Gear Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV

It might seem odd to include a book as a gear review. But when you are first starting out RVing, you definitely need to find some good resources to answer the questions you have and — perhaps more important — questions you haven’t even thought to ask about yet.

When we started looking at what type of RV to buy, we began listening to podcasts, scouring the Internet and reading every reference we could find about different styles of vehicles. Once we settled on the Class B,  discovered our Roadtrek, and got the itch to consider heading out full time, the research turned more toward details on actually living in an RV. Podcasts, Facebook groups and the Internet in general are very helpful because of the vast breadth of information available. Unfortunately, those resources can also prove a bit overwhelming because there is just so much of it.

That’s when finding a good book to read through at your pace, keep handy for continuing reference and — based on how it’s written — find some inspiration and support, can be very handy.

One of those e-books that is now available through Amazon is A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America, written by Alyssa Padgett.

Alyssa and Heath Padgett

Alyssa is one half of the entrepreneurial RV team known to most of us in this life as “Heath and Alyssa.” You can find out more about their travel, their lifestyle and their experiences at their website. One of the first things they undertook was, as newlyweds, striking off across the country in an RV with the goal of having Heath work an hourly job in each of the 50 states, and filming a documentary about the experience. Hourly America, available on YouTube, is a really interesting glimpse at this undertaking.

They started out on their trek in an RV, but they were not RVers. In fact, they are among that group of people that astound Jessi and I because they seem to have no experience living in an RV or even really camping much before they decide to just make it a way of life. (When we take off, we’ll have a lot of trips and experiences to draw upon for reference before we go.) Having zero experience actually became a great teacher for Alyssa though, and the impetus for her book. There were so many things they didn’t know and had to learn as they went. Now, with this book, you can learn the same things from the comfort of your couch.

Alyssa notes on her book page at Amazon:

“This guide is for anyone exploring the RV lifestyle and looking for RVing books to help make the transition easier. Also, because I want to make sure this book is valuable for you, below you can see a few specific areas of RVing I cover.

A few topics I cover in the guide: 
– How to find great internet on the road
– The costs of full-time RVing
– Whether or not to tow a car behind your RV
– What we do for health insurance while traveling
– The best RVing clubs and memberships
– Our favorite apps for RVers”

I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of the book when Alyssa offered the first version for free to folks as a nice gesture, but also as a brilliant move to get feedback before she published the final copy. I found it interesting and useful to read, but discovered at least one common item not covered, which I mentioned to her. I’m happy to report that topic is now covered in the book, as are others that people suggested.

Hit or Miss?

If you’re new to RVing or just thinking about getting a rig and heading out — even if just for some fun weekend getaways — you’ll find this book quite useful. If you’re considering making RVing more of a full-time lifestyle, this is a great resource for answering some nagging questions on things that might be holding you back. So I’d say it’s a hit.

Alyssa and her husband went out on the road in an RV knowing nothing more than what they could find on Google. Now, thanks to this book, other folks can be a lot more prepared. It’s an inexpensive e-book but the value of learning from someone else’s experiences is priceless. Alyssa does a good job of making the information easy to understand and enjoyable to read about, even in areas that might seem mundane or confusing.

Good luck with your research and your endeavors to start enjoying life from an RV, where the whole nation could be your backyard. Hopefully, with books like this and websites like ours, you’ll find the inspiration to get out there and go see it.

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