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jonahj11

family of 5 full timing

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Hey all, I've been a lurking here a bit and really enjoy all the info, and feel it's time to jump in. My wife and I have been craving a big adventure for a long time and we have stumbled upon full time RVing as our ticket. But first a little background.

My wife and I are in our early 30s and we have 3 girls. 4, 8 and 9. We have had our noses to the grind stone for 10 years and saved enough money to have a humble home paid for. This was a goal for us for a long time. We are debt free and loving it. Problem is .... we move all the time. like 8 times in the past 10 years of marriage. I can't stay settled down. We home school our girls and like hiking and field trips and adventure. But with all my time at work I usually miss out. So... We are considering a big change.

  • Sell our home and cars and everything we have amassed to live this way
  • Put all that capital toward a rig and set out for a year touring the country

Of course this is the short list but let us know what you full timers think. Any considerations on rigs, timing of our children's ages, or experiences would be great. We could always just live here in north GA debt free and keep working but.....we are looking to try something new. Thanks

 

 

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! While we are mostly a group of retired or near retirement aged people, there are a number of younger folks and we are happy to assist you in any way that we may be able. Even more important, there is a current member who has just recently completed spending a year on the road with their children and I hope that she will join in soon. Her name is Kinsa, so be watching for her response.

 

One thing I would suggest is that if you have not done so, start by checking out a book or two on the subject of full-time RV living from your local library or from Amazon.

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Thanks for the Welcome Kirk,

Also I forgot to mention my parents are retired and are going to be full timing. So ours paths will cross often, maybe even caravan together. I'll check out those books. Look forward to hearing from Kinsa.

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Hey all, I've been a lurking here a bit and really enjoy all the info, and feel it's time to jump in. My wife and I have been craving a big adventure for a long time and we have stumbled upon full time RVing as our ticket. But first a little background.

My wife and I are in our early 30s and we have 3 girls. 4, 8 and 9. We have had our noses to the grind stone for 10 years and saved enough money to have a humble home paid for. This was a goal for us for a long time. We are debt free and loving it. Problem is .... we move all the time. like 8 times in the past 10 years of marriage. I can't stay settled down. We home school our girls and like hiking and field trips and adventure. But with all my time at work I usually miss out. So... We are considering a big change.

  • Sell our home and cars and everything we have amassed to live this way
  • Put all that capital toward a rig and set out for a year touring the country

Of course this is the short list but let us know what you full timers think. Any considerations on rigs, timing of our children's ages, or experiences would be great. We could always just live here in north GA debt free and keep working but.....we are looking to try something new. Thanks

 

 

 

I was summoned out of lurkdom to respond... heehee...

 

Welcome to the Escapees forum! You'll find a lot of great information and encouragement here.

 

I'll share with you a little bit about our experience, but keep in mind that our way is by no means the only way. There are as many ways to do this full-time bit as there are people under the sun.

 

We have six boys, mostly older than your girls. We had a year of terrible tragedy, loss, and stress. DH was nearing a mental breakdown when we decided we had enough of the rat race and needed to go full time in order to preserve our mental health. We had a history of weekend RVing, so the idea came to us to sell our house, half our belongings, and hit the road.

 

We lived in a beautiful 4000 sqft, 5-bdrm suburban house at that time. We put it on the market and sold it quickly. We donated or sold half of our belongings and put the rest into climate-controlled storage. We found a foster home for our dog, and off we went.

 

As for our rig, we had a list of must-haves:

1. It must have dedicated sleeping space for eight people. I was NOT going to set up and break down a dinette sleeper every day, nor a fold-out couch. This highly limited our options, but we did manage to find a toy hauler with elevating queen bunk beds (so that was space for four teenagers), plus it had a loft queen bed above the garage (space for two more younger kids), and the bedroom up front for mom & dad. The huge bonus in having a toy hauler is that we could close off the sliding glass door between the garage and the main cabin, giving mom & dad some much-needed private time without the teens being too disturbed by it.

2. Washer and dryer, separate units. As you can imagine, with eight people, laundry is nearly constant. Especially in an RV where there isn't a whole lot of space to store dirty clothes.

3. A half-bathroom in addition to the main bathroom. With eight of us, we just need that extra toilet.

4. A dinette that we could all sit at together. This limited us to a huge U-shaped dinette, which was fine.

5. A double-fridge. With four teenage boys plus two others, this was definitely a must.

 

Dh had his own list of must-haves, which included things like six wheels vs four, a good generator for boondocking (which we seldom did, but when we did it was awfully nice to have that generator!), a four-seasons package, and other must-haves that I know nothing about (LOL).

 

Okay, I just went back and re-read your post. Here's what I recommend, though I'm not an expert at such things...

