Preparing to Move On

by Merissa on March 15, 2013

in Featured, Fulltime RV Living

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There it was. The finished draft of our floor plan for the new house. 2500 beautiful square feet, a huge kitchen and pantry, a real master bedroom and actual master bathroom, and more. All to be customized to our liking with our favorite colors, styles, and everything else needed to fill a house.

This was the image in our heads for months as we started to think about and mentally prepare for a move. We only planned to stay in our current home for the required 3 years (because of a tax thing) before we wanted to move on to more acreage.

We felt like we had it all figured out. But a few months after we started dreaming I finally started rationalizing. What if we don’t have piles of kids to fill those empty rooms? What if we don’t have the money to finish this house once we get started? Where on earth are we supposed to put this thing? What am I going to do with all that space?

After asking ourselves all these questions a new draft of the house was drawn up. Much much smaller. Smaller, in fact, that where we live now (which is 1200 sq feet). It was a beautifully simplified version of our plan. A very nice kitchen, just 2 bedrooms (but still with a master bathroom!), and one large pantry…in the basement so it would double as a storm shelter. We loved it. It was the perfect fit to our needs. It would fall inside the budget we were hoping for and be an altogether simple house, but made just how we wanted it.
Can you tell this isn’t the end to the story?

Yes, the house plan was beautiful and perfect. And we assumed it was affordable. And that’s where the number crunching started to come in. After reviewing our budget, and our debts, and our comfortable debt to income ratio (which isn’t what the banks say, I never go off that number!) we knew, the dream house couldn’t happen right now.

So we were faced with a dilemma. Where do we go from here? Could we stay where we are until we are able to afford the new house? After re-crunching numbers that answer was a no. We couldn’t afford to put aside enough at our current house to be able to pay off debt. And since our goal is to be debt free by the time we are 35 (in 10 years), another mortgage wouldn’t be the answer either.
At this point you might think we wanted to give up, but we had another plan. Sometime we had started with years ago before we bought this first house. It’s called a camper. Yes, we decided on fulltime rv living.

Catch up on our full series about Fulltime RV Living!

Do you know any fulltimers?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachael March 15, 2013 at 9:11 am

Wow! That’s amazing. I look forward to watching your journey. 🙂

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2 Rose March 15, 2013 at 9:20 am

bold and adventurous. bravo!

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3 Pennie in Michigan March 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

So encouraging (and exciting) to see the careful process you guys went through as opposed to just “going for it” which has too long been the way people do things in this country. And, to see that you didn’t just stop with downsizing from the first “dream”. I’m excited to read about your journey…thanks for sharing!

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4 Michelle Wimp March 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

omgosh! how fun! i cant wait to follow along. one reason i luv having a travel trailer – i know no matter what happens we will never be homeless.

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5 Merissa March 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Yes, amazing home security!

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6 Leslie Wright March 15, 2013 at 9:35 am

Our story sounds very much like yours. We just moved out of our home (December 2012), and put it up for sale. Moved into our 5th wheel RV, and 250 miles south. Looking for a piece of property to build a small, functional house. Want to set it up to be self sufficient. But we are still waiting on the house to sell, so we can buy the land. So we are in limbo, and not loving it. Our stuff is 1/2 with us and 1/2 still up north. Having to borrow a place to plant a garden, at the in-laws. I cannot survive without my garden. We have spent several months, on many occasions, living in our RV, so I understand what you are facing. I wish you luck, and will follow your adventure. I hope I can offer some advice at times. I also plan to blog our adventure, when we get the property, and start our new life. Good Luck.

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7 Jessica March 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

Sounds exciting!

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8 Nicki March 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

I know a family full-time RVing, but not by there choice. Their rental was sold out from under them so they actually moved into our camper in October of 2012. They have to small children, and so far they don’t seem to be pulling their hair out 🙂

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9 Peter Beckley March 15, 2013 at 10:37 am

My wife and I have considered full-time RV since we’re debt free (in our late 30’s/early 40’s). We’ve also considered building an ‘earthship’ using earth bags. We’re on our own adventure so who know what the future holds, but that’s part of the fun of being self employed and debt free, the world is ours to explore! Good luck on your adventure, we look forward to reading more about it!

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10 Lisa Howard March 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

I had some dear friends (he has since celebrated his homegoing) that raised their son in an RV. They spent 16 years in that RV in Texas on the coast, then moved to a traditional home. As they aged, they wanted to be closer to family, so they spent their last years in an RV also. I asked her once about it and she told me that she always thought it made their marriage stronger. She said there was no room to avoid each other, so they always had to make up FAST! Best of luck in your new adventure!

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11 Tasiyagnunpa Livermont March 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

The RV is a good idea. What an adventure! Seems like you are planning this quite carefully. Are you planning on a way to weatherize the RV this time for prairie winter or are you migratory now? Can’t wait to read more.

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12 Merissa March 15, 2013 at 11:00 am

We will be stationary here in South Dakota for now, so weatherizing:) We are very glad we’ve already lived in an rv through the winter here so we have a pretty good idea of how to do it!

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13 Heather @ My Kansas Life March 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

Sounds great! Once hubby and I get up enough money to buy the land we want, we plan to start living in an RV on our land. Congrats on your goal to pay down debts — it’s worth it!

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14 Julie March 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I think you are very sensible to think about whether you will be able to afford your dream. Good luck to you and yours I am sure it will be a great adventure!

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15 Jackie March 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Best wishes for this next phase of your journey!

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16 Mama March 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm

We have been full time RV’ers for almost two years with our three kids (then four!) kids, while we prepare to build our off-grid house. Totally worth not getting into debt over your head! We’re also going through foreclosure, which has been a very real experience in why a family should not get a mortgage in this economy! So excited to see another person I know choose full time RVing!

