5 Reasons I Love Stationary RV Life (and You Will Too)

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This is a guest post from Liz Wilcox of The Virtual Campground. We met Liz through our Facebook community, but finally met her in real life at the RV Entrepreneur Summit back in February. When not trying to make people laugh through her writing and storytelling, Liz is a blogger on a mission to help other people start RVing. You can catch her misadventures and find inspiration to start your own over at her virtual campground, thevirtualcampground.com.

I meet a lot of people at the RV park and their first question to me is “How long are you here for?” When I reply “Oh, just another 18 months,” their faces get all screwy. And I can’t say I blame them. Stationary RV life does sound pretty weird.

I mean an RV is a literal home on wheels! If you’re not moving around, why not just live in a regular house? Why choose to live in a box with tires? And above all else, how could stationary RV living possibly be worthwhile or fun?

Who on earth would even think of something like that?

Well, hi! My name is Liz Wilcox and I am “that lady” livin’ it up full-time in the RV park.

stationary rv life
Some visual proof of me livin’ it up in the RV park.

You’re right. Stationary RV living isn’t glamorous. No, my days aren’t filled with planning trips and my toes aren’t dipped in the sand of anywhere new and exciting. Yet, somehow life is incredibly different and more meaningful since I moved into the RV. Stationary RVing is the best decision my husband and I have ever made in our marriage.

Here’s 5 reasons I absolutely love the stationary RV life and you will too.

1. Money problems are at an all time low.

First and foremost, ya gotta know I am a cheap wad in every sense of the phrase. I once almost broke my finger grabbing a quarter stuck between two washing machines. When asked if it was worth it, I replied “Duh. Now I only need 3 more to get my soda refill.”

Before the RV, every paycheck was carefully analyzed, stressed over, and budgeted to the cent. Now I breathe a lot easier, knowing all my living expenses like electric, water, and rent are a flat rate that won’t go up or down each month. I love having that predictability in my finances. I also love that these expenses are about 2/3 cheaper than when renting an apartment.

As I’ve mentioned, I am married. Now, according to Everyone and Their Mother, financial arguments are the number one reason for divorce. Since moving into the RV, we fight less and less about money each month. This is a huge victory for a one-income family like mine.

So if you’re like me and love to have money, save it, and feel comfortable in your finances, you will have a ton of fun living stationary in an RV.

2. The sense of community is surreal.

In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Roger’s neighborhood is a fallacy, y’all. My last neighborhood had hundreds of townhouses occupied by thousands of people. Sure I had people living next to me, but did I have any neighbors? No way.

Being stationary, I’m constantly making connections with new people. People come in and out of the park often and even when they’re only around a day or two, they become my neighbor.

Someone is always willing to strike up a conversation. It is eye-opening to meet all types of people from all over the country and world. You never know who is going to pull in, and their RV or license plate is the perfect ice breaker! I have so much fun getting to know my neighbors.

When I’m tired of being inside, I can just walk outside and find someone to talk or walk with. As complete noobs, Ed and I needed help when we first moved into the park, and someone was always willing to give a hand.

In winter, the park gathered for a potluck every other week. It really felt like a loving community. I heard stories about youth, travels, and grandkids. I was able to share frustrations and get advice about being a new mom. My husband had immediate access to a melting pot of men to confide in.

Mr. Rogers would be proud.

And the most special thing of all? My daughter witnessed the simplest and most essential aspect of humanity—people coming together to share food and each other’s company. It brings my heart tremendous joy to know my child lives in a community that values, strives for, and seeks out human connection. (And here I thought an RV park just offered a parking spot.)

I never imagined modern life could be so friendly and inviting.

3. Nature is suddenly a part of everyday life.

Unless you’re a member of the Addams family you probably find the outdoors refreshing. Whether you’re a “long walks on the beach” type of guy or simply like the smell of rain, stationary RVing encourages you to get outside!

You see, a house is comfortable. It’s so comfortable it practically begs you to stay inside. If you close the door and those amazing blackout curtains, you can forget what time it is and take a nap at 2pm. No need to be productive. And don’t worry, when you can’t sleep tonight you can go in the living room and watch TV. It won’t disturb anyone sleeping upstairs.

An RV makes that type of living a little harder (as it should be because that lifestyle is so not healthy, my friend.) There is no upstairs. The TV is going to disturb everyone. And why close the curtains and nap when only a door separates you from the great outdoors?

stationary rv life
How can you shut out this view?

