RV Family — The Wright Family (Nope, not that one!)

Here’s another set of answers to “20 Questions for RV Families”. Shelley answered a couple of weeks ago, so presumably she and her family are on the road now! To have your family featured, please read the questions and e-mail your answers (along with a family photo) to info at wright on time books dot com.

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Wright on Time Books: Tell me a bit about your family.

Shelley: We are a family of 4 with 3 dogs. Married in 2001 & first son born in 01, son #2 born in ’03. Husband is active duty USMC and I’m a stay at home mom. Well, I sub a bit here and there at the boys’ school, but I still consider myself a stay at home mom. We have 3 dogs, 2 large and 1 tiny. We’re active in church & sports & always seem busy.

Wright on Time Books: How long has your family (or did your family) live in an RV?

Shelley: We begin moving in Wednesday!!! We are moving from Florida to California in December. We bought a house here in Florida & have a contract to close November 12th, thankfully!! And decided an rv would be nice for traveling back and forth from California to Texas where our family members live & it would be more enjoyable to visit with our own space, let’s be real, 3 dogs aren’t welcome pretty much anywhere 😉 We plan to live in the rv until we pay off the loan on that and the truck….I hope we will enjoy it so much we just continue!!

Wright on Time Books: What states/countries has your family traveled to?

Shelley: Well, not in rv travels yet, but we’re from Texas. We were stationed in North Carolina for 3 yrs. Danny was temporarily assigned to Maryland & we visited DC then. We spent 3 year in Okinawa & are finishing up a 3year tour in Florida. We have family in Oklahoma & we have spent a lot of time on road trips & I can tell you I am very much looking forward to a more relaxed rv traveling style versus hurry up in the car & trying to locate pet friendly hotels…NOT EASY!!

Wright on Time Books: Are you homeschoolers? Do you call yourselves roadschoolers? What type of homeschoolers are you (or do you prefer to not give your family a label)?

Shelley: We are not homeschoolers. Our kids are enrolled in public school and will remain in public school unless anything drastic changes in the public school system. Although we did homeschool our oldest his first half of Kindergarten (does that even count..lol) while we were in Japan until we got back stateside because I did not like the school.

Wright on Time Books: How well does homeschooling work while living on the road? How do you get new resources (DVDs, books, audio books, etc.)? Are you able to use local libraries, or do you have to buy everything?

Shelley: Not applicable to us

Wright on Time Books: Do you have a “home base”? This is especially important for legal homeschooling, isn’t it? Did you sell all of your possessions, or keep things in storage?

Shelley: Not really applicable to us…I don’t think.. We will have a home base in California, my husband is still active duty military 🙂

Wright on Time Books: What resources did you use both before you began your adventure and/or while you were on the road? Any particular books or websites that you couldn’t have lived without?

Shelley: Atlas, maps & reviewing, reading reviews for great travel books with guides to camps & family friendly trips.

Wright on Time Books: How hard is it to deal with the maintenance of the RV? What are the most difficult aspects? Who handles what?

Shelley: ???We’ll soon find out!!! I hear it’s a great deal easier than a regular house, I guess just KNOWING what needs to happen is the main thing. We have a warranty on our rv for now but after that we will be researching any problems and become our own handyman at all times possible.

Wright on Time Books: How large is your RV? What is it like? We want to know where everything goes and where everyone sleeps. In an ideal world, would you have wanted a bigger RV, smaller RV, or something the same size but with a different configuration?

Shelley: We have a 35’8″ ’09 Dutchmen Denali 330xrv-5m. It has a master room with a full closet & dresser & a loft with a queen bed for the boys which includes 2 sets of cabinets and a trunk. Our rv is a toyhauler so it has a whole open back room which we use for many things but mostly “had to have it” because of our dogs. We have 3 slide outs & several outside storage bins & cabinets inside. In some ways I think , man it’d be nice to have a 40+footer, I could really put some stuff in that! And then I think, man if we had a super small rv we could really enjoy some awesome & exclusive campspots. In the end, our rv size was determined based on what our truck could tow, we got as big as it could tow & we could not be happier with the configuration, it will be an adjustment no matter what.

Wright on Time Books: How often do you move to a new location? Do gas prices and campground costs affect this? Where do you usually stay the night? Do you have a regular route that you repeat, or do you continually seek out new places to visit?

Shelley: Our plan is to fulltime in an rv park close to Danny’s duty station & on long weekends & vacations travel to different spots, mainly on the west coast but also to include at least a once yearly route back to Texas for family & hopefully for the family reunions.

