RV News

RVing across North America with a family of three

Join the Itchy Feet Fam as they navigate the open road, from Ontario to Baja, Mexico

by Danielle Brost
The Itchy Feet Fam together on a beach
— Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

Some RVers like to take weekend trips and stay close to home. Others take international excursions from one end of the continent to another. The Itchy Feet Fam falls into the latter category.

We had a chance to catch up with Ash from the Itchy Feet Fam—and talk to her about the ups and downs of full-time RVing. Together with her husband Stu and their young son Rocky, Ash lives life on the road in their 36-foot fifth wheel. She was happy to share their exhilarating journey from the lakeside tranquillity of central Ontario to the sun-kissed shores of Baja, Mexico. 

- Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

Can you introduce your family and tell us a bit about yourselves?

My name is Ash! I'm the mom of the Itchy Feet Fam. Our family consists of myself, my husband, Stu, my son Isaac—who is grown and out of the house—and lastly, Stu’s and my son, Rocky, who was born in 2020. 

Before Rocky came along, Stu and I would work for a few months, get the "itch" to go explore somewhere new, then repeat. We started off with eastern Canada, then our first big international trip was to Peru to see Machu Picchu. Since then we've been across Canada a couple times from Newfoundland to B.C. We've soaked in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, hiked in Patagonia, flown with a toddler to Mexico, and RV'd all over Canada and a good chunk of the USA. One thing we promised each other when we decided to have a baby was that we wouldn't let it slow us down, and we've kept that promise!

Stu, Rocky and I are currently on the road full-time in our 36-foot fifth wheel. We had always talked about doing the full-time RV thing, or at least taking a “gap year” to travel, but it was always something that was “one day”, then all-of-a-sudden, we were ready for change, and that day came!

- Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

How long have you been RVing full-time, and what inspired you to start?

We set out in August of 2023, drove from Ontario to British Columbia, Canada. Once the weather got cold we embarked on one of my biggest bucket list adventures: Driving the west coast from B.C. all the way down to Baja, Mexico! 

I can't think of any one thing or person that inspired me specifically to go RVing full-time. I think for the most part, I love being outdoors, and I get a high from seeing new places and things. RVing is the ultimate way to do both of these, more frequently. If you're ambitious enough, you can be exploring a new place every single day!

What I can say is that due to having my children NINETEEN years apart, I have the hindsight to know how quick the times goes... and how soul-sucking the "grind" can be. 

Now, in my second marriage and my second season of motherhood, I couldn't fathom doing it all again exactly the same way. The morning battles of rushing through breakfast, loading into the car, dropping at school or daycare, going to work all day, come home and have to make dinner, while pestering my kid to do his homework, get other household chores done, pack a lunch, clean up, go to bed, only to wake up in the morning and do it all over again...ugh. Not to say I didn't enjoy my first season of motherhood, I just knew I wanted to find an alternative for the second time around, to really be more present in it.

Where are you originally from, and where do you currently call home?

We are originally from central Ontario, Canada, in the Kawartha Lakes area, which is a great place for outdoorsy people to settle down. Our home was on a lake, on a quiet, dead-end street with little noise and great access to nature.

Currently, we are calling an area called Los Cerritos home, in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Baja California Sur is the southernmost state of the Baja peninsula, and is about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas. We have found an amazing community of like-minded families down here, and are so happy to call it home for the winter.

- Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

Tell me a bit about your road trip down to Baja, Mexico

We spent the months of September and October on Vancouver Island, in Nanaimo—and once the weather started to get pretty cold and rainy, we decided to make our way south. We took the ferry from downtown Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington. From here, we headed west on the famous Highway 101 to eventually take it south down the coast (big bucket list check).

In Washington, we stayed at a small, private campground called Olympic Adventure Campground. While here, my favourite place I visited was the Hoh Rainforest, with its lush greenery and moss-covered old-growth trees.

Next we went to Seaport, Oregon. We stayed in a Thousand Trails campground here, which had an indoor pool and hot tub—nice to have on all those cool, rainy days. While here, I loved exploring some of the sights in Astoria from the movie The Goonies (I'm an 80's kid), the town of Seaport was really sweet, but my favourite was a hike I did on my own in Ecola State Park right along the coast of the Pacific. 

From there, we continued to head south. We explored Newport, Oregon, and got a kick out of the sea lions in the historic bayfront area. Then we crossed into California to explore the Redwoods National & State Parks! 

I actually spent my 40th birthday in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and I have to say, nothing makes you feel less "old" than spending it surrounded by these ancient giants. There truly is a deep, magical feel in the depths of those forests. Photos of them will never do them justice or prepare you for how huge they actually are in real life.

We had our big kid fly in and spend time with us in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, which was really special for me, since we never get to travel with all four of us. On this trip we did the bucket list road trip along the coast from Monterey down to Big Sur on Highway One.

