RV Living as a Travel Nurse: Housing Tips for Travel Nursing

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By Megan Hutcherson

June 23, 2021

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RV Living as a Travel Nurse

Imagine not having to worry about packing up your entire life and finding a furnished apartment every three months. This is just one of the many reasons why vans and RVs are growing in popularity with the travel nurse community. Having a home on wheels helps to remove much of the stress associated with traveling so you can enjoy your time off. So what do you need to know if you are considering RV Living?

RV Living: Housing Tips for Travel Nurse

rv living

Choosing your rig:

Based on your needs, there are several options for nomadic homes, including busses, vans, RVs, and travel trailers. A great way to determine which is best for you is by trying it out for yourself temporarily. Some companies allow you to rent a van or RV for a few days. This can give you a feel of which option would work for your lifestyle and how much room you may need. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your home on wheels: how many people are in your household? Do you have pets? What are the necessities you can’t live without?

Downsizing:

If you’ve been travel nursing for a while, you’re probably already used to traveling with a lighter load but travel nursing while living in a condensed space requires the belongings you travel with to become even lighter. When deciding what you will fill your home on wheels with, it is important to determine your wants versus needs. Look at your items and ask yourself if it is something you will use frequently or if it will sit in a corner and take up precious space.

Parking accommodations:

When starting a new assignment, you will need to ensure that the location will fit your parking needs. Parking may vary based on the size and type of your home. For example, if you have an RV that requires electrical and water hookups, you will need to make sure there is an RV park near your hospital. If you have a van that runs off solar power, you may choose to seek out free parking in your area. Some free parking options include the hospital you are working at (it is always best to check in with security and ask where to park. Most hospitals are happy to have you stay there), national forests, BLM land, truck stops, street parking in local neighborhoods, chain stores like Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Cabelas (it is always good to call ahead to ask permission first).

Temperature and Climate:

When choosing an assignment location, consider the season that you will be in for the duration of the contract. Research the average high and low temperatures in that area and be compatible with the climate control that you have inside your rig. With extreme temperatures, whether it be 120 degrees in the desert or single digits in the mountains, living conditions can become very uncomfortable without proper planning. One of the perks of travel nursing is having a say when you take your assignments, so be sure to think about this when deciding on your location.

Security:

One downside to living in your vehicle is having all of your valuables in your rig. This can be stressful when working twelve-hour shifts and being away from your vehicle for that long period of time. Taking extra measures to secure your home on wheels can alleviate some of that stress and give you peace of mind when you are away. Some ways to add extra security measures include installing extra locks on the inside of your vehicle, security cameras, keeping valuables out of sight, having a lockbox hidden to store important documents or valuables. One of the most important steps you can take is being aware of your surroundings and if something feels off, listen to your gut. Making the jump into living in a home on wheels while travel nursing can be a beneficial decision in so many different ways. Although this way of life isn’t always for everyone, those who decide to adopt nomadic living usually don’t regret it. If this is something, you find yourself considering but still have some reservations about it, again, seek out one of the vans or RV rental companies and give it a try for a weekend. It’s always best to be confident before pulling the trigger rather than diving in and then realizing maybe this lifestyle isn’t exactly what you had in mind.

We hope you found these tips for RV living helpful. Are you currently or have you used a van or RV for housing during a travel nurse assignment? Do you have any tips for RV living to share? Comment them below.

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