Why Is RV Living So Popular?

RV Living is a rapidly growing trend in the USA. “RV Unit Shipments” have seen year over year growth for the last nine years. In fact, the annual number of shipments has almost tripled since 2009.

But, why?!

RV camping isn’t a new idea. It’s been a “thing” since the 50s. However, the perfect storm has rocketed the popularity of RV Living into the zeitgeist of both America and worldwide!

Today (with no scientific study) I’m sharing a few theories about why I think RV living has exploded in popularity.

 

work campingThe Internet is to be blamed for everything in modern life – for better or worse – and RV living is no different. It allows nomads to earn income remotely, it makes researching the lifestyle super easy, and romanticized pictures of RV living abound!

In addition, the availability of semi-affordable cellular internet has made the internet easier than ever to access.

The Mobile Internet Resource Center dedicates ALL its time to sharing information and educating people about all thing cellular-internet.

The Housing Bubble of 2008 rocked investments and small businesses across America. Anytime the economy takes a downturn people must adapt.

Some folks were forced into the nomadic lifestyle as an affordable alternative. Some people lost faith in the system. And, others just had enough of the rat race.

I don’t think RV living is a direct result of the housing bubble, but I do think it was a key element in shifting the human mindset about the value of time, work, government and freedom.

RV Living with FriendsThis is an area I don’t know much about. I know there are a ton of retired Boomers in RV living, but I don’t know why they chose it.

Like all things, I’m sure the reasons are infinite. I think the housing bubble still comes into play here, but I also see high-rolling, motor-coach driving Boomers that seem to have huge retirement accounts.

There is no denying that the largest generation has a penchant for RVs!

We’d love to hear about the reasons why you think RV life is so popular these days! Fill us in with your wisdom 😍

IN OTHER NEWS: Check out our 9 Fall Favorites for RV Living here

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5 Essential Tools for RV Living

Having the right tools for RV living is essential. But, how do you know what tools to bring and what tools to leave behind?

Well – we’re here to help you with that!

After 3 years of living and traveling full time in a vintage camper, we’ve learned the essential tools for RV living. Keep in mind – everyone travels differently. These are the tools that work for us…we’d love to hear what works for you.

Before we dive too deep – let’s address a few ground rules:

1: Don’t be cheap. Buying the cheapest tool at Walmart will only frustrate you once you have to use it.

2: Don’t carry your entire sticks & bricks garage with you! This will destroy your Mile Per Gallon on a travel day.

#5 Hammer

A hammer might not be the sexiest tool, but it sure does come in handy. We use the hammer for many tasks – least of which is actually nailing things. You can usually find us knocking the trailer hitch or under belly with a hammer61fnMMgkGIL._SL1098_

We like this middle-of-the-road hammer from Estwing. It’s durable and has a good grip.

It doesn’t weigh much and is easy to store!

#4 Mallet

Some tasks need just a little more finesse than a hammer can offer. In these cases we think a rubber mallet it the perfect tool.

Just like a hammer, we use the mallet pretty regularly.

Most mallets have a wooden handle – this has been an issue more than once. If you can, try to get a durable mallet like this one!

#3 Power Drill

A power drill is one of the mandatory tools for RV living. It can give you that extra elbow grease that you need to get the job done.

711yLX2YIoL._SL1500_The hard decision is whether you carry a wired drill or a cordless drill. We prefer wired – but, we know that our RV batteries & inverter will always have enough power to operate the drill.

A battery powered drill is great because you never have a cord getting in your way. But, don’t for get to keep those batteries charged!

We use a Dewalt power drill. Here is their corded drilland here is their cordless drill.

#2 Screwdriver

This is such a boring tool! But, it is one we use so often. You don’t need me to tell you about a dang screw driver. Just take our word and bring one with you.

#1 Crowbar

We love our crowbar. It took us a year to realize we needed one, but once we bought this simple tool – our lives were much better!

The crowbar can pry anything off of our rig…and for some reason, it seems like we have to pry things off pretty often.

Get this classic crowbar for your RV life.

OK – so this isn’t a tool, but it will help you with your late night repairs. These Eastwood LED Lights are perfect for working on your truck or your RV. They have a magnetic base for easy placement and use!

