An Interview With Susan From What Happened To My House?

[ 20 ] February 21, 2010 |
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I recently asked the highly talented blog designer {She did the graphics for my blog}, Susan, from What Happened To My House? if I could interview her about how she came to live in an RV with her whole family and their pets and she said yes! I find her story fascinating. I know that I could never do it. We have a less than 800 sq. ft. house and the not having much personal space gets to me sometimes. Plus everything always looks cluttered because there really isn’t adequate storage/closet space. {This house was built in the late ’40’s early ’50’s} So if I have clutter and claustrophobia in 800 square feet with one husband, one daughter and a slightly demon possessed cat, I can only imagine how Susan feels in an RV with a husband, three kids, two dogs and a cat!

This is the post she wrote for me explaining how she came to ask the question “What happened to my house?:

My name is Susan, I am a SAHM, married to my husband for over 5 years and have 3 boys (4, 6 and 15).   I am a blog designer and I live in an RV with my hubby, kids, 2 dogs and a cat.  If you asked me 10 years ago I never would’ve imagined I would be doing what I do or living how I live.

I became a blog designer purely by accident really.  I started a blog when a bunch of us from a message board got into blogging in 2008.  I became obsessed with trying to find the perfect theme (don’t we all?).  In my quest there was really only one thing to do and that was to design my own blog how I wanted.  I didn’t have a clue about graphics, or programs to make them, let along anything inside the template of a blog.  After lots of reading, experimenting, trial and error and hours and hours on the computer I came up with a design that fit the theme of my blog perfectly. However, I am a restless soul and I’m always looking to freshen things up, so since then I have had multiple designs and templates on my blog.   Three months after starting my blog I was designing for others for next to nothing to get practice and experience.  In the process I found that I loved to design and have been doing it ever since.

My blog is titled “What Happened To My House” because really, what did happen to it, I live in an RV.  The whole RV “thing” was a couple years in the making and I like to blame my dh for it lol.  My dh is a union electrician working in industrial construction.  Since 9/11 it became harder to find work since a lot of industrial work was put on hold across the united states.  The only way to get work was to go find it, no matter where it was.  We lived in Michigan then and winter time pretty much meant no work, so I usually spent weeks and sometimes months at home with the kids while dh was working in other states.   I convinced dh to move to Arizona (I had lived there before I met dh, and had always wanted to go back etc..).  Dh never actually lived in AZ with the kids and I.  He was always some where else working, be it Vegas, Washington or Texas.  He decided we couldn’t live like this and that the kids needed their dad.  So he decided we would get an RV and all move in there, that way where he was, we could be also.  It took over a year to make it all happen.  In May of 2009 we finally got our big toy hauler RV and we all moved in.  We have been at it about nine months now.  However even with us in the RV I have spent time alone with the kids cause again he needed to work elsewhere and with the kids in school moving around from town to town just isn’t practical.  You might actually be surprised how prevalent this type of lifestyle is.  Most of the moms in those families usually home school so moving isn’t so much an issue for them.  I just don’t believe I have the patience to home school.  Living in an RV (regardless the size) with 3 boys in my personal space 24 hours a day can be stressful.  For my sanity and the sake of their well-being it is best if they are gone to school all day.  Some days are exciting and some days are down right boring, but it’s rarely dull.

Living in an RV, where do you “park” it? What I mean is, do you have a “permanent” home/parking spot in an RV park or do you move around?

We move around.  Where the work is, is where we are.  Although our goal is to stay in one place during the school year.  We live in an RV park.  We find a nice park with a pool, nice big lots and pretty scenery (well those are my goals anyway).  My dh could park it on a piece of land in the woods and be happy.

Do you ever want to chuck the RV and get a real house?

You bet!  LOL.  I wouldn’t have an issue if the kids were grown and it was just dh and I but it isn’t easy (most days) with the 5 of us.


What are some of the drawbacks and/or pluses about RV vs. House and house vs. RV?

Well, I’ll tell ya an RV life surely isn’t cheaper then having a house.  We bought a new RV, so that pymt, with the truck to pull it and lot rent for the park is equivalent to a house payment.   An RV is smaller then a house so it messes up very fast, but in the same respect since it is smaller it cleans up faster.  We have to do our laundry at the laundry mat (that sucks).  The smaller space means someone is usually in your face at any given time.  Oh, our RV only has one bathroom and a house usually has two (some RVs have 2, just not ours).  It is kinda cool though that if you want to go on vacation you just take your house (meaning RV) with you.  Nothing like having everything you own with you ALL the time.  Unlike a house we don’t have to mow the grass  Tired of the weather?, just move….    The one thing I didn’t like about moving into an RV was having to get rid of almost everything I owned (big things like furniture etc…).  So if we ever do move into a house or apartment someday again we will have no furnishings what-so-ever.  You spend your entire life accumulating things and it is hard to part with stuff like that (I am a pack rat anyway).  With a house everyone has their own space.  In a house you have your own yard where you dogs can run and not be on a leash.  A community where you kids can go to school with the same kids from K-12.  A community you picked.  With an RV since you are where the work is, it may not be the place, state or community you want to live in.

