For a lot of people, wanting to go full time RVing is a dream that can only be obtained if they were to sell their house. That was the case for us. We had a 3,500 sqft house that had an equally as large mortgage payment. We had to figure out how to dump before we could move forward on our dream to go full time RVing.
So often the question is where do you start? What is the first step? Consequently, you know that you want to move into an RV but how do you really go about downsizing, to getting your house on the market, to finding an RV, and possibly even a vehicle to tow the RV?
Read the article here about how our full time RVin journey begins. Where I talk about how we decided to sell our home and a picture tour of our home.
In this article, I’d like to cover a few of the hurdles that we had to overcome that I feel may be helpful to those looking to make the same transition that we did.
1. How much will you make selling your house?
There are a lot of factors here at play. A few of them being, how much equity do you have in your home, the market, time of year, and location.
The easiest way to find out what you’ll make when selling your home is to find a local Real Estate Agent that will create a Seller’s Net Sheet.
A Seller’s Net Sheet breaks down the target sale price of your home then subtracts all the costs of selling your home (marketing fee, transfer tax, tax stamps, title insurance, paying off your mortgage, etc). This will leave you with a bottom line number of what you’ll walk away with if you were to sell your house for the targeted sales price.
If you’re not sure who to ask or where to go to for help with Real Estate, feel free to reach out to me. By all means, I have a lot of contacts around the country that I can put you in touch with and make sure you get the best representation when selling your home. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Message us on Facebook. I’m always happy to help out a fellow future camper.
2. Choosing a Full Time RV
It’s best to start with what you have when choosing a full time camper. However, if you’re like us, we didn’t have a truck or a camper so we were starting from scratch.
Holly recently wrote about Should I buy a fifth wheel or travel trailer? Where she talks about creating a checklist of your wants for you camper and highlights what we searched for when we searching for our camper.
What type of Camper?
There is no right camper for all scenarios. For example, we’re a full time family with 3 adults and 2 children living in a fifth-wheel. This works well for us and it may not work for everyone. The important thing is to find a camper that you can see yourself living in.
There are many types of Campers, motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers, Class C, and several others.
One of the reasons we decided a fifth-wheel over the others was only having to worry about 1 vehicle. If you’re driving a Class A and sometimes with Class C many people tow a car behind their camper that they’d drive once you reach their destination. This is called a toad, the vehicle you tow behind a camper. We thought the potential issue with this is you’d have to worry about the maintenance of both vehicles. Consequently, two oil changes, two sets of tires that’d need to be replaced, two sets of windshield wipers, etc. It just doubles the cost of your overhead, which is why we steered clear of the drivable RVs.
A fifth-wheel vs a travel trailer
Another reason we choose a fifth-wheel over a travel trailer is tow-ability. Fifth-wheels connect to a hitch in the bed of the truck similar to that of a semi-truck. I’ve driven our fifth-wheel through the windy mountains, snow, ice, and rain. I can honestly say that I barely know it’s behind us. I never feel it bouncing around behind us or swaying in the wind.
In contrast, the same can’t be said with travel trailers. Travel trailers connect to the truck just like a boat would with a standard hitch. If you’ve ever pulled a boat on the highway on a windy day, you’ve felt it bouncing around. For that reason, it’s the same as a travel trailer. Depending on how strong the wind gusts are, it can become a pretty scary situation. They do make a lot of travel trailer hitch accessories that do help with trailer sway. As a result, the accessories don’t completely prevent the swaying.
Regardless of what you choose, it’s always a good idea to have road-side assistance. You never know when you’re going to get a tire blowout. It’s good to know that help is always just a phone call away!
3. What size Camper for full time RV living?
Campers come in all sorts of lengths. We’ve heard that a lot of federal and state parks can’t accommodate or don’t always have accommodations for longer campers.
Our camper is 41′ long and we have yet to have an issue with finding a campground that won’t take us. I’m sure there are campgrounds out there that won’t support us. Albeit, when we were shopping for a camper we wanted to be under 37′ long. Because we thought we wouldn’t get into any campgrounds.
Most importantly is finding a camper with an adequate amount of storage and living space for your circumstance.
One thing to remember is that this RV is going to be your new home. It’s easy when you’re looking at RVs to forget about some of the necessities that come standard in houses. You should ask yourself, where am I going to store my clothes? Where will I store the vacuum? Where will I put the cat liter box? etc. It’s these little things that are often overlooked when purchasing a camper because there is a level of excitement to purchasing a camper.
Finding a full time RVing Camper
Our search started by looking for a used fifth-wheel or travel trailer on RVTrader.com. We knew that there were a few brands that we wanted so that helped narrow down our search. Either an Open Range, Grand Design, or Heartland.
In addition, we wanted a bunkhouse. RVTrader is pretty frustrating when looking for bunkhouses because there isn’t a way you can search just for bunkhouses. I did find that if you put Sleeps 8+ in the search that typically pulled up just bunkhouses.
Eventually, we searched Camping World‘s Website and found our camper.
If you’re interested, we have a video where we toured our camper.
4. Choosing the Right Tow Vehicle for Full Time RVing
This section could spark a great debate on which is truck is better. Ford, Chevy, GMC, or Dodge. That’s not what I mean by choosing the right tow vehicle.
When choosing a tow vehicle, you need to understand that it’s not always about the vehicle being able to move the rig. It’s also about stopping the rig. Sure, a 3/4 ton truck could pull a 15,000 lbs trailer and stop the rig but that doesn’t mean the tow vehicle is rated for it and/or safe for yourselves or other drivers on the road.
I created a Payload Calculator to help calculate if you’re rig and tow vehicle are a good fit. When you enter your Gross Vehicle Weights, Gross Combined Vehicle Weights, Payload, Passengers, etc the calculator will tell you your available payload for your truck and rig combination.
5. Income while full time RVing
Income seems to be the #1 hurdle for people making the leap to full time RVing.
There are so many resources to allow you location independence while collecting a paycheck. Many large corporations are now allowing remote work. It’s ultimately a win-win for both the employer and employee. You’re not having to trek to work every day, you can perform your work while in a location you want to be in thus allowing you to see the world.
If your RVing, there is a workamper program available. The terms are different for every campground but typically, you’ll work about 15-30 hours a week, paid minimum wage, and allowed to stay at your campsite at no cost. Again the terms are different at each campground based on their needs.
Originally, our plan was that Holly would take a traveling nursing position for 3 months while we stayed in Florida for the winter. The difference in pay from a nurse stationary at a hospital vs a travel nursing is quite staggering.
We ended up doubling down on Adventures You Dream to work towards making it a sustainable income. By publishing regular videos to our YouTube Channel, to monetizing our blog, and other affiliate programs.
We found one of the best ways to give clarity in financial decisions is to make a monthly budget. You can use software similar to Mint which will link to your accounts and then show you where you’re money.
One thing we’ve found out with RVing is it can be as cheap as you want it to be or expensive. If you’re staying at KOAs every night then you’re spending will be higher than say compared to State Parks or boondocking where it can be relativity cheap to free.
We love RVing! We have no regrets about selling our house and everything we own to have more time with our family and friends. Full time RVing doesn’t come without its challenges but if you’re thinking of doing it; just do it! Life is short, time is precious and you can’t get back the lost years with your children.
We didn’t have everything figured out when we sold our home. We leaned on each other for support, questioned if we were doing the right thing at times but so far it’s been a blast! We’ve done more with our kids in the last month than we have in the previous year.
Go be intentional with your life and let us know your plans in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!