Adjusting to RV life can be pretty hard at first. Making the choice to follow our dreams and live life on the road is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, but it’s definitely got its own unique set of challenges.
It’s a major adjustment to leave behind the life you knew; You’re saying goodbye to your house, your friends and family members, and probably your old job too. You’re journeying into the unknown and that’s HUGE. If you’ve made this transition or plan to, you’re so very brave and you have a huge community out there to support you.
After reading this article, if you want to follow our current Airstream renovation in real-time, head over to our YouTube channel and smash that subscribe button! Here’s a chronological playlist of all the renovation videos:
Back to the RV struggles: I wanted to share some things with you that have helped us in our journey. It can be difficult for some, especially in those first few months, but it gets so much easier and we’re here to help. It just takes a little while to find your bearings.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
People refer to RV life as a “permanent vacation” and thats just not true. We still have to work, keep up the laundry, buy groceries, and pay bills. We’re not immune to stress and our problems don’t disappear. RV life has some amazing perks, like exploring beautiful landscapes and changing your backyard whenever you want, but we do regular people stuff too.
You could be on the go all the time and moving every couple days, but we’ve found that we need balance so we don’t burn ourselves out. Find that balance and a pace that works for you.
BE OPEN TO THE JOURNEY
Mindset is everything. If you approach things with a open heart, without expectations of what it “should” be you will save yourself a lot of grief. Almost nothing goes as planned when you want it to, so be flexible and learn to adapt.
Be open to changing plans. Not holding ourselves to strict schedules, has given us so much freedom. That doesn’t mean theres no planning involved, but we give ourselves some wiggle room. We can add a few days at or leave early if we want to. On actual travel days, we personally like to leave early and move no more than 200 miles. That may sound short, but it keeps us stress free and we still have the whole day ahead of us.
Sometimes you get a flat tire, or the campground is full or you get on the road later than expected… We like to have a lot of daylight to come up with a backup plan. No matter the obstacle, theres always a lesson to be learned from any situation. You just might end up learning a new skill, finding a great new camp spot, or making a new friend.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
We spent the first few months on the road navigating this new life by ourselves. We learned a lot in those months, but I can’t even describe how much we grew once we found our place in the RVing community.
We found our tribe with the Xscapers, we met like minded individuals, who understood the joys and struggles we faced. They helped us learn the ropes of boondocking, we learned about generators and solar and so much more. We shared stories, campfires and meals together and we still meet up every chance we get.
We had no idea how important this was to us, until we found it. We encourage you to find your tribe. Join a club, attend a rally, invite your neighbors over to your campfire. Just put yourself out there, you won’t regret it.
NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
This may not apply to you, but if it does its very important. Your partner is not your enemy. It will feel like it at times (ahem..backing up the trailer) but they are going to be your biggest support system. You’re a team and it requires both of you for the ship to run smoothly. It will take a while to figure out your individual jobs, but once you do you will be unstoppable!
We tend to take our frustrations out on the ones closest to us, so its very important to communicate openly with your partner. Improving our communication skills have been key to avoiding conflict in our tiny space.
For more in depth on ways to nurture your relationship, check out our post RV Living – Maintaining a Healthy Relationship.
ENJOY THE RIDE
Your confidence will grow day by day and the experiences you have will be priceless. RV Life is filled with beautiful natural wonders and the most kind hearted people. Enjoy the journey and know that you made it happen.
As you grow and learn, don’t be afraid to help out others who are just beginning. They may need advice or they may just need a friend, but it will mean the world. We had others show us the way and now its our duty to pass it on.
so terrific – great advice y’all!
