Going Full-Time: How a Family of Four Balances Work, School, and Life on the Road

Jan 26, 2023 | Meet My Rig

Going Full-Time: How a Family of Four Balances Work, School, and Life on the Road

By RVillage

Photo by: Kaylee Techau.

Welcome to “Going Full-Time,” where we chat with RVillagers who made the leap to live, work, and play full-time from the road. Are you a full-timer with a cool remote job and want to share your experience with the RVillage community? Send a note to askrvillage@rvillage.com and we’ll be in touch.

About the RVer

Names: Kaylee and Steve Techau, and their kids Jeremiah and Addy 

Occupation: Kaylee is an engineering consultant; Steve is in purchasing for the plumbing industry; both are content creators

Full-Timing Experience: 3.5 years

Rig Type: 2021 Keystone Cougar 368MBI fifth wheel

What once began as a weekend hobby, has since turned into a full-time lifestyle for Kaylee and Steve Techau and their two children. For nearly 4 years, this family has traversed the U.S. in their RV, with the goal of visiting all 50 states. While life on the road is never perfect, they’ve managed to successfully balance their work and school schedules, all from the comfort of their fifth wheel. 

Related Going Full-Time: How This Millennial Nomad Lives and Works From the Road

Here’s how the Techaus tackle the full-time RVing lifestyle and the advice they wish they knew before starting their journey, according to Kaylee. 

What made you decide to be full-time RVers? What previous experience did you have camping?

We were avid RV weekend warriors. We went out every weekend in the summer and fall, and we took weeklong trips each summer. Steve brought up the idea to go full-time in 2017, and I immediately shut him down. About a year later, he convinced me and we started preparing to go full-time. We launched our journey in September 2019.

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What type of rig do you own? Why did you choose this particular RV?

We have a 2021 Keystone Cougar 368MBI fifth wheel. I love the large, rear living space with windows and an island. Steve loves that he can tow it with our current truck and it has a lot of storage. The kids wanted to have separate rooms, and the fifth wheel mid-bunk with a loft meets all of our needs.   

What other RVs did you consider?

We started full-timing with a 36-foot travel trailer with two slides and a bunk room. We wanted more space but didn’t want to upgrade the truck. We looked at all mid-bunk, fifth wheel layouts before making the switch.

Related On the RV Hunt: Space for the Whole Family on a Full-Timing Adventure

What was the deciding factor for purchasing your current RV?

The weight, amount of storage, separate rooms, and price.    

What do you do for a living?

Steve works in purchasing for a plumbing wholesaler. I’m an engineering consultant in the oil and gas industry. We’re also content creators out on the road. 

Related Ask an RV Expert: ‘What Should I Know About Working From My RV?’ Your Remote Work Questions Answered

What inspired you to take the current job you have? How long have you been remote?

We had the same jobs before we hit the road. Luckily, we were able to transition our roles easily to go remote in 2019. We go back to Colorado a few times a year to be in the office and get face-to-face time with colleagues.

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How do you manage work and travel? What’s the most difficult part about working remotely from the road?

We focus on schooling and work during the week and explore in the evenings or weekends. During the summer it’s easier to get in more exploring as there’s more daylight. During the winter we stay at locations with other traveling families, so there are plenty of things to do and people to hang out with. The most difficult part about working remotely from the road is getting into the routine of remote work. It’s easy to get distracted with things to do, so having the discipline to stay focused and create a routine is key.

What’s your favorite part about being a full-timer?

The freedom that comes with this lifestyle—freedom on where to go, what to do, and how to go about it. Being in amazing locations without a plane ride, hotel, and rental car is huge. Also, we love all of the intentional family time that we have.  

Family of four sitting on the outside steps of their RV
Photo by: Kaylee Techau.

What are your biggest challenges with this lifestyle?

Full-timing can be lonely at first, and it can be challenging when RV repairs are needed. We moved frequently during our first 6 months (every 4 days on average), which made it hard to meet people.

Eventually, every RV will need to go in for maintenance. We’re handy and fix 95 percent of things on our own, but when you have to pack up your belongings and be without your home for days, weeks, or even months, it’s hard.  

Related How to Find an RV Service Center

What advice do you have for RVers looking to go full-time? What’s something you wish you knew before making the leap?

Rent different types of RVs, or at least go to an RV show and sit in them to see how the layout feels. We also wish we knew how helpful attending an RV rally would be (when we first started). We’ve met lots of traveling families at rallies and made connections within the full-time community. 

Related Ask an RV Expert: ‘What Tips Do You Have for Attending RV Shows?’ Your RV Show Questions Answered

Where are you heading next? How do you decide where to travel?

We’re headed to Florida for the rest of winter and then traveling up the East Coast this summer. Our family’s goal is to explore all 50 states in an RV. We’ve been to 38 states so far and plan to knock out the lower 48 in 2023.

What are three items in your RV that you can’t live without?

An electric kettle, a Blackstone griddle, and a sun shade on the awning for additional living space.

Editor’s note: Some quotes have been slightly edited for clarity.

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