This post starts the extreme suggestions for the Housing topic in the How To Live Totally Free series. To start I ask you the question: Is RV or van life for you? You may be thinking about living in one full-time because it’s popular now. There’s tons of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts detailing the lifestyle. And those videos and pictures make it look good. The freedom to travel around across the country and stay wherever you want. And the added ability to save money. What’s not to like? Quite a bit, depending on your wants. Let’s review those to see if this is a viable option for you or even your family.
Is RV Or Van Life For You? If You Have A Stable Place To Park The Vehicle Then Yes!
My interest in living in a RV or a Sprinter van full-time hit me hard a few years back. At that time I was tired of paying rent and I thought that lifestyle would be a great way to save tons of money while having a place to live. Yet, I didn’t make the change. Why not? I watched too many videos on YouTube and read different blogs about various problems people ran into. The biggest being finding a place to park the vehicle.
Some people choose to boondock which is to stay on property without hookups for electricity and/or water. This property can be a national park or private property like a Walmart. I didn’t have a problem relying on my own electricity and water in the vehicle but I didn’t like how unstable boondocking is. Depending where you are in America, there are limits on how long you can stay on property in your RV or van. Places like Walmart or shopping malls have rules against staying on their property in a RV. Sometimes people get run off, other times they don’t. Overall, I learned quickly I would have to always be on the move, either every night or every week or every month. I knew I couldn’t live like that.
The other option is to rent a space in a RV park but those rates can get expensive fast. Those costs could rival my apartment’s monthly rent. Add in the costs to maintain the vehicle and there goes any potential savings.
I did think about buying some land and parking a RV or a van on it bur ran into problems with that solution. Due to ordinances some cities have I couldn’t buy a piece of vacant property and park my RV or van on it to live. I probably could get away with it if the property has a house on it. Yet, if I’m going to do that then I should just live in the house. However, if your city doesn’t have strict rules about parking and living in a RV on land you purchase then this could be a good option to save on housing costs.
Is RV Or Van Life For You? If You Don’t Mind Living With Little Then Yes!
A RV or a van can’t hold that much stuff so if you go this option then you will have learn to live with less. I saw some individuals who chose this lifestyle put their items in storage and I saw that as a waste of money. Living this way is all about saving money. Having a storage unit is another bill, and that could be a big bill. I rented a storage unit for two months while I moved cities and the promo rate was $48 a month. The normal rate was $84!
Let’s say a storage space cost an average $100 across America. Just in one year you would spend $1200 on storing stuff you won’t use. That money you could use on various experiences that could improve your life.
Instead of wasting money on a storage until I suggest looking into Minimalism if you are thinking about living in a RV or a van full-time. You can learn how to live with less, and purchase items that will multiple uses so you can save on space. I can tell you from experience when you get rid of stuff you’re not using your life improves.
Before You Make The Jump Try Out This Lifestyle For A Week
My final suggestion for this option is to try it out before you buy a vehicle. You can rent a RV or a van for a week and live in it. Go through all the motions of finding a place to park, cooking in the RV or van, basically live your life. This way you truly know if you would like living this way. It would suck if you bought a RV or a van only to discover you hate it.
If you miss any of the posts of the How To Live Totally Free series you can find all the posts here.