Home » General » How To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer

How To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer

After receiving hundreds of questions from our readers asking about “Can I live in a travel trailer full time”, “How to live full time in a travel trailer”, and similar questions, we decide to gather some important information, especially for folks trying to live full time in a travel trailer for the first time in their lives and trying to understand what options they have at the time to decide what is the travel trailer or RV type which suits better their new lifestyle. This article approaches an extensive topic related to the popular question:  Can You Live full time in a Travel Trailer Full Time and How To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer. Here are a few tips explaining the first considerations of How to Do It.

How to Choose The Right Travel Trailer To Live Full Time

#1 – Confirm the Number of People to Live in the Travel Trailer

To make a good choice of trailer floor plan when searching and creating a list of the Best Travel Trailers for Full-Time Living that could potentially work for you and/or your family, it is necessary to know in advance how many people will be living in the trailer and the lifestyle they expect to lead.

Here are some tips to consider. What to Look for When Buying a Travel Trailer To Live Full Time:

  • Look for floor plans according to the number of people who will be sleeping. Here you will choose the type of beds, the number of bedrooms, and the location and privacy of the bedrooms you prefer to have. Some of the options on floor plans related to this topic are:
  • Travel trailers with bunk beds (bunkhouse travel trailers)
  • Private bedrooms with bunk beds (bunk room travel trailers). The bunk room location is important. Rear bunk room, mid bunk travel trailers, etc.
  • Lofts con twin beds
  • 1 or 2 master bedrooms, with a queen, king-size beds, etc.

The most popular travel trailers for a single person to live in can be under 20 feet (less than 6 meters long). Although if the budget allows it, there is no reason not to go for something more comfortable.

However, a family with children should prioritize space, number of bathrooms, places to store belongings as well as spaces where each member of the family will carry out activities.  In general, travel trailers larger than 25 feet are recommended for families of 4 to 6 people.

Families with children prefer bunk rooms with doors and entertainment centers inside, rather than bunkhouses, when it comes to full-time living in a travel trailer. On the other hand, the master bedroom can be preferentially located opposite the children’s bedroom to enhance privacy and achieve separate, dedicated environments and areas throughout the travel trailer.

Floor plans with slide-outs are a great option to consider when you want to increase the internal area of the travel trailer to live full time. Especially if you choose easy-to-maneuver travel trailers under 25 feet or prefer lightweight travel trailers, avoiding exceeding the towing capacity of the vehicle you already have.

#2 – Number and Types of Bathrooms

When checking travel trailers’ floor plans to live full time, think of a bathroom according to the lifestyle and number of people

  • Dry bath or wet bath
  • Full bath (toilet, hand basin, shower, tub, etc.), glass shower curtain, fabric shower curtain, etc.
  • One bath, one and a half baths, two baths

#3 – The Right GVWR of Travel Trailers To Live Full Time

To avoid continually straining the tow vehicle with all the trips, you want to choose a travel trailer for full-time living with the right GVWR. For full-time living, it is recommended to choose floor plans to be a GVWR 70% or less than the towing capability of your vehicle. Of course, be sure the maximum cargo capacity will also be suitable for your purposes.

#4 – Location of Your Stay

Do you want to boondock off the grid for a few days at a time, or are you the kind of person or family that prefers to stay in luxurious RV parks with a ton of amenities?

Lifestyle and routine: analyze what lifestyle and routine you will have along with the rest of the occupants. Ask about whether you will be constantly traveling or mainly parking. Dry camping boondocking? Sports equipment hauling?

At this point, you will have to choose between different types of travel trailers to live full time. Which one suits your plan more?

  • Off-road travel trailers with bathroom
  • Toy hauler travel trailers
  • Destination travel trailers to live in
  • Luxury travel trailers to live full-time

A destination travel trailer to live in that steps out onto a prepared deck space can be at the top of your list if you want to camp and relax for several months for example at the family property.

If you do enjoy boondocking off the grid and dry camping, you should look for a travel trailer with sizable freshwater and waste-holding tanks when considering full-time living. Also, items like solar panels and generators should move up your list of priorities as well.

