RV Life: 10 Life Lessons We Learned on the Open Road

RV on a road through the woods

Taking the leap into long-distance or long-term RVing can be a little daunting. Like with anything, there are a lot of “what if” questions to consider. While preparing for our first RV trip together, I was sure I was under-planning. My husband, however, was convinced I was over-planning. Where’s the balance?

It wasn’t until we got on the road that we realized exactly what we needed—just that: the open road. In addition to learning how to properly RV, we learned a few life lessons along the way, too. Let me share ten of those lessons we learned while traveling the open road for the first time.

Have no Shame text

Even some of the more skilled RVers we have met admit they don’t know it all. We quickly learned to swallow our pride and ask for help. Use all of the resources available to you, including other RV owners, owner’s manuals, websites, and even the dealership where you purchased your RV.

Impressions don't matter text

Don’t allow yourself to feel like you have to buy the best of the best to impress others. Purchase what makes you happy and what you can afford. It’s not a competition out there. It’s about enjoying your freedom of the open road.

Earn a living text

Don’t fret too much about making a living while traveling—there are lots of opportunities to earn some cash while on the road. Various types of work are available, including blogging, freelance writing, consulting, and other remote jobs.

Relax and open your eyes text

Speaking of, working from the road made it feel like I was still back home. Deadlines to hit, new projects to worry about… I had to quickly learn to schedule my work time. When it wasn’t work time, I was prepared to unplug my computer, put down the camera, and enjoy the road ahead.

Quit saying

No matter how short of a getaway you take or how slow your progress to getting out on the open road is, you are still ahead of those who keep saying “one day.” You are on your way to being a seasoned RVer.

Let go text

We felt so bad leaving friends and family behind, but we quickly realized that those who truly love us will put in the effort to stay in contact with us.

Be patient text

Life definitely threw us some curveballs while on the road, and we quickly learned we needed to have patience—especially when things happened that were out of our control.

Have no regrets

Do not regret your decision to hit the open road. It is your life and only you know what will make you happy.

Realize that time goes fast text

Cherish every moment with your spouse or travel companion. Do not sweat the small stuff and enjoy every minute experiencing life.

Chase your dreams text

It sounds cheesy, but the RV was the vehicle to make our dreams come true. Though we’re just getting started on our RV journey, we have high hopes for our future and know that our RV will take us all across the country, including up to Alaska and Canada. The possibilities are endless, and your RV can help make your dreams come true, too.

Though we have not yet reached our dream of hitting the road full-time (someday soon), we have learned many life lessons that will hopefully help others who are looking to take that leap and hit the open road for their first long-term RV trip.


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30 Responses to “RV Life: 10 Life Lessons We Learned on the Open Road”

  1. Dave schmidt

    So I'm wondering if you have heard of Southern Cross or have experienced it or know anybody that has it sounds interesting to be able to travel while working I've seen some negative reviews that people that work with the company but they are not the ones that travel just curious if it's a good thing to get into

  2. Ollney Mueller

    how much is worth

  3. Chuck Fasst

    I am not on the open road yet. Just sitting here at an RV resort living in my toy hauler. My toilet keeps backing up constantly. Why doesn't the excrement eather go out of the trailer or into the tank rather than straight up into the toilet??

  4. Rodney Metz

    Soon to purchase this RV and concerned about the Navistar maxxforce 7 diesel

  5. Joseph Oravec

    We are now doing some upgrades and repairs to the Old Gal. Suspension work to make the drive a bit tighter and smooth. And, adding Surge Protection, Rear Camera, Dash Cam, and Internet/WiFi extender. We have been to California once, and to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and others multiple times. Better then a Hotel Room. My own bed.

  6. Harold Renninger

    I would love to travel across the country someday.

  7. Jerome

    You have to plan everything so you are ready to retire and to go on the road. Do you want a house payment after you retire? We didn't, so we paid off the house 17-1/2 years early. Then I was able to save $30,000 a year for 3 years, to have the money to purchase our Fleetwood Storm that had 12,000 miles on it. The extra money came from starting my Social Security at age 66, and working for 4 more years. After age 66 you can work and keep all of the money. Age 62 to 66, after you make $22,000, or so, half of the money you make is deducted from your Social Security check monthly. The great money years, 66 to 70, it was very hard to want to retire because of the money. My wife, and finally finding the right RV, were the 2 reasons to retire. We looked and learned for an RV for 4 years, so we knew what we wanted. My wife would do research online for the different models. Going and standing in the shower was the true test if I liked an RV or not. And no one knows that our bath and a half sleeps more than 2 people. Our Fleetwood Storm is a gas model, and there is a little more noise with it, so check it out. Understand how to get the RV ready for the BIG vacation. Check the water level in all of your batteries at least once a year. Learn what makes your generator so important to have working, change your oil once a year, no matter how many hours are on it. Use gas stabilizer before putting the RV away until next year. Learn your hot water heater. The 6 gallons just was not going to make it, so I put in a tankless, and had problems until I finally found a water restrictor in the hot water line going back to the shower. The tankless would turn off because the water flow was so slow because of the restrictor. I just added an electric tankless water heater next to the shower becuase it took so long for the hot water to get to the back of the RV. All of that running of the water to get to the hot water was filling up the gray tank. We have a tow car, a small SUV, and pulling away from the gas pump and turning was the most stressful time of the entire vacation for me. I had no real idea how far the back end was going to swing around, remember the rear tires on the RV are not close to the back end, they are about 1/4 of the way from the back. Therefore the back end is not like turning a car. I just added a wide-angle camera on the back of the tow car, which displays on my new Jensen in-dash display. Now I can see where the back end is going and when I have passed the gas pump. When driving on the freeways, be ready for those big semi trucks to pass you. The air going around can move the RV, (22,000 lbs.) over to the right almost a foot. I am adding a steering stabilizer this week, that should help according to the online info and youtube. I am looking forward to a more relaxed BIG vacation this June.


    ABSOLUTELY ON POINT! We are full timers since 2011. Have and still are living every Point. Thank you well Written. Tom & Jane Davis On the Road in SC and FL

  9. Cameron Nelles

    We are pleased with our Motorhome as we for over 10 years had a Fifth Wheel. The only real issue I have is the change in the Gas Mileage. Quite a difference.

  10. Marcus Moss

    My question is this. My 1/2 ton truck has less than 100000 miles, come with towing package, and is in real good shape. Would you feel confident going on a 2 or 3 hundred round trip. I put new tires on my travel trailer last year. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks