Planning a year of RV Living Part 1
Ever feel like getting rid of almost everything you own and moving into a vehicle the size of a school bus or shipping container? Great, you’re in the right place! We’re packing up and going tiny and if you’re thinking about doing the same, there are plenty of resources to help you start planning a year of RV living throughout our blog right here on Live Camp Work!
And while everyone’s RV experience will be different, there are still some great ways you can prepare yourself no matter what your journey looks like.
Ready to go full-time?
The first big question is if this lifestyle is even right for you.
It’s important to have an idea of what type of RV you’re looking for and get a feel for what RV life is like before you commit. The good news is that there are many ways to prepare yourself for making the plunge into the world of tiny living. Here are just a few options to help you get ready for your RV journey.
Create a Vision Board
The first way to see what that journey looks like for you is to create a Vision Board. No RV is designed the same, in fact, you don’t even have to choose an RV at all. Van, school bus, tiny home, motorhome, what type of vehicle do you see on your Vision Board? Are you in something small that travels around a lot or in something larger and more grounded? What does your parking situation look like? Get as detailed as you want about what your happy camper life looks like to you.
When you’re planning a year of RV living, you want to make sure you actually enjoy what you’re living in! Now that you have an idea of what type of RV life you are leaning toward, it’s time to start doing some research. Again, no RV is the same, especially when you consider how many different years, makes, and models are available out there. From old to new, the designs and layouts have changed over the years and continue to do so as RVing becomes more popular.
RV to Test the Waters of Full-Time RV Life
Still not convinced the RV life is for you? No problem. It’s not a decision you want to step into lightly, so why not rent an RV and give it a test run? It’s a magical transition when you start planning a year of RV living, but you have to make sure it’s the right life transition for you. Testing the roads and spending some time in an RV is a great way to get a feel for tiny living.
Buy an RV
Woohoo! You’ve done the Vision Boards and finished your research and now it’s time to dive right in. Buying your RV is the biggest step you’ll make in the RV journey as it signifies that you are all in. Even if you are keeping a sticks and bricks home on the back burner, you’re still opting to live tiny on your terms. Here are a couple of places you can start looking for the RV of your dreams:
Buy, Sell, Trade! Browse anything from toy haulers and motorhomes to pop-up trailers and park models at RVtrader.com. Buy something new and ready to go or take the time with an older model to renovate and customize. The choices are plenty and they’re all yours!
One of the best things about RVs is that they are incredibly customizable. There really is nothing quite like a beautifully renovated tiny space! Choose from some of the coolest and most beautifully renovated travel trailers, fifth wheels, and more at Renovated RV Marketplace.
Learn How To RV
You’ve researched the perfect vehicle, but now it’s time to dive into what it means to truly RV full-time. Don’t worry, there are so many people who have chosen the RV life that are here to help you with yours!
Escapees RVers Online University Courses
Learn from the best when you sign up for the RV University with Escapees RV Club! Rving really is a whole new way of living. Even when you know it’s right for you, you’ll be learning new things way beyond the first stages of planning a year of RV living. Even if you’re a veteran RVer, there is always a chance to learn a new trick.
Escapees Bootcamp is here to make sure you enjoy your new RV life safely and efficiently. Talk to industry professionals and campers who have been in the field for decades. You can’t beat the experience of learning from the best about how your RV should function for you. From fire safety to towing tips, join the Escapees Bootcamp today!
Fix it Yourself RV Maintenance Course
Ready for a little DIY? RVs are one of the easiest things to renovate and reimagine. There is something special about watching your RV turn into a home with the creativity of your own hands. The good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone either. There are plenty of Fix it Yourself courses out there that will guide you through certain projects and plans.
Set a date
Now that you’ve got your RV, it’s time to finally live in it!
When you start planning a year of RV living, you have to consider the actual timing of when you’ll move in and (in some cases) hit the road. For example, if you’re planning to take your travel trailer out and begin your RV life in the mountains of Colorado.
Maybe don’t set that date for the middle of December when the temps are cold and the snow is thick. On the other hand, if you’re still working on getting everything renovated, don’t plan to move in the heat of summer. Regardless of your situation, setting the right date is an important step when you begin your RV journey.
Research domicile residency
Now that you’ve set the date and have decided to make a new life on the road, it’s time to consider “where” that new home is. Being on the road all the time means you don’t really have a permanent homeplace for things like mail, residency, and basically anything that requires an address. Even if you only change locations periodically, it’s a great idea to have a domicile or mail service.
Domicile, Home Base & Mail Forwarding for RVers
This a great place to start when you’re planning a year of RV living but still need to receive mail and well, have an address. Learn what it means to choose a domicile and how to still have some sort of home base.
Not only do they offer 3 different states to domicile form, but they also offer plenty of resources to help guide you on how to choose your new home base. Escapees RV club also offers mail service options which leads me to the next topic.
Choosing a mail service
Mail service is another important step when you’re planning a year of RV living. You’re still going to need a way to get your mail to you. Some RVers move faster than their mail can keep up which is why it’s important to have a central location or an adaptable option for mail services.
Mail Forwarding Services for RVers
Here is a list of some great mail-forwarding options. From a Digital Mailbox that alerts you when something has been received. To mail forwarding options through postal services and RV memberships. It’s easy to find the right option for your RV situation.
Setup Your Budget
Living on the road also means eating on the road and shopping on the road, paying bills on the road, buying groceries on the road, you get the idea.
Living tiny still has its costs. And although significantly cheaper in a lot of ways than traditional homeowning or renting, you’ll still have to get a budget in mind. And that doesn’t just start and end with purchasing your RV. Get an idea of what you’ll need to make, save, and spend while planning a year of RV living.
Research how to earn a mobile income
The good news? There are so many ways to make money on the road. Whether you are wanting remote options so you can travel full time or take on seasonal gigs so you can really take in the local area, the perfect job exists for you.
“Have talent, will travel” Rver Job Exchange has so many options for RVers looking to work and travel at the same time. Freelancers, remote workers, and workampers welcome! Another cool feature of this website is it offers trade opportunities like farm work or trade work in exchange for a campsite.
Remote work has become a virtual dream for many RVers who love the idea of working from home, wherever home might be. From sea to shining sea, your work follows you everywhere. Let Camille Attell teach you all the ins and outs of becoming a remote worker.
Types of Campground Workamping Jobs
Workamping is one of the coolest ways to make money on the road because you truly get to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere. Spend a summer greeting campers in Oregon or do some housekeeping in Arizona over the winter. Check out these 6 Tips When Searching for Workamping Jobs to get started.
Research healthcare options
Another step to making sure you’re ready to transition into transient life, is that your health and safety are covered. Like your RV, you and your family should be covered when it comes to illness and accidents. Luckily there are some options for healthcare on the road for those who no longer have a permanent physical address.
This is where domicile addresses come in handy, as well as personal insurance. You could even research the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or see if you qualify for insurance through employment or state care. The point is, it’s something you need to consider when planning a year of RV living. Not every insurance package will look the same so take the time to find the right one for you.
Wrapping It Up
Well, there you have it!
The first few items you need to look into when you start planning a year of RV living.
So get excited and start dreaming about what that perfect RV looks like. Will you buy new or renovate? What’s your budget and where will you work? There is much to consider when you start your RV life adventure!
But while there are a lot of steps to manage, there are also a lot of great resources out there. And this is just the first part! Stay tuned for Part 2 to discuss downsizing, memberships, and road trips. Happy camping!