As someone currently in transition from stationary civilian to full-time traveler, I read a lot about the majestic powers of RVing. Heck, I’m guilty of contributing to that doctrine.  But with my recent book, Tales From the Black Tank, I realized a lot can and will go wrong out there on the road, so I decided to survey a group of thousands of full-time RVers and ask, “What is the absolute worst thing about RVing?”

(This post contains affiliate links y’all.)

complaints about rving pin liz wilcox
Pin this, would ya?

In the words of Steve Harvey, survey says:

17. Having your septic tank directly beneath you.

complaint about rving black tank
Ohmygosh, I can…HEAR IT!

Let’s get this complaint out of the way, shall we? It burps. It can smell. Oh, and there’s that ever-present fear of it just falling out. Yeah, this is quite literally the stinkiest thing about RVing. It’s such a large complaint, I wrote an entire 40 page e-book about it. Yeah, that’s right. Check the side bar, homey.

While I haven’t had too much trouble with it, I’ve heard horror stories. In fact, there is another stationary RVer a couple sites down that had someone look at her tanks and they completely messed everything up. They took all the levers out so it basically keeps them “open and draining” at all times. This is a huge no no, y’all. So now this poor little old widow has to walk up to the shower house any time she has heavy business. Talk about a crappy situation.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Yeah, poop is gross and you may see more than you care to admit in this lifestyle, but it’s all forgotten when you’re seeing things more than most would ever dream to see.

16. Crappy internet connection

Thanks to Technomadia, RVers and dreamers are now better-equipped for decision making when it comes to data plans and connectivity. Even so, it ain’t perfect.

It causes work to be delayed for those RV Entrepreneurs out there. And that can be scary. When you own your own client-based business, it is IMPERATIVE to get work done on time. Your reputation in on the line, after all!

And for those that work for a company remotely? Same necessity. Chances are, your boss went out of his comfort zone to allow you to work while traveling in an RV. You want to show up and perform. You will prove this is possible, dang it!

Why you should ignore this complaint:

For younger RVers, this might be one of the harder complaints about RVing to ignore, but go for it anyway because hell, disconnecting from all of that is healthy. Take a break from work, stop endlessly scrolling, and get back into nature as much as you can. Isn’t that one of the reasons you wanted this lifestyle in the first place?

15. Missing family

Now this was a super common complaint among the group surveyed. And why shouldn’t it be? Even stationary RVers like myself can understand this one. I haven’t lived in the same state as family in 4 years. My brother’s wife is having another baby soon and I just found out yesterday my sister-in-law is expecting as well. It can be really hard to not be close and miss major events.

missing family as an rver
Tired but smiling. We traveled 1200 miles to be with family for Chelsea’s 2nd birthday

These family complaints about RVing were especially prevalent among the retired. Missing grandkids even caused some to stop their RVing adventures and plant themselves back at home!

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Fortunately for all you RVers, your home is on wheels. You have lots of freedoms, including the freedom to make visiting family a priority. Spend the best season at home, or do like Less Junk More Journey and go home every 4-6 weeks!

14. Laundry woes

In the RVing world, you either shell out the dough for an expensive laundry setup, or you head to the laundromat and endlessly fork over quarters. Either way, laundry seems to suck even more than it did in the traditional home.

Oh wait, there’s that 3rd option of going wicked old school and doing them with one of these “laundry alternatives.” (I actually have a friend that raves about this machine.)

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Anyway you slice this pie, your clothes will get clean…eventually.

complaints about RVing
See? Nice and clean.

13. Nowhere to garden

This was the most surprising to me. Then again, I’m one of those “brown thumb” people. A very high number of people said that while they still have plants that travel with them, they really missed having a piece of land to garden.

And now that I think about it, I can’t say I blame them for this RV complaint. I mean, who doesn’t like getting their hands dirty? Or having fresh basil and tomato on their pasta every now and then? It’s a skill that has been passed down generation to generation since we humans settled down.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

There are others out there that need your help gardening! Try Wwoofing. As a volunteer (or WWOOFer as they call them) you live with/near your host helping with daily tasks and experiencing life as a farmer. Perfect for the RVer that loves gardening, right?!

12. Small kitchen

Get a big ole 5th wheel like mine. Boom. Problem solved.

liz wilcox complaints about rving
Just look at the counter space!

Kidding aside, yes, this can be frustrating. Many people simply don’t have the space to cook the way they’d like. Or are just plain tired of playing tetris with their food after each grocery shop. (The struggle is real, don’t be fooled.) Even with my giant RV kitchen, there are times when I feel cramped in the space.