Wright on Time Books: Who does the driving? Do you ever have issues driving such a large vehicle? Do you avoid cities or curvy/narrow roads up mountains, or do you take them in stride?

Shelley: Danny says it’s all on him. We’ll see how long that will last. It’s not the driving that worries me, it’s the getting on the road and the exiting. 😉 We will avoid steep mountains due to our size, I’m just not sure we could make that. But other than something dangerous we’ll just hit whatever road we need to to get to our desired spot!

Wright on Time Books: How long have you been on the road/plan to be on the road? Has this worked out to your liking?

Shelley: We started planning this move this past summer. We officially begin our move in Wednesday but will not be fully moved in until the end of the month. We plan to continue full time rv life until we have paid off our truck and rv but I hope we enjoy the lifestyle and continue past that point…maybe indefinitely!

Wright on Time Books: How do you handle privacy issues while living in close quarters?

Shelley: Privacy…ha! I haven’t had privacy since I married & definitely no privacy with kids 🙂 But as for marital privacy…the “master” bedroom has a sliding door that will be used & we’ll adjust accordingly, haha

Wright on Time Books: How do you keep in touch with friends and family? Do you visit them? Do they visit you? Phone, e-mail, etc.? What about holidays and birthdays?

Shelley: cell phones, email, personal sites (blogging, facebook, myspace), trips back home. We’ll send cards & small gifts through the mail.

Wright on Time Books: Does anyone ever get homesick for your old life? How do you deal with that?

Shelley: We’ve been travelers from the beginning of our marriage, even though not rv lifestlye. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have roots somewhere & live in a community that everyone knows each other. But maybe that is part of what draws me to the rv lifestyle. Friendly people & a sense of community in the rv parks everywhere.

Wright on Time Books: How do you pay for your living expenses? How do you make money while on the road? Do you work full-time/part-time? Do you work certain times of the year and travel other times? Have any of your children had paying jobs?

Shelley: My husband is still active duty military, and when he retires he will receive retirement pay. I sub for fun. We’re not a full time traveling family, just a full time rv family 😉

Wright on Time Books: Do you have a towed vehicle? Bicycles? Mopeds? Etc.?

Shelley: No, we tow the trailer with our ’08 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel. We carry bicycles with us though.

Wright on Time Books: Do you have any pets that travel with your family? How do they like living on the road?

Shelley: We have 3 dogs and while they don’t care for road trips they enjoy nature walks and new places

Wright on Time Books: Where is the best place you’ve been according to each member of your family?

Shelley: We really enjoyed our 3years in Okinawa Japan

Wright on Time Books: How can we find out more about you and your family? Website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc.? Please tell us also what the next great adventure for your family is!

Shelley: Well, I have a blog that I keep up sometimes 😉 and I do facebook & such. www.semperfiwifey.blogspot.com & facebook.com/shelleywright0103

Thanks for asking it was fun filling out the questions!!

RV Family — The Showalter Family from FL, USA

Here’s another great set of “20 Questions for RV Families”. To have your family featured, please read the questions and e-mail your answers (along with a family photo) to info at wright on time books dot com.

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Wright on Time Books: Tell me a bit about your family.

Showalter Family: We are a family of Dad, Mom, Ashleigh, Ambir, Aric, Auburn and Austin. Only four of us are living in the RV though. Those four are Dad, Mom, Auburn-16 and Austin-14.

Showalter Family

Wright on Time Books: How long has your family (or did your family) live in an RV?

Showalter Family: We have been doing this for a year now.

Wright on Time Books: What states/countries has your family traveled to?

Showalter Family: USA States we have visited so far: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Oregon

Wright on Time Books: Are you homeschoolers? Do you call yourselves roadschoolers? What type of homeschoolers are you (or do you prefer to not give your family a label)?

Showalter Family: We are homeschoolers, definitely roadschoolers and also unschoolers

Wright on Time Books: How well does homeschooling work while living on the road?

Showalter Family: It works beautifully!

Wright on Time Books: Do you have a “home base”? This is especially important for legal homeschooling, isn’t it? Did you sell all of your possessions, or keep things in storage?

Showalter Family: We do have a home base, without the home of course. Florida was our home state before we did this, so we still consider this our home base. We sold 95% of our possessions and have the little bit that we kept in a storage unit.

Wright on Time Books: What resources did you use both before you began your adventure and/or while you were on the road? Any particular books or websites that you couldn’t have lived without?

Showalter Family: We use all different resources so it is hard to imagine listing them all. We use maps, both online and hard copies, and we use google often. The library has become a favorite resource because we can download books and movies for free and view/listen to them at our convenience. We love books like the one you wrote, although your book is the first of its kind that we know of.

