Not Everyone Understands Full-Time RV and Van Life
Are you considering the exciting and adventurous lifestyle of full-time RV or van life but feeling discouraged by unsupportive family members? You’re not alone!
Many budding nomads run into roadblocks when their loved ones can’t understand why they want to embark on this journey. While it may seem like a daunting task, there are ways to navigate through any negative responses from your family and empower yourself to reach for your dreams.
In this blog post, we will explore tips for dealing with unsupportive family members while pursuing the freedom of full-time RV and van life. Get ready to continue forward with your plans with these tips, tricks, and advice!
Surprised by the Response to Your Big News?
One of the unexpected challenges to the RV lifestyle can be the response or reaction of family members and close friends to the news of your new adventure. The truth is that family and RVing full-time or family and van life don’t always go well together.
I am sure you can’t wait to share the news of your exciting planned adventure with loved ones. It can be completely unexpected when you look forward to friends or family being very excited for you, but they have a different response than you anticipated.
Sometimes the responses you will get are ones that come from concern, others are complete shock, and some responses can just be downright negative. We all desire the support of loved ones, and it can be honestly shocking to be met with this kind of resistance to full-time RV or van life.
I want you to know that many full-time RVers and van lifers go through this situation. It can leave you doubting your decision, confused, or just not knowing how to respond.
Many years ago, we faced a similar situation when we chose to sell it all and embark on a journey with our family. Although your loved ones may be surprised by your decision, it’s important not to let their reactions discourage you from pursuing your dreams of an adventurous lifestyle.
Why Aren’t Family Members Supportive of Your Full-Time RV or Van Life Dream?
Before we dive into tips for dealing with this situation, let’s look at why some family members or friends may not be supportive of your new adventure. With this unexpected response, it is a huge help to understand where your loved ones may be coming from.
Your family members love you and want the best for you. When you drop the news of such a large abrupt life change, they may have immediate concerns and questions.
After all, this is a very big change in living that probably took you some time of deep research and consideration before deciding to go for it. Remember that they haven’t had the chance to look into this the way that you have.
In fact, many people don’t even know what this lifestyle is or why someone would want to live this way. Think back to the first time you heard about people living in RVs or vans and traveling full-time.
Did you initially have a ton of questions? I know I sure did the first time we heard of the RV lifestyle. Your family member probably does too!
Safety Worries for Full-Time RV and Van Life
One of the most common concerns regarding the RV lifestyle is safety. Your family and friends want the best for you and also worry about your welfare.
Telling loved ones that you will constantly be located in a different place, or possibly a very rural location, might be a bit much for them to take in. They may worry that they won’t know where you will be or that you could be a target for crime when staying out in the woods.
There have also been a few very isolated incidents in the news over the past couple of years involving RVers that may come to mind. They may not even know if staying in campgrounds is safe. Much of this concern stems from an overall lack of understanding of the lifestyle.
The Stigma of Homelessness or Living Poor
This is a bitter pill to swallow but a true concern that some loved ones have. Whether we recognize it or not, the old image of being homeless and living in a van down by the river is a stigma that some people still hold onto. This is true for RVing but especially one of the big van life challenges.
Your family or friends may envision that you are choosing homelessness or living poor because they don’t understand what this lifestyle actually is.
They Don’t See Your Vision
Many concerns with the RV lifestyle come from not understanding what it is all about. Most people are not familiar with what it is like to live in an RV or why someone would want to do it.
From an early age, society has instilled in us the American Dream, which typically involves owning more and accumulating wealth. However, a lifestyle that prioritizes exploration and travel over materialism goes against this traditional notion of what it means to achieve success.
Financial Concerns of Full-Time RV and Van Life
Another common concern that many have when they learn of the RV lifestyle is that RVs aren’t a good investment. When you share that you are selling the stable financial stake of your home and purchasing an RV that has immediate depreciation, loved ones may be concerned about your finances or even your credit.
Ideas and Solutions To Handle Family Member Concerns
Now that you have a better idea of where concerns are possibly stemming from, let’s discuss some solutions so this lack of support doesn’t interfere with your dream.
Come Up With a Safety Plan
With a little creativity, you can come up with a safety plan that can ease the worries your loved ones have. If the concern is where you will be, consider having a person or two that you always check in with.
Let your check-in person know your plans in advance, and then just update them when you leave one location and arrive safely in another. Having at least one person that knows where you are at all times goes a long way with safety.
Alternatively, there are devices that can report the location of your RV to your safety person without you even having to do it. This is another idea so someone always knows where you are located.
If part of the worry involves staying safe when you are parked, opt for a security camera system. Many RVers and van lifers use Ring or other similar systems on their rigs for a little peace of mind.
Possibly consider skipping overnight free RV parking lot stays. Many RVers choose to lot dock for free on quick overnights en route to the next destination. Safety issues with RVers are rare, but parking lot stays can be a larger concern to family members.
Show Examples of RVs Today
The best way to dispel the stigmas of homelessness and trailer living is to show loved ones what RVs you are looking at living in. Give them some examples to better understand.
RV living today can resemble luxury apartments on wheels or very basic accommodations. There are many options to choose from, but nothing about RV living is the same as homelessness.
Choosing to own less stuff in order to live more is a choice. It’s not usually a necessity for most in the RV lifestyle. Family and friends may be shocked to see how nice RVs are today.
Also, show them videos or pictures of places you plan to stay. They may have a very different image in their mind of what an RV park or campground looks like.
It’s sad that these stigmas still exist. Hopefully, by sharing a little more information about RVs and camping locations, your loved ones will better understand your proposed lifestyle.
Help Them See Your Vision for Full-Time RV or Van Life
Most loved ones go straight to thinking about the living arrangements of an RV or where you will be staying. They may want to know why you want to be a part of the van life.
Help your loved ones by showing them what living in an RV or van will let you do. Give them examples of the places you plan to travel, activities you plan to do, and experiences you will have all because you are full-time RVing or van living.
Find bloggers or YouTubers that share the RV lifestyle and let your family see what it’s like. This will go a long way in helping them see what living in an RV is really like.
Not All Investments Are Financial
Finances are a big concern that family members may have for you. Most people see investments as only financial, and therefore a house is a good investment, but an RV is not.
It’s important to realize that not all investments are financial in nature. For instance, owning an RV or a van can be an investment in creating life experiences, traveling to new places, and spending quality time with loved ones.
Most people don’t lie on their deathbeds and wish they had a bigger house or more money in the bank. Most people, at the end of their time on this earth, wish that they had more time with loved ones and more time to explore or travel.
It may require some effort to persuade your loved ones to understand your perspective. However, when you prioritize living and fulfilling your dreams, it can be the most valuable and meaningful type of investment you make.
Patience and Time
This process may take some time. This isn’t just a huge life change for you but also may be a lot for them to take in. Practice some patience, and they may come around to the idea with time.
It may take seeing what your life on the road is like for them to really understand it. Or maybe even having them come to visit you sometime could be a great way for them to get a real look at the RV lifestyle. Give yourself and your loved ones some grace during this transition period, and see what happens with time.
Hopefully, some of these solutions will result in the support that you desire for your new adventurous lifestyle. No matter what happens, remember this dream was placed in your heart and not theirs. We can’t always expect others to understand our dreams and desires. Who knows, maybe you will do such a great job explaining your why and dispelling concerns that one of your friends or family members will decide to jump into the RV lifestyle too!