It’s Official…RV Living, Here We Come!

RVliving

I know I said this month was going to be all about breastfeeding, but I had to give an update!  It’s too exciting to wait.

So, you may remember that our family has been in the midst of a major upheaval and shift in our life for several months now.  Back in January (post here…I know there are others that shared our story, but I’m clueless where they are…) we were working on our plans for my husband’s next job after the military.  Then, he officially became a civilian in early March and since then we have been living with my mom while selling our house and finalizing those details, all while still working to get my husband a job.

Well, I’d love to say that we found a job for him and everyone lived happily ever after, but that is not the case.  The Lord is for sure providing for us in this time and we are forever grateful, but we are definitely having to repeatedly put our “plans” down at His feet and surrender things to His Sovereignty.  The process is absolutely a growing experience.

So far, my husband has repeatedly been met with frustrating comments of his “overly-qualified” status.  Somehow I just did not expect employment for someone like my husband to be quite this difficult, but, hey, I am turning it to the Lord and looking to see what He has planned, because this is going to be quite an adventure!

In the mean time, we have profits from our house getting sold (YAY FINALLY!!!) to help hold us over for a while, which is a blessing and a half, but we are no longer thinking that staying here with my mom will be the best for us at this time.  So, we did something radical and on the fringe and out there…we bought a beautiful camper trailer for our home!

It’s Official…RV Living, Here We Come!

I am beyond excited about this new adventure for our family.  Anyone with kids who has visited anyone for even a week or so knows how tricky it is trying to settle into a good routine with kids in a new place.  As absolutely grateful as I am for my mom’s generosity in letting us stay here, this move has been tricky for our family to navigate.  With school starting up again in just a few weeks, we knew that establishing a solid routine and pattern would continue to be tricky in a situation where our “home” was not our own.  Enter the camper trailer!

With kids, I believe that having a consistent environment that has some level of predictability is key for their stability. This season of flux has kind of taken away from level of that for our family, but living in a home that moves right along with us allows for this great opportunity to provide consistency of environment without keeping us in a location that does not work for our goals.  RV living just makes sense for us in this season.

I do not yet know how everything is going to work out with where we will be parking our trailer and holing up, but things look very promising at this point.  When I know, you’ll know =0)  ::wink, wink::

Here are some pictures of the camper!  All of us are SUPER excited for this adventure, kids included.  We have been working on downsizing our things for several months now, and we are now in crunch time to get it all squared away.  I know we will eventually be doing some modifications to the camper, but even as is, it is a beauty…and the Lord worked a MIRACLE with the price!  What a blessing!

Camper14

Home Sweet Home…

Camper2

Outdoor Kitchenette and shower/water

camper3

ENORMOUS Understorage…just one side, but has this kind of storage in front too.

camper5

This is the main living space. It actually feels quite spacious, even with all the kids around!

Camper6

The table and sofa will eventually be modified to fit our family needs better, but for now it will work fine =0)

Camper8

Lovely kitchen! Don’t even have to paint it. Loads of storage under the sink area, and scattered throughout. Yes, every nook and cranny will be storage!

Camper9

Comes with a TV, CD/DVD/MP3 Player plus sound system hookups throughout the trailer, inside and out…the TV will be moved…counter space is a high priority!

Camper10

Note the large pantry storage space in the back left! That’s a HUGE bonus in a camper! Under the table seats there is also a bunch of storage space. Everything will be well-utilized =0)

Camper4

Our bedroom. Cute, huh? The bed lifts for storage underneath, and we are considering sticking a small deep freezer in the left corner for practical needs for our family. Food trumps bedroom walking space in my world!

Camper11

Kids room! They are super excited about the bunks and having their own little nook. We are going to put added storage on top of the cabinet, plus curtains and personalizing touches in each bunk. This is an adventure and it will be fun for all =0)

Camper12

Small bathroom, and yes, we will need to take turns! Our character will for sure be trained up even more in this trailer =0) What is not pictured is MORE storage to the left of the shower for pantry items. BONUS!

Camper13

And, shower. Not much to see here, but there it is =0)

Are You Crazy?!  RV Living?  Why are you excited?!

Well, I’m glad you asked.  Honestly, this is like a dream come true for me!  I am excited for the challenge of minimalist living.  I am excited for the challenge to trust the Lord even more with each day.  I am excited for the challenge of learning how to use every square inch of space in the most effective and efficient manor possible.

I am excited.

I am nervous about some things, like moving the thing and potential weather issues, but even weather can be a problem in a regular home, so no major difference there.  And, the beautiful thing is, if the weather is really looking bad, we can up and go!  Pretty sweet to me.

I have always been a “voluntary poverty” type (it was actually listed as a pretty high spiritual gift for me in my last spiritual gifts test…as was writing, and a few others, hence, here I am =0) ), but my husband does not share that gifting.  Which means, this has been a long time coming!  Yahweh works in such amazing ways that it has been my job to just keep trusting Him and going where He leads me.

