A Bump in the Road

by Merissa on May 3, 2013

in Fulltime RV Living

Post image for A Bump in the Road

What would life be without it’s challenges? I guess it wouldn’t be as much of an adventure then, would it?

We’d originally planned to start our fulltime rv living in the motorhome we purchased. After we knew we were going to be going into the camper with a baby we started to figure out how to make some changes since the motorhome wasn’t exactly built for more than two. We were up to the challenge and we started our planning….

We just weren’t happy with the results. We really want our family to have the best life possible and we just weren’t feeling like the motorhome was going to do it for us. (Cue a BIG sigh from me, I hate buying and selling vehicles and campers!). So out we went searching for a new place to rest our heads. Thankfully we figured this all out before we even put our house on the market so we had time to sell and time to find the right new camper.

Find it we did and I’m now in love with something called a “bunkhouse rv”. Our old motorhome could sleep 2 normally, and 4 if we put down the table and couch. The bunkhouse rv we found sleeps 6 normally and 7 if you pull out the couch. Talk about an awesome use of space! (The bunkhouse we found was just very slightly longer than our motorhome was.)

Cons…the new bunkhouse rv was more expensive than the motorhome. We would have to try and sell the motorhome…in January (not exactly prime rv selling time!).

Pros…the bunkhouse rv is amazing, beautiful, and doesn’t even look/feel like an rv. The bunkhouse rv has 2 FULL bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! (I don’t even have 2 bathrooms in my house!) No sacrifices have to be made in the bunkhouse, lots of room for everyone and everything with little to no modifying. The bunkhouse was also even more four seasons than the motorhome, including a heated underbelly. (Heated tanks, heated water lines, heated storage.)

Well I’m sure you can guess what happened. We bought that bunkhouse rv! We decided that the pros outweighed the cons and it was perfect for our fulltime rv living. I told my husband that if this was the right thing for us to do there would be a sign….well our motorhome sold within a week of us putting it up for sale, in January! I’m pretty sure that was our clear-cut sign that the new rig was meant to be.

There will always be bumps in the road of any journey, but that’s what makes it a journey right? Otherwise it would just be a walk in the park and I’d prefer to have a journey over a walk in the park any day!

bunks

This is part of the bunkhouse before we remodeled the area. The couch and bunk are really nice but not very practical for a toddler. (The ladder goes up to 2 loft bunks which we use for storage) We put the bunk and couch in our trailer with all our house storage and...

DSC_0189

Now it looks like this! A little different right? I found a mini crib (same size as a pack and play but much more durable), then I created a "dresser" on the side. The folded up thing in between the bed and dresser is our highchair, yes it folds up, it's awesome! I found it at Ikea.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charity May 3, 2013 at 9:33 am

That looks awesome!

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2 Tracy May 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Love reading about this adventure. The pictures are so helpful to see how this is working for you. What a beautiful crib.

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3 Summer May 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

We too have been looking at the bunkhouse rv styles available to us. I thought they would be more reasonable for our family but am unsure of the price tag. I love how you have modified your rv to suit your needs. It looks great.

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4 Merissa May 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I was unsure of the price tag too, and my hubby really had to talk me into it knowing that I wouldn’t be happy in the long run if I settled for less than what I thought we could handle to live in. Now I’m SO glad we went with the model we liked the best, since living in it for a little while I’m glad we took the time to think about all our needs and how they would be met in the camper we picked!

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5 d'Lynn May 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Looks great. ., but this is May -and you did this in Jan ? A little behind in the updates??

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6 Merissa May 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I had to write some of these posts ahead of time in order to give us plenty of time to move 🙂

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7 Sue May 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I’m excited for you too. I wishing you the very best. Please keep us posted!

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8 Tasi May 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Where’d you find that mini crib?! So could use one like that.

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9 Merissa May 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I actually found it used at Once Upon a Child. I looked them up to make sure the price was fair and also found them on Amazon.

