Being a full time RV family was not a longterm goal for my husband nor I. It wasn’t even a thought in our heads. So how did we get to this place? I’ll start from the beginning…

Before Being A Full Time RV Family

Craig and I started dating when we were 15. Before we could even drive! We have been together ever since. Yup, high school sweethearts. Funny thing is my parents are high school sweethearts and Craig’s are middle school sweethearts. Must be something in the genes.

From high school sweethearts to a full time RV family

 

Throughout the time we dated, we went on a few trips that consisted of your typical vacations to Mexico (Cancun like 7 times – we really like it there) or snowmobiling up north. We were not big adventure travelers and liked going back to the same place since we were familiar with it so we could get right into the vacation mode of sitting on the beach watching the waves.

Both Craig and I were lucky enough to get great jobs right out of college (this was before the crash of 2008) and both of us were in the top of our class. Craig has a computer science degree and I have a business degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems (the easier computer route then full-blown computer science).

We both ended up with internships at Snap-On Tools when we were still in college. Craig stayed on there after college and I went to work for Cardinal Health in their IT department. It was amazing how quickly I learned that I did not like a cubicle job. Sitting in a box all day long just did not work for me.

However, I was making good money and there were things about the job I liked: the challenges, finding things I thought I could fix, and meeting and talking with other people at work. After a couple of years I started going up the ranks in my job and become a Team Leader and then a Business Systems Analyst. I was getting a yearly bonus, great benefits, and making close to 6 figures in the 5 years I had been working. Then they wanted me to move to Ohio to work in the corporate office. Wasn’t going to happen…

Craig and I had known from the minute we got engaged that when we had kids I would stay home with them. My Mom had stayed home with me and Craig’s with him. We knew this is what we wanted to do. There really never was a question. Don’t get me wrong, losing my salary was hard to swallow, but we never looked back it just felt right.

We had been planning for this all along, we had built a house, sold a house, and then built our dream house (we had a lot of fun with the building process!). Seriously, this was the house we thought we would have grandkids come visit us in. We could maintain it all on Craig’s salary (he had since left Snap-On and taken a job at UW Parkside in their IT department) if we were careful with our money.

Starting A Family

After being married just over 4 years, we welcomed our first son. Being parents was an amazing experience and we loved it. After he was about a year old I started getting into direct sales and built up a successful Dove Chocolate Discoveries business. I quickly learned that I loved being a stay at home Mom, but I still needed something outside of that to challenge me. Direct sales was a perfect fit.

Over the next few years I built my business, we had twins (totally unexpected since we aren’t sure if it runs in our family or not and we weren’t doing fertility treatments), then got pregnant again when the twins were a year old, had a miscarriage (it was never a viable pregnancy), then got pregnant a few months later with our 4th. All of this happened in less than 5 years. Whoa!

After our 4th was born we knew we had hit our limit. Luckily when the twins were born my Mom was able to retire and she came over every single day for the fist 4 months when Craig was working to help. It made it possible for us to raise the kids the way we wanted to as Attachment Parents. That meant co-sleeping, exclusive breastfeeding (none of the kids ever had a bottle), baby wearing, no crying-it-out, no forced feeding, etc. It wasn’t easy, but we managed thanks to my Mom’s help and not much sleep.

Read more: Our Parenting Journey

By the time we had 4 kids, we realized we couldn’t give them all the attention that they needed or we wanted to give them, so we knew our family was complete. We also have 2 dogs that were our first fur babies! We had the American Dream. The perfect house in an amazing neighborhood, Craig had a great job, we had 4 kids and 2 dogs. Perfect, right?

What happened is it started to feel suffocating. We had accumulated so many toys and things to fill our house. We spent almost every weekend at Target or Home Depot buying things we thought we needed and other things we did need to maintain our house. Craig spent hours maintaining the yard and our pool. I spent hours trying to keep the house somewhat clean.

