How to live in an RV: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

how to live in an RV

Are you curious about how to live in an RV? Then we wrote this article just for you. Hopefully, we can give you an idea of what to expect.

RV living

Living in an RV takes a lot of preparation, both mentally and physically. After all, it takes time and effort to ready yourself for such a big lifestyle change. Perhaps one of the biggest changes you will have to adapt to is your living spaces. From having a house full of rooms, you’ll basically be moving to a cramped space with finite resources. Given this situation, why do you think people opt to live in an RV instead of regular houses?


There are several benefits to living in an RV. Briefly, let’s go over three main selling point of RV living.

Firstly, it’s less expensive than living in a house. While RV living doesn’t completely eliminate rental, electrical, and water expenses, it does reduce it. You won’t even have to pay a mortgage. And if you decide to go boondocking, then it’s almost non-existent. This is especially true if you find free campgrounds. Just remember to be responsible in disposing your wastes. But more on that later.

Secondly, living in an RV offers you more freedom. You are not confined to one place. Basically, you can go wherever you want and packing up your life will not be a problem. Everything you need will be in your mobile home.

Thirdly, you downsize everything in life and retain only the basic necessities, plus probably a few luxuries you can’t live without. Fundamentally, this should give you a great perspective on the important things in life.


If there are positives, there are also negatives to balance it out. That’s simply how things work. Let’s quickly discuss what these downsides are.

First and foremost is the smaller living spaces. This might not be an issue all the time. However, when you’ve been on the road for a long time, you might just get cabin fever. Unlike traditional houses, it’s not always the case that you have access to several areas at once. As an example, some campers’ lounge areas also serve as their sleeping area. Thus, if you’re sleeping, you don’t have a separate area for relaxing. This only becomes an issue when you have visitors.  

Secondly, you have finite resources. The earth provides finite resources anyway, however that fact is felt more when you live in an RV. You have to constantly be aware of your food, energy, and water resources.

How to live in an RV

Now that we’ve got the pros and cons out of the way, let’s proceed to actual tips for how to live in an RV.

Read the user manual

When you purchase an RV, be it used or new, make sure to read the manual. You might view it as a hassle but trust us when we say that it will save you from a lot of headaches when you go on the road. Although you won’t memorize every detail in the manual, you’ll at least get an idea of what’s in it. Thus, when you suddenly blow a tire or when a fuse goes out, you’ll know what to do.

Do not hoard

Our first tip is not to hoard things. When you live in a regular house, small, sentimental objects can pile up. You probably won’t notice for months. When you live in an RV, that is not the case. Because once you start hoarding stuff, your already limited living space becomes cluttered and therefore smaller.          

Plan out your route

If you plan to live in an RV and be mobile while doing so, make sure you plan it in such a way that gasoline, hook up, and dumping stations are easy to come by. This will ensure you don’t run out of resources while on the road. To illustrate, it would be a nightmare to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, right?

Reevaluate your belongings

Every month or so, it would be good to take inventory and see which of your things can be disposed of. In truth, it’s actually pretty common for new RVers to overpack. A month down the road, they realize they’ve brought things they don’t really use. For example, maybe you packed clothes you don’t really use. In this case, you could have a donation pile. Alternatively, if you brought outdoor equipment like bicycles yet you never used them, you could sell them for extra cash. With that said, schedule a regular spring cleaning to further whittle down your belongings. This will also give you a chance to optimize your space.  

Invest in storage options

With your limited space, it would be great to research on innovative storage ideas. Learning how to maximize your space will help keep your space nice and tidy. A spacious RV interior will make all the difference when you’re tired and grumpy from a long drive.

Monitor your resources

When you live in an RV, one of the things you have to give up is long showers. Of course, this all depends on your motorhome’s water carrying capacity. Even so, many RVers adopt a navy shower routine so they can conserve more. Evidently, this will result to more time on the road without having to stop and reload at a hook up station. The same thing goes for your food and electricity. You should be aware of how much you consume. Before you embark on a trip, make sure you check the electricity consumption of your appliances such as your refrigerator. This will also help you decide on a generator size.

Install Insulation

Our last tip is about the insulation of your motorhome. Living full time in an RV means you’d experience all sorts of weather conditions. For this reason, you should make sure your motorhome is equipped to handle extreme heat or cold temperatures. This is especially true if you want to stay put somewhere during winter, instead of moving to a warmer state.

Final Word

Hopefully, this article gave you an idea about how to live in an RV and thus, encouraged you to take the leap. At the very least, it should have pointed you in the right directions regarding areas you have to do more research on. In line with this, we suggest you read a few articles on the best RVs to live in, full-time RV living, and off-grid RV living.

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