The days that RV’s were solely for retirees are over. More and more young people deliberately choose to live in a motorhome, RV or campervan.
It’s not only those who are blessed with a location-independent job such as online entrepreneurs, digital copywriters, and artists who are making the step towards a less consumerist, more free and fullfilling life.
Also students, nomadic minimalists taking jobs on the road, as well as urban stealth campers with normal day to day jobs are opting for this somewhat rebellious form of living.
Stepping out of the treadmill and living the nomadic life is quite appealing for reasons ranging from idealism to affordability to practicality. I myself am planning to living the RV life soon. Here are my main motives.
6 Reasons For Full-time Motorhome Living
1. Because I can
I’m in the privileged position of having a location independent job. I don’t have a mortgage, children or a wife. I love to go hiking or do other outdoor activities and just really like to spend time outside as much as I can. The simple joys of having breakfast amidst the dewy grass or drinking a beer while watching the stars in the nightly sky nearly equal happiness to me.
I don’t need much space either. A VW vanagon is a tad bit too crampy for my taste but a somewhat more spacious RV will meet my needs just fine. What’s just as significant to me is that I feel an instinctive aversion towards the corporate consumerist life. A nice house in the suburbs, children, two cars, and a neatly mowed lawn, you know… the American Beauty scenario, are not things I particularly fancy to put it mildly.
This one is obvious. I love to travel and explore. To meet new people from all kinds of trades. See new parts of the world. Who doesn’t? The force of wanderlust is strong in me. I always felt affinity with the lifestyle of vagabonds, troubadours, gypsies, nomads, hobos, you name it.
What’s more is that I suffer from winter depression. I feel tired and gloomy due to the lack of light during the short winter days. By migrating to a sunnier part of Europe I will be able to feel better and be more productive in my work too. In a sense it will liberate me from the restraining influence of the dark numbing winter.
3. Because it is more affordable
It is widely known that owning a motorhome is expensive. But if you live in your motorhome permanently those are your only costs. You can buy a decent used RV for under $10,000 and there are lots of locations that offer free or very affordable parking and camping.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say you can reduce your daily living expenses to near zero. You have to pay for occasional campsite fees, taxes, insurance, maintenance and so on. There’s also value depreciation of your RV. A house may increase in value but a camper will only reduce in value. But it could cost you considerably less than living in a rented or bank-bought home.
I have never owed money to a bank and fairly, I’m done with paying rent too. I think rents are ridiculously high. When you’ve experienced financially tougher times you’ll know what it’s like when almost all your income goes to rent and utilities.
Now I don’t need to for financial reasons but I choose to live in a camper. And maybe, some day, if I’ll find a nice spot, I will build my own house from salvaged materials. Or trash even. I don’t care. I feel no rat race compulsion. There’s no imposed cultural prestige stress here. The so common “look-at-all-the-stuff-I-can buy peer pressure” is alien to me. Actually I think that’s real poverty. Blindly following the herd into oblivious materialism.
4. In order to pay off debt or avoid it all together
You wouldn’t be the first who managed to throw off the shackles of debt by switching to living full-time in an RV. By selling your home and living in a motorhome (for a while) you can cut back on costs and save a lot of money. Adam Baker, you may know him from his Man vs Debt website or TED Talk ‘Sell Your Crap. Pay Your Debt. Do What You Love’, did.
Being debt free is a form of freedom. You may think of the phrase ‘debt is slavery’ as an overstatement but if you think about it you’ll know it’s not. Pubilius Syrus already said it; ‘Debt is the slavery of the free’. The fact that the world’s financial system collapsed and had to be bailed out by taxpayers at a cost of billions may have awakened you. Millions of people are still suffering from lower living standards or even lost their jobs and homes due to the recession brought on by the collapse.
At the same time almost no bankers have faced legal sanctions for their part in precipitating the crisis. Nor have there been major adjustments in regulatory legislation allowing this to happen. This system is rotten, it’s not there for your interests, and it may wise to consider to what degree you want to be part of it.
5. I love the sea and ocean
I spend a lot of time on the beach. I love stand up paddling, kitesurfing, swimming, strolling down the beach or just the view of the sea or ocean. No matter how often I go, the effect never wears down, it’s pure magic to me. So for me full-time RVing is the logical step towards downsizing.
6. Out of some sort of idealism
I think people shouldn’t be forced to buy a home or rent an expensive place. Currently, in a way, we are. Sure, you can live in an RV but there often are no affordable parking opportunities defeating one of the purposes of mobile living.
In many countries there are building codes that do not even allow you to build a tiny house. Nor do you have the liberty to live in a vehicle. Not long ago it was even forbidden to sleep in your camper when you were tired from a long day of driving. This absurdity was straightened out recently by European legislation.
I think it should be a basic human right to live in any kind of dwelling, no matter its size or original purpose. It’s ludicrous that you can build a mansion of epic proportions but if you want to go small you are not allowed to. It’s yet another example of how corporate interests have take over politics corroding basic human rights.
Which is why I applaude somewhat defiant trends such as urban stealth camping, boondocking and clever ways to bypass building codes as is often done with tiny homes.
It’s not my intention to over-romanticize full-time motorhome living. Full-time RV living may be less enjoyable for the claustrophobic, arachnofobic, dual left handed individual who owns lots of stuff and loves to take long showers. For me however, the cheaper, lighter, independent existence is what ticks the box.
What do you think? Would you live permanently in an RV?
Shout it out in the comments section below.