RV Living

10 Things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time

Things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time

The main reason we decided to live in an RV was to save money. Our goal was to pay off any bad debt with the cash we would have used for rent. We did some research on RV-living, but I’ll admit it was not extensive research, and not everyone will tell you about the following ten things I wish I knew before living in an RV full-time.  


I thought cleaning would be easier since the space is smaller, but boy was I wrong! Less space does not mean you clean less; it means you’re cleaning less space more often. 

Everything in your RV should have a place, and it should always be kept in that location or placed back when it is not in use. If you don’t follow this rule, your RV will start to look cluttered and dirty. 


Even with stabilizers, there will be some rocking. Strong winds or walking around can cause rocking. Even our dog running around can cause rocking at times. It can be frustrating if you’re trying to sleep or focus on a task while the RV is just rocking away.

You get used to it for the most part, but there is always a time or two when the rocking will get on your nerves. 


There is a lot of routine maintenance to be done. You have to complete all recommended vehicle care as you would on a car. You also have to stay on top of the routine maintenance for the generator and your general living area.

Since we live in the RV and are traveling, we track and complete the engine maintenance ourselves. We can’t just take it to a mechanic because that would leave us homeless. 

Generator maintenance is a requirement. Making sure you stay on top of this is essential, mainly when you rely on it for your power. You’ll want to make sure your generator is running smoothly. Your RV should have a handbook with information on generator maintenance. If not, you can Google the make and model and get some information.

Lastly, your general living area has to be cleaned and prepped for travel. The gray and black water tanks must be cleaned, the propane gas must be filled, the awnings and slideouts must be inspected, and the list goes on and on. There is always something that needs to be taken care of, whether it’s cleaning or some type of repair.

Maintenance has become part of our routine, but it’s still one of the things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time

No Privacy

Our little family was always in the same room when we lived in our townhome, so we figured privacy would not be an issue.

Well, it’s not an issue, but we do miss some privacy. Our RV is 26ft and has one slideout. It’s a relatively small place. This means you can’t just leave the room if you need some silence. There are no secrets in the RV. The restroom is next to the bedroom, so there is some invasion of privacy even when using the bathroom. You have to be comfortable with sharing and being open about everything because there is zero privacy.

Storage Capacity

RVs look like they have a lot of storage, but they are actually limited in storage capacity. This is even more true when moving into an RV from a bigger home. You will always have too many belongings. I recommend living a minimalistic lifestyle or getting used to routinely purging out any items you do not use.

Like I said previously, everything in an RV should have its place, and if it doesn’t, it does not belong in the RV because it will become clutter.

Inconvenient Storage Compartments

Some storage compartments are in the weirdest places, like under a couch. While adding storage under the sofa makes sense to maximize storage, it can also be inconvenient to move the entire couch to get into that area. Make sure to place your items in a logical place. If you use your pots and pans every day, putting them in that hard-to-get storage place probably doesn’t make sense.

Also, most of the storage compartments are placed above shoulder level. That may not matter for tall folks, but it can be annoying for shorter people like myself (I am 5ft tall).


Many RVs are manufactured with minimal insulation. Minimal insulation means that the heat is extra hot, the cold is extra cold, and noises are not muffled.

Prepare to have a loud air conditioner during those hot summers, and sometimes you’ll still be sitting there wishing it was cooler.

Refrigerator Temperature

The temperature is not always accurate. The refrigerator temperature can be affected by the temperature outside. If it’s hot out, it will have a more challenging time keeping things cold. Sometimes the freezer will seem like it should be colder, but the fridge will be freezing things.

I like to keep a thermometer inside the refrigerator at all times to make sure the temperatures are within limits for the food.

We’ve had other annoyances with the fridge, like periodically defrosting the refrigerator because the freezer builds up a lot of ice in the back. This comes back to maintenance as well… you want to make sure you do checks on the temperature sensor inside and make sure the back is cleaned out.

Appliance Size

Appliance size sounds like a weird one, but it’s something to consider. The refrigerator and the stove are much smaller in an RV. I have to think about what I will buy for groceries because not everything will fit. I also had to buy new baking sheets, because my regular ones were too big for the oven. Further, the stove temperature for baking is never correct, so we have a thermometer in there as well. Again, this is something you can get used to, but it can also be annoying. 

RVs Are Not Made for Full-time Living

I love living in our RV, and it has helped us lower our cost of living – which is fantastic – but RVs were not made for full-time living. RVs are manufactured fast and cheaply. They have little insulation, are not everyday living functional, will wear and tear easily, and you should be ready to do some DIY repairs and updates. It’s the little things that things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time. I would have been able to better prepare. 

Would anything on my list be a deal-breaker for you?