By June 26, 2009 1 Comments

Guest Author: Epstein LaRue – Travel Nursing in an RV


With summer fast approaching we are seeing more and more recreational vehicles on the road.  My question is, are they going camping or are they on the way to a travel nursing assignment?

Travel nursing in an RV is a great way to go.  One of the biggest advantages to traveling in an RV is that you don’t have to pack and unpack every three months.  You just pull in all the hoses (don’t forget to unhook the water hose), roll up the stabilizing jacks, and hook onto the back of the truck.  Another advantage is that you always get to sleep in the same bed no matter where you are at on assignment.

Some of the disadvantages to traveling in an RV are that you won’t make any land speed records getting from assignment to assignment.  Traveling in just a vehicle, we can make about 500 miles per day.  When traveling in an RV, we can only make about 400 miles per day.  If you are pulling a trailer, you don’t run down the freeway at 80 miles per hour.  An average safe speed is going to be anywhere from 55 to 65 miles per hour.  In fact, some of states have mandated rules that you can only travel 55 miles per hour when pulling a trailer.  Another disadvantage can be space.  You will be confined to a much smaller space than you would have in an apartment.  A few chairs and a small table can do wonders at conquering this problem!

Gas prices have come down the last year, but still they are quite high.  This is another thing that you have to look out for when traveling with an RV.  Number one, you have to have a truck big enough to haul the trailer, which will only get about 15 miles per gallon.  After hooking up the trailer, your gas mileage will only be about half of that.  The good thing is that you are only pulling it every 3 months.

What about a motorhome?  Well, they are easier to travel with than a trailer and you can get a few more miles per day, but the gas mileage will be about the same as pulling a trailer, especially if you are pulling your vehicle behind the motorhome (commonly called a “toad”).  The big disadvantage to a motorhome is that your initial investment is going to be a lot more.  You can get into a good trailer for $20K to $40K, but a motorhome can easily cost you $100K to $150K.

There are several types of motorhomes and trailers.  The two most common types of motorhomes for full time travelers is a “Diesel pusher” or a gas motorhome.  The diesel pusher will cost you more, but it will hold onto its resale value.  A gas motorhome is less expensive and does not hold its value as long.  The two main types of trailers are bumper pulls and fifth wheels (has a special hook in the bed of the truck).  The bumper pulls are less expensive, but they can have problems with stabilization.  The fifth wheels are more stable, but can cost a lot more to purchase.  From the two years that we were full timers, we found that most full timers choose either the fifth wheel or diesel pusher.

What is the right vehicle for you?  Only you can determine that.  Go to all the RV shows that you can find or just go shopping online or at a dealership.  Look at the floor plans and see what fits your lifestyle the most.  How much room do you really need?  Do you have children?  I do know a few families with two to four children that are very happy traveling in their RV.  Just make sure that the park has a play ground!  I traveled with my son and husband and we had a two bedroom RV that fit us just perfect.

For more information on traveling in an RV check out the dedicated chapter in “Highway Hypodermics:  On The Road Again.”  Get out there and enjoy traveling in your own home on wheels!

Written by Epstein LaRue, RN, BS, author of the number one rated nursing, trends, issues, and roles book series, “Highway Hypodermics.”   For more information on travel nursing including travel company profiles, travel company evaluations, and hospital evaluations, visit her website at:

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1 Comment on "Guest Author: Epstein LaRue – Travel Nursing in an RV"

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  1. Howdy, my wife & I have been traveling together since 2007 & me by myself since 2002. Check out our website @
    We just took the leap this summer, and bought a 2008 Fleetwood Terra 35′ Coach with 4700 miles on it.
    I wanted to write a short bit to tell everyone reading about our experience. We traded some vehicles, bought the beautiful 35′ coach and live in an RV park. It has two huge slide-outs in the living room and the bedroom, with two french door closets, many pull out drawers & large storage boxes under the whole bus. Flat screen TV’s, & everything to feel “at home”, including our mill & brew coffee maker. When we have “our stuff” it makes traveling much more enjoyable, especially doing the traveling thing for years. The coach was listed at >$80,000; we bought it for just over $60,000. We travel with two smaller dogs and still have a ton of room. It is expensive to travel from assignment to assignment, however, even at 10 miles per gallon we are getting about the same gas mileage as we were with two V-8 trucks towing a trailer.
    The biggest benefit is that we don’t have to pack & unpack every few months & we also get to drive together everywhere we go… from CA to MA.
    Truely, if a traveler takes corporate housing $1200-$1500 with come out of your pay monthly, whereas, you can spend $500/month on a NICE coach & $400/month on RV parking (full hookups including electric/water/sewer/TV/internet).
    All in all, we are very pleased with our new living arrangements.
    We would love to hear about everyone’s experiences in this area & answer any questions!

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