RV Living Full Time – BS Advice & What I Wish I Knew Before 4 Years (of RV Life)


My one year and your 4 year RVsary nursery in your 4 year anniversary. Since Cheri just made a video that I should make what
I’ve learned right right I hope you enjoy our video
now this is my video fire I have fire yeah it’s my four year
RVersary four years of full-time RV living I’ve
actually owned the RV for six years but I have been full-time now for forty eight
months and I have learned so much I’ve made a lot of mistakes as well and by
the way I’m Tom with enjoy the journey dot life our channel is all about RV
living full-time right now not waiting five ten years down the road to do it
but choosing a lifestyle of freedom and adventure whether that’s an RV or not
but doing that right now this particular video is going to be 25 of the best
things I’ve learned about RV living pros and cons and actually I’m going to call
bullsit on some opinions out there because there are so many opinions people
confuse facts with opinions and I’m going to give you some opinions as well
but I’m also going to point out some that I think are just plain wrong
because I want you guys to be able to get out there and enjoy this lifestyle
and do it as soon as you possibly can and not waste a few precious years of
your life waiting around for this hopefully you caught Cheri’s six month
and one year are reverser e’s as well I will link to that up here or there will
be a link in the notes below as well as be sure to catch the companion blog post
for this particular video because there is so much information that I just want
to make sure you if you don’t hear it in the video check it out on the blog post
and give me some love for this video here I know you guys have shown Cherie a
lot of love for her videos her our bursaries give me some love this is a
very first video like this that I have made I’m going to just give you the
absolute best tips that I possibly can let’s get right into it we’re gonna
break this video up into sections the first section is the planning stage of
our V living full-time now don’t rush through this because you want to enjoy
the planning stage of this because if it’s a few months or a few years you
want to enjoy your journey in this particular part of it like just figuring
out what kind of RV that you can afford which one that you want the layout the
type shopping around at different RV dealers watching all the different
YouTube videos and RV shows that you can I have lots of great memories about this
particular time because part of the enjoyment of this lifestyle is the
anticipation of actually doing it just imagining yourself and your RV out in
some amazing location just relaxing or working on something you’re inspired to
be doing so enjoy this stage right now number one is people are gonna think
you’re crazy your family friends co-workers they are not going to
understand your decision to go RV living full time well maybe a few of them will
but a lot of them probably will not because they are used to you doing your
current life whatever that is and selling your house or getting out of
your apartment and getting rid of a bunch of stuff to get into an RV is
going to seem very foreign to them and they don’t want you to change and that’s
not about you that’s about them so what are you gonna
do about that well you have to be willing to say this is what this is my
choice so I’m gonna get out there and do it
anyway so again your friends and family although they love you and they think
they’re helping you by giving you some doubts don’t listen to them because you
know in your heart that this is the lifestyle you want if you’re choosing
that and you just you have to have that intention to create that and not listen
to the naysayers your friends and family may say hey you need to come home at the
very sign of a challenge or very first challenge you have along the way come
back and get a safe and secure job rent an apartment or house or get back into a
different house and you know there is no job security we are all just one or two
decisions away from a major change in your life a loss of a job a loss of a
relationship a loss of hell for a job is is just a job and you can always come
back and get a different job later if you really decide this lifestyle isn’t
for you we have actually heard from quite a few parents of adult children
that say they’re not excited about your decision to full-time RV and we’re like
so what I mean your job as a parent is to raise your child to the age of an
adult eighteen or twenty-one and to have them ready to get out there in society
and some people are actually holding up their plans to get out there until a
child finds a new job or an apartment on their own finishes college something
like that well they are capable of finding another place to stay just say
hey in two months I am going full-time you need to make arrangements to live
somewhere else if you’re allowing your adult children just to live with you
rent-free just for as long as they need to get out there then you’re enabling
them so let them know what your plans are and you can give them some time to
figure things out and even if they’re in college they are more than able to stay
with a friend get a roommate whatever that needs to look like
so don’t delay and if you have younger kids you know getting on the road and
actually experiencing what’s in the history books all these places I think
