Before we started full time RV living and roadschooling (or homeschooling while traveling), we had to decided how we were going to do it.
Road school blog posts always show a family traveling in a gorgeous Airstream. It’s complete with blue and white striped awning and perfectly matched lawn chairs. And, they’re always sitting around a smoke-free campfire.
It’s the dream and it is just lovely.
However, Airstreams are outrageously expensive for a silver tube on wheels (most of which do not even have slides) and lawn chairs get filthy, and–at least at first–we couldn’t even light a campfire, let alone enjoy it.
Even when we had a roaring fire with perfectly melted s’mores in our hands, we reeked of smoke and had to keep switching locations around the fire pit in order to avoid the carcinogens.
I did extra laundry the next day and everyone had to shower that night.
Choose what you need for full time RV living and don’t just chase the dream!
Full Time RV Living | 3 Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Roadschooling Family
Full Time RV Living Question #1: What do you expect from your RV?
We needed space for our classroom and space for my husband to work full-time (including enough privacy for business calls).
I’m married to a dashing, 6’ 5” computer nerd, so we absolutely needed tall ceilings so he wouldn’t spend a year bashing his head.
It was also important to me that our girls had a room all to themselves with an actual door. We’d asked them to give up so much—their house, their school, even our car.
I really wanted them to have an actual bedroom.
We also intended to enjoy each destination for at least a week (and several times ended up staying closer to two).
We determined that a motorhome wasn’t a good fit for our full time RV living because it didn’t meet those qualifications.
Because we were going to do more parking than driving, we didn’t want to sacrifice space to the “car” part of the motorhome six days out of the week.
We wanted every, square inch to be available to us as our house most of the time.
We went with a 5th wheel pulled by a Ford diesel F-250.
Full Time RV Living Question #2: What is your budget for RV roadschooling?
We discovered that RV shopping was much like buying a car. And, we quickly found ourselves mired down by options, astronomical numbers, and pushy salespeople.
So, we fled.
A couple weeks later a friend recommended a RV guru to us.
And, that’s the way to go, if you can make it happen.
Ask people you trust for recommendations when making your full time RV living transition.
My friend knew what kind of person we’d mesh with and he matched us with a friend of his from high school who knows her way in and under and all around RVs.
She and I emailed for a week about our goals, our budget, our likes and dislikes, and the “must haves.” She then took that information and narrowed down our search before we ever set foot on the lot.
When we came to make the big purchase, she only showed us 5th wheels that met our requirements.
We didn’t waste time on machines we couldn’t afford or that didn’t have 1.5 bathrooms or had low ceilings.
(Did I mention what we did was more glamping than camping?)
Before my husband and I spend that kind of money, we always pause and take a moment.
We left the dealership and went to lunch for a couple of hours.
We filled our bellies and hashed out each model in detail without a salesperson listening in to our conversation.
When we went back, we purchased a 2013 Montana Mountaineer bunkhouse.
Full Time RV Living Question #3: How long will you be traveling and road schooling?
From the start, we knew the full time RV living wasn’t a forever thing for us.
We went big in order to be as comfortable as possible.
Then, we sold the 5th wheel when we settled back down in order to avoid storage fees and to also cash out our investment.
Maybe you’re only going for three or four months so you can buy a small(ish) trailer, save money, and then keep the RV for future travels even after you’ve gone back to brick and mortar?
We chose to buy our 39-foot house from a dealership because it had been inspected, came with basic supplies, and we got a little setup lesson. They answered our questions thoroughly.
Now that we’re vastly more experienced and in the market for a smaller, less complicated trailer, next time we’ll just save money and buy used through an individual.
I think the best piece of advice I can give you for your journey to full time RV living and roadschooling is to take your time!
Don’t give in to the pressure of what the world thinks a perfect RV life should look like.
Go after your idea and make that a reality.
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