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Leaving the 'rat race' behind: More families selling homes to live year-round in RVs

Posted at 8:32 AM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 11:32:45-04

GILBERT, AZ — You could say Brian and Shawnna Johnson were living the American dream. The Gilbert couple had high-paying jobs, a large house and decades worth of souvenirs and mementos.

Still, this month, the Johnsons made the decision to auction off most of their belongings, sell their 3,100-square-foot home and begin living year-round in a 250-square-foot RV.

"We just wanted to start living a life that is more enjoyable to us," Brian told ABC15.

The couple is among approximately 1,000,000 families in the U.S. now living full-time in a recreational vehicle, according to the RV Industry Association. The Johnsons said they made the decision to leave the "rat race" after growing tired of the costs that come with owning a home and the constant stress of their careers.

"As we tell people all the time, we're retiring [from] life as we've known it and, what that means for us, is living a purposeful life and trading all of our stuff for experiences and true joy," Brian said.

The couple worked with a financial advisor to budget for expenses on the road and is planning to work virtually by teaching English online to children in foreign countries, if need be.

"You don't need a large paycheck to sustain this type of lifestyle," Shawnna said, adding most families living a full-time 'RV life' can do so for $30,000 to $50,000 a year.

The Johnsons also launched a YouTube series called "Lyf Uninterrupted" documenting preparations for their journey.

This week, they're planning to begin their new life with a trip to Rocky Point and then establish legal residency in South Dakota. From there, they said they will move on to wherever life takes them.

"We're just going to, kind of, go with this and see what happens," Brian said.