“The RV life sounds like a dream but is it really possible?” That is the question I get asked the most. I used to answer that question by assuring the person that, yes, it’s absolutely possible. I would give examples of folks that were doing it. I’d recommend books and blogs written by folks who were successfully living the RV life. I would talk until their eyes started to glaze over and I saw drool.
I’d still keep talking. Without missing a beat I’d whip out my trusty roll of duct tape, tape their eyes open and gently wipe the drool away. Not until I saw they had lapsed into a “merciful unconsciousness”, as one victim described it, would I stop talking.
The last thing they would hear as they were “embracing the black” was my voice saying, "Hey, I see you’re really tired. Let’s get together and talk some more about it down the road." And then, in a selfless act of compassion, I’d let them sleep. I’d give them peace.
I now realize when people ask if it’s really possible to live the RV life, what they are actually asking is “how will I make a living”?
Now I answer with a question, “If you won the Lotto, would it be possible?” The answer is always yes. I point out that for most people it’s simply a money issue. I tell them making a living on the road usually boils down to work camping, owning a small business or both.
Work camping jobs, as a rule, do not pay well. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, work camping is great for people who have another source of income like a pension or income from rental property and are looking to earn a little more money and reduce living expenses. People with little debt and small expenses can make it work as well. If you are young and have no major financial or family commitments, you could probably hit the road today and support yourself with typical work camping jobs.
It’s possible to have a good paying job and be an RV full-timer. But that usually means you are tied to that geographical location. You’re not free to take off for more than a weekend or so at a time.
If you’re between the ages of 30 and 60 chances are you have a crap load of commitments. Work camping may not provide the income you need. Typical work camping jobs pay between $7 and $10 per hour and often include a free full-hookup RV camping spot. Keep in mind many work camping jobs are part-time.
For many wannabe RV beachbums the best option is to develop a step by step plan to make the transition to the RV lifestyle. It may be a six month plan or a ten year plan. It just depends on your circumstances. Your plan will include the steps you’re going to take to create the income you will need.
These days many people are starting a small business. It is now possible to start and build a business from behind a lap top. I’ve heard of folks running profitable businesses with nothing more than an iPad. The idea is to find a business that is a good fit with your current lifestyle. You want a business you can build after work and on weekends. The business should be RV friendly so you can take it with you when you’re ready to hit the road.
You’re looking for a business that:
· Is dirt cheap to start and run
· Flexible so you can work around your current schedule
· Simple and easy to build
· Has a large income potential so it’s worth doing
“At the end of the day, if you want to be free to live the RV lifestyle, your best bet is to own a small business.” When I say this to people I often get one or more of the following reasons why they can’t start a small business:
· I don’t know anything about running a business
· I don’t know what kind of business to start. I’m not good at anything.
· I don’t have the money to start a business
· I don’t have the time. I’m too busy.
· I’m too old. My 17 cats would not like the RV life.
· I’m too lazy. If I were any lazier my heart would stop.
· I’m an alien and my mission on this planet is almost completed.
· I’m not confident enough. I don’t have that kind of personality.
· I’m just here to take my comrade home. His mission on this planet is completed.
I have learned that not everyone wants to own a small business. And some people are simply not cut out to be business owners. However, if you truly want to own a small business and one or more of the reasons listed above is holding you back, my advice to you is to start with a “training wheels” business.
There are businesses that are so simple and cheap to start and build that just about any 12 year old could do it. These are great starter businesses. Businesses perfect for newbies. I call them training wheel businesses because there is very little risk and therefore a great way to dip your toe into the business owner pool.
There are many MLM businesses I’d consider training wheel businesses. Starting a simple blog or website to monetize might be a good way to go. My favorite example of a training wheel business is Solavei. It doesn’t get any simpler than Solavei. And yes, if you are social media savvy, you can build a Solavei business from your laptop…while sitting on the beach…drinking a margarita.
Becoming a financially independent RV Full-timer, AKA RV Beachbum, is not impossible. In the end it usually boils down to creating a mobile income that will support your version of the dream. That might require $1000 per month or $10,000 per month. Either way it is possible. The hardest part is getting started. Building a training wheel business may be a lot easier and more fun than you think. The sooner you start the sooner you’ll be free to live the RV life.