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In 2018, Kris and Andy Murphy — along with their two boys, Kieghan, and Kinsler, and their pets, Luna and Jesse — traded their 3,000-square-foot home in North Texas for a 150-square-foot RV.
As they left their old home, worries instantly flooded in.
“What did we miss? What did we forget? What have we not calculated?” Kris, 32, told Insider.
Once they arrived, their concerns vanished, and the family realized living in an RV was easier than they expected.
“It was our first key destination as a full-time RV family, and it was just a huge milestone,” Andy, 32, told Insider. “All the pain and effort of the last year had paid off.”
More than two and a half years later, the family is traveling in a decked-out RV and sharing their journey on their blog, Where Wild Ones Roam.
In 2018, the family sold everything and moved into their first RV
While the family’s RV journey started in 2017, Kris and Andy first started dating sophomore year of high school in Plano, Texas.
Fifteen years later, the couple has reached their nine-year wedding anniversary and raised two boys, Kieghan, 12, and Kinsler, 6.
The couple told Insider that they had always enjoyed traveling, but it wasn’t until Andy accepted a remote job in 2017 that traveling full-time became a possibility.
They realized the potential while driving home from a weeklong RV trip to view the solar eclipse.
“We’re coming home from that, and we’re like, ‘Why are we going home? Why are we running across the country to go home for our 4-year-old to go to daycare?'” Chris said.
The family journey didn’t need to end, so they started planning a trip without an end date.
In 2017, they had purchased the motorhome for the solar eclipse trip, and in early 2018 they spent five months on renovations. They got rid of a majority of their belongings, and finally, they embarked on a trip along the East Coast in the summer of 2018.
From Texas, they traveled to Florida, stopping at Disney World along the way. Then they drove up the coast and made it all the way to Maine.
After their first year traveling, Kris and Andy wanted an upgrade, so they traded in their 150-square-foot motorhome for a 2019 Keystone Fuzion 424 Toy Hauler.
The RV lifestyle worked for them, so they upgraded to a larger model that measures around 350 square feet
Kris said that after living in an RV for nearly a year, the family quickly learned what they prioritized in a small space.
Initially, they had planned to buy and renovate a used RV. But when they saw the layout and features of the 350-square-foot Keystone Fuzion 424, they quickly realized it had what they needed.
Kris and Andy said this toy hauler works so well for their family for a handful of reasons. Kris needed a separate space for work, and Andy needed space for homeschooling. They also wanted a place that had lots of natural light.
The best part of this toy hauler is its garage, which is where a family would typically store outdoor gear, like four-wheelers or ATVs. Kris and Andy decided to transform the space into their bedroom.
Now the garage is the master bedroom, which has Andy’s office space, a washer and dryer, and a back patio.
When stepping into the main area of the 350-square-foot toy hauler, there’s a living area complete with an electric fireplace, half bathroom, kitchen, and dining room counter.
Finally, at the very front of the RV is a full bathroom and the boys’ room.
Originally, this was the master bedroom. The family turned it into a kids’ room with bunk beds and enough space to play in.
The couple said this model was ideal for the family because of the garage and its windows. The RV gets plenty of natural light and there weren’t many renovations they would need to make.
The family’s goal is to travel to all 50 states
In the Murphy household, every Sunday is a travel day.
Kris explained that they try to keep a regular work and school schedule throughout the week, and every Sunday they head to a new destination.
“It helps us not feel like we’re on vacation all the time, which can be a struggle,” Andy said.
While the pandemic has slowed them down a little bit, the family hasn’t lost sight of their goal to visit all 50 states in the US.
So far, they’ve checked 42 states off their list.
Andy explained that they’re currently in the planning process of driving all the way up to Alaska, and they plan to rent a van or small RV and explore Hawaii when it’s safe to travel again.
Sustainability is a big part of the family’s lifestyle
The family lives by the familiar motto, “leave a place cleaner than you found it.”
“We’re teaching our kids through parks’ system and through our traveling about conservation and the importance of being good caretakers of the environment so that future generations can enjoy it as much as they’re enjoying it themselves,” Kris said.
Kris and Andy said they are constantly searching for ways to reduce their environmental impact in both small and large ways.
This winter, for example, the family opted for homemade holiday decorations. They strung dried oranges to create a garland and foraged for winter-inspired decorations.
In bigger ways, the family plans to add solar panels to the roof of their RV.
They also added that by living in a smaller space, they’re using fewer resources and energy. However, the family’s largest part of their footprint comes from the diesel truck they drive with the toy trailer.
The family noted that sustainability, too, is a journey, and they’re constantly searching for ways to give back to the landscapes they visit.
When Kris and Andy think about their future, they said they realize they might not live in an RV forever. But they do plan to live smaller and more sustainably for the rest of their lives.
“We’ve learned that we can live the way we want to in a very small space very sustainable,” Andy said. “We like that more than how we lived before.”
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