With holiday season right around the corner – here’s a list to help you find the perfect gift for the RVer you love!

 

 

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Author and CPA Earn Income While RV Living

Do you want to learn how to make money while living in an RV full time? Our new collaboration series aims to help you with just that!

Today we’re chatting with Adam & Lindsey from Nuventure Travels to find out how they’ve been earning income and traveling. With over 4 years on the road, they’ve mastered the art of balancing work and pleasure.

This RVing couple both have well defined jobs that translate nicely to their nomadic lifestyle. Adam is a traveling CPA that specializes in helping other nomads file their income taxes. Lindsey is a freelance writer and author of travel related books.

Adam: I have an accounting firm called Nuventures CPA that we started on the road from a minivan in New Zealand back in 2015.

Lindsey: I’m a freelance writer. I’m also an author; I’ve written three different books. And, I’m also a photographer.

You can find Lindsey’s most recent book here! We encourage y’all to give it a read.

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Neither Lindsey nor Adam had their jobs before hitting the road. Sometimes the lessons and experience of nomadic life lead people right to their new jobs and opportunities to make money!

Lindsey: I did not have this job before RV life! I learned the skills of writing and photography while we’ve been traveling. It really was from encouragement of people reading our blog and seeing our photos.

Adam: We stopped our jobs in June of 2014 and started traveling with just the want to travel. We didn’t even think about working on the road, but about a year into our travels I started a CPA firm geared towards nomads. We ran into a lot of people who had frustrations as they were trying to operate their businesses while on the road – we saw that niche and that was how the firm started.

Many travelers have a hard time balancing work & play. We’ve talked to RVers who spend the whole day working inside their rigs and we’ve also talked to RVers who can’t find work to make money. It seems like Adam & Lindsey have found a good work flow!

Adam: It’s seasonal. During tax season I’ll work 60 to 70 hours a week. Then after tax season I’ll try to take 2 to 3 months off – being available to answer emails, but more so hanging out with family and friends.

Lindsey: I’d say I work a normal 40 hours, but it depends on where we are and what’s exciting around us. We have control over our schedule, so we can pound out a full day of work or we can take off in the afternoon and do a hike.

It’s hard to come by an RVer who isn’t reliant on the internet! Like Adam & Lindsey, we encourage every RVer to check out Technomadia’s Mobile Internet Resource Center for the best information to stay connected while traveling!

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Adam: It is absolutely critical for my job because all the software to do my CPA work is cloud based. I have to have internet. The Technomadia folks were my go-to source to figure out how to do all that. We have AT&T and Verizon so we can overlap when one doesn’t work.

Lindsey: Internet is very important for my job. The way I communicate with people, share what I’m working on, and submit my articles is all through the internet.

Lindsey: For me it’s community and accountability. I can make all the decisions and have all the creative power in what I do, but it can be very lonely. The way I’ve navigated that is to find community online. I found an accountability group – we meet every other week. We share what we’re doing; we share our goals.

Adam: For me, a routine – sometimes you need structure to be able to be efficient with work.

RV workspaces are all over the internet! RVers have gotten super creative when it comes to developing unique spaces that maximize efficiency. Heath & Alyssa wrote a great article about these Unique RV Work Spaces.

Adam: We have a 17ft Casita travel trailer. I tend to work outside under the awning because I have a standup desk. If I’m forced inside, then it gets a little cramped.

Lindsey: Mine is actually our little kitchenette table. That is used for everything – dropping the groceries, doing the meals there…so I’m constantly moving that space around to fit our lifestyle and work.

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Adam: Have a good talk with yourself about expectations. Going from an office environment to waking up in a Cracker Barrel parking lot and figuring out where you’re going for the day – if you don’t have a good talk with yourself about expectations, you’re going to be really frustrated.

Lindsey: I recommend giving yourself patience. It can be a challenge when you’re constantly on the move because a lot of energy will now go to figuring out where you want to go.

If you’re looking for a nomadic job to make money, we recommend checking out Remote Work 101 – this is a course that will teach you how to find a remote work job, tweak your resume for those remote work employers and give you access to a community of fellow job seekers.

