Five people, One dog, One Motorhome

~by Tracey Shepherd

One year of RV Life. It’s many people’s fantasy, but we’re actually living it.  

You may think we’ve been traveling the country seeing the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Niagra Falls.


We’re parked in my driveway.

Hi, my name is Tracey. I’m married to Brian, and we have 3 kids (ages 13, 12, and 9) and have been living in a motorhome in my driveway for almost a year.

A little history - We moved from Texas to California and bought a small, older house several years ago. After living in our small space, we decided to do what many Californians do…add on! However, unlike most Californians I know (who would move into a rental) we moved our family of 5 (and our little anxious “maltipoo”) into a motorhome parked in our driveway.

Many people have questioned how we have done over the last year… I’ll sum it up with two words: Not Perfectly!

The lack of privacy has probably been the most challenging. Want to have a private conversation? Sorry! Your entire family is within 15 feet of you. Want to use the bathroom without too much attention? Too bad! Everyone knows (and smells…ewwww). Does your dyslexic, attention-challenged kid want to work on homework without distraction? Not possible. Want a little privacy as a couple? Don’t even think about it!

To add insult to injury, California experienced an epic rainy season this year. Yay! No more drought! Yay! Everyone’s inside!

The second most challenging part of having an entire family in an RV is getting ready to go somewhere. The good news is that the only day that we ALL have to be ready at the same time is on Sundays, when we get ready for church. And we are late. Every. Single. Sunday. But, we show up! Winning!

As I sit back and reflect on this year-long adventure that is quickly coming to a close, I ask myself: Have I been thankful?

Yes, I am really am thankful. I’m thankful for the opportunity to build and expand our house. And, I’m thankful for this small space that we have lived in rent-free.

I’m thankful that living in our RV has taught me that I don’t really need all the stuff I thought I needed. Our family can survive (and even thrive) with a microwave, a toaster oven, and a little cooktop. We don’t need 50 outfits, or even 25. We can rotate clothes and be presentable with much less. My living space doesn’t need to be perfectly neat (although, to be honest, all the clutter makes me cray-cray).

I’m thankful that living in our RV has made me realize that Brian and I can muscle through tough times. I’m thankful I’ve gotten to see my kids love on each other. Sure, they bicker, but they are still on the same team and support one another deeply. They’ve cheered for each other’s victories, and they’ve hurt for each other over failures or unfairness.

Our year-long RV life is ending soon. Construction on the house is wrapping up and we should be moving into the house within a few weeks. I call dibs on the master bathroom!



Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

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