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Fulltime RV Living: Why Sell it All and Hit the Road?

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

A mostly empty bedroom after boxing to move.
Boxing Up

Fulltime RV Living: Why Sell it All and Hit the Road?

Why make the move? Why take the jump? How did we make the decision to sell it all and hit the road? Why in the world would someone do something, so unconventional as fulltime RV living? For us, the answer to all of these boils down to two motivations: what kind of lifestyle did we want and how could we optimize our finances to do that. We wanted to strengthen our relationships and put a greater focus on our home life.

The typical American family lifestyle is two parents with 2.3 children working two fulltime jobs, in debt to the hilt, and running here there and yonder without a chance to ever catch their breath. We long ago decided that we didn't want to be conventional. We try to eat supper together every night; though at times that has been me and the kids, followed by taking supper out to the field for Daddy. We decided to homeschool in part due to the flexibility it offers; otherwise, the kids wouldn't have been able to see the husband during the week, because they would need to be in bed before he ever made it home at night. We don't do every extracurricular activity under the sun, because it cuts into our family time in the evenings. For a long time, we were a one car family to save money. Finally, we have worked hard to eliminate all the debt but our home, and do our best not to use credit. Like I said, not following the norms has never bothered us.

However, over the last year, since my husband's last farming lay off, we have found ourselves asking, is it worth it? Is it worth it to have him gone all the time, unable to be part of the family in the way he desires? Is it worth it for me to run the household primarily alone because all his energy goes to someone else's farm? During growing season he works weekends as well, so is it worth it to only have those few weekends over 18 years with our children? Is it worth it to have the American dream of the big house, but no time? At first the response, we kept circling back to was what were the other options? So, we looked into changing career fields, but doors have continued to shut in our face. Then, we looked into independent contracting with a company, but that door has recently been closed too. Finally, in our questioning we looped back to a thought I had in passing a year ago, what if it's not worth it to us, and what if there is another option.

Fulltime RV Living: The Life We Want for our Family.

A year ago in passing for the millionth time in our marriage I said, "wouldn't it be nice to be able to travel with the kids? To be able to do all the things with them that we always say we want to do?" It was part of one of those inevitable discussions about what trip we might make during the summer that year. The discussion we've frequently had joking that we either have no money for a trip or we have the money, but not the ability to step away from the farm and take time off. Last year watching our oldest driving the truck and tractor around the fields knowing that with him being 13, at best we had another five good years with him at home, the husband asked "when are we going to stop saying 'one of these days?'" Sure enough, less than two months later, we found ourselves unemployed again.

This time though, we didn't cancel the trip. We had already saved the money. We had already made plans to stay with Church friends going and coming home. We had talked up the Texas Camp Meeting to the kids, and time with some of their best Church friends and preachers they admire. We had already discussed visiting the Alamo, and showing them places and items that we had studied in our homeschooling. We had the money saved, and so we cut corners where we could and took the trip. It was one of the most blessed Church meetings we've been able to attend in our marriage, it was exactly the meeting that we needed. It was the time that both we and the kids needed with friends that we love as family. And spending some time exploring a place we had never been together helped history come to life and breathed new enthusiasm into our schooling. That experience has sat in the back of our minds ever since, wondering how we could have more of that in our lives.

Fulltime RV Living: What are We Working for Anyway?

At the same time, our finances have gotten tighter and tighter over the past few months. We've borrowed money to keep the mortgage payment afloat. We've gutted an already threadbare budget. We have asked what can we do without, what can we do differently. With the downsizing that the husband's company just went through, we are again out of a job. Faced with the reality that now we have to sell the house, we began thinking about what we could do if we didn't have a $3,000+ mortgage payment every month. What if we could live smaller? What if we could instead put our energy into jobs that work for us to have the life we want? What if we could then use that money to do the things with the kids that we've always dreamed of?

With that we came back to the idea of getting a camper and traveling while working remotely. So while boxing, cleaning, and all the preparations to sell the house, we've also spent evenings looking into remote work and ways to make money on the road. I've gone back and reread post from my favorite families who live fulltime on the road, and made copious notes. We've looked at campers, fifth wheels, and RVs to narrow down the floorplans that will work for us. And we have made progress and found some possibilities, where before we kept hitting walls and finding closed doors. We've come to believe with a tremendous amount of prayer and research that this is the answer to our year of questions, this is the next step on our journey. We have come to believe that this job loss and need to sell our home will prove to have been a blessing in disguise.

Of course, we have moments where we doubt, after all we cannot see where this fulltime RV living might lead. I struggle with anxiety and had a panic attack moment just last week thinking, "Oh my goodness, this is just one step up from homelessness!" It seems surreal when we have struggled for years with a career in a volatile field, that these circumstances might actually lead us to the life we've wanted all along. But we are stepping out on faith and looking forward with excitement, not back with regret, and that's why we can sell it all and hit the road together.

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