Making the Choice to Become a Full-Time RVer: Getting Started

So you have decided that the 9-5 is worth letting go of and cashing it in for a big, healthy dose of American Freedom. It is easier than you might think.You have heard about living it up and traveling in a motorhome but know nothing about it? It sounds great, but is it really that easy to have such an A Class Adventure on a minimal budget? Yes, it is possible. It just takes a little bit of planning. Here are some smart tips to get you started.

Choices of RV's

Let's get started with the fun stuff. What kind of RV is the perfect RV for you? So many choices, so little time. There are literally endless makes, models, sizes, color, amenities and styles of RV's. It can really get overwhelming when shopping for the perfect RV for your style and budget. Several manufacturer's offer different features and amenities. I encourage you to shop around. Go to RV shows and dealers. Request brochures by mail so that you can compare different kinds of RV's. A RV is a big investment. The value of a RV depreciates very quickly, beginning with the purchase. Depreciation does have its sunny side, however. It makes it very easy to find a camper that is a little older or even a lot older at a great price. Life experience, luxury to travel, quality time spent together, wisdom gained, freedom and connecting with nature; well, these have a value all there own.

The different types of RV's include:

  • Class A (Diesel Pusher & Gas)

  • Class B

  • Class B Plus

  • Class C

  • Class C Toy Hauler

  • Fifth Wheel

  • Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler

  • Hybrid Travel Trailers

  • Travel Trailers

  • Travel Trailer Toy Hauler

  • Truck Camper


  • The Good Sam Club is a RV club, a motor home club and a camping club. They also offer RV insurance and they are the premier source of RV insurance in the nation. Good Sam's Club is known as the RV Specialist. Many auto insurance companies do not even offer RV insurance. The Good Sam Vehicle Insurance Plan(VIP) was designed for the RV lifestyle, with the RVer in mind. Exceptional RV protection such as Optional Full Replacement Cost Coverage, Personal Belongings Coverage and Permanent Attachments Coverage is available.

  • You have many other options when it comes to RV insurance. There are many other companies that offer RV insurance such as Geico, Progressive, Allstate, RV America Insurance Company, Twin Peaks Motorhome Insurance and Farmers Insurance. Passport America also has RV insurance. Shop around. Find the best insurance policy for your own needs.

Living Expenses & Financing One of the first things to do is sit down and work on a budget. Try a computer financial program such as Quicken's retirement planner. How much money can you spend? Give this a lot of thought. Some RVers live on less than ten grand a year full-time in their RV while other RV owners spend a half a million on the RV itself. What ever your situation there is an option available for you. You must first know what your situation is. Having an A-Class Adventure must first be determined by your budget. Knowing costs such as insurance costs, RV prices, camping clubs and everything else that you will need will allow you to make the best choices possible.

Earning a Living While On The Road

Many RVers have to find a way to pay for this life of adventure. There are several ways to earn money on the road. It is possible to make enough money on the road to support yourself and your family. You can create a traveling career.

  • Start up a business (Have your own RV office)

  • Blog

  • Travel Nursing

  • Travel Psychic, Intuitive, Life Coach

  • Workamper Positions (Specifically tailored work for RVers)

  • Virtual Assistant

  • Affiliate sales

  • Greeting card Design

  • E-bay

  • Tutoring

  • Independent Contractor

  • Internet marketing

  • Data Entry

  • Several companies need seasonal help such as Disney

  • Musician

  • Artist

  • Author

  • Take surveys

  • Photographer

  • Flee Markets

  • Make and sell crafts

What To Do With Your Bricks and Mortar Home You have more options than you might know in this department. You could, of course, sell you home. This could take some time though. Your financial situation really comes into play at this point. Also how much of a hurry you are in comes into play as well. Do you want to leave as soon as possible or are you willing to put it in the hands of the heavens and let everything fall into place (when it will work out best for everyone involved.) You could hire a property caretaker to take care of the property while you are living the good life on the open road. Maybe you have always wanted to be a landlord. You could rent it out. It really depends on what you are planning and how long you plan to be gone. Some RVers have no plans and just set out to see where they are going when they get there.

Establishing a Home Base & Mail Location

  • Full-time RVers need a home base location for many important reasons. Voting, Insurance, taxes, driver's license, medical coverage and legal reasons.

  • You must also have a place for your mail. If you are going to be on the road, either full-time or for several months at a time, you will need to make arrangements to have your regular mail forwarded to a location nearby your current travel location. Most RV Clubs have mail forwarding included in membership or for an extra fee.

Internet Access

  • Wi-Fi: Not all RV parks have Wi-Fi. When you do find an rv park that has Wi-Fi, ask for a site where the signal is strong. More and more parks are installing WiFi networks. WiFi data speeds are much faster than dial-up connection. Many campgrounds charge for Wi-Fi access, but some do not. Rates very. Most laptops come with built with Wi-Fi capability suitable for RV internet access. The down-side of Wi-F is that it is not available everywhere and sometimes it does not work when it is available.

  • Satellite Internet: The greatest advantage to satellite internet is that you can be highly mobile and have internet service even in remote areas where wired connections or wireless services are not available. Satellite systems are very expensive though. You cannot use satellite internet while driving. You must pull-over in order to get online.

  • Wireless (Cellular) internet: Ideally it would be great to be online while literally, on the road. By using a cell phone and/or wireless provider you can. Speeds improve as technology advances.

  • Dial-up modem (or central DSL in campground): You can plug into a dial-up modem. Some parks have this option available. You can hook up to their telephone or DSL connection and have access to the internet and to the telephone. This is a great option for long-term stays in a particular camp site location. Phone connections or RV internet access to individual sites at the campground might not be the best choice for a RVer on the move. Often you have to call the phone company to set up the phone lines.

RV Clubs

  • Good Sam Club: A great place to start for a newbie RV enthusiast is the Good Sam Club. They are known as one of the best RV clubs and have over one million members. The Good Sam Club began in 1966 when a group of RV owners put Good Samaritan bumper stickers on their rigs so fellow members would know they could get help on the road. Not only does the Good Sam Club offer RV insurance they offer an entire community of "Good Samaritans" and several benefits to becoming a member. Discounts on everything RV including campgrounds, trip routing, emergency assistance and deals on gas or diesel are just a few. They even have a support center to ask questions and get real answers from real people. Basic membership costs about thirty dollars a year. There are so many benefits and great service through Good Sam. It is definitely worth a visit to their website at for more information.

  • Passport America: Passport is a camping clubs that allows you to save 50% on more than 1700 campgrounds across The United States, Mexico and Canada. It is the world's largest network of quality campgrounds of its kind. Included in membership, along with campground discounts, you get free trip routing, subscription to RV America and the Passport America community. Basic membership is less than fifty dollars a year. Additional to basic membership passport also offers roadside assistance RV insurance and mail forwarding. Visit the Passport America website for additional information.

  • RV Owner's Clubs: Most of the RV brands have their own clubs that you can join. Each has its own benefits. Often RVers will buy a particular brand name RV just to get into the club. It is similar to motorcycles in that way. I am still not sure who the Harley Davidson of Motorhomes is. There are so many great RV these days. It is almost to hard to choose which you like more.

Closing Notes Once you decide that this is the choice lifestyle for you there will be a lot to become familiar with. Safety for example. If you are like me you will want to know everything there is to know about RV's, camping and the lifestyle. This article should create a great foundation to get you started and allow you to build upon.

Angel StJohn

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