Full Time RV Life: Looking Back at Year 1
Video: One Year as Full Time RVers
It's hard to believe that we've officially been living full-time in our RV for one year! In some ways it flew by, and in other ways it seems like a lot longer than one year. It's been quite the 365 days and a HUGE departure from our life in our sticks and bricks home.
In this video, we look back on the year and discuss expectations vs realities, how it's all working out for us, some of the biggest challenges we've faced, some of our favorite experiences, a few things we've learned along the way and how our expenses compare to when we lived in our sticks and bricks home.
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Where Did We Go During Our First Year as Full Time RVers?
Well, we covered a lot more ground than we expected to! In year one of full-time RV living we camped in:
- 11 States
- 14 RV Parks
- 12 State Park Campgrounds
- 7 National Park Campgrounds
- 3 City Parks
- 2 County Parks
- and Moochdocked (parked at) friends' property 3 times.
In our first year we spent 30 nights dry camping. Our shortest stay was 1 night, longest stay was 2 months, and our average stay was about one week. We moved 49 times in 52 weeks. We drove the RV 8,150 miles in year one.
Expectations vs Reality of Full Time RV Life
A couple of months before we moved into our motorhome full-time, we posted a video discussing 10 Reasons We Are Becoming Full-Time RVers. So how have those expectations worked out?
Well, honestly, most of what we were looking forward to is still a work in progress which reminds us that full-time RVing itself is a process. Just becoming a full-time RVer does not necessarily change your life drastically. Everything takes time and you still have to work to make the changes that are important to you.
We've definitely experienced a lot more in the past year than we ever expected to. We've checked quite a few amazing bucket list places off of our list, but time still races by and we still have work to do in almost all of the areas we discussed.
Milestones From Our 1st Year as Full-Timers
From selling our house, downsizing all of our possessions, meeting amazing folks and traveling more than we ever have in our lives, we feel like our first year has been full of milestones. Both expected and unexpected. Which reminds us that sometimes the unexpected is AWESOME!
What Have We Learned During Our First Year On The Road?
This list is really tough to narrow down. We've learned so much this year including:
- We try to limit travel days to no more than 3-5 hours on the road.
- We don't like to drive at night.
- We enjoy dry camping more than we expected, but only in established campgrounds. We're not way off the grid kinda folks.
- There is no reason to be in a hurry.
- Our plans are always in pencil and subject to change. But if we really want to stay somewhere, we make reservations.
- We prefer staying in places longer to get to know more about the area while still having time to work, relax and allow for weather.
- Like everything else in life, full time RV living is a process. Nothing happens automatically and everything takes time.
- Traveling often can be exciting, but it can also be exhausting. It's important to find a balance that works.
- RVs and their components like to be used. We have had very few issues with our RV since we went full-time. Maybe it's because we're using it all the time. Maybe it's because we notice little things that need adjustment right away. Just like a sticks and bricks home, an RV needs regular maintenance, and it's always top of mind when the RV is your home.
What Were Some of Our Favorite Moments of Year One?
Definitely, traveling for 2 months with Stacie's Mom, spending time with friends, exploring amazing places like Yellowstone National Park, and being able to spend time exploring small towns and beautiful parks top our list.
What Were Some of the Challenges We Faced in Our 1st Year as Full Time RVers?
Our most memorable challenges this year included breaking down in Grand Tetons National Park, working around flooded parks that we had planned to go to, successfully finding parking every night, downsizing, and learning how to live a healthier life without consistent grocery stores and limited storage space.
What Did Our 1st Year as Full Time RVers Cost Us?
Our average monthly fuel bill (diesel) came out to about $290. Our average monthly camping bill was around $615. Both were less than we expected. And compared to our monthly costs when we owned our sticks and bricks home, we came out way ahead!
What Are Our Plans for Year 2?
That is a great question! Most of it is still way up in the air. But some of the things on our list for our second year as full-time RVers include: traveling to Red Bay, Alabama (home of Tiffin Motorhomes), making healthy living more of a daily priority, staying longer at more of our stops, and visiting more state parks.
Do We Still Enjoy Full-Time RVing? Is It Right For Us?
YES! After a year, we are loving the lifestyle and we see no end in sight. We can't wait to see what adventures year 2 holds!