How you doin’? – After 4 Months of RV Living

My friend, H.M. from NC wondered how we are adjusting to our current living situation? What a great idea for a post. Thank you so much for asking!

This is not an easy question to answer. It’s gonna be a long post with 4 sections: Things That Have Helped Us Adjust, Things That Are Difficult, Things That Aren’t as Bad as We Expected, and Things We Really Like.

Things That Have Helped Us Adjust

  1. Our faith in God, prayer, and reading the Bible. We started trying to read through the Bible in one year last June. Right now I’m only 81 days behind 😬.

  2. Our traditions of Friday night Sabbath dinner (pasta, salad & bread) and Sabbath morning pancakes. Very little is the same now as it was before. We have lost a lot. The few little traditions we can maintain are wonderful for our spirits.

  3. E and I discovered that we have a shared, very dry, sense of humor. The first thing he said to me when we learned that we’d lost the house was, “I’m sure glad we never got around to replacing the carpet.” Haha! 😂 “Me too!”

  4. Reading books aloud as a family. We had started several book series back in August and those books were some of the first things I replaced after the fire. We’re alternating between Beverly Cleary’s books, The Boxcar Children, and Little House on the Prairie. I try and read a chapter aloud every night.

  5. Command hooks. Lots and lots of command hooks.

  6. The kids each have their own little nook of space. B (age 4) and K (age 6) each have a bunk, a shelf, a light, a window and a privacy curtain.

S (age 9) has a loft which goes up to the ceiling when we travel and when Eric is using his “office”. S also has a ladder, and 3 cubbies.

  1. The kindness and generosity of our family and friends (and friends of friends and family of friends and friends of family and co-workers and complete strangers). The outpouring of support we received was truly remarkable and overwhelming. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts 💕

Here are just three examples:

L.C. (a friend of a friend) from the Family Birth Center at San Ramon Regional Medical Center organized her whole department at work to purchase necessities for us (sheets, towels, kitchen gadgets, etc). They were so incredibly kind and gave us additional goodies for the kids (sleds, scooters, DVDs, books, stuffies, etc.) It was amazing to have our “personal shopping angels” get us all set up. We had never met any of these kindhearted people before.

L.T. (a close friend) organized a book drive on the Five in a Row Facebook page and complete strangers have been sending us books to help replace some of our collection. We use Five in a Row ( as part of our homeschool curriculum. My children’s book collection is something I really enjoy. I believe in the power of stories to help people cope with difficult situations. Books are such a blessing!

South Sutter Charter School (SSCS) organized a gift card drive and distributed gift cards to all SSCS families who had lost their homes. SSCS and our Education Specialist C.N. were amazing before the fire and their response in the aftermath has been exemplary. We highly recommend them to anyone considering homeschooling. Their flexibility and support have been instrumental in our recovery process.

Things That Are Difficult

  1. E trying to work in the small shared space. This is by far, the #1 most difficult adjustment. I made a curtain out of sheet and command hooks just to give his “office” space a bit of privacy.
  2. A new bedtime routine. This was the hardest for me and the kiddos. I know that we were “supposed” to sleep train them at some point during infancy. We hadn’t quite gotten around to it yet… The kids and I were really missing our extra snuggle time the first few months.
  3. We really miss our family and friends from Paradise and the surrounding towns. Love ❤️ you all so much!
  4. Washing dishes by hand.
  5. Doing laundry at a laundromat.
  6. Emptying the gray and black water waste. The grey water (from the shower and sinks) needs to be emptied about every 2-3 days. The black water (from the toilets) needs to be emptied less often but we usually empty both at the same time just to keep things nicer 😉. And by “we” I mean E. (btw, Poo-pourri is an essential RV item).
  7. The things that are part of the RV are very fragile (blinds, drawers, upholstery, etc.) and we are not always very gentle.
  8. I miss my kitchen. I’m not able to cook at all like I used to.
  9. Stuff rolls under the slide outs and gets lost (crayons, markers, legos, grapes, hot wheels, etc.). It’s also hard to clean under there. So far, we have found 2 used-yucky cat toys under slide outs.
  10. Trying to explain our situation when making an appointment at a medical office. I need to come up with some sort of script for this. We’re like homeless people but with an income and medical insurance.
  11. Trying to choose a site at a new campground is not our finest hour.
  12. We are still working with our house insurance company and that can be really stressful.
  13. Unreliable cell coverage and spotty internet service can be a real bummer. Especially since E needs them to work.

Things That Aren’t As Bad As We Expected

  1. I got used to modified military-style low pressure showers pretty quickly.
  2. We realize that we had too much stuff and having less stuff is really a gift.
  3. Eric doesn’t mind driving the rig from one destination to the next.
  4. The kids do pretty well watching movies on the laptop when we have an all-day drive to a new location.

Things We Really Like a Lot

  1. We love being together and loved going with Eric to his work conference.
  2. We haven’t had to go furniture shopping to replace any big items.
  3. Cleaning “house” is way faster now. 👍
  4. We really enjoy exploring different areas and taking the kids on field trips to new places.
  5. National Parks, National Monuments & Junior Ranger badges totally rock!
  6. The view out the front windshield when we’re driving the rig to a new location is awesome.

So, we are adjusting… sort of… on most days…

If you just count pros and cons it seems a little heavy on the cons side. That being said, the pros are really cool pros. We aren’t sure how long we will stay in the RV. We are just trying to take it a day at a time and make decisions that seem to make sense given a variety of factors at any given moment. We are looking at potential places to land and settle down. I don’t know when we will find the right spot for us. My hat goes off to all the full-time RV-ing Road-schoolers out there!

Please feel free to share your comments/questions below and thanks for following our Camp Fire displacement adventure stories.

2 thoughts on “How you doin’? – After 4 Months of RV Living

  1. Very well written. I miss you and continue to pray for you. You are truly a spectacular and gentile daughter- in law. All my love.


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