I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d end up living in an RV but here I am, marking my 6 month anniversary of RV park living… and I love it! This is the most “at home” I have felt probably ever.

But if we are being honest, it isn’t always RV Heaven. Here is the lowdown on the good, the bad, and the ugly of RV park living.

The Good

Stationary RV park living can save you a lot of money.

I wrote an article over at the Frugal RVer about this. Living in an RV has changed my family’s financial future. We’ve gone from living paycheck to paycheck to hustling to pay off our debt and live free.

The RV park we live in charges only $425 a month for a full hook-up that includes electricity. It also provides internet and basic cable. You really can’t beat that price, people. We did our research and picked this park based on price, location, and amenities.  If you’re thinking of RVing to save money, make sure to do your homework and find the best options for you and your family. That’s what we did and we couldn’t be happier!

You get to know your neighbors really well.

While many RVers come and go each day in the RV park, a big number also stay for lengths of time. There are many “snowbirds” here for the winter that I have gotten to know very well. We have potlucks and game night that are very popular and stir a large crowd.

With a 2 year old, these are amazing social events that make RV park living worth it. I love the interaction she gets with these people and it makes my heart happy she is growing up in such a safe and social environment.

Chelsea learns old tribe ways at the bi-weekly potluck

Aside from those organized gatherings, on pleasant days people come outside and spend all day wandering from site to site talking, sometimes ending the night in a bonfire. It is nice to know if I’m feeling bored or lonely, I can just go for a walk and find a friend. This is the best perk of RV park living. I love that I know my neighbors and that I don’t have to worry about bothering them.

RV Living is just plain awesome.

I’ve written a ton of articles on why simply living in an RV is great, but I feel like this article pretty much sums it up. 

 

The Bad

Showers are no longer relaxing.

Gone are the days when I’d just step out of the shower feeling relaxed, rub lotion on my legs, and spend 25 minutes deciding what to wear that day. (Excuse me while I daydream for a moment, my friend.)

Bathing was one thing I didn’t think too much about before moving into the RV park. I mean, I’m really only 5 feet tall and every shower I stood when shopping for RVs seemed “totally doable.” And while that is still the case, boy, oh boy, an RV shower ain’t like a house shower, let me tell ya.

Our shower is high enough I can easily clean myself and wash my hair. The problem is the pressure. While it’s not a leaky faucet, it just doesn’t have much… oomph.  Also, we have an electric water heater (a luxury for a lot of RVers) and while I never run out of hot water for doing dishes, the water gets SO hot it is just about not worth it. Finding the right mix of burn-your-face-off lave and take-the-polar-bear-plunge cold is nearly impossible! So what’s a girl to do?

Mozy on up to the campground shower, of course. Or shower at the gym. Either way, getting a decent shower involves planning and packing.

I’ve gotten a case of wanderlust so bad it hurts.

If you’ve been following along here on the site, you know it is my big picture dream to travel full-time with my family when my husband gets out of the army in 2018. While this dream is very exciting and I’m working hard every day to make it a reality, I put it in the BAD category because I am just about dying to go RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

I daydream about it all the time and I feel like it’s all I want to talk about. It’s like I have verbal diarrhea and I just can’t help myself but bring it up.

“Oh hi, Ed. Welcome home. How was your day? Mmm hmmm. So anyway, here’s what I was thinking I want to go when we finally get moving.”

“Good morning person at the gym. Remember how I live in an RV? Yeah, that’s right. Do you wanna talk about that for the next 10 minutes? No? Okay, see ya later.”

