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Author Topic: Full timing with large family  (Read 1841 times)


  • Posts: 3
Full timing with large family
« on: May 02, 2019, 01:25:33 PM »
Hello all,

I am completely new to this, have never owned a camper.  I have a few friends that full-time and my wife has raised interest in the possibility.  We have a 5 year old, 4 year old, a newborn, along with a 60 pound dog and 4 cats.  Obviously we we need something huge.  I'm looking at large (40+ ft) fifth wheels with a bunkhouse.  Does anyone have any experience full-timing with a multiple kids and pets?  I thought it was crazy, and now that I'm typing it out it seems even crazier. 


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  • Posts: 2796
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 01:58:21 PM »
Welcome to the RV Forum Ben

Full timing with 3 kids does offer some challenges. Add in a bunch of pets ...No thanks ;D ;D

The first question is do you have a truck big enough to pull a 40 FT. 5th wheel?
You say you are new to this ...please trust me you want to do your homework before spending any money.
2017 Heartland Trail runner 24 SLE
2017 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost

To be 1/2 the man my dog thinks I am...But twice the man My wife thinks I am...


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  • Posts: 3917
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 04:37:37 PM »
Know a fella that has done it for years.  His oldest is probably 17 now.  Can it be done?  Sure.  First hurdle is a job that you can do from anywhere.  Next is can you actually survive 24/7/365 in 300 SQFT with a family of five?  Then comes a floor plan that you can be confortable living in.  Does wife like to cook?  Is she going to be happy in a minimal kitchen?  How about sex with three little ones under foot?
There are large fivers on the market with bath and a half and 4 bunks.  But there comes the next hurdle.  Will the kids like all sleeping in the same room?  Where are you going to put their toys?  Home work?  Are you planning to home school them?  As a full timer thwt almost becomes a requirement.  Most full time families move every few days/weeks.  How about friends for them?  Do you plan to follow the sun or sit in one spot for years?

Arch Hoagland

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  • Posts: 3495
  • Clovis CA
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 05:17:56 PM »
I'd suggest renting an RV for a week or so.  You'll learn a lot.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
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Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 05:30:05 PM »
Where will the cats and dog ride?  The truck will be full of people.  Never mind cages,litter boxes,etc.
Not that I'm encouraging getting rid of your pets.  Perhaps you know someone who would keep them for awhile?

Where will the infant sleep?

I hate to discourage you,but I think all that family togetherness will get old and stressful pretty quick.  I think waiting til they are a bit older is a good idea.  The kids will get more out of it when they are older.

It's not too early to start researching.  Stick around and learn.
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500


  • Posts: 3
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 09:37:31 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  A lot to think about, we’ll make a pros and cons list and see where it goes from there.


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  • Posts: 1394
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 11:28:15 PM »
I have 2 kids - no pets.  I thought full timing sounded like such a great adventure.  I had and continue to have a wonderful time RVing but with each trip I am so happy to be home. 

Not sure of your financial situation but why START out by full timing?  I don't know anything about sailing and I wouldn't sell everything and decide to sail the world.  Maybe take a weekend course first.  If I didn't know about investing I wouldn't sell everything and invest in a tech start-up.

Like I said I love RVing but CG's can get on a person's nerves if it was the only place with 3 kids a wife and 5 pets.

Can you beg, borrow or steal (actually don't steal) something to give it a 2 week try this summer?  Don't know where you live but you will want to be south for the winter.  These things leak heat like an open window.

Somethings to consider.
2019 Ford F250 6.7 Deisel Crew Cab
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD - SOLD
American Car Dolly - SOLD
2009 Accord Toad - SOLD
Figuring out my next purchase.


  • Posts: 3
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2019, 07:27:22 AM »
To clarify, I am in the military, so fulltiming for us would be staying in one place for at least 3 years, moving sites or campgrounds as little as possible, with a possible vacation here and there. Finding a job of course wouldn't be an issue, and we are already homeschooling. The biggest concern I have is space for all of us.


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  • Posts: 2690
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 08:27:37 AM »
I am retired military and we fulltimed after I retired. Do you deploy or go TDY very often? If you do you will be leaving your wife home with 3 kids and a zoo. We have our grandkids over, they are 7 & 9, and I am worn out when they leave. And we live in a large stick & brick on an acre. When the weather is bad and everybody has to be inside, an already small 300 SF will get smaller and smaller. Nobody here is trying to discourage you from doing this but you are going to be really crowded. You will not save money. You would be much better off either living on post or base or renting locally.
Retired Air Force
Retired DoD Chief, Education & Training
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier
1952 Wife
Do you know the difference between Education and Training: Would you rather your daughter take sex Education or sex Training?


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Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 09:06:27 AM »
The whole point of full timing is the ability to see a large part of the country. An entire family living in an RV is not full timing, it is a disaster. You won't save any money and you will end up killing each other.


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  • Posts: 3917
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 09:18:25 AM »
There is or was a blog signed "military mom".  She detailed doing exactly this for a few years.  They as I remember have three small kids and two large dogs. Husband was I believe bomb disposal expert.  They finally stopped when they got a long term job somewhere in the SE. So it can be done.  A huge sense of humor is paramount.  Sadly the cats may not work for you.  Can you rehome them?  The dogs, not so much of a problem.


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  • New York
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Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 09:44:10 PM »
I would highly recommend traveling in an RV before you jump to living in one! I'm not a full timer, but I've spent weeks at a time camping in a pop up with multiple kids. We spend weekends at our travel trailer. We've made priceless memories, but again, do that to give yourself an idea of space and needs before tossing out the house!
Mommy to 6 great kids who love camping and traveling
Aug 1, 2019- began our 10 month cross country trip
2015 Thor Motor Coach A.C.E. 30.2 aka "home" 
2010 35ft Springdale bunkhouse TT
2001 Jayco Pop-up


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  • Part time travelers, 4-8 months each year.
Re: Full timing with large family
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2019, 05:25:51 PM »
The Escapees RV Club https://www.escapees.com/ is a support club for part time and full time RV'ers.  The have a forum with a section for RV'ing families:  http://www.rvnetwork.com/forum/104-rving-families/ 
Take a look at the forum and scan back through the earlier topics and see if there is any info which may of use to you.  Also you can join the forum (free) and ask questions in the form. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
2020 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Diesel
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