When people learn that we live life, full time, on the road they often ask, “So what do you DO all day?” It’s easy to imagine living full time in an RV as being something similar to the camping trip that never ends! You know … making pancakes every morning, spending the afternoons fishing, seeking out great restaurants in the evening after visiting fun touristy spots during the day, and roasting marshmallows every night around a campfire. And in some ways it is, but in many ways it is not a lot different than living in a house.
Everyday living, no matter whether your home is stationary or on wheels, demands the same habits and activities. Preparation of meals, daily chores, earning a living and paying bills, exercising, hobbies and entertainment all make up the activities of daily living. The RV life is no different – we do these exact same things just sometimes in different ways and often with a different focus.
Dinner time on the road …
Meal planning and preparation is not a lot different than in a house except that we often have more varied and exciting choices than we would have living in one place. I have had people ask, “So do you just eat out all of the time?” The answer to that is surprisingly less often than we did living in a house! I plan our meals and grocery shop accordingly, same as always, and because we live in a great big RV, we have a residential-sized refrigerator and a nice sized pantry with plenty of room to stock groceries for a week or two of meals.
I find that I enjoy cooking more in the RV, probably because we have access to a wider variety of foods. We love to take advantage of regional foods – tamales, fresh seafood, corn on the cob, honey, cherries and peaches – and often build our meals around the foods typical and from that area. We often find these regional specialties at roadside stands or farmer’s markets and enjoy heading out first thing in the morning to support the local farmers and growers. We joke about “chasing ripe tomatoes”, meaning – if it’s not warm enough to grow tomatoes, it’s TOO cold for us!
Don’t forget to do your CHORES …
It doesn’t matter where you live you have to clean house and do laundry. Cleaning is, obviously, a lot easier in an RV. We have one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen. I clean one room per day and the place stays pretty darned tidy. My Dyson vacuum hangs on the wall on the inside of our closet always plugged in, charged, and read to go. While we don’t have lawn and outdoor upkeep like we used to – we do wash our RV every three months and wax it once a year. We like it shiny.
We have a washer and dryer in our rig so Saturday is laundry day – same as it used to be when we lived in a house. If you live on the road and don’t have laundry hook ups or simply choose not to take up the premium space with a washer and dryer, most RV parks have laundry facilities. We always stay at nicer parks so the laundry rooms are always neat and clean with washers, dryers and often irons and ironing boards.
Some things never change …
There are still bills to pay – just not as many as there used to be. We pay rent to the RV parks where we live and this can range anywhere from $2000+ per month at a REALLY nice park with pool and workout room to $350 per month for one every bit as nice with all of the exact same amenities. Location, location, location! It all depends on what part of the USA you park your home. If you park it on the beach – expect the upper end. If you’re living in the center of America you can expect the lower end. And even then, if the area is a tourist destination, you will find yourself somewhere in between that range.
While we don’t have utilities that we pay for each month – we do have cell phone service and monthly internet plans. We actually carry data plans from both AT&T and Verizon so depending on where we are currently residing in the USA we have a good internet reception. Many parks offer free Wifi and sometimes it proves to be good and other times, not so much. We usually use our own Wifi for security reasons. Some parks will charge you for your electricity if you stay for an entire month. This is usually offset by a lower monthly rate than if you stay a shorter period of time and pay a daily rate. We still have vehicle and health insurance to pay monthly and while we have a mail service – we do all our banking and pay bills online.
Bringing home the bacon while on the road …
Some people work while out on the road while others live on social security, interest income or retirement savings. Many have full or part-time jobs that can be performed remotely, while others do workamping which is a way to work at the parks you stay at in exchange for an hourly wage or reduction in rent. There is a whole network of workampers out there and lots of different ways to do it. Click HERE for a great website to find our more about it.
Others do contract work as travel nurses, construction workers or even working in State and National Parks. There are scores of ways to make money on the road if you are motivated to do so. And it’s not just senior citizens living out here – there are lots of young families and middle-aged people tired of the grind of routine who are taking their shows on the road!
The FUN stuff …
We get a lot of exercise out here on the road because the lifestyle, in general, promotes more activity. We spend time outdoors every day walking our dogs, hiking on nearby trails, biking, playing golf and exploring new areas. Many parks offer group exercise such as water aerobics, power walking groups, golf outings and the biggie in the RV parks is PICKLEBALL. It’s sort of a badminton, tennis, and ping pong combo and believe me when I say it is all the RAGE with the RV set.
I enjoy the same hobbies that I have always enjoyed – I just don’t keep as many supplies. We see movies, get our teeth cleaned, get haircuts, watch television and go to church most Sundays. See? Just your regular stuff. I guess what makes the lifestyle rich and sweet is the PACE. While we do all of these same things that we’ve always done – we do them at a much slower pace. We are never in a hurry. We take time to have meals with new friends, sit outside with a campfire and a glass of wine on a Tuesday night, and often sleep in until nine or ten! We listen to music, play Bingo, and last year I read 33 books on my Kindle.
So the next time you see a big motor home or fifth wheel lumbering down the highway at just under the speed limit, don’t be impatient with them. Pass them slowly, smile and give them a BIG thumbs up – they’re living life at their own pace and on their own terms – while chasing ripe tomatoes.
If you like this post – then you might like … What NOT to do when RVing for the FIRST TIME.
Have you ever spent time out on the road in an RV? Share what you love about it the most in the comments below …