Benefits of Full-time RV Living

There have been some big changes in recent years for those who love to RV. More people of all ages are choosing to live full-time in RV’s. What was once considered a lifestyle for older retired people, who want to travel the country, is now being embraced as an alternative independent lifestyle, even for working people. Many are making the transition from living in a traditional home to living the more laid-back lifestyle associated with permanent RV living. Because of this growing trend of living life in a smaller, more compact, and organized manner, luxurious RV parks are beginning to spring up all over the country. States like Texas with warmer climates are very much in demand. Permanent residents are replacing weekend campers and are taking advantage of this desirable living alternative. There are almost as many reasons for choosing this lifestyle as there are people who feel the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

More Time to Enjoy the Outdoors
Those who make the commitment to full-time RV living have more time to spend doing the things they love the most. Many RV parks are located near lakes with fishing and other water sports available. The outdoor life offers a healthy alternative for those who enjoy outdoor exercise such as walking, hiking, and bicycling. There is a strong sense of community among full-time park residents.

Maintenance-Free Manicured Lawns
RV parks allow residents to enjoy beautiful lawns and yards without having to spend hours maintaining them. This is a welcome benefit for those who may not be physically able to do yard work or prefer to spend their time doing other things. Tending a small flower or vegetable garden is desirable for some.

More Affordable Housing
A mortgage is only part of the expense involved in home ownership. Property taxes, utilities, and repairs are expensive and can be a strain on any budget. RV living costs much less and provides owners with much more flexibility. The average monthly cost of living in an RV park with many amenities is much less than living in a traditional home.

Social Advantages
Living year round in a community-oriented RV park offers many opportunities to interact with people in a social setting. There is a certain comradery among full-time residents as they enjoy the same interests and activities. Friendships can develop easily when neighbors gather in the evenings to share a campfire or plan a neighborhood cookout.

Full-time RVers Live Greener

Most RVers take conservation of our natural resources very seriously. Living full-time in an RV promotes the idea of self-sufficiency and honoring Mother Earth. It is much easier to live a green lifestyle in a smaller space and to be more aware of what it means to be eco-friendly. This alternative lifestyle lends itself to conserving more natural resources, which contributes to leaving a smaller footprint on the environment. It only requires making better choices that are much kinder to the environment as a whole. The choices become a habit when practiced on a daily basis.

Recycling has a Huge Impact on the Environment
Most RV parks make recycling easier for the residents by providing recycling bins at various locations throughout the park. These recycle bins are usually labeled to designate the contents. Paper and cardboard are the most recycled items, but plastic and aluminum cans also have an adverse effect when improperly disposed of. Residents should keep bags inside their RVs and dispose of the contents daily. Reusable recycling bags work well and eliminate more trash that must be properly disposed of as well. Regular recycling of waste that is harmful to the environment soon becomes a habit that is beneficial for everyone.

Reducing Waste is a Good Place to Start
Living in a small space with limited storage makes reducing unwanted waste much easier to accomplish. Many full-timers buy in bulk from “big box” stores and repackage them in containers that fit well in limited storage spaces. When food comes in single-serving packages, it just adds to the total amount of trash. Cooking fresh foods that do not come in cans or bags helps eliminate unnecessary waste that must be thrown away.

Water Conservation Equals Saving Money and Natural Resources
Estimates indicate that the average American home uses approximately 200 gallons of water a day. RV living allows residents to drastically reduce the amount of water usage through careful monitoring and simple water saving tactics. Water does not need to be running the entire time when washing or rinsing dishes. Taking a shower or brushing teeth allows the user to turn the water on and off as needed. It takes practice and determination to save water, but it can become a habit when done regularly. Because the toilet in an RV does not have a tank, it only requires less than a gallon to flush.

Gardening Tips for Full-time RV Living

Living full-time in an RV does not necessarily mean giving up enjoying fresh vegetables or herbs. It may take a little more planning and creativity to grow a garden in a smaller, confined area, but it is well worth the effort. Nothing beats the pleasure of growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The secret to becoming a successful RV gardener depends on selecting the proper location and utilizing the right containers. Many of the plants flourish outdoors, while others may require an indoor environment. It may take time and a little experimentation to master RV gardening, but the benefits of reaping a fresh harvest are immeasurable.

