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Living in a Travel Trailer Full Time: Advice From People Who’ve Done it

Living in a Travel Trailer Full Time: Advice From People Who’ve Done it

With the house and rent prices growing, cities getting too busy and loud to live in, and more and more remote work opportunities appearing… what can be a better way to alter your life than becoming an RV traveling nomad, whether it’s full time or for a season?

Surely this transition is not easy, and many challenges come along, but there is a whole new world that opens up for you when you get the courage to make the first step. 

And to help you with that, we’ve collected ten tips and pieces of advice from experienced RV travelers. So let’s see what they have to say after miles and miles on the road.

Tip #1: Check Campground Prices Beforehand

Camping in RV/Trailer campgrounds is more expensive than you think. As we traveled to different campgrounds, we were surprised (and often shocked) at how expensive it was to camp!

For example, one campground we stayed at in California charged us $250.00 per week. It is often more prudent and cheapest to ask about a campground's monthly rates, especially if you're planning on an extended stay.

Donna F. Brown, Author, Retired RN, Musician, and Certified Yoga Teacher

Campground Malibu

Tip #2: Share Your Location With Trusted People

Always share your location with a family member or friend while traveling. It's a great way to help others feel at ease, especially if you are traveling solo. That will make others feel more secure and feel connected to you because it can be difficult to maintain relationships as a nomad.

Corritta from It's a Family Thing 

Navigator in the car

Tip #3: Opt For an Online Job

Learning a skill, you can earn money for online will make your life 100% easier. During my time traveling, I noticed the people who struggled the most were those who had to constantly look for in-person work. 

Having a skill you can perform online means no matter where you are, and you can earn money - you'll no longer be tied to any specific work location. You may already have that skill but not realize you can deploy it remotely as the pandemic has shown many jobs can be performed away from an office now.

James Anelay, Roam And Roost Holidays Ltd

Digital nomad traveling

Tip #4: Get a Gym Membership

My favorite tip for living in a travel trailer is to find a good gym to join that has branches around the country. Not only is that a chance to exercise, but it’s great to get a real shower from time to time. And a gym membership is a lot cheaper. More important, if you’re traveling with your significant it’s a place to go to get a little “me” time which is vital when you’re spending so much time together. 

Barry Maher & Associates from Motivational Presenter

Crossfit group gym

Tip #5: Learn The Little Hacks And Tricks

My tips:

  • Canned beans make excellent traveling companions- they keep well, are easy to store, and are nutritious when added to veggies you pick up along the way.
  • You can make bread in a skillet over a 1-burner stove 
  • Coolers plugged into the cigarette outlet make excellent fridges. I used an Engel cooler, and it worked very well.
  • Small propane heaters are good when it's cold- but be careful not to leave them on when in transit or while sleeping.
  • Cut dark fabric to the exact shape of your windows. Then attach velcro to the fabric and window. This means you can completely black out the windows at night. Regular curtains leave cracks of light around the edges.
  • Solar showers are great when the weather is warm. When it's not, you can use a small amount of water and soap on some kitchen paper. Baby wipes leave a weird residue on your skin and won't leave you feeling clean. They're good in a pinch or if your water has run out.
  • Get a manual on administering first aid in the wilderness- they are amazing.  

Melissa Waugh – @melissa_theviking

Male traveler van

Tip #6: Learn From Fellow RV Campers

Research and learn through others to observe the lifestyle. During the years leading up to our RV purchase, we watched RV YouTube channels (like Keep Your Daydream) obsessively to get an idea of what it would be like on the road. My husband enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of how the RV worked, while I enjoyed learning more about how they plan to travel and pick campgrounds. 

Lisa Grout, FI Venturers

Young adult travelling her van

Tip #7: Leverage Both Indoor and Outdoor Space

My piece of advice is to treat the travel trailer as a home base, but don't forget to utilize

the campsite as part of your living area. 

  • Store bulky items under the traveler trailer when not traveling. 
  • Purchase an outdoor tent that allows you to spend more time outside. I love to work from a laptop outside under the tent. 
  • Try to cook outside as much as possible (I love my Blackstone grill). 

If you divide your time between indoors and outdoors, your small space feels less cramped, and you will enjoy your time inside more.

