Travel nursing is an amazing gig.
But packing and unpacking only to drive your whole life around can wear you down — you might even miss having that sense of home.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy the perks of being a travel nurse but also feel at home no matter where you take an assignment?
If so, RV living might just be right for you.
RV living as a travel nurse can be a fantastic experience, as long as you know what you are getting into and you are prepared for whatever happens.
Let’s look at the pros and cons to find out if travel nurse RV living is right for you.
Table of Contents
- 4 Travel Nurse RV Living Pros
- 4 Travel Nurse RV Livings Cons
- Travel Nurse RV Tips to Consider
- Trusted Nurse Staffing Helps With all Housing Needs
4 Travel Nurse RV Living Pros
For some travel nurses, living in an RV is a smart move.
Many travel nurses are even able to bring their families along and explore the country together because of their RV.
There are some major benefits to taking home with you wherever you go.
#1: You Can Save Money
If you take the housing stipend as a travel nurse, living in RV parks can save you some money.
Your stipend will likely be higher than your expenses, so even with the cost of gas, you may be able to save money for things like repairs or emergencies.
And since you have your kitchen with you, you can cook your meals to stay on budget.
Your RV will be packed with your most important belongings, and you have more room than just your trunk, so you don’t have to leave things behind.
You probably won’t need to stop at the local supercenter for whatever you forget because you already have it packed in the RV.
Spending less on …
- Living arrangements
- Meals; and
- Other incidentals
… can make living in an RV while travel nursing an excellent money-saving move.
#2: You Don’t Have to Pack and Unpack
One of the downsides of travel nursing is the occasional feeling of living out of a suitcase.
Not having to haul your belongings in and out of temporary residences makes RV living extremely appealing.
Who wants to pack and unpack over and over? That can get old.
And you may want to take more of your belongings with you than will fit in your car.
Living in an RV completely changes that. You have your things in your own space.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about someone coming into your hotel room or short-term rental. Your space is private and your own.
#3: You Can Travel With Family and Pets With Ease
Whether you are a full-time RVer with a family or a solo traveler, having a pet along for the ride can offer companionship and make the road less lonely.
Having a pet can give you a sense of normalcy throughout your travel adventures. Especially if you have a family, bringing your pet along can be a big deal.
A few benefits of RV life if you own a pet include:
- No pet deposits
- No boarding costs
- Company on the road
- Someone to come home to after your shift
You don’t have to choose between your pet and your dream job. Just load them up with you in the RV and hit the road.
#4: You Have More Freedom to Explore
Exploring new cities and having new experiences is one of the most common reasons people choose travel nursing.
The sense of freedom you have living in an RV encourages you to get out and drive on days off or change campgrounds during your stay to explore new areas.
You might even try boondocking to truly immerse yourself in nature.
Getting out and exploring adds to the adventure of travel nursing. You have the opportunity to see the country and experience new things.
Living in an RV can give you the chance to enjoy your temporary location.
You can still enjoy a sense of community if you choose to stay in an RV park, but you also have the freedom to set out and explore the area.
4 Travel Nurse RV Living Cons
Living full-time in an RV isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Nothing is perfect all the time.
It helps to understand the potential pitfalls before jumping into RV life.
There are a few possible negative aspects to RV living that need to be considered:
- You can’t live like a local.
- It may be difficult to find bathrooms and laundry facilities.
- RV ownership may be costly and frustrating.
- You may still need transportation to work.
It can be especially helpful to connect with other travel nurses who have lived in an RV to ask questions and hear their experiences.
Trusted Nurse Staffing can help answer your questions about living arrangements for your next assignment.
#1: You Can’t Live Like a Local
Unfortunately, you probably won’t find adequate RV parking close to work in many areas.
If you enjoy living like a local and embracing the vibe in each new city, RV living may dampen your spirits.
It’s hard to immerse yourself in a new city if you have to leave to drive back to the RV park at the end of your shift.
And walking to restaurants or to have drinks gets harder the further away you have to park.
You may have to choose between living like a local and having your home on wheels.
#2: Finding Bathrooms and Laundry Can Be a Hassle
Not every RV park or campsite provides bathrooms and laundry.
