The Realities Of Full-time RV’ing

image of Washington winter

Lots Of Research…We’re Ready For Our Nomad Life…Then Came The Realities Of Full-time RV’ing!!

As The Husband and I were making our decision to become full time RV’ers we did copious amounts of research hoping to be well prepared for our new nomad life. We researched the various makes and models of coaches,  5th wheel trailers and bumper pull trailers. Our ultimate decision was a Montana 5th wheel by Keystone. We chose a Ford F350 diesel dually with which to pull it.

Now we have lived full-time for over two years in our RV in various western states and a wide variety of climates. I’ve learned some additional information that my previous research never illuminated.

Many RV’s are now advertised to be “all season full time residences.” In theory this is true.  However, this largely depends on where you plan to reside. Even with the upgraded insulation packet in our home, we found it difficult to maintain a consistent comfortable temperature indoors during our first winter. We spent that winter in northeastern Washington state. It’s not unusual for temperatures to drop below zero during the night. There were multiple days when it never got warmer than 25 degrees above zero. Our RV has an electric fireplace which was used to supplement the heat coming from the propane furnace.

The Husband purchased a heated hose for our water intake hose and thankfully never experienced frozen lines. We did discover that a dehumidifier is a MUST to alleviate condensation accumulation. If not eliminated, condensation could lead to mold issues. Two people breathing, cooking, showering, washing dishes, in such a small closed space causes condensation.  Condensation causes mold which can spell death to your RV if not eliminated.

If You Plan To Be In The South In The Summer

If your travels find you in the warmer southern states during the winter, the ability to be comfortable in your RV full-time is much higher. However, if you find yourself in the south during the hotter summer months you’ll have a new set of challenges to face.  The extreme dry summer heat in the southern states can cause your RV to literally dry out.  All the moisture is sucked out of it by the heat, causing damage to your unit.

To avoid damage it becomes necessary to add moisture back in. If you are living in your unit, you can get a humidifier and run it for at least a portion of each day. If you have stored your RV you can leave it hooked to power and leave your A/C running.  Or, if not hooked to power,  you will need to leave buckets of water in each room to add moisture as the inside temperature climbs. Depending on the length of time you intend to leave your RV stored in these temperatures you may need to have someone check on the water levels in your buckets and refill them as necessary.

Winter In The Southwest - Arizona
Winter In The Southwest – Arizona

These are the types of issues that we were never told about and never read about. Trial and error and discussion with other full timers enlightened us about these issues. I have also discovered an entire host of changes  that must be made in the kitchen when living life as a full-time RV’er.

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