Creating Lasting Memories and Seamless Adventures for the Whole Family
As RV living becomes more and more popular, we are seeing hundreds of families hit the road full-time. In our opinion, this is a wonderful thing. RV living with kids is an amazing experience that can bring your family closer and create wonderful memories that last a lifetime.
All that said, there are some things that are hard about living in an RV with kids, and when you don’t know how to handle these things, they can overshadow the magical parts. Whether you’re planning on hitting the road with your family in the future or are already living the dream, this article can help you avoid some of those difficulties and tackle others head-on.
Let’s dive in!
Choosing the Right RV for Your Family’s Needs
One of the most important things you can do to ensure you have the best time possible when RV living with kids is to choose the right RV. Something that is too small is definitely going to lead to strife between family members. Meanwhile, a rig that is too large can be hard to move and might be a bit limiting when it comes to choosing campsites.
We highly recommend picking an RV that allows each member of the family to have their own dedicated sleeping space. You’ll also want to carefully consider how you plan to travel to decide whether a towable or driveable unit is best for you.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, spend some time in each rig on your shortlist—either on a lot or at an RV show—and go through the actions of day-to-day life. Pretend to actually cook a meal, lay down on the beds, try “washing your hair” in the shower, and sit on the toilet. This will help you get a feel for whether the RV is right for you.
Creating a Realistic and Flexible Roadschooling Plan
If you’ve never homeschooled before, you might imagine that roadschooling is a lot like running a traditional school at home. While some people do try to do this, it isn’t the norm. Most roadschooling families—and homeschooling families, for that matter—find that a more laid-back approach works much better for their kids.
An intense curriculum is rarely the way to go, and eight hours a day of schooling is not necessary. We recommend talking to other roadschooling and homeschooling parents to get a feel for how their days go, then heading into roadschooling with an open mind and a willingness to be flexible and find what works for your family.
Take Advantage of Educational Opportunities
Speaking of roadschooling, we must point out the fact that traveling is a form of schooling in and of itself. Take advantage of this and tie it into your roadschooling.
Look at maps together and talk about distances and travel time. Budget for activities as a family. Complete Junior Ranger books and earn badges at national parks. Visit as many museums as you can. You might even find that the things that happen naturally while traveling full-time can replace many aspects of traditional schooling entirely!
Minimizing Clutter and Staying Organized in Your RV With Kids
Living in an RV with kids can feel overwhelming because the space provided by an RV is so small. As we mentioned above, choosing the right RV can help a lot, but that’s just one step toward reducing the stress caused by living in such a small space with your family.
Some other great things you can do? Minimize your stuff as much as possible in order to reduce clutter. When it comes to toys, it helps to provide each kid with a tub and allow them to keep only what fits in the tub. This allows them some say in what stays and what goes while still keeping things to a minimum.
Once minimization is done, focus intently on the organization, making sure absolutely everything has a place. Finally, put systems into place. For instance, you might give everyone a hook for their jacket, a spot for their shoes, and a water bottle and set of dishes that they are responsible for.
Embracing the Outdoors To Keep Kids Active and Engaged
Kids have a lot of energy. This often leads to kids bouncing off the walls in your tiny home-on-wheels, something that can be a major source of stress.
The best way to tackle this problem? Embrace time in the outdoors. Head outside with your kids and do your work in a camping chair while they play with LEGOs on the outdoor rug. Go on a hike together. Or, just take a stroll around the campground. Every moment of outside time counts!
If it’s raining and outside time isn’t possible, head to a local restaurant with an indoor playground, try to find libraries with play spaces or go to a children’s museum or science center.
Creating Private Spaces in Your RV for Family Members
One of the benefits of RV living with kids is the fact that you end up spending more time together as a family. That said, there will always be times when one or more people in your crew just need some privacy. Create space for this.
If your RV has doors, use them to give people quiet alone time. Set up a tent or a screen room outside to use as a private space. Some people even set up a private hangout or office space in a vehicle or a small second camper.
Build a Travel Day Box
For younger kids, travel days can seem immensely long and boring. Combat this by creating travel day boxes. These should be filled with fun things to do and should only come out on travel days in order to keep them special.
Some good additions to travel day boxes include:
- Items for drawing (Color Wonder is great.)
- Wikki Stix
- Window clings
- Small animals and action figures
Let the Kids Help PlAn RV Adventures
Before you sit down to start planning the next leg of your travels, invite the kids to join you! Giving your kids a say in where you go and what you do has a couple of different benefits.
First, it is likely to make them more excited about your travels, as they have a sense of ownership over the adventure. It also provides some fantastic educational opportunities.
For example, you can help the kids practice money management by giving each one a budget for planning a day of exploring somewhere they want to go, or you can have them calculate how long a drive will take based on the miles between two locations. On top of that, looking at a map will absolutely help your little travelers learn some geography.
Slow Your Travels Down When RV Living With Kids
Lastly, we recommend slowing your travels down. It can be tempting to try to see and do everything, but this is sure to lead to quick burnout.
It’s important that you allow your family time to keep up with chores, school work, and jobs. Down days for play are important for kids, and plenty of time between travel days will help preserve your sanity.
Besides, staying in one place longer is better for the budget and allows you to really dive deep when exploring a new place.
We believe that the RV community is a treasure trove of wisdom and experiences. If you’re an RV family who has mastered the art of traveling with kids, we want to hear from you! Share your invaluable tips, tricks, and stories in the comments below, and let’s create a collective resource that benefits all adventurous families out there.