Have you ever wondered what living in an RV is like?
When I think back to making the decision to sell the house and move into the RV full-time, my mind was filled with questions about what living in an RV would be like.
How would it feel to live in such a small space?
Would I miss my house?
What would others think?
Was there a good way to figure out what I really needed since I had to whittle my belongings down to almost nothing?
I smile at some of the questions I am now asked. Then I realize I had many of the same questions!
Living in an RV is a concept many people have trouble wrapping their mind around.
I call it the ‘unconventional’ way of living because it is not the old-fashioned dream that comes to mind. You know the one I am talking about, owning a house with a white picket fence and living happily ever after with a perfect life.
Hmmm…I wonder if this dream is still alive or if it has gone by the wayside as the dream has moved to experiencing the wonderful creations of the world?
More and more people, young and old alike, are living this lifestyle of freedom. They are creating their own adventures rather than staying in one place for a lifetime.
Most questions I get are more about the actual RV life.
Things about living space, what do I do all day, what do I eat (seriously!) I get fewer questions about the technical aspect. For example, how do you hook up the RV to the pickup, or what do you I if the air-conditioner breaks?
When I started keeping a journal of the questions I was asked, I found the same questions were asked over and over.
These questions are from friends, family, my blog readers, and even strangers from gas stations and RV parks.
It includes the questions I get asked most often. Some of them may also be your questions if you’re considering transitioning from a house to living in an RV!I enjoy talking about the RV lifestyle in hopes of helping others to make their decision, as well as just satisfying their curiosity! Click To Tweet
1 | Were you scared to sell your house and move into an RV? Didn’t that feel too permanent?
I wouldn’t say ‘scared’ is the right word.
Of course there was some apprehension if it was the right decision. Sometimes I wondered if I would regret it. I also wondered what it would be like.
I grew up travelling RV style. Also we owned a 5th wheel when our boys were young, but that was not in recent years. My closest experience to this lifestyle was that my mom had lived in a 5th wheel for 5+ years. My familiarity came from visiting her.
Like anything in life, nothing has to be permanent unless we want it to be! If it was not a good choice, nothing was keeping me from moving back into a house. With this in mind I figured, why not try it!
Of course, I have been called a risk-taker throughout my life so it just felt like a new adventure to me!
I also had a serious incentive that was the biggest part of the plan and reason!
2 | What do you eat?
This is a fun question, because I wonder if I had this same question at one time!
I even had a close friend ask me this!
Thinking back to when I would visit my mom, I do remember being amazed that she could fix a complete meal when I would visit. Looking back I wonder why this felt so ‘amazing’ to me! ?
I eat normal food … just like you! ?
I cook just like I did in my house.
I have an oven, a stove, a microwave, and all my favorite kitchen appliances.
There are couple of my kitchen appliances that would make living in the RV a bit harder. The first is my 4-in-1 Ninja cooking system. (Don’t confuse this ninja with the 3-in-1 or 2-in-1 cookers – it is so much better than either of them!) The other is my countertop dishwasher.
I also have a gas grill for the evenings I want to cook outside! It isn’t quite the same as the propane grill we had at the house, but it gives us a similar grilling out experience!
I still love to experiment with new recipes, and I keep all my favorite spices just like I did in our house!
The only difference is I can’t keep near as many ingredients on hand. There simply isn’t room for that. I tend to do my grocery shopping a week at a time instead of 2+ weeks in advance.
3 | How do you take care of normal daily responsibilities, such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.?
Except for the fact that I have a LOT less to do (because of the smaller space), I still do daily tasks to keep everything spiffy.
My RV has a washer and dryer, which I love! In fact, when I started RV shopping I didn’t look at models without the washer/dryer hookup.
Mine is the vented model. It also comes in a non-vented model, which is the one my mom used to have. I would personally choose the vented unit over the non-vented.
People without a washer/dryer simply go to a laundromat, the same as people that live in an apartment and don’t have them. Most RV parks have a laundromat as part of their facilities.
There are two things I hate to do in reference to ‘grownup’ responsibilities.
Those two things are ironing and washing dishes!
The ironing part is easy. I just don’t buy clothes that have to be ironed! The dishes part is a little bit harder.
I found myself dreading to cook and spending extra money on paper plates and cups. When I would have to use something that had to be washed (there is no way around pots and pans!), it would sit in my sink for several days until I didn’t have a choice but to wash it!
