The biggest push to move into an RV was the immense love and commitment to family I witnessed over and over by each full-time family I found online.
Finding Hope in Overwhelm.
Staying up late one night in our hotel, I was mulling over the decision to buy an RV. Would it be good for my child? Could Ed and I survive in such close quarters? He’d only been back in the states for a few months and we were still adjusting to one another. Are there people out there that do this successfully? I want so badly to feel that love and commitment to family. Will this help or hurt that desire?
Completely overwhelmed, I decided to search for RV families. Little did I know the full-time family not only existed, but FLOURISHED inside the RV.
Searching, so many different channels and blogs popped up. It didn’t take long to notice a completely different family dynamic. I saw families having fun together! In a small space! I found a family of 11, completely killin’ it out on the road. I read through a couple’s blog on how they started their marriage in an RV, successfully building different businesses and income streams TOGETHER! Then I came across a full-time family that looked just like mine! I learned of their desire to come together as a family and spend as much quality time together as possible.
Above all, I saw each full-timer showing love and commitment to family. Wow! These were the desires of my heart!
After that, it was a very easy decision to move into the RV.
My Own Little Full-Time Family
Am I happier? Do my values and priorities line up? Am I feeling that love and commitment to family?
YES! (I mean, mostly. Everybody has bad days, ya know.)
RVing makes you commit. You have to be all in or you’re gonna crack.
Move in day!
The small space forces us to be together. I can’t close the door when I’m mad because well, there is quite literally no door to close. I must communicate my feelings as I have them. There’s just no room for a grown woman to explode. Other RVers feel this way too, especially with the added pressures of moving around.
Before the RV, my husband came home to a stressed wife. I would put him on “daddy duty” immediately. (Okay, this means I’d practically lock Chelsea and Ed together in her room.) I felt I needed them out of my hair so I could catch up on cleaning or other duties. Despite being my own doing, I was jealous of their ability to play and be carefree. (Yes, I can be that crazy.)
How could they have fun while the mother of this family struggles to get the jam off the cupboard?!?! How rude!
Now, I have so much less to take care of and it brings great joy to hear or watch my husband and daughter play. Even if I’ve gotta do the dishes when he gets home, we’re all in the same room so I get to experience those daddy daughter moments. I don’t really resent housework anymore.
The small space also highlights when I’m feeling weak. Despite taking only 15-30 minutes to clean the RV, there are times when the thought of picking up one sock is equivalent to solving the world’s hunger problem. In our townhouse, it could take a week for the effects of that to show. Here in the RV, it takes a day. When I don’t bother picking up, my husband notices immediately. This signals to him I’m struggling and he begins helping me around the house. It has done wonders for our marriage.
The Magic of Nature
Have you ever heard the phrase “You just need some fresh air?”
Of course you have.
Well in the RV, we spend a lot of time getting fresh air. I mean, when you live in 380 square feet it makes it easy to want to get outside. With the added advantage of living on a campground with plenty of room to run, play, and explore, we get outside for hours each day.
And I’ve learned the simple act of getting into nature together is a miracle for the soul of the family.
When we moved into the RV, my toddler was just starting to use real words. Now she can name birds, scream there is a squirrel running up the tree, and point out turtles and fish in the pond. There is something magical about your child learning about the outdoors firsthand.
Looking into the water together, teaching her about algae
My heart swells with pride when Chelsea recognizes an animal in a storybook from real-life experience. Just writing this is making me smile! As a mother, there has been nothing more exciting than to see my child learn and fall in love with the world around her.
There is also great power in the cookout.
Yep, simply cooking outside has brought me so close to my family. My daughter loves watching us fire up the grill. I don’t know about your kid, but mine gets super excited for dinner. Being outside, she can run some of that excitement off before it is time to settle down and sit to eat. It makes dinner so much more enjoyable!
Getting this excited about dinner is just a normal RV thing
So why is RVing a secret formula to love and commitment to family?
Yep, that’s it. Living in an RV forces you to share just about everything with the people around you.
Michael Boyink of Ditching Suburbia put it best. He states that RVing has added layers to the family foundation:
“We(‘ve) negotiated new places together, discovered new foods together, explored beaches, deserts, and mountains together. We’ve encountered and interacted with different types of people together and learned a ton about our country and its history together.”
All of that boils down to shared experiences forging that love and commitment to family. I know all this to be true, oh so true.
And while my family isn’t traveling yet, living in this RV has forced us to share many things. We are dedicated to our daily walks together. Together, we meet lots of new and interesting people that come in and out of the campground on a daily basis. We watch the sunset together and cook dinner as a unit. Just about everything done is a family affair. It is forging a very strong bond for the Wilcox household.
And that is where the real magic is, how and why RV families can show that love and commitment to family.
It is because the family unit is getting back to the basics, working together to learn about the world around them and experience new things. The family bond strengthens as its members become explorers together. There are so many shared.
The family bond strengthens as its members become explorers together. There are so many shared experiences, it is hard not to feel close to each other.