My husband and I travel for a living and decided to a buy a camper for our adventures about a year ago. If you ask us, we would much rather have a stationary home, BUT it is very beautiful & works for the time being.
However, as we patiently wait for a life that doesn’t consist of traveling so often, many millennials and retired couples (and others) buy a camper to travel the world! Or they sell their home to become minimalist and have a smaller space (sort of like tiny houses). They take on this journey and end up LOVING it! My sister and her husband happen to be one of those amazing people who can rock the small-living. They bought their camper around the same time as Sam and I, however, they don’t travel for work–they chose to buy a camper to just live-in! CRAZY! They’ve lived in this camper (which is BEAUTIFUL) for almost a year with their two beagles, Lou & Leela. They both work from home–so they spend almost every hour together (also, I think this is CRAZY, but so happy it works for them).
Since I have read about tons of people buying campers/RVs to live in full-time, I decided to do a Q&A with Mattie and David about their tiny home.
1) Why live in a camper? (Instead of a house/apartment/condo)
Mattie: “Ive always been drawn to smaller spaces and tried to convince David to live in a tiny house for years. When I was looking at tiny houses, I knew I couldn’t get David on board [due to prices]. So I started to look outside the box, which led me to campers. There’s such an incredible community out there for people of all ages, but especially those under forty, full-timing in their campers. I was sold… I just had to get David on board.”
*Side note: David is super easy going and I knew as soon as Mattie had this idea in her head, she could convince him to take on the adventure with her.*
“People tend to think I’m a little crazy for wanting to live small, but it allows us the freedom to put what’s most important first. We’re not tied down to anything right now, we don’t have a large house payment and we both are able to work from home, which is something I am incredibly grateful for. This lifestyle allowed me to focus on my dreams and business and take things to places I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s been a blessing.”
David: “I was drawn to the idea of downsizing and it gives you the opportunity to be closer to the ones you love. You can also pick up and move anytime. You can live at the beach for a month and move to the mountains the next”
2) Did you plan to remodel your camper when you purchased it?
Both: “Yes! We both knew going in that we would have to make it feel like home for us. I can’t live in a world of beige and everything in the camper was beige when we bought it.”
3) What did you struggle with while remodeling?
Mattie: “Painting! But really, it was tedious. I paint every new place I move into and I didn’t think the camper would be such a challenge because the space is so small. Cue the laughter, it just created more nooks and crannies and oh so many cabinets to paint. I was covered in paint for weeks while I finished everything. I still have some touching up to do, which I’m dreading.”
David: “Getting our queen bed in, we had to full take it apart and put it back together in the camper. We’re not looking forward to taking it back out.”
4) What was the most daring makeover?
Mattie: “The biggest wall in the camper I painted black. I remember David coming home, the paint still wet and looking at me like I was nuts. But I think we both love it now. I would love to seethe new owners add a gallery wall, I think it would be gorgeous!”
David: “Pulling up the carpet, but really Mattie did most of the work, so whatever she says.”
5) What would you still like to change in your camper?
Mattie: “I would love to put vinyl flooring in the slide to get rid of all the carpet and put in new industrial style lights, but I’m not sure we will get there before we sell. Hopefully the new owners will love our style and won’t have to change much.”
David: “If we were living here longer, I would build a portable deck for grilling.”
*Side note: They LOVE their camper and don’t want to move out or sell it, but life happens and there will be more about that further in the blog*
6) What do you like most about the camper?
Mattie: “I really love our bedroom. We love watching moves in bed with our pups, it just feels so cozy since we remodeled. I found this great removable wall paper from Target too which adds such a warm touch and my books are just above the bed so I can easily see them all.”
David: “The fireplace, it puts off so much heat which is great in the colder months.”
Mattie: “I also agree! It feels so cozy watching the snow fall around you and having the fireplace on. We will need to get one for our new home. I also love all our windows, it lets in so much light during the day, helping the space feel even bigger.”
7) What’s something surprising about the camper life?
Mattie: “We don’t need nearly as much stuff as we thought! I had filled the camper to the max when we moved in and I’m constantly purging things each week now. We actually have an empty cabinet or two. It’s funny how little we truly need to live and to feel fulfilled. Material things are just that, i would rather have adventures with my loved ones than something new I don’t even need.”
8) What’s a misconception people have about living in a camper?
Mattie: “Oh my goodness, there are so many! That we must hate being so close to each other is the biggest one I get. While we are forced to be closer, we do have our own space. We both work from home full-time and so we each pick a room for eight hours and then meet for dinner in the kitchen. I typically don’t hear David while he’s working, he’s a pretty quiet person, so I suppose that helps.”
David: “People seem to think we live this lifestyle because we can’t afford something else. Which is always funny seeing their reactions when they see what the inside looks like and how much space we actually have. Everyone is surprised we have surround sound in the camper.”
9) What is your favorite thing about living small?
Mattie: “Being close to my husband and downsizing. David was active duty military at the beginning of our marriage and while it was hard being apart so much, i did look forward to eating my favorite foods for dinner and having the TV remote all to myself for a few weeks at a time. Now that we’ve been in the camper almost a year, we’ve grown a lot closer as we’re kind of forced to be together more.”
David: “I would agree with Mattie, it’s shown us how much we can truly tolerate each other. HA! But in all seriousness, it has been nice being close to my family again.”
10) Why are you selling?
Mattie: “We love our camper and I’ll probably cry the day we sell it, but it’s served it’s purpose for us.For me the biggest reason to sell is because we want to adopt and that’s not something we can do from the camper.”
David: “We’re ready to start our family and having somewhere a little more permanent to settle down will be nice.”
If any of you know Mattie and David, you know they will probably buy a camper to travel the world in later down the road. They love adventures and not having ‘roots’ to tie them down. However, I am very excited that my baby will have her Aunt and Uncle close by when she arrives AND hopefully some new cousins eventually too. Mattie is an extremely talented and artistic person and I’m sure she would love to answer any questions or give advice on remodeling to anyone out there. Just shoot me a question and I will relay it to her. Below I have some before and after photos of the camper–which they will be selling. You can also ask me about the price if you decide you can’t live without this dreamy home!
*Side note: the formatting of this blog keeps correcting itself and since I am using an iPad, I haven’t been able to fix some of the things that are really bothering me–please don’t judge the format 🙂 *