The Campbells have hit the road! Welcome to our blog where we will keep you updated with our travels, photography, and RV lifestyle (the great and the
not-so-great learning curves!)
So first things first…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!
After months and months of research, we pulled the trigger on a 2013 Heartland Gateway 3200RS. It is 37 feet long with 3 slide outs for a grand total of ~400 square feet.
Right after we pulled off the lot. Russell caught onto driving right away.
So why this particular RV? For starters, BUDGET! We have gotten used to living on a “grad school budget,” which means one income and getting by with a little help from our friends (parents). So we knew that to get what we wanted, we would have to buy used. That entailed extra research to find something that was perfect for us in every aspect.
Secondly, we decided on a 5th wheel for ease of towing. We initially looked into a tiny house; after a one-week love affair with the stick-houses on wheels, we realized that an RV would be much more practical for traveling and moving often. Tiny houses just aren’t meant to be on the road as much as we will be. When it came down to bumper pull versus fifth wheel, spending a little more moolah to be safer on the road (meaning decreased sway and increased tow capacity) was the way to go for us.
Thirdly, we needed the right balance of space: counter space, sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom elbow space, and storage space. An add-on bonus was laundry space! We viewed many RVs in person and even more online, and finally ran across our perfect layout!
Russell’s #1 requirement was a recliner across from the TV. Mine was kitchen counter space and a sleeper sofa for guests.
With both living room and kitchen slides open, the size is wonderful. We love sitting in front of the electric fireplace each night. The island is on casters so it can be moved for travel.
The fridge is 3/4 size, which works well for us. The freezer space is the challenge because we are spoiled with fresh meat from Dad’s TN farming and Russell’s hunting. The biggest adjustment has been cooking with gas (Victoria has always cooked on electric!) and having a smaller range and oven.
Jake and Izzy keeping watch on the reclining loveseat. We also added a queen sleeper sofa. Both pieces of original furniture were changed out to meet our needs.
One goal we had when adopting this lifestyle was to unplug and eat at the table every night. We have enjoyed this so much, and it has enhanced our marriage and allowed us to build strength through this transition. The dining table is set for 2 or the table can be turned and unfolded to seat 4 (additional chairs in storage underneath).
Another reason we love this RV…THE BATHROOM! There are many 5th wheels that have similar floor plans, but this bathroom was the selling feature.
A TUB?!? That was my first thought when I saw this one. TONS OF STORAGE?!? That was the second thought. After trying out a traditional RV corner shower, we immediately knew that we would have to find something to accommodate our height…Russell couldn’t even lift his arms in one RV we viewed.
The pups found their favorite spots during our photo session. Originally, this RV had a queen bed, but the dealership was wonderful enough to change it out for a brand new king mattress and platform. The bed lifts up and has storage underneath. We also have laundry! Victoria has never been more excited about an appliance until the brand new Splendide combo unit was installed-it washes AND dries! But that’s also been an adjustment…smaller load capacity means more loads of laundry, but it really hasn’t been an issue. Behind the mirror doors is a closet that spans the front of the unit, but quite a lot of paring down was required…and still is.
We also have a chest of drawers that is evenly shared. The little space heater has helped us save some propane on heating, and we love our pet portraits painted by our friend Meagan Torrence.
We have been living in our new home for almost 2 months, and we have loved it! After some learning curves and repairs, we were parked at Timberlake Campground in Brandon, Mississippi, for 3 weeks before we took our rig on the road to Utah where we have been since the beginning of March.
Overall, the adjustment to size hasn’t been difficult for us. We spent 2 years dreaming, formulating, and executing our plans, and we haven’t looked back. The mindset is key: we know we don’t have a lot of space, we know some things are inconvenient for everyday living, we know that we have to rely on propane tanks for heat. But all those things are part of this traveling, exploring, RV-living lifestyle!