The Kellogg family: Dan, Susie, Grady, Brody, Kady, Kenny, Dally, Cardy, Maddy, Rowdy, Emmy, Elly, Coby and the dog, Eddy. Missing from picture, oldest daughter Kerry. (Susie Kellogg)
It’s hard enough to manage a family of 14 when you live in a house. But can you imagine trying to make it work in an RV? That’s exactly what Dan and Susie Kellogg, both 41, did with their brood of 12 (plus the family dog!).
“Initially, we started kayaking and traveling around our home state of Colorado, but with the size of our family it was difficult, so we got the RV to travel together,” says Dan. In 2012, the family set out on a fun trip to Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. “On the way back we were all bummed out that we were going back home,” says Susie, who was heavily pregnant with child number 12 at the time. “We started talking about selling the house and doing it full time.”
That was September. Two weeks after the baby was born in October, they rented out their house, hopped in their 36-foot 1999 Georgia Boy Cruiser Master and hit the road. The transition was actually quite smooth. “There was a learning curve,” says Susie. “We had to learn to communicate and get along and respect each other’s space but it wasn’t a long learning curve. We are in the RV to travel and sleep but the rest of the time we are out doing amazing things.” The RV has one side that slides out making it more spacious, which prevents the feeling that everyone is sitting on top of each other.
Dan is a software engineer who works from “home.” As for education, Susie home schools the children — who range in age from 2 to 21 — every morning. But she’s quick to add that life experiences and seeing the world have been the best teachers for the kids. “They see things like the stars and start researching solar systems and when we are at the beach they always learn about new species,” she says. “The other day the boys were making a quarter pipe and a jump for their snowboards and they were using calculus to figure out the proper angles and measurements.” A few of the older kids – Grady (18), Brody (17), and Kady (16) – have developed a knack with photography.
But even more than cruising around the states, the Kellogg’s are relishing their time together as a family. “We always set out to have a fun, exciting life and to live authentically,” says Susie. Adds Dan, “It’s brought us closer together. I didn’t think we could be closer as a family but now we are a really tight knit group.”