TOP TIPS FOR RVING WITH KIDS
We are so thrilled that your family is starting RVing! We know that there seems like so much to learn just to get started and we are here to help. RVing has changed our life for the better and we bet it will change yours too. Here are the top 5 things we wish we knew before we started RVing with our kids.
- Give everyone ownership in the trip. When sitting down to plan the trip, try to get the whole family involved. You are not always going to be able to allow everyone to pick where to go, or what to do, but if the kids are involved in the planning, they become invested in the outcome. It also can be a teaching moment. Things could turn out to go wrong, and if everyone is in on the planning, there’s less chance that blame is assigned. Don’t forget to build in some extra time to explore on your jounery. (Tip – We use RV Trip Wizard to help plan our RV trips)
- Choosing the right campground can pay huge dividends. If you have a multi-day trip to your final destination, then where you stay along the way can have a huge impact on the outcome of the trip. We always try to find family-friendly campgrounds (KOA’s and Jellystone). They will have better playgrounds, pools, jumping pillows, and even mini-golf! Some even have mini arcades and ice cream shops. There’s no better way than to have the kids hit the playground to work some energy off after a long travel day. When we pull in and set up the RV, my wife loves to have me take the boys to the playground while she finishes the inside setup and gets dinner ready. Playgrounds add so much more for children to have fun and get out the excess energy. ( Tip – Travel time – try to keep it under 300 miles per day. If you’re pressed for time, then try to travel when the kids are sleeping or napping. Most importantly, travel safely)
- Find your way. There are many types of RV trips. Some families love to head off to a secluded Mountain spot, beach camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the summer, or even camping at Disney. There’s truly something for everyone. We learned there’s no right or wrong way to go RVing. Choose whatever works best for your family, and don’t forget to give the others a try, we love them all!
- Campgrounds are friendly places. As an African American family, we were very concerned that families of color just don’t RV. To be perfectly honest, we weren’t sure we would be welcomed. We’ll admit, we have been pleasantly surprised. Over the past six years, we have seen a rise in minority camping and younger families RVing. There are minority based RV clubs that can be found online and via social media platforms. Groups like NAARVA, Outdoor Afro, Latino Outdoors, @brownpeopleCamping, and many others. Through all of these groups/clubs, minorities can find other families or campers to meet up with, travel with, or simply share the unique experiences as minority RVers. Our kids have never had a problem finding other kids to play with at campgrounds. Don’t be afraid to be friendly and making new friends!
- Bring a little bit of home along with you. With your family being new to RV travel, you might want to let the kids bring toys, special blankets, pillows, etc. It will give them a taste of home when they are away. We have an 11-year-old that brings his red blanket with him. He often gets carsick (even in a motorhome) when we travel. When he does feel carsick, having his blanket from home is just that little extra special piece of comfort. He also sleeps so much better with the same blanket. As much as he loves traveling in our RV, it feels more like home with his blanket.
Turn mistakes, and mishaps into memories….Don’t forget to pack your sense of humor! If something can go wrong then it will go wrong. It’s murphy’s law. Don’t let it spoil your trip. On our very first RV trip, two days after the test drive and purchase, we had problems with the RV. We were driving from Atlanta to New Jersey to visit family. On the way up, we stopped in North Carolina for a one-night stopover. Our rear AC unit stopped working. Of course, we contacted the dealership and they felt so bad and they hired a mobile RV tech to come and fix the problem. After three hours on our roof, the tech still couldn’t get it to work, so we continued to New Jersey. A few days later as we readied to head back down to Atlanta, our second and final AC unit broke. Keep in mind this was July with temperatures reaching 90 degrees. There was no fixing it that far from home. The best advice the dealership could give us was to try to start driving early in the day and don’t stop. They encouraged us to make the long drive back to Atlanta where they would replace the units, and that’s just what we did! We had a choice to laugh or cry. We chose to laugh and drive the 10 hours back to Atlanta. That trip could have broken our spirits; instead, it has given our family a great story to tell around the campfire. Tip – Life can give you lemons, and when it does, just grab some water and add some sugar and make lemonade!
So there you have it and welcome to the wonderful RV community. We hope to see you at the campground soon……
Keith and Tia Sims – Soulful RV Family