As soon as we got the new RV, a countertop dishwasher was the first thing I bought! (See #2 if you skipped over it.) It took some work to get it hooked up because the RV faucet wasn’t compatible.
We replaced the faucet with an actual home kitchen faucet, which worked like a charm!
I run it at least twice a day! ?
To make more counter space and replace what I lost, I got a solid top for my stove. It has been absolutely fabulous!
Even without a dishwasher taking up counter space, anyone living in an RV needs to add this kitchen accessory!
Before I was living in the RV, I had the Dyson cordless pet vacuum. It has every attachment you could think of and need. If I hadn’t already had it, I would definitely add a cordless vacuum with various attachments to my list of necessities!
4 | Don’t you feel bad that your dogs have to stay in such a small space?
Giving up the pet door (this is the one we had) in our house was a difficult transition.
Izzy especially loved spending lots of time outside at her free will. If I couldn’t find her she was typically sunning her snuggly body in the sun!
It was also super nice not to have to get up in the middle of the night to let them outside or worry I needed to rush home for them if I spent more time doing errands than planned.
Izzy misses being able to lay in the yard and snuggle in the grass on warm, sunny days!
Once we got past that, we all adapted and it has been good! (It is something I still miss, though.)
Bear and Izzy have learned to ask me to let them out. Izzy Girl is perfect! Bear is a little rebel in disguise so he gets to wear doggie diapers (this is them!) most of the time! ?
5 | Do you feel unsafe (or safe) living in an RV park?
I have never felt unsafe. However, just like anywhere, you need to be aware of your surroundings, lock vehicles, choose RV parks that are well-kept and well-lit, etc.
The internet has opened up the opportunity to read reviews and do general research before you pull into an RV park. This really helps to find safe parks.
Another way to gather information is to join some of the RVer Facebook groups.
With all the travelers in these groups there is likely someone you can connect with that has been where you are going. They are usually more than happy to help you out, share where they stayed and their experience, etc.
There have been a couple of RV parks I have stayed in that I would not return to for a stay.
I have personally found fellow RVers to be super friendly! However, as a female who is often traveling alone I cannot be too cautious and I always use my common sense!
6 | How do you financially afford not to go to a ‘job’ every day?
I was fortunate to have a job that allowed me to work on the internet when I transitioned from house to RV. As a university professor, as long as I had internet service I could work from any location.
However, the opportunity to work remotely is available more today than ever before. The internet has opened up income opportunities that no one could have ever imagined even 15-20 years ago.
While I worked for the university, I always started a blog with the strategy to build it into a business.
One of the most-asked questions ever is, “How can I make money so I can travel?”
If you are serious about making this a reality, my blog It Started With A Blog is the perfect place for you to learn more about how to start a business online and truly ‘work from anywhere.’
7 | How do you get your mail?
There are numerous ways to set up mail service as an RVer.
When first getting started most RVers have their mailing address set to a family member or close friend. Every week or two the mail is packaged up and sent to their current location. (This is what I did.)
There are also professional mail forwarding services available that can be used once you know where you will establish your permanent domicile.
There are numerous ways to set up mail service as an RVer.
When first getting started most RVers have their mailing address set to a family member or close friend. Every week or two the mail is packaged up and sent to their current location.
There are also professional mail forwarding services available that can be used once you know where you will establish your permanent domicile.
8 | Do you feel like you are on vacation everyday? I love going on vacation, but I always look forward to returning home?
I was worried about this as well!
However, I have easily adapted and my RV feels like home (because it is!)
I have everything I need, I’m comfortable, my bed is awesome with the upgrade from the original factory mattress, and it is less space to keep clean!
I refer to this living like a turtle that lives in their shell. They carry their home with them everywhere they go! ?
I do love not having to pack a suitcase! I also love not worrying I’m forgetting something when I go to a conference, etc.
9 | Do you really go ‘#2’ in the RV? Where does it go?
Yes, #2 – aka poo – Ok … I said it (almost!)
I call it the ‘unsexy side’ of living in an RV. However, no matter what you call it the outcome is the same! ?
I never thought I would be talking about my bathroom habits, especially writing about them, online for the world to see!
It isn’t exactly my favorite part of RV life. But what is 100% fun with anything we do?
