Full Time RV Life – Can You Do It?

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The RV lifestyle is something many people enjoy on a part-time basis. They travel south when it’s cold up north, and when it’s sweltering in the south, they travel back north.  That is why they are referred to as snowbirds.

Most folks who adopt this lifestyle are older and usually into their retirement years.  Some only enjoy it for a few years before failing health takes them off the road: their lifelong dream of perhaps full time RV living crushed.

full time rv living

We have a lot of friends who think we are a little nuts because we don’t want a house, a fixed address, or a lot of stuff and prefer to travel the country at will.  We love being nomadic!

Is that kind of lifestyle for everyone?  Certainly not!  It is called full time RV living, and that is what our website is all about.  How we do it, what we do while doing it, and ways to ditch the traditional lifestyle and become vagabonds, trailer trash, homeless, or whatever you want to call it.

We don’t care what we are referred to because we live a lifestyle that most people wish they could.  But they may be too set in their ways to be able to just do it.  Their paradigm does not allow them to think out of the box and create a life, not just a living.

Can anyone join the ranks of full time RVer?  Sure!  Some details have to be worked out, but all that is just logistics.

We have lots of resources here to help you with that, so read on!

Why Wait?

Is there a way to get into the full time RV lifestyle sooner?  Sure, there are several ways to do it.  For those who are ready to give up the big house, all the possessions, the yard work, the shoveling of snow, the trips to Home Depot for needed repair items, etc., there is a way. 

Being able to travel in an RV to many different locations while seeing the sites along the way is easy if one is willing to work part-time while traveling.

Work Camp!

Yes, the RV lifestyle can be achieved before retirement by just deciding to think of work in a different way.  The first option is called work camping. This involves trading part-time hours each week for an RV site in a modern campground or RV park.

Typical duties include working in the office, cutting grass, maintenance, cooking, retail sales, and basically whatever else the owner needs workers for.  For this, they offer a full hookup RV site and maybe some extra pay for additional hours.  Some places want part-time workers, others will require workers to put in 40 or more hours a week, especially in the summer.

Places like Amazon hire temporary workers towards the end of the year to help pick up the slack during the busy Christmas season.  For that, they pay a decent wage, provide a campsite, and all the hours you want to work!  Amazon loves work campers so much that they created the Amazon Worker Camper Force.

There are also really short-term jobs in the sugar beet picking season where you work 12-hour shifts for a few weeks and can make thousands of dollars in regular and overtime pay.  We have had friends do this and say they had a blast and will do it again next year.

Another option to start the RV lifestyle sooner than retirement age is to find some online work.  For example, there are people who need folks to teach online, consult, author content, and take customer service calls.

Online work can all be done from the comfort of an RV and at any convenient time.  These options allow for complete flexibility while traveling and enjoying the places one wants to visit.  And North America is a big place with lots of beautiful spots to see!  How about a beautiful Grand Canyon sunset with the RV parked a short walk from the South Rim?  And if you have reliable WiFi access, that makes it even easier to do online work.

full time rv living

Be Self-Employed!  It’s Not as Hard as You May Think!

The last option is to be self-employed – create a business that can be done anywhere, anytime, and does not involve anyone else to create the desired results.  There are companies out there that are looking for people to help them get their products in front of the folks who want them.  And they are willing to compensate those who work with them in this online capacity.

This option, if approached in the proper manner, can create the means whereby it is possible to begin the RV lifestyle decades before it may have otherwise been possible.

full time rv living

These are just some ideas to help in getting “on the road’ sooner if your dream has always been to be a full time RVer before or after retirement.  Why wait?  It is possible if one only dares to dream a bigger dream.

Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question if you would like more information.

Thanks for stopping by!

Howard and Pam



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    • TIMOTHY STIPE on August 16, 2019 at 11:23 PM
    • Reply

    Is it possible to be a nomadic RV’er and work from the road as a NRVIA Inspector? If it is possible, logistically how would that work? Very interested in pursuing this possible career path.

    1. Hi Timothy!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!!

      What sort of income do you need to create on a monthly basis to support yourself and how much traveling do you plan to do? Are you going to be in a location for just a few days and move on or are you staying in various locations for longer periods than that? What areas of the country are you going to be traveling to?