The first step when planning to grow plants in an RV is to find the best containers for each type of plant. Five-gallon buckets or large tubs work well for growing tomatoes or cucumbers. Because they hold moisture well, they do not require watering as often. By placing small rocks in the bottom of the containers, the plant roots retain moisture. Almost any kind of deep container works well for planting sprouted seeds. Wooden boxes work well for veggies such as lettuce, bell peppers, or spinach. Small plastic containers are just right for planting herbs or sprouts. The simple and handy Mason canning jar with a wide mouth provides a fantastic vessel for growing seeds of all kind.

Not all plants require the same type of soil but plant all in a high-quality potting soil. Most nurseries or garden supply stores sell potting soil specifically for growing vegetables or flowers. It is important to place the potting soil in containers that are large enough to allow it to be loose and allow for proper drainage.

Plant Grouping Requirements
Because some plants require more water and sunlight than others do, it is important to group them together according to these requirements. All vegetables and herbs need a good organic fertilizer to flourish. One of the best natural fertilizers for herbs is fish emulsion (DIY recipe here to save some money!).

Space-saving Hanging Gardens
If space is an issue inside or outside an RV, a hanging garden might be the answer. Hanging baskets work well for planting flowers, and they are easy to water. A planting system where the roots are placed up and the plant grows down works very well for some fresh vegetables and fruits. Strawberries grow exceptionally well using this method and take up little space.

Cold Weather Tips
Regardless of the climate, most areas experience some adverse weather conditions from time to time. Protect outdoor plants from extreme cold or heat by placing a cover over them.

Solar Power Systems Provide Green Energy for Full-time RV Living

Many full-time RVers are committed to “living off the grid” as the cultural shift toward green energy expands. Many of those who choose this alternative lifestyle realize the significance of doing their part to conserve natural resources and protect the environment in even the smallest ways. The use of solar energy is designed to help eliminate unnecessary consumption of traditional power sources, which are non-renewable and depleted at an incredible rate. The numerous advantages and benefits derived from using solar energy systems far outweigh the disadvantages.

Benefits of Availability
Solar power systems provide sustainable energy from dawn to dusk without requiring any fuel source. There is very little maintenance involved in this reliable energy source. Because solar panels are continuously charging during the day, this alternative power source is as dependable as an electrical hookup. There is no need ever to use hookups. A larger “full-timer” solar power system is the best choice that provides consistent energy that is adequate for most units. This extensive system allows users to watch LCD TVs, use at least two small laptop computers, use several lights and even use a microwave for reheating or popping popcorn.

Solar System Basics
Power needs differ with individual users. Some are quite frugal and only require about 100 watts of solar power and some batteries to store the collected energy, while others may require much more. It depends on the number of appliances used and whether or not they use an alternative energy source such as propane for some tasks. The 320-watt systems capture a larger amount of power from the sun, store it efficiently, and convert it to enough energy needed to power several gadgets and appliances. The larger wattage model retails for about $2,000, while the smaller units cost less to purchase. The average cost for use is about $200 for every 100 watts used. A generator may be required if high-energy output is required.

Environmental and Economic Advantages
Solar radiation is free for everyone. Once permanently installed in an RV or a home, the power a solar system produces does not have ongoing costs. It is a very reliable utility that allows its users to be more self-reliant and self-sustaining without worrying about contributing to pollution. It is one form of energy that helps to decrease harmful greenhouse emissions. It is sustainable, clean, and renewable. These maintenance-free systems are economical to use. Most find that they recover the initial cost in only a few short months.

The Economic Reality of Full-time RV Living

Personal circumstances and life choices determine whether or not RV living is right for any individual. Many full timers quickly realize that moving out of a traditional home and into an RV full-time does not change their life entirely, as they may have envisioned before making the commitment to move. Financial management, budget adherence, and old spending habits remain the same. The reality is that it is critical for anyone considering making this change gather all available information to make an educated decision. The best way to accomplish this is to research all available options and perform a comprehensive cost comparison before taking the final step to change everything.

Compare Monthly Expenses
Traditional homes have either a mortgage payment or rent every month. This amount does not include utilities or maintenance and repair costs. Sometimes rental properties provide maintenance and cover utility costs, but the rent is usually higher. Homeowners must pay property taxes and insurance on the home and its contents. When making a budget for living in an RV, several things must be considered. Lot or camping fees, repairs and maintenance, utilities, annual vehicle licensing fees, and payments for cars or RV itself. It helps to make a list that includes the cost of each item and make a side-by-side comparison to determine which is the most feasible. If it costs more to stay in a traditional home, then it might be time to consider making a move to RV living seriously.

