So you’re thinking about RVing, hitting the open road, getting into nature, escaping the grind… but you’re not sure if you’re ready, or you’re made of the right stuff. Well have no fear, I’ve compiled a list of tell-tale signs you’re going to fail as an RVer. Wrack up more than 6 and maybe you should rethink this whole RVing thing.

You care about what others think

Do you spend a lot of time on the phone with your bestie trying to decide when to ask your boss for a raise? Does just the thought of explaining #vanlife to your mom make you sick? Well, then maybe RVing isn’t right for you.

liz wilcox rving is awesome
That face you make when your giveadamn is busted.

You think pulling the tanks is an event at the Strongman Competition.

Pulling the tanks, or the literal pulling of a lever to release the poo and dirty dish water to the great sewage beyond, is an all-too-real fact of RV life. The only strong muscle you need to get this dirty job done? The iron stomach.

You really don’t know why all campgrounds have to be surrounded by some type of nature.

Um, because you’re camping, no?

Sure, glamping looks AMAZING on Pinterest, but you can’t park your renovated ’65 canned ham in a swanky luxury apartment. Unless you want to keep it in your backyard as a conversation piece, it’s gonna get a little dirty. Even the beach has sand and seagull droppings, ya feel me?

rving in nature
Nature. Dirty, muddy, beautiful nature.

You like to blow dry your hair while watching TV over a Skype call with your sister as your husband microwaves his dinner and your kid charges all 5 of his devices on the 5-way T socket.

No. Just no.

You refuse to book a park in advance. Not accommodating a new guest is just bad business.

I’ve known several new campers to have this attitude. You wanna know where they ended up? That’s right. Walmart parking lot next to the truckers keeping their engines warm.

You are about as relaxed as Uncle Jimmy without his gin and tonic on Thanksgiving.

RVing takes a lot of flexibility and the ability to just “go with the flow.” If you’re wound up like Uncle Jimmy, you’re gonna end up a jive turkey.

You sympathize with the guests from that show Hoarders.

One of the most liberating parts of RVing is shedding all that excess weight of “stuff.” Declutter your space and suddenly your mind follows suit. (That means let go of that Winnie the Pooh collection. Yes, even the collectible plates now worth dozens of dollars! Dozens!)

You’ve never been out of the country, or state, or county except that one time.

Alright, I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but RVing usually means you move around (and that’s coming from the stationary RVer over here.) If you’ve never been one for traveling, why start now?

You really just don’t get that whole “patience is a virtue” thing.

RVs break. Weather deters you from your route. Your partner gets sick. You CANNOT find a gas station and you need one 10 MILES AGO!

If you are not patient, or willing to hone this skill, you’re gonna have a bad time.

rving can be hard
Man loses patience and has a hard time.

You believe life should be predictable and creativity is for starving artists.

Would people think you had died if you didn’t show up to work on time? Do dreams whittle like daffodils in the desert sun when you enter the room? If you answered yes to these two questions, you might want to cancel your plans to visit the RV dealership this weekend.

You believe marriage is a competition and your spouse should just forfeit the game to you already.

Unless you are single and ready to mingle, chances are your spouse/partner is along for the ride with you.  Getting along with the other person is absolutely essential to success as an RVer. Living in a small space with the love of your life requires a higher level of commitment. You really have to work together. Check out my article here on tips to getting along in a tiny space. 

You suffer greatly from arachnophobia and ask God daily why insects exist.

Spiders and bugs are just a fact of life in the RV. Better arm yourself with some spray and some cajones, bucko.

green lynx
Little spider. Big nope.

The only adventure you crave is the value menu at Taco Bell.

Not saying that’s not an adventure, just saying it might not be enough to leave the house behind and hit the open road.

You cannot stand to be THAT hot/cold.

My husband likes it cold. I like it warm. The RV likes it 2 degrees below Hell in the summer and fancies itself a polar bear sanctuary in the winter. We all sort of just meet in the middle.

Be willing to meet in the middle, spend money on fans, redo the slide’s seals, and get extra heaters/ac units. Just sayin’.

So think you have what it takes?

