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Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality

Are you dreaming of ditching the routine, trading the lawnmower for open landscapes, and creating memories that rival any amusement park? Sounds like you’re dreaming of RV family life and all that it entails!

It’s time to stop dreaming and start living!

Your RV dreams can be your reality just as soon as you decide to take the leap and go for it. RV life is easier and more attainable than you think. So get ready and get excited, it’s time to make your RV family dreams come true!

Preparing For Your RV Family Dream

From planning and preparing to buying and downsizing, there are so many different aspects to starting this new journey. But with this list of things to know and ask, you’re sure to crush it every step of the way.

Many families dream of embarking on big RV adventures but are at a loss for information on how exactly to make their awesome dream into their new reality. Hitting the road full-time doesn’t happen by accident, but it doesn’t have to stretch out for years past your launch date, and become something unattainable.

There is a lot of research, planning, and number crunching that comes before launching a big RV family adventure and even more to successfully keep it going. Having a plan in place is the only thing keeping you on the right side of crazy and chaotic- although there are bound to be moments that will blur that line entirely!

Workamping is a great way to prepare for life on the road by providing an income. My family lived in an RV for 9 years and workamping with seasonal jobs was a big piece of the puzzle!

Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality 1

Ask Questions About RV Family Life

Setting yourself up with the right information is the best way to ensure you succeed.

To do that, you’ve got to be able to answer basic questions about your choices, what you’re doing, where you’re going, and be able to explain your reasoning. Try making a list of questions that you would likely ask if given the chance to interview an RV family that is currently traveling or has traveled in the past.

Each list will be different, but here are some questions to think about:

  1. What made you decide to live in an RV?
  2. Why did you choose the model/style of RV you currently have?
  3. How do you homeschool your children? Where do you store the supplies?
  4. What did you do with all your stuff?
  5. Do you have a permanent home?
  6. How do you get your mail? File Taxes? Vote?
  7. Do you only stay in campgrounds or is boondocking an option?
  8. What did your extended family think about this idea?
  9. Do you kids have friends on the road?
  10. What ages were your kids when you started traveling?
  11. How old are they now?
  12. Are your travels weather-dependent? Is your RV suitable for winter conditions?
  13. How much will you have to save to start the adventure? How long will that take?
  14. How do you make an income on the road?
  15. Where do you spend the holidays?
  16. Do your kids play sports or participate in activities like dance, or karate?

This is a great place to start.

Once you’ve created your list, hit the internet and try to find the answers to all your questions! Many RV families have blogs and content-packed social media channels that tell you everything you need to know to feel confident and prepared to make the leap yourself.

Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality 2

Planning Your RV Family Adventure

Soon after discussing this epic trip with your family, you’ll notice the ever-increasing urge to whip out the map and start planning. This is honestly one of the best tools an RV traveler can have!

Map skills are a must- start teaching yourself, then your spouse, and then the kids how to read a basic map. Let’s just be honest- sometimes stopping for directions is just not an option and sometimes even with an RV GPS there might be a need!

Brainstorming is always the key!

Get a few large poster boards and pin them to your living room walls. Organize your or your family’s goals, thoughts, expectations, and fears on colored Post-it notes (use one color for each family member) and allow the entire family enough time to read and reread the boards for several days.

As things change rearrange the post-it notes. Notice common factors, both good and bad, this will help you when narrowing down what exactly the trip will entail.

Map It Out!

After giving everyone enough time to get all their thoughts together, whip out the map! Sit everyone around the dining table, or even better clear out some space on the floor, bring over the poster boards for guidance, and start planning where you’ll go!

Obviously, you’ll be starting in your current location but where will you go from there? I suggest starting your adventure with a destination close to your home- to test the waters, but the choice is yours!

Placing stickers on the points or places that you have agreed upon is a great way to start. Once you figure this out, you’ll begin mapping a trip to and from your points on the map. Aside from the weather, another major consideration, your family might want to think about when planning your route are holidays, birthdays, and large festivals like the Balloon Fiesta which can be amazing experiences.

