After receiving an email from a reader inquiring about our average monthly budget for full-time RVing, I was recently updating the tags in our blog archives and came across this question and answer article I wrote just three months after we hit the road, more than eight years ago.
Ha. 🙂 Apparently we never wrote volume two. So I thought it would be fun—and personally, pretty funny—to revisit some of these questions, with the viewpoint of a slightly more experienced full-time RVer. How have my answers changed?
Or have they…
Are you pleased so far with your decision to sell your home and be a full timer?
My answer to this is more or less the same: Hell yes.
What factors do you take into consideration when traveling to a certain location?
How long do you stay in each place?
This has changed quite a bit, yet in general it still totally depends on various factors. Whenever we have been workamping over the years—especially at Vickers Ranch—we would usually stay put for at least a few months. Ever since we discovered we enjoy boondocking so much, we normally move within ten days at a given location since that is about the maximum we can go before having to dump our tanks. Though if we love the area and the dump station isn’t too far away, we may return to the exact same spot, like how we ended up staying at The Slabs for two months last winter.
If we have a distant destination in mind, we will now usually drive long hauls stopping every night for a few days to get there. Whereas that first year on the road, we tended to take our time. Once we find somewhere we want to be a while, however, we may stay longer. If we’re not boondocking, we may find a deal at a favorite park and stay a month.
This season, however, I see us boondocking much more often now that our new rig is finally fully equipped and self-contained with an awesome RV solar power system and new RVDataSat 840 satellite internet service. Big Bend, here we come!
From what I can see you still work from your RV, do you have additional sources of income?
OK, this is a biggie. My answer has clearly changed, and in a big way. If it hadn’t, we likely wouldn’t still be traveling full-time, and I wouldn’t be writing this. Take this quote from my original answer for instance:
“We budgeted carefully for a year on the road, and hope to stretch that as much as possible. It is really more of a spending plan since it does not factor any income.”
Did I say that? Well that was fun while it lasted. At some point, we learned that the best way to support our nomadic lifestyle was to develop multiple revenue streams. And it’s a good thing we did. I’ll dive in to this a bit deeper after quickly reviewing some more of these questions from the wayback machine…
Have you considered what you would do if eventually you get tired of your new life style.
Back then, it sounded like we had virtually planned on getting tired of this. Well, that didn’t happen. So my answer now is simply, no. Talk to me in another eight years.
Why are you doing this, is a book in the works?
I often ask myself why. And the answer is one word: Freedom. What is your why?
As for that book idea, well, there is this one for starters.
Are you enjoying life on the road without a home?
I have a home dammit. It just has wheels!
Most Popular Question from New Full-timers
OK, about that income bit I promised to dive into…by far, the most popular question we regularly receive now from people researching how to plan for a full-time RVing lifestyle is:
Answer: Work. Work hard. Play hard. Repeat. Then work some more.
Aside: If you are not retired with ample investments or pension plans in place to support your lifestyle, then you must continue making money to enjoy it. The full-timing life is fraught with everyday expenses—and often costly surprises that can break your bank. To enjoy full-time RVing, you must keep a budget, have an emergency fund (and that does not mean an empty credit card), and earn a regular income.
Rene and I are by no means retired. In fact, I think the word is silly and don’t ever see myself retiring in the traditional sense. It just sounds like putting a horse out to pasture, shortly before you have to take it out back and shoot it. But there I go digressing again.
I prefer to consider myself a location independent entrepreneur. And I always see myself doing something I’m passionate about. Do something you love, do it well, and you will make money from it. Yes, it is that simple. It just takes critical thinking, dedication and perseverance. And did I mention work?
Aside from the nitty-gritty logistical details about niche blogging, affiliate marketing, product sales, writing, remote employmet, etc., that we talk about in our e-book; I am happy to share the following more general advice for anyone who want to create their own self supporting location indepentent lifestyle.
Develop Multiple Revenue Streams
Relying solely on one method of income is dangerous, especially when living a life on the road—one with blind curves, steep climbs, and long downhill stretches. Yes, it is good to have a major revenue source (or two), but supplementing that with various different smaller income streams can keep your wheels turning without veering off some cliff.
Create Reliable Residual Income
Without a steady paycheck, you need recurring revenue of some sort. Worrying about campground fees, fuel, or how you’ll cover the cost of those new tires you desperately need is no fun. And it’s much easier to create a budget, and stay on it, when you have some idea about how much money you make on a regular basis. Our business model does just that.
If you have no idea where to begin creating a business of your own. Consider partnering with an established company that specializes in helping people work from home.
Focus on Passive Income
Make money while you drive, while you sleep, while you read this. Simply put, passive income is revenue you earn without customer interaction. This might involve developing some sort of information product like an e-book or online course. Or, it can be as simple as implementing affiliate sales on your blog. You can do it. It takes time and effort up front to enjoy the benefit of passive income down the road.
Enjoy is the key word here. New members of the Facebook Workampers Group often ask, “Can you make a living on workamping alone?” My short answer is no, but then “living” is relative.* Yes, there are many good paying workamping jobs out there. Again, they require work. And you just need to know where to find the best workamping jobs! Or, as we have always done, view workamping as a way to save money on rent, and make a little cash while focusing on your own business endeavors.
*Many Workampers do report being able to support their full-time RVing lifestyle on workamping alone. We simply could not do that since the jobs that pay well enough for us to live the way we do require too many hours that keep us from the work we love.
Any more questions?
Ask in the comments, and hopefully we won’t take another eight years to answer them in Full-timing Q&A vol 3.
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