Wouldn’t an RV life be great? Trailers, RV’s, Motorhomes, houseboats, and Freedom Wagons are everyone’s dream. We have all thought about putting our home on wheels and hitting the road. No more lawn work, neighbors, mortgage, local taxes, and plenty of mobility and freedom.
If it sounds too great to be true, you may be right. RV life is more confined and not easy. Space is at a premium and personal privacy is nonexistent. You also need to tow and power the RV. Wear and tear on a tow vehicle is a challenge.
RVs are Mini Homes on wheels. These may be perfect for camping trips and weekend jaunts, but year around RV living is another issue.
Let’s start with what an RV is made of. RVs are designed to be light in weight. This means more plastic and lightweight manufactured materials. Insulation, trim, sealants, plumbing, and many other parts are made of plastic, chemical based products. Many of these materials contain Formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals.
Aluminum is also a predominant material. This light metal is not very strong. Security is an issue when in urban areas or in the land of bears.
A tiny house means a tiny fridge, stove, bathroom, and other comfort features. This is fine if you are a tiny person but as a normal sized person, things are tight. Just try and take a bath in an RV. Just how many groceries can you fit? This means more shopping trips. You can always add more ice chests, but where do you put them?
What about laundry? Bedrooms are also small. Closet space is reduced as well. This means trips to a laundromat.
Technology means a satellite, Wi-Fi, or other plug-in features. Radio waves and electromagnetic fields are a concern as you live in a confined space with Bluetooth, plasma TVs, gaming systems, microwaves, radios, and… These fields impact health.
Bathroom issues are a challenge. Hydrogen Sulfide gas builds up in wastewater and sewage tanks. This means frequent dump station visits. Not to mention the smells from the bathroom. Everyone knows what is going on. Showers mean humidity and moisture throughout the camper. Oh, and the hot water tank holds 5 minutes of heated water at best. There are no secrets in an RV.
Sleeping is a challenge. With a full house, someone will snore, fart, wheeze, roll around, or… Then the propane units come on and off. Heater vent fans click on and off. Air conditioners do the same. All will be drain the battery’s which mean you need to run a generator. Campgrounds can be close quarters so when you open a window, you now hear your neighbors 20 feet away.
Fire and CO2 detectors are required for a reason. Propane and other fumes, along with a limited breathing space can all result in a health issue. Plastic burns fast and exiting a confined space requires practice.
Travelling down the highway and dirt roads means dust and dirt particles. When slide ins are retracted, insects and bugs slide in as well. Rodents and other critters can also find easy access. Buzzards enjoy feeding on plastics, which often give off similar gases as roadkill. Snakes, ants, hornets, etc. love to tag along.
Mold and mildew are a challenge. Temperatures cause materials to expand and contract. Seals and gaskets dry out and crack, forest debris and roadway trash and impact the RV. All of these create leaks and holes for moisture to seep into your rig. Once inside, the mold can quickly grow.
Pets add a new challenge. Ticks, fleas, and other issues can compromise your health. Big, multiple pets mean bigger issues.
Staying cool or warm in a camper is also a challenge. The thin, lightly insulated walls, floor, and ceiling all leak. Running an air conditioner or heater full time is expensive. An RV is a box surrounded by air on all sides.
Maintenance is a constant. You will never go a week without something breaking. Fragile, lightweight materials are easily broken. If you are not a Mr. or Mrs. fixit, you will be visiting RV service shops frequently.
Camping is about “Roughing It”. Sadly, most RV campers never figure this out. A wall tent is simple. Campfire cooking and outdoor hygiene is open aired. Tents and basic RVs re for sleeping. Camping is more about being outside. Leave the technology at home. The sounds and sights of nature are free and healthy.
There are many other pros and cons to an RV Life. Just be sure that this life is for you. Educate yourself and be prepared for what is needed to stay safe and healthy. Especially, if you plan to live in an RV.
RV life is not for everyone!