Since it has been a long while since I shared how we fit 12 of our family of 13 in an rv (one had the nerve to grow up and move out!!!), I thought that I would do a refresher tour. I’m going to take a room a day, and show you how we fit 12 people in our toy hauler; where everyone sleeps, and where we put and how we organize all our stuff! I’m starting with the ‘boys’ room’ – which is really supposed to be a garage! Our RV is called a ‘toy hauler’ because the rear 12 feet of the rv is an open room and the entire back wall is a ramp. The back wall has a built-in, pull-down, full-length screen, and sometimes when it is super hot out (it’s always warmer in an rv!), the boys will put the ramp down, pull down the screen, and we have a nice breezy backroom! Rvers with quads, dirt bikes, and razors, like toy haulers because the garage is designed to carry those ‘toys’. Made to haul atvs to a destination then unload them when they get there, some people then use the garage to store the ‘toys’ when not being used, or they can turn that space into living quarters while camped. We chose a toy hauler because it offered the most sleeping space. For the first winter, we used the drop down queen bunks that came with the th, but last summer we took them out and the guys built bunkbeds in the garage. The beds have 3 bunks going up the driver’s side of the toy hauler, the top bunk being flush with the lower portion of the ceiling that is the bottom of the girls’ loft (like a big top bunk that is entered through the living room). Level with the top bunk are 2 others, accessible by the same built-in ladder, but running side to side in the garage. So there are 5 bunks all together. We knew, when we built them, that Greg would not be traveling with us this past winter, so we didn’t build him one (he already had a nearby apartment by then).
The 3 little boys (who aren’t very little anymore – 7, 10, and 12) take the 3 top bunks. Each boy has his own set of little cubbies (I LOVE these pockets for storage!), and most have cup hooks that we hung above their heads for hanging hats or lanterns or whathaveyou…
The boys each have a plastic box, approx 12x10x8 (?) that they can put whatever they want in; toys, badges, empty candy wrappers, birthday cards that they’ve been saving for years… and those boxes get stacked and stored under either Jake’s bottom bunk or the couch in the garage. The couch we purchased at Quartsite (AZ) this year, and it folds down into a bed for company , or up flat against the wall for traveling.
In the corner behind the man-door that leads between the livingroom and the garage/boys room, we keep a little fridge. Just your average ‘garage’ fridge, when we are traveling we don’t put anything perishable in here. Since it is a small, regular house fridge, if the RV is not plugged into an electrical outlet (or we are not running the generator), the fridge does not work. We use it mainly for drinks as it is difficult to keep enough bottled water cold in our little 9 sq. ft. kitchen fridge. Now that we are plugged in for the summer, it is used for overflow perishables, and the kids keep their refillable water bottles in there to stay cold. Above the little fridge, Greg built shelves where the kids keep their shoes. Worked OK this last winter, but didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped (the girls have way too many shoes, and the little boys never put theirs where they belong!) Still thinking about a better solution for the shoes but for now, this is where they go (or are supposed to).
Living in an RV has worked really well for our family – better than we could have imagined. We love the flexibility of being able to travel when and where we want, yet taking our home with us. As odd as it may seem to hear from us, most of us are homebodies!!! And living in an RV means that we never have to leave home no matter where we roam!