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What You Should Know About Stationary RV Living

stationary RV living in forest
Stationary RV living offers a slower pace of life – Photo: Shutterstock

10 Tips For Stationary RV Living

Some people believe that those who live in an RV must travel all the time, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are plenty of people who live in their RVs but never move them. There are many reasons for stationary RV living, and choosing this lifestyle can be incredibly beneficial.

Perhaps you’re looking to save some money, or maybe you just like the idea of tiny living and want to start living more minimally. Some people even find that RV parks offer an awesome sense of community that many “typical” neighborhoods don’t have, leading them to live in their RVs just to be a part of one of those close-knit communities.

Whatever the reason one might choose stationary RV living, they are likely looking for tips and tricks to make this lifestyle as pleasant as possible. Does this sound like you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Below are our 10 best tips for stationary RV living.

1. Go big and pick a towable

Those who travel often might look for a good balance between space and something that is easy to move and park when shopping for an RV. Those who will be stationary in their RVs have the benefit of rarely moving them, meaning portability is less of a concern. Therefore, you will want to go big. This ensures you have plenty of space to make yourself comfortable. 

Additionally, when shopping for an RV, we recommend sticking to something towable. Fifth wheels tend to offer more space, but even a bumper-pull travel trailer is preferable over a motorhome for stationary RV living. Why? Because you won’t be moving the RV, meaning paying for an engine and everything that goes along with it is a waste of money. 

2. Skip the tow vehicle

Okay, so you have your towable RV picked out. What now? Some people might assume the next step is to buy a tow vehicle, and if you were going to be traveling, that would be the next thing on your to-do list. However, since you won’t be moving regularly, we suggest skipping the tow vehicle and paying someone to move your new tiny home for you.

Big trucks are expensive and they guzzle gas. Why own one if you’ll rarely need to actually tow with it?

3. Choose your park wisely

We’ve already established that you’ll be staying out for quite some time. So, it only makes sense that you’ll want to make sure you’re going to be totally happy wherever you park. 

If you are not parking your RV on private property, we recommend seeking out a park with other long-term residents. Amenities such as a pool and sports courts are super nice to have as well, and space between sites is crucial since you’ll likely want to spend time outdoors. Finally, you will definitely want to make sure you get along with park management. 

Another thing to consider when seeking out a park is cost. Most parks offer seasonal sites, annual sites,or a monthly rate. Don’t worry so much about nightly rates. Instead find out what those long-term rates are, do some price comparisons, and choose something that fits well into your budget. 

Take your time to read campground reviews to see what other RVers are saying. Also, make sure you consider lease terms, and make sure you’re able and willing to stay for the duration of whatever contract your sign. In some cases, you’ll only be required to stay one month. In other cases, you might be committing to a full year. 

4. Factor in utilities

Many times, RVers in long-term sites are expected to pay their own water, electric, and even trash bills. Sometimes, parks may provide mailboxes, but other times you’ll be expected to figure out and pay for mail on your own by using a post office box or a mail service such as Escapees

Make sure to take these extra expenses into consideration. Find out how much the average bill is if you can, and ensure you can afford that amount on top of the cost of site rent. 

5. Leave your black tank shut

Okay, so this is a funny little tip that might seem specific, but is also very important. Because you’ll be staying long term, chances are you’ll have a sewer hookup at your site. This is wonderful, but using that hookup correctly is key.

Yes, you can leave your sewer hose hooked up all the time, and generally it’s even okay to leave the gray tank open, except when dumping the black tank. The thing you don’t want to do is leave the black tank open after dumping it. Doing this allows all the fluids to drain out of the tank, leaving only the solids behind to build up into a poo pyramid and eventually cause big tank troubles.

Always close your black tank after dumping and try to dump only when the tank is at least 75% full to help ensure all solids are washed away. 

6. Install skirting and get a heated hose

Unless you live in the south, stationary RV living almost certainly means braving the cold in your fifth wheel or travel trailer. In order to do this comfortably, you will need to be set up right.

Make sure to install skirting around the rig before the cold weather hits. If your area consistently gets below freezing, consider putting a heat lamp or small space heater under the rig to keep pipes warm.

A heated freshwater hose is also a good idea, as it will ensure your water is running each morning after the temperatures drop overnight.

7. Spend more time outside

Spending too much time cooped up in the small amount of space an RV offers could potentially drive you crazy. This is especially true if you don’t live by yourself, and even more so if you have kids. 

To combat this, spend as much time outside as possible. Have cookouts, go on walks around the campground, take advantage of outdoor campground amenities, and make sure your campsite is comfortable enough that you want to hang out there. 

8. Consider switching everything to electric

Refilling propane tanks constantly is annoying. Some people choose to have a giant tank put in on their site, but not all campgrounds allow this. Besides, using propane heats up the RV in summer and creates excessive condensation inside in the winter. Therefore, we recommend switching to all electric.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to rip out the RV cooking appliances. You can simply choose to use electric cooking gadgets such as an Instant Pot and/or an air fryer instead.

That said, one appliance you might want to consider replacing is the refrigerator, as small residential fridges work much better and offer more storage space. Another thing that might be worth replacing is the water heater. If you do replace a propane water heater, consider going with a tankless option, which will provide endless hot water. 

9. Make yourself at home

Obviously, you want to feel comfortable in your home. Don’t be afraid to change things up in order to do just that. Don’t love the dinette? Pull it out and replace it with a table and chairs. Hate the color scheme in your rig? Paint, put up new window treatments, add some decor and/or other accent pieces, and generally brighten the place up. 

10. Get to know the neighbors

Last but not least, we recommend getting to know your neighbors. We mentioned before that one of the benefits that stationary RV living offers is the ability to be a part of an RV park community. Take advantage of that by talking with the neighbors, attending campground events, and even hosting cookouts or other events of your own.

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.

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