From the pages of I RVing: Winter 2022

A Total Life Renovation

For a former military couple, the RV lifestyle represented a new station in life.

See how they make it their own

NCE UPON A TIME, Joseph and Kathleen used to go wherever the military took them. Now they go wherever the wind takes them. With their three kids, they’ve been on the open road since 2019. Using an RV to ease their transition to civilian life, they got a taste for the freedom of a mobile home and the joy of always being together. So they made the decision to renovate their entire lifestyle— including their new Coachmen Chaparral. Here’s what Kathleen says about their new life on the road.

Why did your family decide to RV full-time?

KATHLEEN We left the military in 2019, and we traveled [in a Forest River Cruise Lite] for a little over eight months. When we came back from the road in 2020, we purchased the fifth wheel that we are currently renovating then left again in April of this year!

What made you want to renovate your RV?

KATHLEEN We decided to renovate our RV because we knew we wouldn’t be moving as fast as we did when we originally hit the road in 2019. It needed to feel more like home. The original model just wasn’t our style, so we decided to make it ours!

What’s been your biggest renovating challenge?

KATHLEEN How long it takes? We have been renovating for over a year. No joke. It is a constant work in progress. And every time we start one project, we find another one we want to do. I have learned to love my space through each step as we continue to make it ours.

What’s been the best thing about RVing?

KATHLEEN Do I have to pick just one? There are so many things I love. I love how close it has brought us as a family, how many incredible adventures we get to go on, and the community. The RV community is so quick to help, and being with like-minded people and hearing everyone’s stories never gets old to me.

Where do you guys go in the winter?

KATHLEEN We wintered in Texas and Arizona when we first hit the road, and we’ll be in Florida this year. We have the Keys on our RV bucket list!

What piece of advice would you give someone transitioning to the RV life?

KATHLEEN Figure out your budget so you can be sustainable long-term on the road if that is your goal. We learned this the hard way! And enjoy the journey. This is a huge leap of faith, and there will be bumps along the way. Being able to learn from them and find joy in the trying times makes the good times that much better.

RV renovations are not as perfect or as easy—as they look on Instagram. But they can be so rewarding when complete. Like this bathroom’s total transformation.



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