While some people are happy to live in one place and work in an office, for others this traditional approach doesn’t give them the freedom they crave.
The digital nomad movement has evolved out of this demand for a different way of life, one which balances travel with earning an income.
Many who have embraced this untethered existence did so onboard an RV, and it’s possible to run an entire web-based business while living on the open road.
To find out how to go about this yourself, read on!
Your first decision is which RV to make your home, and there are lots of considerations here. For instance, you could go for a purpose-built product, or one which has been converted from a commercial vehicle.
The amenities offered by the RV also matter a lot. You want it to essentially be able to operate as a self-contained living unit, including things like a bathroom, onboard power, wireless connectivity, and space to sleep, cook, eat and relax.
Unless you can afford to buy an RV with cash, you’ll need a loan to cover the cost. Bear in mind that as you won’t be paying rent or a mortgage, you could afford a larger loan with steeper repayments when converting to the digital nomad lifestyle.
Reading this guide on RV loans is a good starting point, and will give you the info you need to find a package that matches your requirements.
The whole point of living in an RV is that it gives you the flexibility to relocate on the fly, and visit different locations without leaving all of your possessions behind.
Of course if your business requires all of your attention throughout the day, then you won’t get to take advantage of your nomadic existence. A good work-life balance is crucial.
As such you really need to think about what stage in your business career you are at, and whether this is compatible with taking the plunge on becoming a digital nomad.
Without the internet, digital nomads cannot operate effectively. This not only has to be considered when choosing your RV, but also when working out where to travel to.
Checking ahead to ensure that there’s either adequate cellular network coverage in your intended destination, or the availability of public fixed line or WiFi access points, must become part of your routine. Additionally, it's crucial to research banks for digital nomads that offer convenient and secure online banking services to manage your finances while on the go.
Another concern for digital nomads is how state-level laws may impact upon their lifestyle. This is usually more of an issue if you are parking up for an overnight stay in urban areas, as several states prohibit this.
Booking into dedicated RV parks and campsites is a better option if you want to avoid becoming the focus of attention for local law enforcement.
For people who work from home, it’s important to set up an office area that’s out of the way and not likely to result in being disturbed by other members of the household.
If you’re a digital nomad living out of an RV and running a business, then the entire world effectively becomes your family, and noisy neighbors can take their toll on productivity.
Because of this you need to factor noise levels into your plans for parking up each day. Busy city streets can break your concentration, for example.
Loading your valuables into an RV and hitting the road can be a dream, but it might turn into a nightmare if you’re targeted by thieves.
This is further amplified by the fact that you’ll be reliant on your tech to keep your business interests ticking over.
Enhancing the security of your RV with alarms, immobilisers and trackers will protect against potential problems. You also need to keep precious objects out of sight when the vehicle is unoccupied, and park it in secure places with surveillance systems in place if you do need to leave it for extended periods.
The main thing you need to know when running a business from an RV is that without a passion for the project you’re pursuing, or for the nomadic lifestyle that this living arrangement entails, you won’t stick with it for long. If you aren’t sure that it’s the best move, dipping your toe in by renting an RV and testing the waters for a few days or weeks is wise.