We get asked a lot about what it is like living full time in a RV. I talk about how much fun our adventure has been so far, and really it has. It is so exciting to enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful country. Our new lifestyle has resulted in better health for both of us, much less stress, and excitement around every corner.
But in an effort to keep things real for those of you that might be considering this particular lifestyle, Dave and I wanted to point out a few things that are not so great about full time RV living.
Granted, we have only been full timers since April of this year, and I imagine in another year, our priorities may be different and our list of things we love and do not love might change. But for right now, here is our top 8 things that we do not love about RV living:
The Poop Issue
When living in a RV, one has to deal with poop on a much more personal level. Both our poop and the dogs poop. While the bathroom in our RV is definitely several steps above a port-a-potty, I have to admit that it is still a toilet situated over a poop holding tank.
A poop holding tank that is full of…well… poop.
We have two holding tanks. The gray water tank holds leftover dishwater, shower water, etc . The black water tank has the job of holding the poop. Every few days, Dave flushes out the black water tank with water from the gray water tank. He then adds a bit of water and a tank treatment which helps keep odors at bay and breaks down things.
In general, the bathroom smells fine. But dealing with poop is much more labor intensive than simply flushing a toilet.
This is coming from someone who goes on eight hour plane flights and never uses the bathroom once due to the fear of accidentally getting locked in there with all that blue water and the potential of turbulence. Heck, I can’t even use the public restrooms without having to run some water in the background!
The hubby says, “Then just use the woods!” But I pee on my socks every time…
Too much information? Ha! Sorry…
Walking the dogs
While we are talking about poop, we cannot leave out the dogs. I have to say that I do miss the days when we could just put the dogs out the back door and let them do their business.
Granted, walking the dogs is good for all of us. But they do need walked several times a day, rain or shine. Waking up in the morning with rain pelting the roof and knowing that I have to go out in the pouring rain and stand while Ralph takes ten minutes deciding what area he would like to pee in definitely puts a damper on my morning.
Unlike Faith, Ralph took a while to get comfortable going to the bathroom on the leash. And to this day, he has to circle an area for a while before he finds the perfect spot.
And whatever you do, do not watch him. He will quit in mid-poop. And then we will have to start all over again!
Oh, and then there is the fun bit about carrying fresh warm poop bags to the dumpster.
Yeah, I knew about this going in. Working full time at the campground, running several websites and crafting in between, leaves me not so much time to do those things I really do not like doing in the first place. As a perpetual procrastinator, I tend to leave dishes until the last possible moment. Resulting in emergency dish washing in order to get dinner on the table.
Problems with the RV
Currently, the steps to the front door go up on their own accord. Which could be a potential issue when we are ready to go to the next campsite, and they choose not to go up that day.
Two televisions turn them selves on occasionally without our help- usually coinciding with the slamming of the front door.
We called out the local repair guy and both the steps and the televisions worked seamlessly. Of course!
The awning goes in on its own. Granted, it has a sensor that will pull it in when it gets windy. Apparently, it’s definition of wind is different than ours and if we do not shut the motor off, it rolls itself in quite dramatically while we are trying to sit in the shade with our iced tea.
Last week, I went to take a shower and we had no hot water. The electric hot water heater decided not to work. We are fortunate to have a gas alternative and switched to that. When we called the RV repair guy out, the electric heater started right up.
He thinks we are crazy.
Mosquitos and other pests
Uggghhh! In this part of the country, mosquitos are pretty darn plentiful. And much to my dismay, they absolutely love me. The scent of mosquito repellant is now my new perfume.
While working at the front counter the other day, an errant mosquito flew in and bit me right on the nose. Much to Dave’s enjoyment, I ended up looking like Broom Hilda the rest of the evening.
Unfriendly and inconsiderate campers
There I said it. There are those that have absolutely no camping etiquette. They are the ones that park their car in the small area that you call your front yard. They take short cuts through your campsite, dropping trash and making tons of noise along the way, setting off both dogs into a noisy bark-fest. And then complain that your dogs are barking.
Tyler Kealey plays “Mama’s got a Squeeze Box” by The Who as part of his video a day challenge in 2014.
They play loud music past midnight. Sit outside playing an accordion, electric guitar, or drum set (yes, all the above has happened in the past few weeks alone!). Who the heck brings an accordion while camping? Well, somebody did last week.