Discuss Benefits
A big plus for many who decide to take the step to full-time RV living is being able to lower expenses by limiting their possessions. Since RVs come furnished, only minimal personal possessions are needed. By selling or giving away unnecessary items, the new living quarters will be less cluttered and more organized than most homes. Some people decide to store some unneeded items, but many others sell them and pocket some extra money. They find that by getting rid of the excess, organizing becomes much simpler. Insurance costs will be much less with fewer items to insure. Living full-time in an RV in a friendly park offers many amenities that are especially important to retirees or those on a fixed income. This lifestyle offers them the opportunity to live in an established community where they can make new friends and enjoy life to the fullest. Some enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, or fishing in a nearby pond or just relaxing under the awning on a lazy day. It is possible to enjoy all of this and save money at the same time.

Ready For Full-Time Lakeside RV Living? Call Us Today: 936-890-2375

Tips for Better RV Waste Management

Whether sitting still for extended periods of time or traveling down the road, a properly maintained RV holding tank does not have to smell. All types of RVs are equipped with a relatively simple waste management system that is easily maintained. To successfully manage odors and keep the system operating properly, the owner must first understand how the system works. Even though the system itself is simple, it does require routine disposal and cleaning to keep it in top-notch working condition.

Tank Vents
All tank vents should remain open to help in odor control. The holding tank vents should be vented to the RV roof. The plumbing system includes P-traps that must be maintained to avoid waste residue from building up inside them. It is important to keep them clean at all times to prevent waste build-up, which leads to odors.

Holding Tank Treatments
Even if an RV park provides the option of hooking up to a sewer system, most people still make use of holding tanks. This means that they must use holding tank treatments. There are two kinds of treatments that can be employed. The most environmentally friendly treatment is one that enhances the bacterial action in the tank, perfumes the waste, and does not harm the environment. It is best to avoid a treatment that kills the bacteria. Those that kill bacteria usually contain harmful chemicals and only control unpleasant odors. The most efficient and least harmful holding tank treatments are enzyme-based additives.

Toilet Paper Debate
Toilet paper is considered a non-organic solid that some feel should never be put into a toilet in an RV. Even though some toilet paper disintegrates rapidly when placed in water, some of the thicker brands can cause problems with draining and flushing. Unless it is extremely thin, cheap, two-ply tissue, it dissolves too slowly and tends to stick to the sides and bottom of a holding tank. This leads to problems with the tank completely emptying. Many experienced RVers prefer to eliminate this issue by never putting toilet paper in the holding tank. It is wise to designate a wastebasket just for this purpose and keep it close to the toilet at all times. This helps prevent any problems before they start.

Proper Flushing and Cleaning
Draining the holding tanks usually eliminates any residue or leftover waste products, but there may be some stubborn particles that are difficult to remove. Flushing with water helps to dislodge most foreign particles, but it may require an extra step. A simple thing to try is to dump some crushed ice in the tank before taking a drive. It is an excellent way to remove anything that remains after flushing.

Cooking Tips for Full-time RV Living

Living full-time in an RV does have its challenges, but cooking does not have to be one of them. Even with limited storage space and smaller cabinet tops on which to work, cooking can still be an enjoyable experience. The key is eliminating unnecessary appliances, utensils, and gadgets that can take up too much space. Many appliances such as a crockpot and toaster oven are easily stored and can be used for multiple purposes.

Value of Organization
Limited space is a problem, especially in small RV units, but planned organization can make a big difference. Cooking is easier when meals are kept simple, and menus are planned in advance. RV chefs can prepare healthy, nutritious meals that make good use of limited space and appliances. Full-time RVers can enjoy home-cooked meals prepared with minimal effort and ingredients by keeping them as simple as possible.

One-pot Meals
A crock-pot is indispensable in an RV. It enables the cook to prepare a whole meal using only one appliance. It also gives the cook the freedom to leave while the meal is cooking. Pot roasts, soups, stews, and chili are perfect for crock-pot cooking. Almost any dish that can be cooked in the oven can be prepared in a crock-pot. These recipes work very well for taking to community potluck suppers or just for the family.

Dinner salads are easy to prepare and can become a hearty meal. It only takes one bowl to combine pre-washed greens with tomatoes and chunks of cooked chicken or leftover meat in a tasty, healthy salad. These salad require little preparation and minimal cleanup. With no cooking required, the RV unit stays cooler even during the summer months.