#5 – 4-Seasons Travel Trailer vs. Powerful Air Conditioner

Where are you planning to stay the year around? An RV with a powerful rooftop air conditioner will be essential if you intend to spend the entire year full-time living for example in Florida.

On the other hand, insulation, a heated underbelly, and a strong furnace will be at the top of your list if you plan to spend the entire winter in locations with freezing temperatures, ice, or snow.

can I live in a travel trailer full time

#6 – Appliances Needed To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer

As opposed to those who only wish to camp in their travel trailers, folks who live full-time in them frequently prioritize specific appliances higher.

Appliances and features that fit the lifestyle you want to have. For example, for me, it must be a travel trailer with a washer and dryer hookups and space to have my laundry room. Also, I like to cook a lot, so I prefer the rear kitchen travel trailers to ventilate better while preparing my meals. Storage space is essential.

Since you’ll be residing there permanently, you’ll probably need to transport more furniture and personal items to preserve your chosen way of life.

You’ll probably need to rely significantly on your travel trailer’s batteries if you’re going to be off the grid for even a brief period.

A bigger battery bank will be able to retain more charge while also allowing you to parallel connect them to extend the amount of time between recharges.

Certain travel trailers do include an integrated generator, even though the majority don’t. When you are off the grid or simply staying at an RV park without accessible suitable shore power, this is a terrific option to power your travel trailer to live full time.

Household batteries can be charged or kept charged with the help of solar panels. When you are at a campsite with shore power, they may also be a great way to reduce your electrical costs when living full-time in your travel trailer.

#7 – Confirm Your Budget

Stay within the budget you planned. Although it may seem silly to have to make this clear, we all get excited when we go to buy a travel trailer and add more and more features and gadgets that we didn’t consider at first when considering a travel trailer for full-time living. However, keep in mind that all these comforts come with a price and will definitely increase your budget.

It is possible to make some upgrades in the energy systems of the travel trailer after the purchase of the camper, multiply the number of solar panels, and deep cycle batteries, without having to pay for everything from the beginning.

I would say that in general everything can be improved in a travel trailer, except space. That can’t be enlarged. So, confirm your budget before starting the search and stand firm.

Recommended Post: The 12 Best Travel Trailers for Full-Time Living (and What to Avoid)

Recommended Post: Best Full-Time Travel Trailer for a Couple

Final Thoughts for Success Regarding How To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer

How To Successfully Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer is not an easy topic. As much as living 100% of the time in a camper can be challenging, especially in the beginning there are many more factors to consider than just choosing the right travel trailer.

If your goal is to save on rent because you want to work digitally from your camper, you must also understand the extra expenses you will incur just by living in a trailer.

There are excellent RV internet options for 2023 that will allow you to stay connected at all times. The one I recommend for the quality of service and cost-benefit ratio is Starlink (RV Satellite Internet).

As you will see this article is only based on one of the first choices you should make for the change of life that moving to a travel trailer implies.

Other related topics that I advise you to review to figure out How To Live Full Time in A Travel Trailer (and you will see if they apply to you or not) are mobile phone connectivity (we do recommend SIM cards that allow Wi-Fi calls, such as Tello), health insurance and the system to allow you to order and receive how prescriptions/medications, receiving mail, pension collection, bank/ATM access, tax residency, etc.

About Ward Greenway

Since I was 5 years old, I remember being inside my father's pop-up camper crossing the USA. My passion for RVs and Campers grew until I graduated in Mechanical Engineering (Tennessee). Then, I took my passion to the next level. Because I wanted to improve the design and engineering of the RVs I enjoyed them so much. I have been lucky to work for Central RV New Zealand, Jayco Corporation Pty Ltd (Australia), Forest River Inc., and Mercury Marine, as a Mechanical Design Engineer. I have seen and improved hundreds of RV floor plans. Nowadays, I enjoy RV living full time in my Mallard travel trailer and the joy of meeting new friends along the way who help me put the best on CamperOutdoor.com

Leave a Comment