“We live in a small motorhome house with our 5 children”

As of October 2017, we had ten acres of land and built our dream home from scratch. It was on a farm in Deer Park, Washington, which is a small town less than an hour north of Spokane. But after living there for two years, we realized that it was ultimately not our dream. One day my husband Brentt looked at me and said, “Do you want to sell and go on a trip?” I just said, “Thank you Lord, yes!”

I had wanted to get tiny and travel across America for five years, and I had worked to persuade Brentt during that time. I don’t like being stationary and when you have a mortgage you can really only travel once or twice a year and usually only for a week. I loved the idea of ​​traveling somewhere, setting up our house and staying there as long as we wanted. We could choose the location and the weather.

We sold our house and everything in it except some items stored and moved in March 2018. At the time I was 28 and Brentt was 32 and our five children were 11,7 , 5, 4 and 18 months. It was one of those situations where you finally feel able to breathe because the weight that you had on your shoulders for so long has been lifted. It was unbelievable.

Our first RV house was tiny. My husband wasn’t sure he wanted to live in an RV for over a year, so we bought a 33ft trailer that didn’t even have a bunk bed room. Every evening we turned the living room into a bedroom for the children and every morning we tidied up everything. Even though we completely renovated it, including the kitchen and bathroom, and ended up looking beautiful, it was not conducive to long term comfortable living for a family of seven and one. dog.

Eventually we partnered up with an RV maker and they gifted us our current 5th wheel RV in June 2020. It’s our house, it’s just smaller than a lot of other stone and brick stationary houses. people and over the past year we’ve been working hard with renovations and interior design changes to make it our own.

We have a master bedroom at the front which is on top of our truck, it has an en-suite bathroom and we have a large living room as it was important to have a large family space. Beyond is our kitchen, which has a residential size refrigerator, washer and dryer, and full size oven. The only appliance we don’t have is a dishwasher. At the back of the motorhome is our children’s space with a smaller bathroom for them. We added a floor and closet space for them and it has two twin bunk beds that lower on an electrical outlet system. Our oldest daughter has her own private loft. There is also a huge tent that goes to the back of the motorhome on the patio so they have plenty of space. The kids love to play and read there, but honestly they mostly run outside, ride bikes and scooters, play sports with other kids, or we go exploring as a family.

Fortunately, our children are really adaptable. They were never kids who needed a very specific diet; they just go with the flow. They were excited to get off the snow in Washington and go on an adventure, as we had talked about all the historic places we were going to be able to see in person. Living in a motorhome has never been a problem and it still isn’t. We are very open with our children and we talk to them all the time, asking them if they want to go back to a house or if they want to stop sharing the space. The kids are homeschooled and love being able to do their schoolwork in the morning and then go exploring for the rest of the day. They get so much real life experience; they meet amazing people from all walks of life, races and religions and hear the stories of these people in person. There was a point in 2020 when we were going from our old RV to this one and had to spend time at a few rental properties. We asked the children if they wanted to live in a house permanently again and they begged us to go back to an RV!

We have been in Florida for six months now, but have traveled to 27 states so far. In late spring, summer and early fall we travel and are usually in places for a week or two so we can really explore the area and visit museums and historic sites. We’ve covered a lot of the West Coast because we’re from Washington, many southern states like Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and we’ve been to a lot of the Midwest as well. Our favorite family is Utah. We love Arches National Park near Moab, Zion, Heber and Provo National Park. They are all really beautiful and gorgeous all year round. We also love eastern Tennessee; places like Chattanooga and Pigeon Forge. And we’re big fans of Southern California. Who doesn’t like this region? San Diego is beautiful.

I worked with an essential oil company for seven years and that provides most of our income, but we also have an online subscription course for social media and we collaborate with brands online. During the winter we usually work in a motorhome park. For example, at the RV park and training camp where we are currently in Florida, we stay in the field at a reduced rate and get paid work. So we have a whole bunch of different sources of income and we do that to be able to stay on the road.

The motorhome we live in would have cost around $ 160,000 to purchase, and our renovations so far have cost between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000, although we plan to do more, like changing the floor and tiled bathroom.

Brittnee and Brentt Proha live in a small RV house with their five children. The Proha family has been traveling America in their motorhome for four years.
Brittnee and Brentt Proha

The beauty of this lifestyle is that there are so many options, it just depends on how you want to do it. There are people who live in RV parks where the rent is $ 400 to $ 500 per month and there are people who live on the land.

Some people are fine with a campground situation, but we like RV resorts with more amenities so I’m not sure if we’ve saved any money. The months we stay at different resorts when we travel can cost anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 2,500 which is basically like paying a mortgage.

When we started almost four years ago, there were families but they were more dispersed. Over the past three years we’ve seen a huge influx of families doing the same thing as us, so we travel with other families. It’s a bit like a hilly neighborhood. There will be families that we travel with for three or four months at a time, and then we may not see them for a month, but we will reconnect and travel the country together again. Our children have these friends and can travel and explore places with them. Many of the families we know are in Florida now as well. So our kids see their friends all the time!

When we go through small towns my husband always reminds the children that we would never have seen this place or this part of America if we had not done this. It gave us so much freedom. We love that our backyard and front yard always change, but our interior always stays the same.

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On the other hand, with so much freedom there are so many options and it can be a bit overwhelming. We can go anywhere in the country, stay in any city, and do anything! But honestly, there haven’t been a ton of downs.

Next, we plan to travel the east coast of America. We want to see places like Virginia and Washington DC and travel to Maine and then spend a few months there to explore Maine in the summer. Then we’ll drive back down the east coast and return to spend the winter in the same RV park in Florida where we are currently staying.

Long term we are looking to start investing in vacation homes in places we have visited in the US and eventually we would like to buy land in Florida or Tennessee. The idea is to have a small fleet of motorhomes on this land so that our friends can come and stay. We would also like to have fixed mini-houses and glamping tents available for hire.

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Living in a mini RV house definitely makes your life easier. I think a lot of people can get stuck in the daily grind. They have the same routine day in and day out, then wake up 20 years later wondering where the last two decades of their lives have gone. With this lifestyle, we are outside in nature and discovering new places all the time.

No matter where we are, we always stop for just a second and take it all so that we can remember it. Life goes by quickly. So for us, living that way has helped us slow down and really savor every moment with our family.

Brittnee Proha lives in a small RV house with her husband Brentt Proha and their five children. You can follow them on TikTok @oilsandgracetribe on Instagram @oilsandgracetribe or find out more about their life on msha.ke/oilsandgracetribe.

All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

As said to Jenny Haward.

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