Let me know why in the comments, then sign up for a free 30 minute chat with yours truly on how to get started on your journey! And if you’re already RVing, share some of your funniest or most outrageous “learning” moments!

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55 thoughts on “Tell-Tale Signs You’re Going to Fail as an RVer

  1. Is that Mr. Liz in the picture, STILL wearing one of THOSE T-shirts? You’d be surprised how much you can get for used military gear…!

    Take care, Liz. Your energy comes through in these posts and I really appreciate it.

  2. I’ve got a few of those, but keep on keepin’ on. I tell people that we LIVE in our “camper”, and we aren’t “camping” all the time. Like they don’t go out in their backyard every night to make s’mores.

  3. Love this post! I would add “Have no sense of humor”. I’ve been fulltiming only 2 months and have found so many opportunities to laugh at myself. The first was when I locked myself out of my RV in my pajamas with my two dogs in Houston in 90° heat. The second was when I ordered do-it-yourself hair color which I thought would be easier on the road, and realized too late they sent me red instead of blonde. Happy Fourth of July to me! ?

  4. Liz!! I feel like we’re friends who haven’t met yet! My hubby retired and now works FT contracting. We bought a new trailer this year spur of the moment after realizing his company would let him use their truck to haul it to wherever he’s working. I quit work to finish writing a book and wrangle our 3 cats and 2 dogs. Spiders? Try a 14 lb cat dropping on your head at 3 a.m. (They like to sleep in the cabinets above the bed.) Or having a large puppy that escapes his leash and dashes around the campground while you pursue in your fuzzy housecoat, able to catch him only because he stopped to take a dump in another camper’s site. (Tons of witty comments from the onlookers. Thanks for the help, guys.) After 2 1/2 months, we’re loving this life and ready to rv FT, but have to sell our acreage first. Know anyone crazy enough to buy a house that’s NOT on wheels?

    1. haha I actually don’t know any one!

      You sound awesome too, and I love the story of how you bought your tt. That is so awesome you can haul it with a company truck. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that, really.

      We have a dog as well, but she is old and super mild mannered, barely chases squirrels anymore. I have had to knock on a few neighbor’s doors though asking for baggies when she goes number 2 more than once in a walking. The joys of pet parenthood!

  5. Liz, I’m hoping to make it back to the 2018 RV Summit in Fredericksburg, TX. My 11 year old daughter, Angelina and I have been full timing in our 39′ Jayco Eagle since 7/24/16 and loving it. We’ve been to 11 states in the last 12 months. The best part about this whole experience for us are all the wonderful people we’ve met. Getting rid of all the clutter in our lives was a real close second. It’s amazing how a bunch of stuff can keep people tied down to a house.

    1. Wow, y’all are moving fast! And yes, I love meeting new people. We are stationary right now but in a campground and I absolutely love meeting all sorts of new people regularly. It is the best part for a friendly soul like mine.

  6. Ahhmazing. We are planning to RV after our kids are older and we get sick of the international life. Per your hoarders comment, I’ll need to get rid of my Beanie Baby collection before then. Even if it is worth dozens of dollars.

      1. Take pictures of your collection. Get a digital photo frame comand tape it to a wall and you will always have them with you, plus the extra money you gained.

  7. Great article! We aren’t RVers, but we have lived/traveled on a sailboat for the past 11 years and these all apply for us too. We get spiders that blow across an anchorage from shore and then parachute down through the hatches. Nothing like waking up when one drops on your face. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures. Cheers.

    1. YAY sailboat life. I always told people I was going to sail off and no one would ever see me again. Then I met my sweet ginger seasick husband. The RV life is a close second!

  8. If you think you can put an entire fish down the sewer rv life is not for you! Happened just this morning where we are. Backed up many of the campsites till the plumbers could fish it out the hard way.

  9. Love it! My son and I are leaving in October to RV it for at least 6 months. I am hopeful I have what it takes. At least I’m not afraid of spiders.

    1. Merry! If you want it, it will happen. Good luck to you and your son and remember! I’m here to talk strategy, nerves, whatever before the big date!

