What's new
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Welcome to Our Forums. Once you've registered and logged in, you're primed to talk football, among other topics, with the sharpest and most experienced fantasy players on the internet.

I live on the road in an RV with my family... any questions (1 Viewer)

lombardi

Footballguy
Someone in another thread asked me to maybe start a thread about my experiences. A few other people over the months have shown some interest so I thought I would start a thread in case anyone else out there was considering something similar.

Basically in 2011, after some big life changes, my family and I made a decision to head out on the road. After a series of yard sales, gifts, and craigslist deals, we had sold everything we owned that didn't fit either inside of a 10'x10' plastic shed I put in my father's back yard or our RV. All of our worldly possession are in one of those two places still. We packed up our suppliers, said our goodbyes, hitched up and hit the road. No plan, no schedule, and no idea exactly how long we were going to travel for. We took a few month break last winter and spring and stayed a few months with my dad but early this summer we headed back out again and we're travelling still. Right now I'm in Newport Dunes RV park right off the PCH and Jamoboree in Newport Beach, CA where I'm spending the month. Not sure where we're going next month but definitely into the desert somewhere, probably either Quartz or Yuma.

Some basic facts:

  • I have 3 kids. 14 and 12 yo boys and a 7 yo girl. We started home schooling for the trip and it's going great so far. They all share the bunkhouse in the front of the RV. My wife and I have a bedroom in the back.
  • I work from home, this is the main reason we're able to do this. As long as I have an internet connection and a cell signal I can work. My office has been on the banks of the bayou, on the rim of canyons, in forests, and more often than I would like on my couch in the RV.
  • We have a 32' fifth wheel trailer that we pull with a 2003 GMC Sierra HD Diesel pickup truck. We unhitch and drive the truck everywhere when we get to our destinations.
  • We actually save money on the road. We have a monthly RV fee we stick to that keeps us under the price of our old mortgage payment and our expenses are lower travelling than they were living at home in a house. We still own our home and rent it out to cover our mortgage.
Highlights of our trip

  • We've visited 24 of the 49 National Parks in the continental in the last 2 years and my kids have completed junior ranger programs in most of them.
  • In the last two years and our previous summer RV trips the last couple of years my boys have visited 46 of the 50 states, my daughter has been to 44. I've only got 3 to go.
  • We went to Mardis Gras last year, remarkably and surprisingly family friendly. Also had amazing food, including gator sausage po' boys.
  • Everybody in my family gets to pick 1 thing to do, anywhere in the continental U.S. each year. Last year's picks were snorkeling with manatee, going to a SF Giants game, Disneyworld, Hiking the Zion Narrows, and horseback riding in the desert outside Zion Narrows national park. This year so far we've gone to an Avett brother's concert (my son's favorite) and we went whale watching to see Orcas in the Puget Sound.
  • We often park our RV outside of large national parks and then pack up our tent camping or backpacking gear and head into the parks for weekends. We've done this in Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, and many others.
  • In our first year we drove 27,863 total miles
  • The kids have gotten to ride an airboat, go snorkeling, surf, visited literally dozens of science museums and aquariums, gone to a rodeo in Houston and looked for Pee Wee's bike in the Alamo, gone to Alcatraz, river rafted, soaked in natural thermal springs.
  • They've hiked above the clouds, into the grand canyon (although not the bottom), through rain forests and slot canyons. They've visited San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, and many other large cities.
  • We've seen grizzlies, black bears, elk, tarantulas, owls, bald eagles, manatee, orcas, and tons of other wildlife. Although no moose yet.
Those are just the highlights. It doesn't include all the amazing people we've met, the different foods we've eaten in every place we've gone, and the little family experiences that don't make great stories but we'll remember forever.

Anyway, this is a pretty big look at me thread but I thought it may be interesting and maybe I could answer some questions. I've actually considered writing a book. Most living on the road information is aimed at the retiree and there isn't a ton of great info for the family on the road, although there are more and more people doing it.

Anyone else considering heading out on the road? Just dreaming for one day (I did this for years and years)? Any questions about living this way?

 

boots11234

Footballguy
What exactly do you do? More importantly, does your boss know youre doing this? I have crazy freedom working my job but nothing like you have.

 

Abraham

Footballguy
I think it's awesome. I am interested in how the kids deal with a relative absence of long term friendships and/or how they deal with being with their parents pretty much all the time. But the experiences they are having are unique and should lead to a lifetime of curiosity for them.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
Do your kids miss hanging out with friends their age?
Yes and no. We actually have friends all over the country. So we've visited with friends in IA, MT, WA, OR, CA, FL, etc., who have young kids their age. We just spent a week with our freinds who own a farm in Salinas and the kids rolled around and played for a few days and we used to live in SoCal so we have lots of friends with kids her we're seeing almost daily.

Also, in the popular places and especially the summer and holiday times there are tons of kids in the RV parks. So the're always making friends and playing with other kids.

