financial Stability: Irregular income while traveling can lead to financial instability and budgetary uncertainties.
  28. Repairs Delay: Unexpected RV repairs can disrupt planned itineraries and lead to frustration.
  29. Social Activities: Missing out on community and social engagements can result in feelings of isolation and disconnection from a support network.
  30. Emotional Challenges: Coping with the emotional highs and lows of RV life can be emotionally taxing for the entire family, requiring resilience and adaptability.

While the idea of full-time RV living can be enchanting, a family of five should carefully consider the limited space and potential challenges it poses, especially when personal privacy and storage are paramount.

Balancing the allure of adventure with the practicalities of accommodating everyone’s needs might prove daunting and lead to discomfort in the long run.

living full-time in an RV

Why Are We Living Full-Time in an RV?

All that being said (and call me crazy), I absolutely love living full-time in an RV with my family. I thin the joy that I’ve experienced comes largely due to the fact that I was already used to homeschooling and I like going on adventures. I like the idea of living outside of the box and raising our kids to play outside more than on screens.

While contemplating the leap into full-time RV living with a family of five, we found ourselves at a crossroads though. My husband was very skeptical. It’s was a decision wrapped in excitement, a yearning for adventure, and the pursuit of freedom.

We imagined the open road as our classroom, where lessons transcend textbooks, and nature becomes our muse. But, reality whispered caution, reminding us of the challenges: limited space, constant movement, and the call for unwavering adaptability.

Why did we move into an RV full-time?

Once a unique series of events played their part (my husband truck was totaled in a freak accident that insurance didn’t cover, our rent was increasing by 20% and we were facing some dead end challenges with our church that left us feeling defeated).

One thing led to another and we developed the courage to grasp hold of the pros and accept the cons. In the end, we sold everything we owned, bought an RV, and hit the road.

We can confidently say that at 70 years old, my husband and I will not regret taking this leap of faith. Even with the ups and downs, we are here for it.

Common FAQs about Living Full-Time in an RV

Common questions about full-time RV living often revolve around logistics, like how to handle mail and healthcare on the road, as well as the financial aspects, such as budgeting and income sources.

People also wonder about the emotional and social aspects, like maintaining relationships and dealing with the inevitable challenges of life on the move. All these and more will be answered soon enough on our blog! Here are some commons questions we’ve already received:

βœ… Is it financially smart to live in an RV?

Living in an RV full-time can be financially savvy, as it reduces housing costs, but it requires diligent budgeting to account for travel expenses, maintenance, and potential income fluctuations.

βœ… What is the cheapest state to live in an RV?

Choosing the cheapest state to live in an RV depends on various factors, but states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas often offer affordable campsite options and favorable weather for extended stays.

βœ… What size is best for living in an RV?

The ideal size for living in an RV depends on your family’s needs and comfort level. Smaller rigs are more maneuverable, while larger ones offer more amenities. Choose what suits you best. We are a family of 5 and a dog and live in an 40ft Class C motorhome.

βœ… Can an RV be used as a primary residence?

Certainly, an RV can be used as a primary residence. Generally, most states don’t prohibit RVs as primary residences but might have zoning restrictions in certain areas. Many people find joy in full-time RV living, but it requires careful planning for amenities, utilities, and logistics.

βœ… Can a family of 5 live in an RV full-time?

Absolutely (we do)! A family of five can go on the wild adventure of full-time RV living. Just remember to embrace the coziness and pack some extra patience for the journey!

Pros and Cons of living full-time in an RV

Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Living Full-Time in an RV

In conclusion, our full-time RV journey as a family of five has been a rollercoaster of moments we’ll treasure forever. As you can see in the pros and cons list, my kids have their own opinions of this lifestyle (their answers are so cute).

The thrill of discovery, the cozy campfire nights, and the freedom to roam have been like gold. But let’s not forget the quirksβ€”the “The internet isn’t working” crises and tight space tiffs.

It’s a wild ride with its ups and downs, and while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, for us, it’s a taste of adventure that’s worth every quirky twist.

‘O Family, Where Art Thou?’ you ask, we are wherever the road leads us. πŸšπŸŒπŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸŒŸ

Maybe we will see you on the road!

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