Going from full-time RVing back to stationary life has been a bit of an interesting transition.
First, if you’re interested in why we stopped full-time RVing, you can read all about it here. But whatever your reasons for transitioning back to stationary life, you don’t find the same community and people to connect with that you find when you’re full-time RVing. While going back to “normal” life isn’t as drastic of a change as hitting the road, it’s always nice to be able to connect with people who have “been there, done that.”
So to share some insights and maybe, just maybe, connect some of us “former full-timers,” here are our tips for transitioning from full-time RVing back to stationary life.
Transitioning from Full-Time RVing Back to Stationary Life
Maybe you love change and transitioning back to your old-normal is no big deal, but there are still things to do and be aware of as you leave life on the road behind.
1. Where are you going to live?
This might be an obvious one depending on your situation, but for us, it was a little tricky. We had 6 months where we weren’t on the road, but also not able to move back into our house. Luckily, we were able to bounce back and forth between my parents’ house and a family beach house. We thought about living at a local RV park, but when you live in a tourist town, that adds pretty quick. And we hadn’t fixed everything we needed to in the RV to make it comfortable for living in again.
My advice here: if you’re not going right back into your house or have something lined up, be ready to be flexible and have a few backup plans ready.
Going Through Your Stuff
If you’re moving back into a house or apartment, be prepared for all the stuff. Before leaving, we got rid of SO much and stored everything else, which I thought wasn’t that much. But as you know, after living in an RV with limited space, you realized what you really need.
So getting everything out of storage and unpacking box after box feels like Christmas one minute and a nightmare the next. Just because you have more space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it. We filled the trash can several times and have taken carloads of stuff to Goodwill. Just like moving into an RV is a good time to purge, so is this transition.
If you stored things, be prepared to shake your head at yourself when you realized you kept baskets that the dogs had chewed up and home decor that you didn’t really like. WHY?! (Don’t worry, it’s gone now!)
RV life forces you to simplify, and it can change your perspective on ‘stuff & clutter’… but it’s also really easy to hold onto things. Just be prepared!
2. Are you excited about what’s next?
This may seem like a weird question, but we weren’t totally sure what was next. Once we decided to be stationary again, I need something to look forward to. On the road, every few weeks we were moving to a new location, and you never get bored.
So besides getting pregnant… surprise! We decided to renovate our house, which we rented out while traveling. While it’s been a lot of work (mostly for Luke), it’s exciting! Mentally, it doesn’t feel like we’re just going back right back to our ‘old-life.’
You definitely don’t need to do full home renovation but find something to be excited about. Leaving full-time RVing behind can be a little sad.
3. How will your work life change?
This one caught me surprise and took some serious adjusting.
I loved working from the road. Sitting at the RV dinette with incredible views and an afternoon of adventures planned, there’s a reason to get work done. Back at home… there’s plenty of time, but way less motivation. The work was the same, but the vibe was kind of blah at first. Sitting at home all day working isn’t that fun. Plus, I loved the job and co-workers I had before we left, and it was a little weird being home and working “by myself” all day.
So, I did what any 20-something would do and joined a few Facebook groups of other ladies who have their own businesses and work from home. Even if it’s just a digital community, it’s nice to connect with people who are in the same stage of life.
If you are in a similar situation, it’s also important to find a new routine AND make the most of your time when you’re not working to hang out with the friends you didn’t get to see while on the road. Which brings me to my next point…
4. Be Prepared to Answer the Same Questions (A Lot)
I love talking to people about full-time RVing. I think anyone who wants to do it should try to make it happen. It’s also a very intriguing topic for people. So just be prepared to answer the same questions a lot. You’ll feel like you’re on repeat but it’s fun to relive the memories.
5. The Practical Things You’ll Need to Do
Besides finding a place to live, there are a few things you should do as you transition back to stationary life…
Stop your mail service.
If you used a mail forwarding service, it’s time to turn it off and stop paying that bill! Remember to also update your address with the Postal Service.
Update Your RV Insurance Policy.
We had the most coverage possible on the RV while traveling because it was our home and our transportation – better safe than sorry! But, while it’s sitting in the yard, that coverage isn’t necessary. Give your insurance carrier a call to see if there’s a cheaper policy that meets your new, stationary needs.
Clean the RV.
If you’re not living in the RV when you get back, it’s really easy to move out and not give it a good deep clean. But, trust me, it needs it. The sooner you do it, the better. Get out all the food; use a real vacuum cleaner; wash the seat and pillow covers. It will be clean. You can close that full-time chapter and be ready for your next weekend trip. (Or if you’re planning on selling the RV, it has to be done anyways).
Redo Your Budget.
Our full-time RV budget looks vastly different from our budget at home. Once your settled and caught up with all your friends, sit down and redo your budget. Giving a little structure to your new normal life will help the transition feel a little easier.
6. Plan a Trip.
We still haven’t planned a trip because of the pregnancy and renovating the house, but you will probably get stir-crazy being in one place too long.
So there you have it… a few tips for transitioning from full-time travel to being stationary. If you’ve gone from traveling full-time to ‘settling down,’ what other tips would you share? Let us know in the comments.