Hello, friends! Last week I mentioned that a fellow rver would be taking over our blog to tell you about her family and our favorite rig, the Jayco Northpoint 375BHFS. Please enjoy “meeting” Jahnae and check out her blog at www.longbyfive.com. Thanks for visiting! ~Marlie
Hello, I’m Jahnae, the mom of LongbyFive. Zachary and I have been married for almost 16 years. We have 3 crazy kids, ages 13, 10 and 7, and a one year old English Bulldog. We started our full time journey in November of 2016. Zachary is a Project Manager for a national company that handles large commercial insurance losses due to fire, water, mold and storm damage.
We had moved 12 times in 13 years due to his job, yes, we moved everything we owned to TWELVE different apartments, condos and houses in THIRTEEN years! Yes, I also know that is crazy! Even though we moved regionally, he would still travel away from home, being gone for weeks to 2 months at a time. It wasn’t too bad. But then he caught a job that was SIX months straight and on the other side of the country! That’s when the whole RV thing started to make more sense to us. Less than a year later, we made the idea reality and now we travel with him!
We love to make new friends!
It’s true. I found Marlie in one of the various RV group and when I realized she had the same rig as us, well, I immediately sent her this message, “Hi, Marlie!!!! Because we have the same rig we’re friends now, you know that right?” I am on a secret mission to befriend everyone with this same rig, so if you have one, let me know! I like to share ideas on decorating, remodeling, or simply a “hey, my so and so is acting funny, have you had this issue?”
The Bunkhouse really sealed the deal!
I won’t lie. We really were interested in a Class A at the start of our journey, but two big reasons stopped us. The first being, banks weren’t too interested in giving a loan to a couple of young 30 somethings with no house. Second, I personally did want a set place for the kids (hubby wasn’t so much caring about that part). I even toured some TINY Travel Trailers because we did have a Suburban at the time, but the towing limit was SO low, I couldn’t see myself in something SO small.
The kids and I decided to hit the town and every RV dealer we had. We wanted to check ALL our options, and we walked into our first fifth wheel EVER and it was THE one! It had EVERYTHING we wanted on our list except one thing – the King Size bed (although one could be ordered). It did have a bunk room with door, a second toilet, a bigger shower, prep for washer/dryer and a residential fridge. We spent a good hour in there the first day, and immediately, I KNEW, this was the one! The fact that I could be in my room and the kids had their own set space WAY on the other side of the rig was what did it for us!
Our Travel Goal
We follow Zachary around for work. He receives a phone call that a job has been called, he’s to report to the nearest airport within a few hours. Being the Project Manager, he needs to be first on site. He gets there and assesses the situation. Usually within a day or two, he’ll let me know if it’s a small job or a large job. If it’s a small job, the kids and I just stay put right where we are. If it’s a long job, I pack up the RV, hook her up to the truck and we leave the area within a day or so. We take our time seeing the sites, sometimes stopping for a few days at a midpoint depending how far he is from us. Our travel goal for the most part is to make the most of where we are currently parked!
The RV Life has helped us connect!
Living tiny has helped us reconnect with each other. Let’s face it, when you live in a 2,500 sq ft home, everyone has their own room to “hide.” That’s terrible. I could feel my kids just slipping away from me. I am thankful we took the plunge, especially now that our oldest is 13. She will need her parents more than she thinks, she has no choice, because we are literally 20 feet away!
So many life lessons to be learned!
The biggest ‘takeaway’ about this lifestyle is that you quickly realize how much stuff you really don’t need in your life. Think about all the stuff you have in your house right now. I bet there’s something you haven’t even looked at in years! Truth be told, after as many moves as we had, I THOUGHT we were living a minimalist lifestyle ALREADY! BOY, was I wrong! We threw away so much junk, gave away so much more and just focused on selling the big stuff. It was insane! I felt good when we moved into the rig. But then we did a 30 day purge and tossed even more stuff! We continue to do so every 30 days (you can’t be too heavy) and it’s crazy how much stuff we still get rid of each month!