“If you don’t like living in an RV then why don’t you sell it and move back into a house?” That’s what some people had to say to us last week after reading about the six reasons why living in an RV sucks. Here’s the thing, whether you live in an RV, a house, an apartment, or various other living accommodations, there’s always going to be certain things that are unpleasant about those living conditions.
Nothing is perfect but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something that’s pretty close to perfect, right? That’s what we believe we’ve found by living in an RV. I just recently returned from house sitting at my parent’s place in Ontario for a couple of weeks. Throughout the entirety of my time there, even though I loved seeing my family & friends, I desperately wanted to return to my simple life that Kate and I have made for ourselves while living in our RV.
There are so many wonderful things about living in an RV compared to living in a sticks and bricks home. Below are 20 reasons why we think living in an RV is awesome.
1- Less Cleaning
How long does it take you to fully clean your house every week? 2, 3, 4 hours or maybe even more? No one likes spending their precious time cleaning which is one of the reasons why living in an RV is awesome. Because we have considerably less space, naturally it just takes less time to clean it. We spend probably an hour a week doing a really good clean of our RV. That’s it. One hour. That means we have more time to do fun and adventurous things.
2- You’re Always Close to Nature
One of the reasons we first decided to full-time RV was to be closer to nature. When you’re living in an RV you’re usually close to nature as most RV parks are hidden in the woods and near great outdoor spaces. In PEI, we spent our summer at a quiet park with access to the Confederation Trail and only minutes from beautiful beaches. Here in Tofino, we’re living in an actual rain forest which seems surreal when you grow up in Southern Ontario.
While we haven’t boondocked yet, many RVers choose that route. Boondocking is basically camping off the grid by using solar panels/generators to power your basic needs. Many RVers will boondock in remote places for weeks on end where it’s just them surrounded in nature. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
3- Small Space = More Time Outside
One of the questions we often get asked is, “how can you live in such a small space?” It’s a fair question that we were slightly concerned about before living in an RV. Since we’ve now been full-time RVing for almost 10 months we can happily say that the small space is a blessing in many ways. The one main reason is that it forces us outside more which means we’re more active. Rather than spending hours binge-watching various TV shows we now get outside more often or socialize more than we did prior to living in an RV.
4- We Don’t Have a TV
You’re probably thinking, “how can not having a TV be awesome?” Our RV is a 2008 and has a spot for an old tube TV. Instead of sticking a TV in that spot we made it into a little décor shelf. Since living in an RV, we’ve learned that TV is a crutch and a drug for most people including ourselves. When you have a TV, it’s so easy to turn it on, turn your brain off and watch endless hours of TV. When I was at my parents over the last couple of weeks I watched so much TV. I watched both seasons of Narcos in 5 days. That’s horrible. That’s almost 20 hours of TV that I watched in 5 days and that doesn’t include the various hockey games or movies I watched.
Throughout the course of a week, Kate and I will normally watch one or two movies or a few episodes of a TV show on my computer. Altogether, we spend maybe 10 hours a week watching movies or TV. This means we’re spending more time being productive, working on various projects, spending time outside, or socializing. Kate wrote more about living without TV or phone here.
5- If You Don’t Like Where You Live…Move
Living in a neighbourhood is fine and dandy until that one crazy neighbour moves in next door. That neighbour who parks their car on the lawn, cranks music at all hours of the night, and has sketchy people always visiting; leaving you wanting to move just to avoid the madness altogether.
The great thing about RVing is whether you have a level 10 nutcase neighbour or you just don’t like your RV park, you can move. You can pack up the RV in less than an hour and be on to a new location wherever you desire within the day. When was the last time you sold your home and moved out the same day?
6- You’re Always Seeing New Places
We started full-time RVing with the goal of seeing and experiencing more places across Canada and North America. If we lived the normal 9 to 5 lifestyle, we’d likely never get to see many of the places that we saw in the last year and will see in the years ahead. Prior to last year, neither Kate nor I had been west of Ontario. Now, we’ve been in every province (not the territories, though) in Canada and seen so many wonderful places in less than a year. We can’t wait to see which places we’ll RV to over the next handful of years. We’re thinking we may RV through the U.S. next winter which will allow us to see many beautiful spots that we’ve never seen before.
7- You Get to Spend More Time Visiting New Places
When you’re working the 9 to 5 lifestyle you likely get between 2-4 weeks of vacation per year. When you take a vacation you’re likely only going to spend only a week in that location before heading home. Many times, you wish you could have had more time visiting that certain special place. When you full-time RV, you can spend as much time anywhere you want. Love visiting the Rockies? Spend weeks exploring Jasper, Banff, and more. The sky is the limit and you can really immerse yourself in a location as much or as little as you want.
8- Your Home is Always With You
When you fly around and travel to various locations don’t you wish that you could sleep in your own bed? Or maybe you wish you could have access to your entire wardrobe rather than what you could shove into a suitcase? When we travelled across Canada this past fall, we learned how awesome it was to always have your home with you. Sleeping in your own bed every night is wonderful. Being able to cook food in your own kitchen is splendid. Basically, having access to your entire home when you travel is fantastic.
9- Less Maintenance
One thing we don’t like about living in an RV is the maintenance that goes along with it. The thing is, owning an actual home requires a lot of maintenance, too. Often that maintenance can cost big dollars. While living in an RV does require its fair share of maintenance, compared to living in a home, the overall amount of time and money spend on maintenance is considerably less.
