A year ago, Karen and her husband Sylvester decided they wanted to RV full time. And they didn’t waste any time after that. In fact, within a week, they had sold their home, bought a Class C RV, and were off — traveling across the country with their seven-year-old son, Aiden. Speaking about the situation, Karen explained, “It happened very quickly.”
Today, The Akpan partner with Camping World to share their full-time camping lifestyle with others, and spread the word on why RV life is so awesome.
Despite their busy schedule, crisscrossing the United States, homeschooling their son, Aiden, and Karen keeping up her blog The Mom Trotter, the couple managed to find the time to sit down with Camping World and talk about their RV lifestyle at the 2020 Ultimate RV Show. They discuss how and why they decided to pull up their roots and what 2020 has been like for them. Watch their interview below.
A Field Trip Every Day
Making the jump to full-time RVing is unique to each person. For Karen and Sylvester, it was full of its challenges. But, it also came naturally to them given their experience travelling.
Prior to RVing full-time, the family was traveling internationally on a monthly basis. Homeschooling was another area where the family came prepared.
“We’ve always homeschooled since day one so this wasn’t any different for us,” Karen adds. The family now weaves homeschooling into their travels. Studying topics and historical events then visiting those regions to see them in person where their son will deliver a report on what he’s learned.
“It’s one thing to read [about a location or topic] but to actually see it in person is just amazing,” Karen adds.
They also incorporate geography into the curriculum, checking off each state they visit with a large map on the exterior of their Class C. Their son, Aiden also has a book that he uses to track where they’ve been.
They also keep track of where they’ve been with family photos in front of each state welcome sign – a fun tradition they’ll keep until they hit 50.
The Modern Pen Pal
Some might hesitate to full-time RV life, citing worries about their kids adjusting to life on the road and making friends. For Karen and Sylvester, this wasn’t an issue.
“He adjusted so well to RV life,” Karen says of her son, Aiden. With each new RV park and campground, their son makes more than just new memories, he makes new friends, and quite easily according to his parents.
And, the friendships don’t end when the visit does with Karen explaining, “He has an email address. He loves sending emails, learning to type.”
Karen and Sylvester also feel more at ease with letting their son “run-off” while at campgrounds and RV parks. Karen explains, “I would never let him go out and play in [our old] neighborhood.” But, they feel much more at ease at campgrounds and the RV community that comes with it. Karen and Sylvester actually count the RV community as the best part of RV life.
Keepin’ it Class C
Karen and Sylvester’s choice to become RVers full-time came quick and so too did their ownership of a Class C Camper. Sylvester explains, “We didn’t look at any other unit. We looked at what was affordable at the time. What is the cheapest at the time that we wouldn’t have a payment on?”
With those criteria in mind, they moved out of their home and into their Class C: A Fleetwood Tioga, far from the most spacious RV on the market but with everything they’d need for their travels.
It’s 31’ and features one slide out. It also has plenty of counter space, and, with an Instant Pot slow cooker and a grill, they have everything they need for preparing family meals on the road.
Home Sweet Home on Wheels
Making the move from a stationary home to one on wheels also meant a reduction in space. But for Karen and Sylvester, the closer quarters brought the family closer together.
“We do everything together,” Sylvester says with Karen joking adding in, “You can’t get any closer than living together in a tiny box every day!” The family also made sure to turn their ‘house’ into a home. They did a full renovation and “made it look just like home.”
And, a year into full-time RVing, Karen and Sylvester are more committed to their new life than ever before.
“We love the freedom, Karen states adding,
“If we don’t love our backyard, we can get up and change it.”
Follow the Ultimate RV tour online, or visit the show as it passes through a Camping World, Gander RV, or Airstream Dealership near you. Don’t miss exclusive live content, limited-time deals, and valuable on-demand instructional videos.