Expectations Vs. Reality – Fulltime RV Living & Traveling

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

This week we continue our RV Life Q&A Series with a question from Pookie & the Bear. They’re a Florida couple preparing for a life of fulltime RV traveling. As they anticipate life on the road, they wanted to know:

Have your expectations aligned with reality?

On first thought, the quick answer is yes; the reality of fulltime RV life meets and exceeds our expectations. But once we dove a little deeper into our memories of the months before we hit the road, we sure did have some rookie expectations that weren’t met!

Free Wifi


During our initial research we loved hearing tales of RVers using free wifi provided by local businesses. McDonalds, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Home Depot – the list goes on for days. We thought if we needed more internet than the 5 gigs on our phone plan, it’d be easy and fun to drive down the road, grab some fries, and upload videos.

This proved to be horribly wrong. Many times we tried this and found the internet to be overloaded and slow. We also didn’t like hanging out inside any business for more than an hour.

We modified our cell service arsenal, adding a T-Mobile hotspot, and that helped. However, once we installed our WeBoost & WiFiRanger, we took our internet abilities to the next level.

2. Cooking Over a Campfire


In our preparation to become fulltimers, we have an idyllic vision of cooking over a campfire and eating our meals outside while stargazing and listening to coyotes.

FALSE! We love cooking with our propane stove top inside the comfort of our camper. In fact, living in our camper is so similar to our experience of living in a house. We realized quickly – we’re not weekend campers. We’re fulltimers… and this is our home.

Don’t get us wrong – we love nature. But, dealing with smoke, bugs, and uncomfortable picnic tables isn’t our idea of a peaceful dinner.

3. Living off of Solar Power


One of the final steps of our camper renovation was installing solar panels and a new 200 AH battery. We were excited to transition into a life of green energy and minimizing our carbon footprint.

Sike! We quickly realized our all electric mini-fridge was a battery drain. The solar couldn’t keep up with its energy needs.

There were a few ways to solve this problem; many of them involving lots of cash. We stumbled upon a solution in Quartzsite when Spot The Scotts told us they were selling their Honda 2000 generator. We jumped at the opportunity to grab one of these quiet gennys for a great price.

4. Free Camping


This idea has come full circle, but it took months of practice to make it happen. When we drove away from our hometown 11 months ago, we thought we’d rarely pay for rent again!

Due to solar power limitations, small tank capacity, and weak research skills; free camping was extremely difficult during our first four months on the road. But, we put in the time and energy to learn how to camp for free and it has really paid off.

We haven’t paid for camping in the last 3 months!

5. Social Life


Being introverted home-bodies, we didn’t anticipate a life of social activity once we hit the road.

This proved to be extremely incorrect! Social life on the road is awesome. We love making friends with like-minded travelers and letting serendipity lead us to relationships across the country.

We owe a huge “thank you” to the Xscapers group – it’s Quartzsite convergence became our launching pad for understanding socializing on the road.



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  1. Totally agree with the cooking! People think I am outside cooking on the grill every meal, and I’m like, dudes, I can’t do that 3 times a day, every single day. Sometimes I just want soup 🙂 Also agree on spending money on internet connectivity, it’s worth every penny to have it. I have the WeBoost so far, makes a huge difference.

  2. Loved the video….however (being a dog person) I have to say that River kept catching my eye and making me laugh with her digging!!! My dobe and I are looking forward to getting on the road. Just started the camper search!! Cheers to the adventure!!

  3. What web sites or sources should I investigate to find out more on free camping. Thanks in advance for your help. I have been on the fulltime road sence April of this year.
    Joe Thurston

  4. Good morning guys how do you handle security being camping for free some areas you ever feel are questionable and feel like you might have to leave.

    1. If we don’t feel good about an area we just don’t stay there. This hardly ever happens though. Most campers are very friendly and they all look out for one another. Most are just families camping out or experienced campers. It doesn’t hurt to say hello and introduce yourself to your neighbor. We have made many friends this way and ensures you have someone who knows who we are and would know if anyone else happened to be snooping around our rig, though unlikely. Most of these free camping sites and BLM land have stay limits, so it usually deters squatters and such.

  5. That was a great video and, we loved your dog…We just had our huge yard sale after selling the house, now just a few weeks away from our new chapter. Still need to sell our 30Yr old RV, and cars etc. I think we’ll be doing a bit more donations while downsizing. We can see it will be a bit of an adjustment, but we’re so looking forward to it and meeting nice folks like you on the road. Well be on the west coast till December, then who knows?

    1. Congrats! The purging process can be stressful and liberating all at the same time. We ended up giving almost everything away! We were silly and waited to the very end to get rid of all of our stuff. Granted we didn’t have much being our first house together and just renters. Good luck to you and happy trails!

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