RV living has gained mass appeal in recent years. Remote work coupled with an interest in more local, self-contained travel, has more RVs on the road than ever.
So if you’re thinking of joining the modern-day nomads living the RV life, maybe consider these annoying aspects before you dive in head first.
Are You Thinking About RV Living?
It’s not all open roads and new cities. Some days it’s traffic jams and Walmart parking lots.
We’ve rounded up the 10 most annoying things about RV living from some full-time RVers who have been living this way for years.
If you’re thinking about RV living, we always recommend giving it a test drive. Rent an RV on a platform like Outdoorsy or borrow one from a friend, just give it a try before you commit.
It will give you a chance to consider these hindrances that many RVers find annoying, and decide if they’re deal breakers for you.
We’ve put these in order from most to least annoying, in our opinion, after three years on the road in our Class A motorhome.
We recognize that what annoys us may not be what annoys someone else, but we hope this list helps you prepare for RV life!
1. Internet Connectivity
Starlink has recently made this challenge much less annoying with the introduction of their Starlink for RVs.
But Starlink may not be a viable solution for everyone, and without it, internet connectivity can be a daily or weekly challenge to face.
Especially for digital nomads, and anyone creating income from the road, connectivity is important. When you find that perfect campsite, get camp all set up, and THEN realize you have no cell signal?
There’s really nothing worse.
Or when you’re looking at places to camp online when planning your route, and you find this beautiful valley you can’t wait to explore, but every campsite you click on in Campendium says “no cell signal.”
It starts to feel like internet connectivity is really cramping your style.
These days, the vast majority of full-time RVers choose to have multiple ways to connect to the internet. Sometimes that means having data plans with two different cellular carriers.
More commonly in recent months, it might mean having Starlink service and a cellular plan as a backup.
Whichever route you choose to go, just be aware that internet connectivity can be a hassle in some locations.
2. Planning Ahead & Booking Campsites
With more RVs on the road, it feels like there’s less inventory of available places to park. Whether you’re boondocking on public land or reserving a space at an RV resort, there’s just less availability.
With this reality comes a need to book further in advance.
So gone are the days of just randomly pulling off the highway and finding an RV park to spend the night. If you don’t have an advance reservation, chances are there’s no room for you, especially during the summer season.
This is especially annoying to veteran RVers who remember “the good ol’ days” when RV parks were always happy to have you, there was always a space available, and they were even throwing discounts at you.
Now, sometimes it feels like the RV parks don’t even want or need your business. They make all these rules and tack on fees and some even have non-refundable reservations.
The planning process can be maddening if you’re trying to line up availability at one spot with availability at another spot, and often you end up “homeless” for a night or two in-between.
Feeling like you have nowhere to go can be a rough part of RV living.
Even the best-laid plans don’t work out some days and you end up wishing there’d be a friendly Walmart parking lot nearby.
3. Subpar Showers
This may not be on every RVers top 10 most annoying list. But whether you’re hooked up at an RV park, or boondocking off-grid, RV showers will never have the water pressure you’ve grown accustomed to in a stick-built home.
RV showers stink. Mostly the water pressure stinks.
RVs are often constructed with flexible pipes that can only handle a certain amount of pressure being pushed through them.
So it’s actually good protection for your RV to use a water pressure regulator, even though it might steal some enjoyment from your showers.
If you’re boondocking or camping without a sewer connection, you’ll have to conserve water. So perhaps the low flow is an advantage.
But your showers are going to be even more of a trickle than on campground hook-ups. For us, this has made us super water-wise and we love that.
Every once in a while though, a long, hot shower with strong water pressure is pretty amazing. It’s important to appreciate the simple things!
4. Wacky Weather
When you live in an RV, you count on being able to live at least half of your life outside. Outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen, outdoor workout space, and more.
But when the weather rolls in, it can be pretty annoying to be stuck inside.
We’ve lived through days of rain, crazy dust storms, super high winds, and even some severe smoke from wildfires.
All of these elements are potentially damaging to the RV which causes a base layer of stress (especially those slide toppers in high wind).
It’s the most annoying though when any of these weather conditions persist for multiple days on end.
It’s hard to be stuck inside when you planned to be out exploring and adventuring, but you can always move to find more favorable weather since you do have wheels.
We use the WindAlert app to check conditions and recommend it, especially if your RV or plans would be affected by high winds.
5. Minding the Mail
This doesn’t really matter until it matters. You’re not missing all that junk mail anyway, right?
Well, when something important and time-sensitive is being delivered (like your passport or your vehicle registration), receiving mail can become quite stressful.
Mail on the road is always a bit slower than normal because it usually has to go to your “permanent location” first and then be re-routed to you.
And some campgrounds will accept UPS and FedEx packages, but will not allow you to receive USPS mail.
