Jump to content

Menu

Downsizing... anyone live in an RV and want to give me some advice?


Recommended Posts

We had a missionary family stay with us this past July, and they traveled/lived in their RV. They are a family of 6; their children ranged, at the time, from almost 1 up to almost 9.

 

They had recently returned to the US from India. They do not own a home here in the US. The husband's mother bought them an RV. Or is it called a trailer? She bought them a large, what, I dunno, some sort of huge SUV that pulled it. Theirs was the kind that you can't drive by itself, it's pulled behind a vehicle.

 

Can you tell I've never owned one? :tongue_smilie:

 

Anway, their 'home base' if you will is the Texas/New Mexico area, where they have friends and family. I don't know where they're living now; as far as I know, they're still living in the RV.

 

The wife told me they were very grateful for the RV, and that it's much better accommodations than their home in India was. I suppose that gives you an idea of how they lived in India, hunh.

 

They are a beautiful family, and their children are all (obviously, I guess) homeschooled. They stayed for three and a half weeks. They parked their RV in our driveway. We also had a bedroom with five beds available for them. Sometimes they stayed in the house, sometimes in the RV. Just depended on what they felt like doing.

 

Those are the most well behaved children (besides my own, of course :D) that I have ever met.

 

Just my experience. Don't know if it's helpful at all, LOL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is lots of stuff available if you google rv living. I would say don't go too small...and make sure everyone has a comfy place to sleep. some say they sleep such and such, but that is sharing a bed, and those beds are small. bunkbeds are great if you can find one with bunks. Think about what you will really need in terms of storage space too. and I would get a used one....there are tons on the market now at great prices. I'm sort of jealous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you buy property to park the RV on or do you plan to stay at a campground? You'll need to factor campground expenses into your budget, it that is the case. We own a campground and there are monthly electrical fees in addition to your lot rental fees.

 

We have had a few families pass through that are full timers, though they don't seem to do it for much more than a year. We have plenty of retirees that are full timers, of course.

 

I definitely agree to look at buying used!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have some friends who are have been living in a "5th wheel" for about 2 years, because the training the husband was doing with the mlitary meant they would be moving a lot during that time. One thing that they looked for when they bought theirs was "at least one real interior bedroom door". This would be especially important with littles who need to nap. They also got rid of lots of stuff, getting it down to just the essentials. I thought for sure that they would make each other crazy after a few weeks of living in such tight quarters, but they have done very well and made lots of friends at the different campgrounds they have stayed at. Good luck on your new adventure!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can answer any questions you might have. We were going to do this ourselves last year with our RV, however, the prices on homes were so good in our area, we decided to buy a home. So now we just RV as we can. Actually, we are out on a month or two RV trip right now. I know of many families doing this. Here's a website that you might like:

 

http://www.familiesontheroad.com/

 

If I can answer any questions about different types of RVs, what its like, campgrounds, etc., please don't hesitate to ask. It's a bit of an adjustment, depending on the size of your current house, but its definitely doable. I'd highly suggest finding one with bunks or a bunk room (we have that) and slide outs, IMO, are a must.

 

Good luck,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up living in one, a 5th wheel trailer. It was just my parents and two kids, however, so not sure about more kids. When I was older my parents got a little camper type that usually goes on top of a pickup bed and that became my room (I had a brother 7 years younger). We had never known any different. It got a bit crowded in the winter when grandparents were visiting and the kitchen was pretty tiny with a small fridge, small water heater too so showers/baths had to be very short. We had a washing machine outside and hung stuff up around the house inside when it was raining/snowing. We did have lots of room to roam around outside including the forest to explore in most places we lived.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dh lost his job and hasn't been able to find another. We are selling our home (our only debt). We've considered buying a 5 person, $60K RV and living in it. We are expecting baby #4 in April. Is this doable? Anyone have some BTDT advice or experience to share? Thanks...

 

 

Sue, I have a friend IRL who did this and they are living/schooling on the road. I'm sure she'd be more than willing to e-mail with you about it. She also has a blog... let me see if I can find.

 

link: http://www.5bearsgousa.blogspot.com/

Edited by TN Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

our neighbors did this, she has a blog, they sold their house at a loss and lived in the rv, they have 2 kids and homeschool. It didn't seem to last long, they are now renting a house in Oregon, I think they were living in the rv only for a few months. She has a blog and would answer any questions you have, I'm sure, she is very nice and very friendly. A newspaper even did an article on them, she has it linked to on her blog.

