Living in an RV is such an adventure, especially when you have your children with you to enjoy. However, there are a lot of things that you should take note of when it comes to living on the road with children. Living in an RV means there will be good times and also times of frustration as well as struggles where you miss the comfort of a residential home. With this guide, rest assured that you will feel confident while living on the road with your children.
1. Choosing the Right Rig: Get a Rig With A Bunk Room
Depending on your kid’s age, their bedtime will most likely be the same as yours. You might like to spend time and watch a movie or enjoying time with your spouse after the children are in bed. Also, you may want to wake up early in the morning before the chaos of the day begins, where you will drink a warm cup of coffee or work out. With the kids getting a good night’s sleep and you being able to enjoy some adult time, it is best to get a separate bunk room.
A better option is to get a bunk room with a door so that you can provide privacy for your kids as they grow. A bunk room will allow you to enjoy later nights with your partner and early mornings without the entire family awake and running around in the RV.
Also, a bunk room with a door is great because it is an area where you can place your children’s belongings, such as toys. The toys can stay in their room, with the door closed, and not in your living space. You can organize their belongings and teach your children how to clean up their own rooms.
If you want to know the best RV with bunk beds features, here is an article that I have written for you.
2. Make Sure to Adjust to New Parenting Challenges While on the Road
When you first thought of living in an RV with your kids, you definitely had visions and thoughts of living a life of being on vacation at all times. Well, that is not the case, especially when you are living in an RV with kids. In some ways, it is easier being together at all times since everyone knows each other really well, which will lead to knowing what sets the other off and how you can handle that.
At the same time, being together at all times is a bit challenging as well. It is one of the reasons why you should adjust to the new parenting challenges that you will face while living on the road. All issues, frustrations, and hard feelings should be addressed quickly rather than pushing them under the rug.
If you don’t do this, the issue will only continue to grow and grow, and that doesn’t work in such close quarters as an RV. Some RV parents love this part of the whole experience, and it will eventually lead to being a close and open family who are all open to sharing their own opinion.
Remember, arguments are not something that you can avoid whether you are in a residential home or in a small confined space such as an RV, but it is important that you always try to figure out a solution that will work for everyone.
3. Choose Space-Saving Toys: Save Every Space Possible
Once you have downsized to an RV full-time with kids, you will want to get rid of their huge Barbie dream house and life-sized stuffed animals. As you may know, an RV provides a small space for you to store your belongings. You can purchase toys that are perfect for tiny living. Think of toys that will provide hours of entertainment but will only take little space in your rig.
You can easily pack and store games on your travel days so that your entire family will not get bored while on the road. Some games that you can purchase are Legos, puzzles, booked, Magnatiles, Hot Wheels, Barbies, and so much more. Plenty of kids will not get bored with the same old toys, so make sure to store some in the ‘basement’ and switch them from time to time.
If you want to know about the games that you can play with your kids while living in an RV, here is an article that I have written for you.
4. Stay Organized As Much As Possible: Remember You Have a Tiny Space!
If you are new to living full-time on the road, you might be surprised by how much storage is available for you in most RVs. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much space is available for your family’s belongings. However, provided the overall size of your RV, it can quickly feel overwhelming whenever things start to clutter up and take over a particular space.
In order for you to feel comfortable and peaceful in your RV, make sure that you keep your children’s belongings organized as much as possible. Just make sure that you keep your children’s toys and games in a place where they can reach them without your help.
If you are traveling, everything should have a place where it is able to be put away securely. You can use stackable storage bins since they are durable and great for traveling.
5. Planning the Trip: Make Sure that the Kids Are Involved
If you are planning for the year or a month or a weekend trip, make sure that you always check in with your kids about where they would like to go and what they would like to see, and what activities they like to do on the trip. When your kids like swimming, try to find campgrounds that have a pool and water access.
When your family has an aspiring history buff member, it is best to look or historic sites in the areas you plan to visit. Planning your trip properly is important so that everyone will have something that they like or are fond of in the location that you have chosen. It will also keep your kids excited about the adventure.
Aside from the location, it is best that you plan your stops as well. When you are driving more than four hours, it is best to plan frequent stops along the way. Plenty of kids and parents need a break after hours of being on the road. Going to a rest stop or park is a great place to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, and grab some lunch before arriving at your destination.
At most times, state and national parks typically have RV or camper parking which is great for taking a break along your journey.
6. Small Tent: Great for Outdoor Play For the Kids
When you feel like your kids are constantly underfoot in the camper, you can take them outside and have their playtime there. A small tent is great for the kids to play with blocks or Legos while keeping those items out of the rig and out from under your feet. The small tent can also serve as a child’s space for resting and relaxation when they need it.
