With little at-home cooking and lots of patience, the Jones family has begrudgingly called an RV home for the past few weeks.
After a few weeks in temporary housing at The Victorian in Galveston, Vanessa and Matt Jones, and their three children, moved into a rented RV in the front yard of their Old Bayou Drive home in Dickinson to be nearby as it’s being repaired.
“At first, I was excited to be closer and not driving from Galveston four times a day,” Vanessa Jones said. “Now it’s feeling tight, but better than commuting.”
The RV has two rooms about the size of a double bed, a small kitchen and a couch where the family of five sleeps and tries to relax after days at work or school, and evenings overseeing house repairs.
During Hurricane Harvey in late August, rain swelled Dickinson Bayou, causing about 6 feet of flooding in their home, Jones said. The family had flood insurance and has started to rebuild the home. But the Joneses keep encountering red tape as they struggle with adjustments and other aspects of rebuilding, they said.
They’re renting the trailer for about $1,100 a month, Vanessa Jones said. They had originally planned to stay in a hotel room, but the only available spaces are a longer commute from Dickinson than the family wanted when it came to taking three children to school, she said.
In the camper, everyday tasks are a chore, she said.
“I’ve tried to use a crockpot or skillet but it’s a hassle,” Vanessa Jones said. “The sink is small and trying to clean a skillet or crockpot in it — ugh.”
“It sucks but this is the reality,” Matt Jones said, standing in the RV’s living room.
In another section of the Bayou Chantilly subdivision, the Davison family is similarly living in an RV parked beside their flooded home. A friend had loaned the family the RV, David Davison said.
“I enjoy it actually,” he said. “We’re so happy they loaned it to us.”
As the weeks pass, more and more of the Davisons’ neighbors on Blue Water Lane and across the city are moving into RVs, Monica Davison said. Others are still staying in hotels or with family or friends, they said.
“We’re becoming an RV park,” Monica Davison said.
The couple and their two daughters have been sharing the RV, where they typically cook dinner in slow cookers or on an outdoor grill, she said.
The rebuilding process is coming along slowly, especially since the family didn’t have flood insurance, she said. But the family also felt grateful for the outpouring of love and support they’ve received from family, friends and strangers, Monica Davison said.
“We’re taking everything one project at a time,” Monica Davison said. “I can’t be upset when other amazing things are happening, plus what’s the point?”