When your RV Life Kind of Sucks

We’ve all seen it, Instagram photos of beautiful couples gazing towards the sunset (or ocean) drinking wine, no one else in sight, enjoying a glorious quiet and romantic evening. And then you actually go RV camping and find yourself surrounded by 50 other RVs, 100 other RVers, you are smoked out by your fellow campers’ campfires, and you get to listen to Led Zeppelin (which is actually pretty amazing, but)… And that’s not even including all the other stuff that goes wrong. So, what do you do when you RV Life Kind of Sucks?


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RV life kind of sucks

Vehicles Breakdown, just be ready for it…

Just like in your Sticks and Bricks life, vehicles breakdown. And this will happen whether it’s your RVs engine, your trucks engine, or your toad. While you know how to deal when you are back home and know where to go, when you are full time RVing and traveling around the country, you might not know where to go. Sometimes you might find yourself in the middle of the desert or on a mountain pass with no dealership in sight. Not only can it be costly, but it may take a lot of time to get the help you need.

So, how do you deal with this?

Know that it will happen at some point during your travels and make sure to have some extra cash stashed away for these types of unexpected events. Also, keep a good attitude. Remember why you are RVing in the first place. Remember this is actually part of the journey and adventure. You know what? This will also give you an amazing story to tell others.

RV life kind of sucks

RV Tires Wear Out at the Most Inconvenient Times

Just like vehicle breakdowns, RV tires wear out and they wear out way before you expect them to. Unlike your vehicle tires, choosing an RV tire is can be confusing from all the conflicting, unsourced, unscientific “facts” and self proclaimed experts on Facebook groups and the internet in general RV tires aren’t always available at your “local” Firestone. And again, you may find yourself in the middle of nowhere waiting for a tow that takes forever to arrive.

So, how do you deal with this?

Keep that emergency fund full!! Check your tires whenever you can – before taking any trips, when you stop for breaks, and after arriving at your destination. This way you can monitor the tires and change them out as soon as you suspect tire wear.

RV life kind of sucks

Campgrounds are Full of People

OK, now 99% of the RV population is amazing!! Some of our closest friends are fulltime RVers. We have had the best conversations with folks we have met while camping. But there’s that 1%…and sometimes they happen to be your neighbors. They are the ones with dogs that they let pee on your stuff (like all the time, not once accidentally with apologies in the form of cold beers and campfire music) and they have kids that run through your site (not once because they didn’t realize they were in your yard cuz they were chasing after their ball), but the entire length of their stay multiple times a day… If you are just overnighting, it’s probably not a big deal you know, but if you are staying for a few weeks and that 1% camper is staying the same number of weeks…well…

So, how do you deal with this?

If you can move to another campsite, do so. If you are stuck where you are, try communicating with your neighbor and alert the front office. It still may not resolve the issue, so…think positively: you have a great story to share with others, you will appreciate the 99% so much more, you have an excuse for buying new lawn ornaments and furniture, and you can try to make friends with the neighbor kids and help them learn a little campground etiquette that their parents forgot to share… And, maybe do a little research on boondocking/dry camping either on public lands or get yourself a Boondockers Welcome Membership or Harvest Hosts Membership. You’ll have fewer chances of running into that 1% outside of campgrounds and RV parks.   

Do you find yourself wondering if RV life is really that great? Is it really a lot campfires and perfect views? The reality is that RV life kind of sucks. Find out in what ways and how you can overcome them. #rvliving #rvlifestyle

Meteorologists are Only Like 50% Accurate

OK, that’s not true, but they certainly aren’t 100% accurate. So this means that week at the beach ends up being a bust and if every other RVer at the campground is stuck inside, that hotspot of yours may not be working, and the thought of playing Monopoly again makes you want to pull out your hair (or your family’s hair).

So how do you deal with this?

Go somewhere!! Get out of that camper. Find yourself a nearby museum or hit the nearest movie theater. And if that campground has an amazing activities center, go over there and hang out with the 99% of RVers that are amazing. If it fits your personality, organize a game night or something in the activities center or just a general meetup or other fun activity.

RV Life Kind of Sucks

Reservations? What Reservations?

Oh yeah, remember those reservations you made 8 months ago, yeah!!! It’s the perfect place, close to amazing hiking and eateries. I mean, the place has a 5-star rating and reasonably priced. So you do a beeline from Washington state to Colorado to get there in time for the craft beer festival only to find out that they lost your reservation and that they are fully booked. The main office feels terrible and wants to help you out. They call around and find you a spot and book it for you. It’s more expensive, but still close by and the last spot!! Of course, when you arrive, your site is too small to set up your new outdoor furniture, you can’t put out your awning, and you quickly find out that you are parked next to that 1% I talked about above.

So how do you deal with this?

Get to your craft beer festival ASAP!! Seriously, just do what makes you happy, focus on that fact that you were able to get the last spot and will still be able to explore the city. Hey, maybe you can even invite that 1% because their dogs can’t pee on your stuff if they are inside the RV and the kids can’t run around your campsite if they are walking the festival together. And maybe that 1% will actually seem more like the 99% and you can become friends. And hey, if your awning is never deployed, it won’t get damaged in the wind!

Don’t Get Me Wrong – RV Life is Awesome!

I know that I listed a bunch of stuff going wrong in this life, but it really is amazing. Yes, things go wrong and you find yourself in unexpected situations, but there really are gorgeous sunsets you can watch. And you can drink wine anywhere and building a campfire with your family and friends is a lot of fun. Always focus on the positive and don’t let these things ruin your RV journey.

How about you? In what ways does RV Life Kind of Suck for you and how have you made the best of it?

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Linda MurrayJessicaJulie Gant@ironman_tempo Recent comment authors
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@ironman_tempo
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Good post and all too true. We really can’t stand camping in state parks or RV parks and only do it when we have to. Like you said, boondocking is the best! Breakdowns and rude neighbors are the worst. We’ve had our DP towed on a flat bed from Colorado to a Freightliner Shop in New Mexico and other breakdowns. Over time we’ve developed our “script” for major break downs (We bought new in 2016???). We do of course have savings since DP breakdowns are incredibly expensive. For now we feel the good out weighs the bad. Stay tuned…

Julie Gant
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Nice article, Jessica! I like that you brought up some definite cons to the RV life and provided some options for resolving them. 🙂

Linda Murray
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Linda Murray

Our RV life in the 7 months we have been fulltime has been great, bad, and in between, but we still like it better than sitting on a porch swing watching the world go by.