Wondering who we are?

I’m Emily, the main writer, photographer and contributor to this blog. I’m married since 1992 to Tim, a retired naval officer and my resident computer guru (i.e. the guy who has little choice but to respond to my whines and pleas for help with the technical aspects of running this blog). We have two grown-ish sons doing good things in the world, one working in WA, and the other attending college in TX. And then there’s Lola, our black lab mix (we’re not experts, but we think she’s part toddler), who takes up way too much space in here, and at age 10 is starting to slow down a bit.

We did not buy these sunglasses; we just used them for this selfie, after choosing them simultaneously, from opposite sides of a display rack at a flea market. Then we put them back. It's one of many ways we own less.
We did not buy these sunglasses; we just used them for this selfie, after choosing them simultaneously, from opposite sides of a display rack at a flea market.
Then we put them back.
It’s one of many ways we own less.

Update 05/03/2016: We said goodbye to our Lola today. Her progressive kidney disease had advanced beyond hope, and we let her go gently and peacefully, shortly after our return visit to Norfolk, where we first brought her home in 2006. She loved and was loved, and we miss her.

Wondering how we got here?

Welp, we watched our younger son head off to his senior year of high school in the fall of 2014, and we realized two things:

  1. We didn’t want to stay in our 4-bedroom 2950sf suburban home after he graduated. Too big. Too much stuff.
  2. We had no clue where we wanted to live next.

Having enjoyed renting RVs for short excursions in the past, we decided in alarmingly short order that we could buy one, and live in it while we roll around the country trying to find a place that feels like home. For the first 21 years of our marriage, the U.S. Navy told us where to live. Now it’s our turn to choose, and we haven’t got a clue.

Mission: Finding Home commenced in September 2015, after a year spent selling, giving away or throwing away most of our possessions, scanning important paperwork to electronic files, and leaving only items we really, really, really wanted to keep in a small storage unit. What was left came with us in the RV, and that 4-bedroom house is for sale. Now that we own a lot less, we can take our slimmed down selves (possession-wise, anyway) to all those places we’ve been wanting to explore — for a weekend, a week, or even months at a time. Own less. Do more.


Update 03/11/2016: San Antonio house is SOLD!

Wondering about our RV?

It’s a 2008 38-foot Heartland Bighorn fifth wheel we’ve named The Toad, which we pull with a 2012 Chevy Silverado diesel dually, otherwise known as the BFT. B is for big. T is for truck. Got it?  When we’re on the road, we’re twelve tons, ten tires, and about 50 feet of holy shit is she driving that thing? Yyyyep. Sometimes I do!

Update 05/25/2017: We have replaced the old BFT with a new BFT! Stats are in the photo caption, and by the end of June, I promise I’ll post the story about why we made the switch. And here it is, posted June 28.

2017 RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 8′ Box
6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine
AISIN 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Dual Rear Wheels / 17-Inch x 6-Inch Wheels
Black interior
True Blue Pearl exterior

Update 12/03/2018: We’ve replaced the old fifth wheel with a new fifth wheel! Stats are in the photo caption, and here’s the story about why we made the switch.

2018 Mobile Suites 38 KSSB
40’6″ long
Regency interior color scheme
4 slides
17000 pounds dry weight

Update 01/22/2022: We’ve added a truck camper to the mix! Stats are in the photo caption, and here’s the story about why we did this crazy thing.

2013 Lance 1050S
19’8″ long
1 slide
3030 pounds dry weight

Wondering how to find us at the RV park?

If we’re parked for more than a night or two, Mary Jo will be marking our spot. She is the small, mobile metal chicken that replaced my giant, cumbersome metal chicken (Charlene), who now lives with friends in MD. If you’re thinking The Bloggess, you’re right. Her Beyoncé was totally the inspiration.


Wondering what we’re like in person?

We’re not big on doing our own videos (yet?), but we play well with others. In reverse chronological order, we appear in the following:

From June 2017, by Heartland RVs

From January 2017, by RV Love

From January 2017, by Spot the Scotts

Wondering where things stand now?

Read this post from August of 2020. I’ve summed it up for you.

11 thoughts on “About

  1. We have similar stories, with the youngest in college and looking for our next place to live. We’ve been on the road since August 2014. We are in Palm Springs, CA, thinking maybe we’ll settle here…later. For now home is where we park it.
    For the record, most full-timers would agree the RV repairs and upgrades take up your focus the first 6 to 8 months in a new rig. Hopefully it’s not too much longer in an older TT.

  2. Followed you into Nellis AFB today and noted your web page address. Retired navy myself and an avid RVer but not ready for full time yet.

    1. Welcome aboard! Glad you took the time to check us out, and thank you so much for letting me know you came here because of our decal. You’re the first to do so, and I find that pretty exciting! -Emily

  3. You mentioned newer RV’s having better construction, insulation, etc in the Marc and Julie Bennett video. Could you comment more on that? Have you done a video or series?

    1. Sure! Our 5th wheel was built in 2008, and we purchased it in 2014.

      Newer RVs made for 4-season living (that we’ve seen at shows and dealerships since 2016) have thicker walls than ours, and more insulation throughout. We have added a lot of insulation underneath our rig, but can’t get into our walls. Some newer RVs also have double pane windows, and ours has single pane. I’m not sure what model year that some of these improvements started appearing, as we didn’t get into this game until late 2014. A lot depends on manufacturer and price point as well, much like with automobiles.

      And no, we do not have our own video or series. Haven’t been willing to make that leap yet!

      1. I am looking for a smaller class A to allow me to get anywhere that length limitations would restrict a larger unit. I am building my list of items to consider and your comments made me think about rv construction.

        1. Happy to be of help, and I definitely respect your decision to go smaller. I wouldn’t mind downsizing even further myself! Best of luck with your search, and we hope to see you out there on the road someday.

  4. Hi Emily,
    I’m sitting here outside my trailer looking at this small metal chicken wondering why the new camp host( Tim, we were told) had a chicken in his yard? I told my husband there must be a woman in that RV somewhere! Then the sign”Own less. Do more.” ?? We tracked you down online and now are determined that we need to meet these people.! Besides that- I was born and raised in Carlsbad and worked at the Caverns during college summers.
    At your convenience, we hope to meet you and Tim.
    Your neighbor
    Nancy Long

  5. Loved reading this! Our youngest (17) is about to graduate from TCC in Fort Worth and our oldest (24) is on his own. When oldest went off to UNT, we ditched the Big House for a condo, and now with youngest we ditched the condo for an Airstream.

    I am an extreme planner, so right now we are in an Apartment until July when youngest heads off to university, and then we go full time, which can’t get here soon enough for me. I was a geography teacher and love to travel, but hubby still has a full time job.

    I was drawn to your name – own less do more – because that’s been my life philosophy 😍 everyone’s been telling us we are crazy! Thanks for sharing you adventure and making me feel confident about what we are embarking on!

    1. Thanks for this, Deb! It’s definitely been an adventure so far, and my favorite aspect of Own Less Do More is that we can abide by it no matter what we’re living in or how we’re traveling.
      It won’t always be RVs for us…

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