Full-Time RV Life or Part-Time RV Life: How to Know Which is Right for You


Lindsay Lane

Favorite Trip

Anywhere out west but especially Glacier National Park

Home Base

Nashville, TN

Favorite RV

Keystone Fuzion for the porch and “blank canvas” garage that can be converted into any space.

About Contributor

We’re a family of 7 who decided to sell it all, and take our learning and life on the road to travel America in December 2018. Through RV renovations, life season changes with growing children, and all the in between we document the ordinary and extraordinary days of RV living and travel.
  • Traveling to see the vastness of the country.
  • More time with your family.
  • The freedom to explore.

All of these are reasons people consider the RV lifestyle. And it’s no wonder why! The RV lifestyle provides all of that and more.

RVing is the perfect lifestyle for those who enjoy traveling, adventuring, exploring, and sightseeing while also enjoying the comforts of home. RVing literally provides a home-away-from-home with a constantly changing backyard. Does traveling get any better than that?

The RV Life

There’s been a growing trend over the past few years of families and couples “selling it all,” to hit the road and live the RV lifestyle full-time. But, is that the only way? Do you really have to sell it all to truly embrace RVing?

Absolutely not!

Family Time in the RV
Image: Lanes Less Traveled

You can experience the benefits, freedom, and beauty of the RV lifestyle regardless of how much time you’re planning to spend on the road.
Full-time, part-time, vacationing, or just out for the weekends, RVing offers the freedom and flexibility so many are seeking.

So maybe you have the ability to hit the road full-time but you’re not quite sure if it’s right for you. Deciding to hit the road full-time is a big, life-altering decision. Make sure you’re well informed of all your options, including downsides and benefits.

How to Determine if Full-Time or Part-Time RV Life is Right for You

Here are some things to consider when trying to decide which RV lifestyle is right for you:

Do you have a timeline for the amount of time you would like to be on the road?

Full-Time or Part-Time RV Life Sightseeing
Image: Lanes Less Traveled

Many people have an amount of time in mind for their travels when making their decision for this lifestyle. Some are planning to hit the road for 12 months, and some set out with an indefinite timeline.

For others, you hit the road, but that timeline gets turned upside down for one reason or another. Have an idea and plan in place to start, because that will impact more of the decision-making when determining how long you’ll be away from your stationary home.

Will you be returning to the place you launched from?

This is another huge determining factor in the RV lifestyle you choose to embrace. If you’re planning to return to the area you launched from after a set amount of time, then that decision will affect several others, such as:

  • what you decide to keep or sell
  • Whether you plan to keep your sticks-and-bricks house or not.

If you do plan to return to your launching point, then consider keeping your house and renting it out while you’re on the road. Many people decide to sell their home and all of their belongings when they hit the road full-time. But, if you’re planning to return to your hometown then renting out your house and storing your belongings may actually be the better way to go.

The market may seem like an unbelievable opportunity for home sellers at the moment, but what happens if the market doesn’t go down and you want to return and settle again after 12 months? You’ll be stuck in a position of possibly not being able to purchase in your desired area again. So, definitely consider where you’ll be landing once your time on the road is over.

Sticks and Bricks Home RV Lifestyle
Image: Lanes Less Traveled

Next, don’t forget to consider the potential of the cost of goods to rise. Refurnishing a house could get more expensive in time, so selling everything may not be the best idea.

Maybe you like the thought of keeping your home and coming back to it once or twice a year. Many people like the opportunity to hit the open road to explore and adventure with their home on wheels, but also like the thought of returning to a stationary home periodically.

The RV lifestyle is amazing and really has no comparison, but don’t forget adventure can also be exhausting. So having a place to land every so often is really appealing to some people.

What about family dynamics? Can everyone handle full-time road life?

Lanes Less Traveled Family Game Night
The bonds created on the road are some of the strongest you can make.

The idea of full-time road life is alluring to many. But, can you really take it? Can everyone in your family take it? Here are All of the Questions To Ask Yourself and Information You Need Before Becoming a Full-Time RVer.

Along with the incredible sights and newness of changing scenery comes the reality that you’re together 24/7. You really have to like each other, and know how to problem-solve as a team when working through challenges together.

Depending on your family size you may have quite a few different personalities to take into consideration when deciding how long, or how much, you’ll be on the road. Many families are in desperate need of a life reset, so hitting the road full-time is redeeming for their family dynamic. However, this isn’t the case for all families. Many simply seek new adventure, connection with each other, and some really great travel stories.

If you’re in need of a shake-up, then RVing full-time might be exactly what you need for a fresh start! Just make sure every family member can handle the challenges of full-time travel. If you think that there are members of your family that may not be able to thrive in full-time travel mode then consider part-time RVing with a home base as an option to have the best of both worlds.

Do you have an exit plan?

Lanes Less Traveled RV
Image: Lanes Less Traveled

If you decide that hitting the road full-time is the right decision for your family then it’s wise to also have an exit plan. It may sound a little silly when thinking about a life decision, but the truth of the matter is that 99% of people will eventually get off the road, even if only for a little while.

So what is your plan when you decide it’s time for full-time RVing to come to an end for you? This is a big deal when deciding how you’re going to support yourselves on the road and fund your RV lifestyle. You’ll also need an income and the finances to get back into stationary life.

Even if you choose the part-time lifestyle, you’ll need income to support the cost of your RV and your house.

The Right Time for RVing

Lanes Less Traveled Hiking
Image: Lanes Less Traveled

When deciding between going full-time or part-time there is no right or wrong answer across the board. Every family, couple, or individual has different needs and reasons for pursuing the RV lifestyle and the beauty is that RVing can provide a way to make the adventure happen.

Be flexible with yourself and your life goals and needs, and you’ll find RV travel can fit into almost any lifestyle.

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