Living on the Road: Essentials For A Full-Time RV Family

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To most families, embarking on a family RV trip can be a great way to spend a vacation. However, some decide to take things a step further by becoming a full-time RV family. Switching to this kind of lifestyle comes with certain challenges, but there are so many advantages that make RV life so appealing, especially to digital nomads who are all about freedom and flexibility. Besides, with coronavirus spreading on a global scale and non-essential travel restrictions being imposed, using an RV for camping or traveling with your family seems like one of the safest options at the moment.

As you begin converting your van or packing for your motorhome adventure, here are several must-have essentials to keep in mind to ensure happy and carefree travels.

Regular RV maintenance is a travel imperative

First things first, when it comes to living full-time in a moving vehicle, you’ve got to make sure that there are no mechanical issues that could hinder your RV traveling experience. This is why taking your RV for routine maintenance is a must before embarking on the road. Aside from turning to pros to tackle any repairs and keep your RV in great working condition, you also want to learn as much as you can about the inner workings of an RV. That way, should anything unexpected happen and you get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no access to expert technicians, you’ll be able to fix the issues yourself until you’re able to schedule RV maintenance.

Whether it means tackling a tire blowout, dealing with battery failure, or fixing your RV refrigerator, certain common RV repairs can be dealt with on the spot. But as we all know, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so try to prevent these issues from occurring by checking your tire pressure on a regular basis, checking the fluid levels in the battery, as well as making sure your propane tank is full, since a typical RV refrigerator will require propane to run.

Cooking over a fire for full-time RV families

Every Full-time RV Family Needs a well Stocked Kitchen

Stopping at a fast food restaurant is a super convenient option when you’re living on the road full-time. However, now might be the right time to introduce healthy eating habits and learn how to cook more nutritious, wholesome meals. When it comes to food preparation in an RV, there are some essentials you’ll need in your galley. These include:

  • Cups and mugs
  • Dishes and bowls
  • Utensils and can/bottle openers
  • Pots and pans
  • Water filters (if there’s no inline water filter)
  • Zipper bags and containers for freezing food
  • Dry food storage containers

While you will have to go grocery shopping for fresh ingredients, it’s also a good idea to bring some non-perishable food with you. And if you can’t imagine going about your day without having your cup of Joe, you might want to invest in a quality coffee maker for your RV as well.

RV Life at the beach

Comfortable clothing and living essentials must-haves

Adapting to life in an RV is easier when you don’t miss all the comforts of home. Make your RV more comfortable by bringing a couple of sets of bedding (these include pillows, covers, sheets, and blankets) to keep yourself and your family warm and cozy during colder nights. Rugs on the floor will make your space feel cozier and warmer, while hammocks and folding chairs will make for comfortable seating when you’re spending time outside.

When it comes to clothing, what you bring will depend on the location, the weather conditions in the area, and the duration of the trip. The clothing you choose to pack should be comfortable while also providing protection against different elements, and it also has to fit into your RV closet. Finally, try not to overpack but don’t underpack either.

Don’t forget to pack your toiletries:

  • Soap bars, shampoo and body wash
  • Toothbrushes and paste
  • Lotions and deodorants
  • Razors
  • Towels
  • Toilet paper

With a family to look out for, you want to keep things on the safe side by bringing a first aid kit which will include:

  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Bandages, alcohol wipes and cold packs
  • Sting pads
  • Burn spray
  • Sterile pads, etc.
A full-time RV family enjoys a starry night

Electronics that make life on the road easier

Whether it’s navigating the unfamiliar roads, keeping your RV safe and secure, or just providing entertainment for your family, there’s a lot of things that are made easier with the use of electronics. Safety comes first, so you want to equip your motorhome with a quality vehicle observation system. For off-grid adventurers, an electronic cooler and a portable power station present two essential RV add-ons while an all-in-one entertainment system is sure to keep the whole family entertained. For instance, reputable brands such as Furrion offer a variety of useful gadgets, electronics, and appliances essential for a full-time RV family. By incorporating the latest technology into their RVs, families can secure their homes on wheels and make their life on the road easier and more comfortable.

Some other gadgets that may come in handy while on the road are:

  • Phones, laptops and tablets (with chargers and adapters)
  • Cameras
  • Speakers
  • RV GPS
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Portable generators

Practical add-ons that will help your RV stay tidy and organized

Life on the road can easily become hectic as it can be very different from life at home that you’re used to. However, with a couple of road tricks up your sleeve, keeping your RV tidy and organized shouldn’t be such a hassle.

Here are a couple of practical RV add-ons and tips to help you out:

  • Store flashlights using broom holders
  • Add hooks to your shelves
  • Install over-the-door baskets
  • Hang small kitchen utensils using suction cups
  • Make use of shelf systems
  • Put command hooks inside cabinets
  • Get nesting bowls
  • Improvise nightstands with bedside caddies
  • Keep remotes and cellphones in place with velcro


Becoming a full-time RV family may sound like a daunting transition to most people, but there are families who’ve been there before and proved that an RV life can be quite fulfilling, even when you’re traveling with little ones.

Take the time to learn everything there is to know about traveling safely and comfortably and equip your RV with necessary accessories and gadgets, and you’ll be well on your way of ensuring an unforgettable experience and lots of exciting memories you and your family will cherish for years to come.

Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on well-being, travel hacks, and sustainable living. She also likes to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator blog. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.

Living on the Road: Essentials For A Full-Time RV Family

22 thoughts on “Living on the Road: Essentials For A Full-Time RV Family”

  1. Having actually lived in an RV full time for three years myself, I can assure you it’s not likely you need to remind anyone to bring their toothbrush. It’s not like you’re packing for a vacation – you’re moving into a new house.

  2. I could definitely live in an RV for a long time as we have a small family. This is one of my dreams.

  3. RVs are a great option for people who love to travel with their pets. One of my friends is hoping to transition to living in an RV full time when she retires. I’ll share this with her.

  4. What a wonderful way to travel and adventure. RVing is not my thing, but I certainly can understand the appeal. These are great tips for those considering RV adventures.

  5. Full time RV life sounds so amazing to me. I don’t think I could actually do it though. Maybe when I retire and the kids are grown and moved out.

  6. I have considered living in an RV and exploring the world while we are in a pandemic. So far my family is not on board! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  7. You won’t regret it. My friend had an RV when she was younger and they went every summer all over the United States. Her dad recently passed (in his 80’s) and all she did was reminisce about their RV travels. She had SO MANY wonderful memories. I’m sure it is not always easy but you are creating beautiful memories for your children.

  8. There are times that I want to drop everything and go on an RV adventure. This would be amazing to do especially in the summer.

  9. This advice comes in very handy as I ma exploring teh possibility of becoming an RV full time resident. Great tips!

  10. We aren’t a full time RV family, but we camp every weekend we can. We would have some of the same things on our list! We are in a teardrop and that makes organizing so important.

  11. I can imagine it is amazing to live in an RV at times, getting to go wherever you want, see so many things. I can definitely see the appeal and love this run down on essentials for those who go for it.

  12. Living in an RV is a dream of mine and these tips are so important. Aside from the needs for any family vacation like food and toiletries keeping the motor and workings tuned up is paramount.

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