Our Camper Life: An Introduction


Two months ago I was living in a four bedroom house with chickens and gardens, working a full time job and taking care of my son, Will, while his daddy, Jacob, worked in the North Dakota oilfields. Sounds pretty normal, right?

However, for our family, this arrangement quickly became unmanageable. I needed a change and our son needed his daddy.  So, after some soul searching, a lot of back and forth and a bucketful of tears, we decided to sell or give away nearly everything we owned. I took what was left and jammed it into my vehicle along with our son and our Great Pyrenees, Thor. Then we headed off to live with Jacob in our camper in North Dakota.

Jacob and I have known each other for nearly 16 years now. He is my best friend and a wonderful life partner. Like any family we have our ups and downs, but there is no one I’d rather weather the storms of life with than Jacob.

Jacob has been working in North Dakota as a roustabout for about 8 months now, so we are fairly new to the oilfield lifestyle. His initial interest in oilfield work began because he was looking for a way to pay off some debt, but he quickly realized that he loved oilfield work and wanted to make a career out of it. He really seems to have found his niche and I’m so very proud of him!

As previously mentioned, Jacob and I have a 4 year old son named Will. Will really enjoys living in North Dakota! He loves getting to see all the heavy machinery and sometimes it’s a struggle to keep him off it. Will, like his parents, is something of a free spirit. Because of his free spirited-ness we have come to the realization that conventional school will not work for him so we have decide to take on the challenge of homeschooling him.

I am 32 year old work at home mom and batik artist. When I’m not taking care of our son, I run two websites, Beauty of Batik and Urban Agriculture Info, along with my personal website www.chelseaniehaus.com. In addition to these projects, I recently started a new blog called Tales of an Oilfield Gypsy to replace my old blog on urban farming, Walnut Cottage Homestead. I also have an MBA and a Bachelor’s in Arts Administration and I’m a certified Life Coach.  I am so grateful for the freedom our oilfield lifestyle has afforded me so that I can work on my own projects and homeschool my son.

In the coming weeks I hope you will join me as I chronicle our family’s adventures with camper living, homeschool, and life in the North Dakota Oil Patch. It may be an unconventional lifestyle, but it works for us and I hope you will enjoy reading all about it! I know I’m going to enjoy sharing it with you!

About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at www.talesofanoilfieldgypsy.blogspot.com. She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at www.beautyofbatik.com. She can also be found working on her other sites www.chelseaniehaus.com and www.urbanagricultureinfo.com. In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.


  1. Chelsea, it’s so great to meet you! I’m intrigued by your camper life! Seven years ago we packed up and moved to a very rural area of Texas where we knew no one, and while we didn’t live in a camper, we did live in a tiny house for a long time. My husband kept his job in Houston, and thus began our life of seeing him only on the weekends. Now we have chickens and a ranch, we just started homeschooling our 9 year old son, too. I’m pretty sure we’ll continue this next school year with him, and my 5 year old daughter.

    It will be fun to keep up with you and see how your new adventure goes! I’m not the greatest resource for homeschooling info, but if you need any help, I have a pinterest board full of everything I can find, and I have several friends who homeschool as well!

    Welcome aboard!!

    • Chelsea Niehaus says:

      Thanks, Christy! I’m so excited to be here! Camper life is different for sure, but it’s a choice that I’m glad we made. Although, speaking of chickens, I have to admit I really do miss my girls!

      It’s awesome that you guys are homeschooling. I’m I am definitely going to check out your Pinterest board! I finally got around to ordering our curriculum from Oak Meadow, but I know I’m going to need inspiration soon! We’ve been doing OM’s pre-school curriculum through the summer so I’m hoping the fall won’t be too big of a transition. Fingers crossed!

  2. I’m so glad you are sharing your adventure with us! 🙂

  3. Holly Goodyear says:

    Welp! After flying to ND for my hubby’s first stint and staying in a motel with virtually no Internet 12/14 hours a day for a week alone it has enlightened me like no other experience. And after leaving corporate America as the bread winner for 10 years this new opportunity is exciting. I have a high schooler at home right now spending time with extended family and I am prayer about what to do. My deepest desire has to become an author. How ironic that this would open the doorway. I am studying Holistic Wellness and just started online school (the wifi issue is challenging but the Hot Spot across the street helps) so I must think that if I listen closely to Spirit and Almighty God our creator I just may have something here! Glad to find you all!!!! Blessings!

    • Chelsea Niehaus says:

      I know how you feel! Before Jacob left for ND I was always the family breadwinner! It’s a bit scary for me, but so far, so good.

      I love that you’re studying Holistic Wellness. I’ve studied herbs for years and really believe in the power of a holistic approach to well being.

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