I had an amazing experience at Yellowstone Park, I totally fell in love. I went exploring and hiking on my own there a lot. That has actually been my favourite National Park in the USA so far. Another big one we checked off the list was Joshua Tree, and it was super cool! Our little guy loved climbing all the big rocks there, and it was a fun family experience for us all.

We spent a month in San Diego to have a nice place to be over the Christmas holidays for family to come and visit, and from there we drove to the Mexicali East border to cross down into Baja. The border crossing itself was a breeze: I went into the office to get our tourist Visas while my husband waited in the truck with our son, and we were through in about 10-15 minutes. 

The roads in Baja are known for being pretty brutal, both on your rig, and your stress levels, but we just took our time and didn't have any issues. They are narrow, there's no shoulders, and there are some potholes, but really not as bad as we'd anticipated. Our favourite stay was in Mulege, right on Playa Santispac, on the Sea of Cortez side. We got to paddleboard in the mornings, soak in the hot springs nearby, and have fresh fish delivered to our door daily.

- Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

What are your travel goals for the future?

Our travel goals change daily! We are constantly coming up with new ideas, new destinations, new route plans... we certainly keep each other on our toes! But that's the fun of this life: It's adaptable, it's up for change and challenge. 

I have a list of US National Parks left to cross off, and we want to fill in our US state sticker map! We've already done all the Canadian provinces, so we're working through our US bucket list now. We also have some more international travel planned for next year (without the RV—a true vacation).

One day we would love to settle down somewhere and run our own campground! It's a goal we're always talking and fantasizing about.

What has been the most daunting obstacle you have overcome so far?

We have been very fortunate in that we haven't run into many big obstacles. I guess the one big one was figuring out how we could keep our house and pay for it while not working full-time on the road. Many full-timers choose to "sell it all" to live life on the road, and we didn't want to do this. It took some time and work, but we found good tenants to rent out our home back in Ontario. This way we still have our investment, and it's also there if we want to go back. We also know it's taken care of physically and financially, which is a big weight off our shoulders.

The only small obstacle we've had while on the road is not having more solar. We have a little, so we can have our lights on and slide out our slide while boondocking, which is great for short stays. But for things like having working outlets for our coffee maker, charging our phones, etc., we would need just a little more. It's something we'll look into soon. We would love to be able to boondock more, and this would make it possible!

Out of all the destinations you've visited, what has been the most exciting so far?

Baja, of course! Here you can hike in the mountains, explore the desert, learn to surf or scuba dive, pet whales or swim with whale sharks, learn to cook local cuisine, take Spanish classes, do a mezcal tasting, dive into epic yoga practice, or just sit on the beach... the possibilities are endless!

Driving through it is exciting enough on its own, just experiencing all the different types of terrain and seeing the beautiful beaches. Aside from the fact that you can explore the desert, mountains, the Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Cortez, it just has such a unique vibe. It is so laid back, and calm. No one is ever in a hurry. The people are the most friendly and helpful of anywhere I've ever travelled. I love practicing and learning more Spanish, while shopping at local produce and fish markets. I love the culture, and learning more about it every day. They are so family-oriented here, and love and praise children so much. I love that you can take a toddler to a restaurant, and if he wants to run around, it's welcomed with a smile (and sometimes free entertainment from staff).

- Photo courtesy the Itchy Feet Fam

What would you like to share with other RVers who are considering a full-time or family RV experience?

If you've been thinking about it, do it! I know it's scary, but it's worth it. You just need to say it out loud and set a date to get the ball rolling. Once you're out there, you'll realize it wasn't that hard to take the leap after all, and probably wish you'd done it sooner!

We wondered if we'd get sick of being in such a small space together all day, everyday, and that's not the case at all! We enjoy all being together so much, and love our time together. We get to watch every little development happen with our son, that we otherwise would have missed if we were working full-time. We get to have slow mornings, and cuddle in bed in the mornings for as long as we want, and we get to see the world through his eyes as well as our own.

If you're shopping for an RV, look at MANY different floor plans. There are so many out there. Think of how you spend your days: If you all like to cozy up and watch movies a lot, you'll want a spacious living room with enough seating (and recliners!) Think of how much counter space you'd like for cooking, how close or far you'd like your kids to be sleeping from you, if you think you'd like a separate bathroom, if your family can go without a bathtub... and don't forget, you can change or remodel things too!

Think of what type of camping you like to do. If you like to be out in nature, get more solar.  If you like amenities for your kids that campgrounds offer, you won't need solar, but maybe consider a membership like Thousand Trails, or something similar to save on costs.

Look closely at what your tow vehicle can tow weight-wise, you don't want to buy too heavy for it. Can you afford to upgrade your tow vehicle if you have to?

Pack less and do some test runs. Go camping for a weekend or a week, so you know what you need and don't need, and then re-pack. Repeat. 

To keep up with this family's latest adventures, be sure to follow @itchy.feet.fam on Instagram, and visit their new travel blog.

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