Having a clear picture of where you want to be on big holidays, birthdays, and even anniversaries, can play a big part in how you decide to map out your road adventure.

What’s next? We’re glad you asked!

After you’ve made a clear plan or at least the start of a clear plan, it’s probably time to start directing your attention to your new home! If you already have an RV this step will be a breeze- but for many families, this is the hardest decision they’ll make.

Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality 3

Buying An RV For Your Family

Deciding which RV is right for you is a tough decision- one that several families have made a few times. If you’re lucky, you’ll get this right the first time, but keep in mind as your needs change or the family grows there may be a need to renovate or even find a new RV altogether.

Starting your search at a nearby RV Dealership will give you a great idea of what you’re looking for!

Let the kids go inside every model! Let them test whatever they want! This will get their minds racing with ideas of what their new home will be like and give you a picture of what it will be like with your family inside such a small space!

After your first trip to the dealership- make a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Pick the items you must have, want to have, and things that would just be awesome if you could have.

  • How many sleeping areas do you really need?
  • Do you need bunks or will the convertable spaces work?
  • Will you need the extra space from a slide-out?
  • How much storage is enough for what you plan to bring?
  • How long of an RV do you feel comfortable driving?
  • Will you tow a vehicle or tow your RV?
  • Does the shower feel comfortable? Is there enough space?
  • Do you need a full-size refrigerator or will the standard RV frig work?

Really sit and think about all the things that you would have to have, in order to make this work! Once you know your comfort zone- buying an RV that meets your needs and expectations and is inside your budget, will go a lot smoother. Not to mention bringing you one step closer to your RV family reality.

After you’ve successfully completed asking the right questions, planning your adventure, and buying your RV, it’s probably time to address the elephant in the room…

Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality 4

Downsizing Your Belongings

Very few things are needed but for some reason, our houses are full of items we’ve purchased for reasons that all seemed legitimate up until this point. Generally, RVs will not be able to offer this type of storage capacity, especially if you have a large family.

Sure you’ll have space for clothing, shoes, personal items, a few books, and your kitchen necessities, but there’s just no way around it, you can’t take it all with you! So really there are only two questions you need to ask yourself….

  1. What are we taking?
  2. What are we doing with everything else?

Take a piece of paper or your tablet and make a three-column list.

  • Use your first column for the ‘item name’,
  • The second for the ‘current location’,
  • The third for the ‘RV location’.

As you go through each room- pick the items that are definitely going into the RV and add them to your list, filling in both, where they are currently in your home, and where you plan to store them in your RV. Keeping track this way will make things much easier when it’s time to pack up your new home.

As for everything else, the two most popular choices are storing it or donations and garage sale.

As you go through your home, make a pile or put a big box in each room to fill it with the items you’ve decided will not be coming. Sort your items and price accordingly. Host a garage sale one week from your departure date, to try to earn some last-minute cash and then donate what is left over.

Making Your RV Family Dream Your New Reality 5

Stay positive when things aren’t picture-perfect.

Making your RV family dream your new reality can sometimes be a roller coaster full of ups and downs. So buckle in and tackle the big hurdles first so your family can fully enjoy the adventure without any added stress.

Once you’ve addressed the major concerns in planning for your family’s full-time RV adventure- you’ll have a much clearer picture of what needs to be done, where you’re going, and how to get there. Keep in mind, that planning can take anywhere from a few months (if you’re lucky) to a few years. Just don’t get discouraged- just keep moving forward until you’re ready to make the leap!

More helpful articles for first-time RV life:

How To Prepare For Full-Time RV Living

Downsizing For RV Life: How To Unclutter and Organize Your RV

Ultimate Guide to Residency & Domicile as a Full-Time RVer

17 RVers Reveal Their Full-Time RV Regrets & Advice

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