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10 Megan May 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hi Merissa–I’ve been enjoying reading your full-timing posts. We lived in our camper full-time with 2 small kids the summer we built our house. It made more sense to live in the camper than to rent something short-term, and we spent about the same for 4.5 months of camping than we would have for about a month of rent somewhere decent. Our daughter was about 22 months when we moved into the camper, and the baby was between 4 and 8.5 months. It was an adventure for sure, but well worth it. Best wishes on your journey–it’s do-able! 🙂

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11 Elizabeth July 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Hi, we are looking at rvs and I LOVE your bunkhouse one! If you don’t mind me asking, what year/brand is it?

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12 Merissa July 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm

It was a 2012 Open Range 413RLL.

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13 Lindsey July 18, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Has anyone ever done full time rv living with a family of 6? We are wanting to build our dream home but need to save up money to make that happen. Are we crazy to think that we could live in an RV with a family of 6? My biggest concern is storage of clothes and a few toys.

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14 rkk0206 March 12, 2015 at 4:04 pm

I’ve been looking into full-time RV living for my family (myself, two children and…sigh…7 pets (1 dog, 6 cats). I really like the concept of what you’re talking about here, but I guess I am just having a very different life experience than you are. I don’t have a lot of debt, but I definitely never have much money despite working full time, and I don’t have much luck with love either so instead of attempting any more relationships, I’d rather be free to live my life in a functional way than the dysfunction that a husband/boyfriends (not what it sounds like) have brought for me. So here I am, considering how I can escape the constant just working myself to the bone to barely afford rent and then not ever being able to save any money to finally buy myself the house I’ve wanted my whole life. At this point I want to add that I’m not looking to spend half a million or anything close to that on a house. And when I say I can barely afford the rent most of the time I am talking about an apartment that costs $800 a month, nothing else included. So here is what I just don’t understand: I’ve lived in shabby apartments that were operated by slum lords and were just not even up to code. But I just don’t understand how it works that you say you could not afford the apartment, but then you went and bought a motor home? At first I thought you bought an old camper, like I’m trying to do, an old thing that needs some TLC. But from your pictures and what you’ve said it’s a beast! And your second camper is advertised around $72,000 AND you have a homestead? I’m just missing something here. I just don’t see how that works out the way you make it sound. If I was in your shoes I would have had to buy a camper trailer for $2000 or less (less is much better) with my tax return and make some updates to the poor old thing (because it sure won’t be a new one) to make it comfortable for the kids and pets and I. And then I would still need to find an affordable place to park it near a place where I can work and go to college that costs much less than renting would. And even after all that I would still never have cable (we don’t need it anyway), and the majority of the time we would not have electricity and we would have to REALLY go back to basics using alternatives. I would love if you would explain to me how your style of camper living even works if an apartment is too much and how anyone would get out of debt doing it your way, because I just cannot wrap my head around it. o.O

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15 Merissa March 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

Hi there, I’m a bit confused, we haven’t had an apartment for years and years. We did have an old motorhome for just camping before we bought the camper to live in (it was really old!) and we definitely did not spend anything close to $72,000 on the camper we lived in, I would never spend that much on a camper…we didn’t even spend that much on our current house! An older camper would work just fine for an individual if you aren’t planning on spending time in cold areas. Since we planned on living in our camper in South Dakota we had to find something with updated sidewalls and insulation. There are some affordable campgrounds out there to live in, it just takes some searching. We paid a yearly fee for a campground membership (I think it was $250 a year?) and then it cost us $175 per month to live at the campground with full hookups. We found it was best to actually call around to all of the campgrounds we could find and see what their monthly rates were (much cheaper than daily rates!) to get the best deal.

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16 Angela Martinez September 10, 2015 at 1:43 am

I see all of these comment post are from 2013..just wondering how long you did this for? Did it really work the way you needed it to? So you could pay off debt..and save? Truly considering this for 2016..for some of the same reasons and so many more…really just to experience something different with my kids 🙂 19,10,8,and 6 months…the 19 year ol. Hopefully will be in college or the military 🙂 just wanting to change the outlook of living for my younger ones:-) #adventure

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17 Merissa September 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

Hi Angela, you can find our full series on this topic here: Fulltime RV Living. We’ve lived in rvs twice now, once for a year and the second time for a year and a half. Both times we paid off all excess debt during that time.

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