Five Tips for RV Life

In today’s society, there’s a real urge among a lot of people to cut loose from the rat race and just live life out in the beauty of nature. RV or Van life gives you the freedom to go wherever you like and see the countryside in ways most people never get a chance to. I’ve spent a lot of time out on the open road and learned a thing or two in my time. Here are five things I think anyone considering life on the road should understand before taking the plunge.

1. Plan Ahead, But Stay Flexible
Life on the road isn’t the same as living in a fixed location. You have to actively plan where you’re going and how long you’re going to be there. At the beginning of each season, I would always sit down and spend a little while listing off places I wanted to go to. Then I’d pull up a map and start to plan out routes, stops, and sights along the way. To be honest, though, I don’t think I ever fully stuck to a plan.

There’s an old saying in military circles: “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”. It’s a pretty apt description of life on the road. Having a plan is great, but always leave a little wiggle room to change things up.

2. Learn How to Create Privacy
When you’re living in an RV with another person, privacy and alone time aren’t going to happen on their own. Even If it’s someone you deeply care for you need to be able to have some time by yourself to recharge.Sit down and communicate your feelings to them. Work out a way to enjoy time apart, even when you’re only a few feet away.

This can be as simple as a specific time of the day or the week that’s your own. Use it to relax, take a solo hike, or go into town for a little shopping. Trust me, knowing how to build in time apart makes your time together that much sweeter.

3. A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place
A lot of people really can’t conceptualize how small an RV is. This is doubly true when we’re talking about something like a truck camper or camper van. Before I hit the road I always lived with a comfortable level of clutter. My house was never that messy, but it definitely wasn’t tidy. Those first few weeks out on the road knocked that right on its head. Leaving anything out of place for even a few hours was a recipe for a serious mess down the line. RV life requires a level of organization and the will to always tidy up after yourself.

Another good thing to keep in mind is the four-week rule. Everything in an RV needs to serve a purpose. If I haven’t used something in four weeks, then it needs to go. It ended up being a great way to keep myself focused on living minimally and preventing clutter from building up.

4. Expect the Unexpected
When you’re out in an RV you need to live with a certain level of constant preparedness. This is especially true if you plan to do any boondocking. Things that would be a minor inconvenience in a neighborhood can become a serious problem when you’re out in the wilds. Take a rainstorm for instance. One of my scariest experiences early on in my journey was in a Mississippi campground in early spring. The forecast called for cloudy weather but no rain. Instead, we got something closer to a torrential downpour. The roads were so muddied I lost traction at least a dozen times on the way back out. Once I ended up having to dig up sand from a riverbank and carry it over to get out of a rut.

Plan ahead for the incidents and inconveniences you’re likely to experience. Keep basic equipment like jumper cables, a portable jump starter, snow/ice scraper, and traction pads on hand. There are great resources out there that can help you figure out what you need. Check out things like an off-grid blog or even AAA recommendations on emergency kits for travel.

5. Don’t Ignore Little Problems
Taking care of the mechanical side of your RV is absolutely essential. Too many people are apt to ignore signs of trouble and let them build up into serious problems.

Make sure you get all the recommended maintenance done on schedule. If you’re at all handy you can probably do a good bit of it yourself. I went into my journey barely knowing how to hang a picture and can now reliably change oil, replace spark plugs, and do a good bit of the basic maintenance. If you hear a squeal when you hit the breaks or feel something off as you’re driving, get it checked out. Nine times out of ten it’s going to be something little and easy to fix, and that tenth time you saved yourself the cost of a tow and maybe prevented a major repair.

Stay Positive
Living out of an RV is all about experiencing life on your own terms. So long as you keep your own strengths in mind and focus on the journey rather than the destination you’ll absolutely love your time out in the world.

Ready to step into the RV lifestyle? Buy or Rent an RV now

Tiny Living Life is your one-stop-shop for everything simple living for aspiring tiny homeowners, tiny house dwellers, and off the grid lovers. Our team is comprised of people who actually walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk. We live and breathe tiny homes and off-grid living. We believe in a future where we spend more time doing the things that inspire us versus accumulating things we don’t need.
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