Tips for living in an RV full time

May 17, 2022

By Lois Sullivan

Tips for living in an RV full time

RVs have traditionally been used for comfortable camping trips and short-term vacations. However, a growing number of RVers are choosing to make these vehicles their full-time residences instead. This is a bold and exciting choice, but it can present some pitfalls if you're not prepared for the transition. If you're planning on living in an RV, tips like the ones found here can make a big difference in your comfort and convenience.

Claim the RV as your primary residence

If you're living in your RV full time, you can claim it as your primary residence. You can only claim one primary residence, so this option won't work if you're still holding on to a house as your home base.

If you’re financing your RV and you plan to live in it fulltime, you will need to let your potential lender know. Only certain lenders will provide RV loans to “full-timers”. Shop around for the best RV loans for full-timers.  

Consider the lifestyle you're after

Decide what you want your life as a full-timer to look like. Are you planning to settle down in just one RV campground? Will you rotate campgrounds within the same general area? Would you like to settle in one place for summer and another for winter to chase the best weather conditions throughout the year? Do you want to make the most of the mobile lifestyle and travel continually?

There are many ways to tackle life when you're living in an RV full time.

Find the best long-term campground

Campground amenities are extremely important when you're planning for a long-term stay. Look for locations that offer steep discounts for weekly, monthly, or full-time stays, so you're getting the best deal on your new living arrangements. Evaluate everything the campground has to offer, including:

  • Water, sewer, and electricity hookups
  • Quality of grills and barbecues
  • Security
  • Laundry facilities
  • Clubhouse amenities
  • Wi-Fi availability and quality
  • Fitness amenities like pools, gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, and volleyball courts
  • Kid-friendly features, such as a kiddie pool or playground
  • On-site activities like guided fitness classes, crafts for kids, movies under the stars, or hiking trails

If you're planning on living in an RV in Irving, tips like these will lead you to several great options. Treetops RV Resort hosts social activities like game nights, barbecues, and potlucks, so you'll have lots of opportunities to meet your neighbors. The Dallas/Arlington KOA Holiday offers rental bikes, a dog park, and luxurious RV sites complete with a Polywood table, chairs, and glider at select sites.

Keep RV maintenance on the calendar

RV maintenance is especially important when this is your full-time residence. Make sure you crank the engine and exercise the generator at least once every two weeks if you have a motor home. Cover the tires while you're parked to protect them from UV damage. Install a skirt in winter to help insulate the RV and keep things cozy. Put oil and filter changes on your calendar so you never overlook these critical tasks for your home on the road.

Join an RV club

An RV club can offer special savings that add up significantly for those living in an RV full time. Though you'll pay an annual membership fee, this should pay for itself through campground discounts, roadside assistance, gas discounts, and other features. Some clubs host special events that will help you connect with others living the RV life like you. Others provide educational materials that give new RVers a wealth of information about how to successfully make this a comfortable lifestyle.

Sign up with a mail forwarding service

An RV mail forwarding service simplifies the process of getting your mail on the road. The post office will only hold mail for 30 days, and it will keep packages for just 10. A mail forwarding service is more accommodating, holding on to your items as needed until directed to send them on. If you're moving from one site to another, a mail forwarding service will help ensure nothing gets lost as you move from site to site. Some service providers will even send you photos of your mail so you can see what's waiting for you and let the provider know if there are items they can throw away.

Invest in efficient cooking appliances

Space is at a premium in an RV, so you want to make all of your daily activities as efficient as possible. Consider investing in multiuse cooking equipment that can bake, broil, sauté, slow cook, air crisp, pressure cook, etc. all in one compact device. You can purchase low-tech multiuse kitchen gadgets, too. Do what you need to reduce the amount of appliances in your kitchen.

Minimize belongings and maximize storage space

Minimalist living is best when you're using an RV as your primary residence. Cut down on your belongings and keep only the essentials. Invest in other multiuse items to save space.

Implement smart organizational features so everything has a place, and that place is as convenient as possible. Mount food dispensers to the wall to save counter space and keep products like dry macaroni, rice, cereal, and coffee beans neatly stored. Install towel rods inside cabinet doors to hold pot lids. Mount a roll of garbage bags on a paper towel holder secured to the wall. Hang a shower caddy on the sides of cabinets to store produce. The options are nearly endless.

Make your open road dreams a reality with a great RV loan

A great rate on an RV loan from Alliant will ensure you can spend more of your money on memorable weekend adventures.

Want to learn more about RV living and securing an RV loan? Check out these resources:

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