ROAD TRIPS WITH KIDS: WHY THEY’RE BETTER IN AN RV

My family has taken many road trips and they’ve always been quite the adventure. This fall we embarked on our first road trip in an RV and I don’t know how we’ll ever go back to the way it was before.  Here are six reasons a road trip with kids is better in an RV.

 

Your Kids Will Feel at Home

Some kids really like routines and feel comfortable in safe spaces. On an RV road trip instead of constantly moving from one hotel to another you’ll sleep in the same space every night. This gives your kids a sense of home even on the road.

 

When we picked up our RV our girls immediately claimed their areas. Even though our RV only provided one enclosed bedroom there were four beds and they felt as if they had their own space just like at home. Just as we each have our own spots on the couch at home they stuck to the same spot on the couch in the RV and even sat at the same seat at the table too!

 

 

You Just Have to Unpack Once

As mentioned before, on a typical road trip you’re going from one hotel to another. This means you’re constantly packing and unpacking, which to many is the worst part of travel. On an RV road trip even though you’re able to see multiple places you only have to unpack one time.

 

This allows your family to really get settled and decreases the chance of you leaving things behind at the various hotels. I can’t be the only one that tends to forget things in hotel rooms, can I?

 

 

 

 

Your Kids will Make Friends at the RV Parks

When taking a road trip with kids you don’t often have the opportunity to meet other families. Most people stick to their hotel room when they’re not going out for the day. However, on an RV road trip you’ll be staying at various RV parks where there are tons of families with kids.

 

Each time we pulled into a campground kids were outside playing. As soon as we parked the girls were outside introducing themselves. We in turn would also meet the parents and we connected with one family so much we’ve even kept in touch since our trip.

 

Your Kids Will Have Space to Run Around

Space inside an RV to run around? Ok so while the space your kids have will depend on the size of the RV, your RV park will for sure have a lot of space. Our girls were outside at the end of every day running around. A lot of the RV parks even had pools and/or playgrounds for the kids to play.

 

 

On an RV Road Trip You Don’t Have to Worry about Bathroom Breaks

One of our least favorite parts of road trips with kids are the constant bathroom breaks. The worst thing is when you ask who has to use the bathroom before the last exit or rest stop for the next 26 miles and everyone says no but as soon as you pass it someone has to go.

 

On an RV road trip, you always have a nearby bathroom. Just pull over at the safest time and your kids can use the toilet. Not only will you always have that option but most importantly you know your bathroom is clean. When making random stops on road trips you never know if the gas station will have a working restroom or if it’s clean. We saved a lot of time not having to stand in long lines at rest stops and loved the convenience of having our own toilet.

 

 

RV Road Trips Save Time and Money When You’re Hungry

While on most road trips with kids you’ll have snacks and drinks with you, but depending on how long your trip is you might run out. We loved how much storage our RV had for us to stock up on everything with needed.

 

Not only did it provide storage, but we had a working fridge, freezer, stove and microwave. There are only so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we can take so having the option to make a quick meal or warm up leftovers from the night before made a huge difference. We saved so much money by not stopping to buy something every time we got hungry.

 

 

 

Our RV road trip provided our family with such a unique experience. Driving and sleeping in the same space proved to be really fun. It will be very hard going back to regular road trips, so we definitely see another RV road trip in our future!

 

 

CHIPOTLE COFFEE RUB STEAK SKILLET

I have been on a coffee steak rub kick lately. Honestly, finely ground coffee is one of the most amazing things to have on a steak. It is sweet, savory and full of flavor that you cannot get from most seasonings. This Chipotle Coffee Rub is no exception.

 

 

This rub is super easy to make for people whose lives are on the road. Most of the ingredients can be found in a common RV kitchen! I made the steak rub into a breakfast skillet as well because I always wanted to try coffee rub steak in the morning. Turns out it pairs really well with eggs, potatoes and coffee to drink!

First you are going to cook the potatoes in the cast iron over the fire. Potatoes take about 10-15 minutes to fully cook. Moreover, you will put that skillet to a multi-purpose use. As the potatoes are finishing, you will add the steak to one side of the skillet and cook till its done. As the steak is cooking, I topped my potatoes with some eggs and then covered the skillet. Cook for another 5 minutes and everything should be ready to go!

Only tip here is to pull that steak off the skillet once it is done. If you let it rest for 5-8 minutes, then you will keep the juices inside from cooking fully. Top with some parsley and you are ready to eat!

Enjoy!