Life was so busy it was hard to find time for anything but keeping the kids fed, the house clean, and maintained.

We had known since our oldest was 2 that we were going to homeschool. My parents are retired school teachers and were the ones who actually recommended we look into homeschooling. We researched a bunch of options and came across Radical Unschooling. It seemed like such an amazing fit and felt like the perfect transition from Attachment Parenting.

The Full Time RV Family Idea Is Born

We did research on it, read books, joined Facebook groups, and decided we were going to give it a try. Knowing we were doing this really opened the door for other opportunities. We were no longer stuck to a school schedule. The year was ours.

We started talking about other things that we could do. We came across families, with 4 kids, that were traveling around the world full time! Wait what?! People do this. At that time it seemed so far-fetched that we could take our life and go in that direction.

These were the main ones we followed in the beginning: www.ytravelblog.com, www.edventureproject.com, and www.currentlywandering.com

Instead we had talked to my sister and her family about both of us selling our houses and buying a duplex together so that we could save money and travel on vacation days. But let’s be serious, there isn’t much traveling you can do when your husband only gets off for 4 weeks a year and then there is always time over Christmas you want to take off to enjoy the holidays. Plus we had pets we didn’t want to leave behind.

That’s when we came across the idea of becoming a full time RV family. Honestly I don’t know how we came to it. But there it was the thought to travel in an RV. It started by saying let’s buy a duplex and then travel whenever we could.

We were excited about this! We went out and bought a 29 foot Class C RV and figured we would give it a try. During this time we had also put our house up for sale. We were ready for a change we just didn’t know how all the pieces were going to fit yet.

Our first step in becoming a full time RV family: the first RV trip!

Putting the house up for sale was not easy. Like I said, it was our dream home. Seriously down to every last detail. We had designed it, ran wire, painted it, built the deck, finished the basement, it was ours. There were lots of tears and uncertainty. But there was also excitement and that desire not to say what IF. So instead, we went for it knowing we could always build another house if we wanted to.

We took our first long RV trip down to northern Florida in January. I called my sister about 5 days in and said hey what do you guys think about selling our houses, buying bigger RV’s, and becoming a full time RV family with us?!

They were on board. And so our plans were laid out. Well kind of. Both of our husbands still had jobs where they had to go into the office in our hometown. But since we had seen other people doing it we knew there were possibilities for jobs that allowed you to become nomadic.

We came home, kept downsizing and selling things, searched high and low for an RV. Then the offer on the house came. It just got real. More tears, more uncertainty, but we kept moving ahead knowing we were ready for something more.

Read more: How we Downsized

We signed the papers on the house without having the RV. Crunch time! We finally found it, negotiated a deal, and Craig flew down to Miami to pick it up and drive it all the way back to Wisconsin. Having never driven a huge Class A motorhome before..

He got home and then the remodel began. The next month was a total blur. We had just over a month from when he got home to finish clearing out the house (we ended up with about 4 bins that we gave to my parents to store, but other than that everything else was with us), remodeling the RV so we all had somewhere to sleep, and making this transition.

Read more: How we fit 6 people and 2 big dogs in a Motorhome

We had found a local RV resort where we could stay from May until October and my sister and her family would be in the spot right next to us! Our husbands would continue to go into work Monday thru Friday and we would figure out our next step from there.

Full Time RV Family Life

The day came when it was time to leave the house. Man that was hard. We stood in our kitchen and balled our eyes out feeling like we couldn’t physically walk away. This was our baby, our dream house. What the hell were we doing?! But we had come this far and like we said no regrets, no what-ifs. So we did it. We walked out turned over the keys and started the next chapter in our life.

Our transition in becoming a full time RV family

The biggest thing that kept pushing us forward was this desire to have more family time, to have more freedom, and to be able to really get out and see all these amazing places that the world has to offer.