We also wrote and article called 5 Tips for Finding Remote Work.

 

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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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Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels for Full Time Living

You’ve decided to fulfill your heart’s content by exploring the world and being constantly on the move. Nothing could serve you better on the road than a fifth wheel. They’re spacious, durable, easy to tow, and have state-of-the-art features so you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything! For buyers like you, we’ve made our list of the top 5 best fifth wheels for full time RVing. Read on to find out!

What puts an RV on the list: There’s obviously a huge difference between RVing once in a while and RVing full time. To make sure you get the closest feeling of living in a home we’ve hand picked the ones with a good mix of bunkhouse and regular floorplans. We’ve also made sure they have enough 40 feet+ length floorplans since space can be a concern when RVing full time. After a few spec comparisons it all boiled down to the ones which had the best reviews.  Here are the Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels For Full Time Living.

The Top 5 Best Fifth Wheels For Full Time Living:

  1. Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel
  2. Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel
  3. Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel
  4. Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel
  5. Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel

#1. Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel

Diverse Luxury!

View All Coachmen Chaparral Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
11 9575-12694 lbs 4-11 33-41 feet

Why we recommend the Coachmen Chaparral fifth wheel: There are few fifth wheels which can offer the level of flexibility within 11 floorplans as the Coachmen Chaparral can. If tow weight is an issue for you due to fifth wheels being on the heavier side, the Chaparral 298RLS has got you covered.  This RV weighs 9575 pounds (dry weight) which is actually quite impressive. Of course, if weight isn’t an issue and you’re having a lot of people living in the same RV, the Chaparral 371MBRB spans 41 feet and can house 11 people in it. Like we said, flexibility!

To make it feel just like home, Coachmen has also added numerous storage options and features such as a modern entertainment center made for a 50-55 inch TV, motion sensor lights, USB charging ports, 8 cubic foot refrigerator, 30-inch microwave, 21-inch oven, a ducted furnace. Of course, if you need even more out of your RV, there’s a lot of options that upgrade these features and add new ones. Check out the full list on the RV page for more details!

Key Features:

  • 11 different floor plans available
  • Exterior Back-up camera prep
  • Solid hardwood slide fascia
  • Solid lumber core cabinet stiles
  • Oversized under bed storage
  • Dual pane windows

Virtual Tour:


 

#2. Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel

Truly Heavy Duty!

View All Jayco North Point Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
9 12405-14200 lbs 4-9 38-43 feet

Why we recommend Jayco North Point fifth wheel: Among the bulkier versions of the fifth wheels from Jayco RVs are the North point series which are roughly between 12000 and 14000 pounds heavy. This does mean, however, that this RV is really stable and are quite durable. It can hold 4 to 9 people and span from 38 feet on the North Point 315RLTS to the 43 feet on the North Point 387RDFS.

Whether you’re camping down South where the sun always shines or places where it’s cold, the AC and the insulated underbelly plus furnace should keep your RV running at a comfortable temperature. If you’re thinking of doing a little tailgating along when on the move, there are exterior speakers, outdoor kitchen support with refrigerator and cooktop range, a wide awning and even an option for an outdoor grill. All in all, while the Jayco North point serves more purposes than one, it’s definitely a solid choice if you’re looking at fifth wheels for full-time living.

Key Features:

  • 9 different floor plans available!
  • Wide-stance front landing gear
  • Dual exterior marine-grade speakers
  • Free standing table with 2 dinette chairs and 2 folding chairs
  • One-piece, fiberglass shower with glass doors
  • Oversized folding exterior grab handle

Virtual Tour:


 

#3. Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel

One of the Cozier Fifth Wheels Out There!

View All Heartland Sundance Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
11 8307-12896 lbs 2-9 30-42 feet

Why we recommend the Heartland Sundance fifth wheel: When it comes to looking for something truly lightweight but spacious, few fifth wheels can offer a dry weight of a mere 8307 pounds and be 30 feet long (view the Sundance 269TS). This itself makes it a perfect camper for couples looking for fifth wheels for full time living as it can only have 2 people. Of course, if you’re interested in the larger ones, floorplans such as the Sundance 3700RLB and the Sundance 3710MB are available as well!