If the RV park you are staying at doesn’t provide these facilities, you may have to go out and find them on your own.
If your RV or camper isn’t equipped with a shower, then you need to find somewhere to wash up, and it may be an added expense.
If you are boondocking, you will also need a plan for offloading waste.
Doing your research is critical to successful RV living.
Without solid planning, you may end up in a tight spot and spending more money than you wanted.
#3: You Inherit the Headaches of RV Ownership
If something goes wrong in your rental or the provided living quarters, you can just call someone to come fix it.
You don’t have that luxury when you own an RV.
And while you don’t have to go through the trouble of finding housing as a travel nurse, you do have to take on the responsibilities of RV ownership.
Buying an RV means you have to worry about:
- Learning to set up your campsite
- Gas prices
- Unexpected costs
- Waste disposal
- And more
Your RV is your home on wheels, so it shouldn’t be surprising that you could face a lot of the same headaches as owning a house.
#4: You May Need Transportation to Work
If you are living out of a full RV and not a camper, you can’t drive it to work — and most campgrounds aren’t going to be close to the city.
You will likely still need a personal vehicle for everyday transportation.
This means you also need to either budget for gas for two vehicles or find alternative transportation.
Some other options for daily transportation include:
- Car rental
- Car services, such as Uber or Lyft
Not every alternative will work in every situation.
Obviously, if you are in a more rural area, a car service could get expensive. And if there aren’t any co-workers nearby, rideshare isn’t feasible.
It may require some trial and error to find the right arrangement for you.
Travel Nurse RV Tips to Consider
Having a heads up before you start can be a lifesaver.
These tips can get your RV adventure started on the right foot.
Rent an RV for the Weekend
Don’t buy the first RV you see. Make sure you enjoy it – you’ll be driving it long distances!
Try renting an RV for a weekend road trip first. This is a great way to give it a trial run without the costly commitment.
Make sure to document your experience so you know what works, what doesn’t, and what solutions you need to find before setting out on a longer assignment.
Taking the RV out for a dry run also lets you get comfortable before making a trip that “counts”.
Get all the kinks out before you buy an RV and head out for your first assignment.
Start with a Smaller, Used RV
You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive motorhome to begin your new RV life.
A smaller RV can be a great starting point for travel nurse RV living.
Buying a used RV may seem intimidating, but some reputable dealers can sell used or on consignment. This option may save you some money.
And with a smaller investment, you can change your mind later without going broke.
Smaller RVs are also easier to drive and shouldn’t cost you as much in gas.
Buying a smaller, used RV can be a smart way to get acquainted with RV living as a beginner.
Research the Area and Prepare Before Traveling
You’re probably going to research the area before applying for an assignment, so just add a few things to your research checklist to fit your RV lifestyle.
Things to check out before heading to a new area:
- Proximity to RV parks and other facilities
- Where to have your mail delivered
- Location of nearest RV repair facility
- Reviews from other full-time RVers
- Gas prices
These things can all change from city to city. Knowing ahead of time can make your journey a lot smoother.
There are apps you can download to help you live your best RV life, like:
Whether you are looking for the closest gas station or cool attractions to visit, there’s an app for that.
Learn From Your Mistakes and Enjoy the Adventure
Taking on a new adventure is a learning experience. It’s unlikely that it will go perfectly the first time.
Maybe you learn RVing isn’t for you, or maybe you learn how to be your own RV mechanic pretty quickly.
Whatever may come, it’s about the adventure. And what is an adventure if you don’t try something new?
Trusted Nurse Staffing Helps With all Housing Needs
Some people are fine with staying in one place and working in the same environment every day.
But other people, like you, long for adventure and rich experiences.
You can follow your passion for nursing and explore the country as a travel nurse. And Trusted Nurse Staffing is there to help you find your next assignment.
Whether you want to roam the countryside in your RV or are looking for help finding housing as a travel nurse, Trusted Nurse Staffing has the expertise and resources to offer you the support you need.
You don’t have to hit the highway alone; let Trusted Nurse Staffing have your back.