When my husband (Frank) reached military retirement, we realized that he had missed almost 3 1/2 years of our children’s lives with deployments and training. I (Shelly) dealt with cancer (surgery and treatment) during one of those deployments. Life is too short and spending meaningful time with our children was growing shorter each day. So, we chose to RV around the country.
My Crazy Idea To FullTime
The idea of living fulltime in an RV was initially only my crazy idea. Frank was NOT on board with the idea at all. Armed with the knowledge that Frank thought I was absolutely crazy, I started to secretly save every penny I made in a secret account. When I had finally saved enough money to pay cash for a used Class C motorhome, I revealed my savings to Frank and our search on Craigslist began. The first Class C we found was only 30 miles away and was within our price range. Frank, still in complete denial that we would ever live fulltime in an RV, agreed to look at it as a “vacation home’ only. It was the perfect size for me to be able to drive on my own during Franks deployments and it was the perfect rig for Frank’s “weekend camping trips”. We bought it immediately and never looked at any other RV’s prior to purchase.
Our Home BLANCHE
The kids named the motorhome BLANCHE and she has so far served our family well. It is 29 feet long with no slides and houses the four of us and our boxer. We have done a number of renovations to make it full time living friendly. Frank finally joined the fulltime living dream about a year and a half after we bought it. Occasionally they dream of a little more room, but every time they look at larger rigs none feel like they could be “home” the way Blanche is.
Our Favorite Moments And Memories
There isn’t one experience I would say is our favorite. The best part of being on the road is being with a community of like-minded travelers. We had no idea that we would develop such deep and meaningful friendships on the road.
One strange experience we had was that someone put about 15 pin holes the entire length of our sewer hose. When we pulled the valve open, we had 15 shooting fountains of black water squirting everywhere. Talk about a messy situation. We think it was a couple of teenagers but either way its a very interesting memory to have.
Our Ministry Work On The Road
I (Shelley) was an Occupational Therapist and Frank was a Master Sgt. in the US Army. We currently do not work for money. We live on a tight budget, our only income is our Military retirement Under 2.5 k a month.
We don’t work camp per say, we serve organizations, ministries, and families on the road.
We all felt so blessed to have so much time on our hands that we knew we were supposed to help other people along the way. So, we decided to serve others in a variety of ways when we are on the road and calling ourselves Light Our Path. We do this by serving in organized ministries such as; Global Aid International Network, Samaritans Purse, Youth with a Mission (YWAM), Campers on Mission, Rhodeheaver Boys Ranch, a Christian Retreat Camp and Camp Attitude. We also utilize local churches or service/volunteer apps to find other ministry opportunities around the country. The most organic serving opportunities have happened in campgrounds helping fellow campers with rig projects. We find so much joy working side by side with our children to help others. Our hope is to inspire other RVing families to serve others on their own journey.
Our Journey To Help Others Will Continue
We are currently serving at a Retreat Center in Connecticut until mid-September. We will be doing a southern loop down to TX on our way to FL for the Winter. We have several ministries stops along the way.