So far, it has been a bumpy road and we haven’t found as much free time as we were hoping for. The visions of sitting around a campfire every night without a worry in the world, not true. But this is also on us as we figure out this entrepreneur life and find the balance between work and play.

Since becoming a full time RV family, Craig has left his full time job. We quickly realized we didn’t like him having to be at the table from 9 to 5 every day while we were out exploring. So we started our own businesses. Mine is a Virtual Assistant business that focuses on social media, blogging, and e-newsletters for small businesses. Craig focuses on web design. We also have our family travel blog. We also do blogging coaching, freelance writing, and are working on other ways to monetize our blog. No, this has not been easy to build while having 4 kids and traveling full time, but we are figuring it out.

What being a full time RV family looks like

This has been one INTERESTING journey. We have grown as people more than we ever thought possible. Have stretched our comfort zones farther than we knew we were going to and have forever been changed. We are a tight knit family that fights, loves, and plays with intensity. We don’t have all the answers and are forever seeking them out, but our life is ours to do as we see fit. We now truly believe we can do anything we set our mind to. But man it is a lot of work and scary! So the journey continues!

Read More: What we have learned after 2 years of full time family travel

If you want to stay up to date on where we are and what we are doing we post daily on Facebook, Instagram (where we also do Instagram stories), and Twitter.

You can also follow us on Pinterest and YouTube and join our email newsletter here:

Also, check out our About Us page to learn more about us.

We love to hear your feedback and questions you may have on what its like being a full time RV family, so please leave a comment below and we will get back to you!

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65 Comments

  1. Great reading your blog. Does your sister and her family still full time RV as well?

  2. Great post! I can really relate to so much of it, especially this: “we haven’t found as much free time as we were hoping for. The visions of sitting around a campfire every night without a worry in the world, not true”. Somehow I thought this life would come with lots of free time, but it actually seems even busier. It’s always a balancing act, but I still wouldn’t trade it. 😊

  3. Julie Miller

    Congratulations for escaping the traps and illusions. Your kids look beautiful and happy. Your blogs give people who are stuck a wonderful chance to envision a different way. Big hugs!

  4. Judy pulera

    I just love the journey you are on……in 20 years I want to read….”Where Are They Now”?

  5. What a fascinating story! I loved reading how you got to where you are today and I look forward to following along with your adventure!

  6. Loved reading your story! We have twins too:) I admire your sense of adventure and joie de vivre! ❤️

  7. Love your blog! We are a family of 7. Our 5 children are 8,9,10,11 and 16. We are currently looking for our next adventure having finished doing the Great Loop in our 43 ft trawler which took 10 months. My husband worried about security with with five children- campground playgrounds/bathhouse/campstore without being with them at all times. He is having a hard time getting a warm fuzzy feeling about traveling in an RV with the kids. I would love to hear what you do for security and maybe some advice for my husband. We would like to do a year long trip. Thanks!

    • Thank you! To be honest most people at the RV parks we stay at our retired grandparents or other families traveling. That may have to do with the parks we stay at but we have definitely found that to be true at state parks – where the only people staying long term are the camp hosts. We also have a Thousand Trails membership and have never had any issues with people at those parks – though there are more rules that each campground has about kids running around the park without adult supervision. Given the age of our kids (9, 6, 6, 4) we are always with them. Unless they are playing right outside our RV – then we may be in the RV doing dishes or something and keeping an eye on them through the windows. Our take on it is to have the belief that most people are good and to teach our kids to be strong and independent so they aren’t pulled into a bad situation (I know even with that things can happen – but we are trying to not live our life in fear – which isn’t always easy). All that being said we have had great experiences with all the other fellow RVers we have met at campgrounds we have gone to. I would also recommend when you get to a campground to look for a spot close to the park, campstore, etc. so you can keep an eye on the kids from your rig. Hope that helps!

