There they go….
All loaded up, smiling and waving from their RV as they pull away from the curb.
There you are – standing in your driveway – waving goodbye – all smiles.
“Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry” you tell yourself – at least until they’re out of sight.
It’s not that you won’t miss them – because you will.
That’s not why you’re fighting the tears.
You’re being left behind by your best friends. They’ve sold all of their belongings, purchased an RV and are heading out on an adventure as full-time RVers – living the RV lifestyle – something you’ve dreamt about doing – forever.
You were probably the one who talked them into it.
So…. Why are you being left behind? Why aren’t you heading out on your own adventure?
Truthfully, it’s probably because the challenges you’re facing are so overwhelming you can’t seem to overcome them. The frustration you’re feeling is actually causing you inaction, and anger. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Your challenges could be financial concerns about whether you could afford the RV lifestyle, or you’re worrying about safety on the road or it could even be that you really don’t know where to start. The reasons could be anything at all and are obviously important because they’re impacting your life and preventing you from heading out on your own adventure.
It really comes down to whether you really want this or is it a pipe dream that you’d rather just keep as a dream. Let’s start with deciding how important this dream of full-time RVing is to you.
You choose. Either is just fine – no one says you have to live out your dream but if you do want to let’s figure it out.
I’m going to assume you’re in the “desperately” want to become a full-time RVer stage – that’s something I relate to very well and totally understand what you’re going through.
Let’s take on each challenge one at a time and come up with solutions so you can move on to the next step in becoming RVers or maybe a full-time RVer.
1. Where to start in your planning for an RV Lifestyle? At the beginning of course!
2. Let’s face reality – you might not afford to become a full-time RVer.
3. Why it’s okay to worry about your safety.
4. Yes, your friends have left – but you have a plan.
Where to start in your planning for an RV lifestyle? At the beginning of course!
That’s easy for me to say, but really it comes down to breaking things down into small chunks and addressing each – one at a time and believe me it becomes easier.
First, and I really think this is probably the most important step in your planning – why do you want to become a full-time RVer?
Is it so you can travel continuously? Is this your retirement plan or do you just want to change your lifestyle? Is this something you want long term or is it an adventure you want to experience for 6 months or a year? That will make a difference in creating your plan.
Next, give yourself a date you want to leave.
By setting your departure date you’ve given yourself a goal to work towards and it will help keep you on track. If you don’t, time will fly by and before you know it – it’s too late and you still haven’t done what you wanted to do – live the RV lifestyle!
Be realistic and consider what all needs to be done first – selling or renting out your home, downsizing your belongings, purchasing an RV and even outfitting it to meet your needs. You’ll need to establish a home base for things like mail, insurance, etc and start thinking where you want to go and when.
I know it seems daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. But getting back to my earlier statement – figure out why you want to do this and write it down. Once you’re clear on your goal the rest should fall into place.
I know it’s not that simple but maybe having a “To Do List” to follow may help in planning – The list below gives you food for thought and a place to start. For even more information in greater detail read my post …..
1. Determine if you wish to travel in your RV full time or is this a one-time adventure?
2. What you will do with current residence – sell – rent – or?
3. Either sell, give away or store personal belongings
4. Determine what your budget will be – that will influence what you will spend on your RV
5. Find an RV – have fun shopping!
6. Outfit RV with necessary equipment and supplies – that’s fun too!
7. Plan for mail, home base requirements, communication, health care, insurance – boring but necessary.
8. Plan for the next stage – life on the road.
Let’s face reality – you might not afford to become a full-time RVer.
But…how will you know unless you try.
Do you absolutely know what it will cost you?
Or have you just estimated things and got overwhelmed and put it away until “someday” when your situation changes? You do know your situation won’t change unless you actually change it yourself – right?
Knowing what your expenses are currently versus your income is important. Let’s start with making a couple of lists.
First – Do you know what it costs you to live where you are? Start your first list of your current expenses. Include mortgage / rent, insurance, utilities, maintenance, taxes , groceries, eating out, and anything else cost related to your lifestyle. This could also include your membership at the local Y – include everything! If you were to move into an RV which of these expenses would you eliminate?
Second – What is your current income? Does it consist of pensions or employment income? If you were traveling would your income source change? Would you need to subsidize it by working?
Third – The next step is to figure out your basic expenses for your RV lifestyle. I know it seems hard to figure out your costs if you’ve never done any RVing but it’s really not that difficult. We’ll work on that in more detail later. For now just list an RV, insurance, food, fuel, medical, propane, communication costs – this will give you a start.
Fourth – Income. Will your source of income change? In other words do you have to give up your current employment? If you’re receiving a pension will you need to subsidize it? I realize you may not know that yet because you don’t have a good handle on your expenses but it’s time to think about it because your income will affect your expenses.
That’s just a start – but it will be the base for planning everything else related to your new RV lifestyle.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to just leave it at that. I’ve created a spreadsheet that’s easy to use so you can figure out what your costs will be living in your RV. First, read this “How much will it cost YOU to RV full-time?”
Remember this is just the planning stage to get over the challenges you’re facing to become full time RVers.
Why it’s okay to worry about safety.
If safety isn’t something you think or worry about – then you probably will have a problem.
A large part in feeling safe is being prepared for the unexpected such as breakdowns, route planning and knowing your personal comfort level.
No one says you have to dive in and become a seasoned boondocker or drive down unknown roads just because you hear other RVers say that’s what they do.
Give serious thought as to what would make you feel safe.
Does the condition of your RV or tow vehicle give you a certain comfort level when you head out on the road? If so, then make sure everything is mechanically sound. If you’re not worrying that a tire is going to fall off or the engine will quit any minute, will definitely reduce your need to worry. Plus it’s less likely you’ll have a breakdown on a lonely road with no one around to help you.
Don’t go beyond your comfort level. I think those new to the RV Lifestyle should start out slowly and then widen your adventures as you become more familiar with everything.
Follow your instincts – if your gut says “no, you shouldn’t do this”, then don’t do it.
Plan your route ahead of time – know what you will encounter down the road, whether it’s a bridge or rush hour traffic because you will be hitting a large city right at 5:00. If you know what you’re facing you can prepare for it and know what to do.
Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown that makes us worry about our safety. That’s understandable but by planning in advance, taking a few precautions and staying in your own comfort zone you shouldn’t have any problems.
But it’s okay to worry about your safety – that way you will do your best to reduce the risk and have a safe journey.
Yes, your friends have left – but you have a plan
So, yes your friends are off on their adventure leaving you behind – but not for long!
Remember, there are thousands of RVers out on the road who had their own challenges to overcome – You can too.
By looking realistically at your budget, making adjustments where needed, coming up with a realistic plan and knowing how to keep yourself safe – your confidence will improve. Before you know it, your scheduled departure date will arrive and it’ll be you driving off in your RV and waving goodbye.
You deserve to have the opportunity of traveling in an RV, whether it’s Rving full-time or on your own terms – it’s time to get started.