Is The Full Time RV Lifestyle Right For You?

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At the time of this posting, I myself have not completely taken on the task of implementing a full time RV lifestyle, so how could I possible know the answer to this question? Well, I may not know if you are ready for this style of LIVING but I know that I am ready to take the plunge. This post is a continuation of “Step 1:Figure Out If Full Time Rving is Right for You” in my previous post Full Time RV Living or Bust. In that post, I briefly discussed this topic but today I want to dive right in to help you and me decide if this is a lifestyle we can enjoy for many years to come.

Are You Ready For The Full Time RV Lifestyle?

When you think of a person living in an RV or living in a van, you might wonder why they would do this when they could just as easily live in a house or an apartment. What drives people to make the move to a van or RV? Are these people poor? Have they been kicked out of their house through divorce, eviction or foreclosure? There are many reasons why a person may have chosen this lifestyle but I for one am not here to judge others and I hope people don’t judge me based on my decisions.

Reasons to begin Fulltime Rving:

  • Cut down on monthly expenses
  • Simplify your life
  • Live where you want
  • Leave when you want
  • Explore – Be Adventurous
  • Meet like-minded individuals
  • Try something new. Camp on a beach. Live in a forest.
  • Live off the grid or embrace Technology
  • Visit far away family, any time of the year
  • Be Free. Start Living!

Pare Down Your Belongings

If some of these reasons appeal to you, then lets think about what may stand in our way if we decided to cut loose from the herd and do something different. Most people will have the dilemma of what about all my stuff. At some point, most of us were brought up thinking we need to get a college degree, buy a house, get married, fill the house with stuff, have kids, buy a bigger house, move your stuff to the new house and buy more stuff to fill the bigger house. After 10, 15, 20 or more years, the kids are gone and there you sit in a big house filled with crap you rarely use. Does a single person or a couple really need a 4 bedroom house? That is a waste of space. If you have rooms in your house that you rarely step foot in, then you have wasted space.

Before I sold my business in March of 2012, I already had the idea of moving into an RV so I began downsizing or paring down my possessions. I got the idea from a guy named Glenn over at ToSimplify.net and I even followed his idea of only keeping dark colors (reds, blues, blacks, greens..etc) This meant I could wash all my clothes together in one load and I basically got rid of all my whites with the exception of a white T-shirt or two.

Get Rid of Stuff To Achieve the Full Time RV Lifestyle

Get Rid of Stuff

Look around your house or apartment and begin thinking about what you REALLY need because most of your “stuff” will not fit into your RV. What about the treadmill? Gone! We will climb mountains now or get a gym membership. Will the lawnmower make the cut? Nope! Not much yard work when you’re a full time RV traveler, but a plant isn’t a bad option.

Swimming in Money

Exactly! Look at all your “stuff”. You’ve probably accumulated quite a large stock of items and rarely use half of it. The cool thing is that there are people out there like you and (used to be) me who are looking to attain more “stuff”. They just can’t get enough “stuff”. You would be surprised at how much money you can make by selling all these items and you just might get enough to make a big dent in your RV purchase.

Cool Troy! Now, where can I sell my stuff?

  1. Craigslist
  2. eBay
  3. Garage Sale(s)
  4. Friends/Family
  5. Facebook/Twitter – Let them know you have “stuff”. Ha!!
  6. Gifts
  7. Pawn Shops
  8. Donations/Salvation Army/Goodwill

craigslist logo

I personally had incredibly good luck with Craigslist. I kid you not. Sure there are scams and scammers but: here are a few tricks I learned for Craigslist:

  1. Don’t use your main email address. Create a temporary email address just for the sale of these items and then close the account. You can do this easily with Gmail.
  2. Don’t put your cellphone or home phone in the Ad. I used Google Voice, grabbed a free local phone number and then forwarded that phone number to my cellphone. This way, when the stuff is sold, close that Google account and the Voice number and email will go away.
  3. Use Ad Huntr (Search All of Craigslist) to help you determine what prices you should put on your items. This site searches all of Craigslist and all over the country so you have plenty of items to compare prices. This site is also great for researching an RV purchase.
  4. Ad Huntr

  5. Set your prices to sell. Clearing out a house or apartment can take a long time so price your items at or slightly below what the market price may be or you end up sitting on this stuff for a while.
  6. If the item you are selling is easily transported, then meet the person in public at an easy to find location (coffee shop, McDonald’s, Grocery Store). This may also be safer than having a stranger come into your home.

Awesome! It’s a strange feeling, standing in an empty house or apartment, but the burden of having all that stuff is finally gone and you’re free to move about the country or the world. I have been living light for over a year now and can pick up and go at any time and be gone for months without worrying about “stuff” I left behind. It’s a great feeling and gets me that much closer to fulltime RV living.

