There are lots of different rv lifestyles to choose from.
RV Camper or Weekender – go for a weekend or a week
This is probably the most common lifestyle. Camping in an RV has some advantages over camping in a tent - a hard shell and more space for starters - then cooking and bathroom facilities of one sort or another. The latter depends on what kind of a camper you get, of course.
Recreational vehicles for this rv lifestyle are light, easy to transport, set up and take down. They receive the least amount of use and are the least durable. RV types most suitable for this lifestyle are truck campers, folding trailers, class B motor homes and small trailers.
Your focus, with this rv lifestyle, is primarily on rest and relaxation. You take enough clothes for the time you’ll be away, forget about doing laundry, and, other than a cell phone in case of emergencies, don’t worry too much about computers, internet connections, or other forms of modern communication.
Vacationer – several weeks to a month or so
For this rv lifestyle you’ll have to do laundry once in awhile, and maybe even vacuum! You’ll need a bit more storage space for food and clothes as well.
Class B motor homes, small trailers, and smaller Class C RVs are well suited to rv vacations. These are often small enough to be used as local transportation, though a car may be towed, or motorcycles and bikes can be carried. The equipment in the RV is generally designed to be compact while giving you enough amenities for the longer trip.
Make plans to have your mail picked up and held by one of your neighbors or arrange to have the post office hold it. Bills will have to be prepaid or paid electronically while you’re on the road. Staying in touch with family and/or work will make a cellphone, and perhaps a laptop, more necessary.
If you're in one of these top two groups, that means your RV sits idle much of the time. How would you like to defray some of the costs of ownership by Renting Out Your RV?
Snowbird – a season, 4-6 months long
If you live up North, and are tired of long, bitter cold winters, the thought of taking the motorhome south for an entire season and joining the growing flocks of “snowbirds” may have a lot of appeal.
An rv lifestyle that means four to six months of living in a motor home will have you looking for more spacious and comfortable living area and more cargo space. The quality and durability of the RV itself, as well as the interior furnishings and amenities, become more important. Do you want a washer and dryer in your rig, or will you plan to use RV park facilities or a laundromat?
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If you tow a trailer or fifth wheel, you have the tow vehicle for local transportation. In a Class A or Class C motor home, you’ll need to tow a car (a toad, or dinghy), unless you want to rely on renting one occasionally. If you’re camping in an area with good public transportation or a park within easy walking distance of stores and restaurants, you may not need a car at all.
How will you stay connected with family and friends if you’re gone for an entire season? For a snowbird rv lifestyle you will need a mail forwarding service, unless you have someone willing to collect and forward your mail. You may need frequent access to the internet to pay bills and manage personal finances.
Fulltimer – this is your home!
That means you carry everything you can’t live without in your rig. It goes without saying that you can’t take it all, so you must decide what to do with a lot of your possessions, your brick-and-mortar house, and possibly a car or two. This isn’t easy.
If you're fulltime rving, the motor home is your permanent residence. You can stay in one spot as long as you like, or roam from one destination to another. The joy of being free to relocate any time you wish is the primary difference between a fulltimer and someone who lives in a house. Otherwise, your daily activities are not much different – there are housekeeping tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, and laundry, the roof and exterior require cleaning occasionally, and there are periodic maintenance needs.
You will need to give a lot of thought and attention to the amenities you want in your home. Depending on your budget, you can have just about anything you want. The larger, more luxurious motor homes, fifth wheels and trailers today have solid surface counters, tile or hardwood flooring, laundry facilities, even bathtubs.
Large class A RVs, trailers and fifth wheels are best suited for a fulltime rv lifestyle, though many fulltimers manage fine without getting too big. The comfort, quality and durability of all the parts of your motor home are very important considerations.
At this time, there are approximately 1.5 million “nomads” enjoying fulltime living in a motor home of one sort or another.
Here are some tidbits of information about RVers, according to a U. of Michigan study in 2011 (rvia.org):
• There are 8.9 million RVs on the road in the U.S, up from 7.9 million in the 2005 study.
• The average RV owner is 48 years old; 39% have children under 18 living at home; median income of about $62,000/year
• 11.2% in the 35-54 age group has an RV – in fact, this age group outnumbers the 9.3% over 55 that own an RV - both these groups are up since the 2005 study.
Almost all RVers practice one or more forms of “green” RVing. Motor homes have low-water toilets; we take “navy” showers (wetting down, turning off water & lathering up, turning on water to rinse off, etc.) which use considerably less water than the public facilities in the parks; many of us have solar panels to generate electricity.
Ahhh... summer in Tucson. Becoming an early riser; finding new ways to stay cool; reading lots of books.