Pros and Cons of RV living

Many of us free souls like to explore new things in our life and have new experiences. Living off-the-grid is one of such experiences. It provides us that rare sense of freedom, adventure and a pinch of risk – an addictive combo.

However, before we take a plunge into it, we must research and explore all the pros and cons that come with this kind of living. Going on your RV for a weekend trip is very different from a long term stay in it. Off-grid living comes with its own set of challenges, more so if you do it on a movable home.

Moreover, even if you are pretty clear in your life goals and definitely want to explore this lifestyle, you still have a lot of options to choose from:

  • Should you opt for a Motorhome or a Towable Trailer RV?
  • Or should you buy/build a tiny, off-grid house at a place of your liking?
  • Or maybe perhaps try living on a boat.

Today we are spoilt for choices. So, proper research is necessary in order for you to land up in a living condition of your liking.

In this article, we aim to help you a bit in this endeavour of yours. We will discuss about the various pros and cons of RV living.


Kindly note that this article is for those souls that are planning to live long term or maybe full-time in a RV. If you are interested in RVs just for a weekend gateway, you need not contemplate that deep. Just go for it. It will be tons of fun!

Also, we are not going to discuss some of the very basic pros that come with off-grid RV living, such as:

  • freedom
  • mobility
  • adventure
  • minimalist lifestyle with less carbon footprint (if you are not travelling too often)

All these things are pretty obvious. We would rather like to dig a bit deeper.

Table of Contents
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of RV living
  • Which RV should I choose for full-time living?
  • Some Minor Tips for RV living

Advantages and Disadvantages of RV living

Cheaper than brick and mortar house

Yes, the initial cost of a RV will definitely be a lot less than a brick-and-mortar house. However, do not get too comfortable too soon.

With RVs you will have to face many hidden recurrent running costs:

  • Gas or Diesel. But we guess you already know that. Duh!
  • Propane for heating.
  • You will always be changing one part of the RV or another – maybe because it broke or just to upgrade your RV. And RV parts are not cheap either, whether you talk about solar panels or generators, etc. All this even if you drive safely and avoid any major dent on your RV.
  • Maintenance – You will have to change your tyres more often, service your motorhome or SUV/Truck more often, etc.


At camp sites you can have as much power as you need. Just plug-in your batteries and charge away. There are sites where you can charge your batteries for free.

Moreover, in a RV you can make use of multiple sources of power. Apart from batteries, you may use generators, solar power, propane, etc.

With solar power technology improving every year, you may be assured that power is something that is not going to be a problem. This will help you out a lot in case you are planning an off-grid living scenario.

Many RV users use propane for heat and water heaters. This will reduce your dependency on solar power and batteries. This way you may use the heat all night without any issue. In moderate climate, you may not even require to use heat anyway.

But for sure you will not have as much power as you get in a brick-and-mortar house. You will always have to plan and ration your energy sources.


It’s one of the biggest headaches that you will have to face when you start living in a RV or any such kind of off-grid living setup.

Though there are various options available but none of them will save you from handling the filth from close quarters. So, if it’s something that grosses you out easily, think again about this lifestyle choice.

However, let’s us assure you that if handled properly, you will get used to it pretty soon. Well at least until a toilet-related accident happens – overflow, blockage, spilling. That will make you hate your life choice for some time for sure!

There are a lot of choices available to you when it comes to toilet setup:

  • Compost toilet that stores the excreta and liquid in a container. You will have to offload it from time to time in a public restroom, or other such places.
  • A large tank below the RV that is connected to the toilet by a tube. This will allow you a larger capacity and more time interval between successive offloading.
  • Instead of manually handling the containers containing the excreta, some RVs allow you to offload it via a sewage pipe. Do explore that option.


This is one of the biggest worries for some. Sure off-grid living comes with perks like scenic locations, adventure, freedom, etc. However, with every good thing in our life, something bad also tags along.

With RV full-time living lifestyle, security concerns will always be there. RVs are definitely easier to break into if no one’s around.

And if you are camping alone in a secluded place, probably far away from habitation or any police help, security will be solely your responsibility. So, make sure you arrange something for self-defence.

Climate Choice

This is one of the biggest advantages of living in a mobile home. If you do not like the climate at a place, you can just move. Just go to the southern warm states, such as Texas in winters and back up north in summers.

You can live at the landscape of your choice – mountain, plains, valleys, deserts. You can live at the climate of your choice – tropical, temperate, cold, warm. No need to count the days till the bad weather dissipates. No need to wait for warm months to return.

Though it might not be such a relief if you are living in a country that has the same kind of climate all across, say Canada in winters or UK. But in countries like USA that have a lot of variety in climate from north to south and from coast to Midwest, you are spoilt for choices. You can decide to never bear the cold weather if you like. Fancy that!


Yes, RVs allow us the mobility to move our entire house from one place to another. But that’s not what we are going to discuss here.

