We wanted to know what the #rvlife is actually like so we turned to an RV expert for some insider tips on choosing an RV, what it’s like to live in an RV and how the RV lifestyle works.
David Laffitte has worked full time from his RV for about four years, visiting everywhere from Southern Utah to Montana in the winter to Florida’s Gulf Coast. We chatted with him for a down to earth look – beyond the Instagram photos – at RVing.
If someone is looking into buying an RV, where should they start?
Start with your goals. Are you going for weekends or full time? Do you want to be in RV Parks or out in the backcountry?
Then, I recommend going to an RV show or large dealer to walk through all the different floor plans. Don’t buy it on the first visit! It will be exciting and tempting.
What considerations do most people forget about when looking into RVs?
There are a lot of accessories you need if it is your first. Those can really add up. Examples include a hitch, surge protector, sewer hoses, water hoses, etc.
What most surprised you about Rvs?
It is amazing how little you need. Coming from a house and going into an RV really makes you think about needs/wants.
Are RV’s hard to care for and operate?
There is some basic maintenance and issues that come up. It helps to be mechanically inclined and resourceful. Online groups and YouTube can help you navigate these. I carry a decent tool kit and try to fix items myself where possible.
Where do you stay with an RV?
I generally stay in RV Parks for connections that include electric, water, and sewer. I also like to stay in state parks, but you have to watch your size and make sure you will fit. Keep in mind the actual length of your RV is often different than what is advertised.
Can RVs have WiFi? TV?
For sure! I use a Verizon Jetpack and use our phone hotspot on another provider as a backup. RV park’s WiFi connections are not reliable or fast enough to depend on. Most RV’s have multiple TVs. Some even have them on the outside!
Are RVs climate controlled?
The larger ones are often climate controlled. Some of the popup type campers may only have a fan. I have two air conditioners. I added the second one during a southern Utah summer. It also has a heater than runs on propane.
Can my pet travel and live in an RV?
For sure! I wouldn’t have it any other way. I removed a loveseat and put in a kennel. You have to be careful about temperature. I have seen people put in temp sensors and connect it to their hotspot.
What’s your favorite thing about the RV lifestyle?
I love the freedom to travel on a whim and have a full setup. I use the RV as a home base and then tent camp to more remote destinations.
What’s your least favorite thing about the RV lifestyle?
I often miss being around friends and family. When you are traveling, you don’t have your support system. If you have a problem, you have to figure it out yourself.
Where are some of the coolest places you’ve visited?
The U.S. is simply amazing for RV exploration. A few of my favorites include Zion, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, and Lake Tahoe.
Who is the RV lifestyle good for?
It is best for happy campers. There are tradeoffs and sacrifices to have this level of freedom. Remember this is different from Instagram photos!
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