Picture it: Liz Wilcox in her kitchen. She’s got the asparagus on one burner. The potatoes on another. And woah! She’s attempting the 3rd burner challenge! She’s going for the steaks in front. This girl’s got gumption folks, but watch out. Player 2 is about to enter the game! How will Liz handle the heat? Player 2, also known as Ed, a 6’5″ Goliath tries to shimmy past her. Will he… oh! He grabs a potato right out of the pan! Oh snap!

Here comes the Wild Card, Chelsea! She’s here to fill the remaining space between the stove, Mom, Dad, and the 5th wheel island. And.she.nails.it.folks! Look at that. The whole Wilcox Clan right there in the most narrow space with flames a’cracklin on that stovetop.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Okay, after that play-by-play, it’s hard to come up with a reason to ignore kitchen complaints about RVing. All I can say is invest in a grill and cook outside as much as possible, folks.

11. No Water Pressure

This complaint is 100% warranted. After almost a year in my RV, I’ve showered in it less than 10 times. It’s always less than satisfying.

The first time I showered in my RV, the water was so hot I thought I was going to have to admit myself to the RV as a burn victim, okay?

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Water pressure or not, I still get clean and so will you. Buy an RV and invest in these epic wipes, my friends. You’ll feel as clean as a someone who just wiped down with a natural, massive, and biodegradable wipe.

10. Limited hot water

Going hand in hand with number 11, this really sucks too.

Trying to get all the conditioner out of your hair is pretty much impossible. Even with a handheld… I mean, I can literally hold the head up to my hair and the soap just ain’t rinsin’ away.

I feel like I’m in that one episode of Seinfeld whenever I’m forced to shower in my RV. (You know, the one where they buy black market shower heads.)

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Showering less isn’t necessarily bad for you. According to this Reader’s Digest article, showering too much can make your hair frizzy and your skin patchy and red. Studies also suggest Americans shower more than they need to anyway. I suggest adapting the “I’m not really that dirty” mentality.

Or I hear there’s this new thing called “moochdocking” where you just park in someone’s driveway, or on their property. If you’ve got a friend nice enough to let this happen, they’ll probably let you take a shower, too.

9. You won’t have a hair stylist you can trust

This complaint is for the ladies (mostly). And as someone who has never paid more than $20 for a haircut, I don’t get it.

I mean, after the weak and lukewarm shower you just took, what hair stylist is going to be able to fix that mess on top of your head anyway?

Liz Wilcox wears her crazy hair proudly without complaint
Crazy hair, don’t care

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Between Google and Yelp, the great power of the internet can tell you exactly where the best hairdresser is in your area. (You’re welcome.)

8. A legitimate fear of fire

Yes, refrigerators (etc) really do set on fire.

A few months ago, I met a lady online that just happened to be staying at the same RV park where I live. We met and she told me she retired early and she and the old man had been full-timers for many years. She said she was happy they were about to get on the road later that week after a long stint at my RV park.

Not a day later, their fridge set on fire and their entire RV was ruined. They had nothing. The park came in to help and they were blessed to have it, but long story short, their entire home and all their possessions inside were gone. This was absolutely devastating.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Did those people stop RVing just because their RV went up in flames? No way. They bought another RV and hit the road as soon as they could. When I asked them why they would do this, they laughed. “This is our way of life. Staying here in this one park for so long was way worse than having the RV destroyed!”

Now that’s a testimony!

7. Pet ownership is such a hassle for RVing

So yeah, I sweep my floor more than I brush my teeth; I ain’t denying it!

If you’ve got a dog and you’re worried about pet hair in the RV, it’s justified. It’s super essential to sanity to have your (tiny) home clean and tidy. A pet makes that very hard to do. You’ve got to pick up after the dog always. Keeping it on a leash can be sad when your dog needs to run. And DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED on the smell.

Something I haven’t mentioned (to anyone ever) is my biggest fear of moving into the RV: my dog’s smell. I did not want to move into a small space with her. She is a STINKY dog. I mean, allergies stinky, okay? I could get past the downsizing, being around my husband 24/7 all that, but my dog and her stank?! Idunnoyall. It was hard.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

It isn’t so bad. I clean much more often than I would without her, which is 100% not a bad thing. And I finally found a vet that has helped me with my dog’s stink! She’s no longer stinky! (Happy endings are great, aren’t they?)

wilcox virtual campground walk
Hassle free here! (for this shot anyway)

6. Breaking down is super sucky

Uh duh, tell me something I don’t know. This is true for people in the real world and the wheel world.

