Call us crazy and maybe even against the RV community norm, but today’s post is all about why we have officially decided NOT to full time RV. Our journey started out innocently purchasing our RV. We had no idea there was a so-called “RV lifestyle” out there. It is DEFINITELY a thing we very quickly came to find out. What we were after was the lure of freedom, adventure, and a place to put our heads during our vacations that didn’t cost $350 per night in prime time North Carolina season. So, buying a travel trailer was our next big life changing moment.
We dove headfirst into #RVlife. We were seriously hooked! Every other weekend throughout the summer months of 2019 were spent at a lake or the beach. I mean, we were “vacationing” every other weekend. It was the life we wanted to live every second of everyday! I swear, we live our best life on the lake or at the beach. Each time we have gone, it’s this kumbaya moment for all of us. Simply put- it is our happy place. Why wouldn’t we want to do this full time??? So many people we see on Instagram or Facebook are dreaming of full time travel, on the way to making it happen, or are already full time traveling. The idea of being minimalists, focusing on family and adventure, leaving the 9-5 job, and traveling to see things we would never get to see otherwise is so alluring. We saw why so many people wanted to go full time even from the very first weekend we took our camper out!
We did a test run of full-timing when we hit the road on December 15th, 2019. We spent 28 days on the road in our travel trailer with our daughter and 85 lb pupster. We started our journey on the road in NC and traveled all the way down to the Florida Keys. We stopped at amazing places along the way including Charleston in SC and Key West in FL. We saw some amazing sights, ate such delicious food, and had the time of our life!
But…. we learned a few things about ourselves along the way that made us decide why we, as a family, as a couple, and as parents, in this season of our lives, decided we didn’t want to make RVing and travel into a full time gig.
Home Base With Lots of Property
RVing has its perks- one of them is the opportunity to have the world as your backyard- the freedom to go to the lake, the beach, or on a mountain anytime you want and have your home in tow. To city camp with many people or head into the woods with nothing but you and the open air. The only thing you can’t do with an RV is guarantee that your home base surroundings looks and feels like just the way you want it everywhere you go. You can’t always choose to be right on the lake or right on the beach. That lakefront spot in certain places certainly has a premium cost to stay there!
Our dream from the very beginning has been to build a house on land. Not a big house by any means. An 1800 sq ft home, open concept, 3 bedroom, 2 bath kind of home. The dream always involved this kind of house on ACREAGE….and lots of it! The idea of picking that perfect piece of property to build a home base is just as alluring to us as it is to go out on the weekend to our favorite lake in our RV! Just because you want a home doesn’t mean your travel life needs to suffer. Just because you want to travel also doesn’t mean you can’t have a house. That’s what we might call having your cake and eating it too.
A Garage- A BIG, BIG Garage
Sure, we can pick up a toy hauler with a garage in the back. It is totally a doable option. It is perfect for on the road storage for motorcycles, golf carts, dirt bikes and you name it. Toy haulers are a great option and maybe one day we will get one, BUTTTT, have you met my husband?! I know for a fact I’m not the only wife out there with a husband that loves his toys (and many of them), keeping them clean, organized, and who needs plenty of room to work on them.
A one car garage is NOT going to cut it in this family. We are talking 3 car garage, 14 foot doors (because we need a lift, duh!) and another bay for the RV. Ya know, we don’t have anything too specific in mind. Point being, if hubby wants a garage, who am I to stop him from living his best life in that thing? Our last home didn’t have one, which was a sacrifice we made at the time. If the dream is still to have a garage, go big or go home, right!!
A Career In An Industry That Doesn't Allow For Working Remotely
Ok, in all seriousness, regardless of wants, hopes and desires to travel full time, having a career that is not built to be done remotely is an instant deal breaker. Don’t get me wrong- we follow a few people on their travel journey that have contracting work that allow them to be stationary for a few weeks and then they pick up and are on the move again. Unfortunately, the career I am established in is not of that sort. My job specific training takes 2-3 months before I am actually allowed to work on anything of substance!
