How To Live In A Camper?

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

How To Live In A Camper?

Whether you want to travel, live a minimal lifestyle, or cut down on expenses, living in a camper can be a great choice. If you’ve ever wondered how to live in a camper, this article is for you.

From selecting a camper to live in, to living the RVing lifestyle and other considerations, it’s all here! Let’s dive in.

Why Live in a Camper?

Many people live in a camper by choice. This choice allows them a minimal lifestyle. The minimal lifestyle is attractive to many people as a less complicated and cluttered way to live.

Others find living in an RV a financial necessity. Expenses are usually lower than that of a regular house or apartment. You don’t have need for as much stuff, and you don’t have to heat or cool a whole house.

And there are others who choose to live in a camper because of the freedom of the open road. These full-time RVers live in big campers, small campers, campervans, and more. Having a home on wheels allows them the freedom to live on the road.

Whatever the reason, RVers of every background are jumping into the full-time lifestyle with gusto…and for good reason.  There are so many options these days in recreational vehicles and types of campsites from which to choose. 

It seems there are no limits to where and how one can live in a camper. The old stigma of “living in a van down by the river” has now become a goal for many!

Pro Tip: We do caution living in a camper on social security alone. Here’s the unfortunate truth of social security and RV life.

Selecting an RV for Full-Time RV Living

If full-time RVing is in your future, you will want to do some research first. Here are some points that need to be considered before settling on your first motorhome or travel trailer:

Lifestyle Preferences

What type of camping interests you? Will you be staying in established private and public campgrounds with electrical and water hookups?  Or is boondocking (camping off grid) more your style? 

This decision will affect the size and type of RV you will need. It will also affect any tow vehicles that might be required to pull that rig.  And, it will determine whether you will need a generator or solar power.

To Travel or To Stay

Will you be traveling to a new place every couple of days? Or is your idea of living in an RV more a stationary dream?  This will most likely affect how big or small your rig is and the “luxuries” that you may want in an RV. 

It will also play a part in deciding whether you need an RV that is nimble and gets good gas mileage or one that feels more like a larger “home.”

Weather Preferences

Will you be chasing new destinations or a constant temperature?  If you don’t mind traveling within colder climates, then you need to look for an RV that is considered “four season.” 

But if you are more interested in following a 70-degree temperature around the country, that might not be necessary. In fact, people who chase 70 degrees are called “snowbirds”. Snowbirds head south every winter, and since your home is on wheels, you can too!

Transportation Considerations

Will you need to bring a second vehicle along on your full-time adventure?  If so, your search for an RV needs to include criteria like the ability to pull 3,500 lbs. or more after it is loaded down with your belongings. 

It should have a tow hitch, or if you decide on a travel trailer, then consideration needs to be taken in finding the proper tow vehicle that can pull the weight of your dream 5th wheel, etc.

Stationary vs Traveling Full-Time RVing

Living in a camper doesn’t necessarily mean traveling all the time.  As stated before, many choose RV living because they can cut back on their living expenses.  They may find an RV park or a parcel of land where they can live in one place while saving some hard-earned cash.

If you think living in a stationary spot is what you’d like to do, start searching for RVs with floor plans that will give you enough space to live daily life, where activities, hobbies and entertainment can still flourish. 

Many select non-motorized RVs like 5th wheels and travel trailers for stationary living because they offer great space, and don’t require a motor for driving from destination to destination.  

In some cases, these owners don’t even need a truck to deliver the trailer to their location – they can hire a service to bring the camper to wherever they will be setting up their home. 

This saves on purchasing a tow vehicle, further helping their budget.

Keep in mind: long term RV parks have a different vibe.

Things To Know About Living in a Camper

You’ll Have to Downsize

Remember, your camper has very limited storage space.  This makes discarding many of your possessions an important necessity. 

You can do this in various fashions:  from selling or giving away everything you own to paying for storage units to hold onto the things you just can’t part with, downsizing can take many forms. 

But one thing is for certain:  there won’t be room for it all in your motorhome or trailer!

RV Plumbing is Different Than in a House

Sinks, showers and toilets take on greater importance in an RV. Anything that passes through these pipes must be held in a tank until you can dump them. 

When you pour something down a sink, it doesn’t travel directly into a sewer or septic tank like it would in a residential home. Thought and planning needs to be considered about what will and will not be flushed, rinsed or poured down any plumbing fixture in a camper.

You’ll Need a Physical Address

Even though you might be following your dream of travel, your daily mail does not automatically follow you down that road.  You will still need to have a physical address for things like voting, vehicle registration, insurance, etc. 

There are several services that can help you access your mail from anywhere, but you should set up those services before you take off on your full-time adventure.

Many RVs Are Not Made for the Wear and Tear of Full-Time Life

Most RVs are built for part-time excursions. If you decide that a full-time journey is on the docket, routine maintenance and extra care of your camper should become a priority. 

Remember that your house is now on wheels and everything gets shaken as you take on a bumpy road or open and close slides, doors and awnings repeatedly. 

And if your plan includes bouncing down rutty dirt roads to little-visited boondocking spots, you may want to consider purchasing a motorhome that has all-wheel-drive capabilities.  Their suspensions, tires and construction are rated for more adventurous travel.

Is Living in a Camper for You? 

When it comes down to it, only you can decide if living in a camper is right for you. 

The lifestyle can be amazing if you are prepared for some of the challenges and limitations required.  Or it can become a cautionary tale if you overlook many of the considerations listed above. 

Do some research, talk with those already living in their rigs full-time and test out a wide variety of RVs to see if a particular vehicle will fit your needs to a T. 

It might even be a great idea to rent a camper for a week or two just to see if living on the road suits you.  Then you will truly be ready to make the leap into the full-time RV lifestyle!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

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