Why We RV and and Live Minimally

with Todd & Marcia Schabel

Todd and Marcia Schabel sit with their dogs by a fire pit at night in front of their Sunset Trail RV.

A big part of why Todd and I love farming and want to own a farm one day is the ability to live minimally and more self-sufficiently. When we decided to embark on our full-time RV journey, we were fully committed to changing our lifestyle and learning all we could about minimalism and sustainable farming practices. Living in an RV not only allows us to live that way right now, but it also allows us to learn ways that our future home can do this as well.

Marcia Schabel sitting on the steps of her Sunset Trail RV in the early morning with a cup of coffee.
What made you decide to buy an RV?

Ultimately, we wanted to travel more sustainably. We didn’t want to hop around from hotel to hotel trying to find a place to stay while we were on the road. We wanted to travel with our home. Having the RV allows us to be self-sufficient and go almost anywhere. A lot of farms don’t have guest houses, but most have spots on their property where we can boondock or moochdock. Plus, being out in our RV doesn’t disrupt the farm owner’s day-to-day. Another important reason for the RV is Todd’s art supplies. As a traveling painter, we travel with a lot of art supplies and need a spot that he can fully dedicate to his work.

Marcia Schabel cleans fresh produce that she harvested at the sink inside her Sunset Trail RV.
What kind of RV do you own and what do you like about it?

We own a 2020 Crossroads Sunset Trail travel trailer. We walked into the Sunset Trail for the first time, we immediately knew it was home. The kitchen is big enough for all of our cooking, including a large sink. It also has a king sized bed, which is perfect for us and our two dogs. Overall, the thing that really sold us was the space—there’s enough room for us to live and work in here. My office is the breakfast bar and Todd sets up his easel by the sink when he needs to paint inside.

Todd Schabel sets up solar panels to power his Sunset Trail travel trailer.
What features did you prioritize when buying your RV?

One of the most important features for us was solar capability, as we want to be as self-sufficient as possible. We don’t have the solar set-up as much as we would like yet, but we’re still learning about it. The ability to be off the grid for an extended period of time is a big goal of ours.

Marcia Schabel works at her computer while Todd reads sitting on the bed inside their Sunset Trail RV.
What was it like adjusting to your RV?

When we first moved into our Crossroads travel trailer, we stayed in my parent’s driveway for three months. This was the perfect transition to tiny living, as we were able to see what we needed and what we could get rid of. Neither Todd nor I had stayed in an RV overnight before. We had done a lot of tent camping, but staying in an RV was really different for us. During those three months, we got acclimated to this new way of camping and added some personal touches to make the RV feel even more like home.

A aireal image of the farm where Todd and Marcia Schabel parked their RV.
How do people in your life feel about RVing?

We aren’t RVing to travel or see national parks—we’re RVing our way to a future farm. And, truthfully, not many people understood that. They thought we should just find some good land, buy it and start the farm right away. But as we started to share more about our process and rationale for doing this, our friends and family began to realize how important this is for us and how valuable this experience will be. Sure, some people still think we’re crazy, but we’re okay with that.

Todd & Marcia Schabel travel in a 2020 Crossroads Sunset Trail travel trailer.