  8. This was very interesting read for me- how you go from “normal” (college, good jobs:) to “crazy”- and while this route is not for me (I am much more conventional in my habits) it was certainly an eye opener to possibly looking at things differently, one little thing at a time. I wish you to keep finding what you have set out to find- if not every day- most of the time! and yes, kids look very happy and thats what matters the most.

    • Thank you! Yeah we still think we are crazy too 🙂 but definitely don’t regret making the change it has really opened our eyes quite a bit.

  9. I love your courage! I wonder if my husband could be convinced! We did buy a houseboat and are planning adventures. Maybe selling the house and buying an RV could be out next adventure as we love to travel. Houseboating and Rving. Sounds like a plan! Love your blog and look forward to following your adventures.

  10. Just found your blog via your ig account. I’m jealous. My husband would never be on board, but holding out hope. I’m about to go through and read all your posts now. Fascinating.

    • Thank you! You never know about your husband 🙂 maybe show him some of our posts! Let us know if you have any questions.

  11. Wow, what a way to do this and really explore and learn with your children while traveling the world, I wished more US families did something amazing like this!

  12. I’ve met a few people on the road who are families in RVs, and honestly they’ve been some of the happiest families I’ve ever met. Teaching your children that freedom so young is so crucial. Great article with some great tips – keep on keeping on!

  13. Love this and I’m incredibly envious. We have motorhomed all around Europe and NZ and would love to live in Europe, but we have a 7yo labrador (Jay) and I couldn’t be without her for long periods. It costs an absolute bomb to relocate them from Australia to Europe, and the impact on her through quarantine etc is not something that really excites me. Still thinking about it though, Good on you for doing this, for being courageous and for “having a go”. I wish I could have done this when I was a kid.

    • RVing was a great fit for us since we could bring our dogs but it is stopping us from going overseas for the same reasons you list. I hope you are able to come up with a solution that works for you and Jay!

  14. This sounds like a new kind of adventure to me. Here in India I cannot imagine such a set up and so I am thrilled reading about all this. I did have a camper experience, but that was just for a night. It was more of a picnic.

  15. Congrats on taking the leap into the unknown and following through on your dream! Leaving everything behind is one of the most difficult parts of starting a new chapter, but holding on for too long means that you’re missing out on opportunities which are out there. You’re both a huge inspiration – traveling full time with a family will definitely have it’s ups and downs, but it’ll be an experience I’m sure you’ll remember for the rest of your lives 🙂

    All the best, looking forward to following your updates as your journey continues 🙂

  16. Sounds like a huge family adventure. I’m sure this chapter in your life will be an enormously rewarding experience and an educational one for the kids. How long to you think you’ll spend on the road?

  17. Congratulations on going mobile. I homeschooled my children and travelling has been an integral part of their education. What better way to learn than by experiencing.

  18. What a great adventure, especially for your kids. I don’t have kids, but I would love to spend a few years exploring the country by RV

  19. It took me a while to understand what an “RT family” 🙂 Great to have skills that you can earn money with so traveling full time is possible (I should also do more social media for other people 🙂

  20. This is SO amazing! I don’t have a family of my own yet BUT should I have in the future, I’ll surely be doing what you guys are doing! I think that RV living is so much fun and will help enrich the kids 😀

  21. You guys were brave and I love that you are making it work. It must be challenging to get work done without the usual school structures and space for kids to go off and entertain themselves. I get so jealous when I see all the amazing places you are visiting though!

  22. What an incredible leap of faith you guys took diving in to full time RV travel. I love everything about your decision. There is nothing more important than making time for your family. And, you guys take that to a whole new level!!

  23. I found your site after searching about RVing with dogs – we have two large dogs, and have been working out the details to make a similar change next year. We lost our niece this year, and it shifted our ideas about life, and priorities day-to-day… the amount of time our kids spent at school, on school work, on devices, etc… time is too precious. The second we discovered unschooling, we were sold! Even further sold after discovering other families are doing the same exact thing we were thinking of doing.

