Our Top 12 RV Myths: Debunked!

It is easy for myths to build over time. Especially in an industry that began over 106 years ago.  The Smithsonian commemorated 100 years of RVing in 2010 with the first RV release of the Pierce-Arrow’s Touring Landau. But the first RV was built onto an automobile in 1904.  A proto-type that slept four adults on bunks and was lit by incandescent lights.  It even had an icebox and a radio! Coat this with the Internet where people pick up a story and share it with no fact checks.  Then it becomes a part of accepted reality.  So yes, over time, RV myths have been created and there are probably some that should be debunked.

RV Myth #1:  RVing is for outdoorsy people.

You will find a lot of people who love the outdoors opting for RVs.  But every RVer is different.  There are those with electric bikes attached to the back of their rigs that love hiking too.  And there are people like my husband and I who have motorcycles on the back of our rigs, and we prefer wine tastings.  There are others who like to take their tows and drive the scenic drives.  RVing doesn’t mean you have to sit outside your rig and build campfires or fight mosquitos or sweat the walking paths.  Your RV getaways put you in a new location, but you choose how you want to enjoy it.

RV Myth #2:  You are always on vacation.

This statement applies more to those who want to full-time or RV extended periods of time.  We heard this idea before we started RVing and it has been a big influence on our travels.  If you are on vacation, you eat out more, you travel to see as much as you can in the time you have.  If you are full-time RVing, you probably can’t keep up this pace or it will break your budget or stress you out in the meantime.  We are full-time and we plan our experiences like we live in a brick and mortar.  We pick a couple of days a week to enjoy ‘weekend’ activities and explore the area.  The other days we plan our work schedules (because we still work full-time).  The nice thing is we get to enjoy a new location every month as we relocate and travel around the U.S.

Your campground is what you make of it. There are many places to choose from whether it is within a city or in the country.

RV Myth #3:  I need to retire to RV.

Did you know there are RV groups out there that do nothing but cater to RVers who work full-time?  You do not need to wait for retirement to get out and start enjoying RVing.  So many employers have been shifting to letting employees work from home.  If you are putting off RVing with this excuse, you should take the time to put together a work from home plan and give it to your boss.  You should be prepared to let him know how you will stay connected, what your deliverables will be and how you can be reached or attend meetings.  I am a full-time travel writer and advisor, and my husband is a full-time radio operator and DJ.  We have created numerous ways for our work to integrate with our lifestyle. It’s a RV myth to believe that you have to retire to be able to RV either part-time or full-time.

RV get togethers happen more often with family and friends while on the road!

RV Myth #4:  I will miss my family and friends.

We see our friends and family more since we RV than we did in our brick-and-mortar life.  We were always held back by having to be on location for work or home repairs or fitting in travel with everyone’s vacation time.  Now we can book a park near our family and friends and make time to see them even if we are both working.  Even if we are not on location, we find ourselves chatting more online and sharing photos because everyone wants to know where we are and what we are experiencing now.  If there is a family emergency, we can get there faster, sooner and stay longer when needed.  The flexibility is so much broader and more available as an RVer.  And you have your own separate home to stay in while you are there.  No worries about trying to find hotels or squeezing in at someone’s home.

RV Myth #5:  I need a commercial driver’s license.

Some think you must get a special license to drive the bigger rigs, but you don’t.  If it is under 26,000 pounds and no longer than 45 feet in most states, you can drive with a regular license.  If you feel uncomfortable with a large RV but still want the space, there are RV driver courses you can take.  They offer a lot of tips for maneuvering large RVs safely and securely.  Don’t take someone else’s myth on if you need one or not.  Just check with your state laws on the requirements and the states you travel through.

RV Myth #6:  It’s not safe to travel solo or with kids.

According to Escapees.com, a census shows that 16% of full-time RVers are solo travelers and three percent travel with children.  Traveling this way can be a little more complicated – either because all the RV tasks fall on you traveling solo or traveling with children adds extra space and activity needs.  But there are groups out there supporting solo travel and traveling with kids.  Being safe is the same as being safe in your home – be aware of your surroundings, take necessary safety precautions and know who to contact in case of an emergency.

RV Myth #7:  I must give up all the comforts of home.