is a better education anyway and the rest of it can be learned online so
don’t delay another thing I learned is to have multiple sources of income
Sheree and I have more than 10 different sources of income so if one of them
starts to get less or something like that you can maybe focus on another one
picking up though multiple sources of income could look like a part-time job
some contract work maybe an online business so you’ve got a number of
different things to do and think multiple sources of income not just one
source because that can be a recipe for disaster you can find a job or work
opportunity anywhere everywhere you would take your RV there are so many
work opportunities if you just open up your mind and think outside the box with
a smaller footprint you don’t need a really great paying job you can do
anything besides all the online opportunity
in this next tip that I’ve learned over four years is one I’m gonna have to call
bullshit on a lot of opinion out there and that is you have to be debt-free to
go full-time in your RV that is absolute bull and I’ve been doing it for years
and I’m not debt free I have an accounting degree so I am coming at this
one from a little bit of expertise and experience the thing is a payment on a
debt is just that it’s another payment just like if you were buying groceries
or fuel or your cell phone bill whatever that is it’s just a payment and
there may be a few financial gurus out there that are saying debt free is the
way to go and that’s certainly a good thing but it’s just like that’s one way
of getting to your dreams of living full-time in an RV there are thousands
of other ways of making that work and it simply is just figuring that debt
payment into your budget and making sure you have enough coming in to cover that
the rest of it is just opinion out there and I don’t want people waiting like we
have gotten from some comments that oh in five or ten years after I pay down my
debt I’m gonna do that because it’s a waste of time
you don’t want to do that and wait that long because who knows what could happen
in a few years you can keep paying your debt down as you are full-time RV living
which is what I have done I have paid down thousands of dollars in debt in the
last four years and eventually a lot of those debts will be paid off so it is
something you can do you just simply have to have enough income coming in to
cover those payments so I’m again this is a big one for me I’m really
passionate about it so don’t think you have to be debt free if you have another
opinion go ahead and put it in the comments down below I want to hear that
kind of stuff but I’m telling you on this one
you can do this sooner than you think we are currently doing a 30-day boondocking
challenge where we are challenging ourselves to lower our expenses as much
as possible by paying as little as five dollars a night or free to boondock and
watching every penny that we spend and we look forward to reporting on that in
a future video or videos on this channel I want to end this section on debt by
using a comment from one of our viewers and I’m just want to quote it exactly
here I’m going full-time in two years when my daughter goes off to college and
as someone who has worked in the senior care industry for many years I can tell
you that you should go out and spend your money now and have a great time in
the end either people give it to the nursing homes with your private pay or
family comes in and steals it so get out there and do it now and speaking of
money you can do this on a low budget or a high budget there are so many
different levels that you can do this at from a free or a used RV all the way up
to a $500,000 coach you get to choose what lifestyle you want to get in at and
you can always vary your expenses from month to month depending on where you
want to stay how much you’re going to eat out what kind of groceries you’re
gonna buy so don’t feel like it’s just one size fits all there are many youtube
videos out there about different budgets and what people spend to live full-time
in an RV and it’s really gonna come down to what you actually figure out for
yourself and what your RV looks like we put out a video that is RV for under
$1000 a month could you do that and we’re going to link to that up here and
it was just a challenge question to see if you could do it and we actually had
people comment that did it under five hundred dollars a month so it can be
done for less and to wrap up this particular section not everybody loves
this lifestyle my ex didn’t love this lifestyle she grew to hate it and that’s
okay you might decide to do this for a while and say you know what I prefer
being in a sticks and bricks you’re not a failure even if people think oh you
never should have done that what could you experience in six months
or a year of your life of traveling but this is something you want to do maybe
you could rent or borrow somebody else’s RV take a sabbatical from your job or
again just quit and find a different job when you come back if you decide that
it’s not for you some people love it or some people hate it which is like life
in general so it’s not a failure if you decide that you want to go back to
living in one spot it’s just a choice whatever makes you happy and you get to
decide what makes you happy so this next section is when you’re going out to find
that perfect RV to live in full-time number one research research research
you want to look at all the different types of RVs that are available and see
what size you can get into I would recommend getting to the smallest one
you possibly can for a lot of reasons that will save you some money but check
the reviews on that particular RV the make and model and the year because
manufacturers do make changes between the years of the same model so you can
get on Facebook groups for that particular model for example we have a
palomino columbus so you can actually join that group and talk to other owners
of that about what they like or don’t like about their RV and you can actually
if you really want one some people are selling them in that group as well I’m
kind of embarrassed to say this but I never looked at the reviews my ex and I
were so excited about just getting the perfect RV we’re looking at the style
that we like we didn’t check out the reviews and what’s worse is I wrote a
book on online reviews definitely don’t skip that particular thing because you
want to get something that’s really reliable it’s gonna save you on
maintenance going forward so you get many many years of happy travels in your
RV and as I said before size does matter length is an issue when it comes to an
RV and I would recommend getting a smaller RV because this 40 foot fifth
wheel that we have can’t get in maybe 50% of the campgrounds out there
National Park state parks and a lot of the best places are only available to
smaller RVs I hope you hear me on this one our RV is awesome it’s got lots of
space we have a washer and dryer a big bathroom a good-sized kitchen but it is
just too big to get into a lot of places so definitely consider the size as a
huge factor of the kind of traveling that you’re going to be doing make sure
you get the right tow vehicle if you’re getting a fifth wheel or travel trailer
I made this mistake – I bought a half ton regular gas truck to pull our giant
RV it was not big enough and nobody at the dealer said so when I could have
actually returned the truck and gotten something else so for a couple of years
I drove this RV with this tiny truck and it was not a safe situation and I
actually ended up destroying the rear end of that truck in that process
eventually upgraded to a diesel one-ton dually that I love and it’s a lot safer
than my other truck so I know this is a mistake a lot of people are making out
there I see all kinds of huge RVs being towed by small trucks and when you
going through the mountains it’s not safe at all because these things don’t
stop on a dime a used RV could be a good option for you because depreciation is
huge you drive an RV off the lot brand-new and it could drop five or ten
thousand dollars in its value immediately and nicely used taken care
of by the original owners RV might have a lot less maintenance or problems going
forward if they’ve already taken care of all of that so definitely consider the
deal that you could get on a used RV and there are lots of people again because
not everybody loves this lifestyle they end up after a couple of years saying
you know what I’m gonna sell that or they’ve had a change in income or
whatever so you can find used RVs for you know maybe even 50% of their retail
price but still in almost new condition so shop around on like eBay or
Craigslist your local newspaper online classifieds and see what kind of a deal
you can find when you’re looking for an RV and my next tip is get the right
full-time RV living insurance and I made a video on this about my mistakes on
this so instead of going into a lot of detail right here I’m just gonna link to
that video up here so definitely check that out and do your research on the
right full-time RV living insurance and another one of my mistakes is make sure
you get the right tires on your new or used RV even brand new RVs need to have
the tires checked to make sure they are the right rating for the weight of your
RV I made a mistake on this and I’m going to go ahead and link to the video
up here on the tire video that you need to watch and a lot of people have made
this mistake as well in fact there’s so many great comments on that video
we’ve actually had someone tell us that the RV tires that come on your brand-new
RV are meant only to be good enough to take that RV off the lot into a tire
dealer to get brand new tires yeah it’s that bad so check out the tires on your
RV and don’t even dream about driving off the lot
with your new or used RV until you’ve had it inspected by an independent RV
expert or repair person it doesn’t matter if it’s brand new or used you’re
basically buying a small house and you wouldn’t buy a house without having it
inspected right so there’s thousands of components in these and it’s like
driving your house down the road you’re gonna have things with problems even new
so make sure you have it inspected thoroughly before driving it off the lot
that is gonna save you a lot in the long run if you think your RV was expensive
wait till the maintenance and repairs this was something I absolutely was not
prepared for an RV repair guy was joking around with me and said RV stands for a
ruined vacation or your boat for example stands for bust out another thousand
these repair bills can add up to thousands of dollars a year
make sure you budget for repairs have a credit card or several thousand dollars
in a savings account ready for just RV maintenance or unexpected expenses
