In my personal blog, I recently posted 9 reasons not to become an RV nomad. I received a few responses that left me thinking that perhaps they thought I wasn't enjoying my new nomadic lifestyle. Au contraire. Nadyne and I are very happy to be full-timers. I had wanted to dispel the notion that everything is wonderful on the road. It isn't all great, but most of it is.
So, here are my top 9 reasons to ditch the 9-to-5 and live in an RV on the road:
9. You can visit friends and family all over the country- When we were living in Denver, how many times do you think we visited my brother in Boston or my daughter in Seattle? Two weeks of vacation per year isn't enough time to fly across country to visit all of one's family, especially if that family is scattered from coast to coast like ours is. We left friends behind in Buffalo, NY, when we moved to Las Vegas that we haven't seen in many years, and that has happened after every move we've made. Seeing these folks in person is a priority to us in this new lifestyle.
8. There's a lot less to clean- We down-sized from almost 1700 square feet to just about 360. Yes, we have to clean more often, but it just doesn't take very long.
7. You can take as long as you want to explore nature or other areas of the country- Again, because of limited vacation time, we were forced to severely limit the distance and duration we traveled, and we put off our Yellowstone trip twice for that very reason. When we do make it there, we may stay a month (if we want to). Also, small towns go unexplored when you have a time limit. Some of those towns are well worth visiting, and now we have the time to do that, wherever we are.
6. Enjoy tourist attractions off-season or middle of the week- Another benefit of setting your own schedule is that you can plan to visit highly-popular parks and attractions when they will be less crowded. You can skip all the Spring Break venues in March and the National Parks in July and August. Being able to do tours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays is a huge advantage as well.
5. Lower your cost of living- Eliminating debt, as we did, helps a lot, but even eliminating mortgage or rent payments is a big help. Whenever you are strapped for cash, you can boondock (i.e. dry camp or camp without fees or hookups), which makes camping nearly free. Or, you can moochdock by parking your rig in your sister Patty's driveway!
4. You meet like-minded people- Few people understand what life is like on the road like fellow full-timers. In the RV community, life on the road is something travelers have in common, making conversation between random members easy. How many people do you know that can relate to a build-up in the sewer hose or smells of less-than-ideal black water venting? There is much you can learn as well, such as how to get the best drone footage, troubleshooting power outages or the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), or finding out what is needed to install a solar power system.
3. Find solitude often- Even in Colorado, solitude was fleeting. The Denver metro area is comprised of 2.8 million people, most of whom are in the Rocky Mountains on the weekends. I one got up at 4am to drive 2 hours to a trailhead in the Rockies and I arrived to find all the parking spaces were taken. If you are a city dweller, as the bulk of the population is, finding solitude can be next to impossible. Being on the road, however, is the opposite. Solitude, quiet, wide open spaces and the Milky Way are at your fingertips nearly everywhere you go.
2. Increase closeness in your relationship- Most couples who live together in an RV find that getting close is mandatory -- you either become intimate or your relationship fails. There is no such thing as holding onto anger or resentment. You have to work it out, since you'll be seeing a lot of each other. For most loving couples, kindness, empathy and cooperation become second nature. If you don't like your partner, don't move into a confined space together.
1. If you don't like where you live, you can move- There are many reasons you might not like where you park -- overcrowded campground or boondocking area, rowdy campers, excess Interstate noise, approaching severe weather, and more. If you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or irritated by your surroundings, you can move. After all, you're mobile!
Leave comments on any of these reasons, or if you have others to add. We've only been full-time for a couple of months, but we've been preparing for years.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 5 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.