In this issue of the magazine, Trailblazer would like you introduce you to the Durell family! The Durells are a family of five who decided to go fulltime so they could spend more time together exploring the U.S.
TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began!
BD: Hi! We are the Durell family! We are a family of five that has been living full time in our RV for two years. We decided to sell our home, quit our jobs, pull our kids out of school, and hit the road. We were desperate to spend more time together as a family. My mother and father-in-law had both recently retired and decided to travel around in their RV. We thought it sounded like a great idea and would joke about traveling with them. We then found families on social media that were doing the same thing way before retirement age! We were instantly in love with the idea and very quickly made it happen for our family. I, Brooklyn, now work as a travel nurse and my husband, Clinton, homeschools our 3 boys: Brody, Kyler, and Dax.
TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails?
BD: We first heard about Thousand Trails on social media. We did a ton of research about fulltime RV life and found that many families were staying in Thousand Trails campgrounds while traveling around the U.S. Once we learned that we could pay for a lifetime membership and then stay at campgrounds for weeks at a time, it just made sense to go that route.
TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one
of your fondest TT memories?
BD: My favorite camping memory is when we took the RV all the way down the Baja California Peninsula to Mexico! We camped on some of the most beautiful beaches for 8 weeks. My fondest TT memory is when we were staying at Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, California. Our spot was right next to one of the playgrounds, so our kids were outside from sun up to sun down playing with all of the kids. They still talk about all the friends they made at that park!
TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories?
BD: One of the first times we went boondocking we were so nervous about having enough water to last us five days.Our freshwater tank only holds 50 gallons. So, we would only turn the water pump on when we absolutely needed to use the sink for some reason. On the second day I checked our water level and it said we were already on empty! We were so confused because we knew we didn’t use that much water the previous day. Come to find out, one of the kids left the sink on in the outdoor kitchen, so every time we were turning on the water pump it was all going down the drain in our outdoor kitchen! We have since learned to check all of the faucets and we purchased a water bladder to allow us to boondock for longer periods of time!
TB: What type of camper are you/what equipment do you use? What do you prefer and why?
BD: We have a 2020 Forest River Sabre 38DBQ fifth wheel. We pull it with a Ford F350 dually. We love this fifth wheel for our family of five. Each of the boys has his own bed in the bunkhouse. We have a king-sized bed, a residential refrigerator, and a washing machine and dryer! We have everything we need in our little home on wheels. Our boys even have their own bathroom with a tiny bathtub!
TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise, if it hadn’t been for your Thousand
BD: Florida during the winter months! There is no way we would have paid campground prices in Florida during the winter months. So, staying at Thousand Trails campgrounds has saved us a ton of money. Florida during the winter is so much fun.
The weather is perfect!
TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?
BD: Getting to experience it with our kids! Raising three little boys is no easy feat, but we have learned that we are all much happier when we are outside exploring together. They get to burn off energy and we get to witness their childhood. That’s something we will be thankful for forever!
TB: This is the question we will be finishing the feature with every issue. 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…
BD: I knew I was a Trailblazer when…. We pulled away from the house we had just sold in South Carolina to head out west. It was the most freeing feeling ever! We had our truck, the RV, and our kids. It made us realize that we don’t need much in life to be happy, just the ones we love. We don’t have any desire to ever live our old lifestyle again. Both my husband and I were working fulltime jobs. Our kids were at school all day, and weekends were spent doing chores. Now we get to explore new places together as a family on a daily basis. We get to learn together. And hopefully our children will have memories of an amazing childhood spent traveling the U.S. with their family!
Keep up with the Durells and their adventures on Instagram and TikTok at: @Durellsdownsize