Not sure what they were playing, but Dave and I both had The Who’s Moma’s Got a Squeeze Box stuck in our heads for a week.
Now you do too.
Lack of Space
Again, I knew this going in. There is not much space for crafting and I spend more time looking for my supplies than actually doing the craft. Really! I tried to be organized. I labeled many containers and stored them all over the camper. But when I am looking for one particular tool or paintbrush or fabric swatch, I spend the next hour searching all compartments until I finally run across it.
Coming up to Maine from Atlanta, we encountered lots and lots of terribly maintained roads. In a car, you do not notice them as much, but when driving a huge motorhome, each bump and ridge is magnified ten-fold. Dave said that I need to mention in particular, parts of I-85 North and the entirety of I-84.
Our coach shook so much over I-84 that when we finally reached our destination, not only was our bedroom door entirely off it’s hinges, but only one of the televisions would come on.
Unless of course, we slam the front door.
So that is our top 8 gripes for right now. I have to say that for every gripe, there are ten things we love. I mean, just check out this view. How could you not love that?
Living in a RV full time is not for everyone, that is for sure. But for us, I think it just might work!
20 thoughts on “8 Things we do not love about RV living…”
So glad to hear you are still enjoying your new life style. And that the drawbacks are still relatively minor things. We took our third long trip this year MO to NY this time and wow the roads were horrible – like you said, bumps and poor repair jobs will shake your eyeteeth loose in an rv while they don’t seem more than a minor annoyance in a car. I’m pretty sure I-86 on the western side of NY beats out the ones you mentioned – we ended up slowing down to 35-45 to stay on the road.
I will let Dave know about I-86. We will be traveling south from here starting in the beginning of October- headed for Florida for this winter. We managed to snag a winter job in St. Petersburg! Should be a fun trip. We will be taking about a month to get there. Bumpy roads and all. LOL!
I haven’t stopped laughing at these reflections…..we are currently hauling our 34′ Rockwood and I’m about to barf from the BUMPYROADS! Last time we were out we found a note on our door from security that sounded like they were throwing us out…our neighbors were walking through the site and set the dog off and they complained about the BARKING! So all we need is an accordion playing band of gypsies at the campground today and we will be set eh?! Love your blog and crafts!
Yep. The dog thing! We close the coach up and play 80’s music for the dogs while we are gone. We come back to them all fired up listening to Madonna and Michael Jackson. Better than big hair rock, I guess. LOL!
Thanks for the kind comments!
Thanks for sharing the not so good stuff , but it is so good to see that you guys still have your sense of humour and enjoying this great journey.
Hey suzy, I am Scottish, so maybe I could throw in the bagpipes for you to listen to. Sorry, I am so bad 🙁
I couldn’t agree more on some points, especially the dismal road conditions. You’re lucky, at least your motorhome has modern suspension. Try pulling a travel trailer with either no suspension or at best leaf springs. With the much lighter weight, our trailer was literally bouncing in the air traversing the Interstate in western NY. We literally had to get off and search out secondary two lane roads just to proceed easterly. Our first trip with our 2015 Fun Finder around the 285 Atlanta perimeter (you know it well) was so bad that at our first stop we found one of the sliding glass doors from our shower laying on the floor with all the bottom rollers sheared off. Traveling across the country as we have done also reveals these same horrendous conditions in almost every state. With the big recession of 08, it seems no state or federal money has done much in the way of road maintenance. I’m sure all the gas tax money earmarked for hwy maintenance was siphoned off long ago for some politicians personal pet projects.
As for problems with your motorcoach, it amazes me that there are quality issues across all levels of RV industry products. Doesn’t matter how much they cost, they’re all cheapely built by a transient work force with no pride in workmanship. Add to that the understaffed and incompetant work force in the service end of the industry, truly has discouraged us out of the RV lifestyle completely.
At least with the other issues you site, there are alternatives and ways to overcome them. It’s the ones that we have no control over that are really aggravating. As long as you can have fun in spite of them, then “mission accomplished”. At least you still have your sense of humor 🙂
Lol I have a shi shuz who does the same thing as Ralph. It’s funny when he goes in circles then he has to take of of his hind legs and kinda rotates it to get just right before he goes. I don’t know WHO takes an accordion to a camping site. That would drive me crazy all that noise and stuff. Stay safe and have fun.