      If you can give me an idea of what you think your full time RV lifestyle will be like I will better be able to answer that question. That being said, we have lots of NRVIA inspectors who are full-timers. How it will work depends on your needs and wants.

    • Rex Sauvie on August 6, 2018 at 8:14 PM
    • Reply

    I’m 54 and work as a lumber associate at Home Depot in College Place Washington; I have talked to a couple that were full time RV living, wish we would have had time to talk but that’s part of having the monthly bills that are due I had to assist other customers. I would really love to quit Home Depot and become a full time RV person I dont know how to start when its paycheck to paycheck now.I would love a 101 RV LIVING GOR DUMMIES (which would be me). I have a 2001 Starcraft 1706 pop up. Any good starter ideas/options of getting started would be GREATLY APPRECIATED…I need a break from the day to day rat race.

    1. Hi Rex!

      Sorry to hear that your work situation does not fulfill your desires.

      The full time RV lifestyle is awesome but it is not a way to avoid living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, living in an RV can be more expensive than a cheaper apartment rental.

      Certainly, unless you have some really desirable skills or you are able to run a business on the road, work camping will never pay as well as a W2 type job.

      We appreciate your frustrations but jumping into our lifestyle takes careful planning and money in reserves. There is no one resource that totally prepares one for doing what we do. We have a lot of information on our site, but everyone’s situation is different.

      Proceed with caution and we wish you the best in whatever direction you choose to go!

    • Deb Morris on August 1, 2018 at 3:40 PM
    • Reply

    Hi Pam and Howard,
    I noticed mostly men seem to be interested in becoming NRVIA certified inspectors. I was wondering how many women (if any) have showed an interest in this line of work. I am interested in doing something like this. I will want to earn a living while full time Rving.
    I am at the beginning of my research and hope to be full time in the next 3 years or so. I have never driven a RV and it has been years since I have pulled a horse trailer or boat. I am in my late 50s, very fit and active. I will be traveling for the most part by myself.
    I am also interested in how long can a diesel pusher sit while I am working and living out of it? I would probably be in one spot between 1 to 4 months depending on work. I like the idea of the long life with high mileage and low maintenance the diesels have to offer. But just getting ideas of which is my best choice, I want easy driving and low mainteance when possible. I know things will happen but want to try to keep probabilities of that
    occurring to a low.
    Thank you for your wonderful site, it has been a great resource to draw from as I start planning for me future home on the road!

    1. Hi Deb!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! Let’s see if I can answer a few of your questions.

      As far as RV inspectors, we have female inspectors in the NRVIA ranks. We are starting to have more as certified level two inspectors because certain RV buyers would rather deal with a woman than they would a man. If you would like to know more about becoming an RV inspector you can visit rvinspector.org and reach out to me again for further information.

      As far as a diesel coach over a gas one, that is personal preference. They do better if they are driven as opposed to sitting (again, my opinion). You get a lot more bang for the buck in a class A gas coach. We were just looking at the new Tiffin coaches. We noticed you pay $100k more for a diesel chassis compared to the same coach that is built on the Ford chassis. And, the diesel version had fewer features than the comparable gas coach. As far as maintenance, I don’t consider maintenance cheaper on a diesel coach (again, my opinion based on ownership experience).

      Thanks again for visiting and we are glad you found our website useful as you search for info about the full time RV lifestyle. If you have the time in October, and really want to know more about the possibilities of running a business and maybe workamping while traveling, come to the Workamper Rendezvous in Heber Springs, AR in mid-October. You can learn more at workamperevent.com.

    • Cliff on May 23, 2018 at 12:18 AM
    • Reply


    We will be retiring after 32 years of military life and going full time. Wife is a nurse and will be starting a traveling nurse job. I would like to work camp and just follow her career now. We have researched the Forest River Riverstone and the Augusta Luxe. Do you have any recommendations for a full time fifth wheel?

    Thank you for you assistance.

