RV living is a lifestyle choice that works for a lot of people but not everyone. It’s also a lifestyle that doesn’t work for everyone all the time. The great thing about RV living is you can put it on like a jacket, wear it as long as it suits you, then take it off if your situation changes.
There are good reasons people eventually park their RV or put it on the consignment lot. Maybe they found their little piece of heaven during their travels and just feel like settling down. Maybe they lived the frugal RV lifestyle long enough to build up enough cash to buy a bigger home outright or moved to a park where you can buy a deeded RV space and have the best of both worlds.
We’ve also known people who had to trade their RV for health reasons. Trying to maintain a mobile lifestyle with a chronic illness is difficult due to the variability of medical care on the road. Moving an RV when you’re recovering from surgery or weakened by chemo would be a tough go. Other times it’s the health of a family member that prompts taking a break from the road or just wanting more room for visitors and family events.
The point is, RV living should be fun. If you get into it and decide, at some point, that it’s not fun, then start making plans to transition back to a more traditional lifestyle and don’t worry about it.
When we lived at The Great Outdoors in Florida, a park that mixes RV lots with different types of traditional housing options, we saw people evolve in a fairly predictable pattern. We met several couples who started off in an RV lot, and then moved first to one type of house, and later to a larger model. TGO is a different animal that can transition people out of their RV because it operates on managed housing model that fixes much of what’s broken about traditional housing. The park has its own police force, sanitation service, water system, RV dealership, movie theater, golf course, post office, bank, restaurants and movie theater and all that’s built, literally, inside a wildlife refuge. It’s really quite an amazing place.
The point is that traveling in your RV will put you in contact with a world of housing options you might never knew even existed. When you stumble across one of those, you might actually like it better and want to stay. That’s fine. Some people treat RV living more like a religion than a lifestyle and that’s frankly a little bit crazy. It’s a lifestyle tool, nothing more. Maybe you live the life for a year, three years or maybe you decide this is the life for you and let it ride. There is no such thing as “not making it” in RV living. It either works or it doesn’t or, if it stops working somewhere down the line, try something else.
Some friends of ours got a really good deal on a long-term lease on a house they rented from someone he used to work with who was taking a job overseas. They got a three year lease with an option to buy so they sold their Class A RV and settled down. They can stay or pack up and hit the road again in three years. In the meantime their friend doesn’t have to worry about his house while he’s out of the country. It’s an arrangement that works for both of them.
One of the great ironies of RV life is when you’re mobile, you’ll discover lots of housing options you maybe didn’t even know existed. I had not heard of owning an RV space until we got out on the road.
Probably the biggest benefit of the RV lifestyle is it forces you to shed all the detritus of consumerism that you’ve collected over the years. You’ll be far more mobile without all that junk. My wife and used to have rooms full of junk and clothes that we never wore. When I say “we” I mean my wife, but if I say that I get in trouble, so I say “we” even though all my clothes all fit in one tiny little closet. To be fair we had a 2,400 square foot garage with 13 foot drive-through doors and a 12 foot automatic door that was big enough to accommodate a fire engine. I know that’s true because I once parked a real fire engine in it with room to spare. That garage was full of my junk and it took weeks to whittle all that down to the few bins that would be going with us.
Being free of all that junk was, by far, the best thing we ever did for ourselves. You don’t realize how limiting all that crap is until it’s gone. The few things I kept, mostly tools, were things I used regularly. WIthout all that junk, we could go anywhere. Instead we went everywhere.
Anyway, maybe the first RV you buy is one meant to travel and the second one you trade for in five or six years is built more for comfort and you decide not to travel as much. It’s all good because there is no wrong answer in RV living. Try it for a month, a year or the rest of your life. As long as it works, that’s what you do.