    We already work from home, and have an internet-based business – with a few adjustments we can work from the road, and are really looking to travel full-time and explore… starting with the U.S., and eventually expanding from there!

    My husband and I have 4 kiddos as well – 12,10,6 & 4. They are all social butterflies and make friends everywhere they go, but that is my ONLY hesitation for making this change. Going from their constant friendships in school, to traveling. I have read stories of kids having even more longer-lasting friendships…. but I worry still 🙂 I also worry about not living near both sets of their grandparents. We plan to have no plan 🙂 Just to travel, and if the negatives end up outweighing the positives, we will return… but those are my only concerns going into it…

    Do you have a post you have written about how your kids feel about it? Or about your kids and friendships?

    Thank you for sharing your stories! I am off to check out some more of your posts! 🙂

    • It is a constant concern of ours too about the kids and friendships. Over the years what we have seen and realized is that living this way means that their bond with each other is so deep and strong – along with their bond with us. Yes it has its ups and downs and isn’t always perfect but seriously the bonds we have all formed are amazing. We have made friends on the road – some we have traveled with – and others we meet, hang out with, then part ways to maybe or maybe not see each other again down the road. We are lucky that my sister and her family (2 kids) also travel full time so we spend a lot of time with them (not all the time – we were just apart for about 6 weeks). My parents are also on the road full time so that helps too! My husbands parents are not on the road but what we have found is when we go back “home” and stay at their house we end up spending so much quality time with them – since we are basically living there – and know we won’t be there for long so it is more intense. It doesn’t mean we don’t miss them on the road because we do. But we also keep talking them into coming out to visit us!

      We started when our kids were a little younger then yours so I think it was a little different. But they have adjusted well. There are still times when they complain about leaving new friends or how they miss old friends. Which is why it is always on our mind. Unfortunately I don’t think there is an answer I think it is just one of those things that changes and that you adapt to while being on the road.

      What I will say is don’t expect it to be super easy when you hit the road and know there will be lots of bumps along the way. Just keep pushing forward, talking through things with your kids, and realize you are all growing as people through this process. And if everyone is missing home then head home for a few weeks to visit everyone! I also recommend checking out Fulltime Families. It is a great group of full time RVing families and a lot us end up in the same campgrounds – especially in winter – so it is a great way to meet friends!

      Good luck with your adventure and let us know if you have any other questions!

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  25. Ashley Johnson

    I read half of your blog post & I am weeping so loudly my kids are hugging my legs wondering what’s wrong with Mom? I am where you were after you had your twins. I’m suffocating. Every single day is harder than the previous. I have a 4 year old, 2 year, & wow, adding that 3rd little girl has been a doozy. It’s all so much to keep up with. We are also an attachment family, I have tandem nursed for 2.5 years. I just can’t keep up with all the demands of being a mom to all these littles & this house & yard…I know you can relate. I can’t wait to get rid of it all & get on the road. We’re just starting our full time education; looking at 5th wheels, purging some of the “stuff” but even that seems overwhelming. Thank you for this post. It gives me hope. If you can do it, I can too. Just gotta hang in there a little longer. I would love to connect with you if you’re ever in the Nashville, TN area or maybe through email or FaceTime. We’re new & green to all of this but we have a dream & we want to learn. Thanks for letting me vent & thanks for this blog post. Now, back to managing all this “stuff”.