Sunlight and a little breeze is good for you, baby! You don’t have to be a full-time traveler to get a little more of it in your life. With little effort, stationary RVers can enjoy nature, too. Every day, I go for a walk around the campground. Each afternoon I spend a couple hours working at the picnic table under the awning. And when the weather is right, I sit in my beach chair soaking up sun rays.

Okay, okay. I know not everyone has the luxury of taking a day to just lay around the campground. I’m sure if you are a stationary RVer, you probably have to go to some 9-5 gig. Well, after 5pm you can still go for nature walk, grill and eat outside, or just spend a few moments breathing some fresh air before you go inside.

My husband is an air traffic controller, one of the most stressful careers…ever. After a hard day, he can come home, sit in the shade, and simply listen to the outdoors. He is now a much more engaged and relaxed husband and father.

Just yesterday I spent almost 12 hours outside. Why not? As a stationary RVer, I live on a campground, in nature, and I take full advantage of the situation. All day I had beautiful scenery to look at, tons of room to run and play with my daughter, and a relaxing chair to sit in and feel the breeze under my awning.

It was a day I once would have dreamed about, saved money for, and planned carefully. Now it’s just life.

Why am I smiling so big? Oh you know, campground life.

4. Cleaning is a much smaller burden.

Okay, so I know this is a bit obvious but it is 100% list-worthy. In all honesty, it could be the only thing on the list for me. I was a slob as a kid, a disgusting excuse for a 20 year old, and simply felt so overwhelmed as a new mom in a townhouse.

Don’t get me wrong, RV life does not equate to no cleaning. The small space just makes it more manageable. I have made a house rule to never leave a room messier than when I entered. This is really rubbing off on my 2 year old, and my husband. When something is out of place, it can be seen from just about everywhere in the RV. Have you ever been in a small space that was dirty? It can be maddening.

Now we all work together to keep the house tidy and stress levels low.

Of course, life is not perfect and neither am I. There are times when I ignore the dishes, “forget” to sweep, and let the clothes pile up unseen in the shower. Yet, even at its dirtiest, the RV seems to be cleaned with ease.

Could it be because it gets dirtier more quickly than a home? Like, it’s literally impossible to go weeks without cleaning. The RV only has room for 4 plates, one set of utensils, and there is only one sofa to sit on. Once all that stuff is used up, you really have no choice to clean. And lucky for you, you really only have 4 plates, one set of utensils, and a sofa to take care of. RV magic, baby.

5. Cookouts and more cookouts

I grew up in Northern Michigan. In the summer months, we would spend all day outside. My mom would take us camping or we would stay at home and host a party centered around our giant backyard bonfire. All day long, the fire would be cooking up something delicious while Led Zeppelin rocked out on my mother’s oversized stereo. I’m pretty sure the neighbors hated us, but who cared? We were making the best type of memories.

Being a stationary RVer means I can create these moments with my family easily and often. I’m talking every night if I want. I’m in a campground people, it just sort of happens.

It’s like this:

Why cook in my tiny RV kitchen when I can grill outside by the picnic table? And not have to worry about a greasy stovetop? And enjoy the cooler evening temps? And pretend I’m on vacation? And then remember this is real life and this is my front yard and wow, isn’t life so amazing?!?!

You get what I’m saying here, right?

There is just something relaxing about having a cookout. And let me tell you, as someone who does it just about every night, it does not get old! It becomes a fun way to relax after a long (sometimes hard and strenuous) day. My husband loves cooking on it, I get wrapped up in childhood nostalgia, and my daughter is downright fascinated by it all. Dinner time has truly become a way to unite the whole family.

Seriously, I look downright giddy and it’s only a Tuesday night.

Single? No kids? Don’t worry. You will still enjoy cookouts. After all, what red-blooded American doesn’t desire to dig into a hot-off-the-grill chicken leg and watch the sunset?  (Hoo-rah!)

You don’t have to be a full-time traveler to enjoy the benefits of making an RV your home.

My whole life has changed since becoming a stationary RVer. Collectively, these reasons have shifted my whole perspective on life; they’ve forced me to tune in to what I really want in my life and in return, out of life. My day-to-day has changed so much. No longer do I spend my days stressing about money, cleaning house, and even what to make for dinner. Instead, I’m outside getting to know my neighbors and pointing out wildlife to not only my daughter, but to myself.

In love yet?

44 Responses

  • “Now I only need 3 more…” – Haaaaaaaaa! Liz cracks me up while at the same time making a solid case for RV life even without the travel.

