Friday, April 19, 2013

A Tour of our Little Home on Wheels

Our RV is 32ft long and about 10ft wide, so that is 320sqft. How on earth do you fit 7 people into a 320sqst living space....comfortably!?! Well, I had that same question when Brian brought up the idea of buying an RV for vacationing with our quick-growth, large family. I thought there was no way, I kinda even put up a little bit of a fight against it....well, maybe a big one ;)

Well, believe it or not, hubby was right, it is mighty comfortable. Like taking home with you wherever you go. We don't have to stop for snacks, meals, potty trips, diaper changes, or stretch breaks. Everytime I pack it I think, "For sure, this time there will not be enough room! There is no way everything we need will fit." Everytime I am amazed we still have empty drawers and space in the under-storage compartments

We bought our class C motorhome in Aug. 2012. After much research and hunting we found a used 2003 Coachmen Santara 316ks for $15,000 under Kelly Blue Book. She had minor flaws, couple of repairs and not the preferred floorplan, but we love her despite her age and previous issues. She has made quite the perfect first-timer RV.

This time we packed for a 9 day trip. Here is a little tour of our small home on wheels:

This is our main living space. Our living room and dining room. The couch side has a slide-out so when parked we gain about 3ft of living space. The couch, dinette and bunk above driver's cab all turn into three full-size beds.
Left cabinets, above couch, are where Anthony and Mirabel put their clothes and belongings. Right cabinets, above dinette, are where Titus and Maggie's clothes go.
There are two drawers under each dinette seat, one is for Risa's clothes and belongings and the other holds books and games.
When we drive at night the kids are set up "girls and boys" among the two beds but during camping, usually Mirabel and Risa sleep in bunk over cab, twins on the couch and Anthony on dinette.
Kitchen has frigde and freezer, sink, microwave, oven and stove (under cutting board). There are a lot of cabinets and cutting boards make more counter space.
Fridge and freezer really appear small at first but I have found fit a week to week and a half of food comfortably. We have 5 frozen crockpot meals as well as a loaf of bread, 10 frozen breakfast burritos, and 14 burgers in the freezer.
Left cabinet, next to microwave, is a little messy (it was last packed by little hands and mommy missed it during re-organizing) it has plates, bowls, cups, plastic utensils, etc. The right cabinet, above sink, is spice/coffee cabinet.
Cabinet under sink holds crockpot, baking bowls and glass pans. Under oven drawer holds tons of pots. Two small drawers for all kitchen utensils.
Cleaning supply cabinet is across from fridge, under extra fold-down countertop. Then a step past kitchen is our dry pantry.
I pretty much just empty our pantry at home into the RV. About a week to a week and a half of food.
Past the bathroom is the master bedroom. Now Brian and I don't sleep in seperate beds at home but since separate twins are not preferred with RV buyers it saved us about $5K, also if we have a future need we can convert twin single beds to bunk beds and fit 2 more children :)
Cabinets around beds store my and Brian's clothes.
Left is my bed, there is a small stand with two drawers and a tv, there is also a drawer under bed where diapers and wipes are stored. Right bed (Brian's) has cabinets above it that hold all blankets and sheets used for three full-size beds in main living space. There is a 2nd wardrobe for kid's church outfits, jackets and extra shoes. There are 4 small empty drawers under wardrobe and bed.
Bathroom takes up space between kitchen and bedroom and there are two dividers that close in bathroom.
Under cabinet, three drawers and mirror cabinet holds, really, everything we need for the bathroom.
Toilet room is bigger than it looks. It has built-in hamper for dirty clothes and very deep cabinet. The bottom shelf has 14 bath towels as well as medicine box and emergency nebulizer. The top shelf holds all our small camping gear like lanterns, fans, flashlights, etc.
There is also TONS of room in the under-storage compartments. I will try to snap some shots and add them tomorrow :)
This little vehicle-made-home truly makes it easy and cost effective to take vacations with the family. The only cost in vacations is gas and $15-$30/night if we do a campground.
Although the packing is quite overwhelming before we go it makes up for not having to lug in bags to a hotel, unpack in the room, re-pack at end of our stay and lug bags back to car then repeat at next stop. The RV allows one major packing excursion then constant home at our fingertips the whole duration of our trip. Plus the older kids are becoming good packing helpers, thru trial and error, as we develop a system that works best for us to pack most efficiently.
This time hubby knew best....well, he kinda always does, but don't tell him I said so ;) Love you babe! COACHMEN! :)
Posted by Shannon


  1. Gator detects "continued Gator kindness" and presence, principally by "Miss Hounder" and even little sis who are keeping tootsies warm! I wonder, just wonder whether there's even room for a certain Gator in this roomy home away from home? :)

    1. We have two empty seatbelts! Just enough room for the Gator and Nanny Diane!......or two more children whichever comes first :)

  2. Well, I guess I can stop waiting for additional pictures as promised! The Gator read it and took you at your word...The Gator will try to go into "at ease" position waiting.:)

  3. On second thought, The Gator will remain "at attention waiting" for pictures of ALL Carroll family to be posted, including Head Man Driver ;)

  4. Howdy Parnters! Please check your phones for text and email for "reinforcements update!"

  5. Gator, you take care of us far more than we deserve! Thank you!

  6. To God be the Glory, Great things HE has done...we each strive to reflect something of HIS nature in humility and affection. USPS states "reinforcements" were delivered before noon today...have you gotten them?