Full-Time RVing

I am the last person I ever expected to be interested in RVing. But then I separated from Mrs Limey and COVID hit, so I am now looking at living and working in a small space in a very different way. Can I really downsize into a van and live/work on the road 24/7?

I have been watching a ton of the #VanLife channels on YouTube, and it does seem very workable, if you go in with the right attitude and have the right equipment. The latter part is very important because I’d be looking to hit the mountains in winter so all-season and off-road capability is a must. I’ve been researching like crazy and I think I’m pretty good on the equipment side of things.

What I don’t know, is the attitude side of things. The small space isn’t a worry - I am in a small space now that doesn’t move - but I have always been wary of RVing for the same reason I’m wary of cruises: other people. Now, my van can move (obviously) and I will spend some amount of time living “off-grid” away from campsites, but I will need to spend time on organized campsites a lot of the time to have sustainable utilities.

Does anyone have some insight into any of this? How are the campsites as far as crowding, noise, weirdos, good housekeeping etc.? Any input appreciated.

You need this:

Airship Carvanning | Top Gear - YouTube

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I don’t know shit about RVing, but I recall a conversation with someone about RV parks in the Centex area. The gist is this: there is starting to be a real stratification of parks into high end and low end. My recollection is that the better parks filtered out what they considered riff raff by having a requirement on the type (size, length, quality) of RV they would allow. A sort of exclusionary zoning concept applied to RV parks.

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Limey better not tell them he’s an immigrant. He’ll be relegated to the riff raff zone.

I don’t have any inputs or insights, but I’d recommend renting an RV for a couple of weeks, sampling a few sites, and see if it’s the life for you.


We had some friends who decided they were going to do this. They did all of their research, did some short stints, remained committed, sold their house, went all in. Less than a year later they were back in town buying a new house.

One thing to keep in mind: when your car needs repair work, it’s not the end of the world to rent a car (or get a loaner) and work from home. When your RV needs repair work (and, anecdotally at least, they seem to need repair work a lot), that’s more difficult.

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Go for it. If you can deal with a largely solitary lifestyle. If you need someone or something to talk to I recommend a small dog or cat over a volleyball with a face. I have done this several times for a month or two at a time but always with the notion it was an extended vacation. It was fun seeing new places and faces every other day and visiting old friends that live in far away parts of the US and Canada.

I don’t know about attitude as far as a permanent lifestyle. I always knew I had a home to go home to and after a month or two was ready to go home.

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But now he can say he’s now a citizen who did it the “right” way.

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Rule of thumb: If you’re driving something that wont fit in a parking space, tow a car.


He has a cat.

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I don’t have much to add, except are you thinking about a van, a small trailer, a huge trailer, a larger motorized RV? I think that as much as anything governs the spaces you can use.

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I have three friends that have taken the plunge: one in a large Mercedes van with all the seats removed, one (plus her husband) in a small-ish camper, one (plus her husband and two small kids) in about the largest camper you can get without a 5th wheel. None of them move around all that much and it’s more about reducing their footprint, downsizing their lifestyle, cutting back on reliance on technology, etc., but they can take their entire life with them when they do decide to travel. They all get their mail and packages delivered to a PO box or UPS Store box.

The guy in the van rents space on someone’s land to park most nights, with a basic electrical hookup (to run his electronics and A/C / heater) and a water spigot outside. He drives his van to his 9-5 job everyday, as well as the grocery store and wherever else he goes. He has a cheap gym membership mostly so he has a place to shit/shower/shave more than once every few days. At “home” nature is his bathroom.

The couple in the small RV stay at an RV park with legit power/water hookups and have an SUV to use around town. Since the pandemic they’ve both been working out of the RV full-time.

The family of four sold their house in town and bought a few acres in the hill country, dug a well and septic tank, and semi-permanently parked the RV there. They are all vegan and grow a shit ton of their own vegetables on the land. I’m not real clear on what my friend’s husband does for a living, but she home schools the kids. I suspect that out of these three examples, their way of life will become more difficult than the others’ as the kids get older.

The thing I would worry about most is access to reliable Internet - all of the above rely solely on LTE (or worse), and that couple working out of their RV has to seriously budget their hotspot usage. Seems to me that most people choose the RV life to unplug. If your job relies on your ability to attend remote meetings and do actual Work™ then that could be your largest obstacle.

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That is what I would do. I can’t name all of the projects that seemed to be good ideas at the time that I shortly said “what was I thinking”.

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I’ve been thinking about this, but I want the tech to advance some more.

My ideal RV would be a “B+” size, electric, full self drive and self charging. That last one can only be done with solar "awnings’ to be extended when not moving. The idea of a self driving RV with the quiet of an EV is very appealing. Work, watch sports, shitpost on internet boards, even shit, shower, and shave all while en route.

The new Rivian skateboard would be the ideal platform.


I am British, so this sits very well with me.

The accent opens many doors…

Yes. This is very much part of the plan. There’s a long lead time here because I have to see how my company reacts going forward after COVID vis-à-vis working from “home”, and if they’ll accept me being nomadic.

There’s also a 6-12 month lead time on getting a van built once I decide to pull the trigger.

I know less about RVing than I know about most things which obviously means I don’t know shit about it, but this seems like sound advice to me.

On another note, I believe that limeys in general refer to conglomerations of recreational vehicles as ‘caravan parks.’ I would like that entered into the record. Also, a writer I once loved and now basically hate, Graham Swift, wrote a (fucking terrible) novel largely set in a caravan park. It’s called Wish You Were Here. It received the usual plaudits from the usual corners, but I think he should have called it Wish You Would Stop.

I should follow that lead, actually, and quit reading his books. I guess I just have to accept that I am a stubborn sort. I’ve never been able to accept that for some reason.

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And no one asked me, but if I wanted to be a nomad I would skip the RV business and just Airbnb around to wherever I felt like for a month or two at a time. Both in and especially out of the US and A. I don’t know, I sort of like being able to flush a toilet and not having to think about where it’s all going. It’s the little things, don’t you know.

You should embroidery this on a sampler.


I’m looking only at a “shorty” [insert joke here] because I don’t need that much space, they’re maneuverable and economical, no long overhang at the back, will fit in a standard parking space, are better for off-road and are allowed into national parks.

Something like this: