What Are the Best Tips for RV Living?

Jeremy Laukkonen

Some of the best tips for recreational vehicle (RV) living involve making the most of limited space, and finding the best places to visit or stay. One way to capitalize on limited space is to store out-of-season clothing in vacuum compressed bags or totes, though installing a rooftop storage unit is sometimes an option as well. It is also very important to determine a home base early on for purposes of paying taxes and voting. For full-timers who have a choice of home bases, it is typically a good idea to select a state or area that offers lenient taxation or other benefits. Other tips for RV living include little touches that can make life on the road easier, such as carrying a simple hose bib adapter for fresh water faucets that lack threads.

An RV.
An RV.

Even the largest recreational vehicles are typically smaller than a traditional house or apartment, so it is important to plan out which belongings to keep, and what to donate or give away when making the switch to full time RV living. Many full-timers have accumulated a lifetime of belongings by the time they decide to make the switch, and choosing what to part with can be a difficult or emotional experience. One way to deal with this is to determine what will be absolutely necessary on the road, and then allow family members to select any items that hold a special meaning. It may then be easier to hold a garage or yard sale, and donate any items that are left over.

A Class A RV.
A Class A RV.

It is often possible to make the most out of the limited space in an RV by stowing away items that will not be used for a while. Winter clothes can be vacuum packed during the summer months, and installing a roof mounted storage unit is sometimes an option as well. These storage units are often well suited to seasonal items that are not in constant use, since it can be a hassle to climb onto the roof of an RV on a regular basis. Another option is to install a hanger rod in a shower stall and use that as a temporary closet.

Another key item that is necessary to full-time RV living is establishing a home base, or an area of residency. This is the place where a full-timer is allowed to vote, pay taxes, and in some cases a minimum amount of time must be spent there each year. That means a home base should not be chosen solely on tax benefits, as it will also need to be a comfortable area for RV living, and should be centrally located in relation to areas where the most travel will be done.

Many other useful tips for RV living relate to making life easier or more comfortable on the road. Some parks offer fresh water stations, but the faucets lack threads. A cutoff hose end and hose clamp can allow a savvy full-timer to easily fill his tanks in these situations. Some type of flow restrictor should also be carried, since some parks have high water pressure that can damage the interior plumbing of an RV. It is also a good idea to carry a small tool kit, tire pump, and other useful items that may be necessary on the road. Some might also wish to have a CB radio or satellite phone for use in areas without cellphone reception in the event of an emergency.

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