Two Millenial RVers Ditch the Conventional Live
Meet Hailee from @agirlinadaydream! This young graphic artist and her husband, Hayden, left the rat race to pursue their dreams – all of which were made possible by RV living.
It’s no secret that RV living is growing in popularity among millennials. And with the recent global shift as a result of the pandemic, there is a sharp rise in the number of people working remotely and all online. According to MBO Partners, the population of digital nomads has increased nearly 50 percent since 2019.
But why do millennials want to pursue RV living? For Hailee and her husband – to pursue their dreams.
RV living is a dream lifestyle
Prior to exploring RV living, Hailee and her husband had checked all of their “adult” checkboxes. Generally, the proverbial steps of adulthood are: get a career, get a house, get married. Fulfilling these requirements left the couple longing for more though.
Like many others, they realized there was more to life. So the dream of RV living was born. They decided to get an RV, renovate it, and travel and figure out life as they go. And that’s what they have been doing since 2019.
In the fall of 2018, Hailee and her husband had the initial idea to become RVers. Then in March of 2019, they bought their RV. After a season of renovations, they hit the road in August 2019 and haven’t looked back.
RV living is a dream lifestyle for them. After they made the decision and said “we are doing this,” everything fell into place rather quickly.
Everything falls into place
Hailee shared that once they shared their plans, everything seemed (and still seems) to fall into place for them.
After setting off into their new lifestyle, the couple boondocked in a lot of National Forests. In January 2020, they arrived in Texas. Since the pandemic hit, they decided to stay put. After a couple of weeks of being at the campground, they were asked if they wanted a working position. Having a work camper position means that they don’t have to worry about their monthly rent. This takes off a bit of pressure and allows them to pursue their online goals.
For now, they plan to stay in Texas. There has been a wave of random opportunities that have been incredible so they don’t feel done with the area. Instead, they are sticking it out to see where the opportunities take them.
Hailee said that in 2020 they were given the gift of time that they didn’t have when they worked their other jobs. Now they have an abundance of time for passion projects. They haven’t let the pandemic stop them from keeping the momentum. To maintain positivity, Hailee keeps in mind that the pandemic will end and she keeps looking forward to that.
The realities of RV living
Overall, RV living is a great lifestyle, however, living tiny can be tough. People don’t really talk about how the transition into living tiny is hard but it gets better. Also, without a frame of reference, moving into a tiny space can be quite jarring.
Hailee was honest about the challenges she and her husband faced and said that RV life is a hard way of living especially when you’re traveling. It isn’t always comfortable but there is a trade-off of comfort because you get to do crazy stuff that you don’t do at home.
“Some ways of RV living are harder than others.”
When you’re boondocking there are unique challenges that push your comfort zone. You have to ration your water, constantly monitor your solar battery, and leave your site if your tanks fill up to dump your tanks and come back. Whenever you want to use water, you have to turn on your water pump. Everything is different. Over time you get used to it but in the beginning, it is hard.
Despite the discomfort, RV life makes you feel very powerful and like you can take on anything because you become very self-sufficient. Hailee says, “It’s not like a modern society where everything is comfortable.”
Challenges of remote working
There are definitely a lot of great aspects of remote working – just look at all the people scrambling to join the remote lifestyle – but there are also challenges.
For Hailee, remote working can be lonely at times. She feels that a lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to be you when you are doing something radically different than what you’re supposed to do.
Positives of remote working
The positives of remote working outweigh the negatives for Hailee. Before remote working, she didn’t like having someone tell her what to do or dictating her schedule. Now the only person who does that is her. Some people need that structure but she says she is harder on herself than any boss.
Despite the apparent freedom of working remotely, Hailee works every day. She is working on taking time off though. She says when you are an entrepreneur and pursuing the things you like, it doesn’t feel like work.
“If you have a relentless pursuit of whatever it is you want, you’ll probably be successful.”
She also shared how she stays motivated when no one is keeping her accountable: “Motivation is not the key; discipline is. Motivation comes and goes.”
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The amazing RV community
To connect with people in a similar lifestyle, there is a great online RV community to share, commiserate, and learn from. Plus, that RV community extends to reality in RV campgrounds.
The best part of RV life is “all of the kinds of people you meet.” There are “all kinds of kinds” in an RV campground. Being a part of RV living allows you to get a different perspective and the ability to interact with people you might not have before.
Their RV renovation
By the time Hailee and her husband were ready to purchase an RV, they knew exactly what they wanted. For them, the layout was the most important.
It was important for Hailee that they had a comfortable little living space and workplace that wouldn’t get combined. She wanted to keep work separate from the relaxing environment and needs a designated space for everything.
In the end, they purchased a 2010 Forest River Wild Cat 28RKBS fifth wheel in pristine condition from a lovely couple named Frank and Gladys.
Frank and Gladys were the original owners; they bought it from the dealership and used it as weekend warriors. Hailee says it was “uglier than sin but the bones were good.”
The RV renovations took 3 months and were completed in the driveway of her parents. Hailee shared some RV renovation tips that they learned along the way:
- Vinyl plank flooring – Assess your floor before starting the project. If you have a lot of nooks and crannies, then it is going to be a puzzle. You will lose a lot of boards because of the cuts required. In the end, any flooring in an RV is going to be difficult.
- Painting – They painted everything including the walls, woodwork, and cabinets. Hailee recommends Behr Ultra Premium paint and primer combo. She says it’s held up well; there are some scratches but traveling is hard on the RV.
- Composting toilet – Hailee says, “It’s the way to go.” Nobody has to deal with a black water tank (possibly the worst part of RV living). They use and recommend the C-head toilet.
In addition to the cosmetic changes, this couple also added a solar system setup. Originally, they had planned to boondock the majority of the time. For anyone considering adding solar, Hailee couldn’t recommend Mobile Solar Power Made Easy by William Prowse enough.
Check out: 5 Reasons You Should Switch To Portable Solar Power
For this couple, continuing their RV lifestyle is still on the horizon. Some of their future goals involve a lot of travel so they plan to keep the RV. Eventually, they want a home base to keep coming back to.
However, they won’t be making changes until they are absolutely ready – and they aren’t ready. Hailee says that they want a life where they are always able to go to opportunities.
In the meantime, you can see more from Hailee on Instagram @agirlinadaydream where she shares about RV living and leaning into her creativity. In addition to being a digital nomad and graphic designer, she is the owner of 26 & Decent. Check out @26ndecent for her curated designs of vintage-inspired apparel and gifts for modern hippies and rock ‘n’ roll groupies.
Keep reading RV LIFE Stories:
- Meet The Queen Of RV Renovations: The Happy Glamper
- These Full-Time RVers Have An Office In Their Toy Hauler
- Meet This Digital Nomad RV Couple
Curious about solar? Hailee and Hayden learned a lot about RV living from Mortons on the Move:
Jennifer lives with her husband and their two cocker spaniels in a 29′ trailer in Mexico. She is one half of DashboardDrifters.com and the founder of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full time RVers.
Brian Holmes says
Looks like he lost all the decorating decisions. She must be good to put up with that.