I carry plastic gloves for the times I need them. This way they are always available. I follow the factory recommendations to keep my black tank from malfunctioning or overflowing (ick).
Basically, I worked through this non-negotiable part of living in an RV and adapted.
10 | How did you decide what type of RV to buy?
I have not done a lot of RVing even though it has been part of my life over the years. We owned a 5th wheel when the boys were younger and my mom has lived in her RV for quite a few years now.
I did research to see what I wanted, and then I looked at different makes and models for several months before making the actual purchase.
Going to RV shows is a great way to get an idea of what you would be comfortable living in as your home.
The more you shop the more you learn.
You need to make a list of the amenities and features that are non-negotiable for your lifestyle. For example, the washer/dryer hookup was on my list. I wouldn’t even walk into one without this and when looking on a lot, I only had the salesman show me RVs with this feature.
You have to be firm or they will try to talk you into what is best for them to make a sale. Don’t waste your time or theirs. Remember this is going to be your home. If you know something is important, don’t budge.
The next thing you will look at (even if it shouldn’t be the most important) is the floor plan. The first time I walked into an RV with the front living area, I knew that was what I wanted.
I still love it as much as I did when I walked into the first one with this floor plan.
It just takes time reading, talking to others, and mostly going inside of them to develop your own personal preferences.
I recommend getting a notebook and taking it with you every time you go shopping so all your notes are in the same place.
If you are taking photos with your smart phone, before you walk inside of a unit snap a photo of the make, model and floor plan that is on a sticker beside the door (on the exterior.)
This way you know all the pictures behind the photo of the sticker go with that model. Otherwise, your pictures will all start to look the same and you will be even more confused!
I still love my FL375 Montana High Country RV! The front living room makes it feel like a true home. It creates a separate living area that breaks up the floor plan between the living room, kitchen and bedroom (located in the rear.)
11 | How did you get your family to quit thinking you were crazy when you told them?
I think some of my friends and family still think I am crazy! ?
I have never been one to do what others want or expect, but rather I tend to make my own path. This was no different!
However, we all want the people who are closest to us to support our decision and be excited for the change. Explain your plans, what you are excited about, and let them know their support is what you need even if they cannot give you their blessing.
12 | Do you watch TV? How do you get the channels?
Most RV parks have cable service that plugs into the RV port with a fairly good selection of channels.
However, if this is not available, local channels can be picked up with the RV antenna so news and weather can be watched, along with a few other generic channels.
I have used Direct TV Now, which offers an excellent selection of channels anywhere the internet is available. There are no contracts to sign, and everything is virtual so there is no equipment to pack around.
I currently use Dish Anywhere since we have Dish installed at a permanent location where Dave lives.
With the invention of smart TVs, a person can watch pretty much anything they want. It is so much different than it used to be! I thought (and still think) it is really odd that a lot of high-end RVs do not equipped with a smart TV included. It simply doesn’t make sense to have to buy one independent.
The key is that access to the internet is a necessity.
13 | What do you do if a bad storm comes? Don’t you feel unsafe?
I make sure I have a plan of action if a bad storm were to hit.
For example, I recall a specific time a real bad thunderstorm was forecast to hit with high winds, potential tornadoes, and heavy rain.
I got the bathroom codes from the RV manager in case I needed to get to a safe place.
I recommend installing the NOAA weather app on your smart phone. Set it to sound an alarm if severe weather is approaching.
Above all don’t stay in an RV if extreme weather is approaching. Your safety is more important than anything else.
14 | Do you have enough water to take a shower every day? Is it a nice hot shower?
Ha! This is a fun one!
And yes, I can take a nice hot shower and I can stay in almost as long as I want! (Dave’s shower might not be so nice in that case, though!)
However, I do have to limit the time because I don’t have unlimited hot water. This will depend on the size of the hot water tank in your RV. I have a 6 gallon tank and while I have never timed my shower, I think I have hot water for about 15 minutes.
15 | What do you do for internet service?
Since my work depends on having a strong internet connection, at one time I carried both Verizon and T-Mobile cell phone service.
I also have a cell phone booster that increases my service strength. If I am in a place where the service bar on my iPhone is down to one bar, it will increase the strength of 1-2 bars.