It can be during the day or early in the evening. As long your kids want to rest a bit, they can do it in their small little tent. Older children may also enjoy camping outside their own tent, while parents can enjoy peace inside the RV. When you don’t have a tent, the awning on your rig would be perfect.
The awning of the rig can also serve as a nice place to read or play. You can even have your dinner under the awning if you feel like eating outside during a nice summer day.
7. RV Campgrounds and Park: Choose A ‘Kid-Friendly’ Location
If you are seeking peace and quiet or plenty of activities, going to a campground or an RV park would be the best thing to do. However, it is best to choose a campground or park that is suitable for children. When you are looking for a more nature-focused location, such as hiking and biking, state or national parks are the best way to go.
When your children are fond of pools, splash pads, playgrounds, or mini-golfs, a private campground would be the best choice since they can meet the amenities that are more like your kids’ preferences. It is best to keep in mind that some campgrounds are more kid-friendly than others.
Always read the reviews before heading out to your chosen campground and check out their websites of private campgrounds to see if they are more family-friendly locations for kids or older adults.
8. Make Sure that You Select the Right Campsite
There are campgrounds that allow you to book a particular site in advance, and you need to make sure that you check out the campground map. Make sure to think about which location will work best for your family and what is best for your kids. When the map is not available, or you are not sure what site on the campground would be best for your family, call the campground and as them for a recommendation.
Select a site close to a trailhead, activity center, pool, or playground that can make things easier for you as a parent. Camping close or adjacent to the playground will allow you to kick back and relax while your children have fun. It is best to get your kids to meet other children, which is great, especially when you are on the road full time.
9. Be Sure to Maintain Your Same Routine and Schedule
As most RVers, the best part of living on the road is to get away from your daily routine. However, it is important to remember that children, and sometimes adults, thrive on the structure. It is best to let your kids know what you will be doing that day so that they are prepared. Keep meals and bedtimes at their regular times when you live in a residential home.
Doing this will prevent any meltdowns from happening. Make sure that you take the time to relax at your campsite. There are always things to do in the area that you visit, from exploring new destinations to hiking to kayaking. To prevent needing a vacation after a vacation, always plan some downtime every day.
It is best to plan no more than one or two a day for your activities. Set a time every day for your kids to just hanging out at the campsite. Take this time to read and relax in the afternoon or have an evening campfire with the entire family. It would be the best way to rest, relax, and recharge.
Make sure that you get a schedule of activities that are happening around the campground. Whether you are staying in a state or national park or an RV resort, there are often free or low-cost activities available for your kids to do. You can ask at check-in or check out the message boards in the campground for activities.
More often, ranger hikes, ice cream socials, scavenger hunts, and bingo games are free to play.
10. Explore the Area and Meet Other Families: The Best Way to Go
It is a great way to break up a longer stay at a campground or see something new when you have a day trip. When there is a city nearby, you can check out the local museums and attractions that are of interest to your family. If you are in a nature preserve, state, and national park, there are plenty of things for your children to explore.
Look for any activities that are great for all ages and not just the kids. Of course, you as a parent should have fun as well with your kids. Depending on your location, the fees can be free and low cost. If you have a membership at a local museum, zoo, or aquarium, check out your membership benefits package to find attractions around the nation. You can get free or discounted fees with your pass.
The goal of your trip may be to maximize family time, and it is best to set aside some time for your kids to play with others in their age group. Doing this is especially important on longer trips. Creating new friendships is the best way for your kids to work on their social skills.
The best place to do this is through your campgrounds, and you never know your children may meet a friend for life or a pen pal. All you have to do is walk around the campground, and you can meet other families easily. Joining a campground community is also the best way to connect with families ahead of time online.
11. Make Every Location Educational: Gotta Learn Something!
Learning doesn’t need to stop just because your kids are outside the school. There are plenty of ways to add learning opportunities to your trip. If you will be visiting a state or national park and your child is school-aged, make sure that you pick up a Junior Ranger activity booklet for them to complete. Programs like these are designed for ages from five and above.
There are also some parks that offer programs for preschool-aged kids too. Here, your kids can learn about the history or culture of the state or area that you are visiting, plants and animals in the region, and outdoor or water safety. Older kids can calculate trip mileage or create a budget for their trip.
If you want to learn more about your child’s school while living on the road, here is an article that you can read.
When you have kids with you on the road, always remember to have fun! Remember that sharing your love for travel and the great outdoors with your kids is a great gift to provide them. Make sure that you take a deep breath, make some memories, and relax. Hopefully, the following tips will make your trip with your children smooth and fun at the same time! Happy travel!