“I’ll never make my kids go camping.” Words I uttered as a 14 year-old girl after spending two weeks with my family in a pop up camper without electricity or running water. “Never!” I said. Well, you know where this story is going.
In the summer of 2013, we felt God prompting us to tour the USA…with our kids…in an RV. Really God? We like our spacious home with walls and doors. “We will never camp,” I repeated, pleading for options:
- Maybe, instead, we could raise money for a new church in our neighborhood. We will never camp.
- Maybe, instead, I could coordinate Vacation Bible School for all protestants. We will never camp.
- Maybe, instead, we could proofread algebra books, solve for X without pay. We will never camp.
- Maybe, instead, this RV trip wasn’t about camping at all? And all-in we went.
Actually the RV trip could solve a dilemma. My husband wanted more on-site visits with his customers around the U.S., but hates traveling alone and leaving us at home. Since we homeschool, traveling with him kills two birds with one stone, while testing every thread of patience woven into our human fibers, of course.
My husband wasn’t a boy scout. I don’t do sweat. We’re both navigationally challenged. We prefer airplanes and taxicabs, cruise ships and tour groups. Why buy a house on wheels and add undue stress into our lives? Well, because frankly, we’ve learned that God goes before us, prepares the way, and he equips the called. The calling wasn’t yet clear but obedience, we knew, would sharpen the picture.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
So we researched every RV type, compiled a list of must-haves, and based our decision on one thing: Privacy! Traveling for five months in cramped quarters with teenagers called for two bathrooms and two bedrooms, each separated by the living space. We also wanted two vehicles so my husband could visit customers and the kids and I could explore the sights making the fifth-wheel our best option.
With privacy comes length, forty-three feet to be exact. Add that to the truck length and we’re rolling sixty feet down the highway. I plan to sacrifice and drive the second vehicle alone giving my husband some quality time with the kids. Sweet of me, huh?
Understand, I’ve used ‘never’ at other times in my life. I’d never adopt kids (I meant never more than ten kids). I’d never be a teacher (I meant never teach in outer space). And, of course, RVing isn’t really camping, right?
Yeah, so my ‘nevers’ have gotten me smack-dab into some spiritually growing places and I anticipate nothing less from this RV trip. So I figure I’m due a little alone time in the car, praying for mercy, having adopted Russian siblings and now homeschooling them on a lengthy camping trip.
Our plan is to tour the West coast from late Jan through mid-June. If we’re still married and the fifth-wheel is in tact, we may consider hitting the Southeast next January. I’ll post our whereabouts and some travel log as well as describe the novice realities of RVing. Feel free to laugh along with us on the continued journey of ‘nevers’.
First stop: Overnight in Las Cruces, NM bound for Phoenix, AZ