When you’re ordering on Amazon, how are you supposed to know if it’s going to be UPS or USPS? These are things you don’t have to worry about in a stationary life but can dominate your thoughts on the road.
While figuring out how to receive mail can be an annoyance, there are some great mail forwarding services for nomads that make it easier.
We’ve been very pleased with St Brendan’s Isle for the past seven years, and they even helped us navigate establishing our domicile in Florida.
Escapees is another service that comes highly recommended by many RVers that you might want to consider.
6. Packing and Unpacking
The perpetual slog of packing and unpacking can wear on any RVer over time. We combat this by extending our stays to at least two weeks.
The fewer times you have to completely pack and unpack your home in any given month will certainly reduce how annoying this task becomes.
An RV without slide-outs will always be faster and easier to pack up for move days. Well, we have 4 slides, so we’re losing that game.
Where we have found efficiency is in the way we keep our cabinets for daily living so that they don’t have to be repacked or secured for travel.
We’ve also cut back on our patio setup considerably over the years to simplify things on move day.
7. Life is a Moving Target (And Sometimes Lonely)
Even if you have dozens of friends who are also living on the road, it can be hard to plan for your schedules to match up and your RVs to cross paths.
There have been so many times we’ve seen someone post on Instagram about being in a place we’re heading to, and by the time we reach out and say “hey! we’ll be there tomorrow, let’s meet up?” they say, “oh shoot, we just left yesterday!”
When it’s two moving targets, it can definitely be a challenge to line them up.
Because of this, life on the road can sometimes be lonely. You can miss your friends back home, or wish you were together traveling with your road friends.
But that’s what RV rallies are for. We highly recommend Escapees/ Xscapers events as a good opportunity to connect with your friends and make new ones too.
8. Getting Lost, Feeling Like a Tourist
It can become exhausting and annoying to always be somewhere new, to always need directions, and to have to use GPS or you’ll get lost.
You never know where to eat or to get the best coffee. You always feel like a tourist.
This is one of the things we love about life on the road because it’s exciting to visit new places and frequently have a new view.
But sometimes when all you want in life is to buy some RV toilet paper, it’s annoying to spend 30 minutes googling and calling ahead to make sure a store has it.
9. Laundry Day
We kind of love laundromats. They’re so efficient. You can do a whole month’s worth of laundry in one hour.
But many RVers complain about doing laundry on the road, and specifically about the quality of most laundromats.
We do worry about our clothes getting snagged in an old dryer, or stained from something left behind in the washing machine (and we’ve had both happen).
But we’re spoiled and have a washer/dryer combo in our motorhome, so we get to do a lot of laundry at home, and just go to laundromats for bulky items about once a month.
It can also be a bit of an annoyance to need quarters all the time. Or to have to find a laundromat near your campground and drive there to do laundry.
But if you’re going to stay at RV parks, many have on-site laundry facilities with fair prices. Having services on-site can make laundry day less overwhelming.
Even with that, you’re still probably walking halfway across the RV park with your laundry basket…so prepare yourself. And get something with wheels (collapsible wagon or wheeled cart) to save your back!
10. Space Constraints
In RV life we know everything needs to have its place. We buy dozens of organizing solutions at the Container Store. And yet, something is always missing.
Losing things in only 350 square feet of living space will drive you crazy.
Often things are stacked or shoved to the back of a cabinet. Every square inch of useable space is generally used.
So when it comes time to find something, you can’t remember the brilliant plan you had about storing the dog’s new leash inside a ski boot, behind a big stack of books (real-life example).
Needless to say, organization is key. But it won’t help much if you don’t consistently put things where they belong.
What else would annoy you about living in a tiny home on wheels?
None of these annoyances are big enough to change how we feel about RV living. We think it’s the best possible life. You have to decide for yourself though.
Would RV living suit you, or annoy you?
When we bang our head on the cabinet door (again) we usually just laugh about it. When you choose the RV lifestyle, the rewards typically keep you high enough to laugh through the lows.
More RV Living
We’ve tried to make sure TREKKN is a fantastic resource for those of you who are curious about RV living as a potential way of life.
Here are a few more articles you might enjoy:
- How We Went From a House to Full-Time RV Living in 100 Days
- Our 5 Biggest Fears that Almost Kept Us From Full-Time RVing
- Is Full-Time RV Living Right for YOU?
- How Much Does RV Living Cost? For Us, A lot
- Dollars and Dreams: One Couple’s Full-Time RV Expenses
Kristen Bates lives & works from her RV, primarily boondocking off-grid. She owns and operates a women-led travel company, Legit Trips. Kristen loves to explore new places and inspire others to do the same. If she’s not typing away on her laptop, she’s off on an adventure- hiking, biking, or SUP boarding. You can follow her RV adventures @PerpetualMoves and learn more about her travel company at LegitTrips.com.