July 7, 2010

RVing With Kids

One of my close friends is parenting solo this summer while her husband is away for some work obligations. Both of us have been interested in RVs, and similarly, both of our husbands have NOT been interested in RVs. The gap made a perfect excuse to team up, combine the kids, and hitch a 29' ride for a week.

Was it a good idea? Oh, if only you knew the half of it! The children were experts before we left the front gate. It's like summer camp on wheels. All of a sudden, kids gain this amazing sense of independence, and all you have to do is sit back and watch the show. Here are some pointers if you are planning to head out:

1) Start with a test day to learn how the systems work (generator, hook ups, water pump, etc.).
2) Local is fine. The RV is the change of scene; no need to drive 14 hours when driving two hours will accomplish what you need.
3) Avoid RV Parks (trust me, they are not your scene).
4) Go with another family (trust me, kids love other kids, this IS your scene).
5) Try the KOA. It's a great hybrid combining a traditional campsite with the amenities of an RV park, and tailored for families.
6) Let the kids roam free.
7) Level is good. I did tend to notice a tipping feeling when the RV wasn't level. The more level you are, the more solid you feel in the RV when it's parked.
8) Keep choices simple to avoid bickering over "the pink bowl" or "the blue spoon". RV house rule? You get what you get!

Now on to Craigslist to see if I can line up one of these crafts for the long haul. For more family travel tales, check out Trekaroo's Spotlight Thursday.


Carolina said...

Love it! I have not been RVing since I was a kid and really want to try it out with the kiddo. One foul question about one foul topic: How did the dumping stations work out? :) That makes me a bit queasy.

Lorraine Akemann said...

Too funny! I knew that would come up. Well, there is no getting around the fact that it's queasy. Julie wanted to video it but I banned the operation. If you rent, sometimes the rental place will do it for you at the end of the trip based on how much you use your tanks. Otherwise, you need gloves and a steady hand. No way around it. It becomes less disturbing when you enjoy all of the benefits of having a handy and clean potty nearby for the kids. Hope this helps.

jill said...

Love this! My son loves the RV - "its like a hotel room that travels with you." And he loved to do all the setup with his dad. So funny.

debi9kids said...

Great tips! This is something I REALLY REALLY want to do with my family in the fall.

ps Popped over from Trekaroo

Bridget Smith said...

This is great Lorraine! We just got our garage cleared out and are hoping to fill it with a pop-up.

I think the kids would really benfit from the consistency of having the same space to eat and sleep.

Hope you post some details of your adventures later.

Lynette said...

How fun! I'd like to see more pics - what DO those things look like inside?! Your tips and ideas are great, esp. about going with other kids.

Sharlene said...

I have never actually RVed. I have only tent camped but I will be honest going somewhere in an RV sounds so much easier with toddlers. I wish we had one!