Fulltiming With Kids

by Merissa on April 26, 2013

in Fulltime RV Living

Post image for Fulltiming With Kids

As you may know by now we have been blessed with the sweetest little boy in the world via adoption this year. Yes, we decided before we knew if he was ours forever that we were going to move into a camper for a while even if we were able to keep him.
Why? We want him to have the best life possible. For us that is living simply, not being indebted, and being able to spend the maximum time together as a family. At this time in our lives we think that fulltime rv living will be the perfect way to do that. Here’s some bonus’ to living in a camper with a little one:

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  1. Everything is pretty much already baby proofed. Serious score.
  2. Not much room for toys and extras therefore I will have much less mess than the average household.
  3. Maximum time to be together as a family and enjoy family activities.


  1. Space. We are currently working on a custom design inside our camper to be able to fit us all comfortably.
  2. Rainy days. Most of the time we will be able to be outdoors but I have a feeling that rainy days may cause some cabin fever.

Personally we think the pros far outweigh the cons. Plus we are excited that the campground we will be staying at has playgrounds and nice paved roads for daily walking, I don’t think we will have a lack of things to do!

Like I mentioned above we are working on fixing the non-baby-friendly parts of the camper before we move in. To find these spots and areas I just let the baby crawl around in the camper right now to see where he goes and where he gets into! Mostly this means working on the front area of the camper where the seats are, I will be posting pics of our renovation once it’s complete! We are also making room for another bed, our rv does have pull out beds but we want something permanent and something that will work for a growing toddler (that would easily escape anything without sides!).

For toys/kids stuff we are building a special area for his clothing. Baby things are hard to hang up so I’d rather have drawers. Toys will have one area in the camper. That way it’s all contained in one spot, we can have minimal things, and there is always a place for the toys to go back to. I also plan on having a special area with learning things. Paper, markers, stickers, any activities that we will do together. We can think of this as our “school drawer.”

We know we are in for a different challenge than we had from living in the camper before but what’s life without a little adventure? :)

Catch up on our full series about Fulltime RV Living!

Could you live in an rv with kids?


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy in Illinois April 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

Congratulations on your sweet little boy, Merissa! He will bring much joy to your and your husband’s lives.
God bless, Kathy in Illinois


2 Merissa April 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Thanks Kathy, he’s already been more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined!


3 Mama April 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Congratulations on the adoption process going through! Coming from a fulltimer with four young kids – it is possible! It will likely take you some time to figure out a system, but you’re right, the pros do outweigh the cons, and your son will love it. My kids like having a small home, with a lot of outdoor space to run of course!


4 Melissa April 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm

We lived full time in a camper a couple of years ago while we were building a house. It DOES has its challenges… The biggest one we encountered was the campground we stayed at… But once we got that fixed it was actually very nice… Some things I would think about/plan for: laundry, make an outside living space, make sure you have reliable internet, and food storage.

Good luck – I am sure you will love it!


5 Roxie April 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Congratulations on the adoption of your son. How wonderful for all of you. God is great.
You can do wonderful things in a small RV. I grew up in a small trailer home. My parents and 4 kids lived in a 8X30 mobile home. My father built bunk beds in the ‘living room’ that folded up against the wall….we had just one sofa for all of us to sit on. Everyone else sat on kitchen chairs. Most meals we ate out side on a picnic table…or in rain we had some snack trays. Toys were kept under my parent’s bed or in the back of my parent’s car.


6 Jackie April 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Congratulations on this wonderful addition to your sweet family! Best wishes!


7 Tiffany (As For My House) April 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

Congratulations! And enjoy your RV time.

We went on the road in an RV for the better part of a year with two kids, then lived in it parked for another chunk or time after our third was born. Very possible! :)


8 Ellie April 27, 2013 at 11:42 am

I’ve been following you for a few years now. I’m so excited that your adoption dream came true. Enjoy your sweet baby boy!


9 April July 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

Love reading this! We do not live in an RV but we do live in an 800 sq ft 1969 Model mobile home at this time. It’s hard for a family of 6 space wise but we have made it work for the last almost 4 years. We will however be moving next week into a 2700 sq ft home that is definitely a fixer upper so the price we got it for is just amazing. Good things come to those who wait! Good Luck to you in your Journey!


10 Kristen July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

We are just now in the “sell everything” stage, about to go full time in our RV, and we have two little girls — a four year old and a two year old. We’ve really been out in our RV so often that it’s no big deal for them. Come to think of it, we got our first camper when our oldest was just 6 months old, so she’s grown up around the camper (not that she’s really grown up yet LOL). Our girls absolutely love it! They get so excited when we start packing it up. I’ve talked with our oldest about what it will be like when we live in the camper and how it will be better to get rid of all our extra stuff that we don’t really need. She seems to understand it and we are all super excited about it. We have yet to see how it goes a few months into it, but I can’t think it would be any worse than our longest trips (about two weeks) which were wonderful times for us. I wish you the best of luck in getting yours all fixed up! I can’t wait to see the pictures because I might want to borrow some of your reno ideas!! :D


11 Adrea Vandeventer October 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I would have to say we love the idea of someone living and getting of the grid per say. We have a few hurdles though we are major preppers so we worry about storing our stockpile and we have kids and pets. The kids are teenagers so it would be easier to get them out on their own before downsizing. Our pets though are family how well will that work we wonder and what about weather. We live in Indiana south of the lakes so our weather is unpredictable and sometimes very severe blizzards, tornados, ice storms and hail. We wonder about durability and temp control during super hot humid and super sub zero. Has anyone else confronted these things? We have 5 years to prep and have 2 year stockpile for 6 people is it realistic and feasable for us to accomplish?