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17 Merissa March 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Hi Naomi! Yes it’s always good to have like minded friends 🙂

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18 Ashley January 10, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Hi! I am glad to see someone else RV-ing it with kids! We are in the process of making this decision. We have 3 kids and one on the way! What would you say the hardest thing is about living in a trailer? Easiest? I need advice from someone who’s been there! Thanks

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19 Kelly Gray March 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I love your story and can’t wait to hear the rest!!

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20 Platy March 15, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Hi, Just wondered if you have heard of Rammed Earth constructed homes, sod roofs, Cob constructed homes, and more of the “OLD WORLD” construction techniques that are litterally DIRT cheap? Buy you land, make it your top priority. Make sure you have the basics…….. clean water, power to the road so you can SELL back your solar or wind wh for income…… you know the real important things to you and your family. Dirt comes with your land after all, USE IT! Imagine that 2500 sqft home costing you closer to $3000 with furnishings. Time, a little money for building supplies for forms, tampers and such…….. 3 weeks to 3 months time depending on if you are working at it daily or on the weekends, alone or have help and so on. Please google it, read up on them. Mother earth News is a great place to start. They can be found world wide in ALL climates….. jungles and rain forests of Vietnam, the Hmong have been making them forever. Not to mention England, Ireland, Italy and the list just keeps going. Hubby and I have spent about 8 months planning our house and now we are on the look out for the right property for our forever home. A home we build from the land with our own hands that will stand for 500 years with little up keep. we plan on drilling for the water first then building ontop of the well to make ease of winterizing the water. Add in the sun wall at the right angle to let in the winter heat but deflect the summer heat with a fully open concept so I can have my indoor “wetland” run along the length of it……. using the “grey” water to keep it watered naturally. I am so excited. Please have a look into it. Mr Shealy(?) of Colorado is doing great works as well as Dancing rabbit ecovillage.

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21 Youngs November 26, 2014 at 6:46 am

Living full time in RV, have questions about taxes, thanks for sharing.

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22 Nikki March 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

What an exciting adventure!

We started off a with a too-big house and filled it rapidly, with stuff! so there’s no room for children (we have 2, the baby sleeps in our closet). Simplifying is challenging, so you are starting off the right way!

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23 Debbie March 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Wow what an adventure! I have to ask though what about all your animals, chickens, dog, etc.? And how will you manage all your canning that you do? I wish you the best and look forward to part 2!

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24 Merissa March 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I’ve got plans for canning 🙂 Our chickens were not laying anymore so we butchered and canned them. The other animals we found new homes for as me and the baby are allergic anyways 🙁

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25 Cherie @Technomadia March 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Welcome to the road! You are joining a vibrant and amazing community of road warriors. :). Come join us on NuRvers.com and http://www.facebook.com/NuRVers. There’s a bunch of us working age folks out here.

– Cherie (age 39, on the road since 2006)

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26 Stephanie March 19, 2013 at 5:54 am

We’ve been going through much the same process though we are about 5 years older than you. We have planned out dream house: 2 bedrooms with a bath off each, a kitchen/ living area, and a large pantry. Just over 1100 square feet for my husband and I and three boys. We’re living in a house but are moving into an apartment with a smaller rent payment in order to save up a bit more before we buy the land to build. It’s so exciting to see how God is paving the way!

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27 Natalie March 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Short term “pain” for long term gain! You will be so happy when you are debt free and living your dream! Good for you!

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28 Briana March 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

WOW! That is so exciting for you!

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29 Summer March 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I love your blog & have been following it for quite some time now. I am thrilled to find a similarly aged & like minded person with similar goals considering something my husband & I have been discussing. We aren’t sure yet how it would work with our children, but we’re still researching. I look forward to hearing your next step & wish you well.

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30 Amir April 29, 2013 at 1:16 am

Like your story! I will follow your great adventure!

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31 Lana June 10, 2013 at 11:16 am

We are full timers! =)

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32 Merissa June 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Well hi! 🙂

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33 Casey* August 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm

So happy I came across this website/blog. We are going through a similar situation, but we have a three year old little girl. Our goal is to sell our home and move into our camper for 4 to 5 months to pay down our debt and save some money to put down on a new home : ) What an adventure!!!! I look forward to hearing about your story and receiving some helpful tips.

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34 Merissa August 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Make sure you check out the whole Fulltime RV Living series that we’ve posted so far!

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35 DIANNE September 2, 2013 at 7:44 am

I also wanted to mention we are extremely frugal. we buy all clothes at goodwill or garage sales..hang dry. clothing…no air conditioning..wood heat with wood that is free..never eat out due to daughters ananphylactic allergies..use library and mostly hand me down books for schooling..drink water..go into town 2 times a month..use a pay as you go cell phone..no cable…very frugal bdays and Christmas..and we reuse and reuse. ;),,,and NO credit cards.

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36 Lise June 25, 2014 at 12:19 am

So glad that I found your site, you give great information/advice, and I was really searching for it to come from a personal vantage point! I am currently working on my own plan to “full-time RV” with my two children, ages 8 and 9, doing the technical research about RVs,campgrounds, homeschooling, etc., and now I found your site that gives the “hands-on” information I was missing. Thank you!

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37 jessica July 2, 2014 at 7:01 am

This is awesome! I’m 17 and my hole child hood (I no I’m still a kid lol) we lived in a few campers and two rv’s and because we can’t afford our house, and my dad was just diagnosed with lung cancer.. we are getting ready to move back in to a 5th wheel with 5 people at a gorgeous campsite I’m excited because I grew up in them and a house is just to big.. I love my campers!

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