Once you have established camp at a location of your choice, you may face mobility issues. What if you want go to a local market or have a romantic dinner at a restaurant with your partner?

Taking RV along with you for all these small chores will not be a good idea. In fact, there may be some downtown areas where your RV won’t even be able to go.

So, RV can in actuality end up reducing your short-distance mobility. Luckily there are some way arounds available:

  • You may tow your car behind your RV (but beware of extra load on RV engine, insurance costs, etc.)
  • You may pack a motorbike or bike in the RV.
  • Or if you want to keep things simple, you may just hire a cab.

If your RV breaks for good, you will be stuck at the same place for long, probably till you buy a new one. So, unlike brick-and-mortar houses that may stay strong for centuries, a RV is a decade affair. Keep that in mind. Many people end up stuck in their immovable trailer for many years.

Road sickness

Just like sea sickness, long trips can end up giving road sickness to some people. In a RV home, it would be as if your house is under constant earthquake.

So, do not drive more than 3-4 hours every day. Take adequate breaks. Also, make sure that all your stuff inside the RV is well packed, so that nothing breaks.

RV living will make you appreciate what you have

Sometimes, we do not appreciate the things we have till we lose them. RV living is a minimalist kind of living, wherein you will have to let go of many things you take for granted in normal houses.

  • Being away from friends and family, maybe even your pets.
  • Limited clothes, limited kitchen utensils, etc.
  • Not enough storage, so you will have to shop often.
  • Bad cell reception and net connectivity at certain remote locations. Keep this in mind if you are working from home or as a freelancer/blogger.
  • Not many RVs have amenities like dishwasher, washing machine for laundry, etc.
  • No super lengthy hot showers – but even with 6 gallons tank you can take a decent shower. It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be. But you cannot be in there for hours, if that’s your thing.
  • And yes, lack of privacy, if you are travelling with your family or even with your life-partner. Sometimes, you do miss that in full-time RV living.

Now, if you are very clear in your mind that RV off-grid living is something you want to explore, the next question is which RV should you go for. There sure is a plethora of choices out there – but they all fall under either one of these two categories – Motorhomes and Towable Trailers.

Which RV should I choose for full-time living?

If you plan to live full-time in your RV, then we would suggest you to go for towable trailers. They are more spacious, cheaper, easier to maintain and provide a lot more flexibility. You are also going to get a lot more options to choose from in case of towable trailers and may even get them custom made. They are also more environmentally friendly.

However, don’t let this deter you from getting a motorhome, if that’s more your thing and fits well with your needs.


If you want to read more about the differences between Motorhomes and Towable Trailers, you may read this article of ours. It will help you choose the right RV for your long-term, off-grid living goals.

If you are more inclined towards motorhomes, we suggest you to spend a few extra bucks and go for Class A motorhomes.

Definitely Class B and C motorhomes are a bit cheaper and easier to maintain than Class A motorhomes. But they are more suited for short-term stay and camping. If you intend to live full-time in a RV, these small spaces may start looking very confined and very uncomfortable pretty soon.

Pro tip

You may rent motorhomes and towable trailers and live in each of them for a few days. Nothing can teach you more that experiencing the stuff yourself. Spend a few days in both, learn the nitty-gritties and get to know the differences yourself. Choose the one that’s more to your taste.

Some Minor Tips for RV living

Well, we hope that all this information will help you out a lot in making the right lifestyle choices. However, there are a few more minor points worth considering:

  • Ventilation and Natural light: Make sure there are enough windows in the RV. In a long-term stay you will really start appreciating the heat, fresh air and sunshine that it will allow inside the vehicle. It will also help you cut down some power usage.
  • Avoid the clutter: As RV provides us a very limited living space, things can get cluttered very soon. If we leave clothes and other stuff here and there, before you know it every surface will be covered with stuff. So, it’s a good practice to clean up on a daily basis and be disciplined regarding what goes where.
  • When you are travelling long distance in a RV, you have no idea what kind of weather you are going to face. So, you will have to be prepared for any kind of weather. What if it’s snowing or raining when you reach your destination?
  • Plan the route beforehand. You would like to avoid taking your RV on backroads and narrow lanes.
  • Always keep a backup heating option available with you.
  • Have patience, as some things will take a bit longer time in RV, such as cooking, laundry, etc. But you will get better in this over time.
  • Last but not the least, always walk around the camper before you move, or after you camp. Check if everything is locked and at the right place. Absolutely essential!

Our suggestion will be to go on a few trips on your RV before you decide on living full-time in it. Start with weekend gateways, move up the time you spend in such trips. See if you are comfortable.

Give it a couple of years, before you take the final plunge. It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows at the start. But things will definitely get better with time.


Personally, I like living off-grid. But I also get bored of it pretty soon too. I prefer living in large houses with lots of space, where I can watch my cable, play on my Xbox and order pizza when I want. So, full-time RV living Is not for me. Rather just an adventure of sorts once in a while. But every person is different and should make his own choices.

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