 

here's her blog;

http://www.peopledothings.com/2009_09_01_archive.html

 

here's the link to the article done on their adventure**here

http://www.peopledothings.com/2009/08/people-do-things-gets-some-press.html

 

(sorry for the awkward links, I'm on my macbook and haven't figured out how to highlight yet without a mouse...!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are not doing this now but next spring have every intention of doing so. And we will have 7 of our 12 children with us. And in the summer when our daughters finish their semester of school we will have 2 more. Don't know how long we will actually do that but with that many children it is hard to find rent. We just desperately want to sell our house to be completely out of debt for good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From a safety standpoint, you'll want a tow-behind and a vehicle large enough to safely restrain your children while enroute. RVs are not very crash-worthy, and provide almost no protection for the occupants. Additionally, the odds of one being involved with a crash is very high and they are prone to roll-overs.

 

 

Becky (with her CPST hat on)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, Good Lord... I know someone is going to call Social Services on me. Funny the timing of these questions...

 

On Sunday, me and our four kids are moving into OUR RV. Yep. :glare: This is a long drawn-out saga also. Husband lost job last year, unemployed for 7 months, managed to find another job, he MOVED without us - 800 miles away due to lack 'o cash from aforementioned unemployment, now house on market, house not selling, hanging onto house so we can keep it as rental property, hoping to live in RV for about 1-2 months until we can find tenants and close on new house 800 miles away. WHEW.... :auto:

 

I'm telling you...one of THE MOST bizarre years of my life.

 

Because RVs are smaller than a house, you're going to need a lot of outside living area. I have a bunch of folding chairs from Bass Pro Shops (we're such hillbillies here in Missouri) and a ton of soccer balls, baseball stuff and outdoor toys. You can even get some lights that you can hang outside the RV - and then you're really rockin'. :glare: (Hey, my Grandma likes them)

 

I'm bringing a small TV with XBOX (you can play movies and games) to put on our dinner table (if you dare call it that). I also use the "Laundry Basket Method" - ahem...all the toys for the kids fit into one laundry basket. All the clothes for us fit into another (big) laundry basket. All the weird food items (that don't go in refrigerator) get thrown in another basket. Because you have space issues in RVs, we just move the baskets around the RV when we need to change what we're doing in a space.

 

Oh, so you're going to need small kid-safe electric space heaters (the kind that turn off when you knock them over), nightlights, flashlights, tool kit (something always breaks), cleaning supplies, pots/pans/dishes/cups, I have an RV sink strainer and RV cutting boards/strainers... We've also found that sleeping bags are a little easier to deal with than sheets and blankets. Because the kids always end up jumping and rolling all over the beds...the sheets never stay and RV mattresses are strangely-shaped... The RV stores all sell those folding, telescoping broom/dustpans - and that helps. I also have a really nice grill. I bought a lantern with a faint blue light and I keep that on all night so you can find your way around the RV without waking up everybody.

 

Boy, am I embarrassed...:leaving: But, if you asked the kids - they LOVE it. I guess it's an adventure to them or something.

 

I hope some of these suggestions help you... :D

 

I also have a neighbor who is also "camping" in a tent 5 nights a week. He found a job 300 miles away and his wife is pregnant. :001_huh: This economy...it's really goin' around...like the swine flu...and it's just never-ending...:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you buy property to park the RV on or do you plan to stay at a campground? You'll need to factor campground expenses into your budget, it that is the case. We own a campground and there are monthly electrical fees in addition to your lot rental fees.

 

We have had a few families pass through that are full timers, though they don't seem to do it for much more than a year. We have plenty of retirees that are full timers, of course.

 

I definitely agree to look at buying used!

 

Also take into account insurance costs, registration, and fuel. If you own a lot to park it on... then add in the mortgage or taxes. Forgot to add if you have a washing machine on board -- if not, add in the cost of washing it at a campground laundromat. You will need to resize and reduce your stuff. If you rent a storage unit... that is a monthly cost. HTH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We didnt live in ours but we did have a 37 ft toy hauler that was plenty big enough for our family of 6 on long trips. It had a huge room with double electric drop down queen beds. It was a room while parked or a garage while hauling your "toys" it also had w/d hook ups... and you could get a second bathroom in there too for an added expense.