    1. Hi Cliff!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      What is your budget for your RV purchase? Are you buying new or used? Have you had a 5th wheel before? Can you make it to the Workamper News Rendezvous in October? This would be right up your alley given your future plans. A lot of your questions could be answered there.

    • Lyn on February 21, 2018 at 4:13 PM
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    My husband, Greg and I, are just starting this journey. We’ve been looking at floor plans that we think could work for us, as we will be living in it full time and not moving much (at first anyway). We have friends on a farm that want us to park it there. Lucky!

    I liked the Catalina Legacy Edition 333RETS but can’t find any near me to look at Tampa Bay FL area. Also, I’d like a ball park figure on someone to move it about 500 miles. Our old truck probably wouldn’t be happy about hauling it. After awhile we’ll probably downsize again. We are taking this downsizing thing slowly! A lot to let go of – but we’ll be selling a lot of unnecessary junk in the next few months- and glad to do it!

    Any helpful advise will be welcome. I love your website with all the great tips.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lyn!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      Greg visited us too back a few weeks ago and I left a response for him on my RV information for beginners page.

      This is what I stated there:
      Greetings Greg!

      As far as your RV search, have you tried sources like rvtrader.com and rvt.com? You can enter that make and model into those search engines and see what comes up, perhaps something closer to you.

      As far as having a transport company move the RV for you, have you searched “RV transport companies” on Google? You can add a local city to that and find what you are looking for.

      Thank you again and we are glad our resources helped you out in some small way!!

    • David on March 16, 2017 at 10:51 PM
    • Reply

    Hi Howard. I am thinking about taking the 5 day hands on course in November to become a level one inspector. Exactly what kind of inspections can I do with this first phase before becoming a level two inspector?

    1. Hi, David!

      Thanks for visiting our website!

      A Leve One NRVIA certified RV Inspector can make $100 – $200 per engagement. These opportunities mostly come from warranty companies at this point. They take from 2 to 3 hours to complete.

      A Level Two NRVIA certified RV Inspector can make $300 to $1,000 per engagement, perhaps more. These are for client orders that take 3 to 8 hours to accomplish.

      We look forward to seeing you in Caldwell, TX. Please reach out to me if I can be of further assistance!

    • Marshall Chamberlain on December 3, 2016 at 9:51 AM
    • Reply

    Hello Howard and Pam. I’m wondering if my 5th wheel levelers will collapse if I take out my battery to replace it? Sorry to bother you with the question? Appreciate your time in helping us RVers.


    1. Hi, Marshall!

      No problem with asking! You should have no issues removing your batteries and having the levelers collapse. Without power, the motors are stable and don’t require 12-volt power to keep them that way.

      Be sure to buy a good quality deep cycle battery to replace the one you are removing.

    • carol on October 26, 2016 at 6:51 AM
    • Reply

    we bought a gas a. we are doing full time in 3 weeks. we have only taken it out once. I have been having last minute jitters but your wonderful article has put me back in can we go yet. THANK YOU

    1. Thanks for stopping by Carol and sharing with us! Glad to here that we helped!! Enjoy your full time RV living journey!!

    • Kaly morison on May 21, 2016 at 3:17 PM
    • Reply

    Hi howard
    I need to custom A 5 wheel 50 Ft what the best company in the market to do that ?

    1. Hi, Kaly!

      You can check with forksrv.com and spacecraftmfg.com. You may have to have a garage in the back to get that length due to RVIA certification standards. I hope you have a big truck!! LOL

    • Sheryl on April 2, 2016 at 8:05 AM
    • Reply

    We are just a few years from retirement – it’s flexible… We are trying to figure out if we should buy a home in beautiful northern Michigan, where “warm” weather could be just a few months, or have a home in the south. I’m concerned about having a home in the south and then leaving it empty during the summer. I envision either bad mold or high bills to run the air conditioning.

    What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Sheryl! Thanks for stopping by yourfulltimervliving.com!

      Since our website deals with full time RV living and not houses, I really can’t share any thoughts in regards to your question. Our home is on wheels and we don’t have any experience with the issues you are considering.