Most campgrounds have internet service available as well, similar to how a hotel offers WIFI. However, my personal experience has been that the service is intermittent and often literally impossible to even connect.
For this reason, I quit trying to connect to park WIFI long ago.
I currently use T-Mobile wireless service (the unlimited plan) by putting their sim card in an unlocked Cricket USB modem. I then put this modem in the Peplink USB router and use it for my internet service.
It isn’t always perfect service, but in almost 3 years I have never been without the internet completely for more than a few minutes. Only seldom does the service lag so much that I cannot stream movies online.
The majority of the time I can stream and be online on my computer at the same time without any problems.
When I first moved into the RV I was working for Progressive Insurance. It was mandatory that I had a hard-wired internet connection (WIFI was not an option.)
It took me a chunk of time to figure out how to do that, but I did, and it worked perfectly! I have been asked to share how I did that so check back for a post on how to create a hard-wired internet connection in an RV.
This is one of the most common requirements many companies require to be able to work online. On the same token, it is the most common challenge people have trying to find a way to be compliant so they can work remotely outside of a house.
16 | Don’t you feel cramped in such a small space?
I used to watch tiny house shows not only because I enjoyed them, but also because the concept was intriguing to me.
However, I never thought I would actually make the move into such a small space permanently or even semi-permanently!
I have found it freeing to have the material things of exactly what I need and nothing more. When I go shopping it saves so much money to simply “window shop” because there is no place to put extra ‘things’!
As far as feeling cramped, that has never been an issue. On that topic, I have to admit I admire the families that live in an RV with a family. It would be a challenge for me to be in this small of a space with children for an extended length of time (just being honest!)
17 | What did you do with all the stuff in your house when you sold it?
This one is simple.
I donated most of it and sold the rest.
The hardest part was going through everything and dividing it up to decide what to do with it.
Because there isn’t much space in an RV, if you are looking for the perfect gift for a friend that lives in an RV you will love my post Gift Ideas For RV Owners.
18 | How do you pay your bills?
Most of my bills are paid online through my bank.
I used this method even before I was living in an RV full-time. If I need to mail a bill, I do it just like I always did – an envelope, stamp, and check!
Also, most banks and credit unions will print and mail a check for you through the bill option if you request it. I use this service more frequently than mailing the paper check myself.
19 | Do you like living in an RV?
I actually like it much more than I even anticipated!
As previously mentioned, I have watched the tiny house shows for quite some time and while the thought intrigued me, I never thought I could actually live in such a small space.
Once I made the decision to move forward, I am loving it!
There are still things I miss about my house, which is normal.
I don’t know that I will live in the RV permanently since I am not traveling nearly as much as originally planned. However, it is much less expensive than living in a house. It also has much less maintenance and upkeep than a house.
20 | Do you miss your house or have any regrets?
This is another simple one.
I do not have any regrets.
And yes, there are things I miss. I think if I said otherwise I would not be being honest with you or myself.
21 | How do you stay healthy and stay in shape in such a small area?
I really like my body blades.
They create a great workout at home and they don’t take up much space. The long slim shape of them is perfect for storing in the under storage area or on the floor of the bedroom closet.
I am also a member of Planet Fitness gym.
One of the things I appreciate most about Planet Fitness is the fact that they are nationwide plus in several other countries. Not only are they nationwide but they are easy to locate with the 2,000th location opening in January 2020.
With the black membership level I can visit any of them without paying anything extra from my regular monthy membership fee.
In reality all you really need to stay in shape is a pair of walking shoes and a healthy diet. It is amazing how little you really need (in the way of large or expensive equipment) to stay fit and healthy!
Final Words On 21 Most Asked Questions About Living In An RV
Living in an RV has been an experience I am glad I was willing to try.
There are pros and cons, ups and downs, and things I miss about my house.
However, if I moved back into a house there would be things I miss about the RV! One perfect example would be the small amount of cleaning space. I don’t have to spend an entire day deep-cleaning like I did in my house!
If you are thinking about living in an RV and have questions I didn’t answer, shoot me an email or post them in the comments below.
I will do my best to answer as honestly as possible so you can make the best decision for your personal circumstances!
If you are considering moving into an RV and have wondered about the differences between a tiny house and RV, my post The Tiny House And RV Debate: Which Is Right For You will answer all your questions!
Do you live in an RV and have a different perspective than I shared? Please share below!