It would seem lately I’ve seen a lot about Travel Nurses who have literally taken their home on the road. Many Travel Nurses have decided to travel from one assignment to another in a RV or a tiny house on wheels. Traveling across country in an RV is a very different lifestyle. Generally you think of older retired folks taking to the road in a RV but it is now becoming fashionable for travel nurses as well. Not everyone would choose this lifestyle but for many it works.
RV vs. traditional housing
Once you find your assignment you choose your housing. You could go with the traditional furnished apartment provided by the agency. Maybe you take the stipend and make your own living arrangements to suit your style. Many are now looking into tiny houses on wheels or RV homes.
Before you decide to take the RV or tiny house route you might want to know the pros and cons.
I guess the big advantage is you are always packed and ready to go. Most nurses keep their motor home packed with everything. The only thing you might need to load is your personal items , electronics and clothes for work. Just think how much time is saved with no more packing and unpacking.
If you have pets you save on pet deposits. You do not have to worry about finding a place that allows pets.
Use the company stipend to pay for your RV spot. Generally you have money leftover for any motor-home expenses such as monthly payment, insurance and gas fund. RV spaces will vary in price depending on the area. Spaces may include everything while you may have to pay for electricity, wifi and cable hook up. Generally ewer and water are standard.
Hooking up your RV or tiny house is usually easy. You just have to plug in the electricity, connect the sewer hose, water and connect your cable and you are all set. Make sure your home is all level using jacks or leveling blocks if needed.
Of course independence is a huge advantage. You do not have to worry about the hassle of paybacks if the assignment is canceled for some reason. Generally rentals are secured for 3 months by agencies. If your assignment ends for any reason you are then liable for the reimbursement to the company for any balance due.
Today you also have the option of a tiny home on wheels. Set up may be different but again you are self contained. Besides they are so cute and feel more like home.
Once you have your assignment you will have to begin the search for a place to park your RV. Finding a travel position may be a little harder because of access. Finding a park that will allow a tiny home may be even more difficult. RV parks can also be difficult to find for some assignment locations. Generally RV parks are located further outside of town for larger cities. Many of the RV parks outside of large cities are expensive. You may find yourself having a long commute from the RV park. Monthly residents may not be accepted at parks and if they do you may find rather undesirable residents.
Another concern is weather. You are basically living in a home where you need to be prepared for weather extremes. If the weather is too hot or too cold you will need the resources to maintain comfort in your RV or tiny home. Some homes may have Thermopane windows, heated bays where your water and connections are located, and extra insulation. You may choose to remain in a milder climate during the winter, and away from the desert in the summer. Many older retirees have become “snow birds” for this reason.
Think of it as having your own beach house or mountain cabin that you can move when you get board with the scenery. It is also perfect for taking side trips on the way to an assignment. You may also want to keep your tax home for tax purposes. Check out the information here for details on tax home.
Other Things to Think About
If you are financing your tiny home or RV the interest is deductible on your income tax as a second home.
Your maintenance on an RV would be like caring for your home or your car. Make sure you have an emergency fund for any unexpected maintenance. Just like on a home you may need to replace appliances, air conditioners, or hot water heaters.
Gas prices fluctuate which may influence your choice of assignments. Gas to drive across the country for a 3 month position may not be feasible since reimbursement may not cover cost. In that case you would want at least a 6 month assignment or one closer to home.
You will need to consider your travel options for commuting to work. A bike or car or public transport if it is available. Compare the cost and convenience of transportation for your commute.
The Choice is Yours
I love driving and adventure and have driven across the U.S many times and I always see something new. I am not opposed to tiny house living and love driving so this life style would be easy for me to adjust to. You might want to think long and hard about it especially if you were going to go it alone.
Make your choice, find your assignment and hit the road.
Let us know how it works out for you and share your travel stories.