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Is the RV Lifestyle for You?

Dream vs. Reality

dream vs realityMany people say they want to give up their home to live in an RV or motorhome full-time, able to take off to places as yet unexplored. They envison their life being full of fun experiences, few cares, and less expensive. The reality often doesn’t measure up and many of those who actually follow through on their plans return to their homes, deciding that the RV lifestyle is in fact not as fun as they thought it would be.

For others it is the lifestyle they always dreamed of living. Going wherever the mood takes them, exploring new parts of the U.S., catching up with friends and family in other states, and generally feeling free to do whatever they want whenever they want. The difference between the two types of people is often just a matter of having realistic expectations, and planning accordingly.

While it is true that the RVing lifestyle can be cheaper than maintaining a home, it is not free. In fact for many it can be a struggle just to survive. The following are some things to give serious thought to if you are considering living in an RV or motorhome full-time in the future:

Income

incomeUnless you have considerable savings or a passive income stream that will ensure you always have money coming in, you are going to need some way of making money. The consensus from people who live full-time in an RV is that it takes around $1500 a month to live comfortably. Many people living in an RV full-time have ways of making income online. Here are some ways to make money while enjoying the RV lifestyle:

  • Blogging – Requires nothing more than a computer and reliable internet. Blogging can be done at any time of the day or night, as often as daily or as infrequent as once a week. It can be challenging to monetize a blog but if mastered can be lucrative. There are digital products that you can create and sell on your blog, as well as physical products but bear in mind when selling physical products that you will need to store and ship them yourself or have someone else do that for you.
  • Affiliate marketing – This can also be incorporated into a blog or can be done through a standalone website. Many online business offer affiliate programs where you can earn commission by recommending products for your readers to buy. Once your reader purchases an item through your affiliate link you earn a small percentage of the value of the purchase. 
  • Freelance Writing – There are various websites online that hire writers, and jobs can be picked up on the likes of Upwork.com and freelancer.com. Alternatively you can create your own website where you can charge whatever you want for your writing services.
  • Print on Demand – Several companies online allow you to upload your own images or graphic and text designs you create onto a range of products such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, pillows and so much more. 

Expenses

calculating expensesThe other part of the equation is controlling expenses. Whether you live in an RV or a brick and mortar home, there are bills to pay. Though the expenses are different if making an income is a struggle expenses need to be strictly controlled. Here are some ways to keep costs contained:

  • GasBuddy – If you have a smartphone download and use the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest gas no matter where you are.
  • Groceries – There are definite savings to be had by shopping the cheaper grocery chains. Find out which ones are nationwide and shop them as much as possible. 99c only stores and similar will often have cheaper foodstuffs but be aware that there are times when 99c is more than you would pay for the same item in a grocery store. 
  • Maintenance – Set aside money on a regular basis for regular maintenance plus some for extra, unplanned expenses that are bound to come up. Find out what it will cost to replace a complete set of tires even if you don’t need them immediately. Depending on how many miles you are planning to travel your tires may wear out earlier than you expect. 
  • Insurance – Keep your insurance up-to-date at all times and ensure you have adequate coverage in the event of total loss. While insurance is one of those things we hope we never need to use it is a blessing when you do. Insure your contents separately and try to never succumb to the temptation to let it lapse if money becomes scarce.
  • Passport America Membership – Save on camp site fees at over 1800 campgrounds around America. If planning on parking in campgrounds this is an worthwhile membership to purchase as it will pay for itself within just a few campground stays.

If you find you love the campground lifestyle you can also apply for workcamping positions, in which you will be compensated for working.  Positions are available across the Unites States and compensation  varies from free site with FHU’s  to positions that pay.  This is a great way to build up some savings if you have an online income that you can maintain while work camping. Read more about workcamping here.

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