Full-Time RVing as a Travel Nurse
In recent years minimalism and tiny homes have started to trend among the general public. Society has begun to value having less and traveling more. With these trends, travel nursing has really taken off among adventurous RNs, and with this, full-time RVing! Hitting the road in an RV or van has never been so appealing!
In this blog, we talk to an avid van traveler and owner of Pura Vista Co., Brittney Dorsey. She has traveled in her van to Badlands National Park, Door County, WI, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Follow along with Brittney and her beloved van, Pura Vista on social media!
What is “Van Life”?
To many, “van life” is an alternative lifestyle of individuals who live full-time or part-time in a van or RV. Brittney agrees that van life is a way of life for many adventurous souls!
“Van life is a lifestyle that allows you freedom and flexibility to explore and adventure. It’s a home on wheels that’s convenient, compact, and most importantly stealthy. A way of life that teaches us to try something new, step out of our comfort zones and face the fear of the unknown.”
Where Can You Purchase or Rent a Van?
Many of our nurses have a full-time RV that they enjoy traveling in and living out of while on contract. If you do not already have an RV or van, you have some options.
1. You can buy a Sprinter Van to convert
Keep in mind that these sprinter vans range from $33,000-$56,000 without being remodeled. Depending on if you DIY the remodeling or hire a company to remodel your van you are looking at an extra cost of $15,000-$120,000! It just depends on what you are looking for in a travel van! This is a great option for travelers who know they want to travel the nation and can live minimalistic. Learn more about the costs associated with converting a travel van here.
2. You can buy a new or used RV
RVs range in size and shape. Some are practically like traveling in an apartment on wheels. These have showers, toilets, and a full kitchen. Others only have the basic necessities. Depending on what you are looking for, your budget could range drastically from $15,000-$300,000. These are great options for short-distance and long-distance travelers. It can also be budget-friendly if you opt for a lower-end RV.
3. You can rent an RV or van
Not sure if the “van life” or “RV life” is right for you? Rent an RV or van and try it out for a weekend or your next contract! Some campgrounds rent their RVs. the campground staff will set them up and all you have to do is bring yourself and your belongings. You can also rent vans or RVs to travel in on Outdoorsy.com – this is where Brittney lists her van for rent.
Why Travelers Choose The RV Life?
Each model of van and RV has its pros and cons. The main reason our full-time RVing travel nurses choose this lifestyle is because of the freedom. Not only can you pick up and leave a location with all your belongings without having to pack or terminate a lease, but you also gain financial freedom. Some RVing nurses opt-out of paying for common expenses by staying at a park that offer bathrooms with running water, wifi, and electricity at the site. Also, if you stay at one place for a while than your gas prices won’t be outrageous – hence the allure of 13-week travel contracts! This also gives you time to adequately explore the location you are in.
” It feels more like home than a hotel or Airbnb”
With the experience of traveling in her sprinter van and renting out her van to other cross-country travelers, Brittney agrees that freedom is the largest benefit. “You have more freedom to roam and catch amazing views from the comfort of your bed,” Brittney said. “It feels more like home than a hotel or Airbnb because it’s just you and your Van and all your stuff. Everything gets to come along for the ride.”
Van Life and RV Tips for Travelers
Travel nursing is an exciting endeavor, add full-time RVing to the picture and you get a true adventure! Below are some RV tips for new travelers.
Embrace the Journey
Brittney’s largest piece of advice is to embrace the journey!
“Trying something new like living out of a Van or RV teaches you things about yourself and about life. You learn how to roll with punches. There will be punches! And see things from a new perspective. Keep an open mind and an open heart and see what an amazing adventure it can be!”
Test the Water
Before accepting a travel contract across the nation, first start close to home. Test out the experience of full-time RVing in a familiar area. Make a list of things you ran out of or need so you can be fully stocked and ready for your next contract.
Do your Research
There is definitely a learning curve to full-time RVing. Doing as much research as you can before hitting the road will help set you up for success! Look up packing lists, think through what your routine will look like, and figure out where you want to park. These should all be on the top of your priority list.
How to Find Campgrounds and RV Parks
Lucky you, our Housing Coordinator April is here to help you plan your stay. Just let her know your expectations and wants and she will find a place you’ll love near your travel location. If you want to take your adventure into your own hands, there are many great online resources. Brittney shares her favorite resources and apps: ioverlander, roadtrippers, and hipcamp. Also just Googling the area will give you a good idea of nearby campgrounds, stores, and RV parks. A pro-tip is to always read the reviews on RV parks and campgrounds before committing to staying there.
Travel nursing and living out of an RV or van can be a dream come true. It does come with many learning curves but don’t let that deter your curiosity! If this is your first-time RVing then we recommend renting from a reputable site like Outdoorsy, and staying close to home. Have questions? Our housing coordinator is here to help!