Full-time RV living isn’t always about vacations. Sometimes, stationary RV living is out of necessity while others, it may be simply a choice. There’s a whole book of reasons why full-time RVers live long-term in RV parks. Whatever the reason, if you’re contemplating downsizing to an RV or just aren’t ready to hit the road yet, a stationary RV lifestyle may be an option. Here’s why.
If you’re a traveling RVer and been to an RV park lately, you’ve probably noticed those RVs who have cemented themselves to their campsites in RV parks. There’s the traditional wood deck with a million pieces of mismatched camping furniture, grills and plastic bins adorning the exterior perimeter.
We’ll tell you why in this article to give you perspective of the attraction to this fairly new RV lifestyle.
REASONS FOR STATIONARY FULL-TIME RV LIVING
Table of Contents
Location and Weather
Some full-time RVers choose to live stationary in RV parks because of location and weather. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ‘snowbirds’. It’s a nomenclature for those who trek south from their homes in the northern regions of the United States or Canada. Because face it, older people don’t want to deal with the cold and snow (neither do we!). So, when the temperatures start to dip below 60 degrees, they pack up their RV’s and head south for the winter. Who can blame them?
Location is a big factor that pushes people from all walks of life to regions of the country that appeal to them. However, with that, those may be tied to cost of living (we’ll talk about that next). For example, we are active RVers who enjoy outdoor recreation like hiking, biking and kayaking. We certainly wouldn’t own a house in a city or even close to a city. So, those like us gravitate more to areas of the country that offer those types of outdoor amenities.
Financial – Cost of Living
Cost of Living is a multi-facet reason for why full-time RVers choose to live permanently in RV parks or campgrounds. It’s a known fact that various regions of the United States and Canada are more costly to live; especially in coastal and tourism impacted areas. Basic living costs in some of those areas escalate during tourist season. So, why would anyone want to live there during those seasons?
Another cost of living issue is are above what our paychecks or pensions can bring. However, some don’t want to give up their northern homes so they keep the best of both options.
But also, some choose to live in areas where cost of living isn’t so high.
High Rent or Mortgage
Depending on where you live or want to live, apartment rentals are sometimes astronomical. Why pay someone else’s mortgage and they get the tax break? Living full-time at an RV park or campground allows you to live cheaper. And some RV parks offer great amenities such as a pool, hot tub, golf course, hiking and bike trails, near shopping, etc.
If you’re wanting to free yourself from a mortgage with high mortgage rates or you can’t get a mortgage, then full-time stationary RV living may be your best bet.
Long Term Property Rental Leases
Speaking of property rentals, one of the downfalls of renting is the long-term lease agreements. Oftentimes, property rental leases are yearly agreements which means you’re locked an unpleasant situation if the rental doesn’t live up to your expectations.
At some RV parks and campgrounds, you could ask for a specified lease period such as monthly, seasonal or annual. Usually, longer-term leases are much less (if available) than the daily or weekly rates. And of course, they usually are far cheaper than apartment rentals because you’re not having to pay for a structure to live in; just the RV site and utility hookups.
High Property Taxes
What homeowner doesn’t despise paying high property taxes; especially if you don’t experience a good return on them? Typically property taxes are used to pay for local social services, schools, public safety, local roads, public building maintenance, libraries, etc. It’s a bitter pill to swallow if homeowners don’t use most of those services.
And even if you’re not paying a mortgage on your own property, you’re surely paying those property taxes on a property rentals. They are just hidden in your monthly rental fees.
But living stationary in an RV at a long-term site in a campground or RV park devoid you from paying those exorbitant property taxes.
Poor or Building Credit
Unfortunately, some folks fall on hard times financially that force them trying to find cheaper living arrangements. They may not have good credit to score a decent mortgage rate or help with a long-term property rental. So, buying a used RV or camper and living stationary in a campground may be the ticket to socking away savings and building their credit.
While paying less for long-term campground leases, it allow those to curb their spending and build credit so in the future they can procure their own property.
Want to RV full-time but don’t know if you can afford it?
How to Start and Enjoy Living the RV Life on a Tight Budget
A portion of full-time RVers just don’t want the burden or expense of taking care of property. Property maintenance can be expensive and back-breaking work. And who wants to do all that if you’re working 40+ hours a week or you just want to enjoy retirement without having to worry about writing a check each week for landscaping services. A monthly landscaping bill can equal what a campsite monthly rate! So, folks sell their homes, buy an RV and aim for long-term stationary RV living at parks or campgrounds.
One important reason why some people live long-term in RV parks or campgrounds is to be with family. Whether this choice is out of necessity or pleasure, it’s a viable option that allows RVers to visit family while not breaking the bank living in an hotel, expensive AirB&B or shorter-term apartment rental. And, they still get to still enjoy having their own space, their own bed, cook their own meals in their own RV kitchen.
In situations of short(er)-term visits such as just wanting to spend a few months with the grandkids in the summer, living stationary at a nice campground or RV park allows independence but also a great place for the grandkids to visit. And, when they come to visit, they can enjoy using the pool or other RV park or campground amenities.
Blogger’s Note: Be aware there may be extra fees associated with guests.
Full-time RVers may have to temporarily put the brakes on their travel adventures because health issues. They may have to park their motorhome or camper so they can stay put for a surgical procedure, cancer treatments, or some other extensive care. Even we have had to park our RV for a few months to tend to an injury and physical therapy appointments.
