10 Reasons RV Living is for You! – Find Your Freedom

RV Living is gaining major attention these days. In fact, RV sales are at an all time high in the USA. But, the question remains: Is RV Living for you?

We think so!

Maybe we’re a little biased (or a lot biased), either way today we’ll give you 10 reasons to explore the possibility of full time RV living.

In case you want a second opinion, here’s a video of 10 RVers sharing why they chose RV life!

 

Once you hit the road, you may be sad to depart your beloved family and friends. Take this chance to rekindle old relationships with loved ones across the US.

We started new traditions of spending holidays with cousins who live across the country. It has been such a blessing to spend more time with family members that we once saw only every couple years.

We’ve also reconnected with old friends throughout our travels.

Well, duh! Isn’t this what fuels everyone’s desire to take up RVing.

This country is insanely beautiful and unique. During our “sticks & bricks” life we’d have to cram in as much travel as we could into a two week window – now we get to really experience the country at our own pace.

We stick by the old saying, “the west is best!” But, it’s all worth exploring.

I guess the hip folks call this “getting woke,” but we like to think of it as living in the moment.

If RV life does nothing else, it forces us to stay on our toes. Being in ever-changing environments and meeting new people around every corner… it trains us to be aware of the present moment.

It’s also made us aware that people are good! We’ve had more strangers approach us with a helping hand than a harmful one.

Making friends on the road is easier than we ever imagined. And, the quality of friendships is wonderful.

These friendships are based on a mutual love for adventure & exploration…not based on our cubical proximity.

We recommend joining the Xscapers RV Club to find likeminded travelers.

 

Yes – it’s possible to save money on monthly expenses once you hit the road. For many months our total expenses were less than $2000.

This will obviously depend on your lifestyle, but if you do some research and learn about boondocking, you can travel the country virtually rent free!

We boondock about 50% of the time – here’s a monthly expense report showing how much it can lower your bills!

When your home has wheels you can take it anywhere the road leads! We’re not much into festivals, or so we thought. We imagined half naked bodies, hopped up on drugs and dancing to rave music when we imagined festivals (nothing against it, just too intense for us).

We quickly found that festivals come in all shapes and sizes. We explored a vegan food fest in Denver and a blues fest (featuring Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal & Steve Winwood) in Telluride.

We now LOVE LOCAL FESTIVALS!

You only live once. I’m not sure I believe this, but it’s a smart philosophy to live by! Like the infomercial say:

Why Wait? Act now!

Your geography will improve once you hit the road. Your knowledge of American history with grow. You may even become an expert of random roadside attractions.

Beyond having a newfound knowledge of trivia – you’ll have conversation-starters you never thought were possible.

I love learning were strangers are from now because there’s a strong probability that I’ve had my own experience from a nearby location. These points of connection lead to wonderful conversations!

Like it or not, you’re gonna learn how to preform a lot of basic mechanical work. Sure you can call a guy, but that gets expensive. RVs are notoriously…let me think of a nice way to put it….made cheaply!

Tools you once feared will soon become your trusted friends.

You’ll probably be able to diagnose a faulty starter, a broken alternator or even a leaky coolant system. And, best of all, you’ll take pride in these new found skills!

The last reason RV living is for you….you’re crazy! Your family doesn’t understand this “half-baked” idea, your friends think you’re off the rocker, and lord knows what the pastor thinks!

All these things aside – if the desire is deep within you – it should be explored!

We’re all a little crazy out here on the road and you’ll fit right in with this tribe.

If you’re looking for additional resources on RV life, we recommend reading the Top 10 Newbie Lessons for RV Living.

Also, watch this video about the Top 10 Unexpected Expenses for RV Life!



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How To Find Out If Your Trailer Is Overweight & Tips For Losing RV Weight

Do you need to lose weight? No, I don’t mean go on a diet or start exercising more. I’m talking about trailer weight—you know, those extra pounds that stack up every time you buy a souvenir or invest in a new DVD player for your RV.

According to the RVSEF, about 60% of travel trailers exceed their maximum weight capacity. A couple extra pounds may seem like a minor problem, but the truth is that excessive trailer weight is responsible for the majority of RV safety issues. Keep reading to find out how to avoid these hazards and make your next trip a safe one.

How to find out if you’re overweight

The first step is to find out if your trailer actually is overweight. Check the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) in your tow car’s manual to determine the maximum weight your vehicle can handle, including itself and its passengers. Also note your trailer’s GVWR, which is often found in the user manual or printed inside the trailer. When you have these numbers, you need to take your vehicle and trailer to a weighing station.

The most accurate method of weight measurement is wheel position weighing, which determines how much weight is resting on each of the vehicle’s wheels. This allows you to see if the trailer’s weight is unevenly distributed. Only a few companies offer wheel position weighing, but many of them travel the country. If you’re willing to pay the $75 for an accurate measurement, you can make an appointment online.

A cheaper and more convenient way to get a semi-accurate weight measurement is by using a certified CAT scale, found at many truck stops. These cost about $10 the first time you measure, and only a couple dollars each time afterward. CAT scales take an axle-by-axle reading, which still gives you a good idea of your trailer’s weight. Just make sure it falls far below your trailer’s GVWR. You can also use a CAT scale to weigh your tow vehicle and make sure that the weight of your car doesn’t exceed its limits. After weighing your vehicle and tow trailer, you can add the two weights together and compare it to your car’s GCWR. This will tell you if your vehicle is able to tow your trailer.

