With the growth of the internet and the expansion of technology into every aspect of life, the way we live is changing quickly. One of those changes might seem to be the opposite of this but is actually made possible for many people due to the internet – the RV life. But what is it and how do people manage to live without a permanent home?
The growth of the RV life
The term ‘RV life’ is most often used in the US but the idea is one that works around the world – people living in a mobile home such as a recreational vehicle (RV). Sometimes they are known as motor homes, campers and can even be applied to caravans attached to vehicles. Previously, many people owned these vehicles but also owned their own home – however, the big difference with the RV life is that people live exclusively in their RV and don’t have a home.
According to the RV industry association in the US, RV sales reached their highest figures last year since 1977 with more than 9,000,000 households owning one – this is the highest actual number ever. The other difference is that the largest segment of these owners is aged between 35 and 54 so are still of working age.
Working while living the RV life
One of the big questions that people ask when talking to someone who lives the RV life is about how they manage to earn a living. After all, the majority of people go to work every day in a set place and this is impossible to do if you are travelling. The answer is where that modern technology and the internet comes into the equation.
The days of sponsorships being just for football players and actress showing off beauty products has firmly gone. There are many examples of people who have set up sponsorship deals for their RV life and are making a good living simply from living. One example is a young couple who wanted to take a 50 state honeymoon and secured a sponsorship deal from a company who helped them find work in each state.
Another couple were sponsored by a company to travel to all 59 national parks in the US during the course of a year. They did it with no social media following but still secured the deal to make their lifestyle possible because they were passionate about their idea.
And companies need quality content to gain traffic and therefore sales on the internet – it works out cheaper to sponsor a couple to create that content than to pay someone to go to the location, take the footage and come back to write up the content to go with it.
2. Remote freelance work
Another huge area of growth is in the freelance job market, with the majority of these people either working from home or hiring office desks in work-sharing places to use as their base of operation for a period of time. From creating that content mentioned before through to freelance accountants, marketing professionals and even graphic designers, there are countless opportunities to take what you can do and make money from it – even when you aren’t based in one location.
Blogging has become a popular pastime for many people and has also become a business opportunity for lots of them. Combining the RV life with a blog, offering affiliate products to other RV lifers, courses on how to do it and many more avenues can all earn income. While it doesn’t happen overnight, it is something that can be worked towards alongside other types of jobs and eventually can become a full-time income.
4. Speaking at conferences
Surprisingly, some RV lifers have found that they can earn a substantial income from talking about their lifestyle, their experiences and even how they came to be doing it. But more than that, there are companies willing to pay for experiences that relate to what they do, even if it might seem indirect. One example was the honeymoon couple – they were paid to speak at a jobs conference on their experience getting a job in each of the 50 states and what they learned from it.
Why go for the RV life?
That’s a little glimpse of how you can fund this lifestyle but if you have never spent time in an RV, you still may be wondering that most fundamental question – why would you go for the RV life?
The biggest draw is obviously the freedom. Imagine you can live by the beach for a week then spend a month living near a national park. You can be in the interior of a country one week and stay on the south shore the next. The freedom to live where you want is the biggest attraction to living in an RV. And this isn’t just an American concept – people are enjoying what their country has to offer or even wider scale, across a continent.
We all know that we need fresh air and exercise and both of these are easier when living the RV life. There’s the motivation to get out and explore wherever you are at any time and then there’s the practical side of things – you can’t order in when you live in an RV so you have to go and get stuff.
Another slightly fun idea is that you can move around to follow the best of the weather. This is particularly beneficial for older people or anyone with joint problems who finds that colder weather plays havoc with their condition – they can simply move somewhere warmer for the winter.
Living the life
There’s no doubt that living the RV life does take commitment, consideration and preparation as well as a degree of hard work to find jobs or sources of income while you travel. But if you have the ability to do these things, then the RV life will be an amazing experience for you. And you may find that you have no urge to settle back down to a ‘normal’ house again afterwards!