Fudge on van life: 'It's a constant adventure'

Fudge on van life: 'It's a constant adventure'

DALLAS, TX - Megan Fudge and Ryler DeHeart have a slightly unconventional lifestyle.

As touring pros, the couple quickly realized that their respective schedules simply weren't built for home ownership and staying in the same place for an extended period of time.

“It was always a lot of uprooting and coming back and unpacking, packing, and doing it all over again,” said Fudge, a mother of two youngsters - Lily and JR.

Then, Fudge and DeHeart bought an RV - aptly named it “Mr. Pickles” - and took the whole family on the road, including their dogs.

“It’s a constant adventure,” she described. “We’re always in a new city. We haven’t been in a city longer than about two weeks. We’ve been moving around the whole country and meeting so many people. The kids have made so many friends.”

They've logged many miles in their beloved RV while traveling to tournaments across the nation, stopping from time to time to hike, see notable sites, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

As cool as it sounds, though, there is a drawback to constantly being on the road.

“The kids will tell you that the downside is that they always have to say goodbye to new friends, but they’ve become so good at meeting new people and making even more friends wherever we go,” explained Fudge. “Still, we’ve seen a lot of the country and it’s been super fun.”

Fudge documents the RV life on Instagram, posting photos ranging from spectacular views in the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon, to a simple visit to Cracker Barrel.

Tourism aside, however, Fudge and DeHeart prioritize court time during their travels, especially now that their kids are competing in pickleball tournaments, too.

Training has essentially become their PE class. 

“I’ve seen a lot of different pickleball courts all over the country and different pickleball players,” said Fudge.

Don’t worry, Lily and JR still make time for hitting the books.

“We're fortunate to have Florida Virtual School. They have a teacher assigned to them, so we’re in constant contact,” shared Fudge. “They’re getting more of a picture of what our life is like. We’re not the conventional family.”

Neverthless, they make it work.

“When our kids compete, that takes a big toll on them. On Monday mornings, they're usually exhausted because they’ve been competing all weekend and we might not be able to get the school work done first thing, so Lily and JR work throughout the week,” mentioned Fudge. “They understand we’re trying to find that balance to make sure they're well-rounded. We’re trying to be conscious of what their needs are. Our life isn't conventional, but we have a flexible system.”

On Nov. 22, the family unveiled a new ride, officially parting ways with Mr. Pickles and upgrading to a sweet new home affectionately known as “Mr. Coach.”

There are bunk beds for the kids, a full size master bed, reclining and massage chairs, and even a window on the floor to give the dogs a view.

Sounds like van life really is the good life for this crew.