Recipe:

Cooking Details
Yields: 2 servings
Cook: 20 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Equipment: Cutting board, knife, cast iron skillet, charcoal and tongs

Skillet Ingredients:

  • 2 NY Strip Steaks
  • 1 1⁄2 cups of Golden potatoes, diced
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Olive Oil

Chipotle Coffee Steak Rub Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp of Chipotle Powder
  • 1⁄2 tbsp of finely Ground Coffee Beans
  • 1⁄2 tbsp of Black Pepper
  • 1⁄2 tbsp of Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp of Garlic Powder

Instructions:

  1. Build a medium-high heat fire for direct grilling. Add skillet to fire 1 minute before cooking to pre-heat.
  2. Add olive oil and potatoes to skillet and let cook for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Season steaks with olive oil and Chipotle Coffee Steak Rub. When potatoes are half way done, push to one side and add steaks to skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes per side.
  4. When steaks are flipped, make 2 divots in the potatoes. Add butter to the divots, and crack the eggs inside. Let cook for 4 minutes. Cover skillet if needed.
  5. When steaks are done, remove from skillet and let rest for 8 minutes. Top the eggs & potatoes with parsley and salt. Slice steak, serve and enjoy!

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIVING IN AN RV WITH KIDS

We recently embarked on an RV road trip with our kids, a two and four-year-old. It was our first time RVing and we had a lot of questions beforehand. Would RVing with kids be inconvenient or would we fall in love? Here’s everything you need to know about living in an RV with kids.

Cooking and Eating in an RV with Kids
Driving and living in an RV made snack and meal time very easy as a family. Before getting on the road we stocked the fridge, freezer, and cabinets with food and drinks. Whenever the girls wanted a snack it was easy to give it to them.

When we wanted to stop for lunch, we were able to pull into a rest stop or parking lot and make sandwiches. This saved us a lot of time and money as eating out for every meal on a road trip can get very expensive.

You can make almost anything you could at home in an RV. Our Class C motorhome came with a 3-burner stove. We were able to make pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal. In the evenings we were able to make spaghetti and meatballs, pan roasted chicken and other meats. Our RV also came with an oven. It was small, but you could bake chicken or other foods in there. It also had a microwave to pop popcorn or warm up food.

 

 

The girls’ favorite part about cooking in the RV was the ability for us to cook and eat outdoors. All the RV parks we stayed at had benches right next to our RV and some had fire pits and grills. We made s’mores one evening and it was nice to keep all the messiness that comes with it outside the RV. (Provided four photos for use, not sure which one you prefer)

 

 

Bathing Kids in an RV
While most RVs come with bathrooms they aren’t normally the biggest. However, in a Class C like we had, the shower is a decent size. It was large enough for me, a 5’ 2”, 135lb woman, to shower with one of my daughters in there with me. It is also large enough to fit a baby tub if you need to use one.

 

 

Sleeping in an RV with Kids
Our RV had four different beds. It had a traditional queen size bed in a bedroom that can close off from the rest of the RV for privacy.

 

 

The dining room table folds down into a bed which is the perfect size for little kids. The couch also folds down into a bed and can easily fit a shorter adult or kids.

 

 

The last bed is a bunk above the front seat. It’s about the width of a full-size bed but longer. Depending on the RV you rent or purchase you can add a railing to prevent kids from rolling off. You can also choose to install a curtain to block out the light from the rest of the RV or provide privacy.

 

 

Sleeping in an RV with an infant? With the slides out there was enough space to put a pack n’ play or travel crib. We were able to fit a travel crib in front of the couch.

 

 

Is There Room to Play in an RV?
The amount of space for kids to play inside the RV will vary depending on the type of RV. In our Class C motorhome with the slides out our girls had quite a bit of space to play on the floor. They also enjoyed playing and watching movies in the bunk. In addition to that space we were able to play board games as a family or the girls could color at the dining table.

 

 

We never felt cramped since the RV parks have so much space outside. Whether the girls were running around or playing at the park they were able to get their energy out. Our trip was during the winter, so we didn’t experience swimming but a few of the RV parks we stayed at also had pools.

We really enjoyed our RV road trip, driving and sleeping in the RV with kids. Now every time our girls see an RV on the road, they get so excited. We will definitely be planning another RV road trip soon.

6 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME RVERS TO GUARANTEE A GREAT RV TRIP

We’re the Hambricks, a family of four with a two and four-year-old. While we’ve traveled a lot, we’d never had the pleasure of taking an RV trip. As excited as we were, we knew it would be different than any other trip we’ve been on and might call for more preparation. Here are some things we learned planning and during our trip that will be useful for other first time RVers.

 

You Don’t Have to Buy an RV to Get the RV Experience, Just Rent One!