because that will help you in the long run
oh and that bright shiny extended warranty that you got that was going to
save you a lot of money doesn’t cover a lot of things you got to read the fine
print and wow those contracts on those are long in my experience they paid for
about half of most repair bills if that I mean when my underbelly of the RV
peeled off on the freeway was that covered no not covered
at all the diagnosing of a microwave malfunctioning was that covered nope
not covered at all in the end my extended warranty was worth while it did
pay for more things than the policy did cost but I was still shocked about all
the things it did not cover so make sure you look at your contract when you’re
buying that warranty and know what you might have to pay if you have those
repairs in this next section I’m going to be talking about things as you’re
preparing to get on the road and be full time in your RV when you’re packing up
your RV you are gonna probably put too much stuff in there so you really have
to put every item that you pack in your RV on trial for its life do you really
need all of those dishes all of those clothes for example and be prepared to
keep downsizing as you go along every single item that you own has some weight
or emotional baggage to it’s like this imaginary string attached to that item
so it’s so freeing to get rid of stuff I mean I actually had a bunch of my
clothing stolen and you know what I don’t really miss it I just have a lot
less in my closet now cuz I didn’t need all of those clothes so it actually
saved me from downsizing and RVs are dangerous lots of sharp corners and
things just look at that right there I had a run-in with the hitch and the
hitch one on that one so just be aware I’ve seen people that have gotten
slashed and need stitches from just different sharp things the stairs are
slippery slides cabinets I’ve seen some people put pool noodles on the edges of
their slides so they don’t run into them it looks kind of silly but I guess if it
saves a bump on the head that’s not so silly after all driving a
large RV is stressful and you got to know how to drive a long trailer for
example what that is like so I would recommend trying that out before you buy
the RV and make sure you can handle that or you’re gonna get comfortable with it
my RV dealer told me a story about how one guy brand new RV driving out of the
lot makes that turn to sharp totally scrapes up the side of his brand
new RV and so that’s something you need to consider backing up you know if you
don’t have a pull through sight narrow road ways trees oh and low bridges many
times did I have to turn around and go another way because of a low bridge so
you really have to plan your route carefully there are a few map apps that
actually have like the clearance on bridges so we will link to those down
below this next section is about enjoying the RV lifestyle when you’re on
the road adventuring can be cheap you don’t have to pay a lot of money to have
fun I mean if you’re in Florida you might decide to go to Disney but there
are all these free beaches out there too there is hiking and biking kayaking so
think about all these different activities that don’t have to cost a lot
of money on the other hand you can say well I want to take a plane ride or a
helicopter ride you want to rent jet skis those things are gonna cost money
we do those too but we definitely figure that into the budget
you are not on vacation but you get to work with this amazing view and another tip is be aware of gotcha
property taxes in some states now I’m calling out the state of Virginia on
this one I had the RV and truck in storage for just a couple of months like
a January and part of February one year and all of a sudden I got a tax bill
that was nearly $500 yeah $500 for property tax and I’m not even a resident
of Virginia and I never was and I actually had to argue with them and it
took a long time to actually get them to clear that up but they were really all
concerned about well did you pay property tax in Minnesota for this it’s
like well you know my state doesn’t charge property tax on vehicles like
that we have a lot of other taxes but not that they were not willing just to
let it go so it didn’t matter whether I was a resident of Virginia or not they
wanted their money I didn’t pay it they did let me off but be aware of the local
jurisdictions and what you might get hit with like a surprise bill like for
example tolls tolls are a lot more on an RV than they are a car like I’m just
thinking about driving around the Destin area on one of the bridges there and
between the two different state and I think federal tolls it was about 20
bucks to drive through there so be aware of that you don’t have to plan your
exact itinerary this beautiful location right here this wasn’t planned we just
happen to find this and we actually seldom book an RV park or campground in
advance we want to allow for extra time if we’re really enjoying the area we may
want to stay longer explore more or an unexpected detour if we hear about an
amazing location to check out we have been told that we are crazy by some
people on some RV Facebook group when we said hey we’re gonna go up to
Yellowstone and Glacier National Park and we don’t have anything booked and
they’re laughing at saying oh you need to like book a year in advance well we
were great going over close to Yellowstone and find a great monthly