12 anne November 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Hi, me and my husband are planning on living in a camper. I just want to ask some questions. Sorry to be a bother but I’m just hoping maybe you’ll have some time to answer.

1. How many times can we take a shower or use the bathroom in the camper?
2. How often do you guys go to dump stations?
3. How often do you fill your propane?
4 Also, just in case you know, is it allowed in lived in a camper in the State of Illinois?

Your response will be very much appreciated. Thank you and have a wonderful day!


13 Merissa November 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm


1. It would depend on how big your tank is and how big your family is. We have an 85 gallon tank for black water (toilet) and we can use it for a month before it fills. Grey water tank is the same size and it fills up for us in about 2 to 3 days.
2. We almost always try and find campgrounds with a dump station.
3. It’s winter here now so we fill propane once a week. We have 4 to 6 tanks we go through each week. In the summer we hardly used anything.
4. I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal anywhere as long as you are in a designated camping area.

I hope that helps!


14 Jenn November 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I am grateful that I found your site. My hubby and I are seriously thinking about selling our home (fortunate to have a lot of equity) and purchasing a RV to live in with our three boys. We live in Southern California and have owed several RV’s over the years (my current car is a class B roadtrek). Feeling really nervous about making that move even though are children are completely supportive of the idea. How did you make this transition? We have gone through Ups and Downs financially since 2008 but also feel to our bones this is the move to make. I have not seen a family living like this (most blogs are couples). What would you do different and what size is your RV. God Bless


15 Merissa December 1, 2013 at 8:21 am

We made the transistion slowly. (Our son is very resistant to change.) Each day we’d play out in the camper a little longer and slowly move his toys into it. Finally after about 2 weeks of this and moving things over we spent the night and didn’t have any issues! I’m not sure what we would do differently, we are pretty happy with how everything has gone. Our RV is a 39 foot bunkhouse. (So it has 2 rooms)


16 Jen March 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Hi Jenn! Did you do it? We’re seriously considering it and have 3 kids ourselves… just wondering if you made the jump and how its working for you :)


17 EILEEN DANIELS January 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

My questions is this. My husband is going to retire in 2 years . We want to be as close to debt free as possible. We have paid cash for two acres. We would like to sell our house and live in the RV on the land for the two years .We have two sons 12/8 who are good with the idea. What are your thoughts?


18 Merissa January 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

I think as long as it’s do-able and everyone is on board than you should be good to go!


19 Anita Kvasnak January 11, 2014 at 7:37 am


So glad to hear that there is some young life out on the road. My family and I have been full-timing for about 8 months, but have been parked for a good portion of it. We have an almost 2 year old little girl that doesn’t seem to mind the smaller space. I was wondering if along the way you have noticed any “childproof” ideas that you would like to share. Our little peanut specifically likes to play with all the low switches (lights, water pump, fans) and the navigation/radio/jack system buttons. She is curious (and 2!) so we understand, but would really like for little hands to play with little kid things instead of important gadgets.


20 Christopher de Vidal April 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Merissa, I was looking into adoption today and spoke to a local (Florida) official who said no to living in an RV. Although in our situation we the parents would’ve been staying in the RV and the kids in the house, so it’s different than your situation. Did they give pushback on your RV plans?


21 Merissa April 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

We’d already legally adopted when we moved into the rv. I think it also really depends on your social worker so it’s hard to say.


22 Danielle June 24, 2014 at 10:00 am

I want to do this. I’ve always had an insettled feeling and have not like being rooted to one spot. My partner and I now have a little girl and I want to give a life I would have loved to have lived but… What about schooling?


23 Merissa June 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I believe all of the full timers with kids that we’ve spoken too have done some kind of homeschooling.


24 Kristin Bodnar July 1, 2014 at 12:02 am

Hi, I came across your blog and have so many questions for you! I think its amazing that your living in an RV with a kid and lately have been thinking how amazing the simple life would be to do that myself! I have two little ones, ages 4 and 2 and want to know what the real cost is for buying an RV, what do real monthly payments look like for you, water, gas, electric, RV site rental or camp ground? How did you get a custom RV or where? What about kids schooling? I would like to stay where we are state and city wise but want a more affordable option for living. Do you have a post where you address all these questions? I would truly love to hear more about this! Thanks


25 Merissa July 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

Hi Kristen, if you haven’t already you will want to read the full Fulltime RV Living series, that should answer many of your questions. Costs are going to vary greatly depending on what kind of camper you decide you need. Our payment was $430 per month which we thought was rather high. Water, gas, electric, and site rental will depend on the campground and the season of the year. Our rv was not custom, it was a standard Open Range 413RLL model. Most that live in an rv fulltime (that are traveling) homeschool their children. If you are going to stay in one place you may have other options. I hope that helps!


26 ENID November 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

I am considering RV living with my son who is 8 yrs old. My only concern at this moment will be his education. I want him to have a peaceful normal life in the road. If you are a parent with this experience please provide me where to get the proper information on how to go about RV living with a child.

Thank you..


27 cass January 1, 2015 at 1:49 am

We are also planning on living full time on the road, mainly in CA. We will have two toddlers by the time we are ready.

Does anyone know how the schools and cps will feel about this? I’m terrified they will see our situation as unfit.
We want to be off the grid, staying at free national parks and using a solar system.


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