Many people will rave about the benefits and pleasures of RV living, but never mention the problems and difficulties. They will praise the pros, without commenting on the cons. These are generally people who make a living pushing the RV lifestyle, or else they may simply be Thoreau quoting utopians.
Like everything else in life, there is good and bad about RV living. In life, neither good or bad can exist alone in a bubble. In fact, it is the bad that often makes you enjoy the good. It is a balance of good and bad that makes life worth living. This post attempts to take an unbiased and balanced look at living in an RV. Here are the pros and cons, the benefits and disadvantages, of the RV lifestyle as I see them.
Traveling with the comforts of home.
Sleeping in a comfortable RV is better than sleeping on the ground in a leaky tent.
Having an onboard restroom is better than squatting behind the poison ivy.
Traveling down the road with an onboard restroom is better than hearing, every 30 minutes, “I have to go to the bathroom”.
You can pee in your own bathroom, instead of in some nasty public restroom.
RVs can usually travel with the best weather, if you plan it right.
An RV makes it easier to travel with children and pets.
It can be fun.
My RV bathroom was built for elves.
My RV shower provides enough hot water for one elf, if they are in a hurry and don’t really care how they smell.
My RV bed comfortably holds two elves, providing they are on intimate terms, and not claustrophobic.
My RV kitchen is big enough and adequate enough to prepare food for two people, or three elves.
Which is not that big a deal, because my refrigerator only holds enough food for four elves, preferably not very hungry. (Read also- EASY, QUICK, N0-FUSS CAMPING MEALS)
I cannot run the microwave and the air conditioner at the same time.
If you toot, everyone in the RV knows it.
The thin walls of my RV do not block traffic noise from outside.
The thin RV walls, and single-pane windows don’t keep out cold or heat.
An RV offers less protection from severe weather than a house does.
RVs offer less protection from man-made hazards and threats than a house does.
Most RVs unlike most homes, don’t have washers and dryers, dishwashers, or other marvels of modern civilization. (Read also- The Myth- RV Life is Easy.)
Most RVs are extremely disabled-unfriendly. Those with limited mobility would have trouble getting in and out, going through, or using the bathroom. My RV’s bathroom door is 18” wide.
If something breaks on the road, RVs can be more difficult and more expensive to repair.
Under similar lifestyles, a house will always be more environmentally friendly than a similar sized RV. And, this doesn’t even consider driving.
The stressful time you spent driving that big RV through traffic, could have been spent watching a good movie.
Try to find a parking place for your RV when you want to run in for groceries, go to the laundromat, etc.
Wastewater tanks 🙁
Depending on your lifestyle, traveling in an RV can be more or less expensive than driving a car and staying in a motel.
The size of RVs limits your access to some areas, so you may still have to drag the car with you.
Depending on your lifestyle, choices, and activities, living in an RV can be more or less expensive than living in a house. (Read also- MYTH- RVs ARE CHEAPER THAN HOUSES)
Most claims that RV living is cheap, are usually based on someone’s previous extravagant living. Their claims are not based on RV vs house, but lifestyle vs lifestyle.
While buying a house is generally a good investment, RVs depreciate in value.
While buying an RV might be cheaper than buying a house, the cost difference tends to be due to size, quality of materials, and lack of real estate, rather than price per square foot.
RV travel is a trade-off between ease and convenience. It’s easier and cheaper to drive a car, but the RV lets you haul a bunch of conveniences. (Read also- The Myth- RV Life is Simple.)
The limited size of an RV helps you declutter your life. Which, by the way, you could also do in a billion dollar mansion, if you wanted to.
The best camping spots are usually separated from civilization, and all its conveniences as well.
When RVing, you get to meet new people all the time. If you enjoy meeting total strangers you may not like, and will never see again.
Your yard will need mowing whether you live in a house or an RV. The difference is whose job it is, and who it annoys the most.
An RV lets you live more self-sufficiently. But you can also do that in your billion dollar mansion. Self-sufficiency is a life choice, not a roof over your head.
The RV life helps you disconnect. Which, again, you can also do in that billion dollar mansion.
The RV life offers you freedom from the routine and the limitations of home ownership. Meaning, you are now chained to the routine and the limitations of the RV lifestyle.
The limitations or freedoms of your chosen lifestyle are mostly self-imposed or chosen.
The limitations and closeness of an RV can draw families closer together, or it can drive them apart
The RV life may help you spend more time outdoors. But, people who are couch potatoes, tend to be couch potatoes regardless of what they live in. You do what you do, wherever you are, because that’s who you are. An RV will not make you someone else.
While an RV can take you to places designed for physical activity, the RV life will also offer an inactive person more opportunities to be inactive.
While an RV can bring you closer to nature, you can also choose to just sit inside with the AC and watch TV.
Don’t just believe the one-sided utopia garbage about the RV life being a world of endless rainbows. And, don’t trust those that spew it out. A half truth is always a lie. There is no one-size-fits-all lifestyle.
Adventures don’t happen because of what you live in, but because you go out looking for them. I guarantee you that there are more bored people living in RVs, than there are excited people living a never-ending adventure. The RV life can offer you either freedoms or restrictions. It all depends on your personal preferences and choices.
Don’t jump into the RV life half-blind, fueled by vague notions you have about RV living. Try out the RV life before you commit to it. Test the waters before you jump in. Like almost everything else you’ve done in life, devote to it slowly until you can determine if it’s right for you.
Live in an RV at least a week before you buy one (rent, or borrow, or steal one). Empty at least three wastewater tanks (this is your destiny) before you abandon your present lifestyle.
Take an honest look at the good. Take a serious look at the bad. If you find a balance, you just might fit in with the rest of us weirdos.
(Read also- Reasons People Leave The RV Life)