This is an interview with Merissa of ‘Little House Living’ – I absolutely adore her website! So much fun, lots of good recipes, a focus on healthy living… and she has lived in an RV with her young family for a year, so of course I wanted to interview her.
Click here to view the website: Little House Living. It is beautifully designed and full of great articles and photographs about homesteading and making the most of everything you have. You can connect with Merrisa on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
1. Can you introduce yourselves a bit? Where did you and hubby grow up, how is your son doing and what is going on in your lives now? Sorry… that may have been more than a ‘bit’ 🙂 And I believe you shared you are now a family of four, so I should say ‘sons’!
I’m Merissa and I was born and raised in South Dakota (and we still live here!). We have adopted 2 children so far so we are a family of 4. We currently live in a little farm house in a rural area of our state and raise goats and ducks and will soon have pigs and cattle and chickens!
2. One thing that impresses me in reading what you share on your homesteading/RV Living/Frugal Living focused site is how organized, focused and down to earth you are. Your preparation for a year of living on the road in 400 sq ft was impressive, and even though it didn’t always go as planned, your family survived and thrived. Share your secret! And please share why or why not you would ever make a similar journey again.
My secret to not losing my mind in a tiny space was to keep focused on our goal of living a life of simplicity. When things got cluttered we sold/donated the extras because we knew we didn’t need them anyways.
Since our life is based on what our family needs and how we feel we will thrive we were able to put aside material possessions (and sometimes modern comforts like running water!) to be able to continue on our journey.
There are things we would do differently next time but we are open to living in an RV again even though our family has grown recently and we’ve also considered building and living in a tiny house if we purchase land in the future.
3. How did you research campgrounds to stay at, as you are budget travelers like many and what discount passes did you purchase that were worth the cost?
I spent days and weeks looking up and calling campgrounds and also asking in groups of fulltime rv’ers where the best deals where and pouring over reviews and any other info I could find. We planned on travelling so we purchased a special Thousand Trails membership that means once we paid for the year we had free camping in any of their resort style campgrounds.
It cost us about $500 per year for that membership after the initial fee which would obviously pay for itself after the first month of camping. We also purchased Escapees and Passport America discount memberships but my favorite place to stay so far has been county parks. They can be hard to find but they are very inexpensive and clean places to camp.
4. Did you only arrange monthly stays to reduce costs (how I travel) or did you do any boondocking? How much did you pay for campground stays in general? Ones with full service (bathroom/Internet/electric/water).
During extended stays anywhere we’ve been we prefer to have full hookups for the amenities and we stayed at a monthly rate in the campground that we lived at the longest. We don’t mind boondocking but prefer to only do it overnight. If we didn’t have children I would be up for longer periods of time but those with little ones know that it’s nice to be able to keep their nighttime routine and give baths, etc
5. Where in the U.S. did you visit and what was your favorite place? What was your favorite campground and why?
We haven’t done much traveling yet, we mostly were stationary but now that we have a home location (the farmhouse) we’ve done more traveling. I’m not sure we have a very favorite campground but we’ve been to several very nice county parks that we’ve enjoyed.
6. Top tips for traveling in an RV with a young child? What would you have done differently?
Our oldest son (who is 2) travels very well. He is very content with a movie, some toys, and some snacks. The baby does not however, so to keep him happy we stop every 2 to 3 hours while on a trip. On our last large trip we planned stops every 2 hours where we got out and did some kind of tourist attraction so we could walk outside and it worked out very well. If we were fulltiming again I would not travel more than 4 hours in a day.
7. Huge congrats on your new homesteading life/purchase of a farmhouse and hubby’s job. Tell us what the upcoming plans are and what is in store for the website. More travel in the future? Or a focus on healthy living and living off the land?
Thanks! We’ve had a lot of changes in the last few months, hubby has been able to come home after we paid off a good piece of debt and we are focusing on building our little farm and plan to be selling meat, produce, and other farm-made homegoods by next spring.
I’ve got some big plans in the works with the website but am not sharing them just yet, you will have to keep watching the blog! 🙂 We do plan on traveling more in the near future and we now have a small motorhome which has been very fun to travel in so far! They will just be shorter trips though as we will be staying closer to home since we have livestock now. Our goal is still to be as self sufficient (and debt free) as possible by the time we are 30 so we have 3 more years to go.
Your family and lifestyle are so inspiring! I now want to make some ‘tinted mason jars’ btw. 🙂 Tinted Mason Jar Craft
Best to you and your family in 2015, Molly
More Articles on American Trip Travel Series:
Introducing Road Trip USA Travel Series
Interview with Tiny r(E)volution.us
Montana to Oregon Road Trip
Homeschooling on the Road
Workamping While Traveling By RV
Free Overnight RV Parking
Photograph courtesy of Little House Living, all rights reserved.