    • Thank you for your comment and I totally appreciate where you are at right now and remember how hard it was. I will also say that now that are youngest is almost 5 I really miss those years when they were litter. Yes they need more attention but they are also more content to sit with you, play with you, and just be with you. My recommendation is take a deep breath, sit on the floor with all of them around you and don’t think about anything for a while but just be with them. I know easier said then done :)! And yes that suffocating feeling is real. Simplifying our life has definitely helped with that. I also didn’t realize how much my head was suffocating me too. This journey has been amazing to open our eyes to who we are as people, pushing our comfort zone, and starting to learn how to listen to what we really want again. The purging process is very overwhelming and my best advice on that is just keep moving forward. The things that didn’t seem possible will become possible if you keep moving forward. If you can’t figure out what to do with some things step away for a day and then come back to it and make yourself make a decision and move on. I never actually cried about purging anything but I did come close a few times! We really enjoyed Nashville when we were there and being from Wisconsin we drive through that way a lot when we are coming back to Wisconsin from down south. Please join our email list and we will be sure to stay connected! And never hesitate to send an email, friend me on Facebook, or comment on posts. We are happy to help wherever we can. And above all you got this! Take a deep breath, play with your kids, simplify your things and keep moving forward! Hoping to see you on the road in the near future!!

  26. We would love to do this. We go camping a good bit in our modified 28ft pull behind…with a family of 9 🙂 But it is so refreshing, leaving the stuff behind, and really being together. Your article was interesting and encouraging. Maybe one day.

  27. Pingback: How I Started My Online Business - Crazy Family Adventure

  28. Oh my goodness! Just found this blog and loved reading your risk, bravery, courage and dreaming BIG! I have a crazy dream too, maybe not so long term as yours but taking a year out to travel with kids while home schooling them on route. Most people say ‘ that sounds nice’ but I am sure they think it wld never happen.
    I love your realness about how tough it can be and it is isn’t just all easy and fun and dreamy, but… it is most definitely possible.
    I will keep following you guys living out your dream and hoping that one day ours will be a reality too.

    • I hope you guys are able to hit the road for a year! And I totally know what you mean about people looking at you like that. We got the same thing when we started telling people what we were going to do!

  29. I’ve been wanting to be a full time RV family for years but my kids are teenagers and are not on board.They are in public school and don’t like change. And the whole what would we do for work thing is a sticky part too. Maybe one day…anyways congratulations on grabbing life by the horns and living it like YOU want! You’re very inspiring!

    • Thank you! I could see it being hard starting with teens. Maybe you can convince them to go for a month to see how it is? Hope you are able to figure something out that works for everyone!

  30. I want to do this so bad. I have 2 younger children, 3 and 6 and it’s just me. I think the hardest part for me would be leaving behind what I know. You guys have inspired me.

  31. We have been traveling for 14 months in our Class A RV and are working full-time while on the road. We built a full custom office in the rear of our RV. It cost a few thousand dollars but has been worth every penny. I have a computer with four monitors, a UPS and printer. It is an awesome setup. I also have a Herman Miller Aeron chair. Everything is bolted down so nothing moves when we are traveling. It has been quite the adventure, tons of fun but it sure is a steep learning curve. Our RV is currently for sale but you can see pictures of our custom setup. Click this link and look at the second picture to see our setup – https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2002-Fleetwood-SOUTHWIND+36T-120976675

  32. Wow what a story! The freedom of the road is so alluring, I’m glad you’ve had a good experience!

  33. I lust came across you blog. I have start talking to my husband about doing this. We have 5 kiddos together but my husband has one from his first marriage as well. I would love the freedom and having so much more family time. What I have a hard time with is how we manage time with my step daughter. Also our oldest son plays hockey. He loves it and has played for years. How do I explain to him he can’t play anymore. I’m struggling with these. Any tips?

    • Hi! For your step daughter I imagine you would go back “home” a lot to visit with her or find times when she can come travel with you! For your son . . . this is something we struggle with too. We both grew up playing sports so have mixed feelings about our kids not getting the same experiences. But for now we have made the decision that we will be traveling so some things have to give. I do know of other families that go back home or find a location to stay at for the duration of a season. Not sure how long a hockey season is or if that would be maintainable but it might be worth looking at. Maybe travel for part of the year and then have a home base for part of the year – if the hockey is that important. Hope that helps!

  34. Just watched you guys on IPTV! Looks like you are all having the time of your lives! This is my dream! ❤🏄🌴

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