Considering the freedom of an RV life? Wondering how do people afford to live in an RV full time? Our family has been full-time RV living for over 7 years. Read on to learn tips to afford full-time RVing.
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Can I Afford To RV Full Time?
Many prospective full time RV living travelers wonder if this lifestyle is something that they can afford. In fact, finances are sadly what hold back so many people from pursuing this dream.
You may find that camper life is more doable financially than you thought! There are many factors to look at when deciding if you can afford RV living.
The best place to start is to figure out what the full time RV lifestyle will cost and what your source of income will be on the road. Let’s dive in!
1) How Much Does Full Time RVing Cost?
I want to be super honest here and say that full-time RVing isn’t always a cheap lifestyle! In fact, RV living costs more than we originally planned, and I will explain why below.
Most travelers living in an RV full-time spend between 3,000-5,000 per month. The cost varies widely depending on your family size and how you decide to travel.
Some living in an RV full time spend as little as $1,600 per month, but we have also seen families that spend $6,000 or more each month.
Our family of 3 averages about $4,500 on an average month of traveling, but it can be much higher if we have RV repairs.
2) Is It Cheap To Live In An RV? The Truth!
It can be cheap to live in an RV, but most people full-time RV living find out that there are many hidden expenses that make it more expensive than they planned.
The largest expense that makes RV living cost more than most travelers expect is RV repairs and maintenance.
There are very frequent repairs needed in RVing, and this can get extremely expensive at times.
We always recommend that when you create your RV living budget, that you factor in a few hundred dollars each month on repairs and maintenance because most months will have something unexpected to pay for.
It also helps to have a savings account for unexpected costs. For example, if your RV has to go in for repairs, you may need to spend an extended amount of time in a hotel.
3) Saving Money – How Can I Live RV Life For Cheap?
There are some simple ways to keep costs down to make RV living cheaper. Here are a few quick ways to maximize your budget while full time camper living.
Campgrounds can be one of the largest expenses in the RVing lifestyle. Full time RVing for cheap often means boondocking or dry camping for free versus paid campgrounds.
Taking advantage of free overnight stays en route to a destination in allowed parking areas, such as some casinos, Cabellas, Walmart, and Cracker Barrels, can really help stretch your RV budget.
Always verify that each location allows RVers to park overnight. Each location has different rules, and some don’t allow RVs to stay.
You can also find campground savings such as campground memberships and discount programs if you would rather stay with hookups.
Our favorite memberships and discounts are Passport America, Harvest Hosts, RPI, and Thousand Trails.
Gas is a considerable expense in full time RVing. Some simple tips to decrease gas costs are to stay longer in each location and keep your travels in one general location.
Our family loves to stay in one area for at least two weeks but often longer and travel to a new location within 200 miles.
This limits travel days to 1-2 times per month and keeps the distance and gas costs down. Plus, there is always so much to see in any general area that you will never be bored.
Also, look for the lowest gas prices by using apps like Gas Buddy and gas savings cards like the program that Good Sam offers members.
Costco or Sams Club can be great places to save on gas for members, and we have found that some Costco locations also have diesel. It’s worth it to check.
4) Income – How Do People Make Money While Living In An RV Full Time?
Now that we have a better idea of what full time RVing costs and how to save a little on the largest RV living expenses of campgrounds and gas, let’s talk about income on the road.
Do you have a source of income now that you can take with you while traveling? Some RVers are retired, have a small business, or have an online job that is easy to perform while traveling.
Other full time RVers switch their current job to an online position, start freelance work in their current industry or start over completely with a new online job to become a digital nomad.
Some that RV full time find work out on the road once they have launched into the RV living lifestyle. Read on for more ideas of work for RVers.
Our family launched into RV living with a small business in an online MLM that we planned to grow as we traveled.
We have also picked up RVing work along the way through workcamping and started a new online business as digital nomads over our years on the road.
If you are flexible, there are many income options that work well for camper life!
5) Online RV Jobs – What Do Full Time RVers Do For Work?
Digital Nomad Work For RVers
We talked a little bit about working traditional online jobs as camper jobs earlier in this article.
For those that can’t transition their current job to an online position or find an online job in their current industry, there are many customer service opportunities online that are perfect for RV work.
One of our favorite resources for looking for online job opportunities is Rat Race Rebellion. There are many entry-level jobs on this website that work well as camping work while traveling.
RV digital nomads also work online as freelancers, content creators, bloggers, travel writers, video creators, influencers, network marketers, course creators, graphic designers, virtual assistants, consultants, coaches, and many other small businesses.
The options for online jobs on the road while living in a camper full time are limitless!
Internet For RV Online On The Road Jobs
One important factor to mention for those that want to work online while living in an RV is reliable RV internet.
