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The Paradox of RV Freedom

What does the phrase RV freedom mean to you? 

Do you picture a shiny motorhome parked in an idyllic RV park or maybe a van by the river? Or maybe neither.

Today, we’re talking about RV living and freedom. Read on to learn what RVing is all about and some of the misconceptions about RV life. 

Let’s dive in!

What is RV Living All About?

RV living is about people enjoying their RVs. It doesn’t matter if they sold it all or only use it on weekends and during the holidays. 

It’s not about how much you use your RV or when you use it. RV living is the experience of pulling into a campsite, setting up camp, lighting up the campfire, and enjoying the time. 

So, if you want to experience RV living but want to keep your home base, go for it! There are no rules! This is your RV life.

Pro Tip: RV life is like nothing else. To get a better picture of what a day in the life of an RVer is like, we uncovered what A Typical Day in RV Life looks like.

Man driving RV
RV life gives you the freedom to see the world all from the comfort of your home.

Does Living in an RV Equal Freedom?

Many people dream of living in an RV, mainly because they dream about freedom. They want to be free to explore the country on their timeline and in a way that’s right for them without responsibilities. 

If you’re living full-time in an RV, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a yard or paying property taxes. But there are some other things that you do have to worry about.

RV parks have their own sets of rules and policies, whether independently owned or federal or state campgrounds. Between the time you book your campsite and the time you arrive, these rules and guidelines may have changed. Sometimes without you even knowing about it until you check-in.

If you think boondocking can get you to freedom, think again. Public lands have specific rules for stay length, what you can and can’t do while there, and just good general etiquette.

You also still need to make money. You can find a lot of free camping. However, you’ll want to buy food and gas and fix your RV when it breaks. Were you able to buy your RV outright? If not, then you’ve got a loan payment for it and your tow vehicle or chase vehicle.

So Living in an RV doesn’t mean complete freedom, but it can allow you to be less restricted than living in a sticks-and-bricks home.

Pro Tip: Remember there are pros and cons to RV living and it is not always a dream. Find out Why Isn’t My RV Life As Rewarding As I Expected?

Man relaxing in front of parked RV
RV life is exciting, but is also full of challenges.

Common Myths About RV Freedom

People make all kinds of assumptions about RV living, and most of them are wrong. Let’s explore some of the most common ones. 

Myth: You Can Save Money Living in an RV

Ah, the dream of full-time travel and adventures in an RV while saving money. Gone are the days of HOA fees, monthly mortgage payments, and utility bills. That’s all money in your wallet and savings accounts. 

Unfortunately, living in an RV can be just as or even more expensive than living in a traditional home. Buying a new RV costs a lot, and some coaches, fifth wheels, and even vans are in the $120k and up price range. Add in fuel costs, campsite fees, activities, and you could be looking at a costly adventure. 

Of course, there are ways to save and be frugal while RVing full-time, but sometimes you want to enjoy the tourist activities, eat out, have a long hot shower, and stay in the upscale resort that starts at $100 a night. 

And let’s not forget the cost of repairs. Unlike houses, RVs always have something that needs to be repaired or replaced. Unless you have the skills and guts to DIY, that means taking it to a repair shop or having a mobile RV tech come to you. And that means big bucks. 

Even parts can cost a pretty penny, especially if your RV is old enough that you have to have certain parts made.

Myth: RV Travel is Stress-Free

RV travel is often synonymous with freedom and a carefree adventure. We’ve all seen the social media images of people enjoying drinks by a campfire with their easygoing dog. And let’s not forget those videos of peaceful drives with stunning backdrops. 

They failed to capture the miles of back-to-back traffic they had to go through to make it to the perfect campsite. They also forgot to share the clips setting up camp, you know, the fight between driver and parking assistant, especially if it’s between spouses. 

Even planning and booking campsites can be stressful. Parks are full, overpriced, or have fewer employees, making the booking process intense and sometimes overwhelming. 

Happy couple in front of their RV.
RV life is great for people of all ages.

Myth: Full-Time RV Living is Only For Retired People

Ah yes, those golden retirement years. Time to kick off your shoes, relax, and finally do the things you always wanted to do but couldn’t because of work. It’s time to dust off the motorhome, sell the house, and start full-time RVing. Right?

Well, you can wait until you’re 65, or you can start way sooner. 

With modern technology, increased remote work, and other RVer friendly jobs, you no longer have to wait for retirement. You can now work while traveling full-time in an RV. So pack your laptop and cellular hotspot and hit the road. There are many opportunities for work-aged RVers to work their way across the USA.

Myth: Vacationing in an RV Means You Can Only Stay in RV Parks

People think vacationing means pools, activity centers with planned group events, themed weekends, and neighbors. You know, RV park life.

In reality, vacationing in an RV can mean anything you want. Head out to the wilderness, camp out in the desert, sit outside in the quiet and relax. Walk on secluded paths without seeing another vacationer.

You get to decide what your RV vacation looks like. 

Does RV Living Mean Freedom? 

Even though RV living doesn’t always equate to more freedom, it’s worth it. RVing lets you have amazing adventures and memories to last a lifetime. By all means, have a plan, but don’t let your RV dreams pass you by. 

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.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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  1. keebler says:

    I really like my NEW motor home Class “C”. plus Tow dolly for my NEW car.
    I love camping alone or with Friends…How ever, it NOW cost more to go camping. BIG NEGATIVE, than I can actually afford, Plus Fuel to get there, IF you can find a place to go that you want to go.!!! $50+ a night. DUH .plus home operation expenses. so mine just sits in the yard. Big Let Down.

  2. Tree says:

    Great summary of RV life! My husband and I sold our home in CA to live and travel full-time in an RV. Even though we have a 40’ diesel Super C, and travel a few times a month (we mostly boondock), we still end up spending less per month than we did when we lived in a house. I guess if we stayed in parks all the time we’d likely have similar monthly costs as when we had a house.

    For us, the RV life does equal freedom but have learned that everyone RVs differently and may even have different definitions of freedom. We love this life and wouldn’t change a thing!

  3. Tyrone says:

    Great article, I cringe every time I see a post of someone who purchased a very expensive RV, selling their house to go full time AND, this is their first time in an RV. I wonder how many people do that and less than six months later regret it and it seriously affects their marriage. We were considering going full time for a while, but a few life events change our minds, (Grand Child), it is nice to have a home base to come home to ,, but we do plan some 4 to 6 week trips out. Especially with the current economic environment.

  4. Bob says:

    @Tyrone, before the RV life I was a sailor for decades. People would buy an ocean crossing capable sailboat, sell their house with the idea of sailing around the world. Then got in their first real storm at sea and abruptly quit the boating life. Now that is being stupid.

  5. Dsimes says:

    To us not going to a campground is freedom. We mostly boondock and love the quite and so do our two dogs. We all can enjoy nature more this way.