Hillary and Kris found their way into nomadic life somewhat slowly. It started with a shipping container conversion passion project and ended a few years later with selling their home and purchasing a Class A RV. To date, they’ve traveled to 38 states and have no intentions of going back to sticks-and-bricks anytime soon.
Both of them work full-time from their RV and make time to travel the country. We had the pleasure of interviewing them about their life, and you can read their story below alongside pictures of their newest RV and their container conversion. Enjoy!
Don’t miss other exciting stories like this, join our Free Tiny House Newsletter for more
How a Shipping Container Challenge Led Them to Class A RV
Prior to living and traveling in an RV, our first experience with tiny living started with us building a tiny ‘cabin’ out of a used shipping container. In October 2019, we were watching some YouTube videos of people building unique houses out of shipping containers and were inspired by it. We chatted about it for a few minutes and a week later we had a used shipping container dropped off on our property.
We spent the next 3 months turning it into a luxury off-the-grid cabin where we could escape to on weekends. The container is 40 ft long and only 8 ft wide. We learned how to be creative with a small space and realized that we enjoyed living a more minimalistic lifestyle.
Fast forward a few months and everything shut down in March of 2020. We ended up moving into our container cabin for a few months while everything in the world seemed so uncertain. We had a few international trips in 2020 that ended up getting cancelled, and our corporate jobs moved to being fully remote.
It was during this time that we decided it would be fun to buy an RV and start traveling the country. We had no idea what we were doing and had never owned or even driven an RV. It ended up being such a fun experience and completely changed our lives. After traveling in our RV for a year, we decided to make it permanent and make the switch to full time RV living. We sold our house and most of our belongings and fully embraced the nomad lifestyle. Since then, we’ve traveled to 38 states and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
We built our container cabin ourselves. The entire process took us 3 months. We did everything from building a foundation, to framing, plumbing, electrical, installing sheetrock, cabinetry/trim work, etc. We learned so much about the building process and had a lot of fun doing this together.
We then purchased our first RV, which was a Super C motorhome. It was about 5 years old when we bought it and we renovated it from top to bottom. We ripped out the small, corner unit shower and built a new large rectangular shower, which made a huge difference. Then we removed the half bathroom and turned it into a home office. We also changed out all the furniture, replaced the bedroom carpet, and installed shiplap on some of the walls to make the RV feel more modern. We made all these improvements over the course of a year.
Once we made the switch to full time RV life, we decided to purchase a new class A diesel pusher motorhome and traded in our Super C. Our new motorhome is 45 feet long and has 3 large slide outs that extend to give us more interior living space. Even though the space is small compared to a normal house, we have all the amenities we could ever need to live in it full time.
Tiny living in our RV has taught us a lot over the past few years. When you live in a small space, you quickly learn how to prioritize what’s important and let go of what’s not. You learn to be organized and efficient with your time, space, and resources. Most importantly, this lifestyle has taught us to appreciate the simple things in life. When you don’t have a lot of space or possessions, you learn to find joy in the little things, like a beautiful sunset or hike in the mountains. You learn to value experiences over material things.
Tiny living has made us more adaptable. As an RVer, you encounter unexpected challenges, such as weather changes, mechanical issues, or campsite availability. You must be prepared to adjust your plans and find creative solutions to overcome obstacles.
It’s also reinforced the value of travel and exploration for us. When you live in an RV, you can see and experience things that many people never get to. You can travel to remote and beautiful places, connect with people from different backgrounds, and gain a new perspective. These experiences can be life-changing and transformative.
We both work full time from our motorhome. Kris leads a technology business unit at a healthcare technology company and Hillary now manages all our social media full time (formerly led marketing at a health tech start up). New technologies such as Starlink enable us to work from anywhere. As long as we have access to internet, we can still work – even from remote places like Yellowstone National Park.
One of the benefits of RV living is the flexibility it provides, but that can also make it challenging to establish a routine. It’s important to set aside time for work, play, and personal growth, and to prioritize the things that are most important to you. We spend a lot of time working, but we also balance that by taking time during the day or on weekends to explore new places and enjoy the flexibility that RV life offers.
One of the harder parts of living full-time in a tiny space or RV can be the lack of personal space. While RVs are designed to be as comfortable and functional as possible, they’re still small compared to a traditional home. You’ll have to learn to live with less, be creative with your storage solutions, and find ways to get some personal time to recharge.
Another potential downside of the RV lifestyle is the need for maintenance and repairs. RVs are complex machines, and they require regular upkeep to stay in good working order. You’ll need to be comfortable with DIY projects and have some mechanical knowledge to handle repairs. You’ll also need to be prepared to deal with unexpected breakdowns and repairs, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Living in an RV certainly has its ups and downs. While there are many benefits to the RV and tiny living lifestyle, there are also some challenges that come with it. In our experience, the best part of living in an RV is the sense of freedom and adventure that it provides. You can travel anywhere you want, whenever you want, without being tied down to a specific location. You can experience new cultures, cuisines, and landscapes, and create lasting memories along the way.
Another great aspect of tiny living is the community. RVers are typically very friendly, and you’ll often find yourself making connections with people from all walks of life. You’ll have the opportunity to share stories, learn from others’ experiences, and make new friends that you might never have met otherwise. The RV community is truly unique and special, and it’s one of the things that makes the RV lifestyle so appealing.
Many people are drawn to the tiny/RV lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for a simpler, more minimalistic way of living, while others seek adventure and the freedom to travel. For some, it can be a way to downsize and save money, while for others, it is a way to retire and see the country. Whatever the reason, becoming a full-time RVer is a significant lifestyle change that requires careful planning and consideration.
One of the most significant benefits of the RV lifestyle is the ability to travel and explore new places. Another advantage of the RV lifestyle is the flexibility it provides. You can choose where to go and when to go there, allowing for more spontaneity and freedom than traditional homeownership.
Of course, there are also challenges to the RV lifestyle, such as the need to manage space, utilities, and maintenance. Our advice before diving into this lifestyle is to do your research and either rent an RV or a small space and try living in it for a week to see if you enjoy it.
Overall, living in a small space can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone. You’ll need to be comfortable with the challenges that come with the lifestyle and be willing to adapt to new situations. If you’re up for the adventure, the RV lifestyle can provide you with some of the most memorable experiences of your life.
- Kris and Hillary were homeowners who were inspired by videos of shipping container homes and decided to purchase one as a passion project/vacation home.
- They did all the work on the conversion themselves, and ended up living in it for a few months after the world shut down in 2020, and canceled their international travel plans.
- After realizing they loved tiny living, they purchased a used RV they could travel in.
- After traveling part-time in that RV, they decided to jump into it full-time!
- The couple sold their home and purchased a new Class A, and they have visited 38 states and have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
- Family’s Transition to Full-Time RV Life
- Full-Time RV Life After a Stroke
- From Hotel Rooms to Full-Time RV Travel
Our big thanks to Tiny Home Tours for sharing!
You can share this using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks!
If you enjoyed this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more!
You can also join our Small House Newsletter!
Also, try our Tiny Houses For Sale Newsletter! Thank you!
See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses
Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)
- Beautifully-Crafted Vardo-Style Tiny House For Sale! - November 28, 2023
- Nigel & Sue’s Van Conversion: Exploring Australia - November 28, 2023
- 20-ft. Pink & Teal Tiny House by Kaiser Tiny Homes - November 27, 2023