But I get it, RV breakdowns are massively more terrible when it’s your house (or your truck that moves your house). Crazy Family Adventure just wrote a post about breaking down in their Winnebago and having to walk their 4 kids to the nearest stop through all that side-of-the-highway grass.

OH.
MY.
WORD.
That is super sucky. Maybe this is one of those complaints about RVing that shouldn’t be overlooked… nahhhh!

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Mishaps are going to happen on either side of life. Don’t let it deter you from your dreams of having an awesome Instagram, okay? (I mean seeing all those incredible sites North America has to offer you!)

5. Your rig is either blistering hot or freezing cold, depending on the season.

Oh yes, #preach. The other day I came home to a nearly 90 degree greeting. And this winter I woke up to it being almost 20 degrees…in my bedroom! Not how you want to start your day.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

Of all the complaints about RVing in this article, this problem can be patched up pretty easily. Travel with good weather. And if you’re a stationary RVer or something, make sure your rig is all sealed up (unlike mine), maintain your heaters and AC unit (unlike me), and if all else fails, double up on the blankets in the winter and the window AC units in the summer (like me).

4. The shuffle of shi…stuff

Like I talked about in #12, tetris is a game you are constantly and unwillingly playing as an RVer. Oh, move this so I can get to that. Oh, let me move so you can get in the bathroom.

There is nothing like living in an RV to make you incessantly aware of your possessions. I have thrown my share of fits over something being in my way and being “tired of looking at it! Get it out of my house now! I never want to have to move this spoon again!!!”

liz wilcox complaining about rving
Me in real life thinking about all the crap I shoved into this RV

Why you should ignore this complaint:

You can solve this RV problem. Get rid of more stuff! I have been doing this since Day 1 of RV life and after 10 months, I play this game less and less each week. I know it’s hard, but the RV will help you figure out what is valuable and what is not.

3. Weekend warriors.

For those that full-time, people that come to the parks on weekends and holidays are a real sore! They are loud, don’t usually know camp etiquette, and aren’t worried about their dogs doo doo, that’s for dang sure!

Living full-time in one park, I see the ebbs and flows of camp more than most. I have even learned the types of people that come depending on the time of year. And yes, some are… not fun to have around. I definitely have this on my list of complaints about RVing.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

You get to do this full-time, they are limited to this lifestyle! Can you really blame them for squeezing every last drop of fun out?

Okay, maybe you can. But take comfort in the fact that they’ll be gone soon. Or try to move your RV to a different site.

2. Rainy days

It’s no surprise one of the complaints about RVing is rain. Full-time RVers want to be outside. We want to see new places. Our homes are small and we didn’t buy them with the intent to spend too many consecutive hours in them, really.

Why you should ignore this complaint:

RVing is fun! It doesn’t rain every day, and if you find yourself in a climate where it does, move! Get out and come back at a better time. Again, the whole home on wheels thing.

If moving isn’t an option, try to find the lesson in it all. Or watch movies on Amazon. Your call, bro.

Chelsea looks out window of RV
Or take a lesson from this toddler and just stare at the rain wishing it would go away.

1. Not starting earlier!

Of all the complaints of RVing, this really was the number one grievance!

And I’m not surprised. It’s my number one complaint about RV life, too! I mean, I have about 16 months to wait until we hit the road and I have wanderlust so bad it hurts sometimes! And I am constantly telling people “I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this earlier.”

Why this complaint should be your only concern:

RVing provides so many great and amazing experiences. You see, you learn, you grow. And if you’re into that sort of thing, you should get started now!

liz wilcox in front of her rv
Take a picture! Our lives are about to change forever!

Have any complaints about RVing?

I would love to know in the comments below.

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5 thoughts on “The Top 17 Complaints About RVing And Why You Should Ignore Them

  1. Love your style, girl! You play Tetris, Sully and I play “Rubik’s Cube” in our new-to-us RV, but either way, it’s a puzzle! Thanks for collecting all of this info – I’m choosing, like you, to ignore my complaints and hit the road!

  2. Great article Liz. Concise list of the reality of ‘Wheel Life’ and it should save some people a lot of research down the line. Where were you a year ago when we started researching? LOL I know you were just getting organized yourself… no fair, your in the lead 🙂

    1. I just love when you comment. Thanks for being such a loyal reader, really. A year ago? I was still in NY completely clueless people lived in RVs. haha Isn’t it crazy how life can change completely with just one small idea?

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