RVing is a family affair! There’s nothing better than packing everyone up in the camper and hitting the open road to see what adventures you can find along the way. You can avoid the hassle of moving between hotels, and constantly having to pack and unpack. Everyone already feels at home! And bringing everyone along is amazing, but — just like at home — making sure the little ones are safe, happy, and having fun requires a little bit of extra care and attention. If the thought of trying out RVing with your young kids for the first time seems daunting, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and things to think about while getting ready to go:
1. Choosing the right type of RV
With so many different models and floorplans to choose from these days, it can be difficult to decide which RV is going to work best for your family. Class A, B & C motorhomes allow for everything to stay together, with no need of a separate vehicle. They are also generally built to the safety requirements of standard trucks or vans.
However, there is also something to be said for trailers and fifth wheels, which give you the ability to unhook the “home” from your “vehicle” — on the chance that a vehicle is needed to go somewhere RVs are unable to go, i.e. grocery runs, drive-thrus, or hospitals.
Whatever type to decide to go with, remember that it’s important to bring your family down to check out a few different models before making a purchase. This will help ensure it is a good fit for you and your loved ones.
Space is also an important consideration. A packed RV can get cluttered very quickly! Before choosing your unit, make sure you have an idea of what you want to bring along with you: items like bikes, coolers, and other equipment will need to be accounted for.
Check out the online inventory at Sunridge RV to start researching floor plans and options for your family: http://www.sunridgervs.ca/new-rvs-for-sale
2. Sleeping arrangements
Following from the point above, figuring out comfortable sleeping arrangements for everyone is key to an enjoyable and low-stress RV life. Making sure everyone has their own “space” where they can go to sleep, have some privacy, and chill out will do wonders for keeping things peaceful on the road!
Slide or fold-out beds, separate bedrooms, nooks, and especially bunk beds are all great options for families with small children. Check out a few of our favourites!
2017 Forest River Rockwood WindJammer 3006WK: http://www.sunridgervs.ca/product/new-2017-forest-river-rv-rockwood-wind-jammer-3006wk-676760-29
2017 Forest River Wildwood X-Lite 201BHXL: http://www.sunridgervs.ca/product/new-2017-forest-river-rv-wildwood-x-lite-201bhxl-561315-29
2013 Dutchmen 286BHGS: http://www.sunridgervs.ca/product/used-2013-dutchmen-rv-dutchmen-286bhgs-741597-29
Make sure you have originals and copies of all your family’s identification easily accessible. This could include copies of passports or IDs, copies of birth certificates, vaccination history, and any other important medical or identifying information. This is especially crucial if you are planning on crossing borders on your trip.
If you are crossing into the USA, you will need to provide original passports for everyone in your family at the border.
4. Vehicle safety
It is important to remember that even though your RV may feel like home, it is still a vehicle on the road! During long travel days, it may be tempting to let the kids run around inside the RV to blow off steam and keep them from getting restless on the boring highway.
This should never be allowed!
If the unthinkable should happen and there is an accident, ensuring that your children are properly buckled up will go a long way to keeping them safe.
A good rule to follow is to use the same type of seat security you would in your car or truck. Front and rear-facing child seats (as necessary for your child’s age and weight), and enough seatbelts for everyone, are both important and required by law. Side-facing seats should be avoided, as well as seats that swivel or rotate.
If you have a fifth wheel, make sure everyone travels in the same vehicle, and not in the trailer being towed.
You may be thinking: “Well, if my kids can’t run around, how do I keep them entertained while we drive to our next destination?”
Luckily, these days there are plenty of options for keeping your kids occupied (and out of your, and each other’s, hair!) on the road:
- Many RV models are equipped with TVs and entertainment systems — stock up on DVDs before you head out!
- Tablets or laptops may be a good investment. They can be loaded with games and activities that don’t require Internet access and will keep them occupied for hours
- Card or board games, if the seat configuration works
- Books to read, or colouring/activity books
Travelling in an RV with your kids can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it is definitely worth it! With a little preparation, you and your family will be in for the adventure of a lifetime!