    Liz, being so close to actually living in our RV (it’s in the driveway), I’m beginning to get an idea of some of the benefits you mention. Makes it hard to walk back in the house after being out there.

    Another good guest-poster choice, Heath and Alyssa 🙂

  • Your inspiring. Some day I would love to do this. Just waiting for James to finish high school. Not sure Tims on board yet. But I find your life intriguing. Always love to read your posts.

    • Thanks Brenda. It is so much fun! If I see Tim the next time I’m in town, I’ll put a bug in his ear. 😉

  • Loved reading this Liz. Another great perspective on what really matters in life!

    • Thanks Lindsay. This was a fun one to write and yes, gave me a good reminder of my blessings and what I should focus on.

  • I just wish I could get the husband on board… Livin’ the dream, girl!

    • Shary, after one month of living in our 5th wheel hubby asked why we hadn’t done it sooner. I had to remind him that HE was the one who wanted to stay in a house. Let him know how much you would be saving by doing this. Instead of paying $1100 a month in mortgage and utilities (not counting other services and upkeep), we are paying $350 per month for everything except propane, cable, and internet. We live in a small town so our costs aren’t the norm, but you get the point. Just let him know how much you would SAVE.

  • Great article Liz-you always crack me up! Boy do I relate to the house cleaning overwhelm. We had a 1700 sq foot house and I just couldn’t stand all the upkeep. What a waste of time. Cleaning the RV is sooo much easier. Glad you’re enjoying your time and that your family is benefiting so much from this lifestyle. Looking forward to meeting up with you on the road.

  • Awesome post, Liz! Interesting take on the RV lifestyle. People from all walks of life can do their own thing. That’s what’s so great about the world today!

  • Amazing! Embarking on a 3 month stay as a work camper then hitting the road to travel. Best of both worlds. You truly put the simple life into perspective for me 🙂 Can’t wait!

  • Great post Liz! We are stationary in our 5th wheel in a great RV park. It is so awesome to meet the neighbors. Never met the neighbors when we lived in our house for 15 years, so sad. We have experienced all of what you mentioned. RV park people are awesome. One day we will be traveling, but today we are comfortable and enjoying life. We will all meet up some day!

  • My partner and I have only been in our RV for two weeks, but I already wholeheartedly agree with all of this! We are doing the stationary thing for now as well. We are supposed to be moving to our next park in July, but have fallen in love with the spot we lucked into. So maybe we will stay a little longer! And thanks for the inspiration to get started on my own blog. Why is naming it the hardest part?!?! 🙂

    • Haha it’s funny that you say that! That’s exactly what Heath and I are talking about on the podcast this morning! http://heathandalyssa.com/rve-0061-happens-quit-rving/

    • I just used my name in case this RV thing doesn’t work out… then I can go Benedict Arnold and switch niches. 😉

  • Awww. What an excellent guest post. I adored her enthusiasm and positivity. Refreshing for sure.

    • Hey Bridgette, not sure how I missed this comment but thanks for the genuine compliment. And yes, enthusiasm is my strongsuit so let me know if I can spread some your way!

      • You are welcome. I enjoy being happy and so it is nice to see that reflected in others. I know life is not always going to be that way and showed me that plenty but still… it is just better to be happy, enjoy life and search for that in others or pass it on. We could just make a circle enthusiasm. =)

  • Amazing post – it’s great to see more young people such as Alyssa & Heath & Liz break the mold of what society expects. Thanks for opening my eyes to another lifestyle opportunity.

    • Glad you liked it! I definitely like how you said “break the mold” Most people just that we are weird! haha 🙂

    • Hey Niefia. Sorry I just saw this comment! Welcome to a whole new world, baby!

  • […] 5 Reasons to Love Stationary RV Life: When I was young, my grandparents did a lot of traveling by camper, and I got to tag along often. My favorite trip was when, between fourth and fifth grades, they took me on a trip throughout the western states and then we came back to Michigan through Canada. (I point to that trip as the source of my love for Canada!) Ever since then, I’ve loved living small, even before tiny living became so popular. I’m really interested in full-time RVing, but the idea of new cities week after week doesn’t appeal so much to me – this post outlines so many of the reason I think I’d love this lifestyle. […]

  • […] in an RV can be an escape from the stress of everyday life, a chance to reconnect with nature, the opportunity to live out […]

  • Hi there, I read your blogs on a regular basis. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up!

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