Full-Time RV Living: Our Debt-Free Journey

From Hitched to…Trailer Hitch! We’re starting off our life as newlyweds with at least 2 years of full-time RV living. Yes, we’ll be living together in about 400 square feet of space!

Once upon a time, I met a wonderful man who lived 2 hours away. We fell in love and a couple of years later I uprooted myself into a typical one-bedroom apartment with him in Northern Virginia. He proposed soon after and we were married September 23, 2017 – yay!

Time to buy a house and start making babies, right? Not quite…

My husband’s whole life is in the richest county in the country – I guess it’s a great place to be if you’re wealthy.

Here’s an extremely detailed and mathematical calculation:

If a tornado lifted my parent’s home and moved it 2 hours North to our zip code, it would cost twice as much — let that sink in for a minute.

We’ve been renting here for a little over 2 years. A fourth floor (read: one trip to unload the groceries – no exceptions!) quaint one bedroom – nothing fancy. My first apartment out of college in Louisville, KY was nearly identical — but it rented for HALF of what we pay here. ($735 vs. $1532)

There’s a lot to do in our area, but it will cost ya! Gas, food & drinks all cost more here, even movie tickets. Sometimes just the sheer proximity of Starbucks seems to have a proportionate effect on my bank account (oops).

Budget Wedding Venue: State Park
Photo by the incredibly talented Luke Mazurek Photography

After 2 years of overpaying in rent, including a few months of student teaching with no income, our self-financed (and perfect) budget wedding and life in general, our financial future was looking a bit bleak.

Here’s the thing – a lot of newlyweds have debt.

With a lot of millennials financing their own education and weddings, it’s not hard to see why.

Between my student loans and our auto loans and credit cards, we’ve got about 50k in combined debt.

Calculator Debt-Free Journey

We came up with these options to salvage our future:

  • Option “Yikes”: Pay minimum payments forever and keep borrowing to create the life we want
  • Option 2: Save a tiny amount on rent by moving further away from Patrick’s job
  • Option 3: Get creative and cut our living costs DRASTICALLY, enabling us to pay down our debt rapidly

You can guess which option appealed to us the most. Our next task: How?

Engagement Photo: Skyline Drive
Photo by the incredibly talented Luke Mazurek Photography

Solution: Full-Time RV Living

One evening during wedding planning madness, I spotted a gorgeous camper for sale on a Facebook “For Sale” site. I once mentioned a tiny house and Patrick was not having it – so I fully expected the same reaction when I showed him a camper.

To my surprise, we dove into an excited conversation about the possibility of buying and living in a camper for a few years. We’re lucky to have access to family property nearby to park on. Patrick’s commute would be about 40 minutes, and I work from home. We both love to go to the gym which will be a great break from the camper. A loophole! Finally. We just had to make it happen!

We did a bit of research and came across some other couples who had also used full-time RV living as a way to ramp up savings and pay down debt. It was definitely possible!

A few weeks later, we were happily house hunting at Camping World.

Camper Shopping

It was a hot and exhausted day, but We. Were. EXCITED! I think we toured 30 campers that day – but by the end of the day we had a solid idea of what we wanted.

Amidst wedding stress and financial worries, we were both so energized by this plan.

We could put time and some of the money we save into home improvement projects at Patrick’s mom’s house since we’ll be nearby – we hope to be able to buy it from her one day, but that’s a few years down the road!

Wedding Photo

With a little effort, in a few months we’d be looking at a monthly living cost of about ⅓ of what we were paying – WHAT?! I could finally breathe (nope, just kidding, we still had a wedding to get through) BUT it was one weight off of our shoulders.

Here’s another intense mathematical formula:

Our current cost to rent X 24 months = Brand New Camper

At the end of it all, we could OWN something that would bring us joy & adventures for years to come.

We were both ready to get out of paying $17,000+ to rent annually – What better way than to buy something adorable, portable, and practical?

Keystone Outback
Whew! Long story. To sum it up for ya, here we are:

  • Newlyweds.
  • Proud new owners of a 2017 37+ foot Keystone Outback Travel Trailer.
  • About to embark on a journey of full-time RV living
  • And SO ready to pay down our debt, ramp up our savings, and lead a more minimalistic and intentional life.

Ready to see how we do it / if we survive?

Join us! We’ll be documenting our whole journey of full-time RV living for self-accountability and in the hopes it might help someone else out (at the very least, it’s sure to be entertaining!)

Here are some easy ways to keep up with us:

  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
  • Drop a little ‘Hello’ in our inboxes at hello@practicallyhitched.com

Full-Time RV Living: Keystone Outback Travel Trailer towed by Ford truck

Just two weeks until we officially move into our new home and start full-time RV Living – We can’t wait!

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