How a Family of Eight Finds Harmony While Living the RV Life

The Harrigans fit two adults and six children in an RV — and they love it

harrigan family big little spaces

The Spruce / Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Floshea Harrigan

Many parents would love to slow life down just a little and carve out more time for family. For Floshea and Kalil Harrigan, it’s family time all the time. The couple lives in 400 square feet with their six children.

The Harrigan family has been living the RV life since 2017. “We first decided to live in a home on wheels for practical reasons,” Floshea Harrigan says. “We were planning to travel from state to state with mentor friends to work with a network of churches we were connected to, and traveling in a RV seemed to make more financial sense and be more convenient than constantly changing rental places.”

Initial plans to work with the churches fell through, but that wasn’t the end of the road for the tiny-living family. They decided to stay mobile, traveling full time to explore the country and to spend time with friends and family. “We soon fell in love with the lifestyle and decided to commit to it. It took us a couple years to research, prepare financially and agree on an RV to purchase. When the stars aligned, we executed.”

Harrigans outside

Floshea Harrigan

More Than a Full House

As you might imagine, adding more people to a small, finite space can mean a special sort of growing pains. That was definitely the case for the Harrigans. “We started the lifestyle with three children and over five years, we've added three more children and it is always initially difficult to figure out how to make it work,” Harrigan says. “With lots of creativity, we eventually figure out the best solutions.” 

The family welcomed twin boys just after the new year, and it has been an adjustment to say the least. In preparation for the expanded family, the Harrigans said goodbye in November 2021 to the RV they had called home for about five years and moved into a new one that better fit their family. 

Staying at campgrounds that allow for a little creativity in living space has been a huge bonus for the family during warmer months. Creating a patio for relaxing and entertaining and a space for the kids to run and play helps balance the smaller space inside their home and gives everyone more breathing room. 

Staying the Course

The family loves traveling together, but reality and changing circumstances can mean changing plans on the fly. “The biggest challenge in regards to traveling full time in our home on wheels has been figuring out how to maintain income while on the road,” Floshea says. “When my husband was working from home managing a business he owned, we were able to travel full time for a year. Once we lost that business, we lived stationary for a while, then created a new business that now allows us to travel part time.” The Harrigans aren’t giving up their dream, though. They plan to work back toward traveling year-round. 

Floshea Harrigan
The bathroom has an affirmations wall.

Floshea Harrigan

More Precious Than Gold

The added family time has been the best part of this journey, says the mom of six. No matter how busy they get at times, the time together on the road has affected how they interact with one another. 

“Being in a small space has also given us opportunities to build a close family culture, although there is always room for growth when it comes to being intentional with family togetherness,” Harrigan says. “Living in a small space has positively impacted our communication in our marriage, as parents and even among our children. We do have busy seasons of life but there is a constant ease that living simply has provided us, and we love it.” 

Floshea Harrigan
The Harrigan's RV kitchen.

Floshea Harrigan

Right Home for Right Now

Life on the road was initially the Harrigans’ plan for “a season” while they decided where they wanted to settle in permanently somewhere. What the family might not have expected when they went tiny more than five years ago is how much they would enjoy it. “We are still content and don't have any future plans at the moment to move into a brick-and-mortar home,” Harrigan says.

“We do desire to find a permanent place to live in our fifth wheel RV and use our Class C motorhome for traveling but ultimately, we are still figuring out what the future holds for us with how we choose to live. The decisions we've made to live small, home school and be entrepreneurs has afforded us a sense of freedom with our time. Right now, we feel like we are where we're supposed to be.” 

Rapid-Fire Questions

Square footage: 400 sq. ft.

Favorite area of your home: “It is golden to be able to take your home with you wherever you go, no matter the change of scenery.”

Something you had to get rid of to live here: “We've learned the importance of not living in unnecessary excess, even though purging is a continuous process.”

Unexpected expense: “Most of our unexpected costs when we purchased our first RV came from having accidents while traveling. The cost and time needed to repair major damages was costly and time consuming.”

Most challenging spot to keep organized: Kids’ spaces

Favorite appliance that makes tiny-home living easier: The family stays connected to others is a hotspot for wireless internet. They get unlimited data for a monthly fee. “We occasionally have spotty service depending on where we are, but overall the signal is strong,” Harrigan says.