We’ve received some really great questions about our decision to launch in to fulltime RV life and traveling with the kids. I thought we could start to answer a few of them here! The #1 most asked question is: How are you all going to fit in an RV?!?!
6 of us will be traveling regularly and Ty will visit us occasionally. We chose a 5th wheel RV. They are typically larger than your average travel trailer, have more headspace, more storage, etc. A 5th wheel is towed behind a heavy duty truck, meaning it is not a self contained motorhome that you drive. We looked at motorhomes but we didn’t feel they offered the storage space or safety for kids in carseats that we needed. We will trade in our Expedition for a heavy duty dually truck. We also own a Honda Pilot. It is very close to being paid off and we haven’t quite decided what to do with it. We may leave it with Ty as a second vehicle for him so that we can have use of it when we return to life in a house down the road. We may sell it so we don’t have the added expense of insurance, we just aren’t sure yet. No matter what, Jason is SUPER excited to get a big truck. Because we are a family of 6 +2 dogs, we will add what is called a Cowtown Sleeper on to the truck. This will give us additional seating so that we can all safely travel in one vehicle together with the dogs and not caravan. We want to be in one vehicle as we pass by the world’s biggest spool of yarn lol! 5th wheels are surprisingly roomy. Our home was 2100 square feet. The new RV is 430 square feet. A pretty significant downsize for a big family. I think most people are surprised when they see it – it has so many comforts of home. Some of our must haves when shopping included:
- A kingsize bed. A must since we will co-sleep with Zachary for quite awhile longer.
- A washer and dryer. 6 people create a crap ton of laundry. Especially 6 people who adventure (and use their shirts as napkins ::cough cough:: Jude) regularly. Plus cloth diaper. Neither of us has the desire to find laundry mats every couple of days. We upgraded from an all in one washer/dryer unit to a stackable that will live in the master bedroom cabinets.
- Space for the kids. The middle boys will get what is called the “mid bunk” in our RV. It’s a separate room in the middle of the floor plan. It comes with a couch, desk and wall of storage. We will remove the couch and install bunk beds for all 3 boys even though Zachary will co-sleep with us for quite a bit longer. It’ll be there when he’s ready. Taryn will have her own loft area and we will put a curtain up to give her some privacy. The couch in the living room folds out and Ty can stay there or we will put him up in a hotel when he visits. It’ll depend on the location.
- A living space that provides everyone a place to sit and room to play. This was definitely a must. Our trial run in a travel trailer with only one small love seat just didn’t cut it for our big family.
- A large residential size refrigerator. Being a food allergy family, traveling with food that is safe for our kids is super important to us. We don’t have the luxury of driving through fast food places on busy days. Food was a big challenge to overcome in making this leap – more on that soon! We also have a nice sized pantry. Another must for us.
- A shower and bathroom big enough to actually move in. The shower in the travel trailer we rented was tiny. If we are friends on facebook you may have gotten a good laugh (at my expense) when I shared about our public shower experience on our trail run. I made it public so you can read it but I’ll forewarn you that we were a hot mess. Big shower = must because my family cannot cope with shower stalls and quarters y’all.
- We sit and eat almost every single meal as a family. A table big enough for that isn’t standard with any RV but my super handy hubby is going to put his magic touch on it. I can’t wait to show you what he’s going to build! So excited! We will be set up to eat outside quite a bit as well.
- Lots of windows. And boy does the one we ordered fit the bill. I didn’t want to feel like I’m living in a box. We are traveling this beautiful country and I want to see it, even if I’m inside! Our model has tons of huge windows, I love that!
- Not a must but definite perks include a fireplace in the living room and an outdoor kitchen.
You can see photos here.
And take a virtual tour here.
I’m really excited to move in and put our own personal touch on it! It’s going to require so much organization and really narrowing down what we actually need, instead of all the things we want. Homeschool items, books, games, just a few toys, clothes, shoes, dishes will fill it up fast! Our plan is to LIVE outside, sleep inside. Of course we will have bad weather days where we need to hunker down and we will make it work with games, movies, etc. Or even a trip to the library. While there are spaces for 3 televisions in our RV, we opted to only leave 1 in and we will sell the others. So that’s our new RV. We can’t wait to get it from the dealer and start working on it to make some changes and customize it a bit! Ok, I’ll come back and answer more questions tomorrow! Including how we will manage food allergies on the road, healthcare on the road and more!
ps – Thank you for all the love, encouragement and support with our announcement yesterday. I was nervous to put it out there and our tribe showed up to love on us in a big way. Thank you!