When considering a major life decision, I create a list of pros and cons. But when I envision my RV life, my cons slightly outweigh the pros. That doesn’t matter. The cons aren’t reasons to bail out of my dream. Rather, listing them gives me a chance to anticipate the challenges. Then I’ll know how to prepare for them and minimize their occurrence or impact.
Let’s look at the dark side of full-time RVing. What if . . .
. . . I run out of money?
Sheesh, when haven’t I worried about running out of money? I’m making a good salary now, but nothing is guaranteed. And that thought is especially real for full-time RVing. But I’ll do what I’ve always done: do my best to find good work, stay on top of my bills, live within my means, and continue to save. For example, I’m building up six months of emergency funds to get me through the tough times.
. . . I change my mind?
Yeah, I could leave my current job, buy an RV, and move out of my apartment . . . and then after six months on the road, hate it. It’s possible. That’s okay. I’ll make a course correction, just like I have two other times in my life, both of which made me a better person. I see enough YouTube videos from or about people who hang it up after giving van life or RV life a shot. But that’s the thing . . . they gave it a shot.
. . . I become a victim of crime?
Thankfully, I haven’t yet gotten finger-wagging lectures about being a woman traveling alone . . . about how I need to stock up on semi-automatic firearms, that serial rapists lurking everywhere, or that I shouldn’t do it at all. Of course I’ll take precautions, be aware of my surroundings, and pay attention to my gut feelings. Bottom line: I have just as much right as any man to go live the RV adventure. And there are plenty of solo RV women who feel the same way.
. . . my RV breaks down?
I’m not very mechanical. But when I’m on the road I’ll have to be more resourceful, unless I want to deplete my savings to fix every little problem. That’s why I thank the gods for YouTube, where RVers are happy to show you how to fix a refrigerator, dump your black water tank, or repair a torn awning. For the stuff I can’t fix, I’ll make sure I know a reputable dealer. I’ll also join an RV club (e.g., Good Sam, Escapees) to get roadside assistance. . . Oh, and I’ll get the darn RV inspected before I even buy it.
. . . I can’t get health care?
I do worry about this one. I’ll die without my asthma medication. And where will I get my well-woman exams? Perhaps the current national debate about single-payer healthcare will eventually lead to more accessible and affordable health care for everyone. In the meantime, I have prescriptions that I can take less often than prescribed (without compromising my health)—so I stockpile the rest. For the more adventurous, Algodones, Mexico, is a popular place for pharmacies, dentists, optometrists, and other providers who offer very inexpensive care.
. . . I get lonely and depressed?
Being on the road can make you feel isolated, especially when you can’t see family and friends on a regular basis. But after you meet other like-minded RVers and make friends, you start to form your “tribe.” Am I prepared for the loneliness and isolation? Sure. But it won’t last forever. My tribe is out there.
I have more cons, but these are the big ones. It’s not fun for me to acknowledge them. But listing the cons to full-time RVing keeps me both optimistic and grounded in reality. It gets me closer to the life I really want.
If you didn’t get enough, check out the sucky sides of RVing. Otherwise, I leave you with some inspiration . . .
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.