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Why RVing May Not Be the Best Way for You to Travel

Updated on April 3, 2017
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who has traveled, lived, workcamped and volunteered nationwide for more than 50 years and am still going strong!

For many people, taking RV road trips is a great way to vacation. However, it is not for everyone.

You've already heard the hype that has you picturing yourself living your dream, but before you rush out to purchase a motor home, camper or trailer, it's important that you learn about the negatives of recreational vehicle travel as well.

Although this form of travel can be exhilarating, you need to understand that it is also fraught with discomforts and problems, so that you can make an informed buying decision.

Knowing what you are buying into before you become involved is just good common sense!

Below you will find some of the most common issues that people wish they had known about before they bought their coaches. If any of these things turn you off, don't buy!

RV travel is fun, but it also has some caveats.
RV travel is fun, but it also has some caveats. | Source

Tank Care

Caring for your black, fresh and gray water tanks is an important task that you cannot ignore because doing so can create big and expensive problems for you.

At the end of this article, you will find links that will lead you to information that will help you to care for your tanks.

The most distasteful job for most people is sewer tank dumping and cleaning because it must be done every day or two while you are traveling, and can be a smelly and messy job.

Most RVers hate the job of dumping and cleaning their sewer tanks.
Most RVers hate the job of dumping and cleaning their sewer tanks. | Source


The US is a beautiful country, but the truth is that driving across it can be very stressful both physically and mentally.

  • The monotony of driving mile after mile across virtually empty terrain gets to people after while.
  • Sitting for long periods of time in a vehicle that is constantly vibrating is hard on the neck and back.
  • Maneuvering a heavy vehicle across highways in bad weather and through construction areas and heavy traffic is not fun. It can also be dangerous.
  • Most people do not have the ability to drive travel units, let alone back them into camping spots or maneuver in gas stations.
  • Even when drivers are skilled, they still have to beware of others on the road who are not.

Accidents can happen quickly, even on a clear, dry day with traffic moving along at a normal pace. Therefore drivers must always be alert, a fact which also adds stress.

Loading and Unloading

The job of loading or unloading a coach is both tiring and labor intensive.

Lugging everything you want to take with you on your vacation from the house to the recreational vehicle is time consuming, and you always worry that you might forget something.

  • The bad news is that when you return to your house, you have to carry everything back inside!
  • Worse yet is the fact that the older you get, the more difficult this chore becomes.

Driving a recreational vehicle can be very stressful.
Driving a recreational vehicle can be very stressful. | Source

Setting Up and Breaking Down Campsites

Every time you enter a campsite, you have to park and level your coach and then connect it to utilities.

This requires lugging heavy, awkward (and sometimes dirty and smelly) hoses and wires out from the areas beneath your coach and connecting them to electric, water and sewer, and then reversing the process whenever you get ready to move on.

  • There's a lot of bending and lifting,
  • hookups may not work well or at all, and
  • you often find yourself doing this job in overly hot, freezing cold or wet weather conditions.

Worse yet is that you have to reverse the process when departing.

Once in awhile you may have to move from one site to another within the same facility. When this happens, you get to do these chores again even though you're still in the same campground!

RV travel is fun, but it also has many caveats.

Maintaining, Repairing and Cleaning

There is also a great deal of work involved in keeping coaches clean and in good working condition. Travelers must

  • check oil levels and pressures in engines and generators,
  • seek out and fix leaks of various types,
  • constantly dust, wipe vacuum and wash interior walls, upholstery, window treatments and even ceilings due to the dirty nature of recreational vehicle travel and
  • wash and/or wipe units regularly to eliminate road grime build up and get rid of the residue from dead bugs.

Although recreational vehicles are much smaller than houses, maintaining them during vacations still takes time and the work involved can be difficult and tiring.

At home people can hire this work out, but while on the road, it is up to RV owners to take care of it.

Mechanical Problems

It is fairly common for motor homes, travel trailers and campers to have mechanical problems, especially when they are being driven.

  • Sometimes people get lucky and breakdowns happen where repair facilities are available.
  • Other times, they happen where help is not readily available.

No matter the location, a mechanical failure is never fun, can waste a great deal of travel time and can be very expensive to fix.

This type of problem is frustrating, but it is one for which people need to prepare themselves.


Aside from facing road dangers, stress and a plethora of chores, there are also numerous types of discomforts and sacrifices to consider.

For example, when you are away from home

  • You may have trouble sleeping,
  • parks may be run down, rather than being the luxury camping spots you had envisioned,
  • facilities may be located in unsafe areas,
  • unexpectedly high prices may stop you from enjoying certain attractions and venues or
  • water in certain spots may not be safe to drink and/or may harm your health.

You Have to Accept the Bad to Be Able to Enjoy the Good!

Clearly, there are many problems and discomforts that RV owners must deal with when they are on the road.

Some people are willing to put up with them, while others are not.

If, after reading this article, you feel that you fall into the second group, then RVing may not, in fact, be the best form of travel for you.

At least you found out before investing your money time and effort into buying a recreational vehicle!

Before reading this article, were you fully aware of the negative side of traveling in an RV?

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Helpful Articles

If you want specific information about how to care for your tanks, here are some links you can refer to:



Submit a Comment

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    TIMETRAVELER2 5 weeks ago

    Mary Wickison: There is no question that there are many great things about traveling in an RV, but I do feel that people who buy them should be made aware of what it takes to be able to use this mode of transportation. It definitely is not all fun !! Nice to see you again and thanks for stopping by.

  • Blond Logic profile image

    Mary Wickison 5 weeks ago from Brazil

    We briefly had an RV and drove coast to coast with 2 small children. For me, it was a fantastic trip but thankfully we had no mechanical failures.

    You've listed many potential problems and I am sure these are things most people don't consider before purchasing.

    It's good to get a slice of the reality of RVing.

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