Travel Nursing in an RV: Is it Right For You?


If you already work as a travel nurse, or are considering it, you obviously have a well-developed sense of adventure. Why not access the freedom of the open road by living in an RV?  If the idea of travel nursing in an RV hasn’t crossed your mind, it should. Living in an RV can be an ideal choice for travel nurses. However, before taking the leap to mobile living, compare RV life to life in a rented apartment. Do a little research and weigh the pros and cons of each approach.

See The World

Do you love to travel and experience new places? If so, then travel nursing in an RV may be the perfect path for you. Imagine living in beautiful national and state parks, campgrounds and other unique settings. This beats trying to find a new apartment with each new transfer. RV life doesn’t mean you won’t be able to take urban assignments either. In fact, Wal-Mart stores across the country and several other retailers offer free RV parking in their lots.

Fans of the RV lifestyle report that most campgrounds are family friendly and clean. You can find amenities such as playgrounds, pools and laundry facilities. Thanks to the trailer, you won’t need to unpack and repack your home every time you take a new assignment. For travel nurses, the RV life provides flexibility. If you don’t like your RV park, give notice and move on within just a few days. When you don’t like your apartment, it’s not that easy to pull up stakes.

How it Affects Your Bottom Line

From a financial point of view, travel nursing in an RV has its perks. Campground fees tend to be quite affordable even in high-cost-of-living areas. In addition to sewer and water, most spots even include cable, wireless internet and electricity hookups. If you dream of living in a city like New York or San Francisco, save your housing stipend from the staggering rent by buying an RV.

Speaking of the housing stipend, it’s part of your salary even when you don’t use it. If you can find an affordable, well-maintained mobile home, you can bank that extra money and begin building your long-term wealth. You can use the extra funds to repay debts and otherwise get a smart start on your financial future. In some cases, the interest you pay on your mobile home loan may even be tax-deductible.

Home Away From Home

One of the common complaints about the travel nurse lifestyle is the lack of familiarity when you arrive at a new assignment. When you live in an RV, your home will always be with you. This is also a boon for pet lovers, who can travel with their furry friends without the added stress of finding an animal-friendly apartment. You can also save the money you would otherwise spend on a pet deposit.

You’ll also need to think about receiving mail. Set up a PO box when you arrive at your new location so you can notify important parties of your mailing address.

Challenges to an RV 

Your RV parking options in a new town or city might not be near your workplace. For this reason, you may need to invest in a car or a bicycle in addition to the RV so you can easily commute to your assignment from the RV park. If you do buy a car, consider a travel trailer that you can tow instead of a full-sized motorhome.

You’ll also need to budget for the cost of maintaining and repairing an RV. If you choose to purchase a pre-owned model, make sure you research these expected costs to find out whether you can afford the ongoing needs of this type of vehicle. When you live in an apartment, the landlord or property manager is responsible for repairs, so you’ll be saving money on that budget line item. Remember to take gas prices into account when choosing assignments as well.

Plan for All Seasons

If you prefer to stay in campgrounds and parks, keep in mind that these areas can be quite crowded during the summer months. Prepare for the high season by planning ahead and making reservations well in advance.

If you plan to travel all over the country, make sure that your RV is rated for cold weather as well. You’ll need a four-season-rated mobile home with reinforced windows and added insulation. Otherwise, plan your assignments carefully so you aren’t in hot and humid locations in the summer and chilly, snowy locations in the winter.

If you don’t have a full-service RV with a shower and a toilet, managing hygiene on the road can occasionally be challenging. Make sure to plan ahead for situations when you may not have regular access to the facilities.

Living in a small space can be challenging, especially if you’re traveling as a family or have a lot of belongings. If you haven’t had much experience in an RV, try some practice road trips before making the long-term commitment as a travel nurse.

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