6 tips to ensure your family RV trip won’t drive everyone crazy
When it comes to RVs, many people think of retirees tooling around the country for months at a time. However, a family RV trip is something none of you will ever forget.
Whether you rent an RV for a one-time trip or you buy one to enjoy every summer, it is a great way to show your kids all the history and diverse landscapes America has to offer. If you do travel with your kids, you will need to plan your trip accordingly.
Here are 6 tips to ensure your family RV trip is an amazing success.
1. Think car safety even on the road.
You’re basically in a traveling house, but that doesn’t mean you can forget safety rules on the road. Kids, especially young kids, should be buckled in whenever the vehicle is moving. If your child is young enough to need a car seat, you’ll want to use one in the RV as well.
2. Find a campground that works for your family.
Every campground is different. Choose one that has family-friendly amenities, such as a pool, water slides, bounce houses, and game rooms. Think about your preferences as well as your experience level with camping.
Campanda Magazine asks “Do you like to go on hikes and spend a lot of time outdoors? Or would your family be more comfortable with scheduled activities or amenities? Different parks cater to different types of families.” Answering these ahead of time can save you from a vacation blunder.
Before you set out on the road, do a lot of research. There are many websites that post information and reviews about RV parks. It’s also a good idea to call various parks yourself to make sure they’re really what your family wants. If you have friends or family who go RVing, you can ask them for recommendations as well.
3. Plan out your rest stops.
While it may seem more adventurous to pull over whenever the spirit leads you, remember you will be traveling in a much larger vehicle. It can be hard to maneuver an RV in a small parking lot and not every lot has space to accommodate an RV. So, take the time to research and plan where you will stop beforehand.
Truck stop gas stations can be a great choice, as they are designed to handle large vehicles. Some fast food chains have play areas where the kids can run around. Rest areas are another choice because they usually have parking spaces designed for campers, RVs and trucks. As a bonus, there may also be trails or open areas where the kids can be free to run.
“It is a good idea to plan at least one ‘activity stop’ per day to let the kids get out and stretch their legs…The best stops to make are usually just off the highway — think scenic overlooks, roadside attractions or children’s museums,” as suggested by Campanda.
4. Understand there will probably be rainy days.
Chances are, you will experience rain. That means you’ll be stuck inside your RV with your family, perhaps for several hours or even all day. Plan for this and bring along plenty of indoor entertainment, including board games, puzzles, books, and arts & crafts projects.
Of course, there are also high-tech solutions like multiplayer video games, tablet devices, handheld video games, movie player devices, and TVs with DVD players. These things will keep the kids occupied and ensure you don’t pull your hair out.
5. Make efficient use of space and stay organized.
While there may be limited space, RVs actually have more storage than you might imagine. Use it. Take everything out of your suitcases and put it away. (Luggage can be kept in outside storage compartments.)
Remember the rule “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Organize your things and then keep them that way so you don’t end up searching for something whenever you want to use it or go somewhere.
6. Make a cleaning schedule.
A smaller space reveals clutter much quicker. Create a cleaning schedule at the outset and stick to it. It’s a good idea to clean the entire RV (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) every day at the same time, perhaps after dinner. Assign duties for each child so it’s not just mom and dad doing all the work. Since it’s an RV, it won’t take long and you’ll be glad you did it the next time you want to find something.
Going on an RV trip with your family can build memories that will live with you the rest of your life. Use these tips to help plan an epic vacation you’ll never forget.