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!

 

TOP 20 RVER MEMORIES OF 2017

Our 20th Anniversary celebration continues! Written by Go RVing fans, check out our top 20 RVer memories of 2017.

Have any additional memories? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!

TOP 20 RECIPES FROM 20 YEARS OF RVING

Go RVing’s 20th anniversary celebration continues! We’ve tried a lot of RV recipes over the years, and we’ve compiled our top 20 favorites for the colder months below. After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Click the recipe name to get the full ingredient list and directions. Bon appétit!

 

1. Apple Cider

 

2. 2×4 Soup

 

3. Baked Corn

 

4. Betty’s Cherry Cobbler

 

5. Camp Pie

 

6. Challah French Toast with Caramel Sauce

 

7. Crockpot Hot Cocoa

 

8. Broccoli and Cheese Potatoes

 

9. Game Day Chili

 

10. Pie Iron Grilled Cheese

 

11. On the Road Again Sliders

 

12. Cast Iron Egg and Ham Cups

 

13. Huevos Rancheros

 

14. Comforting Chicken Stew

 

15. Pan-Seared Skirt Steak and Chimichurri

 

16. Grilled Peach and Pound Cake Kabobs

 

17. 3-Minute Fudge

 

18. Campfire Apple Pie

 

19. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

 

20. HCR’s Homestead Cherry Chutney

 

 

Have a favorite RV recipe? Share yours in the comments below!

RVING TO SANTA BARBARA

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen all my RV road trip stories a few weeks back! My boyfriend Jesse and I rented an RV and drove up to Santa Barbara for a weekend of delicious food, yoga, wandering, shopping and…more delicious food.

 

 

Let’s back up, though. Have you ever been on a RV trip? Because I don’t think I had ever even been inside of an RV before this trip! I’ve always been super interested in them though. I’ve been infatuated with the Tiny House movement, and only a month or two after meeting Jesse, we started talking about what it would be like to buy, renovate, and cruise the country in an RV or school bus or something of the sort.

 

Neither of us is handy AT ALL, nor do we have any RV or large bus experience, but we’re both in love with the idea of taking off and exploring while we’re young, wild and free, and still can. I want to retrofit a gorgeous kitchen into a school bus and take off, and while I never thought I’d find someone who shared the sentiment, Jesse’s totally into the idea. But first, we knew we needed to get in an RV and actually have some experience in a giant, liveable vehicle before considered our own adventure. Which is why it seemed like FATE when GoRVing  got in touch through  CLEVER and wanted to do a RV-themed foodie roadtrip post! I couldn’t say HECK YES fast enough!

 

 

We booked the RV through Outdoorsy, which is like AirBNB for RVs, and found the “Leamon Party Bus”, which was cutely decorated and just the right size (24 feet) for first time RVers like ourselves. The morning we left for our trip, Corey, the RV owner, gave us SUCH a thorough walk-through of the RV and showed us how to do everything we needed – drive it around, hook it up, and use the kitchen. Thankfully for me, you have to be 25 to be insured so Jesse had to do all the driving  but as soon as we got on the road, he lost his nerves and had a super easy time driving it around.

One of the best parts about RVing was being able to stop anywhere we wanted, and essentially have our hotel room with us. En route to Santa Barbara, we stopped for acai bowls in San Clemente at Juice My Heart, and sat at our kitchen table on the side of a road in air conditioning to eat them. #RVperk, for sure.

I had also been itching to go to Erewhon Market for ages – it’s a healthier grocery store in LA that has tons of unique, delicious products and a prepared foods section that blew my mind. Think: gluten free mac and cheese, vegan “meatballs”, SO many soups, and the best turmeric cauliflower I’ve ever had. I loaded up on tons of healthier products I’d never seen before, or had seen online and never been able to find in stores. It was my food heaven, and since we were in no rush, we spent the better part of an hour meandering the aisles and getting snacks to fuel us for the rest of the drive. We also picked up a bunch of prepared foods and had lunch in the parking lot. The journey is definitely as important as the destination when you’re in an RV.

Jesse managed to back the RV up into it’s spot in the RV park in ONE GO! What a pro 😉 we got everything hooked up with no issues and went off to explore, shop…and find more food. Before the trip, I surveyed you guys on where we should go in SB and you guys HOOKED IT UP. After a long wander around Santa Barbara on Friday evening, we headed off to Mesa Verde for dinner. And OMG. Dreams do come true. Pretty much everything on the menu is gluten-free, and it’s all vegan, with vegan cheese galore. My dairy-free heart was singing.

 

 

We started with picadillo empanadas, which were filled with butternut squash cheese, cacao black beans, chimichurri, and pickled carrots and cabbage. Next up was my favorite: the summer vegetable pasta with zucchini noodles, heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms, black kale, macadamia ricotta, and cashew parmesan. The ricotta and parm were out of this world good. Last was the gluten-free vegan pizza with smoked eggplant, marinara, cashew cheese, tempeh bacon, caramelized onion, heirloom tomato, and basil – it was amazing, but we were so full at that point that we had to bring it home. Luckily, we could do that because we had a fridge in our RV 🙂 we rolled back home incredibly full and satisfied and slept like babies in the super comfortable bed.