He has been training me up in preparation for this move for the better part of three years, which is insane when I look back on it.  Teaching me to let go of material possessions, to learn what is important, to learn to make things from scratch and depend less on most products, etc.  All of these skills will come in handy soon enough.

I am in love with the prospect of having very few precious possessions and all of us reconnecting with the Lord’s good creation even more.  I am in love with removing even more of the world’s influence from media from the kids’ minds, even though we regulate it immensely right now.  I love that we will be able to move quickly and easily if/when my husband’s job situation works out.  I love that we just bought our new home in cash!

I am so thankful for the Lord’s provision during this time, even though it is totally “out there” for most people and on the fringe.  I am excited to grow, and excited for the challenge, and excited for the new adventures.

Needless to say, I am researching my tooshie off looking for various solutions and ideas to simplify this new style of living as much as possible.  My Pinterest boards are exploding with pins!  If you haven’t found me there yet, join me =0)  We are also researching solar panels and options like that to get even more off-grid, which is a long time desire of ours.  Funny how the Lord works!  He certainly has a sense of humor.

So, if you live in the mid-Atlantic area or southeastern quadrant of the US and don’t mind a trailer in your driveway for a night or two, let us know (this is a practice called “boon docking.”)  Having a safe place to park will surely be a nice option while we work out the details, or if we decide to travel a tad.

What About You?

Do you have any experience with RV living, or even road trips with family?  What did you love and hate about the experience?  Are you a big camper, or do you hate the outdoors?  Share below =0)

**This post is linked up at The Prairie Homestead Barn Hop #170…for other great blogs full of tips for simple, natural, or down to earth living, check out the Barn Hop link-up!**

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Wife, Mother, and Daughter of the King of Kings, my life is full of the blessings that come with a busy and active home life, complete with homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, training, disciplining, discipling, laughing, playing, learning, growing, and everything in between.
  • Conni

    You might want to check out American Family Now blog. She writes well about their family of six living in an RV. Joy and Blessings as you embark on this adventure!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Yes, thanks! I have seen them but haven’t had a chance to look up their blog. Thanks for the reminder =0)

  • Katie

    “The Thing”. It certainly has potential for a name for your new home!!!! ;-) I think the kids would get a HUGE kick out of it too!! SOOOOOOO excited for you guys! I can’t WAIT to see/hear how this all pans out! I’m near tears right now with excitement! Plus, I can’t wait to see you all and maybe have you boondocking for an “extended” time:-D

    For us, I’m 100% certain that J would never do exactly what you guys have done but I DO think he would be willing to potentially rent out the house and go on an extended road trip, funds providing. I’m not sure where I stand on the idea of not having the comfort of an actual house to go back to, but I am certain Jeff would never give that up willingly. But MAN I would LOVE to do something like what you guys are doing at some point in our life. With the kids too! That would be amazing!! And with homeschool that definitely is a possibility. But with lawyering it’s a bit more difficult:-(

    Anyways, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for you guys!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Definitely not a choice for everybody, but to each their own =0). I’m excited for your new adventure, too! Every new experience is a new adventure, no matter where the trail leads =0)

  • http://makingoursustainablelife.com Vickie

    Yup – good decision! Though my husband and I will be living in our trailer while we build our home, we have had the trailer for 12 years now and have enjoyed traveling and camping quite a bit. Believe me, you will find storage for every thing you need, and even some things you don’t need! These trailers are so well thought out and built nowadays.
    Have you considered being caretakers at a ranch or large farm? Sometimes the ranch owner allows you to park on their land. Or, you could rent a small corner of some farmer’s unused land. The only problems to work out would be water and sewage. For water, you could easily get a water storage tank (they come in sizes from 55 gallons to 12,000 gallons), to use as needed along with the fresh water tank in the trailer. The bigger the tank, the less often it will need to be filled. Most areas have a company that will supply potable water once a week or once a month or even on demand, and it doesn’t cost very much. Sewage is a different matter. On our property we had a septic tank put in for our eventual house, but our trailer sits on another spot, so we purchased what we affectionately call our “pooper toter”! It is a sanitary way to transport “the stuff” from your black water tank to either a sewage system or a septic tank, without too much ick factor. Thetford makes them. As for gray water, you could always dig a french drain and plant berries over it.
    Enjoy this time in your lives. Yes, it will get hectic in the trailer at times and you will find you need the patience of a saint when you are trying to cook, yet someone is trying to shower (a no no in the trailer camping world) or one person is trying to sleep while others are not (impossible). But, once everyone gets into a good routine, and if you can get a pop-up shade cover with lots of lounge chairs to use as a second living room, life will be good!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Thank you for the confidence boost! Yes, I have brought up be idea of either farm watching or asking for a piece of someone’s land. All would be great. We are presently looking into solar for the energy requirements and we are even looking into a composting toilet to eliminate the black water issue completely. Water will be the main thing to work out…but I’ve even been thinking of constructing a rainwater collection system of some sort somehow =0). It’s an exciting adventure for sure! We had been looking into living off grid even before this all worked out, so thankfully we have a lot of resources in hand to figure it all out. ADVENTURE!!!!! =0)

  • http://stephlinsmountain.blogspot.com Stephanie

    So-o glad to see we’re not the only ones “out on the fringe”! We just bought a small camper and are planning on moving in to slash our bills and eventually move to where we are the most happiest — the mountains. Good luck! Sending best wishes and prayers your way. (Visiting from Homestead Barn Hop.)