The master bedroom was big, with a king bed, bathroom and a door separating it from the rest of the "house".

Go check out some of the new 5th wheels... they are HUGE. Of course if you dont have a 1 ton truck already the price of the truck and trailer combo is steep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dh lived in RVs for years out of high school because he followed work. (He did commercial construction.) He has sold RVs for many years now and also worked in real estate for a time. We manage an RV park currently. We just got back from a 5500+ mile trip with a tent trailer. He would love to visit with you (not to sell you an RV!). If you would like to visit with him, PM me and I will give you his phone number.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, Good Lord... I know someone is going to call Social Services on me. Funny the timing of these questions...

 

On Sunday, me and our four kids are moving into OUR RV. Yep. :glare: This is a long drawn-out saga also. Husband lost job last year, unemployed for 7 months, managed to find another job, he MOVED without us - 800 miles away due to lack 'o cash from aforementioned unemployment, now house on market, house not selling, hanging onto house so we can keep it as rental property, hoping to live in RV for about 1-2 months until we can find tenants and close on new house 800 miles away. WHEW.... :auto:

 

I'm telling you...one of THE MOST bizarre years of my life.

 

Because RVs are smaller than a house, you're going to need a lot of outside living area. I have a bunch of folding chairs from Bass Pro Shops (we're such hillbillies here in Missouri) and a ton of soccer balls, baseball stuff and outdoor toys. You can even get some lights that you can hang outside the RV - and then you're really rockin'. :glare: (Hey, my Grandma likes them)

 

I'm bringing a small TV with XBOX (you can play movies and games) to put on our dinner table (if you dare call it that). I also use the "Laundry Basket Method" - ahem...all the toys for the kids fit into one laundry basket. All the clothes for us fit into another (big) laundry basket. All the weird food items (that don't go in refrigerator) get thrown in another basket. Because you have space issues in RVs, we just move the baskets around the RV when we need to change what we're doing in a space.

 

Oh, so you're going to need small kid-safe electric space heaters (the kind that turn off when you knock them over), nightlights, flashlights, tool kit (something always breaks), cleaning supplies, pots/pans/dishes/cups, I have an RV sink strainer and RV cutting boards/strainers... We've also found that sleeping bags are a little easier to deal with than sheets and blankets. Because the kids always end up jumping and rolling all over the beds...the sheets never stay and RV mattresses are strangely-shaped... The RV stores all sell those folding, telescoping broom/dustpans - and that helps. I also have a really nice grill. I bought a lantern with a faint blue light and I keep that on all night so you can find your way around the RV without waking up everybody.

 

Boy, am I embarrassed...:leaving: But, if you asked the kids - they LOVE it. I guess it's an adventure to them or something.

 

I hope some of these suggestions help you... :D

 

I also have a neighbor who is also "camping" in a tent 5 nights a week. He found a job 300 miles away and his wife is pregnant. :001_huh: This economy...it's really goin' around...like the swine flu...and it's just never-ending...:confused:

 

I think it's great. 6 of us lived in our 30 ft RV for 10 months. The kids loved it. I thought it was fine. It would have been more fun if we had been traveling that whole time though. :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is my family's DREAM!!!! We're working towards it. Have you seen http://www.thefamilyman.com ? They have at least 6 kids (maybe 8?) and travel all summer. The baby sleeps in the bathtub. They took out a pantry and installed a 3-decker bunk bed instead. The dad speaks at homeschooling conventions (he's hilarious) and they all travel together to his different engagements.

 

Another solution for parking at campgrounds, etc. is to volunteer as camp assistants. Sometimes it's as easy as walking around in the evenings and saying hello to the campers. Sometimes it requires leading craft sessions for kids. Sometimes it involves scrubbing toilets - yuck. But in exchange, you get free parking and electricity/water. There are RV websites that help you hook up with available jobs across the US.

 

I'm quite jealous and hope you post your adventure to share with us!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We made it 6.5 months in our 35 ft RV. Just moved into a 1000 sq ft apt last week. We made it, but I was close to loosing it- in a big way. And I am hyper organized and a very laid back person. It wore on me. PM me if you want to talk.

 

I just wanted to say that I am so glad you did find somewhere before it got too cold.

:grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...