Ever thought about skipping the short-term housing option in favor of an recreational vehicle? We asked Tanya, a Medical Laboratory Technician, about her experiences traveling the country in her fifth wheel RV. Explore the video below to see what she had to say:
Medical Laboratory Technician
What made you decide to live in an RV, instead of taking housing?
I decided to get my own RV because I was tired of the beds that I was getting in the apartments I was renting. They were less than desirable. So now I carry around my own bed, I don't have to worry about pet fees for my dog and I'm at home no matter where I go. The scenery outside the window is really the only thing that changes.
How do people react when you tell them you live in an RV and travel the country?
The first thing people say when I tell them that I live in my RV and I travel around is usually, "Do you feel safe?" I feel safer in an RV park than I do in an apartment. The second thing they usually ask is, "Who drives it for you? And who sets it up for you?" They're usually amazed that it's me! I do it all by myself, with my little 6 lb dog.
Did you ever consider a tiny house over an RV?
I did consider a tiny house and also a converted bus. The reason I decided not to go that route was 1) it's a lot of work to build and construct everything 2) where do you park it? A lot of RV sites won't let you park it there. Tiny houses aren't designed to actually be moved as often as we move. RVs just seem to be safer, easier, cheaper.
What are some things you've learned about RV living that you didn't anticipate? What is something you wish you would have known when you started?
I didn't anticipate how much work cleaning the black tank was going to be. Now it's not really that much work, but I thought that if I just left it open, since I was connected to the sewer system it'd be fine and it would just all go away, but that is wrong. Don't do that.
Was it difficult to get rid of everything you once thought you needed and had in your house?
I would say, "Yes, it was difficult." But I didn't really get rid of all my stuff. I got a storage unit for most of my stuff. I did clear it out last month, but I've still kept quite a bit.
Do you miss having a permanent residence?
I have a permanent residence back home in San Antonio. I do miss being home, but I don't think that's any different than any other traveler.
Do you tow your car behind your RV, or do you rent a vehicle at each assignment location?
I don't tow my car behind my RV. I actually have a fifth wheel, so I tow my fifth wheel with my truck. I have a the three quarter ton truck and that's what I use to get to work and back.
How do you go about finding a lot for your RV?
I find a lot for my RV via Google. I just Google a lot RV site in Charleston or San Antonio or wherever my assignment is.
What's the typical lot fee? Are the lots generally close to work or do you have issues finding RV/camping lots close to work?
The cost of an RV lot varies on location. I've had it as cheap as $275 a month and as expensive as $1,000 a month. So far, the longest I've had to drive to work was 45 minutes and the closest I've been was 10 minutes.
Do you qualify for the traveler tax deductions since you don't own a permanent residence?
I do qualify for the tax-free deduction, because I do own a permanent residence. I keep a home base. But if you didn't, then you wouldn't be eligible.
Are there any tax implications concerning residing in an RV?
Since they changed the tax laws and the deduction, automatic deduction is so high that it really doesn't matter about the RV. You're not going to get enough deductions to surpass that. The only thing I can think of is that you have to pay taxes for your tags.
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