Well we made our 6000 mile trip and waved at Fairhope from 1-10 a few times on our journey from Utah to Florida. You guys were already gone to your RV Nomads shoot so all my wife and I could muster was a wave. Just like we have done for years going through the Mobile Bay Tunnell when we yell hip hip horray! We had some ups and downs on our trip like 1: scrapping the side of our 25’ ft trailer as I did not focus properly in the gas line stalls. $3300 damage but I have insurance and estimate and worked lined up her in Utah. I was a real bonehead as Tropical Storm Anthony was right in the panhandle where we were. No excuses though as I blew it. 2: all the preparations for the trip went as planned as staying at Walmart and Cracker Barrell worked out with our generator keeping that AC going. My locations and the sound box I made helped the noisy generator 6500 watt version. No inverter yet but it stayed on from 10 pm to 7am. Ask me how I do not know but it did. Also my 2 TV setup worked great as we had different shows we wanted to watch and we did. 3: Friends of ours in Florida, after we stayed 1 week at the Compass RV Park in St Augustine, told us that they were taking their class A on the road and we could surf at their house with all the hookups needed and I mean all. 4: After our daughter got out of the hospital it was 4 of us now traveling back to Utah after at 3 week stay. It went well but we are done traveling like that, meaning 9, 10, 11 hours a day traveling. No more my wife said and it’s 4 to 5 hour drives. Total gas was close to $2000. I figured it was the better figure if you considered, airline, rental car, hotel, eating out, would have been for 3 weeks closer to 5 grand so with our food and eating in Trailer, we were $2000 to the good. I’m hoping in 5 years or less we can go 100%. Our property has doubled in equity so just looking now for the right rig to finish our days since were 63. Our reunion in Agricola was fantastic and I went to Bozos in Pascagoula and had 10 lbs of crawfish. I was happy Happy. We returned to Utah to find our home in order so we will be in the mountains for awhile. Blessings to you as you inspire us. You are so brave and lucky to do this while your young.
Love your realistic views. My husband and I retirement age will be fulltime in a few weeks. The first few months we’ll be visiting with the kids in different states. Another blogger said it takes a good six months to feel comfortable and I fully expect it to take time. I’ve been in an emotional state of anxiety as I leave everything behind. I know it’s not a bed of roses and we’ve been campers all our lives. I love to watch your videos as you give great spots to visit. Thanks for all you do!
Best video yet. Your honesty is very much appreciated and helpful. Great job!
Good advice and especially like the find your tribe part. I RV’d for a couple years long ago and was a traveling vendor. So, my tribe became other traveling vendors. Selling stuff at music shows, street fairs, flea markets, etc.. It was great and I met a lot of people . However, if you don’t find a tribe it could get lonely. And it is nice to find like mined people !https://sueswanderings.com/
So glad you found friendship among your fellow vendors! It can definitely get lonely out there, without some friends to share it with.
Thank you so much Julie!
Congrats! I’m sure its been difficult in these last weeks, but visiting your kids will help make the transition easier. Great things to look forward to, just give yourself some time to adjust and move at your own pace. Best wishes!
What a whirlwind of an adventure! Great job rolling with it. Those long travel days are really tough. Glad you got to enjoy some crawfish in Pascagoula! Enjoy your time in the mountains, hope to see you out on the road one day!
Thank you Tracy!
Very well thought out ! Thank you for sharing !
I’m so happy I have you and Kyle to support me! I’m traveling solo, been on the road since the end of April. If you only knew how often your words ring in my ears as I experience this new lifestyle. Thank you for your experiences and sharing them with all of us. You are truly pioneers and I am very grateful.
Such great advice Oliva and Kyle! 🙂
Thank you Justin and Stacy! Hope you two are well!
We’re so happy we could be of help! We hope you are learning and growing in ways you’ve never imagined! 😊Happy Trails!
We are 70 and 76 years old and went full time a year ago. I’ve been following you guys and your travels. We missed seeing you at Quartzsite this year. Maybe next time. We have had our problems from the first day with a blow out on 40ft fifthwheel. Then the next day another one. 4 new tires later we’re back on the road. Thank goodness we have good phones to find help. We’ve had some good times but the bad always finds us too, but we have met some really nice people when broke down and had to stay for a while. It has been nice to be able to visit relatives who are scattered all over. Our daughter and family are in western Idaho so we are there now. We did buy a small lot in Yuma, AZ to go back to in the winter. While in Quartzsite we liked the lots there with RV hookups and the Mexican brick fences. That’s what we found in Yuma, a whole community of rvers.
Watching one of your videos I loved watching your dog in the background digging a hole. He was sure moving the dirt. ❤❤❤
Thank you for the reminders and reality checks! My husband and I are in the planning stages of taking our 2 kids and 2 cats on a cross country journey of about 6/8 months. Our Minnie Winnie with no slides is very tight, so that is going to be an adventure in itself! Plus, I am a jewelry artist, hoping to pick up some art shows along the road too! Wish us luck! Maybe we’ll see you “out there”!