 

I recommend NOT selling your paid-off house, if you can help it. If you sell it and sink all that money into an RV, you will LOSE all that equity. IMO, that's a financial mistake. Because you have young children and are rather young yourselves, it is reasonable to assume that some day you will be putting down roots again, once the RVing adventure is completed. You will need a place to return to. It is difficult to amass enough money to put down on a new house, and basically start all over again on mortgage and such. It might be better to keep the house and find another means to finance the RV. As for us, we kept the rental house, sold the big house we were living in, and financed the RV. We had to put some money down to buy the RV by cashing in some savings bonds, using up a little bit of savings, and using some of the profit from the sale of the house we were living in. But we kept the rental house so we would have someplace to land once our adventure was done.

 

(I think it is important to note that my DH kept employment while we were on the road. He was allowed to work remotely, plus he cashed in all his vacation time used in combination with flying back to his place of employment and leaving the kids and I wherever the RV was parked. In combination, we were able to pull it off.)

 

We went through a lot of work to make it happen, but we don't regret it one bit. Our oldest kids (twins) were seniors in high school and about to leave us for college, so if we were going to do it together as a family, it was now or never! Once we put some road under our wheels, we wondered why we waited so long to make it happen. It was possibly our best year together as a family, and our only regret is that we didn't have more time to do it. I'm glad that all the kids were old enough to not only appreciate it but also remember it.

 

A few things we learned along the way:

 

1. Homeschooling takes on a completely different form when you are traveling. I had lofty plans for our school year, but we only got a fraction of the book work done. That's okay, because ultimately the travel became the lessons. But still, this school year we are playing catch-up, especially with my 11th grader (who was 10th grade when we were traveling) so he can graduate "on time" next year.

 

2. You don't need nearly as much stuff along with you as you thought you did. I think this is true for retired full-timers, not just those of us with families.

 

3. Kids WILL get sick/injured at some point. Think ahead to how you are going to handle doctor's visits. Make sure each child gets a thorough medical exam, dental exam, and vision exam before you hit the road. Make sure you understand how your medical insurance (if applicable) will work while you are traveling.

 

4. A lot of people don't like kids. It's a sad truth of life, but there you have it. It doesn't matter how well behaved they are, you will inevitably end up parked next to someone who is sour on life and complains about "those pesky kids in the RV next to us". Just let it roll. As long as you know your kids are well behaved, there's not much else you can do.

 

5. I come from a part of the country where homeschooling is very popular and accepted (Texas). When we traveled into the northeast and west coast, attitudes about homeschooling are completely different than they are here. Expect naysayers and curious types. Sometimes you are on display whether you like it or not.

 

6. Expect to pay for extra people when you pull into an RV park/campground. Usually the rates are based on two-person occupancy, so expect to pay a bit more than the posted rate.

 

********

 

Okay, this whole response is a bit discombobulated... too many distractions around me right now...

 

I'm sure I've left off some vital piece of information or advice, so feel free to ask me anything. My blog starts off at the very beginning, as we were considering traveling and first buying the RV (January 2013). Hopefully that will be helpful to you as well.

 

My last piece of advice: Just do it. Make it happen, no matter how hard the obstacles and how loud the naysayers are. You will NOT regret it.

Edited by Kinsa

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Go for it!

When we were in our late twenties we took our son out if school (1st grade), sold our house, moved aboard our 27' sailboat and went to the Bahamas for six months. Came back broke as hell. Had a blast. Best thing we EVER did. Our son, now 43, remembers it still. We wouldn't have changed a thing.

You guys are young enough to start over, so what's to loose? Don't look back. I wish I was you!

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Hey all, I've been a lurking here a bit and really enjoy all the info, and feel it's time to jump in. My wife and I have been craving a big adventure for a long time and we have stumbled upon full time RVing as our ticket. But first a little background.

My wife and I are in our early 30s and we have 3 girls. 4, 8 and 9.

 

We started full timing with 3 girls - about 3, 5, and 7. We added a boy about a year later. You know what works for your family and what your dreams are. My suggestion is ask questions - especially about the things that you are concerned about. Do your research, you won't regret it. We also started with a toy hauler. It worked really well. In fact on at least 3 occasions we had friends with families of 5 or more spend the night with us. I'm not sure I ever want to have a fixed foundation again!

 

Don't be afraid!

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Kinsa, WOW! Thanks for the wealth of info. I checked out your blog, It's great. I appreciate your comment on the house. I have been thinking about what to do. Although my wife is very interested in Texas. I grew up RVing in Texas and still have family there so we will have to consider that sooner or later. We are in the strategy/planing stages now and love learning from the pros!

 

rwp48 Thanks for the encouragement

 

4girls It seems like toy haulers are popular with families. I've looked at a few and the seem very roomy.

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