Ya see what I mean? The travel bug has deeply embedded itself in me and I’m not sure how to relax. I’m constantly working on ways to create my own income so I can work from the road when the time comes. I’m up at 430am brainstorming, researching, writing…

Every time a new camper pulls into the park, I have to go say hello and ask about their travels. “Hi, I’m Liz. I’m RV-obsessed. Can I come in?” I’m not even kidding. Ask my husband. I’ve got to relax and take it one day at a time or I’ll burst and you’ll find me one day in a tent in Colorado murmering to myself “I just had to see the mountains for myself. I just had to see…”

liz wilcox rv park living
Ohmygosh, do you mind if I take a selfie with your camper and live vicarously through you? Thanks

The Ugly

Ants, spiders, bugs, and mud

Okay, people. If you’re thinking that RV park living might be for you, you better prepare yourself. No matter how luxurious the RV park looks in the brochure, no matter the hot tub and the pool and the gameroom, you are still living on a campground. And where are campgrounds typically? In the woods. And where are you? In a box on wheels, my dear friends.

Alright, so what’s it like living in the woods in a box? I absolutely love it! But ya gotta think about all the creepy crawlies, okay? We were completely unprepared for them and wow! Day 2 and we had at least a million gazillion ants in our 5th wheel. WHAT.THE.HE… It was very stressful. We couldn’t just go out and buy ant poison, we have a clueless toddler running around.

If you’re gonna live stationary in an RV park, I would highly suggest you winterize your rig. Seal up all the cracks and it will help with bugs trying to get in to keep warm. We did not do this. Don’t be like us or you’ll get this insanity.

This RV renovation keeps getting better and better, folks!

Posted by Liz Wilcox on Monday, January 23, 2017

Low quality video. High quality gross-out.

There are also spiders and while I’m not afraid of them at all, I have gotten bit a few times in my sleep. It’s a catch-22 with them. Do I leave them in the RV so they kill the other bugs or do I take them outside so they don’t bite me in the night? Ahhh… #RVfirstworldproblems, amirite?

Also, let’s just mention mud. It is just gross. It is raining terribly outside right now and I loathe that I have to take the dog out there soon.

chelsea wilcox mud
Chelsea is a big fan of the mud, however.

Dealing with tanks

Alright, so the Wilcox household has never had any problems with this personally but I need to mention it because it seems a lot of stationary RVers have this problem.

When you’re not moving around in your RV, you might get a little comfortable and forget to pull your tanks. (If you’re reading this and you’re totally clueless, this means your [clears throat] droppings and such are sitting in a holding tank waiting to be dropped into the sewer below.) If you forget, you might start smelling it, get a flooded toilet, sink, or shower. To avoid this, simply

DO NOT FORGET TO PULL YOUR TANKS!!!

I am incredibly blessed that my husband is super paranoid about this possible disgusting disaster and pulls the tanks every few days. Even so, I know one day this is a possibility for us and it only comes with that one piece of advice. So again,

DO NOT FORGET TO PULL YOUR TANKS!!!

The Takeaway

I love living in an RV. I love RV park living. The good far outweighs the bad, and even the ugly. If you’re thinking of living stationary, I say do a little homework, find the right RV and park for you, and go for it! We are saving a ton of money and building a lifetime of memories from RV park living.

Chelsea and Haley enjoying the stationary RV life

 

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “RV Park Living: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. Love the info on your blog. Soon to be retired and want to get on the road. I have been looking at travel trlrs and 5th wheels. (used). Any advice for buying used?

  2. I’m so happy to have found your blog! My wife and I just moved into our travel trailer one week ago tomorrow! We are still learning and adjusting but it’s great so far! We live in Alabama as well so it’s great to find someone who is close to us. Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    1. Really?! Wow! That is awesome. How did you find me? Feel free to find me on my FB to ask any questions or just email me directly at admin@lizwilcox.com! I love meeting new people and helping others transition to this lifestyle!

  3. We worked at an RV park for a year and a half before we launched. This was a fun trip down memory lane for me and I can relate to your pros and cons. Here is a blog post I wrote while we were managing the RV park (before we moved into our RV) http://faithtakesflight.com/our-front-door (I bet you see some fun variety of RVs come in and out too) and this one was from after we moved into our RV http://faithtakesflight.com/peak-population. Do you feel the same way about the population flux?

