Funky RV becomes temporary home for Houston family

A Houston family is living in an eye-catching RV until renovations are done on their flood-damaged home.

HOUSTON - A west Houston family is living in an RV in their driveway while making repairs on their flooded home.

But this is no ordinary RV.

Mary Liz Cawley lives in Chadds Ford, Pa., where she and her husband have owned this 1989 RV for several years.

"It's called the Funky Waffle, and it's been sort of a community vehicle that people borrow for tailgates and parties," she explained.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, she reached out to her Houston friend, Anne Lewis.

"'Hey, I have this RV,'" Lewis recalled. "'Do you think anyone down there could use it?' And I said, 'Are you serious? Absolutely!'"

A friend of a friend knew the Ottesen family who live in west Houston and had their home flooded in the hurricane.

"She went to work souping up her awesome RV," Lewis said.

The Cawleys enlisted help from friends and local students in Pennsylvania, who gutted the RV, made it into a home and painted the entire exterior in bright, supportive, Texas-loving colors and slogans.

Related: Brotherly Love: Family’s Colorful RV Houston-Bound

Cawley and others hit the road for Houston on Thursday, and 38 hours later, they reached the Ottesens' home.

"Don't mess with Texas," Charles Ottesen read off the side of the bus, now parked in the driveway next to his flood-damaged home. "They just went to town on it."

Ottesen, his wife Sunny and their 6-year-old daughter, Vivien, are living in this renovated RV until they can repair their flood-damaged home.

"We had a foot in our house, easy," Charles Ottesen said. "We got it clean...so we're waiting for insurance and see where we go from there."

He estimates the family of three will live in the RV for the next 6 to 12 months.

"You can't go down. You've got to go forward," he said. "We'll tough it out because we're home, you know?"

"We're very blessed to have had them do all of this and all the love that we received from Pennsylvania, where I've never been, and now we're going to have to go!" Sunny Ottesen said.

Upon meeting Cawley, the Ottesens presented her with a metal decoration depicting the state of Texas and the saying, "Don't mess with Texas," along with a state flag.

Harvey brought these strangers together, and the Funky Waffle RV made them friends.

Altogether, the Cawleys raised more than $15,000 through a GoFundMe Campaign for the Funky Waffle's relocation. Extra money will go to local families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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