RVs, or recreational vehicles, have their origins in wagons that date back centuries. Wagons that were used for cross-country trips were designed to be as comfortable as possible for the occupants. The idea of mobile-living certainly predates current automobiles.
So, it is no surprise that once fuel powered engines became the mainstay, RV style vehicles were immediately produced. One of the first was the Ford Model T, that was released around 1915.
This early fuel powered car was designed to be a hybrid of the brand-new automobile along with the traditional wagon, and so it had a relaxing living space built into the back. An early fuel efficient system, the Model T ran on almost anything you put inside it—gas, oil, etc, providing about 20 miles per gallon. It is still considered well ahead of its time. By around the early 1930s and 1940s, actual motorhomes, in the form of trailer coaches, would first start being manufactured.
RV living became very popular in the 1960s during the U.S. “hippy revolution” that saw many people taking up residence in minimalist living spaces, including buses and motorhomes. In the coming years, RVs would see an influx of new technology that would make vehicular living much more home-like, including portable refrigeration units, dynamic batteries for on-board electricity, and better vehicular function.
Today, RV living is well-loved, with huge markets in big countries like Canada, Australia and the U.S., but it is also very popular in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
RV Camping Benefits
A little about me: I’ve been living out RVs and campers for seven years. This has allowed me to have many fun experiences that other people wouldn’t. I started off on this journey as a single man in his thirties, traveling around the USA. Since that time I have become married, and my wife now enjoys the RV lifestyle as well.
There are a lot of reasons why living out of an RV might appeal to you. Let’s go over some of them first:
Whether you paid off your RV completely or you are on a payment plan, it’s still going to be a lot cheaper than owning a house / mortgage. You do have to think about costs like gas and maintenance (and payments if you haven’t purchased your RV completely). If you do a lot of travel, these costs can add up. But it usually won’t exceed $700 or $800 per month.
It’s even cheaper if you want
If you are low on money, you can choose to live an extra budgeted RV lifestyle. What this means is you find your perfect geographic area (maybe it’s beautiful coastal California) and you move between different parks, or boondocking (more on this later) without traveling too far.
By accumulating less miles, you spend less gas, and you take fewer trips to the repair shop. Including food you can live on less than $500 a month this way, no joke! I think this is a good option if you are very low on money. But you don’t want to live like this forever (you should be working some type of a job still and making money even if you are living on the road!).
You feel free
You don’t have to be stuck any one place. You can simply move to the next spot any time that you are not satisfied somewhere. If you don’t like the weather, the people or anything else, just turn the engine on and go elsewhere!
You reconnect with nature
Nothing really beats the feeling of being in a nice park, waking up and cooking on your grill outside, and / or drinking filtered water directly from the creek!
You learn to cook
Your RV will have a gas stove. You can stock up and cook for yourself a lot. You will start to feel very self-sufficient after a while.
You can meet people
I don’t believe in being a hermit. The RV camping community means wherever you go to park at, you’ll meet neighbors. So, make it a point to meet up with them, chat, hike, hang out. If you don’t like someone, well you don’t have to stay their neighbor! Just move somewhere else. But hopefully you’ll encounter far more friendly people who you want to stay in touch with than not.
You can visit friends and family easy
No more having to stay at pricy hotels or burden friends and family by staying on their couches. Instead, you are always self-sufficient.
You become a minimalist
Our lives are filled with too much junk. What I found in my 20s was that everyone all over the place was working really hard to get new TVs, home furnishings, and more bull#%# thinking it would make them happier. I knew a woman when I lived in NYC who spent $2,000 on a feng shui expert for her apartment for crying out loud.
That’s money you could instead spend on seeing beautiful new locations. Living like this, you appreciate where you put your money and understand where real value is.
You complete your bucket list
Many people don’t even travel until they’re already retired. A big waste. This way, you can start enjoying life and seeing cool places right away.
So, are you feeling excited yet? Good! These are all good reasons to become a camper. Now, keep in mind there are some downsides, too. If you really want the security that comes with living and working in one place, you might not like this type of lifestyle so much. Also, you need to love the road, driving, and travel.
You have to be good at adapting to new situations and being relaxed when things go wrong. If these attributes are good for you, then it’s time to get started.