Double Duty Foods
Using leftovers in another dish the next day is a good way to reduce time spent in the kitchen. New dishes can be created with leftovers and turned into a different meal with the addition of a few extra ingredients. Utilizing leftovers is a great way to save money and eliminate throwing away good food.

Necessary Kitchen Items
Always have gallon and quart Ziploc bags on hand for storing leftovers in the refrigerator. The easiest way to save on water is by using paper consumables such as paper towels and paper plates. This makes cleanup easy and eliminates the need to use plastic or glass plates that require soap and water to clean. Silverware is required but should be limited to only one set per person. A few serving utensils may be needed.

Full-time RV Living Perfect for Pursuing Hobbies

Living full-time in an RV does not eliminate the pleasure that is derived from pursuing a favorite hobby or two. There are so many creative ways to enjoy the free time that RV living affords. The RV lifestyle offers many opportunities to explore new hobbies and pastimes or embrace familiar ones. Full-time RV hobby enthusiasts are very passionate about pursuing their hobbies and refuse to allow some space limitations to deter them from achieving maximum satisfaction from their hobbies. Hobbies do not have to be limited to the simple, compact ones with limited supplies. A little creativity and organization ensures successful implementation of any creative hobby or intellectual project.

Knitting and Crocheting
This creative hobby is very easily converted from a home setting to an RV environment. The only supplies needed are needles, yarn, or thread. These can be stored in a compact basket or bag that does not require a lot of space. This is a great hobby for a creative person who is interested in selling some unique items at local arts and crafts fairs or online. It is a great way to turn a hobby into a lucrative profit-making business.

Day trips away from the RV can produce many unique photos of wildlife or nature landscapes. Wildflowers produce colorful photos that are suitable for framing. By downloading photos to a laptop computer, the possibilities are endless. Photo paper, ink cartridges, and framing materials take up little space when stored in a compact plastic container.

Learning New Things
Aspiring authors can find several writing courses available online for improving grammar or spelling skills. Many websites on the Internet hire writers to produce short articles for online publication and be paid for writing them. Many people want to learn a foreign language to better understand other cultures or be able to communicate on trips abroad. Interactive software programs for the computer help achieve this goal.

Artistic Endeavors
Painting in watercolors or oils may appeal to talented, creative people who may not have had time in the past to pursue this pleasurable hobby. The space required for the supplies, which include watercolor and oil paints, brushes, art paper, and a palette is minimal. Also, this hobby can produce marketable products. Starving artist shows, flea markets, and local arts and crafts shows provide a profitable outlet for amateur artists. Painting provides hours and hours of pleasurable activity.

Tips for Full-time RV Living with Pets

Pets adapt quickly and easily to full-time RV living because it is no different than living in a house or an apartment. Dogs and cats are important members of some families, and there is no way their owners would leave them behind. It does require some extra thought and planning to ensure that they and their owners enjoy a happy, healthy existence in the limited space of an RV. Most RV parks are pet-friendly, but some may have strict rules governing pets. It is important to learn the park’s policies on pets before establishing a permanent or semi-permanent residence.

Helping Pets Adjust to the RV Environment
Dogs and cats thrive on consistency. It may be a challenge for them to adjust to the surrounding environment outside the RV. Unusual sounds of nearby people or other pets may cause anxiety in any pet. Keeping them close and developing a routine reassures them that this is their new home and that you will be there for them.

Outdoor Exercise
It is important for dogs to be frequently walked. Most parks that allow pets have designated walking areas that are usually fenced. Some even have a “playground-like” atmosphere where dogs and owners can interact. Dogs must be leashed when walking in most RV communities for the safety of other residents and pets. Not only is it considerate for dog owners to pick up their pet’s waste, but it is a requirement. This keeps the area clean and healthy for all residents.

Noise Control
RV parks that allow pets expect dog owners to realize that it is a privilege to own a dog and not a right. Dogs that exhibit bad behavior or are always barking will not be tolerated in RV communities, but well-trained pets are welcome. They provide many hours of enjoyment for their owners as well as love and companionship.

Leaving Pets Alone
Sometimes it may be necessary to leave a pet alone for a few hours at a time, especially if the owner must work. Dog crates work well when the owner has to be away. As long as dogs or cats have food and water available and are in a climate-controlled environment, crating works well. Animals feel more secure in a confined space, and this prevents them from causing damage to furnishings and other things. Most animals adapt well to crates after a few times and a bunch of treats. As long as they are allowed to go outside every few hours, they will do fine.