10 Months Full Time RVing with a Baby

My name is Kate. I’m a full-time RVer who lives in a 42ft fifth wheel with my husband, one-year-old, and a rambunctious golden retriever. We bought our Forest River Sabre 36BHQ fifth wheel back during the shutdown, sold our 2000 sqft house, and moved into the RV full-time. It’s been ten months now, and I wanted to share some of my insights into full time RVing for those of you who may be interested in going tiny!

Forest River Sabre Main
Learn more about the kind of RV we live in here. It’s a Forest River Sabre 36BHQ fifth wheel.

Pick the Right Floorplan

One of the major decisions we had to make when moving into an RV full-time was the floor plan. We looked through hundreds of floorplans ranging from toy hauler fifth wheels to 28ft travel trailers until we finally found a few layouts that worked for us. The first model we fell in love with was a 2020 Forest River Sabre 28RDP fifth wheel because the living space and kitchen were great for entertaining, and the windows made the space feel open and bright. However, we had to shift gears with a little one on the way and started looking for RVs with second bedrooms or bunkhouse RVs. In the end, the Forest River Sabre 36BHQ had the second bedroom, loft for storage, and kitchen/living room that was right for us. 

Plan to Get Out More

A huge motivator for us to move into the fifth wheel was the time we spent indoors. I’m much more of an outdoor enthusiast than my husband, but even he agreed that we weren’t getting out enough. When we first moved into the RV, I was excited to finally have a home that made it easy to get outside. Now, almost every day, my little boy and I are out the door with breakfast still in our hands. Even in the heat of summer, we’re spending more time outside, which has helped us stay more active and healthy.

kate and ollie
This is me and my little one heading out for a hike.

Head South for the Winter

I’m a cold-weather girl. I love the snow, the winter, and getting out for a hike on chilly days. My husband is the same way, so we decided to tough out the winter around the Tennessee River in Western Kentucky. We planned well and did everything we could to winterize our unit while keeping it livable, and it worked! But, let me tell you, it was a pain. No matter how well insulated your RV is, when temperatures start getting into the 10s and lower, as we saw here, it’s time to head south. Thankfully, we didn’t have any pipes burst and were able to keep our RV a toasty 68 degrees and higher even on the coldest nights, but it was a lot of work. Lesson learned. This winter, we’re hoping to head south and stay somewhere a bit sunnier.

RV in snow
Temperatures dropped to -13 the night before I took this photo. We had to get under the RV with a hair dryer to make sure our pipes didn’t freeze.

Get Rid of Stuff

If you’re going to be downsizing, you’ll need to get rid of stuff. If you’re like me, that means you’ll have to decide what you think is necessary and get rid of everything else. We donated so many boxes and bags of clothing, trinkets, books, and more to local charities. We even managed to find a family in need for most of our furniture to go to. Honestly, before we downsized, we cut our material possessions down by 80-90% or more. It’s freeing to have fewer things to keep track of or have to tidy.

moving box

Get Rid of More Stuff

Trust me. You will keep too much stuff, somehow. After ten months in our fifth wheel, lots of new storage ideas, a growing boy who is constantly outgrowing clothing, and more, we still have too much stuff. I feel like I’m always bagging stuff up to take to charity or to give to Goodwill. We go through our possessions about once a quarter right now and trim down what we think we can do without each time. It’s getting to be a smaller and smaller list of necessary items, and every time we take out a load, I feel a great weight lifted off my shoulders. Try it; even if you’re not going tiny, it’s incredibly rewarding.

It’s Not for Everyone

I’ll be entirely honest: this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But it is for us. Living small has its ups and downs, but we’ve loved every minute of it, even the hard stuff. There’s something about the freedom that comes with downsizing that is just what we needed to start living the life we wanted. Now, we’re not bogged down by things that we hated, like yard work, so we have more time for things that we love, like hiking or biking together. Before you dive full-time RVing, be honest with yourself and your family. Evaluate if the decision will help to improve your overall quality of life or if the cramped space might be a problem.

If you think that full-time RVing or even just weekend trips to the campground is right for you, find the perfect RV at RVing Planet to get you there.