Maybe bigger isn’t always better…

So when we first started looking into living in an RV full time priority one was space, space for pets, for kids, for us and on and on it went. We were very close to settling on a model and getting out there to shop. Now for us this transition is most likely slated for early 2016, based on getting our house ready for sale, buying the RV, etc. So there is still plenty of time to get out there and see the new 2016 models that are being released. And when I did a random drive by of the RV we had decided on I noticed a new model was available and then I got over excited and was all, “I wonder if ALLLLLL the new models are available!!” and off with the google I went.

Now it was this foray into the google that made me realize maybe a 40′ RV is over kill. We were pretty stuck in the 38-39′ range with occasionally looking as long as 40′. Each one with more and more features. Then I stumbled upon an RV that seemed to have most of the things we wanted and it was *gasp* only 36′ long. So I found myself contemplating what my needs really were and what small living really means. Now I had the joy of measuring from my fence to my neighbors for entirely different reasons and it was 38″ so I have a very good idea of exactly how big that is. Now I also will still be owning a small home so storage isn’t a big issue here. Our two biggest space requirements are a. A bunkhouse and b. A washer dryer. Now I have had the pleasure of having my dryer break recently and have come to realize a washer dryer during the week is nice but definitely not needed. The bunkhouse on the other hand pretty important. Being this is a majority living time arrangement I would be remiss for the kids to not have their own space.

Now 36′ is still giant but it is also the cut off for access to a lot of places. And at the end of the day if I have a 40′ RV I don’t bring anywhere because its a hassle, why am I not just living in a small house? I mean seems obvious right? So its becoming about finding a blend between convenience and portability. Once I came to terms with small living, I had to realize if you are small living in the largest possible space for your lifestyle, is that really small living at all? So a portable washer that can be stowed underneath. A bunkhouse that is space efficient, less living room seating because really? How many couches do you need and we are now trying for 36′ or less. If I could downsize even more I would, but then we lose independent sleeping spaces and just no with kids, pets and cramped quarters everyone needs to feel like they have some kind of space that is just for them specifically the wee one. Below are some of the RV layouts we’ve considered.

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Two Homes, 3 pets, 1 kid and you want to live where!?!?

And this post’s title perfectly sums up just about everyone’s reactions to me and my partner saying we are contemplating moving into an RV, full-time, but wait I swear there is logic here.

So currently we love one of our houses and hate the other. Now don’t get me wrong the house we hate is a beautiful raised ranch, three bedrooms, finished basement (with a full bar, sectional and giant screen and projector), large living room, eat in kitchen, huge yard and in a cul-de sac. Sounds perfect right? And it is for so many people, it’s just not right for us. We enjoy having lots of privacy and a walkable neighborhood. As a family we both spend a lot of time on our computers and I spend the other half in the kitchen cooking, baking, doing projects so we love a nice communal open living space. So we have this awesome house, but we only use two rooms really our bedroom and the kitchen. So for us it’s just a giant waste.

Now the other problem we face is maintaining. Anyone with a full-time job that is also a home owner with pets and kids knows how much work it is to keep one household going, now imagine doubling that. Its double the yard work, double the cleaning, double the bills and then some. The ‘and then some’ comes from added services, when you are only there on weekends you find a plow guy, trash pick up etc. are no longer luxuries. So our master plan has always been to sell the house we dislike and move. It’s the moving part we have struggled with for years.

The house that must go is moderately close to work, its well priced etc. So if we did sell it tomorrow to get something that better suites our needs we’d end up losing money on the house, investing in a new house that we know we won’t be staying in forever. It would simply be a lot of work and a lot of unnecessarily spent money. We know someday we want to live in our lake house full-time. We also know down the road we want to make RV’ing around the country a priority.

So this is where we landed as a couple, we like the idea of small living, to a degree. Even though we have very different hobbies we tend to almost always be together in the same room while we are home whether its me doing yoga in the living room while he watches TV and works on his laptop or him re-doing his Raspberry Pi while I’m doing arts and crafts we seldom need to separate. Even the house we love on the lake has a gorgeous sun drenched office and a huge oversize master bedroom they are almost never used. So enter the RV concept.

We already live well with limited access to all of our stuff. We have been thinking through and decreasing the amount of stuff in the house we want to sell for the past several years. I’ve donated bags and bags to the salvation army and have sold numerous items on Craigslist. We are working on building out storage in the basement and attic of our other home as well. So the plan is to live in the RV during the week for the next 5 years or so. We will do some touring but mostly during scheduled vacation time away from the office. We will still enjoy our lake house on the weekends as we do now year round. We are still working out which floor plan makes the most sense for RV living with kids and any additional future babies will be RV living as well until they reach school age.

So while you may be scratching your head about our lack of space, come tell me about while I’m living the camp life with my outdoor kitchen.

Which side of the RV are you on? Jealous of this kind of future life plan, fascinated but horrified? Let us know.