Did you know you could have an RV experience without owning an RV? Renting an RV is really simple! We rented ours from Outdoorsy, it’s like an Airbnb for RVs. The process was easy and the owner we rented from told us everything we needed to know before we drove off. We recorded what he said and showed us so we could reference back in case we forgot something on the road.

 

 

The Different Types of RVs and How to Choose the Right RV for You

There are three different types of motorhomes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

 

Class A Motorhomes are the biggest ones and resemble coach buses. In all honesty they probably aren’t the best option for first timers unless you’re used to driving tour buses or tractor-trailers.

 

Class B Motorhomes are camper vans. They are sprinter vans that have been converted into a living space. This means the bathrooms and walking space is extremely tight. Your shower and toilet will be in the same space and the max sleeping capacity is typically two people.

 

We rented a Class C Motorhome. It is a motorhome on the chasse of a truck or a van. They provide a good amount of space and come with multiple beds, dining table and full bathroom. Here’s the inside of the one we rented.

 

 

In addition to the motorhomes there are also multiple types of RVs that are towable units, meaning that you pull it with a truck or SUV.

 

Do You Need a Special License to Drive an RV?

In most states, RVs weighing under 26,000 pounds don’t require a special license. But Class A RVs are the only ones that could potentially weigh more than 26,000 pounds so if you plan on driving a Class B or C you should be fine. You can double check with the state’s DMV for updated information and these rules sometimes change.

 

Know the Height of Your RV

Why is knowing the height of your RV important? Depending on where you are driving you may have to go through tunnels or drive under bridges. Your hood scraping the ceiling and you getting stuck is not the time to learn your RV is taller than the height limit. While driving through Zion National Park there is a tunnel that RVs over a certain height can only go through during certain times of the day. If you need to drive through and miss the cut off time the roundabout way adds 2 hours on to your journey!

 

Making an RV Camp Reservation: Do You Really Need To and What Type of Spot Should You Reserve?

I am a big planner so naturally I wanted to make sure we had all our RV camp reservations secured before getting on the road. Was this really necessary? I think it depends on when and where you are going.

 

We traveled out West in late November when the weather starts to get very cold. While the weather meant there were fewer RVers and making a reservation wasn’t really necessary to get a spot it also meant not all RV camps were open. When calling some closer to Bryce Canyon I discovered they were closed for the season. Had I not called ahead to make a reservation we could have been left in a situation of having spotty cell phone service making it difficult to find another RV camp to stay at. The nearest one open one was 90 minutes away so I’m really happy we planned ahead.

 

When making your reservation some parks will give you the option of a pull-through or back in spot. Always go with the pull-through, they are much easier to get in and out of.

 

 

 

Some RV parks have different hook up options. When booking your RV campsite, you need to know if your RV is 30 or 50amp to make sure you book the correct spot. Some RVs do come with an adaptor to hook up to either, but many don’t so make sure ahead of time if you’ll need one or not.

 

 

Know Where You Can Replenish Your Propane Along Your Route

Depending on the RV you have your stove and central air including the heat may run on propane only. This means even if you are hooked up to electricity, without propane you will not be able to cook or stay warm in the winter. Filling up the propane in an RV can only be done by a professional and not all propane refill stations service RVs. It’s imperative you know where you can fill up along your route or you could be hungry or freezing!

 

 

Double Check Your Destination Has RV Parking

If you’re not pulling a travel trailer and have a motorhome like us parking can be a little tough in some locations. Make sure each of your destinations has parking for RVs. Even if they do, space might be limited so always give yourself extra time to find parking in case you have to go to a different RV parking lot.

 

These tips should help make your first RV trip one without many hiccups. One thing we learned was the RV community is very helpful. When in doubt just ask a fellow RVer and they will usually be happy to assist you. Enjoy your first RV trip and good luck with not wanting to immediately purchase one when you get back home!

 

YOUR FIRST RV TRIP: TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Have you ever watched someone trying to learn a new skill? Think of children learning to ride a bike. At first, they will require a lot of assistance, such as training wheels or a parent running alongside. Eventually, they’ll make some independent strides of their own—with plenty of wobbling and crashing involved. After a while, they’ll get it. And they’ll soar off down the street on their way to many wonderful adventures.

 

New RV owners may find themselves facing a similar learning curve. If it’s been a long time since you learned something new, it can be intimidating to suddenly find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering, “How in the world am I going to get this trailer through a tight gas station parking lot? Will I be able to empty the black tank without spilling it everywhere? Am I properly lighting this propane stove, or am I going to damage my rig?”

