Fulltime RV Family Discusses Life on the Road

Last Saturday while waiting for the Space Shuttle to take off, a friendly camper introduced herself to me. Her name was Kim Cunningham, and she is a fulltiming mother and wife with three children who are traveling across America right now, in search of their next endeavor.

Kim (41), her husband Regis (47), daughter Jessica (15), son Regis III (9), and Seb (6), sold their principal home in Cody, Wyoming last May. Regis is a real estate investor who for the last 25 years has taken marginal homes, fixed them up, and turned them into money making opportunities. Kim was a Creative Memories consultant for 13 years, while working together with Regis to manage their properties. This year, they had planned to leave Cody, buy another fixer-upper in Pennsylvania and settle down for a while, but when in Pennsylvania, circumstances didn’t turn out as they’d hoped, so they decided to stay on the road and keep looking.

How does a family with three kids, four dogs and one cat do it?

 


The answer is easy; they have broken away from the cookie-cutter consumer mentality, and live without debt or credit cards. They owe nothing to nobody. The Cunninghams are a true self-made, entrepreneurial success story. Through hard work and determination, they have managed to invest in real estate properties that have generated enough of a return to finance their journey. But don’t be mislead; they weren’t able to do this because they had a rich uncle. Kim and Regis are both down to earth, regular working people who live simply, stay on the same page about money management, and have their priorities straight.

The couple has always worked fulltime jobs while homeschooling their kids and investing in real estate. They have spent countless evenings and weekends managing their properties, making sure that they were generating enough income for them to take a trip like this. Kim and Regis have lived in many places, each one has been a building block to their current journey. They have owned up to 12 rental properties at one time, and through many lean years did whatever it took for them to meet their goal; financial independence.

Their biggest piece of advice to other non-retirees looking to take a similar adventure: “If you have debt, don’t go on the road,” says Regis.

Get rid of debt, and pay cash for everything. This couple subscribes to the Dave Ramsey school of money management, and they have proven that by sticking to Dave’s Total Money Makeover Plan, anyone can experience true freedom.

cunninghams.jpgMeeting them was so refreshing and inspiring. It was great to see how one family’s journey to remain financially free is indeed a realistic goal that can lead to a lifetime of freedom and adventure.

From now on, whenever anyone says that the only reason Jim and I can do this trip at our age is because we don’t have kids, I’ll be sure to let them know about the Cunninghams.

16 Responses to “Fulltime RV Family Discusses Life on the Road”

  1. We travel full time also. My husband, myself, and six kids! We started last Sept. and feel like we just began. It was a lot of work to sort and pack our things. We gave away most of what we own. We bought a fifth wheel and truck, using the money from selling our home. We wanted more time as a family, our kids range from 16 yrs to 2 months. I found out I was pregnant 2 wks after we left, I did have a feeling though…. It has been wonderful, crazy, hard, and exciting. We love what we are doing and can’t wait to do this more. We have a website, http://www.smittysinfo.com if you are curious about our strange life. It is neat to hear of so many other families doing this.
    Sheri Smith

  2. My thing about having debt and being on the road is that I want to enjoy this time as much as possible, without having to worry about bills to pay. Not having debt hanging over me would be great (we still have to pay off our truck, our only debt, hopefully soon). I hate debt! Hate it!

  3. So Vicki, how exactly have you figured out to keep the income coming in?

  4. What a truly inspiring story. As we are now in the process of minimizing our requirements of life to fit in an RV, we are about to embark on a very similar journey. We’re excited…and this story just validates that it can be done…even if the Naysayer (Realtors) are nodding their heads no. Thanks!

    Rollin’ Real Estate Tour

  5. We’ve been on the road almost ten years now and we’re doing just fine, debt and all. I’d hate for people to think they can’t live their dream until they’re out of debt, when all they really need to do is figure out a way to keep income coming in.

    • Vickie

      My wife and I are thinking of doing the same in a couple of years. We will still have a truck payment and possibly an RV payment. How can you still generate some income on the road.

      Any ideas

      Steve

      • Thanks for the comment Steve! If Vicki hasn’t subscribed to comments here, it is doubtful she’ll get your message. Consider contacting her directly. You can visit her blog by clicking her name. You should also check out the Workamper.com website for more ideas about part time jobs for full-time RVers. Good luck!

      • Steve, My husband quickly learned that if he could swing a hammer he could find work. Industrial Construction companies pay well and even give the workers a daily per diem. Through the last decade he’s honed his skills and is currently a pipeline welder, where he only needs to work 4-6 months a year to support our lifestyle.

        http://www.roadtechs.com is a good website for all kinds of traveling work, including medical and clerical, not just construction. Good Luck!

        • Vicki, thanks so much for that terrific link, I’ve never heard of RoadTechs. Yet another opportunity to find work arrangements on the road. Yeay!

  6. Love your story…We are planning a one year trip also. Can’t wait to leave check out or site at
    http://rollinrealestatetour.com/

    Take care guys

  7. Forgot to leave the link to help you find more Families on the Road. http://www.familiesontheroad.com/fotr.html

  8. Hi! There are actually quite a few of us fulltiming families. I started reading your blog and thought for sure you’d run into our friends who were also at Jetty Park waiting for the launch. Hmmm…. wonder if Kim and Amy or the kids met?
    Anyway, great blog. I am adding it to my Google Reader so I can keep up with you.

    Happy Trails,
    Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr (living and traveling on wheels for 15 years)
    Currently in St. Augustine, FL

  9. I can’t thank you enough for writing this post and doing this interview to share with us. It helps put me at ease when I think of what life will be like once we are on the road with the kids. It seems this wonderful family has got it together and has learned how to travel well together.

    I really like his advice regarding debt. I’m not a Dave Ramsey fan but I’ve heard enough about him to know where he is coming from. And he’s right. The little bit of credit card debt we have is enough to raise my blood pressure and cause a little stress right now. I think that once we sell everything and sell the house, we’ll be able to get it paid off before we hit the road. But I’ll be honest and say it sure does suck having it over my head all the time. I’ll be so glad when that weight is lifted, for sure.

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