Hey y’all! Lisa here from SoJax Realty, your go-to guide in the world of real estate. Now, grab yourself a glass of sweet tea, and let’s get talkin’ about a trend that’s as hot as a Southern summer—selling your home to move into a camper. You read that right. People are trading in their brick and mortar abodes for homes on wheels, and it’s a topic I can talk a lot about. Why? Because we did it. Yes, my. husband and I sold our house in Mooresville, NC and then we, along with our dogs Pepper and Kiwi moved down to Florida in a 5th wheel camper for 14 months. So I’m going to give it to you straight and I will include the good, the bad and the ugly.
Above is a picture of us with our 39 foot fifth wheel that we dubbed “The Taj Ma Camper”.
Y’all, it’s like Thelma & Louise but without the cliff, okay? The open road is your playground. Want to wake up by a serene lake today and by the mesmerizing desert tomorrow? Well, honey, consider it done! No need to ask your neighbor to water the plants; just take them along for the ride.
So let’s talk turkey—or should I say, finances? No property taxes. No HOA fees that dictate what color you can paint your mailbox. Just a one-time purchase and nominal upkeep. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can use the money from selling your home to fund this new mobile lifestyle.
As an extra little tip here, there are certain states that are very friendly “home states” for RV’ers. They make it so the expenses are very minimal. Think of expenses like inspections, taxes, tags, insurance and income tax. South Dakota is probably the best but if you are looking to stay on the East coast I’d recommend Florida. Check out this post for more information.
Want to know what your home could bring in today’s market? Click here for an automated quick answer. Then we can follow up for a more accurate CMA.
A Minimalist’s Dream
Bye-bye, clutter! A camper offers limited space, forcing you to only keep what’s essential. Believe me, it’s liberating. You’ll finally realize you don’t need six sets of wine glasses to be happy.
You can say goodbye to lawn mowing, weed eating, trimming and that kind of thing. In fact, say goodbye to hours upon hours of cleaning that huge house too. It usually took me right at one hour to clean the fifth wheel from top to bottom. I know you’ll miss all of that hard work but I feel confident we can all find better ways to spend our time and energy.
Okay, let’s be real. It’s not all roses and magnolias. The limited space could also be a bummer. Got a shoe collection that consists of more than lets say 5 pair? You might need to rethink that. You will 100% learn how to live with as little as humanly possible because you have no choice. Remember that it’s not only the small space that limits you but it’s also the weight of every single item in your new home. You have to be able to tow it and I would certainly not recommend even coming close to exceeding the weight limitations.
When the temperature is good outside, living in camper really does feel wonderful. The breeze blowing through the windows is like mother nature whispering in your ear that she loves you. But, when it gets cold, it can be hard to keep warm sometimes. And when it gets hot, y’all remember we moved to Florida, right? Yeah, Florida in a camper in July and August is no joke. We had two a/c units in ours and they always worked well but unless you have some shade, it will be hot in there and I don’t mean warm I mean hot.
If you are able to travel around, I would strongly suggest you keep this in mind while planning your spots out for the year. Do like the birds do, fly south for the winter and north in the summer.
There’s something to be said for having a permanent address. It’s where your Christmas cards get sent, where the pizza delivery knows to bring the extra garlic sauce. Always being on the go might make you miss those local friendships and community vibes. Now, John and I didn’t move around very much but the post office isn’t to keen on giving you a post office box without you having a permanent address in that area too. Go figure, right? There are mail services if you are on the road and they will scan in your mail for you. If you rent a space long term in a campground, many of the campgrounds will allow you to receive packages and some even mail. But all of that is going to depend on the campground you are at.
Still feeling the urge to sell and live the RV lifestyle? Click here to find out what your home could bring in today’s market.
The “Freedom” can be a Catch-22
The open road can feel lonely, y’all. Plus, you’ll still need a plan. Campsites get booked, RV parks have rules, and sometimes that lake you wanted to wake up next to is more of a crowded kiddie pool on a Saturday. The worst of our personal experiences usually involved people who had partaken in too much alcohol very late at night. While we usually envision quiet far off places to camp, most of the time you will likely want to camp in a campground for the amenities like water, sewer hook-ups as well as internet and cable. Well, you can be there will be locals that frequent that campground for weekend get aways and for some of them it’s the weekend party spot. Those camper walls are awfully thin so you will hear it all.
A camper is a vehicle, and vehicles break down. Yes, with or without an engine, something on your camper or RV will break at some point. Picture this: You’re cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway, the wind in your hair, when suddenly you hear a gunshot go off! Only it’s not a gunshot, it’s one of your tires. When (and I purposely say when not if) this happens, carefully pull over immediately. The flapping around of the exploded tire carcus will do damage to your unit quickly.
Here’s where selling your house to live in a camper gets a little crappy. You’re going to need to deal with sewage, y’all. Those waste tanks aren’t going to empty themselves. This is one of the things people dread the most but honestly, once you know what you are doing this part isn’t too bad. Just do yourself a favor and make sure you put about 5 gallons of water in your black tank everytime you set up camp.
Since this is the ugly section, I have to mention my personal pet peeve about living in a camper. It doesn’t matter what you do or how “steady” you make it, you will feel it move. I’m serious here, unless you put it up on blocks under the frame you will feel it every time someone walks around, shifts in their seat or rolls over in bed. Some people don’t seem to mind or be bothered by it. For me personally, it drove me bananas.
The Unforeseen Expenses
You might think you’re saying adios to utility bills, but there are still campground fees, fuel costs, and the dreaded “unexpected costs” like the repairs mentioned above. Plus you will still likely need an internet provider of some sort and most people like to have a streaming service of some type.
If you are not going to be in a campground keep in mind that there are zoning laws. Zoning laws can be a real party pooper. Not all places are cool with you just parking and making yourself at home. Make sure you’re not accidentally squatting. This varies so much across the country I can’t go into much detail on it here but do yourself a favor and check these things before you illegally park somewhere.
If you’d like to discuss your options for selling your home or have questions, fee free to contact me.
Alright, friends, here’s the scoop: selling your house to live in a camper is like a complex line dance. When you get the steps right, it’s a hoot! But stumble, and well, you might just find yourself in a pickle—no, not pickleball, although y’all know I love that too!
Living in a camper isn’t just a lifestyle; it’s an adventure. But like any adventure, it’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’re someone who’s daring enough to sell their house and hit the road, give me a shout. I’ll not only sell your home for a pretty penny but will also give you a hug and wish you all the best on your new journey. After all, isn’t that what friends are for?
Till next time, keep your spirits high and your wheels turnin’!
Lisa & Pepper 🐾 (Yep, she approves this message too!)
Phew! Wasn’t that a hoot? Now tell me, would y’all trade your home for a life on the road? Let’s get the conversation rollin’ like a camper down the highway! 🚐💨