Why is fulltime RV living becoming so popular now?


It was just over two years ago, that Ben and I were living in New Zealand, feeling like our lives were going exactly nowhere, and not sure how we were going to get out of the boring life we’d created for ourselves.

I had already started this blog RVObsession.com and was loving doing all the research about RVs, new trends, layouts and gadgets, and how people were coping with living in their RVs. I enjoyed writing about these topics, but I wanted so desperately to be one of those people that were full-time RV living.

I thought I was alone in my RV obsession… but boy, was I wrong!

There are thousands and thousands of you out there, who are just as obsessed with RVs and RV living as I am.

Have you noticed the huge increase in RV related stuff online, in the last couple of years?

Where it used to be a bit hard to find blogs of people living full-time in their RVs, there are now hundreds, probably thousands of them. There are hundreds more people sharing pictures of their renovated RVs on Instagram. And so many articles being written about storage solutions, minimalism, tiny living and nomadic income.

Why has full-time RV living exploded over the last few years?

I think there are four main social changes that have occurred, that have made RVing more appealing (or less unappealing?) and accessible to people. These are:

  • Increasing costs of housing.
  • The ability to work remotely.
  • The popularity of minimalism, and 
  • The tiny house movement.

Here’s how I think they’ve influenced the RV boom:

Increasing housing prices

We hear it on the news almost every day, about how rising house prices are stopping people from buying their own homes. Here in Australia and New Zealand you can add the fact that banks are also requiring 20% deposit and it becomes really difficult to afford a house without some big compromises in lifestyle.

For anyone that wants to live in their own place and not have to share space, a bathroom or kitchen with room mates, living in an RV is becoming more and more of an option.

Getting an RV can be super-affordable, especially if you purchase used. As an example, our caravan only cost us $3,000, it’s old and we don’t have a bathroom, but it’s ours and we can go wherever we want, and we have everything we need with us. Of course, the situation here in Australia is different to the rest of the world, but I know for sure that RVs are much, much cheaper in other parts of the world like America.

RVing is a housing option that is becoming an appealing option to many people.

The ability to work remotely

More and more businesses are realising that their workforce is both willing and able to work from home, and many employees would prefer to do so.

It’s beneficial to the employee because they’re not spending hours commuting to a workplace, they don’t have to buy as much work attire, it’s possibly easier to fit their work in around family commitments, and there’s less time socialising with all their work colleagues.

For the employer, this means a reduction in office space and it’s associated costs, as well as a more engaged, happier employee (if working remotely is what the employee wants).

I’ve read of many RVers who worked remotely and their employers didn’t even know they were in an RV traveling around the country.

And it’s not just working remotely for an employer. There are thousands of other ways to make money via the internet, such as contracting, freelancing and consulting opportunities where a person can provide their skills without having to meet in person.

Being able to travel, but also bring in a regular income opens up the possibility of RVing to a lot more people.

The popularity of minimalism

Have you seen the amount of posts, videos and books etc that are advocating the adoption of minimalism?

bare minimalist wall and pot plant

I think minimalism is something that comes naturally to some people more than others. I love being as minimalist as possible simply because I love the idea of a life of travel. I love to know that I could go almost anywhere, whenever I like, without being weighed down by things that I have to carry with me, or have someone else look after, or that I have to still pay for.

When you pare down your belongings, it becomes easier to imagine fitting everything in an RV. Those that hadn’t considered it before, may realise that RVing is something they’d like to try now that they’re not so constrained by all their possessions.

Tiny House Movement

Was there anyone talking about tiny houses 15 years ago? Even 10 years ago?

tiny house
Photo by: Nicolás Boullosa from flickr.com

The tiny house movement has EXPLODED over the last 5-10 years as more and more people see the appeal of living in a homey looking house, that is just a lot smaller than what they’re used to.

A tiny home allows people to have the familiar things of home around them, but just on a much smaller scale. You can have your full kitchen with all the appliances you need, you can have the personalised decor, wooden floors, lots of windows, washer & dryer and cozy sofa.

It can be built of robust materials like wood, that is tough but also looks great. They truly are a home on wheels, and the tiny house movement is a great way for people to start thinking that maybe they could live tiny.

But for many people, like us, tiny houses are still a bit too expensive. And if you wanted to travel regularly (like move every week) an RV is probably a better choice.

But I believe, that it’s thanks to the popularity of tiny houses, and the thousands of great layout and decor ideas that the industry has produced, that the RV industry has benefited from that movement. 

Tiny houses have shone the light on living with less.. and the RVing industry has benefitted from that popularity.

Have any of these things caused you to consider fulltime RV living?

Have any of these four things influenced your decision to RV, or made you want to?

  • Increasing costs of housing.
  • The ability to work remotely.
  • The popularity of minimilism, and 
  • The tiny house movement.

If not one of these four, what has made you decide to RV?

Pin this for later. I mean, if you want, that is. 😉

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4 Comments

  1. Sarah
    June 4, 2019
    Reply

    Housing costs and the Tiny House movement have both had some influence. But my real push was the passing of both my parents, and the inheritance of their house. I own a small manufactured home on a rented lot, which has pretty strict demands on pets (1-pet, no more than 40lb)….unfortunately, inheriting the house also meant inheriting 3 cats and a 55lb dog. Further, due to the housing cost problem, the house is an hour away from town, and my job. And while the mountain views and large yard were my dad’s dream, I dream of a life that doesn’t include a second full time job caring for irrigation, mowing, and moving sprinklers.

    Lastly, with my parents’ losses, I’m just really not interested in living in the area anymore. So I plan on downsizing (and honestly renting a storage unit for the things I can’t part with), and hitting the road with my 3 cats, dog, and 5yo in tow until we I find somewhere that just feels like home.

    • June 5, 2019
      Reply

      That sounds like an exciting outcome, to a sad circumstance, Sarah. xx

  2. November 13, 2019
    Reply

    My hubby and I are currently in AZ and the heat is brutal – not just because it’s darned hot but because we can’t enjoy the outdoors, the peace and quiet, and nature. We don’t want apartment living. We don’t want to own another house — too much upkeep and work. So, we’re selling our house, packing up our clothes, our two dogs and ourselves and hitting the road, looking for that perfect spot to spend the night. I’m a psychic tarot reader and will be continuing that work on the road. I’m super excited and reading this helped motivate me. Peace and blessings!

    • November 13, 2019
      Reply

      That sounds fantatic, Zanna! I wish you guys a wonderful adventure in your new life. xx

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