Great question! There are many situations where people live in campers year-round, it all comes down to how prepared you are. Can you live in a camper year-round? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” And, yes you can live year-round in an RV, travel trailer, or tent.
If you can get over the obvious question of “why stay in a camper year-round?” and if you’re not afraid of handling the challenges that living in a travel trailer all year brings, then this post is for you. (It’s also for those who are curious.) Living in a camper year-round isn’t for everyone, but it is possible and many do it.
Camping is something that most campers do in the summer, but since I live in my camper year-round, I have advice for people that want to do the same. Hence, you’ll be getting highly effective tips from me and other experts in the article.
With the rising cost of living, more and more people are opting to continue to live in their vehicles. Since 2002, the percentage of people living in a car has increased from .07% to .33%.
Can You Live in a Camper Year-Round? Explained
The most common reasons for moving into a vehicle are financial reasons, followed by “I like the freedom of being able to come and go as I please.”
A camper is an ultimate getaway for explorers who plan carefully. It allows you to live outdoors year-round. Full-time living in an RV: yes, it’s possible and it’s not just for summer.
Are you an adventure-seeker? The open road is calling your name. If you’re prepared and willing to learn some alternative methods of ‘dominating’ the world around you.
How to Live in a Camper Year-Round
You’re moving across the country in your beloved travel trailer, hitting 50 states in less than a year. When you realize it’s possible to live in a camper year-round, how do you know where to start?
Where could you park such a large vehicle? How will you protect your stuff from Theft? Will you have access to gas and electricity throughout your journey?
Again, these are just a few of the questions you may have about living in a camper year-round. If you had these questions I’m sure there must be loads more. Then these tips on how to live in a camper year-round will help you in the greater way possible.
And if you’re a full-time RVer, it’s likely you’ve already figured out how to live comfortably while on the road. But if you’re thinking about becoming a year-round RVer, there are some things you should consider before making the plunge into full-timing.
1. Find The Perfect Camper
You’ll need to make sure that your RV is equipped with everything you need before you commit to living in it full-time. Be sure to check out our guide on how to choose an RV.
Before you even think about living in your RV full-time, it’s important to find the right one for you. Here are some things to consider:
Consider all options. Do you want a travel trailer or a fifth wheel? How many people will be living in your RV? Are you willing to spend more money on a larger, more luxurious RV? Do you need something that can be towed with a truck or an SUV?
Do your research. Look at blogs (like you are rightly doing now) and forums like Reddit’s RvLife subreddit for advice from other RV owners on their experiences with different makes and models.
Test drive before buying. If possible, take a test drive before buying so that you can get a feel for how easy it is to drive and maneuver in tight spaces like parking lots, campgrounds, and rest areas.
The first step is finding the perfect camper, think about what kind of space you’ll need, and how much storage will be available if you want a kitchenette or full kitchen with running water and electricity (or both).
Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on your needs, find out if any local companies offer rentals as well as sales. It’s important to find the right camper for your needs before making any big decisions — especially if you plan on spending all year inside it.
Start by determining what kind of camping experience you want:
Do you want to be able to travel far distances while still having amenities like running water, electricity, and heat? Or do you prefer to stay closer to home at an RV park? Do you need enough space for kids or pets? Consider all these things before choosing a new rig for life.
If you’re looking to live in a camper year-round, then it’s important to choose one that can withstand harsh winter conditions. When it comes to RVs and campers, there are several types of vehicles to choose from.
The most common are travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research before making a final decision.
2. Create A Balanced Budget
Budgeting is important whether or not you live in an RV full-time. If you don’t already have one, we recommend creating one now so that you can adjust accordingly when moving into your camper.
It’s helpful if you have some savings set aside before making this move — especially if you plan on buying an older model used RV rather than a new one as they tend to be more expensive than travel trailers or fifth wheels.
So, before purchasing your new RV or camper, it’s important to create a balanced budget.
