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This posting has been removed as the article has been purchased by an outstanding RV’er periodical. More info to come!

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I recently posted “9 Reasons Not to Become an RV Nomad.” More than a few responses led me to believe that people thought that we weren’t enjoying our nomadic lifestyle. Not so. Nadyne and I have been delighted to be full-timers.

I decided I should dispel the notion that everything is dreadful on the road. It isn’t all great, but most of it is. So, here are my top 9 reasons to ditch the 9-to-5 and live in an RV on the road:

  1. You can visit friends and family all over the country- When we were living in Denver, how many times do you think we visited my brother in Boston or my daughter in Seattle? Two weeks of vacation per year isn’t enough time to fly across country to visit all of one’s family, especially if that family is scattered from coast to coast like ours is. We left friends behind in Buffalo, NY, when we moved to Las Vegas that we haven’t seen in many years, and that has happened after every move we’ve made since then. Seeing these folks in person is a priority to us in this new lifestyle.

  2. There’s a lot less to clean- We downsized from almost 1700 square feet to just about 360. Yes, we have to clean more often, but it just doesn’t take very long.

  3. You can take as long as you want to explore nature or other areas of the country- Again, because of limited vacation time, we were severely limited in the distance and duration we traveled, and we put off our Yellowstone trip twice for that very reason. When we do make it there, we may stay a month (if we want to). Also, small towns go unexplored when you have a time limit. Some of those towns are well worth visiting, and now we have the time to do that, wherever we are.

  4. Enjoy tourist attractions off-season or middle of the week- Another benefit of setting your own schedule is that you can plan to visit highly-popular (read that “crowded”) parks and attractions when they will be less congested. You can skip all the Spring Break venues in March and the National Parks in July and August. Being able to do local tours midweek is a huge advantage as well.

  5. Lower your cost of living- Reducing debt, as we did, helps a lot, but even eliminating mortgage or rent payments is a large advantage. Meanwhile, whenever you are strapped for cash, you can boondock (i.e. dry camp or camp without fees or hookups), which makes camping nearly free. Or, you can “moochdock” by parking your rig in your friend’s or family’s driveway!
  1. You meet like-minded people- Few people understand what life is like on the road like fellow full-timers. In the RV community, life on the road is an experience that travelers have in common, making conversation between random RVers seem effortless. How many people do you know that can relate to a build-up in the sewer hose or smells of less-than-ideal black water venting? There is much you can learn as well, such as how to get the best drone footage, troubleshooting power outages or your dual-power refrigerator, or researching what is needed to install a solar power system.

  2. Find solitude often- Even in Colorado, solitude was fleeting. The Denver metro area is comprised of 2.8 million people, most of whom are in the Rocky Mountains on the weekends, as I relayed in my post, “Colorado is Both Boon and Bane.” If you are a city dweller, as the bulk of the population is, finding solitude can seem next to impossible. Being on the road, however, can be the opposite. Solitude, quiet, wide open spaces and the Milky Way are at your fingertips nearly everywhere you go.

  3. Increase closeness in your relationship- Most couples who live together in an RV find that getting close is mandatory — you either become intimate or your relationship suffers, usually the former. There is no benefit to holding onto anger or resentment. You have to work it out, since you’ll be seeing a lot of each other. For most loving couples, kindness, empathy and cooperation become second nature. Alternatively, if you don’t like your partner, don’t move into a confined space together.

  4. If you don’t like where you live, you can move- There are many reasons you might not like where you park — overcrowded campground or boondocking area, rowdy campers, parking lot partiers, excessive Interstate noise, approaching severe weather, and more. If you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or irritated by your surroundings, you can move. After all, you’re mobile!

The overarching theme to the nomadic lifestyle is adventure, enjoying a continuous journey to the unexpected, extraordinary and memorable. We’ve only been full-time for about four years, but prepared for a decade, and would unequivocally do it all over again.


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Note: I originally wrote this pre-pandemic…

A lot has been written about how great it is living the good life of retirement in an RV, but now that we’re into our second month, I’d like to suggest some reasons it’s not so great.  Mind you, I’m not advocating turning back and selling the 5th wheel, but it hasn’t been all wine and roses either.  Here are my top 9 reasons NOT to become an RV nomad:

9.  You don’t have a garage.  Or car port.  Wherever you are camping, there’s probably shelter for you and your spouse from tornados, large hail and the like, but probably not for your RV, pickup or tow vehicle. No garage also means limited storage options.

8.  Local news is… well… local.  Even when we find stations from far-away cities, local TV news has become trivial.  Do we really care that there was a car accident in Davenport, Iowa, or that there’s a marathon being run in Rockford, Illinois?  Not really.

7.  Limited night life.  Ever try to find a karaoke bar in the middle of rural Missouri or Illinois?  I tried to many times.  No luck.  Even if I find one, I hesitate being an outsider at a “locals” establishment.

6.  No neighbors from Monday to Thursday.  This might be a good thing for someone living in the city, but when you are hoping to meet other nomads and share some wine or other beverages, the middle of the week sucks.  

5.  Crowded parks. The opposite is also true on the weekends: tons of families (and children) camp from Friday to Sunday, and we’re way past dealing with kids.

4.  Fuel cost.  When you think about it, it makes sense.  We sold our high-gas-mileage Kia because we couldn’t take it with us —  we’re pulling a 5th wheel with our Ford F350.  But that also means that sightseeing is done using diesel at 12 mpg instead of gas at 30 mpg.  Our only drivable vehicle is a gas-guzzler, or, I should say, a diesel-guzzler.

3.  It feels like we’re on vacation, but we’re not.  The temptation is always there to eat out at the local hangouts, do all the tours, drive everywhere.  However, we’re on a tight budget in order to sustain this lifestyle and often we have to stay put in the campground instead of spending all of our time — and money — as tourists.

2.   Guilt.  Let’s face it, when you have to get up at 4:45 am every morning for years because you have a job to go to, sleeping in until 8 am feels great but comes with unexpected guilt.  Ditto with not going to work and collecting a nice paycheck.  Intellectually we both are all-in on our budget, but emotionally, we feel like we should be more productive.

1.  Cleaning, fixing, prepping — there’s always something to do.  When you have a 1,700-sq.-ft. sticks-and-bricks house, you have room to spare, possibly even a storage or clutter room.  That is a luxury we don’t have in our 360-sq.-foot 5th wheel.  Set a glass down on the wrong surface and the whole place looks a mess.  Things break on the road, and you can’t wait until something becomes serious before fixing it, since you don’t want to be living in your rig while it’s parked in a repair facility.

There are other reasons not to partake in this lifestyle and we’re sure to learn many more of them.  But, after a few years on the road, these are my impressions.  Feel free to add your reasons in the comments.  You’ll feel better. 

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