After college, some of our friends were already settling down and buying homes. There was nothing inside of Alyssa or myself that had a desire to “get settled down”. We wanted to see the world and go on adventures. What better way to do that than spending your first year or so of marriage in a tiny space?
Our friends and family made a lot of “Breaking Bad” style jokes about us moving into an RV before we hit the road. Some of them also questioned whether or not we would still be in love after a year of living in an RV. But I have to say it’s been 18 months and neither of those things are true. Even after going through all the breakdowns, leaks, and fights we’ve endured in Franklin, I would say we love it even more.
But I don’t want to speak for my wife, Alyssa, because on occasion I have locked her in our RV shower for 30 minutes (it was an accident, I swear!) and even flashed our neighbors while trying to kill a spider with a flip flop. All craziness aside, RVing has been an epic adventure.
Here are 29 reasons why living in an RV is better than living in a traditional home. One reason for every foot of our awesome RV named “Franklin”.
1. Our RV has taken us to 49 states across America. My childhood home didn’t have wheels. Deal breaker.
2. Franklin likes to boast breathtaking views out of his window. In a normal home some of these views would run you a million dollars.
3. RVing across the country makes you not take normal things for granted (i.e good wifi, nice showers, and a dishwasher). I miss the days where streaming Netflix was almost thoughtless. Now we measure RV park wifi based on whether or not we can watch Daredevil.
4. I can drive to a destination and cook a Totinos pizza at the same time. Heck, Alyssa can cook most of our meals while the RV is driving.
5. We aren’t being crushed under a giant mortgage. Our home is paid off.
6. Living in a small space during our first year of marriage forces us to learn how to resolve conflicts, like the massive blow-out fight over the GPS while driving in downtown Albuquerque, NM.
7. The RV lifestyle promotes being outdoors where as having a big house promotes sitting on the couch, binge-watching Netflix.
8. Our RV pays for itself in one year. What we paid for our RV ($11,500) is the equivalent to approximately one year of rent in Austin, Texas (and equivalent to way less than a full year of rent in most other cities across the country!).
Side Note: Here are the exact numbers for how much it cost us to drive to all 50 states.
9. We have no utility bills.
10. RVing is like speed dating for friendships. Invite someone over for a cup of coffee and see how long you can stand being with them in a small space.
11. An RV teaches you to be clean. One dish left out is no big deal in a large house, but in a 29 foot RV it’s basically going to make the whole place feel like a mess. Clean that up!
12. I can pee without having to make a pit stop. Maybe this is a guy thing, but I think it’s cool.
13. You can decorate for the holidays on a ridiculously cheap budget. We skipped Halloween, spent $15 at Walmart and Franklin is decked out for Christmas.
14. It takes five minutes to clean the entire house. Six minutes if you vacuum.
15. When you cook bacon, the whole RV smells like heaven.
16. RVing is a great conversation starter. No one cares that you own a house. Everyone lives in a house, but everyone we meet asks to tour our RV.
17. When you want to move, instead of hiring a moving company you just pull in the awning and unhook from electricity. Plus, you can move every day. Don’t like the weather? Tired of the mountains? Want to live beachfront for the summer? NBD. You can live literally anywhere.
18. It’s perfectly acceptable to constantly eat s’mores, popsicles, and hot dogs whenever you like.
19. You can travel full-time and still make money. Here’s a breakdown of how much money (and how) we made while RVing in 2015.
20. You can only be a hoarder for so long, because you literally don’t have the space to accumulate stuff. You’ll never own anything that isn’t essential.
21. It allows you to be somewhat nomadic and embrace a lifestyle of whimsy. You can take your RV anywhere in the world. (And yes, we have met people who ferried over RVs from Europe, where RVing is also popular.)
22. RVing can help you eat healthier. In my former life I spent $300/month eating out. Now since we travel with our kitchen we (as a couple) only spend $50/month eating out. Plus I don’t eat McDonalds and all that junk anymore. (This may mostly be a side effect of marriage).
23. If you want to sell the RV you just post it on Craigslist, instead of hiring a realtor. (Except why would you sell this thing? It’s awesome!)
Update: We totally did sell Franklin! But, no sadness here. We upgraded to a 2016 Winnebago, check it out!
24. When you watch the Walking Dead in the middle of the woods, it’s so much more intense.
25. You aren’t homesick when you’re away from your home town. Home is where you are.
26. Whenever you want to remodel your house, it only takes one can of paint to change the entire feel of your home
27. The RV lifestyle reinforces not living a “comfortable life.” Things are always breaking, life is hectic, and really difficult to make plans. It helps you grow as a person (like when the slides on your RV won’t let you reach all of your underwear or the tow car nearly crushes you to death, true story).
28. RVing teaches you to fix things. I hoped I was going to be rich enough to pay a mechanic all the time. That strategy hasn’t worked out for me yet, so now I know how to flush my radiator, fix my generator, check gauges, and a lot of other manly stuff I couldn’t do before. I even recently outfitted our Honda CR-V for proper towing, Dad would be proud.
29. It teaches you to value experiences over belongings, and relationships over work. At the core of it, this is what our lifestyle is truly about.
Several years ago I remember listening to Dave Ramsey talk about how one couple moved into a trailer after getting married so they could save money and pay off debt before buying a home. I remember thinking to myself, “That seems cool and everything- but I would never live in a RV. I’m better than that.”
Those were my exact thoughts. I wanted the comfort of a home, security, and consistent income. To live in an RV I might be thought of as “less”, or people might judge me.
However, somehow I landed an amazing wife who challenged me to dream big and to not worry about what other people think. Awhile back we faced a decision to either stay in Austin with our jobs and save up, or buy an RV and hit the road. We decided to choose adventure instead of comfort, and it’s made all the difference in the world.
I wish I could tell you there weren’t any times where I was scared or unsure about our situation. I’ve doubted myself quite a bit actually. But looking back over the last six months I’ve grown more as a person than I could have ever imagined.
All in all, I stand by all of my beliefs in choosing the RV lifestyle over buying a traditional home. Does that mean we’ll never settle down and buy a house? Not at all, but for this period of my life, it was the best decision we could have ever made.
If you liked this post, I curated a few more RV related blog posts that I think you’d love.