The Sundance is also quite impressive in terms of features. You have at least 3 sideouts in every floorplan, meaning a lot of additional space along with copious amounts of baggage space with a slam latch doors. You also have a dual-ducted air conditioner and a 8 cubic feet refrigerator that can be upgraded to a 15,000 BTU AC and a residential style refrigerator. In a nutshell, the Heartland Sundance is a good choice to consider if you’re RVing full-time.

Key Features:

  • 11 different floor plans available
  • LED interior lighting
  • Tri-fold sofa bed
  • Back-up camera prep
  • Dual ducted AC
  • Painted fiberglass front cap

Virtual Tour:


 

#4. Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel

The Affordable Family Camper!

View All Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
9 10310-12335 lbs 4-7 35-42 feet

Why we recommend the Jayco Eagle fifth wheel: If budget is something you’re also concerned about when choosing between fifth wheels for full-time living, then we highly recommend the Jacyo Eagle. While it’s MSRP is nearly the same as some of the others, it’s actual sale price is lower, and it offers the same amount of features and versatility of a good fifth wheel. For example, the Eagle 293RKDS offers has a very good build, weighing 10310 pounds and being 35 feet and at the same time they also have the Eagle 347BHOK which is 40 feet long and weighs pounds!

Feature-wise you’ll find that the Eagle has a lot of appreciable features. A ‘whisper quiet’ 15,000 BTU Air Conditioner and an electric patio awning with LED. Jayco has also added a ‘luxury package’ to this camper by default which adds a sound bar, frameless windows, handcrafted maple cabinet doors among other things too. If you wish to take it up a notch, there are over a dozen expansions and optimizations available, which truly makes this a best-in-class fifth wheel!

Key Features:

  • 9 different floor plans
  • Electric patio awning with integrated LED lights
  • Frameless windows
  • Exterior marine-grade speakers
  • Rear electric stabilizer jacks
  • Central command center with built-in tank monitoring

Virtual Tour:


 

#5. Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel

The Perfectly Stable and Roomy 5er!

View All Forest River Wildcat Fifth Wheel Floorplans!

No. of Floorplans Unloaded Weight Sleeps Length
23 7466-13170 lbs 4-10 31-42 feet

Why we recommend Forest River Wildcat fifth wheel: If you need something even lighter but more spacious than Sundance’s offering then something like the Wildcat 27RL should be right up your alley. It tips the scales at 7466 pounds and has a 31 feet footprint. As with our other choices, there are roomier and heavier options available such as the Wildcat 35WB available too, 23 to be exact. This alone makes the Wildcat worth checking out but it’s features are just as noteworthy too!

The Wildcat also has you covered in the features department, having some pretty impressive offerings ranging from a booth dinette to dual marine-grade outdoor stereo speakers. Of course, all of these are just the ones present in the vanilla version. Those looking to change a few features here and there can consider a myriad of upgrade options available such as a 2nd 13,500 BTU air conditioner and a king size bed!

Key Features:

  • 23 different floor plans available
  • Residential brushed chrome door and drawer hardware
  • Solid hardwood glazed slide-out fascia
  • 15,000 BTU ducted AC
  • 4,600 BTU electric fireplace
  • Residential soundbar with bluetooth

Video Overview:


Check out these similar RV reviews!

Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel RV Brands

Top 5 Best Fifth Wheel RVs with Bunk Beds

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Living full-time in an RV, even when its something as spacious and comfortable as a fifth wheel, should be done right. Hopefully our top 5 list here should help you narrow the list of your favorites!

BEFORE you head to a dealer to see these 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

Share with us your favorite fifth wheel travel trailer RV for full-time living in the comments below!



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RV Living: Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

In our recent post about Adjusting to RV Life, we touched on relationships and how important it is to work as a team. It got me inspired to really dive into the struggles that couples can face on the road and how we’ve worked to maintain a healthy relationship. You’re probably seeing a lot more […]

The post RV Living: Maintaining a Healthy Relationship appeared first on Drivin' & Vibin'.


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