I have lived full time in an RV park for about nine months now. I also work part-time at the Park. If you are looking to live full time in your RV here are 5 fundamental things I have learned over the past year.
Depending on where you live, getting into an RV park long term can be a challenge. I know at our park, only about 25% of the spaces are reserved for extended stays. That means that 25% of our spaces are in high demand. We have a military base and housing shortage on our island. We also have a long waitlist to get into one of the extended stay spaces. What I always tell people who want to get into the park is to call back….and keep calling back. We might not have an opening for months, so if you are desperate to get in, keep checking back. People drop off the waitlist or move on all the time. Honestly, it all comes down to timing. Calling every couple of weeks to check your status reminds us that you are still interested. You might also catch us at just the right time, which could move you to the head of the line.
Most RV parks were built before the colossal RVs, Toy Haulers and Land Yachts were a thing. Our park has very limited spaces that can handle such ginormities. If you want to live in an RV park full time, don’t buy the biggest RV. It narrows down the chances we will have space for you, especially in the North. Many parks in the south can easily accommodate snowbirds and their super motorhomes or RVs, but parks in the North cater primarily to the tourist season. While our park is open all year round (because our climate is so temperate) our park has very limited pads for the big rigs.
Keep it Clean.
The quickest way to get yourself kicked out of an RV park is by drawing attention to yourself, and not in a good way. Don’t junk up your space with trash bags waiting to make it to the dumpster, a bazillion lawn chairs, piles of dog waste, and cigarette butts littered around. Keep your space tidy and neat. Keep your RV and parking space clean and tidy too. An RV park is not the same as a trailer park. If the other 75% of the spaces are meant for tourists, an RV park is going to want the “full-timers” to set an example, so follow the park rules.
Be a Good Neighbor.
Again keep your dog crap cleaned up, keep your space tidy and for the love of Pete, keep your drama to yourself. No one wants to hear you arguing with your partner over…anything. Don’t scream at your partner, kids or dog. Don’t slam your doors, play your music or TV too loudly. There a fraction of the privacy in an RV park so be aware of your open window. We can hear you cussing your exboyfriend out. Don’t walk through other people’s spaces. Don’t sit in your underwear with the door open. Don’t take a whiz out of the door late at night when you think no one is looking. (Yes, these things really happen!) Don’t flick your cigarette butts everywhere. Don’t speed into the park with your stereo thumping. Be the best kind of neighbor. Otherwise, you just might be asked to leave. Believe me, you need us more than we need you.
Be Low Maintenance.
Don’t be that person. Don’t be the person that needs help with every little thing. I am not saying that as you adjust to RV life, you can’t ask your neighbors a question or you can’t compare notes, but don’t be high maintenance. Don’t be the full-timer that often asks the neighbors to fill your large propane tank everytime it is empty when you are perfectly capable of filling it yourself. Don’t be the one that nit-picks the landscapers every time they come. Chronic complainers wear out their welcome fast. Since we are not bound by the same laws as a landlord/tenant, we can evict you at any time. The rules are set up to protect the park, not you. So don’t make yourself a target.
Why live in an RV full time?
You can meet some fantastic people who love and live the RV lifestyle full time. I’ve been blessed with RV neighbors (shout out to Larry and Nancy!) who are happy to share their own exciting adventures and experiences. When my neighbors discover something interesting or new, they are delighted to share, whether it is a new RV hack, a local day trip to see the Eagles nesting for the winter or a delicious bakery they’ve found. There is a comradery amongst full-time RVers, and we look out for one another. I love that.
On a personal level, living in an RV park allows me the freedom to be more mobile. It also allows me to minimize my expenses. While living in an RV full time is not cheap, it is less expensive than living in a traditional house. That, in turn, gives me the financial freedom to live debt free, not have to work full-time and take off for the day to go see those Eagles.
Do you live in an RV Park full time? If so, share your experiences in the comments below.