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Several years ago I remember listening to Dave Ramsey talk about a couple who was living in an RV so they could save money and pay off debt before buying a home.
I remember thinking to myself, “That seems cool and everything, but I would never live in an RV. I’m better than that.”
Those were my exact thoughts. I wanted the comfort of a home, security, and consistent income. To live in an RV I might be thought of as “less” or people might judge me.
I believe that’s what you call dramatic irony.
Somehow I landed an amazing wife, Alyssa, who challenged me to dream big and not to worry about what other people think. We faced a decision to either stay in Austin with our comfortable jobs or buy an RV and hit the road on an epic 50 state road trip. We decided to choose adventure instead of comfort, and it’s made all the difference in the world.
I wish I could tell you there weren’t any times where I was scared or unsure about our situation. I’ve doubted myself quite a bit actually. But looking back over the past few years, I’ve grown more as a person than I could have ever imagined.
I don’t have anything against houses. I grew up in one.
But living in an RV has made me realize just how cool RVs really are.
After college, our friends were already settling down and buying homes. Nothing inside of Alyssa or me had a desire to “settle down”. We wanted to see the world and go on adventures.
What better way to do that than spending your first year of marriage traveling the country in an RV?
Our friends and family made a lot of Breaking Bad jokes about us moving into an RV before we hit the road. Some of them questioned whether or not we would stay married after a year of living in an RV (Spoiler alert: We’ve been married & traveling together since 2014 so we are clearly obsessed with #RVlife).
So here are 29 reasons why living in an RV is soooo much better than living in a traditional home.
One reason for every foot of our awesome first RV named “Franklin”.
(Update: Alyssa loves RVing so much that she literally just published a book on Amazon called A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV, you can check it out here.)
1. Our RV has taken us to 49 states across America. My childhood home didn’t have wheels. Deal-breaker.
2. Our RV likes to boast breathtaking views out of his window. In a normal home, these views would run you a million dollars.
3. RVing across the country reminds you to not take anything for granted—strong wifi, nice showers, a dishwasher! Those are total luxuries. Life is so much simpler on the road and we are reminded daily of just how little we need to be happy.
4. I can drive to a destination and cook a pizza at the same time. Heck, Alyssa can cook most of our meals while the RV is driving. Roasted chicken and vegetables? Stick it in the oven and lunch is ready in an hour. Chili? Stick in the slow cooker and we’ll eat it when we get there.
5. We aren’t being crushed under a giant mortgage. Our home is paid off so no monthly payments. WOOOOOOOO!
6. Living in a small space and traveling to 50 states during our first year of marriage forced us to learn how to resolve conflicts, like the massive blow-out fight over the GPS while driving in downtown Albuquerque, NM. There’s no room to hide from your problems in an RV.
7. The RV lifestyle promotes being outdoors whereas having a big house promotes sitting on the couch and binge-watching Netflix.
8. Our RV pays for itself in one year. What we paid for our first RV ($11,500) is less than one year of rent in Austin, Texas (and way less than a full year of rent in most other cities across the country!).
Side Note: Here are the exact numbers for how much it cost us to drive to all 50 states.
9. We have no utility bills EVER. You get free water, you get free water, EVERYBODY GETS FREE WATER.
10. RVing is like speed dating for friendships. Invite someone over for a cup of coffee and see how long you can stand being with them in a small space.
11. It takes five minutes to clean the entire house. Six minutes if you vacuum.
12. I can pee without having to make a pit stop. Maybe this is a guy thing, but I think it’s cool. Keep on driving, Alyssa. We’re all good here.
13. You can decorate for the holidays on a ridiculously cheap budget. Spend $15 at Walmart and we’re decked out for Christmas.
14. The lingering campfire smell with a gorgeous sunset. Is there a better combination???
(The answer is yes. Add mountains, wine, and burgers on the grill. Now it’s perfect.)
15. When you cook bacon, the whole RV smells like heaven.
16. RVing is a great conversation starter. No one cares that you own a house. Everyone lives in a house. But everyone we meet asks to tour our RV.
17. When you want to move, instead of hiring a moving company you pull in the awning and unhook from electricity. Plus, you can move every day. Don’t like the weather? Tired of the mountains? Want to live beachfront for the summer? NBD. You can live literally ANYWHERE.
18. It’s perfectly acceptable to constantly eat s’mores whenever you like.
19. You can travel full-time and still make money. There are more remote work opportunities now than ever before. We’ve run three businesses while traveling full-time, all of which we started in our RV. We’ve got 50 business ideas for RVers right here.
20. You can only be a hoarder for so long because you literally don’t have the space to accumulate stuff. You’ll never own anything that isn’t essential so you’ll never be weighed down by stuff.
21. It allows you to embrace a lifestyle of whimsy. You can take your RV anywhere in the world. Because yes, we have met people who ferried over RVs from Europe! We’ve RVed in New Zealand, Canada, and Italy and learned that RVing is even more popular abroad than it is here in the States.
22. RVing can help you eat healthier. In my former life, I spent $300/month eating out. Now since we travel with our kitchen we (as a couple) only spend $50/month eating out. Plus I don’t eat McDonald’s and all that junk anymore. (This may mostly be a side effect of marriage…)
23. If you want to sell the RV, you just post it on Craigslist instead of hiring a realtor. (Except why would you sell this thing? It’s awesome!)
24. We can watch our daughter grow up and experience the world from the comfort of home. We started traveling with our daughter when she was four weeks old and she travels with us in our Winnebago now. She’s visited over a dozen states and three countries and is possibly the happiest human in the whole world. I love her.
25. You aren’t homesick when you’re away from your hometown. Home is wherever you park it.
26. Whenever you want to remodel your house, it only takes one can of paint to change the entire feel of your home. We renovated Franklin and it took less than a week!
27. The RV lifestyle reinforces not living a “comfortable life.” Things are always breaking, life is hectic, and you always have a GPS running because you never know where you are. It helps you grow as a person, like when the slides on your RV won’t let you reach all of your underwear or the tow car nearly crushes you to death all in a 24-hour period. Yeah. That was a hard day. But we are constantly being pushed and growing because we are always doing things out of our comfort zone.
28. RVing teaches you to fix things. I hoped I was going to be rich enough to pay a mechanic all the time. That strategy hasn’t worked out for me yet, so now I know how to flush my radiator, fix my generator, check gauges, and a lot of other manly stuff I couldn’t do before. I even recently outfitted our Honda CR-V for proper towing. Dad would be proud.
29. It teaches you to value experiences over belongings, and relationships above work. At the core of it, this is what our lifestyle is truly about. Not about buying lots of things. Not about having a big expensive house or car. Not about following the same path as everyone else. It’s about valuing things that truly matter, like spending time with my family and experiencing the world together.
All in all, I stand by all of my beliefs in choosing the RV lifestyle over buying a traditional home. Does that mean we’ll never settle down and buy a house? Not at all, but for now, it’s the best decision we have ever made.
Want to RV Full-Time? Here are a few more blogs to help you get started:
How Much Does it Cost to Travel America in an RV?
7 Ways to Make Money While Traveling
50 Business Ideas for RVers
How to Start a Travel Blog
Our Experience Renting Our RV with Outdoorsy
11 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used RV
14 RVing Essentials: What You’ll Need to Buy AFTER You Get Your RV