TAMPA, Fla. — RV ownership is at an all-time high. According to the RV Industry Association, the pandemic started a fundamental change in the way Americans want to travel and that popularity is expected to continue into this year.
One way to get a good look at all the different types of recreational vehicles available is at the Florida RV SuperShow going on Thursday and through the weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
One local family knew exactly what they wanted when they started their adventure into full-time RV life nearly two years ago.
The Bethune family were here in the Tampa area over the holidays visiting family.
The family of five are living in a remodeled tour bus they have lovingly named "Blue Betty" with their four dogs.
"We have all the amenities of a big house, just smaller," Jen Bethune explained while giving a tour of the bus.
The family doesn't follow a timeline or create a plan of where to go.
"We just fly by the seat of our pants. Sometimes it bites us, sometimes it doesn't, but we just get to curate our life how we want to."
After almost two years living in 350 square feet, Bethune says her family has made some major changes to their home on wheels.
"We have remodeled our kitchen and living room 4 times because you find out what works and what doesn't work and when you're stationary it's different," she explained. "When you're on the road, you want ease and convenience and functionality of the space. And that's what we found with our new layout."
The kids each have their own space or bunk, which may seem small to some, but Bethune says it's just perfect for their family.
"We live mostly outdoors. We're adventuring, we're doing things. We're only in the bus in the evening to wind down," she said. "Mostly we're outside playing, doing and experiencing."
They've already been out to the west and all over the southeast of the U.S.
But what's next for the family? Taking over the Northeast.
"We're going to do the Northeast this spring and summer," Bethune said. "We haven't been there in years, so we're going to go up to the Northeast and meander."
And there will be many more adventures to come for this family.
"We have no plans of ever stopping. It has worked out better than we ever imagined. It's been awesome."