As with any major purchase, this will allow you to see how much room you have left in your budget for other household expenses while also providing an estimate on how much money you’ll need to save up to be able to afford what you want out of life.
You should also consider how much money you’re willing to spend on insurance as well as maintenance costs such as gas mileage or propane usage.
3. Get To Know Your Camper And Its Need
Before moving into your RV full-time, spend some time getting to know it and its needs. This will allow for better planning when living in a camper year-round.
The first step is to get familiar with your camper. Take it out on a few trips and find out what works and what doesn’t. Try different spots around the campground, test out different sites, and make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
The first thing you need to do is get familiar with your camper. If you bought it used, then there may be some things that need fixing or replacing. If it’s new, then there will be a lot of features that need learning about.
Either way, don’t rush into anything until you know exactly how your camper works and how much it costs to run each month.
Another step to living in a camper full-time is setting up a routine for yourself and your camper. For example, some campers are colder than others and will need more heat while they’re parked in the winter.
Some need more water because they don’t have a way to dump their waste tanks or water tanks. Others require more propane because they don’t have electricity to run their appliances.
You may also find that some campers are more comfortable than others due to their size or how far they sit off the ground. You can adjust these things by changing where you park each night or adding items like insulation or foam pads under your RV mattress.
There are many ways to cope with the challenges of living in an RV year-round, but knowing what those challenges are can help you prepare for them ahead of time so that you can enjoy your time off as much as possible.
To further buttress this, If you’re buying a new RV, this process may take some time — especially if you’re buying a used one. If you’re buying new, look at all the bells and whistles that come with the model and make sure they’re something that will really help your lifestyle.
If you have an older RV that’s been passed down through generations of family members, there may be some things that need replacing or upgrading before it’s ready for full-time living.
One of my favorite upgrades was replacing our old stove with a more modern convection oven so we could cook more efficiently on our limited propane supply.
If there are any items on your wish list that aren’t necessary right away (like solar panels), think about whether they’re something you’d like to add later on down the road (and budget accordingly).
4. Learn How To Dump Your Waste Tanks
Dumping waste tanks can be tricky for newbies but once mastered, becomes second nature!
This is probably one of the most important things to know about living in an RV or Camper. Most RVs have at least two waste tanks: gray water (for showering, washing dishes, etc.) and black water (for toilet waste).
You’ll need to empty both at designated dumping stations every so often; each RV will come with instructions on how often this needs to happen.
It’s also important that you don’t dump gray water into the black water tank or vice versa — this can cause serious damage to your plumbing system.
One of the biggest challenges of living full-time in a camper is finding dump stations where you can empty your black and gray water tanks.
Most campgrounds allow campers without hookups to use their dump stations but they usually charge extra for this service (usually around $5 per load). All these are to be taken into consideration before embarking on this adventure.
5. Become A Master At Cleaning Your Camper
Campers are not the most convenient places to clean, so getting in the habit of regular cleaning is essential for year-round living.
If you have an indoor shower, you can use it to wash off the dirt and grime after every trip. But if you only have an outdoor shower, it’s best to use a pressure washer or hose attachment with hot water periodically to get rid of mud and other contaminants that accumulate on your rig.
You may think that it’s easy to clean out your camper. After all, it’s just a little trailer or motor home. But even though RVs are small, they can get messy fast. You’ll need to learn how to keep everything clean and organized so that it doesn’t feel like home is falling apart around you.
If you’re used to cleaning your house, you’ll need to get used to cleaning your camper as well. It’s not just about dusting off the table or wiping down the counters; it’s about taking out the trash and washing the dishes.
The good news is that most RVs come with a sink, so all of your dishes can be cleaned in one go! You just need to make sure that when you wash them, you don’t use too much water or electricity.
6. Learn To Conserve Water And Electricity
The most important thing you can do is learn how much water and electricity your RV uses at different times of the year. If your water heater works on propane, then you’ll want to turn it off when possible and only use it when necessary (such as washing dishes).