Since we have a full-time lifestyle, there was a list of things we didn’t want to do without.  We didn’t want to make our lives more complicated going full-time.  You can do the same.  Make a list of things you don’t think you can live without and find the RV that matches those needs.  We thought we had a demanding list, but we easily found an RV for us – we needed workspace for two, wanted washer and dryer, a comfortable queen size bed, a way to haul our motorcycles and a good-size bathroom.  We got it all.  Know what you are looking for and how to budget for the right RV.

RV Myth #8:  I won’t have Internet access.

With today’s technology and gadgets, we have run into very few issues in several years of traveling full-time.  Our need for access is high.  We work full-time and are accessing it daily.  We have two sim cards plus 50 gigs on our mobile hot spot, other tools for automating the switching processes and we are considering Starlink for RV.  The options are improving continuously.  Worse case, you can visit a library or a coffee shop to get your work done. But prices are dropping, and you can have access if you need it.

The view from your office or desk doesn’t always have to be the same. That’s one of the best perks!!

RV Myth #9:  I can live cheap full-time RVing.

Be prepared that your budget may remain the same as living in an apartment or owning a home.  The one thing you can control in an RV that you cannot in a stationary home is your budget.  You must pay the same on rent and utilities in a regular home.  In an RV, you can control rent by determining where you stay.  Some areas have free sites while others can be as low as $300 a month.  This can really control your rent rate in an RV if your RV is paid for.  Utilities are usually included in month long stay rates at campgrounds.  Or you can boondock and use batteries with solar.  Depending on how you use these, you can also control your utility expenses.  Shopping for local foods, RV space eliminating the need for excess clothes and storage – all these can control your expenses.

RV Myth #10:  RVing doesn’t work with health issues.

We have met people RVing with all types of health issues and disabilities.  It can be more complicated, but it is not impossible.  Health insurance is offered now for RVers who travel all around the U.S. so you can get treatment wherever you are.  There are online doctors’ appointments where you can get prescriptions delivered to your location.  It takes planning and working with your current doctors, but most health issues and disabilities have a mobile option for you to continue to receive the treatments, check-ups, and prescriptions you need anywhere. There are even cruises that offer dialysis onboard!  RVs can have small refrigerators for diabetic needs.  So, take the time to check out how you can find the right RV for your needs and get into the RV lifestyle.

RV Myth #11:  RV sites are hard to find.

No, they are not.  The process for finding sites may have changed over the years.  But there is no lack of places to find a site.  A lot of mom-and-pop shops are still not listed on large campground search sites yet.  In addition, planning 3-4 months helps secure spots with no problem.  When you will run into a problem finding a site is when you are wanting to stay in high demand tourist areas, at campgrounds with lots of amenities or when you want to stay in popular destinations with few campgrounds.  These you usually need to plan 6-9 months at least.  We like to stay in small, out of the way places.  We don’t care about the amenities because we are either working or riding our motorcycles.  Google satellite searches can help you find the smaller, homey campgrounds.  The sites are there and easy to find.

RV Myth #12:  I can start a new life RVing.

You can.  But also, be aware that getting into an RV does not confirm you will start that daily walking plan you have been thinking about or yoga every afternoon.  It doesn’t mean you will eat out less or start any new routine.  You will fall into the same activities and routines you did in your brick-and-mortar.  If it is not a habit you have been able to create RVing, it is unlikely you might create it in RVing.  But it is an opportunity to do new things.  If you do want to start a new habit, start one at a time and when you have been doing it for a month, start a new one.  It is a good time to integrate new practices when you are starting a new life, but you must do it on purpose and with thoughtful planning.

All the pre-planning doesn’t prepare you for the change’s life throws at you either.  In a brick-and-mortar home, you need to adapt to changes.  In your RV travels or weekend getaways, you need to adapt to changes.  Disregard the myths and live in the reality of what RVing can be for you.  It is how you handle the RV experiences that define fact versus myth. RVing can and should be a positive experience whether you become a full-timer, do it seasonally or are a weekend warrior.

About Lucinda Belden

Lucinda Belden is a travel writer who has been full-time RVing for several years in a 44-foot fifth wheel toy hauler with her husband Will and their dog Cozy. Lucinda writes on all kinds of travel from cruises to motorcycling to RVing as well as travel books available on Amazon. She is also the Program Director for MyRVRadio, the first online radio station for RVers. You can follow her adventures at www.fb.com/DirectionWideOpen.