Fulltiming refers to a subset of RVers who live and travel full time in their RV. Normally, these Rvers do not have a traditional house (sometimes called a "stick" house).
Purists may define fulltiming in a strict sense - to mean no house, condo, RV lot or any other physical roost to return to. Others allow that if someone is living and traveling in their RV most of the year, they are fulltimers.
Like most RVers, we don't get too fussy about the definitions. If someone thinks of themselves as fulltimers, that's okay with us.
In our case, our only home is the RV. Like a turtle, our home goes with us. All of our possessions are stored on board - in interior cabinets, exterior bays or our tow car.
Yet the fulltiming RVer also deals with aspects unique to their particular type of RV lifestyle. We think it is a great way to live, but it is not for everyone and is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here are a few considerations:
Getting rid of a house and personal belongings can be emotional, to say nothing of the logistics. What to keep, what to give away, what to do with the rest? We gave away a lot of stuff to friends and family, had a garage sale, donated items and took with us what we figured we would need on the road.
Close family ties. People accustomed to frequent visits with family and friends need to consider how they will adjust, and how they will stay connected from across the miles. Some people find it difficult to leave a physical community or geopgraphy. On the other hand, we have met RVers who delight in their RV lifestyle as the perfect way to visit with friends and family geographically scattered around the country.
How to stay connected in general is a consideration. Mail, email, webcams, RV internet access,
cell phones. Fulltiming RVers deal with these in different ways, and
take advantage of new technology, which makes it much easier to stay
connected while fulltiming.
Space: Less of it for things. We can often find yet another niche to stash yet another thing into our motorhome. But make no bones about it - it's a big change from the land of walk-in closets, basement shelves and "room in the garage".
Space - less of it for you. Less personal space and privacy. People living together fulltime in an RV need to be able to get along. They will be together more often and in much closer quarters than traditional living.
Costs. Fulltiming RVers need to plan what it will cost them to live a fulltime lifestyle. This means budgeting for day-to-day living expenses on the road, as well as planning for the future. The traditional house is an appreciating asset. The typical RV depreciates over time.
Money may be needed to replace or upgrade an RV. Or the fulltimer may want to plan for a time when they travel less frequently and also maintain a more traditional home.
Jobs. The fulltimer may want to consider working on the road to supplement income. There are lots of options available. As you ponder the choices, think about what impact working will have on your planned fulltiming lifestyle.
After a couple years of just traveling and sightseeing, we started workamping to help pay the bills and to keep active. Some jobs require a commitment of time in one location. Others can be taken on the road. What types of RVer jobs merit consideration?
Establishing an RV home base. Fulltimers still need a home base for a variety of reasons including voting, medical coverage, insurance, taxes, drivers' licenses, etc. This RV Home base book provides some idea of the types of tax and related costs in each state. Once you have some familiarity with what to look for and perhaps have narrowed down some potential states, it is always a good idea to check the latest information.
When we first became intrigued by the thought of fulltiming, we started
reading. We read books that dealt with RV living, and fulltimer
experiences. We read books that not only educated us - they inspired
We got different perspectives and ideas.
We think this kind of reading and research is a MUST for anyone pondering RV living on a fulltime (or even most-of-the-time) basis. Whether you choose to be a fulltimer or not, the learning is sure to help you create and refine your RV lifestyle. So here are some recommended resources on the subject.
Retire to an RV: The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement provides you with exactly the right information to decide if fulltiming is for you.
RV Lifestyle experts Jaimie Hall Bruzenak and Alice Zyetz, share their combined knowledge based on 17 years on the road and five previous books. Plus 41 solo and couple RVers share their real-life experiences. We love the different perspectives - very important for making the decision!
So, You Want to be a Full-Time RVer?
Advice based on real experience. This is great resource for doing the initial homework and dreaming, to choosing the right RV for you, to the purchase, camping and lots of stuff in between.
This comprehensive guide covers all the things you wonder about and is a must read for anyone considering the fulltime lifestyle.
Fulltiming For New & Used RVers
This is a well-organized, easy-to-read book written by a veteran RVer who knows the ropes.
Support Your RV Lifestyle
You'll find budget planning tips, workamping insights and hundreds of ways to earn money as
Lots of valuable information and ideas to make the RV lifestyle financially possible for you.
The RV Book This comprehensive book covers all aspects of RV ownership; from selecting and buying the right RV to setting it up at your favorite campground.
10-Minute Tech: Popular book filled with quick and easy tips for your RV lifestyle. Take advantage of these down-to-earth tips and practical advice for both novice and seasoned RVers.
A popular choice to learn what you need to know regarding a variety of RVing operating systems, common problems and handy solutions.
RV DVDs and Downloads For a great way to really learn and remember the "how to's" of RVing, we highly recommend the wide variety of RV videos. Essential visual instruction when starting out, and a great refresher for everyone.
There are titles that cover the electrical and plumbing systems, winterizing, towing, driving, campground basics and many others. Something for everyone in these RV Education DVD video collections.
Some helpful articles for fulltimers:
Browse around this site for more helpful information on fulltiming and the RV lifestyle in general. We cover a wide variety of topics to help address common questions. We also welcome input from other RVers.
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Fulltiming Ever Wonder about the Full-time RV Lifestyle?
New vs. Used RV Which Should You Buy? A big decision.
RV Clubs Rally and Save You Money RV clubs benefit RV wannabees, new and experienced RVers.
Budget for RV Costs Plan a budget for RV costs, financing, insurance, and living expenses. Enjoy your RV lifestyle more by planning ahead.
RV Internet Access How to stay connected.
RV Travel Where to go and getting there.
About this Site We wanted to do something different with our lives.
RVer Jobs: Consider the possibilities for workamping and jobs perfect for the RVer.
Everyday Misadventures: Ever have one of those days?
Winter Un-Wonderland We were initiated into the RV lifestyle in less than ideal circumstances.
Selecting a Home Base: Fulltimers need to consider multiple factors.
Frequently Asked Questions: Answers to questions posed by our readers.
Our RV Life: More about how we got started.