Many times people that are envying this lifestyle are telling me that the reason why they couldn’t do it is that they have kids. Full-time RV living has become more popular, not just for solo travelers and couples whole families are taking to the road and the RV lifestyle. RVing with kids is fun, stressful, exciting, noisy, and quite the adventure. There are things you will expect to change and maybe a few surprises.
IT’S GOING TO BE NOISY
Kids are kids no matter what the location. They like to play and laugh and make noise and messes. Being on the road is no different and often opens up more avenues for exploration. Living in an RV does not make the kids louder, but the smaller space and change in acoustics will. All noises will be magnified and this is a surprise to most parents. You can minimize the chaos and noise by letting them burn off energy outdoors as often as possible and by designating quiet times. It also helps if you have multiple children to separate them at bedtime.
ORGANIZATION IS ESSENTIAL
When you downsize from living in a home to an RV, you learn quickly which items are essential and what you can live without. When the kids are moving too, this usually means even more stuff. Nobody will be happy living in a cluttered RV, so it is essential to get and stay organized. Bringing your kids in on this process is important, letting them choose what is most important. This way they get to bring what matters and they feel values to be part of the planning and organization process. Teaching your kids where everything belongs is also necessary, so they can help keep the RV in order. A tiny space can get cluttered and messy quickly, but it also picks up quickly when everything has space.
NEW FAMILY DYNAMICS
Changing to the full-time RV lifestyle means changes to the family dynamics that you and the kids are used to. Moving into a smaller space forces everyone to learn new ways to communicate so space is shared fairly. There are shower times along with other schedules to make sure everyone has enough time to prepare for the day. You also have to plan for trips to a laundromat if the RV does not have a washer/dryer, as well as more frequent grocery shopping because storage space is now reduced. Planning things like this out is important so everyone’s needs are met. The RV lifestyle means you are literally living together 24/7 and while most families love it, there is an
When you choose to live in your RV, you also find new ways to earn money or adapt to your current job accordingly. With kids, you also have to adapt their education. Homeschooling becomes part of your life. Close to 2.3 million kids receive parent-led education and it has a number of advantages to offer your kids along with giving parents a direct role in what their kids learn. Studies have found that many homeschool students do better socially and academically. Your kids will get one-on-one teaching and support and this time helps strengthen relationships too. The full-time RV setting offers the opportunity for kids to learn outside of standard school education. You can teach them about running a household and they can help out with the regular RV maintenance. The most important thing to remember with home-schooling is that you will have to get and follow a curriculum and make sure your kids have all the necessary supplies as well as scheduled school time each day.
PREP FOR TRAVEL DAY
Travel days can be boring for kids. Depending on the next destination a travel day can be long and this is boring for a kid to be sitting in a vehicle. You need to make sure you are prepared with snacks, packed lunches or dinner, and water. You can stop on the way for mini hikes. Bring electronics for the kids, but only get them out when you make a stop. This way the kids have something for entertainment on the last leg of the journey, when they will be getting restless. Bring headphones for the kids so you don’t have to listen to their movies and games. One of the most essential things to do for travel days is to maintain consistency. This way kids know what to expect on these days and it will be part of their routine.
CAMP CHOICE MATTERS
You need to decide whether boondocking or RV parks are going to work best for you. With boondocking, you can get your rig outfitted with a great solar electrical system to facilitate boondocking which provides more space and freedom for you and the kids. If your family prefers full hook-ups, then RVV parks are a better choice. Some parks do charge an additional rate for kids, so be aware of that and always ask before you book a spot. Staying at RV parks is also a great way to meet other families giving your kids a chance to socialize.
KIDS ARE REALLY ADAPTABLE
One of the most surprising facts that many parents forget is that kids are highly adaptable. In fact, kids are way more adaptable than adults. Adults have been molded by society for much longer, making it challenging to think outside the box. Kids are still learning and are adaptable to their surroundings, so living in an RV can be easy to accept. They tend to adjust to the lifestyle and accept it for what it is.
The RV lifestyle is an adventure and something the whole family can enjoy. Knowing what to expect can help you minimize any surprises so that adapting to your new way of living is as easy a transition as possible. With all the adventure that awaits them, the kids will love living on the open road.