The Challenges, Benefits, and Freedom of the RV LifePC: Rebecca Pritchard

Have you ever just wanted to sell everything and jump in an RV to live out your travel and simplified-life dreams? Well, you’re not alone. A blessing-in-disguise of the pandemic was the ability for Americans to sit and take stock. What is important? What should I be doing with my life, gifts, talents, etc.? How do I want to be living? What is best for my family? Am I too wrapped up in my things to fully appreciate life and all it has to offer? Am I living my values?

Well, Rebecca and her family took all of these considerations as a challenge and sold their home, pulled their three boys out of school, and moved into an RV!

A major downsize to be sure, this move took a lot of sacrifices on everyone’s part, but Rebecca and her family have found so much to love about their new lifestyle and just know the future is bright and full of travel adventures.

To give us all an idea of what this lifestyle change has done for Rebecca, she is sharing her thoughts on the experience as well as some advice so that anyone who is itching for a change can find inspiration in her and her family’s new-found freedom.

What led to your decision to hit the road?
“We wanted to be together more and have more freedom! My husband was an over the road truck driver, which meant he was only home one weekend a month. Sometimes less than that. It was past time for us to be together more. So selling our home and living the RV life was what we did to be together.”

What unexpected challenges did you face at first?
Our first unexpected challenge was finding a truck to haul the camper! We couldn’t believe how difficult it was. Trucks were selling faster than we could go look at them.

Another challenge was definitely downsizing from our three bedroom home into a 35’ camper. We did fit more than what I expected to, though!

Our current challenge is waiting to see what God wants us to do. We were so ready to just jump into traveling and work while camping but it hasn’t worked out yet. So, we’re just enjoying this time of our life while we’re in it, waiting to see where God leads us.

Was it totally liberating at first, or did it take a while for that feeling to settle in?
We felt free instantly! Not being able to take off traveling right away was a little disappointing, but we have been stationary with our family (at my grandparent’s home in north Florida), who we moved away from in 2013 to live in the north Georgia mountains. So being back with them the last few months has been great! Our boys have gotten to spend so much time with their many cousins and their relationships have just bloomed. It really has been special.

If you could give one piece of advice to others considering the RV life, what would it be?
DO IT!! I know we aren’t traveling yet but just living this simple life, together, has been so great. We will never regret all of this time together. The focus is more on each other rather than living the “American dream.”

What are three things you can’t live without?
Living in an RV, the three things we can’t live without are our Ninja Foodi (we cook EVERYTHING in it!), our Verizon Mifi (okay…we could probably live without that but…),  and I think the third thing would be our own spaces. We have a bunkhouse for the boys to have their own space and of course our room is our private space. That helps a ton with us always being together.

How did your kids handle the transition from stationary home to RV?
It was a challenge at first, with them having to slim down on what they could have in the RV. But once they saw just how much they could actually bring, they got excited. And they enjoyed setting it up and now enjoy rearranging it all in their room.

What does your day-to-day look like?
Our “normal” week days usually start with me getting up and having my coffee while I do my own Bible study. Then I get the boys up for breakfast. After breakfast, we start our school day and usually finish by lunchtime. We then all have lunch and afterwards, the boys do their chores and are free to play until dinner.

Some weeks we take off and go to work with my husband. He took a job with a water remediation company to be with us more while we wait to see what God has in store for us. He works all over Florida for the most part, but flies out to other states sometimes too. His company pays for his travel and hotels so we get all the perks when we tag along! We sometimes bring school and sometimes we don’t. We love that freedom!!

Where have you traveled since taking on this new lifestyle?
With the RV, we haven’t gotten to travel with it anywhere….yet! But we have gotten to travel all over Florida with my husband’s new job, while we wait to go off in the RV.

Our favorite so far has been Boca Raton! Oh my goodness it’s so pretty there! The water is so clear, the people were very friendly, and the iguanas!! They were just walking around everywhere, it was so neat! It’s such a beautiful place.

Did you start homeschooling before or after you transitioned to the rv lifestyle?
We were homeschooling before we started the RV life. We actually began homeschooling in 2020 when the schools shut down. I always said that I’d never homeschool, and thought that I didn’t have the patience for it. I was so wrong! Never say never! Homeschooling our boys has been the biggest blessing ever. Watching them learn and catch onto things has just blessed this mama’s heart so much. I wish I would’ve homeschooled them all from the start!!

Does RV life help or hinder your homeschooling efforts?
I don’t think that it fazed it at all. We just picked right up where we left off.

What were some unexpected benefits/good things?
Something that I didn’t really think about prior to moving into the RV was just how fast we can get it cleaned up and how we can actually keep it clean. That was an unexpected benefit for me!

Personally, With us not being able to take off traveling right away, an unexpected blessing was being with our family during some difficult times. For things I can’t share publicly, we’ve been there for them and them for us. Had we gone off traveling from the start, we wouldn’t have been able to help and wouldn’t have received the support from them either. God knew we needed to be here with them during this time.

Your daily life reflects your values – what is it about this lifestyle that helps you to live your values and your beliefs?
Having our boys with us full time (every second of every day), definitely helps us to instill those values and beliefs into them. It helps us to show them firsthand how to live out those values and beliefs. They have all three grown so much internally since we began this new lifestyle. They’ve learned to live better with one another, having more patience with each other, and our middle son just accepted God as his savior! Them growing closer to God because of us focusing more on Him as a family….It’s just been so wonderful.

Also, currently being around our like minded family has helped too! Having cousins who are being raised with the same values and beliefs as us is such a blessing that we do not take for granted.

Has this lifestyle led you to a more fulfilled life? If so, how?
For sure! We definitely feel like God called us out into this lifestyle and that He has got us. We’re just following where He leads. When you fully trust Him with your life, there is so much peace and freedom. It feels great. (Definitely not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows, I’m just saying it’s better than not having Him leading us.)

Can you talk us through the process of taking the leap a little bit? What would someone else starting this journey need to know?
If you have never camped before, I would say do that a few times first. Make sure that you like and can handle staying in a tiny space.

If you love it, then hunt down the perfect RV for you (If you don’t already have it)! Make sure that you have the correct truck to haul it with, if you decide to go with a 5th wheel or travel trailer. And get all of the necessary insurances.

Next, if you own your home, list it for sale or rent it out. Whichever is best for you.

Finally, take off! Or stay put somewhere like us. Ha! Whichever you feel led to do. Just enjoy the freedom of not having so much overhead and fewer things to take care of!

What’s next on the travel list?
We would absolutely LOVE to travel west to southern Utah! We also want to hang out in Texas for a bit too. But, we are just praying for God to show us what’s next, whatever that may be!

Have similar experiences to Rebecca? Want to share what you’ve learned? Follow Rebecca on Instagram here, and share your story with the AmericanMom community by registering to become a contributor here.

We are so excited to know that families are embracing life, togetherness, and the freedom that comes with separating themselves from the world.