Full Time RVing In a Small Travel Trailer

Do you love your travel trailer so much you wish you could live in it, like legitimately live in it? We’re talking 24/7, 365 days out of the year.

If you think you could do it, you’re certainly not the first one to try! After all, simple, small living spaces have become more and more popular in recent years. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find dozens of results for bloggers who have moved into small homes and love their little lifestyles.

Why is living in your travel trailer any different? It isn’t, not really, except that now you have the option to take your home with you anywhere you want. How’s that for freedom?

Of course, if you’re serious about living small, then you have to expect your life is going to change drastically.

In this article, we’re going to cover the questions and concerns you might have as you transition to full-time life in your travel trailer. By the time you’re done reading this, you can make the decision about whether living in your travel trailer is right for you.

Let’s get started!

Is It Even Legal?

Yes, absolutely, it’s legal to live in your travel trailer! That said, if you do decide you want to park your trailer on a plot of land you bought and live there, you better check your state laws first. In Nevada, for example, you are not allowed to live in a camper trailer or an RV.

Other states may have certain restrictions on where and how you can place your trailer depending on zoning requirements. To make sure you’re not disobeying any laws, you might want to contact a representative in your state before you buy any land.

Where Can I Live?

Well, there’s the abovementioned plot of land if that suits you (and if it’s legal in your part of the country).

Other people who have made the switch to living in their travel trailers full-time tend to spend a lot of their time staying at RV parks. There are plenty of these almost anywhere you go in the country, and they have many of the creature comforts of home that you’re going to leave behind when you make the switch to travel trailer life (more on this shortly), such as Wi-Fi and a spacious shower.

Trailer parks are another option, but you’re more likely to find other like-minded RV enthusiasts like yourself at an RV park over a trailer park. Otherwise, these two options aren’t too different.

Now, it’s not free to stay at an RV park or a trailer park. You might end up shelling out $30 to $50 for every night you park there. Extended trips can get expensive, especially if you’re living out of your travel trailer full-time.

You might want to save RV parks and trailer parks as a backup option if you absolutely cannot stay anywhere else. Otherwise, for some, the lifestyle will quickly become too expensive to maintain long-term.

What Can I Fit in My Travel Trailer?

Ah, there’s the most important question and the one that will definitely make up your mind about living in a travel trailer one way or the other.

Even the biggest travel trailer can’t fit all the amenities you’re used to at home. You might have a king-sized or queen-sized bed or two, a decent-sized kitchen area, and a bathroom with a toilet and a sink. If you’re lucky, there’s a shower. Maybe you even have a TV in there.

If you do decide to live in your trailer full-time, you’re going to have to give up a lot. There’s just no way around it. These trailers can only fit so much stuff before they risk becoming unstable, which means there’s plenty you’re going to have to leave behind. This includes:

  • Reliable Internet, as you’ll now be at the mercy of various Wi-Fi networks wherever you can find them
  • All the entertainment that comes with stable Internet, including playing video games, surfing your phone or mobile device without eating up a ton of data, using your computer, cable TV, and online streaming services
  • A washer and dryer, which means you’ll have to clean your clothes at various laundromats when you come across them
  • Large wardrobes, as there’s not a ton of storage room in a travel trailer, and you can’t use all of it for clothes
  • An extended set of kitchenware, as again, there’s probably no room to fit it
  • Desks, wardrobes, dining tables, and other furniture of your own
  • Glass vases, figurines, or other decorative items, as these can be broken on the road and there’s just no room for them
  • Large showers, as you’ll probably be showering in a much smaller space if your trailer has the capability for a shower at all

What about Bills?

Just because you decide to pack up and live life in a travel trailer doesn’t mean you’re exempt from paying bills. You will still have to get healthcare (well, depending on where you live) and pay for your phone service. If you have student loans or other debts, you’ll be expected to pay for these, too.

You will save money, though, because you no longer have to pay for electricity or heating. By living in your travel trailer, you also don’t have to worry about rent, mortgage payments, or homeowner’s association fees.

What about the bills you do have to pay? How do you do it?

You might want to contact the institution that issues these bills and get them emailed to you rather than physically mailed out. This way, you never have to miss a payment even though your physical address is always changing. With autopay services, you don’t even have to schedule time to pay your bills. It’s all done for you.

What Can You Eat?

You can eat anything in a travel trailer that you would eat at home! You might not have as much room for cooking or storing supplies, but you can always improvise. You should have a stovetop in your trailer and maybe even a small oven. There’s probably no room for a microwave, but there are other ways to heat up food.

You will have a fridge and freezer in your travel trailer as well. Although the fridge isn’t as big as the one back at home, it gets the job done. When you need to stock up on food, just stop at a grocery store near you (wherever you happen to be at the time) and do so.

As long as you’re willing to get creative and resourceful in the kitchen, you should have no problem whipping up interesting meals to enjoy during your new life on the road.

Who Drives and When?

That will depend on how many people are in the travel trailer and who prefers driving. Of course, if you’re living in the trailer full-time, the same person can’t drive all the time. You will have to trade off driving duties.

