Many people ask us this, and almost always in complete kindness and curiosity. It often starts with, “can I ask you a personal question?” and then leads to “why did you decide to live in an RV full-time?” so here I am with the answer; why do we full-time rv?
A little background first.
As most of you know, I’m a full-time photographer and I have been for nearly my entire adult-hood. I’ve also been a mom almost my entire adult-hood. It has been a fulfilling life with little to no down-time but it has been a wonderful life; a life I wouldn’t trade in for a second, even with all of the trials that came with it. My husband, who has been a union laborer since his early 20’s, loves to work; he’s one of those blue collar guys that is just simply a good worker; and for that, I am thankful. He’s a good man and I’m lucky to call him my husband. We have three kids under age seven and we are thankful to be in the stage of life where we get to take adventures together as a family.
I tell you this because we are your average family.
We didn’t inherit money from a late family member. Our families were/are middle class, and we are both thankful for our experiences as children that grew us into who we are today. We were taught that hard work was non-negotiable, and we were raised, like mostly everyone else, to believe in the standard that society sets for us. I tell you this because this is an important factor in our why.
We are okay with being called crazy.
The thought of being a full-time RV family is crazy for some people, and we are okay with being called crazy. My mom told me just the other day this: “of all people that would choose a life like this, I’m not surprised that it was you”. Little does she know the great compliment that was to me, because I’ve always desired to become someone different than what society expects of me. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what that means for me personally, or for our family as a whole, but I know in my heart that Jesus is leading me down the path that brings me closer to Him, and gives me the opportunity to show my kids who He really is.
Let’s talk about the obvious.
For a lot of full-time RVers, living this life doesn’t cost any less than what it costs to live in a regular home with average things and habits. So don’t be fooled by the, “we want to save up to buy our dream home” idea. It CAN and WILL save you money if you are smart about your decisions. We have saved money and have been living mostly debt free by doing these things:
- sold our house and used the profit to buy our RV with cash VIEW OUR FLOOR PLAN HERE >>
- work for the campground we currently live at (half the year) to essentially pay for our spot
- wait to buy a tow vehicle until we can buy it with cash
- being patient and still living our life to the fullest HANG WITH US ON INSTA >>
We owned a 6 bedroom log home on 11 acres prior to living the RV life. After a couple years of pipeline work being inconsistent, taking care of a home that was way too big for us, never-ending chores that took us away from each other and many other stressors, we felt unfulfilled; it was like we were chasing after a dream that wasn’t ours. And to society, being $300,000 in debt in our house alone was the “American Dream” we were supposed to be after. I think not.
That is not to say that this dream isn’t the right dream for many families across the world. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of a homestead with goats and chickens and gardens and all the things. We feel very fortunate to have that experience under our belt, and we know and understand the privilege we have had in our decisions over the years. We just knew at some point that it was not the life meant for us. We still don’t know where our forever will be, but we know that we are having fun while we figure it out, growing in our marriage, becoming better parents and better people, and prioritizing relationships that matter to us. We also look forward to multiple income streams that we can sustain throughout our lives.
The freedom to have choices.
It’s been a wild few years, has it not? We have dealt with so much world-wide. It was like the planet swallowed us up and spit us back out and expected for everything to be the same as it once was. And it wasn’t. While we learned hard lessons during this time, we also learned how valuable it is to have choices in our lives with many things, whether that be our health, the kids’ school, or even our careers.
Like I mentioned before, our life as a family with a daddy/husband who is a pipeline laborer was and is over. Sadly, his work ended because it was taking him away from us for more nights than it wasn’t through the week and we decided as a family that it wasn’t worth any amount of money to not even live life with us; no matter what. He loved the work he did, but money isn’t everything. Today, we can be flexible with his career because of the choices we’ve made.
We chose to pull all three of our kids out of public school because of many different circumstances. We are thankful for our time there, but we felt it was best that they learned at home with me. Some people worry that if they homeschool their own kids that they won’t fit into society and for us that is precisely the point. We want our children to be raised God-fearing, Jesus-like loving, accepting, and encouraging humans who genuinely love the life they lead. I know that’s a lot to dream up for them, but we don’t want to raise kids to be only successful; we want to raise them to be happy.
The bigger picture; the legacy.
I read this book once while I was on a self-help kick called Everyday Legacy: Lessons for Living with Purpose, Right Now by Codi Shewin. You should read it someday, but the point of the book in one idea is this: stop worrying about what you will leave behind whether that is investments, riches, or accomplishments, but instead pursue the idea that when you do leave, people don’t say about me, “oh she was such an accomplished photographer” but instead their first thought is, “she made me feel like I meant something in this world. She was a good person.” At the end of the day, I want for people, especially my kids, to remember me by who I am. Not what I had. Not how much money I made. Not by the houses or investments I had to leave behind. And I believe that everyone should live their every day like this.
My kid’s won’t be asking themselves one day, “why did mom keep this?” but instead they will know that I lived each moment in the moment. And no, I don’t do it perfectly. I never will. But the legacy I leave behind will be about my impact, and no amount of things I had or accomplished. As a family, we might not be in an RV forever, but I am certain that this experience has taught me how much more important time is, because absolutely nothing can buy it back. I want this for me. I want this for my kids. My husband. I want this for the world. Our life today simply brings us one step closer to living our everyday legacy.
I’m sounding like some bible thumping hippy, but you get the point. We chose this life for many reasons. We weren’t into it. But we ultimately desire a life of more time, more life, more God, and a lot less things.
If you ever have questions about living the RV life, I’m an open book. I love deep conversations, and I’ll take a good dialog with a stranger any day. Reach out to me here if you wish >>
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