    • Stephen on January 3, 2016 at 11:52 AM
    • Reply

    Hello, thank you for having a great site full of information for us who are considering jumping into full time RV living. I recently retired from the U.S. Army after 27 years and longed to get back into agriculture. I found a non profit who assists farm families who have been injured, ill or suffered a natural disaster. We directly assist farm families by planting crops, harvesting crops or baling hay. Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa are areas we serve now.

    I live in stick home in Colorado and my wife and I are considering doing full time RV so that we can be close to the action in the upper midwest.

    We have a lot to learn and have been stressing over picking the right 5th Wheel for seasonal weather conditions in that part of the world. Can anyone recommend a good all season RV? We plan on being in North Dakota from May through November and then back to Colorado for the winter.

    Thanks y’all

    1. Hi Stephen!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your vision for your full time RV living adventure! Sounds like a great cause to be a part of!

      Be sure when you decide on a 5th wheel that it is rated for full time RV living. If you find one with heated tanks, storage bays, sealed underbelly, etc., you will have a much better experience with living in colder climates. Ice and snow can be damaging to an RV roof as things thaw and re-freeze.

      Best of luck as you move forward!!

    • john on June 8, 2015 at 10:25 PM
    • Reply


    What would you suggest for a first time RVer who is looking to be a fulltimer? 5th Wheel? Motorcoach? Also I like the idea of being an RV inspector. Can you share a bit more info on the cost of becoming one and where the education happens?

    ~~John Sanders

    1. Hi John!

      Thanks for visiting yourfulltimervliving.com!

      That is always a tough question when deciding what is going to work best for you when you may not have been out on the road yet. It’s hard to know what life will be like in either choice without actually having tried it.

      Pam and I rented for years before we decided on a 5th wheel to start out. 50k miles of travel gave us a good idea of the lifestyle and what would work best based on our driving experiences and discussions with others already living the lifestyle.

      Let’s face it, everyone has their own opinion on this. Some go 5th wheel because that is all they can really afford. From having lived in and traveled in both choices this is what I can narrow it all down to. If you are going to be traveling a lot then a motorized RV is so much easier. If you will be spending time work camping in areas for months on end then a 5th wheel works well.

      Again, from having traveled and lived in both, we now prefer motorized as it is just plain easier: less setup/take down, less stress driving it, easier to get into and out of RV parks, etc.

      The worst thing people do is buy a diesel pusher and let it sit for months while they live in it. Diesel engines need to be driven! Now the gas versions are pretty nice and can take sitting for extended periods of time, they just don’t always drive as well due to a chassis that is not as stout as the diesel counterpart.

      I will drop you an email with more information on becoming an RV Inspector.

      So, lots to consider based on how you are going to be using your full time RV home. Please feel free to drop me an email if I can be of further assistance!

    • Pam on May 11, 2015 at 3:37 PM
    • Reply

    Just found your website and have been exploring it. My husband and I have been discussing this lifestyle for a while now. The major drawback of going now before retirement is the cost of health insurance. How do others do it? I haven’t seen much written about this aspect of the lifestyle. Thanks for any advise/thoughts. I’m sure we’ll have more questions before we take off…

    1. Hi Pam!

      Yes, healthcare is a big issue! Now with forced health coverage it can be either a good thing, or a bad one. If you don’t make much you can get subsidies making your basic healthcare a couple of hundred dollars a month. The more you make the more you will pay. Since most full timers are older they are into the medicare system, etc. If you are younger like ourselves than it is more expensive. However, we don’t have all those other costs that sticks and bricks folks have.

      Glad you found us! Keep researching the lifestyle! It is great, but not for everyone. There are lots of things to consider when choosing to live in 200-400 square feet!

    • Cathy on July 3, 2014 at 5:32 AM
    • Reply

    Wow, I adore the idea of this free roaming life style. The first thing that come into my mind is less house chores cleaning. The conventional home occupies to many spaces and rubbish. It’s a headache to even start cleaning. I like my future home to be just a tiny shed with basic necessities and a view facing the ocean. Ah ~ beautiful.

    1. Cathy, I hope your future home becomes just that! A tiny shed on wheels is called an RV! You can place it near any beach you want.

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