Editor’s Note: The following is a column authored by Chuck Woodbury, one of the nation’s leading RV consumer bloggers and owner/operator of the popular RVTravel.com website, offering a first-hand perspective of the full-timing lifestyle. To view the entire issue click here.
How often do you use your RV? A couple of weeks a year? A few months? Probably not surprising to you, there are hundreds of thousands of RVers who live all the time in their RVs, or at least most of the time. Nobody knows how many people live full-time in RVs. It could be a million or more.
But what I do know is that a lot of people live and travel full-time in an RV and many others dream of the day when they can, too. For most, it’s a very good life.
RVs are so comfortable now that it’s easy to live in one, enjoying nearly all the comforts of home. And the freedom is incredible — to go where you want, when you want and bring along your easy chair, too. It’s a satisfying, stimulating life for people who yearn for adventure.
Recently, during a brief visit to Quartzsite, Ariz., I was invited into the fifth-wheel winter home of a full-timing couple. They were parked on public lands in the wide-open desert with no hookups. As I drove toward the RV, it seemed lonely out there. But as I got closer, I noticed that the couple had manicured their little piece of desert with a rock-lined front walkway and had placed a few potted plants in the shade of their awning. And several lawn chairs were atop a few square yards of artificial turf.
Inside, there was plenty of room for two people with all the creature comforts — spacious kitchen, TV, computer, big bedroom with bathroom — everything two people would need to live with ease and comfort. Outside, solar panels harnessed the energy of the sun to provide ample electricity.
Just as I entered the RV, the cell phone rang: One of the couple’s children was calling from the Midwest. The cell phone did double duty as the link to the Internet. “How different was this from a traditional home?” I asked myself, to which I answered, “Not much, except this home moves.”
It seems to me that as more baby boomers enter their senior years, even more of them (as well as younger people who can work while on the road) will take up full-time RVing. It’s a heck of a lot less expensive in most cases than maintaining a home, a lot “greener” (even factoring in gas for travel as you use far less energy in the small space than in a traditional home), and in most cases more exciting than living in one place all the time.