  • http://oursimplelife-sc.com Tracy @ OurSimpleLifeSC

    You will find a new part of yourself you never thought you had and the freedom you will feel from living with less is wonderful!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Lol, right now I’m in the midst of going to ALLLLLL our clothes. Knee deep in stuff to donate and though it is overwhelming, it is simultaneously liberating. I’ve been compelled to do this for a LONG time now…this is an exciting, all be it, anxious, change and event. =0). Stay tuned for further postings =0)

  • http://modernishlife.com Amy

    Love it! I have seriously considered doing this myself as a way to save money on rent. At this time I am just working on saving the money needed to build a “tiny house” (or make a down payment on an existing small house). How very exciting to live tiny with a family!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Awesome! I can’t even begin to explain my excitement. Blessings!

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  • Amy

    Ok, so I’m new to your blog. I mentioned this post to my hubby and his response was “you’d HATE that!”. I’m thinking – we’d be able to pay the business off SO much faster! I may have to give this serious consideration. The Lord told my DH to quit his govt job to purchase a business a year ago. So, we sold our home and are now renting but only saving 300 extra (difference in mortgage and utilities). Anyway, I was trying to do the math for him to see what we could really save.

    Since I’m new to you, can you tell me how many children you have, do you homeschool and how much do you expect your living expenses to be/or that you’ll save by living in an RV? We currently have 4 children ages 4mo-6yrs.

    Also, is the RV you bought fairly new or new? All of our cash is tied up in the business now so we don’t have a lick of savings. We’d probably have to go with an ancient RV or something.

    Loving your adventure! Keep us posted!

    • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

      Awwww, thanks Amy! I’m glad you found us! We presently have 6 children, ages almost 9 to almost 10 months. We do homeschool, and still (as always) learning what to do in what season with what child =0) For us, living in the RV is more about freedom than savings, because we “could” keep living at my mom’s house without rent, but paying for utility assistance for her, but that is not what we want. The Lord provided a means for cash for us through the sale of our house, so we had a great influx of funds from that. He has been providing immensely for us. Our “new” RV is used, and in great condition, but it is a 2008, so it’s not NEW, but it’s not ancient. BUT, TOTALLY check out Pinterest for various things people have done to their “ancient” RVs to make them more appropriate for their family’s needs. We are not alone in this adventure, and there are many families who have gone before us. If this is something you are both feeling led to do, I highly recommend praying on it and seeking out resources and information regarding it. If it is the path the Lord is leading you to, He will also show you the way =0) Please write again if you have more questions! We’re all in this life thing together =0)

      • amy

        Thanks for the reply! It’s encouraging to know you have six children and are venturing into trailer life. Definitely keep us updated! What is the make and model of your RV? :) I found only one on CL I liked but it’s hard to find them with a good layout for living with children. I’ve been perusing PinT and am finding TONS of awesome pics! Wasting hours and hours of time, I’m sure!

        • http://www.savvyhomemaking.com JulieFilter

          Lol, I understand! We bought one with a Quad bunk in the rear. It’s an Outback Sydney Edition. We found it on CL too but it was through a dealer…we got an AWESOME deal of free camping for a year with a particular company’s campground…YES PLEASE! =0)

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  • Lindsey @ SimplyLindsey

    Thank you for sharing your new adventure!! My husband and I recently watched the documentary Tiny House and we’ve been curious about minimalist living ever since! I hope it’s a smooth transition for your family!

  • Kelly Farley Kantola

    We have a camper. It’s a 27ft travel trailer but it’s parked at a permanent campsite. We TRY to get there every other weekend during the summer. Well, that hasn’t happened. At my last job, I was working Friday night, off Saturday, work Sunday night. Ridiculous! So going down to camp was not in the cards as my husband works 3rd shift and goes in to work on Sunday night. :{ It’s our main form of relaxation. We’ll be headed down to camp for this holiday weekend on Saturday after my son’s football game so hopefully we’ll get there by 5pm and come home Monday morning as hubby has to go to work Monday night. He’ll have Sunday night off for Labor Day.

    I’m a nurse and my husband was laid off for awhile. I always said if he couldn’t find a job.. and he’s had several lay-offs.Dec2008 and most of 2009. He was laid-off almost ALL of 2010 and off and on in 2011. Then again in Dec 2013- May of this year. I said I could get a job as a travel RN and instead of taking housing, I could get a housing stipend from the travel company and use that as a monthly payment on an RV. Could travel the contintental USA that way. Hubby could homeschool our son and sight-see at the same time while I worked.


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