This issue, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to…Craig and Bryanna Royal or, Crazy Family Adventure! This family of six plus two dogs went full-time in 2014. Five RVs and plenty of memories later, they’re in love with
TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began!
BR: We have been full-time RVing since May 2014 with our four kids – almost seven years! We decided that we wanted to travel full-time with our kids and since we had two dogs at the time and our kids were young (ranging two-years-old to six-years-old), we figured that RVing was the perfect option. It meant our dogs could come with us and our kids would still have a “home.” At that time there weren’t many other families out there that had gone full-time but we did come across Currently Wandering, an RVing family of five that we followed for inspiration. Before deciding to go full-time, we had never owned an RV before so it was definitely an interesting journey!
TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails?
BR: We heard about Thousand Trails through the Fulltime Families Facebook Group. We were looking to meet other families on the road and we heard that a lot of families would be at Thousand Trails Orlando (TTO) in January! We got a Thousand Trails Camping Pass and headed to TTO in January and there were a ton of families. We talked to a few of the families there that were elite members and they convinced us it was worth it to join. And, they were right! We have gotten so much use out of our Thousand Trails membership over the years; our membership paid for itself within the first year.
TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one of your fondest Thousand Trails memories?
BR: I can’t say we have just one! Instead, I would say the combination of a lot of different times and memories over the years. Most of these are from when we were sitting around a campfire with our family or a group of friends and sharing laughs and stories, or doing movie nights where we set up our outdoor projector and screen to watch a movie or football game outside our rig. We also love watching our kids run barefoot in the campground with their friends and having an old school neighborhood experience! Plus, the joy of opening our window and looking out at amazing views from beaches to oceans to wide open land. All that to say our fondest memory is camping itself and everything that entails. Our fondest TT memories are very similar. We love the community around TT and how many families we meet when we stay at one. Last winter we had what we called our “TT neighborhood” with a group of families that all parked together at Thousand Trails Orlando. The kids loved it, but I think the parents may have loved it even more! The kids would run and play for hours on end from sun up to sun down (and beyond), while the parents were able to have coffee together in the morning and then happy hour around the campfire at night. It was an awesome time. We have recreated this neighborhood setup multiple times throughout the years at Thousand Trails campgrounds!
TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories?
BR: When I think of funny RVing stories, we have a lot of them that weren’t funny at the time…like when the toilet exploded in Craig’s face, or when our fridge stopped working in Mexico…so we went two months without a fridge. Looking back we can laugh at those now but at the time, not so much!
TB: What type of camper are you/what equipment do you use? What do you prefer and why? (ex: fifth wheel, RV, tent, cabins, etc.)
BR:We have been in five rigs since being on the road for the last seven years. We started with a 39-foot diesel pusher motorhome, then went to a 23-foot class C, then a 21-foot travel trailer, then a 30-foot travel trailer, and now a 36-foot fifth wheel! Really, we have enjoyed each of those rigs for the time we were in them. We really enjoyed having the big motorhome when we started. Then when we downsized, we loved how easy it was to get around. Plus, when we were in a smaller rig it really forced us to live more outside which we loved. Once we outgrew that and wanted something bigger, it was nice to move into a larger rig. They all fit different seasons of full-time travel that we have had. For now we are really happy with our Keystone Montana High Country 335BH 5th wheel that we got at Camping World. We didn’t have to go huge. It is just 36-feet but still has one and a half bathrooms, a bunk room, a loft, and a bedroom for us, plus a residential fridge – first time we have had that and it is awesome! We also had solar installed by Future Solutions right after we got the rig. We love being able to boondock so having solar is a must for us!
TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership?
BR: We traveled up the whole west coast using our Thousand Trails membership and it was great. The campgrounds were nice and were in good locations. We have also loved using our
Trails Collection to be able to stay in the Florida Keys! It is one of our favorite places.
TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?
BR: Our favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle is that we are outdoors so much! There is something about being outside that is so refreshing and mood lifting. We love hiking and exploring off the beaten path places, heading to the beach to swim and play in the sand, or just hanging out outside our rig at our campsite. I also love that it is showing our kids how to live an active life and how to always incorporate outdoor adventure in their everyday lives.
TB: We want to know when you knew you were the consummate camper, a true TrailBlazer. Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when…
BR: I was living, traveling, and working full-time in an RV with my husband and our kids. We still can’t believe this is our lifestyle and that we get to choose which location we wake up in every single day! Spending all this time together as a family is simply priceless and being able to see such amazing places and go on so many fun adventures together makes it even better!
Follow Craig and Bryanna Royal’s Crazy Family Adventure at CrazyFamilyAdventure.com and be sure to check out their social media channels!
You Tube: youtube.com/c/crazyfamilyadventure