And while I am looking for other ways to make a living doing something else that would allow us to travel full time and work remotely, it’s just not a reality for us at this moment. I’m sure this is the case for plenty of working families. Never say never- I mean weirder things have happened in our lives. So, I will never say I couldn’t work remotely and if the opportunity presents itself I would take the leap in a heartbeat. But sometimes, work (especially if you went to college and had/have student loans) takes away the “choice” everyone says you can make to go full time. For our family, in this moment, working in an office is not a choice, it’s a priority.
Public Schools vs. Homeschooling
Something we could not ever see ourselves doing is homeschooling our daughter. Trust me, there have been a few conversations about it. As much as I would love to say I have the temperament, the patience, and the willingness to lead my daughter through pre-k, kindergarten, 1st grade and beyond, I just don’t. AND THAT’S OK! There are teachers out there that have gone through the proper schooling, are professionals in their careers and just have the tenacity to teach day in and day out. We will leave that teaching to them. We trust those professionals to help guide our child through math and history.
I know there are other options for homeschooling… I have looked into them…but it’s just not the route we want to take right now. Especially if you have a child that has had certain delays or has needed therapy, there are particular things in life that you just need to leave to professionals. For us, having a home base guarantees the best possible schooling and therapies for our child. This is our top priority regardless of how much we might want to go full time. Point. Blank.
Loooong, Hot Showers
I constantly read those who RV full time miss their long, hot showers the most. We got a glimpse of this while we were on our month long adventure. I can do the 4 minute military shower only for so long. I am into the 25 minute long, stand under the water and drift off into neverland, steam up the mirror, make the bathroom 95 degrees, kind of shower. Our 6 gallon hot water tank (even if we upgraded to a 12 gallon) doesn’t last very long. And even if you can get more than 5 minutes of hot water, you are completely subject to the pressure at your site.
Taking The Magic Out Of RV Travel
Even if we could work remotely, are willing to home school our daughter, and solve the shower RV shower problem, I sooooo wonder if the magic of our weekend getaways would start to feel less magical over time. We could be parked directly on a beach, but if we have to be inside to do 8 hours worth of work or take time during the day for homeschooling, does any of that diminish the relaxing nature that RVing currently brings to our lives? Personally, leaving for the lake to unplug completely and float in a tube for an entire weekend is THE most relaxing, enjoyable thing out there. Would the feeling still be the same if I had to lug the computer along to work part of that time? or home school part of that time? I’m not so sure.
Life Is Hard No Matter Where You Are Parked
Life is hard….. It is hard no matter where you live. Just because you live in a camper and are parked on the most beautiful beach and watch the most beautiful sunsets each night, life will still get super challenging at times. There will always be bills to be paid, medical issues that arise, work to be done, kids that have tantrums (yes! even in Disney, the most magical place on Earth, there will be not so magical toddler meltdowns!) and many other things that just make life plain hard sometimes.
We were fortunate enough to leave for a month- we had no RV or tow rig issues arise, no medical issues, no bills to be paid and got to completely unplug from work and school. It was an amazing and relaxing yet adventurous experience for our family. I imagine as you start adding “normal life” back into your days, it gets tough, even in your RV. For us, going full time to escape everyday life is just so unrealistic….life is hard no matter where you are parked!
I just want to remind everyone who are going through their own journey with traveling- it is perfectly OK if someone wants to buy a super expensive RV. It is OK if you want an A Class RV or a travel trailer or even a pop up. It is also equally OK if you want to buy a cheap RV and renovate it. It is perfectly OK if you are someone who DOESNT want to buy an RV. It is OK if you would prefer to spend your money at a hotel. Just like there is NOTHING wrong with full time RVing, there is NOTHING wrong with deciding NOT to full time RV.
Since putting it out there on social media that we won’t be perusing full-timing we have lost some followers. Apparently, this is what happens when a lot of families on social media stop their full time journey. Ultimately, the idea of following or unfollowing someone’s journey on social media just because they aren’t following what you think their path or adventure should be bewilders us. We will always follow those who are positive, enjoying life, and throwing out some awesome tips along the way. No matter where our journey leads us, whether that be full time, weekend warriors, or parking our RV in a garage next to our house, what we hope to inspire is the importance of gratitude, family, and living your best life R.I.G.H.T. N.O.W. in this very moment.