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10 Things You’ll Miss When You Start Full-time RVing

fulltiming in an Airstream. Photo via RV Hive
10 Things You’ll Miss When You Start Full-time RVingPhoto via RV Hive

10 Things You’ll Miss When You Start Full-time RVing

We’ve all read the blogs, articles, and online forum postings about how wonderful full-time RVing is. I’ve even written about it myself.

Those gorgeous photos and tales of happy hikes, tasty food, and new friends make it sound like the best thing in the world. Which for the most part it is.

But like everything in life, there’s a flip side.

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The truth is that full-time RVing is not all sunshine and rainbows. Just because you’ve simplified your life and are living your dream doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.

You’ll at times feel sad, frustrated, lonely, and yes – even bored. You’ll also most certainly miss aspects of your old life.

Full-timing is a different experience for everyone, but here is a list of the 10 most common things full-time RVers miss.

1. Family

While living full-time in an RV means you can visit all your far off relatives, it also means that those you may have once lived near are now far away.

The United States is a big country, and if all your family lives on the East Coast, and you are traveling around the West Coast, chances are you will see them a lot less.

This can be especially hard during the holidays and at other times when families traditionally gather.

2. Full-time friends

Sure, it’s easy to make new friends on the road. Campgrounds are full of other travelers who will invite you over to their campfire or an evening happy hour.

And lots of full-time RVers have blogs or use social media to meet and keep in touch with other travelers.

But the reality is that the majority of people who you meet will only be passing acquaintances. It’s really difficult to form a true friendship with someone you only see for a single evening once every few months.

3. Knowing your way around

“So I go right at the stop sign, and then left at the corner, and follow that road two miles until I see the red barnoh wait those are the directions for the last campground we stayed at.”

If this sounds familiar then you might be a full-time RVer.

Even the most directionally savvy people can get frustrated when they constantly have to find their way around a new town or city.

The simple act of going to the gas station can turn into a test of patience and skill. And inevitably, just when you learn your way around one town, you decide to move to a new one…

4. Easy access to medical and dental care, hairdresser, mechanic…

When you have no home base all those regular appointments that make up everyday life come with a whole new challenge.

That hairdresser you’ve been going to for the last 15 years? She’s now 500 miles away.

How about your trusted doctor who knows your entire medical history? Also far away.

Which means you need to either do a LOT of driving, or find someone new to visit every time.

5. A long hot shower

After a tiring day of sight-seeing and adventure seeking, there’s nothing better than a long hot shower.

Nothing better than standing under a stream of hot water while the bathroom fills with warm steam, your muscles relax, and you feel as if you could stay there forever. Except…wait, is the water turning cold?

full time
This is probably not your idea of a long, hot shower

Oh, ahh, cold, cold, cold! Guess what? You’ve just used all the hot water. The typical RV hot water heater holds 6 gallons. While this is enough for an average length shower, it is not enough for a long, luxurious shower.

Dry camping or boondocking is even worse because conserving space in your grey tank means taking the shortest shower possible.

And if you are the type of person who enjoys a long soak in the tub. Umm…sorry you’re out of luck.

6. Speedy Internet

Unless you somehow miraculously discover a campground with blazing fast Wi-Fi (almost never happens) or are parked directly underneath a cell tower, chances are the speedy Internet you used to enjoy in your traditional home is no longer available on the road.

Not only is the speed much slower, but the amount of data you’ll be able to use will likely be far less than what your in-house cable or phone connection allowed.

So those hours of cat videos you used to watch? Yeah…you’ll have to give those up. A WiFi booster can help, but technology and your pocket book are the limiting factors.

7. A little help from your friends

We all need a little help every now and again. Whether it’s a ride to the mechanic after breaking down on the side of the road, an afternoon of pet sitting for Mr. Fluffy, or simply someone to be with you during a health crisis or similar emergency.

It’s nice to know there’s a trusted friend or family member nearby who can help out.

Full-time RVers learn quickly to count on the kindness of strangers and other RVers in times of need. But the truth is that when you really need someone to count on, a stranger isn’t the same as a good friend.

8. Space

Whether it’s personal space, space for your stuff, space for you projects, or space for your pets, you’ll have less of it in an RV.

For many full-time RVers this is a good thing. Part of the draw of the lifestyle is the downsizing aspect.

Less space means less to take care of and less room to accumulate unwanted junk. But occasionally, even the most content full-time RVers wish for a bit more space.

9. A routine you can stick to

Most full-time RVers have some sort of routine.

Maybe they travel on the same days of the week, are committed to daily exercise, or have an established break-down and set-up routine.

The hard part is adjusting that routine every time you travel somewhere new. Since every location is different, with different facilities and amenities, you’ll have to become good at adapting to new routines.

The desire to get away from the routine of daily life often plays a large part in a person’s decision to RV full-time.

But a routine also adds a sense of normalcy to your day, and many people find themselves missing their old routine more than they ever thought they would.

10. Mowing the lawn

Just kidding! You won’t miss this at all 🙂

What have you missed as a full-time RVer?  We’d love to hear your thoughts below.




3 thoughts on “10 Things You’ll Miss When You Start Full-time RVing”

  1. The thing I miss the most is kitchen space. I love to cook…doesn’t anyone else? The counter space is non-existant, unless you cover the stovetop…making it difficult to cook! I do manage, but it feels a bit like punishment! (But full-timing makes up for that inconvenience!!)

  2. exploring FT RV living when last one gets into college (2 years). Reading the article and comments is interesting. Family thing understood. But traveling will enable us to visit family and friends we have NOT seen because of distance. They’re spread all over the country! Friends? Same thing. I don’t think our kids will return to the area. They will likely be in NY or CHI and the other one in Phoenix or Dallas. We want a snobird kind of life. Planning on staying put each winter in a different [warm] place until the Lord says it’s time. Traveling here and there for spring through the fall. Although we’re leaving the door open for a casida or other permanent home. We love Maine, but Canada and the far West is on the bucket list. The ultimate is the Canadian trans highway to Alaska. Would love to find another nomad couple to travel with, but would be content with meet as you go friends. Space is the big one for me. going from over 11,000 square foot of buildings to 400+ is going to take 2 years to get ready for. I plan to begin in June. I make things all the time in my woodshop for the RV, I’ll probably miss that most. But of all things, Jeanne A Davenport nailed it best… the bathroom. Can someone tell me why RVs don’t have nice bathrooms unless you spend 7 digits? We like a 2 person shower and the only way I’ve seen one is to do a custom unit…. ChaChing! That’s 6 foot by 3 foot or 18 square feet, or less than 5% of available space. Seems like it should be do-able.

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