    1. Hey Heather! I love your blog! Thanks for sharing these articles.
      And yes, I see the ebbs and flows of the park. I live in a university town and football season is CRAZY around here.

  4. Great blog!!!I will be following. I too have wanderlust so badly that I look at an atlas at least once or twice a day. ( I love maps!). I can’t wait to travel!!! Not quite there yet, and hubby is not exactly on board. We are trying to figure it out, being close to retirement, ( yeah, right) we are searching for an affordable rv to split time traveling and being stationary a bit. Thanks for your blog and your insight!!

    1. Thank you Maryann. I appreciate each and every reader, seriously!!
      Let me know if you need any help in the RV search. I am a bit obsessed with “window shopping.”

  5. I am about to live full time in a camper with my husband, two year old, and 3 month old, and our dog. So excited! Also so terrified! We’re preparing now, sealing cracks and such. My question is, what do you do about an address? My husband is leaving active duty military for reserve. Aren’t they obsessed about knowing where you are at all times?

    1. That is a great question! We have a PO Box and use the RV park where we live as our physical address. I am not sure about the reserves but I wouldn’t worry too much as long as you have a physical address somewhere.

      1. I’ve been thinking we’ll just use my mom’s address since we’ll always be within a few hours of her and maybe a Box, too. We’re planning on finding some land to buy and boondocking on it while we build cabins to sell. That’s a whole other beast! Thanks!

  6. I have been living in my rv in a trailer park that has an rv section for almost 4 years now. I LOVE it! I haven’t had too many problems with bugs at all but it could be because this park isnt out in the woodsy woods, lol.

    I’m totally with you on pulling the tank, although I a didn’t know that is what it was called.
    I’ve been very lucky that I’ve had some great neighbors who have taught me so much because I moved in completely naive to what it takes and have had to learn as I go.
    I am single and not very handy, but I’ve learned so much. RVers are generally great people and I highly recommend living like this!!

  7. I admire you SO much! We have recently talked about down sizing and this makes me want to just take the plunge and do it! I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It is always such an adventure. We RV some in the summers and it is so fun!

  8. I wish we had tried this when we were in the Air Force. We just kept buying houses and then selling them. We couldn’t see throwing money away by renting someone else’s place and paying them for the privilege!

  9. Like you I love a good shower. I guess we’ve been lucky or maybe it’s the pressure regulator we use as we have always had good pressure and we’ve lived in two different 5th wheels since we began our adventure. Living stationary definitely has its advantages as we have been that way for almost six months now and were that way last year for about eight months, but again like you the wanderlust gets to me and I need to move on. Hope the next year passes quickly for you, so you can start traveling to see all the wonderful sights you read about.

  10. Hey Liz, great post! Your sense of humour is evident. Really enjoy it. We will be renovating our rig this spring/summer as you know and will likely be heading out in January of ’18. Sure hope we can meet up somewhere along the way.

  11. With my husband traveling for work, we lived in a RV for a few months at a time off and on for awhile. I’d have to agreed with all of your points. I really loved our time in the camper. We ended up using DE around the outside to keep the ants out.

  12. Thanks for the fun insight into RV living, Liz! Sorry, you couldn’t detour me from the lifestyle! Still waiting to get my RV, but believe me, if you’re still in Alabama when I do, we’re coming for a visit and some lessons on proper RV etiquette! Thanks for keepin’ it real!

  13. The bad and ugly just made me want to do this even more!! It’s not scary me away form sure! Oh how I want a camper so I can just travel! Plus it is incredibly cheaper! Wow! My only problem would be that I have a dog. She has to be on leash or in a fence if she is outside of the house. Would they let you stay at the RV Park if you have a dog? I mean permanently? Anyway, I am dreaming of doing this!

  14. I’m glad that the good out weighs the ugly. I’ve been considering scaling down. Thanks for painting a good picture. Congratulations on your anniversary.

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