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UPDATE: 6 Lessons We Learned About RV Living

Learning lessons and RV Living go hand in hand. After spending years on the road, we realized there are 6 essential lessons. These lessons won’t apply to everybody, but as newbies to the road, they were the most potent for us.

These lessons are focused on “how to enjoy RV travel” more than the mechanical side of RV living.

1. Slow Down

This was the hardest lesson for us to learn but also the most rewarding. A common mistake for newbie RVers is to travel too quickly. There’s so much to see – and racing from place to place is the only way to do it… or so it seems.

Once we learned to settle down and stay at each location for a week or so, our days became more enjoyable. We were able to get to know an area and explore the local parts of each community – not just the tourist attractions.

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We also began traveling shorter distances between each stop. Driving a big rig or towing a trailer can be pretty stressful. Once we cut down the miles on travel days, we found our moods to be more relaxed and less “on edge”.

2. Boondocking Makes Us Happy

Boondocking, although intimidating at first, is the most amazing way to connect with the surrounding environment. And, connecting with the environment is medicine for the soul!

It took us almost a year of RV Life to become comfortable with boondocking. Thanks to Campendium and FreeCampsites, we learned how to research and find the best, and safest, boondocking sites around.

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We encourage everyone to at least, try boondocking once or twice. There are many sites with close proximity to towns – so, you don’t have to actually be out in the boonies to give it a go.

Boondocking is one of the keys to a happy RV life for us!

3. Roll With It

Just like any other aspect of life, we never have complete control over a situation. Over our 5 years of traveling, we’ve learned how to let go of our expectations and “roll with it.” Breaking down happens, weather happens, and like they say, crap happens.

We have to realize that any unfortunate event is a learning experience.

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4. Community is Essential

We dove into RV life without any knowledge of “RV Community.” Our first six months on the road were completely void of making friends or even knowing how to make friends on the road.

Thanks to Xscapers, we realized there are many people like us living the same lifestyle. Their community of “Working Age RVers” introduced us to some of the best friends we have.

Social Media is another way we’ve learned to make friends while RVing. These “digital friendships” often materialize into “in person” friendships.

5. Staying Healthy and Active

It was easy for health to take a back seat when we were traveling quickly and covering many miles each week. Gas Station snacks and eating out became daily habits.

Once we slowed down our travels, we began to cook our meals and enjoy hiking. Doing daily physical activities is one way we maintain a good mood. It’s also crucial that our pup is getting the daily activity she needs.

If we’re all active – we’re all happy. That’s a big lesson learned.

6. Free Activities

Each town we visit offers so many free activities. This is something we didn’t really know upon starting the RV adventure. Like we said earlier, in the beginning we jumped from tourist spot to tourist spot, paying a premium for activities. Slowing down our travels helped us discover free activities and allowed us to get to know local areas more in depth.

We’ve stumbled upon car shows, farmers markets, outdoor concerts and more, simply by walking around the town we’re in. Hiking is another free activity we like to seek out. We never know what to expect, and that’s half the fun!

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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  1. We agree with these lessons. We are in our third year and have learned the very same ones!! Slowing down was harder than I thought. We started volunteering as a way to slow down and to save a little money. Then adding boondocking to the list was even better! We were intimidated at first, as you mentioned, but it is awesome. We have followed your blog and taken advantage of some of your “finds”. Thanks! Finally, just to add to the list of free things to do – how about geocaching? We love it and they are everywhere!!! In the middle of town, on trails and even internationally.
    Thanks for your posts! Safe travels!

  2. Bob Ide says:

    Informative article. I would add to your list for a full timer is to have a project for slow days when it is raining and cold. I putting together stuff for a book which keeps my brain occupied and challenged

  3. LaMonte and Patti Monnell says:

    We love all the input you both give us. We are going to begin our full time adventure next June 2018! We are excited to not have a home to stress over and all the upkeep. We are not wealthy by any means but hope to have enough to travel comfortably and be able to enjoy seeing America! Hopefully we will get to meet you both one day soon and have lunch or whatever. We love your cd, thanks so much for it!

  4. Ari Adler says:

    Good post with great tips to consider. Thanks for compiling it and for letting us all travel along with you!

  5. LonerBlood says:

    Indeed, shit does happen. Good read. Thanks!

  6. J says:

    I would add “Less is More”. Living with less, but experiencing more.

  7. onegoodlifefamily says:

    I never considered #5. Gas station snacks probably do become a problem. Thanks for this list!

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