Like many families, we reevaluated our lives when things shut down due to Covid. Jake’s job was limited in promotion opportunities and we knew a change was needed. We realized we wanted to keep spending family time together as we experienced during the shutdown and we began thinking of alternative lifestyles. We’ve always been interested in traveling as a family, and this was just a new way to do it. One that we hadn’t even thought of before. We realized we had the chance to do it while our boys were still young and we couldn’t let it pass us by!
Before we chose to RV I was a stay at home mama that worked part-time as a stylist and now I’m a school teacher/ SAHM
Jake worked for the University of Texas in HR and currently is going back to school using his GI Bill for software development which gives us this incredible opportunity!
Our Cozy RV
We bought a Grand Design Reflection 315rlts and we tow it with an f-250 super duty diesel truck. We picked our setup strictly based on affordability. We wanted to get started as soon as possible and this was what we found that met all our needs within an affordable budget. Must-haves included: washer dryer hookups, a bigger fridge, a pantry, and a separate bedroom with a door for us. We would have loved a bunk room but the RV found us and we’re working on some ideas to make the kids their special spaces, in the meantime they LOVE being able to have slumber parties in the living room every night.
The Start Of Our RV Adventures
Our first amazing RV experience was shortly after beginning full-time life; when we found RV parking right on the beach in Florida. We all just ran to the ocean and we’re a bit speechless, just laughing and smiling because we couldn’t believe that was real… that we had our home, right there and no place to be and no obligations to meet. Just us and the beautiful ocean.
The day we pulled away to begin our first travel day, we stopped to replace the stock tires on our rig and we got stuck between a curb and median pulling down a side street. It took us at least an hour to get past the situation and hundreds of cars were lined up behind us. It was a stressful start!
Kids and Pets
We happened to get a puppy right before we began this journey and it’s been super challenging with a new dog living in a small space with our boys. They want to play with toys and the dog just tries to eat everything! Maybe rethink a new dog right as you begin RVing would be our advice.
When it comes to our kids, they don’t care how much stuff they have, especially clothes! We keep their wardrobes “capsules” so that everything goes with everything which makes things more simplified.
We try to stay flexible with homeschooling. If we are out learning we don’t stress about bookwork every single day. We never let school get in the way of learning.
Be Prepared To Look For A Good Internet Provider
Internet will ALWAYS be a problem if you are traveling. It’s been one of our biggest challenges with needing connection 3 times a week for Jake’s schooling.
I would suggest having at least 2 different providers. We use nomad internets blue plan, (AT&T) for $150 a month and when it works it’s great, but there are so many places that surprisingly have no signal at all. We also use t-mobile for cell phones and use their hotspots.
We always ask the campgrounds if they have free internet as well in remote places, often these are way better than our own, which surprises me because we always heard how bad campground internet is… that hasn’t been the case for us!
Campgrounds Over Boondocking For Us
We are full hookup fans. It keeps us more productive and our laundry clean! We can spend more time enjoying experiences when we have hookups to rely on. For us, this rig wasn’t the right one to invest in more batteries and solar for off-grid living, although maybe the next one! We wish we had it though when we go dry camping from time to time.
Budgets Are Your Friend And Prepare for Repairs
We are a huge budget family! It’s nothing new to us and in my opinion, the only way to go. However, It’s been much more difficult for us to stick to our budget for groceries and gas! We travel fast and often, so slowing down could help with that. (We budget roughly $50/day).
If you’re planning to renovate your RV, give yourself at least a month or two BEFORE you live in it! We needed extra time and things are hard to do on the road.
Always have duct tape on hand! Things will break, accept that and just take it on day by day. Currently, we have a whole wall panel along the back living room wall that needs to be repaired. When big things go wrong (like our wall) be prepared to have to live with it until you can get scheduled for a repair.
Also, have a plan! We have insurance and had plans for it if we needed to get a repair done while RVing. Though somehow we didn’t have a plan if our RV got totaled! When we got into a small accident we realized it could have been worse and we could have easily been without a home overnight. Having a plan on where to go, your lodging or housing plan, and even what happens next, is something everyone should talk about before starting! It only adds stress during an accident.
Our Biggest Adjustments
Not socializing as often as we used to, having to plan out our shower schedules, and not being able to stock up on groceries as much as we used to. The biggest one though has to be internet connection always being a hit or miss!
When we started traveling we knew for us, it was an opportunity to take while Jake was in school. Financially we plan to travel full time, until spring 2022, but we will forever be RVers!
Our next adventure is a daily question, we are trying to decide where to live and settle down still. Stay tuned!