You can read more from Susan at her blog, What Happened to my house? If you need any blog designing done, she is fabulous. She does both Blogger and Word Press designs at Blog Designs by Susan.

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Category: Thoughts

About the Author ()

I'm Shan and I 'm the creator of The Asylum and a magnet for The Free Range Stupid™. I'm a little nutty, a lot sarcastic and pretty damn smart. I am also a graphic designer, blog coder, virtual assistant, free lance writer and can whip you up a killer resume, media kit or press release that would make others green with envy. Go to Skewed Design Studios to check out my services. You won't be disappointed.

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  1. Heather says:

    It was fun to read Susan’s story! I’d always wondered what happened to her house and now I know. I think it’s admirable to sacrifice a house in order to keep your family together after all…that’s what really counts!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Likely not a good idea… =-.

  2. I’ve always been curious about Susan’s story! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I find that fascinating! What about going grocery shopping, or any kind of shopping? Does she take the entire RV with her?

    No way would I be able to handle that. I need my space. I give her a ton of credit for making it work.
    .-= Creative Junkie´s last blog ..If we had an IKEA near us, you guys wouldn’t have all this uncertainty =-.

  4. Great post, I think I would totally do this if i didn’t have a little tribe. LOL maybe when it is just me and Miss O when the older kids leave home. I think it would be fun to travel all over. And leaving the winter behind sounds like a great idea to me.

    Thanks for this great post Shan, I really enjoyed reading it. Susan was redoing my blog when they brought their rv and I know she had a really hard time going through her things . Glad to have an update

  5. Susan says:

    Thanks for the feature Shan!!

    Creative Junkie asked about grocery shopping. We don’t take the RV shopping but since space is so limited I have to go shopping several times a week. A weeks worth of food for 5 won’t usually fit in our cupboards.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Winner -Safeway Gift card =-.

  6. She is braver than I am. I am sure to have gone crazy by now. I will be bookmarking her site to go read more. Thanks for sharing =)

  7. Jamie says:

    Great Interview! I’m constantly telling my husband I want to take a year off and travel the country in an RV. We homeschool so that is no problem, but my husband owns his own company and is afraid he will have no customers when he comes back. Oh well, maybe we’ll win the lottery…

  8. Emilie says:

    I can’t even imagine what this might be like. I’m certain I would go insane but I think it is amazing that you are all willing to sacrifice for your family to be together. Beautiful story, really.
    .-= Emilie´s last blog ..Bake Me a Wish {Celebration Review & Giveaway #10} =-.

  9. Wow, what an amazing woman. I can’t imagine what life would be like living in an RV. Thanks for sharing this cool interview.
    .-= Cascia @ Healthy Moms´s last blog ..Understanding Your Dreams – What They are Trying to Say and Do For You =-.

  10. Victoria says:

    what an incredible story! thanks for sharing!

  11. Sara Elizabeth says:

    What a great interview. I have always enjoyed Susan’s blog, though I don’t make it around much.

  12. Renting a place to live in is not easy, what more could it be with RVs. I hope you could get a house of your own so that it would be that hard for you and your family. 🙂

  13. Yes, very fun to read about Susan 🙂 Now I know why she lives in an RV, bless her heart! Great interview!

  14. Nice to meet you I too have 3 boys and vary in age too

  15. Very cool story! Susan also designed my blog! Love what she does!!!
    .-= Diaries of a Domestic Goddess´s last blog ..WINNER of the Celtic Woman cd!!!! =-.

  16. Shannon says:

    Wow, I had vaguely heard of a mom living in a RV. I will check out more of her blog! Thanks!

  17. Kelly W says:

    great story. Like you shan we live in a small house with lots of people and I always feel like it is cluttered. Susan is an inspiration.
    .-= Kelly W´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: First night in her big girl bed =-.

  18. Theresa says:

    What an interesting story. We have toyed with the idea of traveling across country, but with so many of us (we’ll be a family of 10 come August, Lord willing) However, we do live in less than 1200 sq.ft. so we can relate somewhat to the cramped conditions.
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..FREE Webinar on Money-Saving Organizing Tips =-.

  19. Brittany says:

    Awesome! I love Susan and loved learning more about her!
    .-= Brittany´s last blog ..Celtic Woman – Songs From The Heart Review =-.

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