Things to Know Before Hitting the Road Full Time
Embarking on a full-time adventure on the open road is a dream for many. It offers the freedom to explore breathtaking landscapes, complete freedom, and create unforgettable memories. If you’re considering going full-time and want to know the essentials before hitting the road, we’re here to help! Here is everything you need know before hitting the road full-time in your truck camper or van:
- Choosing Your Rig
One of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is selecting the perfect rig for your adventure. These days full-timers use a variety of setups in order to live on the road full-time, and the rig you choose will have a drastic impact on what you do.
Pop-up truck campers are lightweight and provide a low profile when folded down, making them aerodynamic for better fuel efficiency. They are also ideal for off-road adventures and maneuverability in tight spaces. Part of full-time road life is finding incredible campsites, and most of those aren’t accessible with 2wd vans! Additionally, slide-in truck campers offer more interior space and amenities, making them a comfortable choice for long-term travel. We may be a bit biased here, but we have many Four Wheel Campers customers who are full-time that started with a van and have upgraded to a Four Wheel Camper.
Here at Four Wheel Campers offers a wide range of truck campers suitable for different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to go ultralight (our Project M) or want all the comforts away from home (our flatbed model), we can get you ready and equipped for the road!
- Understanding Weight and Payload
Before adventuring full-time, it’s crucial to understand your rig’s weight limits and payload capacity. Truck campers come in various sizes and weights, and exceeding your truck’s payload capacity can lead to safety issues and potential damage to your vehicle. Vans also have similar capabilities and can get overloaded quickly. Familiarize yourself with your rig’s specifications, including its payload capacity and towing capabilities, to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.
- Planning Your Itinerary
While full-time road travel offers freedom and spontaneity, having a rough itinerary can help you make the most of your adventure. Research destinations, create a list of must-visit places, and identify routes that align with your interests and preferences. Remember to balance your desire for exploration with the need for rest and downtime. Having a flexible itinerary will allow you to adapt to unexpected discoveries along the way.
BUT – create backup plans! If there’s one thing to know about being on the road full-time, it’s that things rarely go according to plan. Expect the unexpected, take curveballs with a stride, and have backup plans in place.
Lastly, an itinerary is great, but take things day-by-day. Have loose future plans, but stay in places you love longer than expected, and don’t be afraid to leave underwhelming locations faster than expected. The ebb and flow of road life is really what it’s all about!
- Budgeting and Financial Considerations
Living on the road is much more affordable than living in an apartment or house, but it’s still important to budget! When buying a rig, take into consideration of upfront costs vs renovation costs. Budget out different options and decide what is best for you, whether it’s a van, camper, or pop-up truck camper.
In addition, calculate expenses such as fuel, campground fees, maintenance, insurance, and groceries to help estimate monthly budgets. Don’t forget to set aside an emergency fund for truck or van repairs along the way! By managing your finances effectively, you can ensure a sustainable and stress-free journey.
If you are working on the road and have income, budgeting will look much different than someone who is quitting their job to live out the road dream. Both are great! But budgets will look very different. It’s easy to look at vanlifers and road warriors on social media and compare your experience to theirs, but everyone should have their own unique rig that speaks to who they are.
- Embracing Minimalism and Downsizing
Living in a truck camper or van requires embracing a minimalist lifestyle and downsizing your belongings. That’s right, no walk-in closets here! Space is limited, and it’s important to prioritize essentials and sentimental items that bring you joy. Consider selling or donating unnecessary possessions, invest in compact and multi-purpose gear, and learn to appreciate the freedom that comes with a simplified life on the road.
This is an item that will likely be revisited and refined over time. It’s very common to start a full-time adventure with a lot, only to realize it’s way more than you need.
- Go Beyond the Beaten Path
It’s really easy to look at all the most Insta-worthy spots and plan a full-time adventure around them, but don’t forget to explore beyond those! Many times, the most famous spots are the most crowded, especially during the summer months.
All of our Four Wheel Camper family will agree the best spots on the road are the ones you stumble upon accidentally. It’s the campsite you decided to check out in middle-of-nowhere Utah or a vanlife gathering you stumble upon in Bend, Oregon. Talk to locals, get inside takes, and never plan solely around National Parks, iconic locations, or cities. Get out there and see what you find for yourself! We promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Things to Know Before Hitting the Road Full Time by Four Wheel Campers
Hitting the road full-time in a truck camper or van is an exhilarating experience that offers endless possibilities for adventure and self-discovery. It may seem overwhelming, but we promise it’s worth it! Few get to experience what it’s like to live on the road full-time, and the fact you’re preparing is exciting in itself. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready to embark on the road trip of a lifetime!
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