spot with full hookups and right now we’re actually on our way to Glacier
National Park and there are several walk-up campsites that we can choose
from and that’s what we’re gonna go after we just go confidently that we’re
gonna find the best campsite and speaking of that we did a video on how
to find the best campsite and I will link to that up here or down in the
notes now certain areas like the Florida Keys for example where it can be very
very busy and not a lot of campsites we wouldn’t like go there unprepared we
would definitely have something planned in advance but what we typically do we
boondock the first night or two when we get to a location like a Walmart or a
Cracker Barrel and then we drop the RV off we take out the adventure car and we
just drive around to different campsites we look for the best value the best view
even when you’re looking online the pictures just don’t paint the full story
of what kind of a site you’re gonna get and there’s nothing better than laying
your own eyes on that campsite to see if you’re gonna like it what the view is
gonna be like how level it is so that’s what we do and that works really really
well for us you get to choose your own schedule for example we stay up late we
sleep in sometimes we work late tell midnight and we may get up late
you know maybe 9:00 a.m. have breakfast at 11 or 12 have lunch at three or four
o’clock have dinner at nine or 10 and you don’t have to go by the old programs
of the typical breakfast lunch and dinner we will sometimes work seven days
a week we’ll take off during the middle of the
week when the crowds are less you can get to see a lot more stuff quicker
because you know all the busy attractions are not that busy and this
lifestyle of moving around every few weeks – every few months keeps your
brain fresh you’re like always learning a new area so once you learn it it’s
time to move and I think that is it’s good for you learning new routines each
and every week couple of weeks to a month or so and I think that’s really
cool about this lifestyle the RV living full-time lifestyle I find that I’m more
social with this lifestyle I’m naturally an introvert I know some of you probably
are not going to believe that but I am and typically wouldn’t be meeting a lot
of people just naturally but there’s something about going to awesome places
awesome campsites people are having fun well there naturally have questions like
oh I see you’re from Minnesota what do you do they hear that were full-time
living in the RV and they’re really curious because they want to do it too
and so we’ve met so many awesome people all over the country it’s really cool
and number 25 things can go bad in the RV when it gets hot we’ve had some
really hot days lately and we’ve had to throw out some food and so it’s
something to be aware of that when we don’t have the AC because again we’re
boondocking right now if you have medical supplies like my diabetic
supplies certain supplements food that normally stays out of the refrigerator
that can go bad in the heat so you might need to stick it in a cooler stick it in
the refrigerator and a bonus tip number 26 is you need to be good at
problem-solving because things seem to happen in multiples like two or three
different things happening at the same time like Oh a tire blew
oh the refrigerator isn’t working hey the black tank smells things like that
seemed happen together and you just need to
stop breathe in relax and just deal with the most important situation in the
moment and it’s I guess it’s just like life but I think being on the road there
are more things that can happen because your house is on wheels
and there’s thousands of moving parts so you be prepared for unexpected
challenges and just accept them as part of your journey and sometimes the
coolest things happen from unexpected challenges you might get to stay
somewhere that you had no plans to stay while your RV is being worked on and see
some really amazing things or meet some really cool people so be ready for those
challenges that pop up and be mentally prepared for that and if you are new to
our channel be sure to subscribe right now and then ring that little bell so
you get notifications of new videos when they come out thank you so much for
watching my four year our bursary and I hope you’ve really learned a lot from my
challenges maybe some of my mistakes and hopefully mostly my experience and we
would really like to hear your comments below what you think if you disagree
that’s cool put those comments down there if you have other tips that you
could offer other people if you’ve been doing this for a day or a thousand days
we would love to hear that from you if you liked the video give it a thumbs up
we appreciate that share it with your other RV friends as well and we have
links below you can support the channel by using those links thanks again so
much for watching we’re gonna see you guys in the next
video take care so make sure well that’s cute they’re getting bad I
think I’m gonna turn around and go the other direction doing the mosquito dance
guy shake all these mosquitos I hear voices you can completely make your own
schedule we stay up late and here sprinklers and a bonus number 26 is I
need to remember what I say and a bonus number 26 a little light right here to
see my face and here comes someone on the road right now so I surprised Bambi over here

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