Tom Davidock from Outdoor Miles

White van with table chairs it

Tip #8: Better Take Longer Than Burn Out

Prepare for decision fatigue. Whether you stay on public lands for two weeks or are traveling every other day, the constant need to plan where you are going to park can be exhausting after a while. Give yourself a few days or a week or two in some places to reduce decision-making fatigue. 

Plan days of rest. Yes, it's exciting traveling, and yes, you want to see as much as possible. But the realities of RVing are that it is hard work, both mentally and physically. You have to allow yourself some days to do nothing but watch TV on the couch if you want or go outdoors without needing to come back early to prep for leaving the next day.  

Kimberly Button from Couch Potato Camping 

Couple enjoying nature while road trip

Tip #9: Find Your Community

Living in a travel trailer full time doesn't mean you have to do it alone. Look for other people who are living the same lifestyle and connect with them. They can provide support, advice, and even help when needed. There are many online communities dedicated to the travel trailer lifestyle that can offer valuable resources and insight. 

Fred Hoffman from The True Wilderness

Tip #10: Know Your Electricity Needs   

My number 1 bit of advice is for the people who don't stay in campgrounds regularly and power their appliances off of solar. It is important to take into account how much power you will use. Also, remember that the winter months may be more difficult because of both the clouds and the position of the sun. We work from the road and constantly use our laptops and other electronics, so we had to invest in a high-end solar setup with more than enough power to meet our needs.

Jill Wheeler from Outside Nomad @outsidenomad

We hope these tips were helpful for you and will make your RV life a bit easier. And as you drive on the rural roads and camp near beautiful mountain rivers, we can help you always have an internet connection, whether for a relaxing movie night in the forest or in order to use GPS. 

Nomad provides you with high-speed 5G LTE internet no matter where you are. Discover more about available plans!

Nomad Internet for Travel

  • HA

    My parents dream of switching completely to the RV lifestyle and transferring me to distance learning. But I don’t like traveling and I don’t want to leave my friends. Classmates told me that the Nomad Internet have modems with which you can even play online games while traveling. Is that true?

  • AN
    Ana Rys

    I have never lived in a trailer, but I must say that these pieces of advice are amazing. Moreover, I believe some of them can be used even in a everyday life of a typical home owner, such as stocking on canned beans or making bread in a skillet. I guess I’ll try to do it. As for the rest of it, knowing prices beforehand, getting manual on first aid, sharing your location with trusted people and knowing your electricity needs are most useful tips in my opinion. Overall, I think that any RVer will find something they didn’t already know.

  • AL
    Alexandra Yakovleva

    How nice it is to communicate with experienced people in this format. It felt like we were all sitting around a campfire together and discussing each other’s experiences. You’ve come up with a great idea with this article. I was attracted by the advice that you need to sign up for the gym. It was unexpected for me. But this is really very necessary, considering how much time we spend sitting behind the wheel. Both for the soul and for the body, going to the gym during the trip will be very useful.

  • RO

    I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of living in a travel trailer full-time and the freedom that comes with it. This article was really eye-opening in terms of the practicalities of such a lifestyle. I was impressed by the real-life advice from people who have actually done it, as it gives a more realistic picture of what it entails. I appreciate the focus on the difficulties of downsizing, finding a suitable location, and maintaining the trailer, as these are important aspects that people often overlook. Overall, this article provides valuable insights and a great starting point for anyone considering this way of life.

  • ST
    Stacy Haze

    I don’t know… Some tips don’t sound safe… I mean, coolers plugged into the cigarette outlet? Can’t it cause a fire? Also buying a membership in a gym to be able to shower? Isn’t it easier and cheaper to stay in a hostel for a night?
    Other than that, I guess those are great tips from experts, which are worth putting one’s trust into. I’m sure they will be useful for beginners who look for a life of adventure. I guess the best are about considering your personal needs and checking prices in advance.

  • MU

    After reading the article, Tips from People Who Did It on Nomad Internet, I realized that living in a travel trailer full-time is a viable and exciting way to explore a country while still feeling at home. Tips and advice shared by experienced people provided valuable insight into the practical aspects and challenges of this lifestyle. The article also highlights the flexibility and freedom that comes with living in a travel trailer, allowing for a unique travel experience. Now I’m interested in learning more about the different types of travel trailers and the best ways to equip and maintain them for extended stays. Overall, the article provided an instructive look at an alternative lifestyle that I hadn’t considered before.

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