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5 people, 4 dogs and 1 RV: Tampa Bay family reflects on family life living on the road

How a family of five with four dogs live in 350 square feet and travel the country.

TAMPA, Fla. — As people look for new ways to travel and get outdoors during the pandemic, the popularity of the RV is soaring. This weekend is actually a great chance to check out all the different types available at the Florida RV Super Show at the state fairgrounds.

We also thought it would be a good time to check in with a local family who became full RVers last year. They are actually in Tampa and will be at the RV show all weekend. 

They launched their adventure in late August last year and have already traveled across the country and back. Since they've been doing this for awhile now, we wanted to know if they would do anything different.

Jen said this, "I absolutely would've done something different. I would've started sooner. I would've done this life years ago if I had known how amazing it was. And I don't think I ever want to life in a stationary house again."

Jen and Kyle Bethune have 3 kids and 4 dogs and they all live together in 350 square feet. Kyle says there are some challenges. 

"Getting our family in a routine as far as not living in vacation mode all the time," he said. "You actually have to live, work, school, you know all those things you normal have to do in a brick to brick home, you still have to do it out here and that's been an adjustment."

Jen says the kids are doing great and the whole family is loving exploring new and different places.

"I loved Utah. Utah was one of the most surprising states to me, because I never thought that there was ever anything fun there," she said. "But there is. They have so many National Parks and the landscape looks straight out of a star wars movie. It's really cool."

As full time RVing becomes more popular, Jen and Kyle have some sage advice for newbies. Be prepared for surprises and not always good ones. 

"My best advice for people that are thinking about doing this is to be flexible because things happen and you've got to pivot and you know what, just make it part of the adventure," Jen said. "You can plan and you can prepare, but you better be ready to pivot because things are not going to go the way you want them to."

Kyle says the RV show is actually a great place to start looking, because they have all types there so you can see what might work best for you. 

As for the Bethunes, they are heading up to Kentucky soon and plan to visit Mammoth Cave National Park,  then go back out west in the spring. You can follow their adventures on their website, YouTube and Instagram pages.

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