10- We’ve Become “Handy”
I’m not very handy when it comes to fixing things but living in an RV forces you to learn. Whether it’s learning how to torque the wheels or learning how to seal up the RV so it doesn’t leak, there’s a lot to learn with an RV to keep it in tip-top condition. We’re still aren’t even close to knowing everything about how to fix things in our RV, but we’re getting there. In a few more years, hopefully, we’ll be experts.
11- No Grass to Cut or Snow to Shovel
I actually don’t mind cutting grass. I find it kind of relaxing for some reason but I HATE shovelling snow. Aside from the time a surprise snow storm found us in Jasper, we haven’t had to worry about shovelling snow. Last year, while living in New Brunswick we got hammered with many snow storms, bringing many feet of snow that had to be shovelled from our large driveway. Needless to say, neither of us miss shovelling snow. While I didn’t mind cutting grass, the time spent cutting grass now goes towards doing other fun outdoor activities.
The staff at Jasper Gates Rv Resort, Hotel and Campground are fantastic. They plowed to get us out, used a tractor to dig up the gravel, and then gave us further advice on our driving route. Jessica, Deb, Trevor and especially Ed you were awesome! We made it safe and sound, problem free to Kamloops to see the Jays win!! Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted by Kate McCallum on Sunday, October 9, 2016
12- We Can Have a Campfire Anytime We Want
We don’t have many campfires but we do love the fact that we can have a campfire anytime that we want to. On Christmas Eve, the weather was beautiful here in Tofino, so we sat outside around the fire with a glass of Christmas cheer.
13- Power Outages Aren’t A Big Deal
Unless you have a generator, when you’re living in a home and the power goes out, you sit and wait for it to come back on. If that happens in the middle of winter it could mean you’re without heat which isn’t fun at all. Thankfully, when living in an RV you always have heat thanks to the heat provided by propane. Our RV also continues to have lighting and some other electric functions if the powers out thanks to power provided by our onboard battery.
14- Cheaper Than A Home/Rent
When I was home, which is just north of Toronto, everyone was talking about the prices of homes. Most detached homes start around $600,000 nowadays. That’s insane. Our RV cost us less than $25,000. Yes, unlike a home which is a form of equity, RV’s depreciate in value. Still, there’s a lot of freedom and comfort that comes with not having a $600,000+ mortgage.
We’ve also been workamping during our longer stays in PEI and Tofino. In exchange for roughly 20 hours of work per week, we get our campsite which helps save a pile of cash that we can spend on other things like burritos.
15- No Utility Bills
A cell phone bill and our insurance – that’s our only monthly bills that we pay. We don’t have a hydro, water, gas, tv, or internet bill when living in an RV. Yet, we essentially have all of those services which are provided by the various parks that we stay at. Again, big money saved.
16- Frequently Meeting Like-Minded People
When you look around your office or at the neighbours in your neighbourhood, how many of those people would you say are similar to you? Probably not too many. Another thing we love about living and travelling around in our RV is the ability to meet like-minded people who love to travel and experience new things. It’s great to sit around with these types of people and swap travel stories over a drink or a pile of food.
17- Less Food Waste
The last time you cleaned out your fridge and kitchen cupboards, how much food did you throw away? It’s amazing how much food we used to buy, stuff into the fridge or cupboards only to forget about it and discover it months or even years later. Living in an RV allows you to cut down on food waste in a big way. Our fridge is tiny and only capable of storing a small amount of food but this means that we only purchase what we’re actually going to eat. The same goes for our cupboard space. Aside from the time Kate bought 10 cans of spaghetti sauce for $10, we’re pretty diligent about our cupboard space and only stock it with food items that will get used within a week or two.
18- We’ve Become Minimalists
Minimalism is something I wish we had discovered years ago. It makes so much sense and opens your eyes to how much useless crap we buy and then hold onto for years. Aside from being a comfortable place to sleep and eat, a house in a lot of ways is a glorified storage unit for stuff that rarely, if ever, gets used. Because we live in a space that’s 200 sq.ft. we can’t have a bunch of junk in our RV. When we downsized to live in an RV, we sold almost all of our possessions including my valuable record collection. Have I missed that record collection? Nope, not really. Minimalism is a great way to learn to value your experiences over your belongings. Plus, you’ll have more money for those wonderful experiences because you won’t be spending money on stuff just to fill your home. I definitely recommend you read, listen, watch and learn from the Minimalists.
19- We Spend More Time With Bella….and Paris.
When we were working the 9 to 5 lifestyle, we were usually away from the house for 10 hours of the day. This meant that we were away from Bella and Paris for 10 hours of the day. While Paris (our cat) probably prefers us being away for long periods of time, we couldn’t stand being away from Bella for 10 hours every day. While she had frequent visitors who would take her out during the day, we wanted to be with her more frequently. Now, because we live in an RV we can. There is rarely a time where Bella is alone for anything more than a couple of hours out of a day. This means she gets more frequent outdoors time which will hopefully allow her to live a longer life.
20- Everyone Thinks We’re Living The Dream
A lot of people don’t think it’s possible to drop the 9 to 5 lifestyle to live and travel in an RV like we are. When we tell strangers what we do they always have questions full of scepticism. Once we explain our lifestyle and how we do it, everyone thinks that we’re living the dream. Being able to work less and travel more truly was our dream and now we’ve been doing it for almost a year and hopefully many more to come.
Living in an RV has changed our lives considerably. With this lifestyle, there are less financial pressures, less overall costs, and more freedom to do what we want and when we want to do it. In the 10 months we’ve been living this wonderful lifestyle we can say that we’ve never been happier to be living this fulfilling lifestyle.