There will be times when neither person drives, such as when you pull off to stay at a trailer park, RV park, or even your own land if you have it. During this time in park, you might cook, shower, eat, or chill out and do whatever you want.

What about Work?

Here’s another very important question. What do you about work if you don’t have one physical address and you’re always going from one place to another?

Obviously, you’re not going to have a standard nine-to-five job anymore. That said, you do have plenty of employment options.

You might stay in a city or neighborhood for a few weeks and take on a short-term part-time or full-time assignment. Once the job wraps up, you can be on your way to your next destination.

You can also freelance. There are so many types of freelancer jobs out there that you’re sure to find something you’re good at and can do full-time. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Writing and blogging (you can even start your own blog about living in your small travel trailer or about your travels)
  • Editing
  • Graphic design
  • Selling handmade goods on Etsy
  • Virtual assistant, where you work remotely for a company doing administrative duties
  • YouTube personality (although this is not guaranteed to make money unless you can generate a large following)
  • Photography
  • Virtual teaching and tutoring, especially teaching languages
  • Call center work
  • Remote data entry
  • Transcribing
  • Public relations and marketing

As you can see, you have a ton of options at your disposal. You can even start your own business from scratch! If you’re ambitious and keep an open mind, you should be able to figure out an income stream that can support your life on the road.

How Do I See Friends and Family?

This is a trickier issue. You’re now traveling all the time, and unless you bring your family or friends for little trips, you’re essentially leaving them behind. That’s practically unavoidable.

Hopefully, the people in your life are understanding of your interests and need to explore the world and give you their full support. There are many ways you can keep in touch on the road thanks to how connected we are online. You can always try:

  • Sending text messages
  • Using chatting apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger
  • Catching up via social media
  • Emailing
  • Talking on the phone
  • Skyping
  • FaceTiming

You should make it a point to venture back to your home turf at least once a year to see everybody if possible. If you can’t do that, you can always stay somewhere for a few weeks and invite everyone out to see you!

How Do I Keep up with Hobbies and Interests?

Depending on what kinds of hobbies and interests you have, doing them while in a travel trailer may be possible or impossible.

If you enjoy going to the gym or doing yoga, for instance, you have options. You can join a gym chain and go get a workout whenever you see that gym while on your travels. While it’s true that you won’t have one particular gym, most chains set up their gyms essentially the same, so you should have access to the same machines you always use.

You can also always run, jog, or walk in parks across the country. Go somewhere new and sign up for a yoga or kickboxing class. There will be plenty of versatility to your workouts.

If you enjoy creative hobbies like painting, writing, reading, assembling puzzles, or the like, you should be able to keep up with your hobbies on the road. It’s not recommended you try putting together a puzzle while in a moving vehicle, though!

You can also play video games in your trailer, although the fluctuations in Wi-Fi quality may make that difficult at times.

Is Gas Expensive?

The price of gas is variable. If the truck or SUV in which you’ve hitched your travel trailer gets good fuel mileage, then you probably won’t have to fill up all that often. Gas prices may also be higher or lower depending on oil reserves that week as well as the state in which you’re visiting.

Of course, if you expect to spend most of your time each day driving, then you should certainly anticipate paying a lot of money for gas. Since you don’t have to worry about a rent or mortgage, though, you’ll actually end up saving money in the long-term living in a travel trailer.

What about Holidays?

Holidays still happen whether you’re on the road or at home. How you choose to celebrate them is up to you. You might want to go back to your home state to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. If not, there are plenty of food banks, restaurants, and other institutions where you can get a hot meal, since your oven probably isn’t sufficient for cooking a whole turkey.

How Long Should I Live in My Travel Trailer?

This is most certainly up to you. Some people might try the travel trailer life for a few months or a few years, miss being at home, and then make their way back. Others who were bitten by the travel bug can potentially keep up this lifestyle indefinitely.

If you want to get a pet or start a family, it’s probably best that you have a stable residence in which to do so, though.

If you find that you love living in your travel trailer, then by all means, keep doing it until it no longer makes you happy. Even if you do decide to buy or rent a home, you can still always take out your travel trailer for shorter trips.

Conclusion

Small homes are all the rage right now, and some people have taken that a step further, living in their tiny travel trailers.

It’s certainly possible, although you will have to leave behind some creature comforts of home. If you can do that, though, then you’re ready to give the travel trailer life a try.

There are tons of virtual jobs available in today’s tech-friendly age so you can sustain your lifestyle. You may want to stay at an RV park, a trailer park, or even your own plot of land if you can swing it.

Of course, you can expect some challenges as you adapt to this new lifestyle. Once you do get used to it, though, you’ll find that you’re living a lot more simply than you ever have before. You also have much more freedom. If you want to see a state monument or point of interest, you can go there at will.

Whether you decide to keep up the travel trailer lifestyle for a few months, a few years, or indefinitely, it’s certainly worth doing at least once. You can experience the beauty of the world in a unique and affordable way and always know that you have everything you need right in your trailer.

Happy travels!

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