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Full-time RV Living On The Road

You are faced with the important decision of turning your life completely upside down. Full-time RV living on the road is your dream. You want to sell your house or give up your apartment and travel full time in a house on wheels, maybe even on different continents. We decided to buy a 4×4 Land Rover with a caravan in southern Africa. At the moment we drive with our camper through Europe several months a year. Before you decide to live in a caravan or camper, there are a few things you need to know.

Deutsche Version von THE WILD LIFE

Test Camper Van Life Beforehand

Before you sell your house and take definite steps, make sure that your dream matches the reality of camping life. Travel with a motorhome for a longer period of time before you decide to live in a camper or caravan and give up your present home.

Full-time RV Living On The Camping Or In The Wild

Do you prefer the solitude of wild camping in nature or life on the campsite with all the infrastructure? Are you going to spend a lot of time on the road or are you going to stay at the campsite for the most part? Test your life in a caravan on the campsite, go on holiday with a rented caravan or motorhome so that you can test your skills as a driver as well as the conditions at campsites.

 

How To Live In A Van, RV, Camper, Motorhome Or Caravan

If you travel off the beaten track and into the wilderness, you may prefer a more maneuverable van or camper to an XXL-RV. Some 4×4-caravans can go off-road for longer distances without damage. However, they are quite expensive.

We towed our 1994 Gypsy Caravan from Cape Town to Malawi and back. Most door hinges didn’t survive the bumpy roads, but by welding in an additional floor reinforcement in Namibia and many additional screws and rivets in doors and walls, our “house” survived the adventure quite well.

Ask People Who Spend Time In Van Or Read Their Blogs

It is very helpful to read RV-travelogues from global world nomads to get inspired and fathom what is possible. You can find some of our travel stories with the caravan in southern Africa here.

Full-time RV Living In Europa

It is difficult or almost impossible in Europe to be able to camp in the wild with a caravan and thus be independent and to keep camping costs down. That’s why we chose a camper to travel on this continent. The most important factor in choosing your new home on wheels is that you have enough space to feel at ease, be it full time on the campsite or on the road.

Consider where you will be and what weather conditions to expect. Longer periods of extreme cold or rainy weather can affect your well-being if there is not enough room to live. We have met many travellers who actually enjoyed life in the van for a long time. It’s a personal question, what suits you best.

Where To Find A Caravan, Motorhome Or Van To Live In For Sale And How Much Costs To Expect?

This question is incredibly difficult to answer because our needs are as individual as there are different models of motorhomes and caravans. For us, the question was more about what we could afford than what we would like to have. Since our craftsmanship is also rather limited, we refrained from refurbishing a van or keep an old vehicle in good condition by ourselves.

Best RV To Live In Full Time

Basically you can buy older campers for a few thousand Euros or luxurious motorhomes for almost as much as a small holiday home in Switzerland. Depending on equipment and age, vans usually cost more than the big, white RV’s with which you aren’t able to park close to sights and cities because of their height and width. This is even more true for caravans, which on the other hand tend to be in good condition for little money.

Best Van For Van Life – Take Less Than Half Or Less With You

If you want to live in a van, you have to restrict yourself. Everyone has heard the ancient packing tip for travel – “Pack half the clothes you think you need, and then get rid of another half.” As you prepare for a life in a mobile home, you need to internalize that principle even deeper.

But what should you do with all the clutter that has accumulated over the years? You can get rid of a lot at garage sales, flea markets, and lump-shops. What’s close to your heart, you can either pack in one or two boxes and store with family or friends, or – a great tip for things you never need, but which bring back nostalgic memories – photograph them as a souvenir before you give them up or throw them away. It’s hard at first, but I promise you, it feels great and liberates immensely.

Even The Best RVs To Live In Need Maintenance

As with a former home, sometimes craftsmanship is required when living in a motorhome. Depending on how old or modern your motorhome is, this will occur less often or regularly. The first step is to take the handbook to your core.

Get acquainted with electrical connections, fuses, water tank(s), gas cylinders and all switches even before you decide on a motorhome. If you choose an older model, you should prepare for leaks in the roof, windows and doors with sealants.

Liability And Health Insurance For Full Time RVers

Accidents happen, illnesses can catch up with you while traveling or thieves ruin your trip. All this is not that bad if you took precautions with suitable insurance coverage. Two types of insurances are essential: one for the replacement value of your motorhome if it is damaged or stolen, and one for personal effects, similar to household insurance.

A health and accident insurance with additional travel insurance an important aspect to which special attention must be paid when giving up one’s permanent residence.

RV Living Cost

World Nomads, who live in an RV full time, rarely have unlimited financial means at their disposal. Either a job as a freelancer is required or savings must be sufficient for the journey if you are not quite yet retired. In most cases, it is important to be able to travel longer with little money. In Facebook groups such as Global Grey Nomads, for example, you can share your experiences with experienced RVers to get the best first-hand advice.

Living In RV Full-Time Cost

I have made a list to give you an idea of the approximate costs you can expect. However, costs can vary greatly depending on where you are and how often you can camp wild without cost. You should also consider your preference to visit costly tourist attractions and restaurants. If you enjoy spending extended periods of time at the same location, living in a camper van will be cheaper.

RV Living Full-Time Cost
For 2 People With 1 Dog

Monthly Costs In €
Personal Expenses
(Food, Clothes, Health Insurance, Travel Insurance)1400.00
Motorhome
Insurance30.00
Maintenance100.00
Travel Costs
Fuel200.00
Gas60.00
Tolls50.00
Campsites240.00
Internet / Telephone20.00
Total2100.00

Living In A Van Full-Time – Stay Connected

To give up all belongings is one thing, but to leave family and friends behind for the sake of one’s own freedom is a hard chunk to digest. Most campsites have Wi-Fi by now, but often it is not very reliable. Make sure that you buy inexpensive data packages from your phone provider or find out about other options if not.

Your motorhome can also have its own satellite dish, fixed to the roof or mobile. Again, it’s best to network with like-minded people on forums who have tested the winning features.

Van Living Full-Time – Can You Live In A RV Legally?

Living in a caravan does not mean that you can completely withdraw from all administrative concerns. Depending on where you used to live, the laws differ as to whether and how you can continue to be registered. You will also have to find out how you can keep paying for your future pension abroad if you are not yet retired.

Mobile Life RV: Status “Globetrotter” (Weltenbummler)

In Switzerland, there is the status of “globetrotter”, which has to be registered annually. This status allows you to continue paying AHV (old age and survivors’ insurance). But, this doesn’t solve the problem that you have to give a fixed address for most things in life, be it for redeeming your motorhome, your driver’s license, your mobile phone contract, etc.

We solved this by using the addresses of family, friends, and even the address of a helpful B&B owner when we were in South Africa, North America or Europe. There are other rules for permanent caravanning on a campsite than for travelers. Check with the campsite manager and the municipality.

Planning And Winter RV-Living

Probably the majority of the time, you will follow the sun and avoid winter temperatures as much as possible wherever you can. Planning is therefore important so that you don’t need to cover long distances and miss the very best along the way. The golden rule for relaxing, pleasant travel is that you plan roughly, but remain flexible in the details – and this applies not only to places but also to time.

 

Van Life Tips

There are countless organizations that offer favorable conditions on campsites or other advantages for campers. Apps can be incredibly useful, help save money and are often free. We have chosen ACSI for the time being in Europe, as the affiliated campgrounds have so far offered a high standard, all prices have always included two persons with dog and electricity and rarely exceeded 20 € per night during shoulder-season.

We often find parking lots for “wild” camping on camping4night.com. I am sure, depending on where you are, there are many more good tips. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

 

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