However, sometimes that's not the case. Winter in FL is like a reverse mortgage convention, we've been in parks where we actually felt unwelcome because we had kids with us. Then we've been in places where the oldies love our kids and dote on them because they miss their grandkids.

So it's a mixed bag. Sometimes we spend weeks with other kids and they have a great time. Sometimes there are tears when we say goodbye. Sometimes it's just a little lonely for them because we'll be somewhere more remote or without many other kids during school days. During these times we try to go out a lot, go to libraries, spend more time hanging out with them ourselves.

I don't know how this would affect them long term if we lived like this forever. But for two years I actually things it's been a benefit and taught them a lot about making friends, talking to adults, meeting people, and even how to entertain themselves and use their imaginations. But it's not always rainbows and rose petals.

 

Brony

Footballguy
How many participant soccer trophies does your kid have though???

seriously though...sounds pretty awesome. good for you.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
What exactly do you do? More importantly, does your boss know youre doing this? I have crazy freedom working my job but nothing like you have.
I'm a programmer and my boss/owner of company is one of my best friends. He's actually visited us a few times on our trip. I don't think I could swing this in secret if I telecommuted somewhere. I could probably do trips, few weeks, maybe even months, but certainly not full time. You eventually need to go into a meeting, or have a weird connection problem you have to explain, or a bad call.

I was working from home for the last 13 years so transition to the road wasnt' too difficult. I just had to learn some of the ins and outs and tricks of making sure I always have a good enough connection.

 

cstu

Footballguy
I think it's awesome. I am interested in how the kids deal with a relative absence of long term friendships and/or how they deal with being with their parents pretty much all the time. But the experiences they are having are unique and should lead to a lifetime of curiosity for them.
None of my childhood friendships amounted to anything, I'd much rather have experienced this.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
How is the wife taking all this, and how materialistic was she before this began?
My wife loves it. She actually got a little sad when we were home and I am concerned about how she is going to handle real life again when we stop travelling. We've always been travelers and before kids we sold everything, quit our jobs and did the Europe backpack thing for a few months. We had spent a lot of time camping, hiking, travelling together before this both with and without kids. We have a pretty awesome marriage, I don't know if I could handle this if I didn't.

She is not very materialistic at all, thank goodness. Her biggest problems on the road are mostly mom worries and mess. "Am I ruining my kids? Am I doing a good enough job with school? Am I spending enough time with them?" Basic mother insecurities. It's also hard to keep a 32' tube clean when 5 people live in it. She had to give up baking. But what she loves about it far outweighs her occasional insecurities and frustrations.

 

Long Ball Larry

Footballguy
I think it's awesome. I am interested in how the kids deal with a relative absence of long term friendships and/or how they deal with being with their parents pretty much all the time. But the experiences they are having are unique and should lead to a lifetime of curiosity for them.
None of my childhood friendships amounted to anything, I'd much rather have experienced this.
I think Abe's point is a good one, but I certainly consider this a gray area and absolutely think that this could be more beneficial.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
Do you ever just want a break from your family? I don't know if I could handle this.
We're all pretty close and I have a great marriage. Everyone wants to get away sometimes and my wife and I give each other time. I let her go out and get a mocha and walk around the mall or read at the beach some days. She lets me go out and catch a movie or go loiter around the bookstore every week or so. We understand each other pretty well and know we each need a little away from the craziness time. We did this before we left also.

Sometimes you want a break but honestly we keep so busy doing cool stuff that it's not very often. We had a couple really rainy weeks up on the NW and we got a little cabin fever but we do our best to look out for it and give each other time.

We do the same for the kids. We'll let my oldest go to a guitar center by himself or spend a couple hours at the library. They've each taken up some hobbies they do on their own. Guitar, Ukulele, magic.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
I think it's awesome. I am interested in how the kids deal with a relative absence of long term friendships and/or how they deal with being with their parents pretty much all the time. But the experiences they are having are unique and should lead to a lifetime of curiosity for them.
None of my childhood friendships amounted to anything, I'd much rather have experienced this.
I hope so. I think the experience they're having will far outweigh what they're missing out on but I guess we'll see. My 14yo is closing in on the I know everything and hate adults age. So far so good but we're just entering the woods now.

 

Copeman

Footballguy
How much of a pain in the ### is filling/dumping those tanks that hold the water and waste? How often do you have to do it? Also, how often do you have to food shop?

 

lombardi

Footballguy
I think it's awesome. I am interested in how the kids deal with a relative absence of long term friendships and/or how they deal with being with their parents pretty much all the time. But the experiences they are having are unique and should lead to a lifetime of curiosity for them.
Facebook and technology help them stay in touch with family and close friends, mostly for my older son. I think if we hung around and lived a normal life this would be more of a concern. They're doing so many amazing things that I think it more than fills up their time and they're rarely ever board. If anything sometimes they ask to just stay home because we're running them a little ragged.

