I am a positive person, always looking on the bright side. We have been RV living for 18 months and it has been amazing. It really has, but there are some things that I HATE about it. Why am sharing these things with you? I want you to be prepared if you are researching RV living or want you to know that you are not alone if you are already on the road and hating some aspects of it. In any event, I feel it is important to be transparent about RV living and that includes sharing what I hate about it. The kids and Robert probably have their own list of things that they hate too. So, here goes…

Here’s a quick run down of the 5 things I hate about RV living:

  1. Missing friends and family

  2. Lack of cheap unlimited internet

  3. Limited or Absolutely zero date nights

  4. Not having a laundry room

  5. Struggling to balance work and play

1 – Missing Friends and Family

RV living means leaving your friends and family behind. It means moving around. It means uprooting your life, packing into a tiny home on wheels and setting out for adventure. We had resettled in my hometown after our youngest was born. In three years we made amazing friends that we saw on nearly a daily basis. I was able able to reconnect with a childhood friend. Things were going so well. We were home. We were five minutes away from my parents. I had the support system that helped me get my 20 hours in each week. Then we left. Having said all that, we do make it home quite a bit, probably every 3 months and we tend to reconnect with our great friends and our family. We have also made many new friends on the road and there is a huge sense of community with others on the road. Still, there is no place like home and the people that you share so many beautiful moments with. RV Living

2 – Lack of Cheap Unlimited Internet

Okay, I know you are wondering why I care about internet access when this life is all about simplification and enjoying the great outdoors… It is about enjoying nature and simplicity, however, we still work and look after the kids education. I specifically work remotely from home, and also have a blog, a YouTube channel and we all love to watch YouTube and Netflix… let’s not forget gaming and homeschooling.  We prefer watching PBS, but sometimes can’t get antenna reception. RV living for us means we want the best of the great outdoors AND connectivity and access to all things internet. We have a Verizon hotspot which gives us 200gb of data. It sounds like a lot and it is, but not when its raining outside and we all want to watch something on our devices or when we are sick and want to binge watch Sherlock on Netflix. Yes we can read books, play board games and build with LEGOs on these rainy days, but after we’ve done all that we still want to watch something. And let’s not forget travel days…the kids are much happier (and so are we) when they can watch YouTube and Netflix while we are driving down the interstate. Anyway, the hotspot costs $185/month. It’s not terribly expensive, but it is when you consider we paid $100/month in our home and could run all the devices and computers with unlimited access.

3 – Limited or Absolutely zero date nights

I love my hubby. We have been married nearly 14 years. When we were in my hometown we were able to go on dates every month, sometimes even more than that. It was fantastic. We enjoyed 3 years of that before RV living. As soon as we started on this journey, the dates ended. Twenty-six feet of living with 2 kids is great, but I miss quiet time with my husband. Whenever we go home we try to get a date night or two in, but we don’t always get to. Now that the kids are getting a tiny bit older, we can leave them in the RV with walkie talkies and take short walks. Even that 30 minute walk helps us reconnect and helps keep our marriage and relationship strong. We are learning to be creative: coffee time in the mornings, walks on a beautiful day, text messages (yes, even when we are in the RV together), etc.

RV Living

4 – Not Having a Laundry Room

I never knew how much I loved my laundry room until I didn’t have one. This the first time in 30 years that I have not had a laundry room!! There is nothing like having a place where you can dump dirty laundry and walk away knowing you won’t be tripping over it every 10 minutes. RV living means getting creative with the dirty laundry. Even if you have an on-board washer and dryer, you still have a very small space to store and process laundry. We don’t have a washer or dryer. This means it is the laundromat for us. We prefer using the onsite laundry facilities since they are close to our RV and support the RV park where we are staying, especially if it is a privately owned park. On occasion we have used public laundromats, but that means driving somewhere for several hours, although it might save us a bit of a money. On rare occasions we find ourselves hand-washing a few things or only washing and not drying the clothes (saves money). We have survived so far, but I find myself searching amazon for portable washing machines at least once a month…

5 – Struggling to Balance Work & Play

Balancing work and play is not anything new, but RV living definitely makes the struggle harder for me. There are days where I am inside the RV working, looking out the window at the beauty that surrounds me…and I want to be outside playing, but I have to work. I see people riding their bikes around the campground, my kids go swimming, and I’m working. I try hard to take a day off here and there or try to set up my schedule so that I’m working in the morning and night so I have my afternoons free to enjoy life. The reality is that I’m always behind on my work (30 hours a week that doesn’t include work on our personal blog, YouTube channel and other projects). Sometimes my only days off are travel days which consist mainly of driving and meeting the needs of the kids. Some days I look back on my week and realize that I haven’t done any of the fun things I thought I would. I haven’t found the solution…but I haven’t given up!

