A young man, just getting started, wonders if living in an RV might be an alternative to ‘pounding sand down a rat hole’ in making apartment payments he’ll never see again. Life’s journey stretches out a long way for him, and he’s still not fully settled on how he wants to live it.
Is RV living a possibility?
Any RVer who’s been in the lifestyle for any amount of time will have their own brand of thinking on this one. But here are some thoughts to chew on.
An RV is a roof over the head and one that’s often more dependable than the whims of landlords. True enough, if you have an RV, you’ll be looking at some place to park it, and in a lot of cases, there’s a landlord attached to the place. Still, there’s much to be said for the ability to pull up stakes and find better places when your house is already packed and ready to go. And the rent is probably a whole lot less than for an apartment, duplex or house. For those who have the ability, boondocking in an RV is an even less costly alternative venue than a park.
RV living for those in the construction trades, and even in nursing and other medical technologies, often work together well. Run out of work in one town? Can’t stand the boss? If you can turn over to a new job in a new town, it’s an easy move.
What kind of RV lends itself to this alternative? Nearly any RV will do, but there are some things to consider. Motorhomes, by their nature, have more things in them that can go wrong. Talk to nearly any motorhome owner and they’ll fess up that motorhomes are money pits. Engines and transmissions are just waiting to spring underhanded tricks on unsuspecting owners – and if your finances are tenuous, it can be a real disaster if it happens at the wrong time.
Travel trailers can be pulled by trucks, many SUVs, and some appropriately sized cars. That makes them a bit more flexible, allowing the “work” car to double as the tow vehicle. Be sure you know what your rig can tow before you go trailer shopping.
Fifth wheels are usually far more livable, foot for foot, than a travel trailer. But you’re stuck with a pickup truck to pull the rig, and unless you want to remove the hitch system from the truck bed between pulls, you’ll sacrifice a fair amount of bed space to the hitch.
Any RV will require maintenance and repair. Living in the landlord’s place (apartment, etc.), he’s stuck doing the fixing. Live in your own RV and ignore the maintenance needs at your own peril. While some nagging small problems can be put off, NEVER put off fixing a water leak of any kind, be it plumbing or roof. Once water infiltrates the walls or floors (or the roof, for that matter) you’ve got the potential for real damage that can sink your battleship.
While plenty of couples declare the RV lifestyle great, it can take some adjusting. A single person, a smaller RV, that’s easy. Smaller RV, less cost, easier to tow, you know the story. As a couple, we’ve lived in RVs from a truck camper (okay for a short while) to mid-sized travel trailers, a fifth wheel, to a 40-foot “park trailer.” Since we get along well together, we’ve found we could pretty well adapt to whatever we were living in.
Living in an RV is certainly, for many, a “downsizing” issue. If you can’t stand living in an apartment for it being too small, living in an RV probably isn’t for you. But if you can thrive in small spaces, an RV means less housecleaning and a cozy place to call your own.