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I have something to tell you and it's HUGE!! Hubby and I have talked about this for a while, years actually and now that we have told our family I want to tell you!
Back in July 2014, when hubby got out of the Navy, he was going through VA appointments for some hearing issues and a back, knee and ankle injury. With all of that, the stress of getting out was just insane and brought out some PTSD that we weren't aware he had issues with. As anyone with PTSD can tell you, stress is a trigger and the more stressful a situation the worse the PTSD is. His current job is very stressful because the location is horribly run (and that’s me being nice) and since the stress level is NOT healthy for him, we started talking about options.
The first option was to find a new job of course, but over time, I felt God telling me that “no, that wasn’t the right option.” I was confused but knew things would show themselves in time. Then I was online one night and God did His thing and somehow I stumbled across a roadschooling blog called “Our Traveling Tribe.” Hubby and I had been dreaming of roadschooling for years because of the freedom and experiences so I joking brought it up to Hubby, who probably thought I was INSANE. Then a few days later something happened at his work and I got a text saying he wanted to look into it!
I was FLOORED and overly excited! So I started researching costs, budgets, RV prices, memberships, ect (all of which I will blog about!) and took in the income not attached to hubby's job, factored in our savings, how much we could earn Workamping each summer (YES it's a real thing!) and came up with a budget! Workamping is a summer job program at different campgrounds (normally) where you trade your work (typically around 20 hours a week per adult) for a free hookup. Some offer a small salary too which would go all back into savings to help cover travel costs for the rest of the year.
Then something amazing happened…. We realized we COULD do it! As the weeks went on it was etched more and more into our hearts so we started looking at different RVs in the area to get an idea of what we would need, what it would cost and more. That night we sat down and talked to the kids about the RVs we saw and their feelings on them and if they wanted to live in one and travel. I will say, you know that you have raised a military kid when you oldest says, ‘I'm in, we have been at this house for too long it's time to move!' Yep that’s my boy! My 2 year old was excited too. If you didn't see her reaction on Instagram check it out below.
at, and my 2 year old loved it because it was new. So next step I got online spent a night ordering a state travel guide from the 48 contiguous states. I'm sure our mailman now things we are totally crazy. We have started to pour through these guides and made a google map of everything we want to check out in each state. This is our way of remembering why we are doing this when things get tough.
We spend many nights digging thru RV websites trying to find out what type of RV would work for us. We spent 3 weekends’ just visiting RV dealerships and drove past some campgrounds too to get a feel for them. We started thinking we wanted a Class C RV and tow our car (called a toad). That changed to a possible 5th wheel and caravanning with the truck to tow it and the van to fit the kids. Now we have settled on a travel trailer (TT) and towing it with a Ford Excursion. I am leaving the car research to hubby, so this could change again before everything is said and done but we are set on a travel trailer.
We have found 2 TT we like one has 4 bunks and a U shape dinette I like and TONS of storage and a small bath tub. The down sides are a small kitchen, and the bathroom by kids bunkroom. The other TT we like only has 3 bunks (but the dining room table turns to a bed that sleep 2 and the couch turn to a bed that sleeps 2, so it will sleep 9) BUT it has a much bigger kitchen, a pass thru bathroom (meaning you can get to it from the hall and the master bedroom) and just as much storage but no U shape Dinette. The 2nd one is a bit more expensive.
At this point which one we get will depend on which one we can afford when the time comes to buy. We are still working with hubby's VA appointments and we have to get rid of all our stuff. It will be about 3 months or so (maybe sooner!) before we are ready to buy. In the meantime our neighborhood is having a HUGE neighborhood yard sale next week and we are trying to get as much stuff ready for this yard sale as we can!
One night during all my research I stumbled upon a book called “How to Hit the Road – Making Your Family's Full-Time RC Dreams a Reality.”
I shared it will my husband and he didn't even hesitate he told me to buy it. I spent a good part of the next day and read it all when the kids were napping, He has been working thru it a chapter at a time. There is so much info in there on things like what to look for in an RV, what to pack, memberships to look into, budgets, ways to make money, your new address, how to get your mail, the adjustment period, meeting other families, and more.
What EXACTLY is Roadschooling?
Roadschooling is learning on the road. Leaning about colonial times then experiencing it hands on in Colonial Williamsburg, learning about The Civil War then seeing sites like Gettysburg, traveling the Oregon Trail while learning about it and more! It's one thing to learn about it all in a classroom, but it's another thing to get the hands on experience as well. It's like the ultimate field trip!
WHY would you want to do this?
First see the answer above. Add in trying food from every region, meeting the people that make this country run, seeing sites like, Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. Plus the time as a family, and the freedom of not having any deadlines to meet!
How can you afford it?
We have poured over this. We will be working a few months out of the, year to save for travel. Plus I earn money doing social media work and writing. But in general our monthly expenses will be cut almost in half being on the road.
Can you really live with 6 people in only 300 sq. ft?
Living in a small space will force you outside much more, which is part of what this lifestyle is all about. We will be eating at picnic tables and grilling out and enjoying the company of our ‘neighbors'. Add in we spend 80% of our days at home spent in our living room together and that is smaller than an RV. I think we will be ok!
What about all your stuff?
We looked around our house and realized we are borderline hoarders. We have a 2,400sq ft, 4 bedroom, 3 bath house and we don't really live in half of it! It's used to collect our ‘stuff'. In the living room (not the family room we use) we had furniture we haven't touched in over 3 months, stacks of papers we forgot about and décor that never got hung up. Our 2 car garage has boxes that never got unpacked from our move a year ago! We obviously don't need that stuff. Every closet has clothes we haven't worn or don't fit and we only use 3 of the 4 bedrooms. In short we have been fooled by the lie that we NEED all this ‘stuff'. We don't need it and are going from the collecting stuff phase in our lives to the minimalist stage!
There are a few family heirlooms we can't get rid of. We are keeping pictures and a few treasure items in boxes and my parents have been amazing and will let us store them in part of their garage!
What about the kid's school?
We already homeschool and taking that on the road is no big deal! We will change curriculum a bit so we can learn about each state as we are in it.
What about homeschool laws?
Our domicile state will be Florida and we will follow all Florida homeschool laws.
How will you get your mail?
Mail will go to my parents who said they would sort it for us. All of our bills can be paid online and anything else important then can be mailed to us via General Delivery ( more info here )
Will you being doing this the rest of your life?
No, right now we want to travel but in few years once we find a place we want to put down roots, we will settle down and get normal jobs again and then slowly move back to a sticks and bricks house, probably much smaller with less stuff though!
Still have a question? Leave it in the comments I would be happy to answer them and add to the list!
Now the biggest question of all…. What does this mean for The Frugal Navy Wife blog?
This side of The Frugal Navy Wife WILL NOT BE CHANGING! So if you have no interest in my Roadschooling adventures stay here and you won't see much if anything about it. If you want to follow along and see how we do then head over the Roadschooling with The Frugal Navy Wife!
I will be posting our journey, where we visit, what bumps we have along the way, our budget, tips and tricks for small living, and more! Plus travel tips and must see places!
I am a Wife, mom to 4 kids, homeschool mom, blogger, social media junkie, Frugalista, Book Worm, and Closet Want-to-be Chef. We are a Roadschool family (homeschooling on the road while traveling fulltime).
I grew up learning ways to save from my mom and grandma. I started my own coupon journey when my first child was born in 2009 and started the blog on 2010 when baby #2 was born to share my tips with everyone who kept asking about how I was getting diapers for $1 a pack!
Click here to learn more about starting a blog.