Inside A Traveler’s Walls: The Gillis RVing Family


RVing Family

Bonjour friends. It is time for another amazing traveling family, to be more specific, an RVing family. The Gillis family is cruising the USA in their 5th wheel with their two amazing kids and no end in sight. And now they are even thinking of downsizing again. Their motto is less house, more living and they are definitely a great example of this.

We feel home when we are together as a family. ~ Gillis

I particularly love how they have customized their RV to meet everyones needs while at the same time still being esthetically pleasing. Their photos get me all excited for our RV trip around Europe. However, we won’t have as much space. I am happy to hear that the smaller accommodations being an issue was just a myth for them, it gives us hope. Ha!

Ok, enough of my chatting, grab your coffee and get comfortable. It’s time to be inspired by this RVing family.

Introduce us to the people you live with?
My name is Jared and my wife is Kris and we have been married for 15 years. We have two boys, Eli is 13 and Matt is almost 12. We have been traveling the United States now for almost one year. Kris and I love and enjoy spending time together as a family and wanted to break out of the mold of the busy schedule many Americans find themselves in. We, as parents, love this traveling adventures and lifestyle as we will never get these years back with our children. Our boys have enjoyed traveling as well, but they have definitely have missed the friends and family back at home. Eli is quiet and reserved in his personality but he thoroughly enjoys seeing new places and exploring the area around us. He has an attention to detail and has taken a new interest in macro photography and landscapes. Matt is very outgoing and enjoys meeting new people as well as the adventure of going to new places. He loves filming nature and the places that we go.

Where are you in the world and what are you living in?
We are currently on the west coast and we travel in our 37ft fifth wheel travel trailer that we renovated to fit our family.

Why did you choose to live in your current arrangement?
We prayed about what the Lord would have for us and we took the opportunity to spend time together rather than time in a career.

What do you do to personalize your unique (less traditional) living situation?
We updated our fifth wheel inside and out to feel more like a home than an RV. We did everything from flooring to re-staining cabinets and painting walls and cabinets to painting the outside. We also have hung new curtains and made new window boxes to fit our personalities

Tell us your favorite and least favorite room in your space and why? 
Our favorite space in the fifth wheel is the main living area, it is very open and spacious where we can all fit and hang out together. And our least favorite would be the bathroom, as it is rather small but it fits our needs at this time.

What is the biggest misconception you had about your current living situation before you started living in it?
We all assumed that we would get on each others nerves or irritate each other because of being so small. We also assumed that we would get tired of the space but neither of those have happened.

What is the one household item you carry with you every time you move or the one item you cannot live without?
Our camera would be the main household item that we would have a hard time not having with us at all times. We love to capture and document all of the fun places that we have been and to share them with others.

What do you miss most about permanent, stationary, traditional living?
We miss seeing our friends and family weekly, but with today’s technology it has helped bridge that gap.

Do you have a pet joining you in this journey? If so, has this been complicated? Any advice?
No, we don’t own any pets at this time

What is your best resource to find items you need for your place?
The most consistent place to get things for us has been Amazon as we can have it shipped to wherever we currently are.

If you could only have one of the following in your home which one would it be and why? 
(Space, natural light, dishwasher or above average internet)
Above average internet, as it can be difficult at times to find good internet to upload videos

How do you keep traditions alive for your family in your unique living situation?
We just continue to keep our traditions on the road as we did in our stick and bricks home, but we do try to make it back to our hometown for the major holidays like Christmas so we can spend them with our family.

How do you decorate for the holidays in your unique (less traditional) home or do you skip it all together?
This year we have skipped decorating for the holidays as we didn’t want to go out and buy decorations but next year we will try to do some more decorations as it just helps it to feel more festive.

What is your favorite part about this lifestyle choice?
Our favorite part is time together as a family and getting to see places that we have never seen before.

Many traveling families subscribe to the “house is not a home” theory. What is home to you?
Our motto and theme is “less house more living”. We would rather spend time together doing fun things rather than maintaining a house.

What makes you love the place you live?
Our RV just really fits us well, we all have our needed space and an area that we can be together. It feels like home to us and it doesn’t matter where we are geographically on the map. Every new place instantly feels like home since we brought our home with us.

Can home be a person, or an idea?
We feel home when we are together as a family.

Words of wisdom to anyone considering venturing out into the world of unique, less traditional homes? 
We wish we had started on this adventure even sooner than we did. And we would highly recommend anyone who has a desire to live in a similar situation to take the steps necessary in order to do it. It has well been worth the effort and the time that it took to get us here and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. The idea of ‘do it now’ because you can’t get that time back is so valuable which is why we wish we had started earlier.

What is next for you? Will you continue to live in your current home or try something different?
At this time we will continue to travel in our current fifth wheel if we can continue to make money on the road. However, we would love to downsize even more if we could afford to do so, so that we can go to even more great places. But we will continue to trust God through all of this

If you have children what are your plans for education? 
We have homeschooled the last several years and have just transitioned to roadschooling. We still do our book work but now we incorporate the places that we go to into what the boys are learning also. Seeing places first hand has really opened up the boys understanding more so than what they could have learned just reading about it in a textbook. Our plan is to continue homeschooling even through high school at this time unless something changes for us.

How do you make a living?
For us it has been a mix of video work and construction. There are many opportunities out there to make money on the road.

Quote to ponder:
The idea of ‘do it now’ because you can’t get that time back is so valuable which is why we wish we had started earlier.


Wow! What an amazing RVing family! I love their now-is-now approach. We can totally relate to how fast it goes by. Our one do-over would also be to start earlier. Their commitment to this rving family life is magical and one I truly admire.

Interested in living like the Gillis Family? WorldTowning’s services can help make this rving family story ‘your reality’ and we can do it all stress free. We will be there with you every step of the way.

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Inside A Traveler’s Walls is where we feature families living in less traditional and unique homes (tents, boats, camper vans, yurts, flats, etc). If you think you might be one of those families and are interested in being profiled, please contact us for details.


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