Having your own RV Wifi is a must because campground Wifi is often extremely unreliable. Currently, the best internet for RVing is Starlink RV.
Starlink for RV is RV satellite internet that is fast and truly unlimited service. While not perfect, it is currently the best internet for RVers.
Starlink does need to have a mostly clear sky to work, so having a backup hotspot plan through a cellular carrier is also helpful.
6) Work Camping – What Jobs Are Good For RV Living?
One of the most popular RV jobs for RVing full-time is workamping. This is also known as work camping, working camping, workcamping, or camp host jobs.
What Does Workamping Mean?
Despite all of the different ways to spell or write it, a workamper is often a host camper in a campground.
This is one of the most popular camping jobs because host campers or work camping jobs allow an RVer to often stay for free during the job.
Our favorite workcamping job over the years was in the Florida Keys. We had a cheap campsite just feet from the ocean and earned a nice little income at the same time!
What Do Work Campers Do?
These camp jobs ensure that the campers are checked in, paid, taken care of, and following the rules of the campground.
Sometimes to work camp also means cleaning campsites and bathrooms, performing maintenance, or doing lawn work. It can also mean working in the store or selling firewood.
7) Seasonal Work For RVers
Another popular option for RV work is to take in-person temporary or seasonal jobs in the locations that you travel to. These are abundant in tourist areas during peak seasons.
A very popular option for full time RVers is Amazon Camperforce. These temporary Amazon warehouse jobs are specifically for RV travelers.
The work is very physical, and the hours are long, but it can be a great way to earn a quick buck for a season to get caught up on bills while RV living.
8) Debt – How Do People Afford Full-Time RVing?
A huge part of being about to afford RV living is eliminating debt. Many full time RVers launch with little to no debt to make this lifestyle possible.
What are ways to eliminate debt to make this RV fulltime dream happen for you? Consider using the proceeds from your house, second car, or belongings to purchase your RV and tow vehicle in cash.
Or use those proceeds to pay off current debts while also keeping debt low when choosing your best full time RV living setup to call home.
Some full-time RVers rent their home while they are on the road, which can be a great way to pay the mortgage while also generating some additional income for traveling.
Note that home rental may not be an option in your subdivision. Also, note that you will need someone to care for your home while you are gone if renting it out.
9) Choose An RV To Keep Debt Low – What RV Is Best For Full Time RV Living?
A huge trap that many people fall into when they are getting started RV living full-time is that they take on a large RV loan because they feel that they need the perfect and best full time living RV.
This is very understandable because your RV will be your home during your time on the road, and you want it to be nice.
But honestly, do you know what the best RV for full time living is? The one you can afford that helps you to actually get this dream started!
For our family, we sold our house, furniture, most of our belongings, and second car when we began RV life back in 2015.
Home rental was not an option in our subdivision bylaws. We also didn’t want to worry about taking care of the house or dealing with renters while we were traveling.
We then used the proceeds to buy a dually truck and 5th wheel RV in cash so we could launch debt free.
Was it our dream set up to live in? Nope! But debt free was how we could get into RV living full time right away versus waiting until we had more money.
The best RVs for full time RVing are always the ones that you can afford.
Most travelers find that the RV is just the vehicle that gets them to their adventures. The RV itself isn’t what many are living the RV lifestyle for.
Sure our RV is our home, but the experiences and time together are why we chose to live this lifestyle. Travel is our family’s jam, not tiny living!
FAQs How Do People Afford To Live In An RV Full Time?
Is Full Time RVing Worth It?
Full time RVing is worth it for the epic travel experiences. Living on the road isn’t always cheap and can be a bit of work, but the memories you make are priceless!
Can You Work Remotely From An RV?
Yes, you can work remotely from an RV anywhere that you have an internet connection. Since Starlink RV satellite internet became available to RVers, reliable internet is available in more locations than ever while traveling.
What Jobs Allow You To Live In An RV?
Many in-person and online jobs allow you to live in an RV. Popular online jobs include customer service, freelance work, content creation, travel writing, and network marketing. In-person jobs include travel nursing, seasonal jobs, and workamping.
How Do I Budget For Full Time RVing?
The budget for full time RVing isn’t much different than the cost of living in a home. The expense categories are different, but many travelers find that RV living can cost almost as much as a house. Make sure to include RV and maintenance in the budget.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Live In A RV?
Living stationary in a campground or on privately owned land is the cheapest way to live in an RV. Being stationary has fewer RV repairs and unexpected expenses. If RV traveling, Boondocking is the cheapest way to live in an RV.
Do You Have Your Own Ideas Now For How To Afford To Live In An RV Full Time?
I hope this inspires you to look at your dream of RV living and see how you can afford full-time RVing. There are so many options to get out there and experience this lifestyle for yourself. I hope to see you around the campfire someday!