Also, the recent Covid 19 virus has pushed most full-time RVers into RV parks to shelter in place. This means they must find RV parking that will accommodate them for a month or however long the Coronavirus keeps its foothold on the health of Americans and Canadians.
So, it’s important to be able to find a safe and affordable month-to-month campsite rental to rest, relax and recuperate.
Work and School
Not all full-time RVers are retired or enjoying inheritances. There’s a good portion of full-time RVers who work on the road; transiting from job site to job site. For example, gas or oil pipeline workers, medical doctors and visiting nurses, and even camp hosts.
Also, many RVers may be attending a brick and mortar education facility which forces them to hunker down in a long-term, stationary RV park. Or, if a family is waiting to sell or buy a home, they may just wait it out and live in a campground or RV park until they can transition to their sticks and bricks home.
Check out this resource:
Live Camp Work: How to Make Money While Living in an RV and Travel Full-Time, Plus 1000+ Employers Who Hire RVers (A Beginner’s Guide to Workamping)
Because of the military nomadic lifestyle, Servicemen and Servicewomen are buying RVs not for recreation but to live in them full-time. Instead of living in military housing or facing a rental and housing markets in high cost living areas, they are buying RVs to live in them at their duty stations.
Trying to find adequate and affordable housing in some geographical locations is a hot issue. And oftentimes, the wait time to get into housing on military bases can be a year or more. Seriously, who wants to move their belongings twice or even three times into an apartment or small house while waiting for their name to rise to the top of the housing list?
But another is for financial reasons. Many Servicemembers are saving a ton of money because their BAH (Basic Housing Allowance) surpasses what an RV payment and monthly campsite costs. They’re taking the difference and banking it for their future or paying off current debt.
What’s awesome about their plan is when it comes time to PCS again, all they do is pack up their RV and head to their next duty station. And, do it all again if they choose. But be aware, a lot of military FamCamps don’t allow full-time RV living as they are more geared for outdoor recreation, vacations and visiting family.
To be perfectly honest, I oftentimes wish we had that option available to us during our military careers.
Sense of Community
Some full-time RVers prefer stationary RV living because of the friendly environment found in RV park communities. Especially in larger resort-type RV parks, there’s a plethora of amenities and activities available for those who live in the park to enjoy with others living there too. They are safe, clean and have the same feel as a sticks and bricks neighborhood but with more interaction with other full-time RV dwellers (only if they want to).
But also, our elderly RVers who aren’t ready for senior homes or assisted living would much rather live long-term in RV parks because of the community within. And, some enjoy the interaction and staying active.
For example, Escapees has 11 wonderful co-op parks available exclusively to Escapees members but managed and maintained by individual members of the co-ops. Escapees members may purchase an SKP Co-Op membership, when available, which entitles the use of a specified lot until sold back to the cooperative.
Check out these resources for seniors looking at the full-time RV lifestyle:
Secrets of RVing on Social Security: How to Enjoy the Motorhome and RV Lifestyle While Living on Your Social Security Income
Full-Time RV Life for Seniors on a Budget: How to Choose the right RV, Travel the Country, Experience Freedom, Enjoy Life on the Road, Stay on Budget, Stay Healthy & Maintain Your Home on Wheels
Smaller Footprint and Minimalism
The last reason for long-term stationary full-time RV living is merely for the fact that living smaller and minimalism spells F-R-E-E-D-O-M! This smaller RV lifestyle is less chaotic, less time consuming and easier on the bank account for all the reasons listed above.
When living in an RV, there’s no need to stock 24 rolls of toilet paper, have every garden tool known to man and place settings for ten. We’re not as focused on consumerism or thinking we have to have it all. We are more focused on experiences and community.
“For some full-time RVers, living stationary is a way to still live comfortably on the cheaper end of the scale.”
Is Long-Term Stationary Full-Time RV Living for you?
Only you can answer if stationary full-time stationary RV living is for you and your family. But as you see by the many reasons we just discussed, there’s probably one or two that may surface during your RV adventure travel that will make you throw out that anchor for awhile.
Some RV Lifestyle Resources that may interest you:
A Practical Guide to Full-Time RV Living
Motorhome and RV Retirement Living: The Most Enjoyable and Least Expensive Way to Retire
So, whether it’s for a month or two or for years, there’s options out there. You don’t have to give up the RV lifestyle just because you have to park your RV for awhile. At least you’re continuing to live the RV LIFE!
How to Downsize for Van Life and Tiny Living
How We Find RV Parks and Campgrounds
The Basic Costs of Full-Time RVing
Campground Shower Survival Tips
Why We Chose RV Living over Home Ownership
2 Replies to “Stationary RV Living: Why Full-Time RVers Live Long-Term in RV Parks”
Great read, now following!
A lot of this I never thought about when I dove into RV life. I ended up stationary at an RV park for the past 11 months. But, they make us sign a year lease here. Kinda crazy, but I do live on an island in the middle of a lake, so there are perks. We don’t have amenities. This RV park is more like a neighborhood. No bathhouses, laundry etc… Just the beautiful water surrounding me! Although I did buy a blow up boat so that was a nice addition to be able to take with me on the road. Whenever I do hit the streets again. Not sure when that will be. I kind of like it here.