6 TIPS FOR WORK FROM HOME AS A FULL-TIME RV LIFER WITH A DOG
March 25, 2021
It seems idyllic: mid-workday walks around a glacial lake with your dog. Taking zoom calls under the awning at the campsite, working each week in a different state with a different view out of your “office” window. Work from home as a full-time RV lifer with a dog sounds heavenly. Why not sell everything and live out your full-time RV life dreams?
The only thing stopping you is concern for your furriest family member. Can you keep Fido healthy and happy while working 40-hour weeks, living and working inside about 240 square feet? Yes, working from home as a full-time RV lifer with a dog is possible, and it’s easier than you think.
More people are starting to live full-time in their RV before retirement
You’re not alone in your aspirations. More people than ever before are considering living and working from an RV in 2021. One survey showed that 20% of those surveyed are more interested in RV living as a direct response to COVID-19. And people are taking action on that interest: In 2020, RV sales increased by 21.4%, according to a survey by the RV Industry Association.
As work-from-home arrangements continue into the foreseeable future, working-age people have the option to keep their full-time job while living out their dreams of touring the country; dreams that usually would have had to wait until retirement. In unprecedented times like these, the idea of ditching the mortgage can feel like the safest financial choice. Working from home as a full-time RV lifer just makes sense.
Challenges of living and working full-time in an RV
Adopting a work-from-home as a full-time RV lifer doesn’t come without its challenges. Internet access is inconsistent and unpredictable. Same for the weather. Working outside on a laptop is not as ideal as it looks. And you haven’t even downsized all your worldly possessions yet.
The additional challenge of having a dog
You’re responsible for your dog’s health and happiness. Working from home as a full-time RV lifer with a dog means sharing a small space with your pup while trying not to get distracted. What will he do without a convenient dog door to a fenced yard while you’re typing away “at work”? When you have a canine along for the ride, you should take some additional steps to make the dream possible and fun for everyone!
What you can do to make full-time RV life and work a reality for you and your dog:
1. Give it a trial run
Dogs are very adaptable to our lifestyle. That said, your dog hasn’t experienced living in an RV full-time (yet). Before you set off on this new adventure, try renting a few different types of RVs and take short trips to practice what it would be like to live and work under these conditions.
2. Take a daily walk (or two)
Your dog needs to move, and so do you! Kill two birds with one stone and schedule a couple of walk breaks throughout your day. Plus, what’s the point of being somewhere new if you don’t get to enjoy it during the day?
3. Give your pet more space
Keeping the RV locked up while working is not ideal for either you or your dog. You can safely fence in the area under your awning using X-pens like this one from Amazon. Keep the door open for a breeze and for your dog to come and go as he likes. Here at Waggin’ Tail RV Resort, we have fully fenced RV sites, specifically for your pet, to roam safely. Plus, he can then take himself to the potty when he needs to go! For more tips on traveling with pets, see our article here.
4. Get a temperature alert system
You will eventually want to leave your dog alone while you go shopping for supplies or explore a National Park. This is usually not a problem in a house, but RVs can be dangerous for unsupervised pets if you don’t prepare. One of the main dangers is that your pet will overheat (for more signs of overheating in pets, see our article). You can prepare for this by purchasing and installing a temperature monitor for your RV. The unit will alert you if the temperature inside your rig gets above a chosen threshold so you can come to rescue your pet. This list of the 7 Best Pet Temperature Monitors for your RV by RV Share is an excellent place to start.
5. Keep vet records and a printed picture of your pet handy
You never know what sort of mischief your dog may get into while you’re on that zoom call. Make sure you have a printed picture of your dog on hand because if he gets lost while you are distracted, having a printed picture will help others assist you in finding him. Having the vet records printed out will help if you are unable to get in touch with your home vet during an emergency.
6. Know where the nearest 24-hour vet is
Speaking of emergencies, make sure you pinpoint where the closest 24-hour vet is whenever you roll into a new town. Medical emergencies likely won’t happen during business hours, and not all vets are open 24/7.
It’s possible to work from home as a full-time RV lifer with a dog! Working on the road, no longer a weekend warrior but a full-fledged, full-time RV-lifer is exhilarating. There is no reason you should not pursue these dreams of yours, even with a four-legged friend and a 40-hour work week.