If your electricity runs off batteries or solar panels, then try turning off lights and appliances when they’re not in use or running them at night when there’s less demand for power from the grid. Even turning off lights in cabins or storage compartments will make a difference over time.
RVers use a lot less water than people who live in houses do because they don’t have running faucets or toilets 24 hours a day.
Even though this might seem like a good thing at first glance, there are some downsides to conserving water in your RV that you should be aware of before making any big changes to your lifestyle.
One of the downsides is that it takes longer for hot water to get ready when your tank is smaller than what you’re used to at home.
7. Decorate Your RV So It Feels Like Home
If you’re like most people, you have a favorite chair, couch, or bed. When you’re living in an RV full time, you need to find the best spot for these items and make sure they fit.
You can also get creative with décor and design elements to make your RV feel like home. For example, if you have a dog or cat, find a way to include them in the design process as well.
You might not want to bring all of your personal belongings from home into your RV, but it’s important to keep some familiar items around so you can feel at ease while living in an unfamiliar space.
For example, if you love reading books, try bringing along some of your favorite titles or even a few novels by authors you enjoy reading but haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. Or if you have pictures of family members or friends hanging on the walls at home, bring those along as well.
8. Buy Clothing That Is Easy To Care For And Looks Good On You
If you’ve never lived in an RV before, one of the first things you’ll notice is that there isn’t a lot of room for clothing storage.
Most RVs have closets with built-in shelves or hanging bars for hanging clothes — but if yours doesn’t come with these features, there are other ways to store your clothes efficiently and neatly. Add a wardrobe and drawers for storage.
Living in an RV full-time means that you have fewer opportunities than usual to do laundry. But don’t let this deter you from buying nice clothes. In fact, it may be easier because most of the clothing options are durable fabrics that can withstand frequent washing (and tumble drying).
9. Stock Up On Supplies Before Heading Out On The Road
This is it, before heading out on any long trip, make sure that your camper is fully stocked with all of the supplies that might be needed while traveling — even if they don’t seem necessary at first glance.
For example, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, aluminum foil, food, propane tanks, and anything else that might be necessary for your comfort while on the road, etc.
10. Keep Yourself Entertained While On The Road
If there is one thing that can make your travels more difficult than they need to be, it’s boredom! Make sure to bring along activities like books, watching movies on your phone or laptop screen, and games so that even if it rains outside or you get stuck inside for some reason, you won’t have time for boredom.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you permanently live in a camper?
Yes and no. If you are considering a permanent move to a camper, it’s important to understand that there are limitations.
For example, if you want to start a family, that’s probably not an option unless you plan on moving into a larger RV.
And while many RVs have bedrooms and beds that can be raised or lowered, they aren’t necessarily designed for comfort or privacy. Some have built-in bunks that convert into beds but these aren’t always comfortable either.
Can you live in a camper through winter?
Absolutely! They are very well insulated and heated for cold weather. Most campers are equipped with heaters and furnaces for cold-weather camping which makes them ideal for winter living.
Just make sure your batteries are fully charged so the furnace will work when needed.
Is living in an RV cheaper than a house?
It depends on your situation, but generally yes! Living in an RV is much cheaper than owning or renting a house or apartment.
There are many factors involved in determining whether living in an RV is more affordable than other options but it’s safe to say that if your monthly expenses would be lower by living.
Can you realistically live in an RV?
Absolutely! There are people out there who do it every day — even though it may be difficult at first because it takes some time to get used to living in RV.
For many people across the country, living in a camper year-round is entirely possible. The number one thing that must be considered when trying to live in a camper year-round is to make sure you are in an area where it is legal.
No matter how much you love traveling and being outdoors, trying to live in a camper year-round if it isn’t allowed can get you in trouble with the law. Be sure to check with your local laws before setting up a camper and making your home there.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a millionaire to live in a camper! As long as you are willing to make small compromises, you can still live the life of your dreams.
It simply takes a little creativity and the willingness to give up some creature comforts. Give it a try, and don’t forget that you can use the resources here on this blog if you have any questions along the way.
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