RV Fulltiming Problems You Rarely See on YouTube

It’s not always the wonderland you see on the Internet. Your troubles aren’t merely eliminated; they are replaced with other, less familiar ones.  Here are a few of them you might experience.

  1. You’ll still have a commute. Even if you don’t maintain a job, you need to go into town for supplies, food, or parts once in a while. The smaller your rig, the more often you’ll have to do it.  On top of all that, many of you will be in a given city for the first time; you don’t know where their traffic bottlenecks are, and you have to rely on GPS, maps, or intuition a lot more than you did before.
  2. There is clear stigma and confusion in other people’s perceptions of fulltimers. They’ll call you a hobo and a trust fund baby in the same day. Sometimes the line between “retired” and “trailer trash” is blurry.
  3. Work-life balance:  Some people will think you’re basically always on vacation. The opposite side of this coin is that some telecommuters have trouble establishing boundaries to keep their employers in check. Finding and maintaining the right balance can be difficult.
  4. RVs are not designed for rugged life. They don’t hold up well over tens or hundreds of thousands of miles. You’ve got all the problems of a big truck plus many of the problems of a small house plus the problems of camping.
  5. Continuity
    1. Most of the places you’ll go are new and unfamiliar. You rarely know where anything is.
    2. Maintaining relationships with friends and family can be harder if they lived near home; though it can be easier if you’ll be traveling in their area.
    3. You don’t have enough time with people you meet to scratch much past the surface. Most interpersonal relationships will be superficial.
  6. Laws, and legal systems in general, aren’t designed to accommodate fulltiming.  The Government expects you to have an address so they can summons you to jury duty, and so you can get a license, register your car, etc.
  7. The legal differences among a residence, a domicile, a vehicle, and a home are vague, poorly defined; and they somewhat overlap. There’s a lot of gray area over the subject of “where do you live?”. For example, fishing, hunting, and many other types of licenses from one state are not generally honored by other states; but for some reason, driver’s licenses are.
  8. Costs vary widely and can be difficult to predict. RV life and van life can be very expensive, or very cheap. Your estimates will often be missing key expenses, and your estimates will often be very high or very low.
  9. Health insurance providers often require you to go to a doctor in your “home” state, and will not pay expenses out-of-state. Doctors and other service providers will often expect you to be in town so you can get a follow-up a few months later.
  10. Pets
    1. You can’t take them everywhere. You’ll end up keeping them in the vehicle or a kennel more often than you want.
    2. You don’t have a fence, unless you bring a portable one; so your dog needs to be either on a leash, or well trained. In fact many places will require the leash anyway – even for cats.
    3. Cats like to jump and climb and go everywhere. This may cause you trouble while you’re driving.
  11. RVs can be cramped with multiple people trying to share one hallway
  12. RVs are larger, and therefore more difficult to maneuver, than other vehicles
  13. You must be constantly vigilant of your tanks, fuel, propane, and battery charge
    1. No real plumbing, small water supply, usually only a few gallons of hot water at a time
    2. RVs have tiny sinks and counters that make it hard to use them. In fact, everything is just a little too small.
  14. It can be hard to connect to the Internet, and it’s usually slow and unreliable
  15. RV parks and campgrounds have a lot of comings and goings, and thus are rarely quiet
  16. RV mechanics are expensive; $90-130/hr; and that’s if you can find one.
  17. Some people don’t like change. Change is constant and inescapable. Uncertainty is ever-present.
  18. RVs tend to have a lot of wood, and a lot of condensation. The results are mold and rot, often in places you can’t see.
  19. Everywhere you go has different bugs, rodents, and maybe dangerous wildlife. It can be difficult to keep up as you travel.

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