7 Top Reasons People are Quitting the RV Lifestyle (2022)


RVers are throwing in the towel after years of dreaming and even years of RVing. Why are so many quitting the RV Lifestyle since the pandemic? Where do I begin…

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve heard all about how RV sales are booming and camping has never been more popular. How people everywhere are embracing the RV lifestyle for the first time.

But now, we’re hearing how more and more long-time, pre-pandemic RVers are giving up the lifestyle. Is it all because of overcrowding? 

Well, overcrowding is playing a big part but it’s by no means the only reason. After all, everyone expects the crowds to calm down eventually. But it has forced avid RVers to rethink things the past couple of years. 

That rethinking has led many to sell or store the RVs that were once their home or main getaway vehicle.

And one very big change is this shift to owning your own land for your RV. We are in the process of doing just this and invite you to follow along as we build out our land in Tennessee.

7 Big Reasons People are Quitting RVing

Quitting the RV Lifestyle
Beautiful, but crowded?

I feel like I should start by saying that not all avid or full-time RVers are calling it quits. There are still lots of them.

We’re still enjoying life on the road three-quarters of the year, even though there are admittedly more challenges than ever before. But because of those challenges, we do understand why others are giving up RVing. 

Here are the biggest reasons some people think RVing isn’t worth it anymore.

1. Campground Overcrowding

There’s no way to sugarcoat that the campgrounds are downright overcrowded. The campgrounds are noisier than they’ve ever been before and you’d only know that if you could actually get a reservation.

The massive surge in RVers and campers since the pandemic has overwhelmed the campground system. And everything has dragged on so long that all projections of it “calming down” keep falling short. 

Now, I do believe that it will calm down eventually. Not only because people continue to return to work, school, and originally-preferred travel methods, but also because smart business people are opening new campgrounds. 

That being said, calming down eventually isn’t very reassuring.

2. Jump in Costs

photo of mike and jennifer at rv show - Quitting the RV Lifestyle
It’s how much?

Economics 101 teaches us that supply and demand drive all markets, including the RV and campground industry. 

Because of the high demand and short supply of campsites, campsite prices have jumped significantly. Because of the high demand and short supply of RV mechanics and parts, maintenance and repairs costs have jumped. 

The high demand and short supply of new RVs have also caused a significant jump in RV prices (more than 40%!). This actually brings us to our next reason people are leaving RVing full-time.

3. Increased Used RV Value

Used RV prices have gone way up in the past two years. All it takes is a quick look on Facebook Marketplace to see the high prices for RVs. This tips the scale for a lot of RVers who have already been toying with the idea of selling their RVs. This is especially true for non-fulltime RVers who already have a house to go back to. 

However, this isn’t as true for full-time RVers whose used RV price wouldn’t make up for the huge price increase in the real estate market.

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4. Virtual Work & Schooling

Ironically, one of the biggest reasons people are joining the RV lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons people are leaving it. 

Most RVers agree that many Covid campers will return to their normal jobs and normal schools. However, there’s no denying that there’s been an awakening in the formalized world that remote work and school are valid options these days.

So, while there will eventually be a significant decrease in crowding, RVing is highly unlikely to be “like it was before.” Some people just aren’t up for seeing what that “new norm” will look like.

5. Boondocking Spots Shutting Down

7 Top Reasons People are Quitting the RV Lifestyle (2022) 1
Garbage abandoned in wilderness areas results in shutting down boondocking areas.

Unfortunately, boondocking sites are still getting shut down at an alarming rate. Why? 

For one, the surge in homelessness is leading to boondocking sites being overwhelmed by people who don’t take pride in caring for their location. It’s frustrating but they’re dealing with bigger issues.

For two, so many people jumped into camping without learning (or caring to learn) proper boondocking etiquette. To me, this is even more frustrating than the homeless situation. Leaving a site unclean in these cases is just pure disrespect and laziness.

As such, state parks and other public places are shutting down boondocking spots for good. As disappointing as it is, you can’t really blame them.

6. Health Scares and decision fatigue

Managing health care while RVing has always been a challenge, and that’s before there was a global pandemic. Some RVers have decided to give up RVing because they want or need access to more stable healthcare. 

Having family or friend support, a regular doctor, and access to a quality hospital are more achievable if you stay in one location. Thus, people are trading in their RVs for stick houses.

And that piles on to what is often called “decision fatigue,” the daily list of decisions that RVers must make as they travel to new places… finding places to stay, supermarkets, pharmacies, handling their mail, planning routes, etc.

That leads to a low level of stress, that over time, can become tiresome.

If that RVer is a fulltimer, with a family, with no permanent home base, it can become overwhelming.

7. Home Sickness

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s to not take our lives and family and friends for granted. That realization has led a lot of people to the open road, taking their families on road trips or visiting family across the country.

That same realization, however, has made many avid and full-time RVers homesick. Some realize they have had their fill of the open road and adventure and want to settle back in near their family and friends. They want to be readily available for or nearby those they love the most.

Your Thoughts on Quitting the RV Lifestyle

quitting the rv lifestyle - not us
We’re still enjoying the RV Lifestyle

Like I mentioned in the beginning, Jennifer and I are continuing our RV lifestyle. We are reaching the 10-year mark as RVers (that still have a sticks and bricks – and a condo – and now some of our own land) and expect that 10-year number to get even bigger. We’re going to continue it as long as we look forward to each day on the open road.

And that joy is still the dominant part of our RV lifestyle.

But, I am really curious to hear from our community on this topic. Are you considering throwing in the towel? Are you still committed to the lifestyle? Please share your thoughts on quitting the RV lifestyle in the comments below and join the discussion in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group.

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