I don't discount the effect of hanging out with mom and dad all the time though. They actually do see kids a lot of the time. We spend weeks at a time where they're around other kids daily and they definitely get time with friends. What they don't get is long term relationships. At this age that's probably fine but I know as my oldest is growing up that is not going to cut it. That's why we're probalby stopping next Septemeber and settling down somewhere for the high school years.

If it ever becomes about us and we feel that its hurting them in anyway it all stops immediately. We talked about it, talk to the kids about it, and always make sure they're doing well. Very open dialogue with the kids.

 

Evilgrin 72

Distributor of Pain
Where do you go to make fist-kabobs? You can't retreat to the basement and masturbate behind the boiler like a troll (credit-Louis CK,) steal off into the guest bathroom for a quick fap into the sink or go up to the attic and lope the mule out that cute little window over the wife's tomato garden. So what do you do?

 

lombardi

Footballguy
How do you and your wife handle "private" time?
The RV is 32' long. They are in one end, we are in the other. We have two wooden doors and an accordion door between us, it's not a problem. I don't want to get too detailed but we do stay aware of "noise" and adjust accordingly. Plus we normally go to bed a couple hours later than the kids.

 

sublimeone

Footballguy
awesome. I would love to do this one day. To do this the right way I'd imagine you need a pretty decent budget. What do you budget on a monthly basis?

 

lombardi

Footballguy
What's your end game?
I actually think we're stopping by next September. Oldest start high school in September, the next 2 years later and as he graduates my daughter will start. So we're looking for a home for maybe the next 10 years. I started a thread a little bit back about moving to NC or TN. We'll still take extended summer trips like we did before but probably wont live on the road until kids are grown and gone. So this next 9 months is the last hurrah.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
Hi, Justice Thomas.
That's funny, I actually thought I saw him once. REALLY nice Rv in a pretty nice resort, nicer than our normal digs. Older black guy who looked a lot like his honorable Mr. Thomas. I was telling my dad I thought I was camping next to him and was going to go over and offer him some advice on the upcoming docket. I got a better look the next day and it wasn't him. Pretty good resemblance though.

 

Copeman

Footballguy
If something in the RV breaks, are you handy enough to fix it? If not, what do you do? I'm talking about things like the fridge, stove, water tank, etc...

 

lombardi

Footballguy
How have you not killed your family?

Do you and your wife homeschool the kids?
Well I haven't intentionally wanted to kill them yet, although I've probably almost killed them a time or two with some of the hikes I've drug them on or neighborhoods we've "explored".

We started homeschooling to travel. We'll probably continue homeschooling middle school when we settle down but put our kids into high school.

 

lombardi

Footballguy
How much do you spend on gas annually?
I havne't calculated the exact number but it's definitely our biggest expense outside of our nightly fees. We get about 10-12 mpg when towing, 18-19 mpg when not towing and just driving around. That's diesel. Gas prices fluctuate quite a lot from state to state. When I'm trying to cover ground I can fill up every day for a couple days. Like driving back across the country we filled up daily for $90. But when I live somewhere for a month I only use as much gas as I normally would plus a little more for sightseeing. It depends on how far we're moving in a specific time.

I could look at my quickbooks for a specific number, I'll try to look later.

 

glock

"Don't grumble, give a whistle!"
Awesomeness. :thumbup:

Your eldest is 14- freshman high school age. How long do you plan to do this? I can see home schooling to a point, but what they get out of high school is hard to replicate at home.

Edited to add: Okay, neverrmiind.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ned

Footballguy
Where do you go to make fist-kabobs? You can't retreat to the basement and masturbate behind the boiler like a troll (credit-Louis CK,) steal off into the guest bathroom for a quick fap into the sink or go up to the attic and lope the mule out that cute little window over the wife's tomato garden. So what do you do?
GD it :lmao:

 

lombardi

Footballguy
How much of a pain in the ### is filling/dumping those tanks that hold the water and waste? How often do you have to do it? Also, how often do you have to food shop?
You get used to that pretty quickly. We had one Robin Williams in RV moment our first summer travelling. My 14 yo was 8 at the time and we refer to it as the "poop-shake" story because when I fond him sitting in the 6 foot wide, 4 inch deep puddle/pool of black tank waste, it kind of looked like a poop milkshake. Nasty stuff.

Since then no problems. If we're moving every few days or weekly we dump when we move. If we sit tight for a month we dump probalby once a week or two. If you're somehwere long term you leave hte sink open and only need to dump the black tank regularly.

We actually don't use the RV bathroom a lot for "making deposits", we often do that in the campground bathhouse if it's available and clean. If not we stay in the RV. We always shower in the bathhouses, RV shower is too small for regular use.

I've actually trained the boys to do this so. :)

 

lombardi

Footballguy
Where do you go to make fist-kabobs? You can't retreat to the basement and masturbate behind the boiler like a troll (credit-Louis CK,) steal off into the guest bathroom for a quick fap into the sink or go up to the attic and lope the mule out that cute little window over the wife's tomato garden. So what do you do?
As always, I abstain.

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top