This is something I really want to do so this is some great advice 🙂 ..the part I’m stuck on is income, then I’ll be ready to go!
[…] our recent post about Adjusting to RV Life, we touched on relationships and how important it is to work as a team and not take out our […]
Glad we could be of help! Have you read our posts on remote work or work camping? There might be some useful info for you – https://drivinvibin.com/2018/06/19/5-tips-for-finding-remote-work/ (Great course linked at the bottom of this one, that walks you through finding remote work)
https://drivinvibin.com/2018/07/11/the-complete-guide-to-workamping/ (Firsthand experience from work campers)
Best of luck to you! Hope to see you out there!
I’m glad you’ve been able to enjoy your travels, despite some setbacks. Yuma is a great spot to winter and theres such a great community of RVers! Our pup can be a handful, I spend half the day filling up holes.
Will check it out! Thank you!
Hubby and I are semi-retired but have been full-timers for 3 years now pulling a 36 ft. 5th wheel. Best advice we could give is buy a diesel truck and new tires on everything…enjoy your articles!
We are new full time RVers family of 5. With kiddos ages12,9,and 5 . I am having a tough time adjusting … from our Ac going out in Texas 103 weather to the organization issues it’s been a rough start. Thank you for the tips I’m sure it will just take time to adjust.
Thank you for letting us in! Just bought a 2018 Thor Class C. 24′.
We are early 60’s, healthy, fit and semi-retired!! Woohoo!
Maiden voyage to York, Maine in a couple weeks. Then home for a while, and – finally!!- to warm weather for the winter. OMG, can’t believe we finally made it. Celebrated our 4th anniversary the other day. We’re committed, or, should be!
Great article, to find comfort in friendships and common situations is very satisfying. It is always good to find someone who has already been thru the same issues that you are facing now. To get the advise from someone who is living it is ALWAYS better than someone who has read about it. Especially when it comes to the RV life. Only one living the life can give you hands on advice as for the best set-up for Solar power for example. The most bang for the buck. The best equipment and be light weight and produce the best results. Another example is the cheap inside refrigerator fan that you constantly have to change the batteries in, but when listening to experienced RVers I found by using a computer fan or other fridge fans that hook up directly to the RVs battery system are much better and need much less maintenance. The list of equipment, systems, and operations of equipment on /in your RV from other experienced RVers is always a better form of info than books alone. Like anything, view multiple sources of information prior to forming an educated decision. Another nice thing about spending time with other RVers are all the first hand campground reviews from their personal experiences. Hang out around the campfire talking about yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s activities. There are so many things that new campers can learn from the more experienced RVers. The sad thing is that some of the nessassery evils of RVing cost money, for example; using chemicals In your black water tank and 1 or 2 ply toilet paper. This is one of those things that some people don’t think are necessary and don’t want to spend the money on and as a result stink up the RV park . The worst thing is in a full hook ups site you can smell your neighbor black tank when dumped at your picnic table, because they are to cheap to respect everyone else in the park, especially their next door neighbor. Please don’t be that person. Some people put anything in their gray water tank while cleaning in the kitchen while they are in a park on full hook-ups. Then they go to the boondocks and someone tells them it’s ok to dig a hole and dump the gray water tank into the ground, not knowing that cooking oil and other not so soil friendly stuff is in that tank. Just saying, it’s not always good to take friendly advise without thinking it through. Only you know what is in your tanks, so always think ” is it environmentally safe” to take that advice. That is one of the issues with NOT knowing the people you are talking to. Do to this alone alot of experienced RVers don’t like to say anything to anyone because they don’t want to feel responsible for the person misusing the information given. Then you also have the few that are just passing through a campground, staying for a couple days or weeks but have to stir the pot for the residents of that park. I say, if things are not broke or do not have a long term problem for me. No need to say anything. Why bother others while I am just visiting their home area. Sometimes it takes a stronger person to not say anything, than to say something at all. So here is some advice to everyone, before saying anything try to get to know the person you plan on advising. If you are the one looking for advice, try to be reasonable and open minded. Never take it as gospel, you need to use it as a part of whatever solution you are trying to get to. Happy travels.
Congratulations! We’re so excited for you and wish you all the best on this new journey!