Hi there from New Zealand. I know your points are serious – but still raised a laugh with me. We have a caravan (trailer – do you call them?) and although we are not full time on the road, like to get away as often as we can. Taking our elderly cat with us – I might add!
One of your points really resonated with me – all those bitey things! We can be sitting outside with a group – and I am the only one who gets bitten by the pesky blighters! Why is it just me, I often complain. So I slather myself with Dettol antiseptic mixed with baby oil, and end up smelling like a hospital ward. Mind you, I never seem to put this mixture on till after I’ve been bitten.
I like to do crafts too and generally take some stitcheries away with me. Love your fun patterns. And I enjoy both your blogs too.
Like you, we have two blogs – my quilting one, plus our travel blog for when we are away in the caravan, travelling around own beautiful country.
Thanks so much for stopping by! The mosquito thing? Well, I tell my husband that the reason they like me so much is that I am so much sweeter than he is. He just rolls his eyes and hands me the mosquito spray. LOL!
Thanks for the kind comments on my patterns! Would love to see what you have come up with!
I will be sure to stop by your websites!
I take Vitamin B Complex everyday and have for the last 17 years or so. All because an international travelers came into the Immunization clinic where I worked and told me that he had no need for the prophprophylactic anti-malaria medication because he took B Complex daily and mosquitos leave him alone. I haven’t been bitten since. Good luck.
And I thought I wanted one of those fancy awning retractors… Not so much now!
Yep. In my opinion, the more “bells and whistles” you have, the more opportunity for things to go wrong. Luckily, our issues are minor. Our neighbor had a toilet overflow into his coach.
Now that is a problem. LOL!
This post had me laughing out loud! I’m glad ya’ll can keep your sense of humor about things. I especially like the part about the awning going in on it’s own, he he I guess it doesn’t like the wind huh. I imagine it being sentient and getting a chill and going inside, hehehe !!! So, you are saying you don’t want me to bring my electric guitar with me when I visit? hehehe are you sure? Cause that would be some good getting even. I’ll be sure to learn “momma’s got a squeeze box” before I visit. 🙂
That would be hilarious if you learn that song! LOL! Dave grumbled for weeks about it being stuck in his head!
I really appreciate the things that are going wrong, and real life like dealing with the bathroom toilet system. In ours my DH would not let us use it for number two. A walk to the outhouse or bathroom was our solution. With him gone now, I need to sell the fifth wheel, but the awning decided to rot away this past year, and DH spent $500 to get skylights taken out right before he found out he was dying. So it isn’t all the prettiest thing to sell now. I do wonder what is making your TVs act up like that. So weird!
Our coworker (and neighbor) does the same thing! They walk to the restrooms to do their business. We prefer to treat it like our home and if you take care of the facilities correctly (like using biodegradable toilet paper and chemical treatments), you should never have an issue.
So sorry to hear of your husband’s passing! Hopefully things will go well for you if you decide to sell.
Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!
We lived in our 36″ motorhome full-time for 4 years and we loved it! I can relate to your “dislikes” for living in an RV! One thing I missed was not having a washer & dryer… finding and going to a laundromat once a week was the pits… and an adventure to say the least! Some were good and some actually bad! But having an ever-changing view of God’s great creation in the good ol’ USA outside our front window was a wonderful blessing!
The one thing we did right when we purchased the RV was require that it have a washer and dryer. I see my co-workers all the time heading out to the laundry room on their days off! So glad we don’t have to do that! If we ever trade this coach in, we will definitely require a washer and dryer again, and also maybe more comfortable seating in the living room. You know, you don’t realize what your real needs are going to be until you actually live in one! LOL!
Thank you so much for this website! We have been RVers for 20 years, started in a tent and have progressed to a class C motorhome. We have had the motorhome only one year and thought we might have to sell it due to problems with my husband’s vision. Yesterday the Dr. saw enough improvement that we have decided to hang in there, at least for a while. Yeah!!!
I laughed out loud reading this post. We can relate to everything, especially problems with the RV. My husband has spent many hours over the years reaching into tiny places to fix the latest breakdown.
Thanks again for the travelogue and all your wonderful craft ideas. You are one talented lady!
Thank you for the kind words! I’ m so glad that things seem to be looking up with your husband’s vision. RV living is truly a blessing and I’m glad you will be able to continue with your plans.
As for breakdowns, etc., we feel your pain! LOL! I guess it is one of the things you have to get used to when your house is on wheels!
thank you so much for following along!