Wright on Time Books: How hard is it to deal with the maintenance of the RV? What are the most difficult aspects? Who handles what?

Showalter Family: The maintenance of the RV has been very minimal at this point. We bought our RV new so it doesn’t have many miles on it yet. The most difficult aspects of the handling of the RV are probably the hooking it up to travel and emptying the sewer. Dad does both of those things. When we get to a new place, the girls do the inside “set up” and the guys do the outside work. When we pack up to leave, we split the work load the same way. Dad takes care of the truck, Mom takes care of the inside of the RV and the teens each take care of their rooms and their bathroom.

Wright on Time Books: How large is your RV? What is it like? We want to know where everything goes and where everyone sleeps. In an ideal world, would you have wanted a bigger RV, smaller RV, or something the same size but with a different configuration?

Showalter Family: Our RV is 42 feet long. It is a fifth wheel which means the front end hooks onto a hitch on the back of our truck. We have a main bedroom, main bathroom with a shower, living room-dining room-kitchen combo and then the teens each have a bunk room of their own in the back with a half bath in between.

I would have wanted a smaller RV because they are easier to pull, but we do enjoy the space that our RV gives us and we each get space with the floor plan we have so we do think we picked the best possible choice for our family.

Wright on Time Books: How often do you move to a new location? Do gas prices and campground costs affect this? Where do you usually stay the night? Do you have a regular route that you repeat, or do you continually seek out new places to visit?

Showalter Family: We move, on average, about every 12 days. Gas prices and campground costs do affect this, but that is a minor consideration for us. Weather if the biggest factor on how fast we move. We like to stay long enough to get a feel for an area, yet move before we get too bored. We always stay in campgrounds. We always seek new places to visit.

Wright on Time Books: Who does the driving? Do you ever have issues driving such a large vehicle? Do you avoid cities or curvy/narrow roads up mountains, or do you take them in stride?

Showalter Family: Dad and Mom do the driving, although so far Dad is the only one that has driven while the RV is hooked up. It is an issue at times driving such a large vehicle. We have to consider our route carefully. Bridges can be an issue if they are too low. It is harder to drive in the mountains. We try to avoid the curvy/narrow roads up mountains when possible but we don’t let them keep us from seeing what we want to either.

Wright on Time Books: How long have you been on the road/plan to be on the road? Has this worked out to your liking?

Showalter Family: We have been on the road for a year and will do it as long as it is working well for our family. It has worked even better than we thought it might. We LOVE it!

Wright on Time Books: How do you handle privacy issues while living in close quarters?

Showalter Family: We have learned to respect boundaries well. If someone needs space, then we give it to them because we know we want the same in return.

Wright on Time Books: How do you keep in touch with friends and family? Do you visit them? Do they visit you? Phone, e-mail, etc.? What about holidays and birthdays?

Showalter Family: We mostly keep in touch through the computer and postcards. We have visited some family members and will continue to do so. We spent the main holidays with family last year. We have missed birthdays at times and that has been very sad to us.

Wright on Time Books: Does anyone ever get homesick for your old life? How do you deal with that?

Showalter Family: We do get homesick, but it is normally missing the people and not so much our old life. We deal with it by talking about it, venting when we need to and remembering that there is positives/negatives to anything in life.

Wright on Time Books: How do you pay for your living expenses? How do you make money while on the road? Do you work full-time/part-time? Do you work certain times of the year and travel other times? Have any of your children had paying jobs?

Showalter Family: We pay for our living expenses through Dad’s job. Dad still works full-time and Mom will work here and there part-time. We work all year long. Auburn has found paying jobs by doing dog training for people.

Wright on Time Books: Do you have a towed vehicle? Bicycles? Mopeds? Etc.?

Showalter Family: We have bicycles that we carry on a bike rack that fits on the back of the RV.

Wright on Time Books: Do you have any pets that travel with your family? How do they like living on the road?

Showalter Family: We have a dog, a bird and a cat. We didn’t get any of our pets until we went on the road, so it is the only life they know. They all seem to do very well with it.

Wright on Time Books: Where is the best place you’ve been according to each member of your family?

Showalter Family: Dad-Maine and Yosemite, Mom-Yosemite, Austin-Arizona, California, Texas and Maine, Auburn-Yosemite

Wright on Time Books: How can we find out more about you and your family? Website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc.? Please tell us also what the next great adventure for your family is!

Showalter Family: You can learn more about us through our blog: http://showustheworld.blogspot.com/

Our next great adventure is to work our way up the coast of Oregon and Washington!

Thank you for letting us be a part of this neat venture of yours!