Sometime in early July 2015, Adam and I got a wild hair and asked each other…. “Wouldn’t it be cool to just buy an old RV, fix it up and travel around the country for awhile??” At this point in our lives we were trying to figure out the next step or stage in our lives. We had been living in Wisconsin now for about 3 years (in Door County, which we love!) but we just weren’t sure if this was the place we wanted to land. We figured traveling the country would help us see what else was out there and if any other place stole our hearts like Door County had.
Back in September 2012 Adam and I quit our Corporate jobs (I worked at State Farm, he worked at CAT) to move to Door County and go all in with my online fitness & health coaching business. It was risky, considering we took a 70% pay cut, but I was bound and determined to be my own and create an incredible life for the both of us and our pup Ozzy. I wanted us to LIVE, not just work for some corporate and go through the motions. Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions??? We were done with that, hence the strong desire to start over.
By the time July 2015 rolled around I had been building my business full time for 3 years and we were at a point where we had doubled our combined corporate income and had financial freedom to go! We didn’t own property here in Door County yet, so it just made sense!
So August 12th, on my 30th birthday our 5th wheel camper was delivered. We have never been camper/RV people, so really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into at this point. BUT, Adam is what I call a Creative Engineer. He has a gift to understand how things work and the vision to see them how they will soon be. I am so thankful for his talents, because without them, the camper would still be brown & beige. By the way, we decided to get a new camper because we wanted the warranty while on the road.
WE HAD BIG PLANS.
No way were going to leave on a year long trip in that ugly thing. #SorrynotSorry Forrest River or any other Camper Manufacturer, but, if you all want to attract young people, you’ve got to step your design game up. This camper was just really, really ugly and honestly all of them are. Our goal was to gut it, and do a total face lift in 1 month. Our goal date to leave on our trip was September 10th!
Here is the list of things we did to change the layout and feel of the camper:
- Replaced mattress – got rid of that POS foam mattress
- New bedding – sheets, comforter, pillows
- Painted black above the bed and added star vinyls
- Painted walls and replaced trim
- Changed out carpet to a light gray
- Replaced flooring to a medium gray vinyl tile
- Replaced curtains
- Painted bathroom
- Updated all light fixtures
- Painted all walls
- Replaced all trim – including trim outlining slide outs
- Replaced flooring to a medium gray vinyl tile
- Moved the speaker to a higher point in TV area
- Removed the couch and built a day bed with TONS of storage underneath
- Rebuilt the dining area to make it easier to use and easier to fit 4 adults. It no longer folds into a bed – but has a lot of storage underneath.
- Used Ikea Butcher block for dinning table & step into master bedroom to match the trim
- Reupholstered the dining cushions
- Reused the foam mattress from master and reupholstered for the day bed cushion
- Added backsplash vinyls to kitchen
- Updated light fixtures
- Replaced all curtains
Bunk room TURNED Office (This was our favorite part – taking the kids room and turning it into a very functional office that had a door and plenty of storage!)
- Gutted all bunk beds
- Replaced floor with medium gray vinyl tile
- Painted and added arrow vinyls
- IKEA Butcher block for desk top
- New desk lamp from CB2
- Swivel office chair from CB2
- Installed storage containers from the Elf series at the Container Store
- Reframed duct work and heating that was under the bunk beds.
- Removed ALL decals – why so many swooshes?!?!
- Hired Adam’s sister and brother-in-law to design and apply new decals (They have a vinyl business. You can contact them at CustomRVvinyl@gmail.com.)
- Added my business info on back of camper along with a travel quote
- Added a bike rack on back
Our TINY HOUSE is OURS!!!
We spent about 10K updating, remodeling and putting some serous sweat equity into this tiny house on wheels!! But it was so worth it – the finished product is BEAUTIFUL!! And our good friend Megan Kathleen photographed the finished remodel while we were out on the West Coast.
Wisconsin to Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis to Custer, SD
Custer, SD to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone to Spokane, WA
Spokane to Seattle
Seattle to down the 101
The 101 to the Redwoods
The Redwoods to San Diego, CA
San Diego to Parker, AZ
Parker to Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff to Sante Fe, NM
Sante Fe to Palo Duro Canyon, TX
Palo Duro to San Antonio, TX
Best Part: I got to workout and BUILD my online business on the road!
We learned so much about ourselves, each other and everything this gorgeous country has to offer. We met incredible people, some we are still friends with today, and immersed ourselves into new cultures. An experience like this doesn’t happen much, but with the workforce going more virtual, this truly is DOABLE for anyone. I encourage you to go for it — nothing bad can come of it. You will gain rich experiences and memories you will never forget.
After 7 months on the road, Adam and I decided it was time to head home to Door County, WI and plant our roots. We have since purchased a home with the perfect water view of Sturgeon Bay opening up to Green Bay. Just like this camper, it is a fixer upper and we are putting our skills to the test once again.
Since we have planted roots, we would like to bless and release our camper to a couple who has the same BIG DREAMS we do. Our camper is for sale and we would like it to go to a couple looking to work on the road while embracing everything this journey has to offer. Please email me at email@example.com to inquire about pricing and details.
You can also check out RV Trader where the camper is listed: http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/-119176869
Peace, Love & Travel!!
Sarah, Adam, Ozzy and our new fur baby Pearl <3
Wonderful story thanks for sharing… it’s so inspiring. Love those decals you chose too!. And yes u are right every single travel trailer I’ve seen no matter how new, all have ugly and dark interiors. . Great update ! Beautiful story!
Love it! Great job at making it your own! Welcome back to Wisconsin!
Where is the bedding from?
CB2! It’s great, isn’t it?! Thanks for your comment!
Where did you find the exterior decals?! We just got a RV & are working on making it our own & we love that southwest style! Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Ann! My sister-in-law did them. She has a vinyl business. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
Hi Sarah – can you tell me what you have setup to work in the front seat? I’m looking for a laptop docking station like yours!
Hey Nicole! The brand is Jotto Desk – they make them for every car model!