When RVers decide to hit the road for good and enjoy the full-timing lifestyle, many will buy a rig that’s packed with all the comforts of a sticks and bricks home. However, some full-timers like Kyle and Olivia believe that bigger isn’t always better and keeping things simple is the way to go. Last year these two entrepreneurs put their beliefs into action by making the conscious choice to live lightly in a small, paid-for RV. The little 17-foot trailer also serves as headquarters for their new business collecting and selling antique prints.
The Trailer was a No-Brainer
The Alabama couple’s foray into full-timing began when they purchased a 1985 Fiber Stream trailer. Manufactured in Southern California between 1975 and 1986, FiberStream trailers were “the only molded-in-one-piece body, dual axle, sixteen-foot travel trailer made,” according to FiberglassRV.com. Their trailer needed some work, but they only paid $3500 for the little egg-shaped home on wheels. What made the purchase a no-brainer was that the FiberStream perfectly matched the towing capacity of their existing 2004 Ford Ranger Edge pickup truck.
“We knew we wanted a travel trailer so we could unhook and easily drive into town and explore,” says Olivia. “We already had a reliable truck so we started to look for travel trailers that wouldn’t max out our tow capacity. That had us looking at a vintage, tiny and lightweight camper. It suits us perfectly considering our minimal lifestyle and affinity for all things old and unique.”
Unlike many new full-timers, Olivia says they never considered getting into a RV loan. “This process was about creating a life without constraints and removing anything that wasn’t necessary for our happiness and well-being. Debt would have caused us to drag along unwelcome anxiety,” she explains.
Their love for off-beat, original pop culture icons and collectibles carries over into their business. As founders of “The Wooden Earth,” Kyle and Olivia are roaming the U.S. in search of one-of-a-kind posters, books and art to package and sell to customers around the world. Since there’s a post office in every town, they can always earn a living.
Although the couple is new to running a business they’re no strangers to hard work. Both had jobs in the restaurant and entertainment industry before hitting the road. When Kyle and Olivia had enough of punching a clock, they revealed their plans to friends and family who were overwhelmingly supportive.
“Many small changes over time led to what felt like the next natural step in our path to live deliberately,” says Olivia. “That meant leaving behind our day jobs and replacing the complacent cycle we were in with a never-ending adventure. We loved the concept and lifestyle long before we decided to hit the road and we often lived vicariously through the many full-timers on Instagram. Their stories, backgrounds and knowledge gave us confidence that we had what it takes.”
As excited as they were to hit the road, Kyle and Olivia didn’t do it without careful planning. The couple took on extra work and saved every penny they could to fix up their FiberStream and begin their new journey with a comfortable savings cushion. In their blog “Drivin and Vibin,” Olivia and Kyle give many details about the $2,500 they spent on upgrades. In less than six months, they turned the old FiberStream into a RV that’s as pretty as an Apple Store.
To find out more about Kyle and Olivia and their rig visit them here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmiFYrcXK-k
Today, they’re chasing the sun in the Southwest with their faithful canine co-pilot, River. “Even though we looked at many pictures before we left, seeing magnificent views is so much more rewarding in person. All the awesome scenery in the National Parks has exceeded our expectations,” says Kyle.
Unlike years ago when most full-timers were in their retirement years, Kyle and Olivia have found it easy to meet up with other young full-timers who share similar interests. “The RV community has exceeded our expectations. We actually have a social life now that we’re on the road,” says Kyle.
While diligently building their Etsy following, Kyle and Olivia are also gaining a reputation for their informative and helpful full-timing videos on their YouTube channel. As they travel the country the couple is showing others how, with some discipline and hard work, anyone can live out a RV travel dream before retirement. Among other advice, Kyle suggests to full-timing dreamers that they “Create measurable goals. Figure out how much you want to save and then break it down to daily goals. If you want to save $10,000 in a year, make it a daily goal of $27.40. That’s one meal at a restaurant. That’s an odd-job.”
The more they travel, the more Kyle and Olivia are certain that their hard work has paid off. They’re enjoying a life of adventure while earning a living anywhere and they have no plans to quit anytime soon. Olivia says “We may eventually change up our rig or create a home base to park at when we’re visiting back home, but travel is a part of who we are now. The ways it can evolve are limitless and I’m excited to see where our journey will take us.”
To see where Kyle and Olivia’s adventures are taking them, visit their Drivin and Vibin blog.