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A family of 7 downsized to a 429-square-foot RV that has a full-sized kitchen and a bunk-bed room their 4 daughters share

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  • Katherine and Kyler have lived in an RV camper with their five children since May 2019.
  • Katherine told Insider this has helped the family spend more time together and explore new places affordably.
  • This has also helped them get rid of some of their debt, Katherine said.
  • The RV camper has a full kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a fireplace that doubles as a heater.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Katherine and Kyler, both 27, have been on the road with their five kids for over a year now. They live full-time in a nearly 42-foot-long RV as they travel around the country.

Their 429-square-foot RV has two bathrooms, a full-sized kitchen, a fireplace, a grill, a master bedroom, and a room shared by the four young girls.

While families choose full-time RV living for all kinds of reasons, Katherine told Insider that their primary reason for downsizing was so that the family could spend more time together. Kyler travels for work, fixing old pipelines, while Katherine is an online marketing executive.

"We did this so the kids could see their dad every night," Katherine told Insider. 

Here's what their lives on the road are like.

Katherine told Insider that the main reason her family decided to move into an RV was so they could all travel with her husband for work.

Her husband, Kyler, works to fix pipelines. When Insider spoke to Katherine in October, the family was based out of Kansas, but they have since made their way to Oklahoma.

Katherine works remotely, doing marketing for a wellness company.

"Them getting to see their dad every night, that means the most to me," Katherine told Insider. "But I know that they really enjoy going out and seeing new things."

So far, the family has traveled across several states in the Midwest like Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Katherine told Insider that she'd love to eventually make her way to Utah and to the national parks in Colorado.

The couple bought their Sierra RV in spring 2019 for $53,000 and started traveling in May of the same year. But the two weren't new to living on the road.

Katherine said she and Kyler lived on the road and traveled earlier in their relationship. Initially, Katherine told Insider, they would hotel-hop, but that started to get expensive. They decided to forgo the hotels and buy a small camper instead. 

"In the long run, it was cheaper to have a camper payment than it was to pay for hotels every week," she said.

Of course, once they had kids, the small camper was no longer going to cut it. Their current RV is much larger than the original camper.

Before moving into the RV, the family lived in a two-story home. Katherine says downsizing from all that space was the hardest part.

Obviously, not everything in their house fit into the RV. Katherine told Insider that they ended up selling some of their stuff and putting the rest in storage.

The RV itself has a lot of storage space too, she added, and the cabinets hold a lot of their day-to-day items like the children's clothes.

But despite the relatively large size of the RV and the ease with which it accommodates the family, Katherine says they do have to make some trade-offs for their life on the road — like keeping only one set of kitchen utensils per family member.

"We have, like, the bare minimum of everything," Katherine said.

Katherine gave Insider a walkthrough of the family's living arrangements. Even though the a big family shares the RV, it doesn't feel cramped.

As Dillon Thompson previously reported for Yahoo News, one of Katherine's TikTok videos received mixed reactions, with some commenters criticizing the way the family was living. 

While one person said the RV "is too small for them," another wrote that the RV is "gorgeous."

The RV has two bedrooms.

Katherine and Kyler sleep in the master bedroom with their infant son. 

Their four daughters share the other bedroom. 

Though the four young girls share a room, Katherine adds that there's not much conflict and they usually get along well.

The girls' room used to have a full couch that the family got rid of to make space for a playpen and toddler beds.

During bedtime, Katherine will usually put the youngest to bed first. The older girls come in an hour or so later and watch TV for a bit before going to bed.

Since they've been on the road and downsized their belongings, the girls share more things, including clothes.  

"They have their moments where they fight like cats and dogs, but they share everything," Katherine added. 

She homeschools them between three and four days a week.

The RV also comes with a full kitchen, a dining area, and a fireplace that doubles as a heater.

The kitchen has an island and a full-sized sink. The sink has covers that blend in with the countertop so when they're not using it, it's more counter space for the family. 

While the family uses the fireplace as a heater, the RV also has central heating and cooling.

There's no shortage of appliances in the RV. They have a regular-sized refrigerator, a smaller refrigerator, two microwaves, and a grill.

"We have a grill. We actually carry it into the camper and we fasten it down," Katherine told Insider.

The living space also has one full bathroom and an additional half-bathroom.

The four girls have their own half-bathroom, while the full bathroom is for Mom and Dad.

And like any family with five young kids, there's always plenty of laundry to do. While the RV didn't come with a washer/dryer unit, the couple installed one.

Aside from installing a washer/dryer, Katherine says they didn't make a lot of modifications to the RV.

One of the most challenging things while traveling in the camper, Katherine says, has been finding a proper campground for it when they're ready to settle in at a spot. 

"We have one of the biggest [RVs] you can buy," she told Insider. "I think that's probably been the most challenging thing, just trying to find campgrounds that aren't ridiculously expensive or far away that can accommodate us."

Katherine told Insider that despite some challenges, like finding adequate parking, living full-time in an RV for the last year has been a positive change for their family and finances.

"A lot of people were like, 'You really need to stop having kids since you're so poor you have to live in a camper.' But it was actually the other way around. We actually moved into the camper to get rid of a lot of our debt. It's worked out. It's worked out pretty good," Katherine told Insider.

You can follow Katherine and her family on TikTok and Instagram.

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