  10. Haha! And let’s not forget kids and RV neighbors! We live in a 26 foot travel trailer with 4 kids

  11. I’ve been full timing for three and a half years now. Exploring the Western US and Alaska, moving with the weather. Before I retired and left I did a lot of research I read all sorts of blogs. Retirement and full timing are major life changes. I assumed I would be afraid lonely depressed Etc but I told myself I had to commit to this lifestyle for one year before I would allow myself to quit. I knew that I enjoyed the outdoors and traveling. I’m healthy, single, adequately funded and I can fix things. Most of the time I camp for free in amazing places. Good luck if you decide to try it. See you down the road.

    1. Hey Bob! Thanks for the reply. I love that you have seen so much of the country for free! Any trade secrets? I also love hearing when people say stuff like “hey, I am just gonna give it a go!” like you did. If you ever make it to the Southeast, you’ve got a spot at my campfire. 🙂

    2. Thanks for the great insight, Bob! I retire at the end of October and am committing to full-time solo RVing as I follow the weather and work my way around the country. So much to see and do in the years ahead!

  12. We have been full timing since my husband’s birthday this last March 5th. It is our dream come true and I enjoy the close quarters and having him in my space everyday. Shedding all our “stuff” has been nothing less than liberating! It may not fit everyone’s ideal and that is okay, each to their own.

    1. To me, it seems crazy that people WOULDN’T like this lifestyle, but you are right, it’s not for everyone. I have never been one to have a lot of stuff, but I still feel like I could downsize. I’m so glad you and your husband are living out your dreams! I hope to keep hearing about your adventures!

  13. You pull into a primitive campground with no hook ups and complain about it to the camp host. Then you run you’re generator 24/7 when surrounded by tent campers. And dump your holding tanks on the road on the way out. Any one of these and you have no business RVing. All 3 added up to a ticket. (True story, I was the camp host and versions of this happened more than once. )

    1. The dumping thing is O-U-T-RAGEOUS! I mean, wow! Talk about inconsiderate and just plain disgusting! I love hearing workamper stories! Keep ’em comin’ Jul!

  14. Great Blog topic! Well done with it too. I’m not very ‘flexible’ but fully expect to work on this.. after what we’re doing to this rig, I better flex up or we’ll “be going through the big D” LOL

    1. Thanks Katie. I’m glad you really enjoyed it. This is probably my favorite one I’ve written…so far. You’ll “flex up.” I have full faith. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  15. I know I’m ready. I’ve already lived in a 1994 Coachmen Catalina c-class for 2 years, while we convert our skoolie. Move in time is approaching fast, and then the fun begins. I can’t wait to leave the dull life behind and get this adventure in gear!!

  16. You have what it takes if you can change an RV tire beside the interstate FAST. When we camped from Fla to Denver we had 3 flats (chinese tires). Beside the interstate. Harrowing. Speeding cars and semis driving very close to us. We got so fast we were like a Nascar pit crew : )

  17. Yes,bugs, everywhere bugs darn things just take over your rv like it is all theirs. I am thinking about charging them rent, with as many as there is in ours we could live for free.

    1. What a great idea. Let me know how it pans out, Heather! I’ve got 2 spiders right now living by my bed. That’s prime real estate, baby!!!

  18. Donna,
    If you tap the share bar you will get arrows at the bottom to make it go away.

    This made me laugh, good stuff!

    1. Yes, or turn the tablet/phone to portrait, so it goes to the bottom and not the side. Thanks for helping out Vince!

    2. Thank you so much!!!! Love that you shared that little tidbit. Makes a lot easier to read your blog.

  19. * You don’t enjoy hearing all types of music all night.

    * The sweet sound of laughing children on the swings makes you nauseous.

    * You respond to friends who call you “Homeless” by saying “My home weighs seven tons and has wheels.”

    * You drive past nice houses on the street, and remark to your spouse that there’s no room for an RV.

    1. Donna, so sorry and yes, that is extremely annoying! Almost not worth reading. Next time, try what Vince mentioned or just turn your screen vertical and it will move itself to the bottom. Again, sorry for the inconvenience and thank you so much for reading anyway!

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