 

We’ve been RVing for 8 years now, but we still remember the nervousness we faced before our first trip. Even once we became seasoned RVers, we still faced the same apprehension every time we pulled out for a journey with a newer, bigger rig. The good thing is we can assure you that our unease was soon replaced with enthusiasm as we became accustomed to our new equipment.

 

The greatest adventure of your life is just around the corner–and we want to help you get to the fun part faster. Thanks to our years of experience, we have the following tips to help you make your first RV trip a success:

 

 

  1. Camp Close to Home for Your First Few Trips

You finally bought the RV of your dreams…now it’s time to hit those dream destinations, right? Not so fast. For your first few trips, you’ll want to book campgrounds close to home. This will allow you to gain confidence as you learn how to operate your new rig. Also, it takes a few trips to figure out what to stock in your RV. If you camp close to home, you can easily run home to grab the must-needed items, and you’ll be in familiar territory.

 

  1. Reserve a Private Campground for Your First Trip

If you want to spark an internet debate, just ask the people on an RV forum whether public parks or private campgrounds are better. While no one can debate that beauty and solitude are often found in our nation’s state and national parks, there are some added amenities that make private campgrounds a perfect choice for your first trip. First, they often have full hookups. Until you understand your rig and your family’s needs, it’s better to have electricity, water, and sewer onsite. Also, private parks often have helpful staff members who can assist with things like backing into a site for the first time.

 

 

  1. Reserve a Pull-Thru Site at Your First Campground

There are many beautiful campsites in this nation. Some are easy to pull right into, while others require backing down a long driveway at a 30-degree angle while trying to avoid some trees. You will eventually be able to veer your trailer into practically any spot with ease, but you can avoid some headaches for your first trip by booking a pull-thru site. A pull-thru site is one that is situated between two roads, making it easy to pull right in when you arrive and pull right out when you leave…no backing up required. On your first trip, you have enough to worry about without having to angle a trailer into a spot. Keep it easy peasy with a pull-thru!

 

  1. Divide and Conquer During Setup

Arriving at a campground is a little different from arriving at a hotel. There are quite a few tasks that need to be done in order to secure your trailer and set up a cozy campsite. Doing these for the first time takes a lot longer than it will once you learn your rhythm and routines. If you have younger kids, the easiest thing to do is to get them out from underfoot so one adult of the family can truly concentrate on setup, while the other concentrates on keeping the kids happy and safe. If you have older kids, they can help with the setup process.

 

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Even if you’re not usually the type of person to ask for help from random strangers on the street, you’ll learn that this is a wonderful benefit from campground culture, when needed. As you are learning to operate a new rig, there will, undoubtedly, be some tasks you forget how to do or never learned in the first place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of your neighbors were in your shoes at one time or another and will kindly pay it forward.

 

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Say No to Help When Backing In

One of the silly things that stress us out is feeling like other RVers are judging us when we are backing in the rig. For reasons unknown to us, there are some people who like to kick back in their camp chairs and watch other RVers set up camp. Some will eagerly jump in and offer to help, which is great—except when it isn’t. If you don’t want the help, don’t worry about politely declining with a simple, “Hey, we are new at this, and we want to learn how to do it. We’ll let you know if we need some assistance!”

 

 

  1. Expect the Unexpected—and Don’t Let it Get You Down

Things may go wrong, as they inevitably will. Perhaps you didn’t understand how long to cool the fridge and had nowhere to put your piles of groceries. Perhaps you found out something isn’t working in the RV or broke something that was working. Stuff happens. Try not to lose too much of your vacation time fretting over mistakes and mishaps. Do your best to problem solve and move on.

 

 

  1. Avoid Driving at Night

If at all possible, plan your early trips to include driving and setting up during daylight hours. Driving at night can be risky. If you have a breakdown, you’ll have a harder time finding help since the auto parts stores, garages, and RV dealerships will be closed. Setting up at night can also be immensely more difficult due to the lack of sight.

 

  1. Breathe. Go Slow. Have Fun.

Things will eventually get easier! You will soon be able to set up camp blindfolded. Until then, all you can do is be patient with yourself as you learn. Don’t be too critical on yourself…and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

 

Once you get your first-time jitters out of the way and gain some useful experiences, you can rest easy knowing that the road ahead is much smoother, with far fewer pit stops. You will get the hang of operating, maintaining, and towing that beautiful new RV. It won’t always be easy, but it will definitely be worth the effort, especially when you finally do take that dream rig to your dream destinations. Pretty soon, you’ll be like the kid on the bike, pedaling fast with a smile on your face.