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Check the GVWR in your tow car’s manual to determine the maximum weight your vehicle can handle

Dangers of traveling with an overweight trailer

If your trailer’s weight (including all cargo and passengers) does exceed its maximum capacity, driving with the trailer attached is a huge risk. Overweight trailers put more pressure on the wheels and axles than they are designed to handle, which can cause tire blowouts or trailer sway.

Excess weight causes tires to wear more quickly and makes it harder to stop the vehicle. If your vehicle is involved in an accident, you will be liable. Insurance companies will be less likely to help pay for damages. Police officers can also pull you over and give you a hefty fine if they suspect that your trailer is overweight. In other words, traveling with extra weight just isn’t worth the issues that it can cause.

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Too much weight can cause problems like trailer sway. Photo by Larry & Teddy Page/Flickr

How to lose weight

“So,” you may be asking, “now what?” The answer is simple—it’s time to lose some weight. Obviously, you can’t throw out large items like your mattress or toilet, but you might be surprised at how much you can downsize by paying attention to the small things in your trailer.

Every time you buy a souvenir, a decoration, or even a storage basket, you add weight to your trailer. These tiny amounts really add up, so consider getting rid of some of the extra stuff. Ask yourself which items you need to keep, and which ones you hardly ever use. This could be clothing, extra bedding, unnecessary dishes, or the camp stove you never cook with. Be frugal with what you decide to buy and keep the weight of your trailer in mind.

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Donate extra clothing that you never wear. Photo by Francesca Tirico/Unsplash

Top tips for trailer weight

  • Fill it up: Keep in mind that water, propane, and fuel add extra weight. Fill all your tanks before weighing for an accurate measurement.
  • Weigh in advance: Don’t wait until the day you start a long trip to weigh your trailer. Give yourself time to make adjustments and make an appointment at a weighing station if you need to.
  • Balance your weight: Even if your trailer falls within the weight limits, too much weight on one side can cause a serious accident. Rearrange your things to evenly distribute their weight.
  • Leave room to grow: Don’t go traveling with a trailer that falls just a pound or two under the weight limit. Leave as much room as possible in case you absolutely have to add something.
  • Weigh your stuff: When packing your trailer, consider stacking food, clothes, and anything else that you’re bringing in a cardboard box and weighing it on a bathroom scale. This can give you an idea of how many pounds you’re adding.

Overweight trailers may seem like a small problem, but surpassing your vehicle’s maximum capacity can be disastrous. Pay attention to your trailer’s weight and stay safe on the road.

See also: Haul Less Weight In Your RV With These Useful Tips



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Guest Post: Is It Right for Me? Find Your Perfect RV


Find Your Perfect RV

Is It Right for Me? Find Your Perfect RV

Now that you’re armed with all the resources and preliminary information you need, it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone and find your dream RV. You’ll need to ask yourself a few important questions during your research. Don’t worry – we’re here to help you answer them.

#1. Understanding Your Travel Style

In the previous article, we briefly covered a few different travel styles and how they may impact your decision. Now, it’s time to find your travel style, so you don’t get stuck with an RV that doesn’t work for you:

 

  • Would you rather tow a trailer or drive a motorhome? Towing can be a challenge and takes a great deal of practice, but it has the benefit of being able to leave your RV at the campground and take your tow vehicle into town. Driving a motorhome is a little easier, especially if you’re in a Class B or Class C, which is similar to driving an oversized van or truck.
  • How do you plan on camping? Do you have the funds to stay at high-end RV resorts, or would you rather save money and stay in basic campgrounds or dispersed campsites? Camping off the grid is free, fun, and rewarding, but you’ll want to make sure your RV is equipped to do so. Solar panels, large holding tanks, and energy-efficient appliances are a must. You can learn more about boondocking with this free guide from RVshare.
  • Will you be spending most of your time outdoors, exploring, or does hanging out around the RV sound more like your cup of tea? If it’s the former, a basic, no-frills camper should suit you just fine. If you like entertaining, though, you might want to look for an RV with an outdoor kitchen or TV.
  • How much privacy does your family need? If you want a quiet space away from the rambunctious kiddos, look for RVs with versatile layouts. Fifth wheels and Class C motorhomes often have two distinct sleeping areas on opposite sides of the RV – kids and parents get their own separate bedrooms!

 

#2. New Vs. Used

Another critical decision is whether to buy new or used. A new RV will come with a warranty and the appeal of having very few miles on it – but you’ll need to pay a pretty penny for it. On the flipside, used RVs are more affordable, but they often don’t come with warranties or financing. Gone With the Wynns has an excellent blog post about their experience buying a new RV.

 

#3. Size Matters: Floor Plans and Layouts

Space is precious in an RV. Not only is it important how much space you have; it’s also important how the space is used. A poor layout can make even the most spacious RV feel claustrophobic. RV floor plans are diverse, so you’ll need to look at many different ones to find out which is best for you. One of the best ways to try out different floor plans in real life is to rent an RV for a few days. You can find a wealth of local RV rentals by owner online.

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BEFORE you head to a dealer to see new and used trailers, download your FREE RV Buyers Worksheet for help keeping track of:

  • The feature must haves that are important to you and your family
  • Which brands or manufacturers you like
  • Budgeting tools including a payment calculator resource
  • Multiple well spaced pages with room for lots of your notes
  • BONUS Resources: Trade-in values, tow vehicle ratings, and finance options

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