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Final Thoughts

So there it is, the 5 things that I absolutely hate about RV living. They are my personal thoughts and ideas. You might never care about how you get the laundry done. Everyone one is different. Even reading this may not prepare you personally for RV living. You won’t know whether a tiny bathroom will really work for you until you are actually dealing with it day and night. It’s a little scary, but in reality the positives of RV life really outweigh the negatives. Even when I’m in the RV working, looking out the window, I see a different place all the time.  I see cows, mountains, beautiful trees, people enjoying their lives, lakes and rivers. Even my worst day in the RV is better than most of my days living in my old house. I’m not saying my life was miserable before RVing. I’m saying that my current situation makes my life better, it helps me appreciate life and family, and realize the things I took for granted. RV living makes you live intentionally. You notice the little things. Every day is lived on purpose and it makes you realize how much of life is a series of choices and decisions that we make.

What do you think? Are you living this life now? Are there things you hate about it too? If you are not RV living, but want to, what decisions are you making to live intentionally and to get on the road?

I’m a blogging, YouTubing, RVing, roadschooling mama of two who is married to the fantastic Robert (the other half of Exploring the Local Life).

Jessica – who has written posts on Exploring the Local Life.

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9 thoughts on “5 Things I Hate About RV Living

  1. Jessica, I appreciate this honest look at full-time RV life. Even though Brian and I have slightly different challenges, your post paints a realistic picture that I think is very much needed.

    Get that washer, girl! I can’t even imagine keeping up with laundry for a family of four without having the option to do at least some of it on board.

  2. The Internet issue is annoying but I’m very low screen time for myself and my son. We don’t watch tv, even pbs, and I’ve never had a Netflix account. There are a million reasons to decrease your family’s screen time and not having unlimited internet is a fantastic one.

    As an adult, I’ve had more places without a washing machine than with one so using a laundromat is pretty normal. It sounds like what you really need is a place to stash laundry that isn’t in your way. A basket on a vehicle seat that you dump into at the end of the day? I have a hanging bag that goes in my shower. And what if you can combine laundry doing with part of your work schedule. Twice a week, hanging out with the laundry while you work. Then you are being productive and not begrudging the fact you can’t be out playing.

  3. Thank you for telling the not so fun parts of RV living! Let’s face it, no matter where you live or what you do there will be some sort of downside. It’s so refreshing to hear the not just the glamorous parts of any lifestyle.

    I agree with Teresa. Get that washer! I’ve considered a portable one for all of our camping expeditions and some are fairly small. Looking forward to following your other posts.

  4. I suggest a fifth wheel with a bunk room. A travel trailer just doesn’t have the space for a family of 4. My husband & I upgraded to a used fifth wheel (new to us, but almost 10years old) in January. What a difference. We didn’t need a bunk room as we r old people. But the storage is definitely a boost. Also, have u ever considered Dish or DirectTv? Helps on those rainy days/nites. And getting local channels is only a phone call to your provider. Enjoy your new life, wish I had done it when my son was young.

    1. Thank you so much. The biggest thing for us is/was cost. We wouldn’t be able to afford something with a bunkhouse, even used. We looked into used and we didn’t have the cash to pay outright or even for a down payment. We also wanted to have something small. We will see what the future holds. 🙂 We haven’t looked into Dish or DirectTV. We tend to just stream stuff on Hulu/Netflix/YouTube, but that only works with good internet. lol. Anyway, thank you so much for your suggestions and support. 😀

  5. I’m a fulltime RVer. I agree with points 1 and 2. I miss having a bathtub, (especially in winter); a garbage disposal and a sewing/craft room!

    1. Oh yeah, not having a garbage disposal is a pain!! Now that we are all using our computers and electronics more and more, I really miss having a dedicated office. We have been tossing around the idea of taking everything out of our slide and just making it one huge sitting space with removable tables… How long have you been full timing Susan?

  6. Hate is a very strong negative word. I have learned to be flexible when it comes to RV Living. we have been living in ours for a combination of about 7 years. sure there are things you won’t have you should of understood that before you started the journey of RV living. however, that also depends on the size of your RV, How many people are sleeping in it, what you want to invest into it and park restrictions. These are all things you should have known before you started. like my wife and I. Thru our first 4 to 5 years we discovered things as it was initially a test to see if we even would like it. turned out we would love it more if we figured out a way to correct the things we found to be uncomfortable. so we did, we bought a new 36 ft 5th wheel with 4 slides. The things we did not have in the old RV I installed in the new one. The list is to long to say everything however it does include some of the same items you had mentioned. for just my wife and I, you can say our place feels more like a luxury suit (under construction) compared to our 27′ 5th wheel (no slide outs). we now are only continuing to modify her so in a couple years when my wife retires we will be ready for our journey, by by California. any way it is only as good as you make it. and as good as you want it to be.

    1. Hi Gregg – Hate is a strong word, but that was the point. It was meant to be strong and taken seriously and it is how I feel some days. All these things are made better when we travel a lot and when the weather is lovely. When we are more stationary and the weather is bad, these things seem like a bigger issue. Part of the reason we purchased a small unit, without a laundry facility, was to have more flexibility on where we go. We have learned to wash things in the sink and hang them to dry and to run to coffee shops to get work done. We purposely went with a RV that didn’t feel like a home. If we did it all over again, we would still get this unit.lol There are some days that I hate it all, but all these days are better than living in our house…it wasn’t for us. I like to be real and raw in posts…because RVing isn’t perfect… Thanks for reading and sharing your experience. 🙂

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