 

 

I woke up bouncing with excitement for Saturday’s activities: the day before we had found Santa Barbara’s himalayan salt cave, which is the biggest of the sort in the US, and signed up for a yoga class IN THE CAVE. There was only four of us in the flowing class, which was in the dimly lit salt cave, surrounded by himalayan pink salt covering the walls, ceiling, and floor. Himalayan salt is known for being incredibly healing, and being surrounded by it provided a sense of calmness and magic in the class. We had gone into the class a little anxious, and left smiling, entirely rejuvenated. You can see a peek of my terrible, unstretched scorpion pose above  (also, it’s totally not called a scorpion in yoga, that’s what it’s called in cheer and I never remember it’s yoga name.)

 

 

Post-yoga was lunch at Green Table – another gluten-free, mostly vegan lunch spot that had out of this world matcha drinks. I got a salted caramel matcha latte and the vegan veggie parmesan, which was a quinoa burger topped with sunflower almond dressing (that baked up similar to a delicious ricotta), tomato, basil, spinach, nutritional yeast, and Italian herbs. Jesse opted for a matcha green juice and the Green Table burger: a quinoa veggie burger, with house dressing, cauliflower bread (!!!), avocado, Dijon, lettuce, tomato, and goat gouda cheese. You guys, I’d happily be vegan if I could eat that meal every day.

 

 

A trip to the local farmer’s market followed, and I marveled in the beautiful sights: plump and firm heirloom tomatoes, a gorgeous array of greens, the first of the year’s apples, and plants galore. There were vendors selling house plants (we bought a new fiddle leaf fig tree for $20 – her name is Barb) and every type of herb you could imagine. I couldn’t resist picking up some of the farmer’s most beautiful produce to bring home with me.

Anyone ever had a jujube?! I had never seen these before!

 

 

We dropped off our goodies at the RV (in the photo just above, you can see Barb all wrapped up in paper in the messy RV) and went back into town to wander some more and do a little shopping. Jesse ended up feeling a little sick, so we grabbed a quick dinner at The Natural Cafe (I forgot to take photos ) – a lettuce-wrapped turkey burger for me, and enchiladas for him. He ended up having no appetite once the food was on the table, so Jesse’s dinner ended up getting gifted to a homeless man we saw outside and we had a quiet, low-key night in, just hanging out.

 

Sunday morning was supposed to be hiking day, but sadly, Jesse still wasn’t feeling up to it. I took a walk to the local grocery store to get some olive oil and came back to make us a little salad with our farmer’s market finds from the day before. Tragically, I had the refrigerator set to be too cold and the lettuce froze  but I ended up skipping the lettuce and tossing together sliced peaches, halved baby heirloom tomatoes, and GIANT blackberries with some salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon. Soooo easy and sooo delicious – I’ve left the quick and easy recipe at the bottom of the post. You can see some photos of me styling below (yes, I brought my own bowls…), as well as the final product. 🙂

 

As we would later find out, he was having a minor bout with strep, but he was a champ and we went to Backyard Bowls for acai bowls anyways, before packing up. I couldn’t not go to Backyard Bowls, since pretty much every. single. message. that I got with Santa Barbara recommendations insisted I go. You guys were not wrong – my green bowl was BOMB. It had ginger and lime juice in it, which added such a nice kick of spiciness and tartness to the usually sweet bowl.

 

After our bowls, we got packed up, unhooked the RV, and got back on the road! We made another stop at Erewhon for some more lunch goodies (and promptly devoured a whole container of the most amazing herb-y potatoes EVER) and delivered the RV back to Corey in surprisingly, pretty pristine condition.

 

So, the conclusion? I’m an RVing convert – I would totally do it again, and taking off in a converted bus or RV is just as appealing as ever. It’s a super affordable way to travel, especially if you own your own RV, and it’s so convenient having all the comforts of home at your fingertips. No dealing with lugging bags around, or not being able to keep your delicious leftovers because your hotel room doesn’t have a fridge or way to heat them back up. It also let us be more spontaneous with where we could go and what we could do – we never had to worry about catching a flight or not fitting something into our bags. Freedom is something I’m always after on a trip, and RVing provides the best of it. You can bet this won’t be my last RV trip!

 

 

Simple Peach Tomato Salad

– 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes halved

– 1 large peach pitted and cubed

– 1/2 cup fresh berries of choice I used blackberries

– 1/4 cup toasted pecans chopped

– 1/2 fresh lemon

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– Salt & pepper to taste

1) In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cubes of peach, berries, and pecans. Squeeze the lemon over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss together and serve immediately.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.