Now that you’ve pared down your possessions, you can start thinking about that Full Time RV Lifestyle. If your not ready to purchase an RV yet, then it may be a good idea to move into a smaller space. No sense living in a 1200 sq ft apartment or 2100 sq ft house after you sell all the excess stuff. This gives you an opportunity to move into a smaller space and cut down on some monthly expenses while you save money, plan your income sources and search for your RV.

Now, let’s take a closer look at how you and I can make money while traveling in our RVs. Next upcoming post.


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8 Responses to Is The Full Time RV Lifestyle Right For You?

  1. James April 26, 2013 at 7:21 AM #

    Ha! That picture looks like one of my spare bedrooms. Funny! I need to get this crap out of here. Thanks for the tips on Craigslist. I just tried out ad hunter and it looks pretty cool. Thanks! How long did it take you to get rid of all your stuff? James

    • Traveling Troy April 27, 2013 at 5:57 AM #

      James, I would say it took a few months to pare down my belongings but I’m always looking at what I have and re-assessing whether I still need stuff. At this point, my clothes would take up the largest amount of space and I still have a desktop computer and 23″ monitor which I don’t plan to keep for my travels, but these are my only biggest items left. Craigslist was great for me in selling my stuff, plus I had a garage sale. I’m now using Ad Huntr to search for RV/Camper Van options. It has some pretty good filtering tools and searches all of Craigslist which is great when you live in an area where few people are selling used RVs. I look forward to hearing more about your transition. Let us know.

  2. Lisa April 29, 2013 at 1:47 PM #

    I really admire those who can cut their belongings down to just about nothing. I think it would be very difficult for me and not just cutting stuff down, but learning to stop buying stuff. That would be hard for me. LOL! I love to shop!

  3. Traveling Troy April 30, 2013 at 6:37 AM #

    True Lisa, it can be a challenge to get rid of stuff, especially if you enjoy buying, since that would cause you to continually accumulate more stuff. This concept isn’t for everyone. I personally would love to just live out of a backpack. The less stuff I have, the freer I am to move about the country and maybe the world one day.

    • Teresa September 11, 2013 at 2:33 AM #

      Thank you for posting all these great ideas! My husband and I have been married over 18 years, no kids. We have owned the big houses, boats, cars, motorcycles and more toys! Right now our house is over 4,000 sqrt and every room is furnished and let’s not forget about the 4 car garage filed with carp! So I plan to sell on craigslist and all the other ways to sell our stuff! My husband has a fulltime job so we plan to purchase a fairly large newer RV and pay rent at an RV park close to his job, the only family we have is my sister and she lives about 80 miles away, so no need to travel. We just want to stop spending money on bills to live and start having more money to spend on living having fun and a lot less stress!

      • Troy Wiedeman September 11, 2013 at 1:03 PM #

        Hi Teresa and welcome to the blog!

        That is a heck of a story. I can only imagine how much “stuff” you must have packed into that 4000 sq ft home. WOW! LOL! I was living in a 600 sq ft apartment when I decided to downsize, but I was in a 2100 sq ft home before that.

        It could take some time to sell all that stuff, but don’t get discouraged. The fewer items you own, the fewer items you have to worry about…which means less stress. Good job!

        Good luck with your future downsizing!

  4. Heather Palacios May 7, 2014 at 7:36 AM #

    My family of 5 and 2 dogs have decided to venture into the RV lifestyle. We currently have a 3000 sqft home with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and a gamerooom. I am letting my children decide what they want to store or sell. I feel that this gives them the freedom of choice. But I explained to them that if it has not been touched in 6 months then you possibly will not need it. My 17 year old tells me that he is selling everything besides clothes, Xbox, and computer. I think he is going to do just fine. We love the out doors and spend most of our time with our horses. We do not get home until 7-8 during the weeknights and stay busy all weekend. Why pay a 2500.00 a month morgage to something we rarely use. We purchased a 40ft. Travel Trailer with 5 slides to make sure the kids have space to have some alone time. This is one baby step to my dream life. Wish us luck.

    • Troy Wiedeman May 9, 2014 at 7:31 AM #

      Excellent Heather. That sounds like a great roomy house and the bathroom line can only ever be 1 person long. 🙂 On the other hand, $2500/month is a large chunk of change to drop on a place you basically use for storage and sleep. A family I know does the same thing, they ride, train and care for their horses and rental property everyday (after a regular job). They then go home to crash for the night at a place they rent. It’s a hectic, fast-paced lifestyle. They are exhausted and probably sleep well every night, but they are wasting money daily.

      I love your idea of the travel trailer. Awesome! Good luck with this new adventure!

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