10 Things You Should Know About Full Time RV Living With Kids
Full time RV living with kids is becoming more and more popular. Why wouldn’t it be? Telecommuting jobs and other forms of online work are increasingly abundant, and finding ways to stay connected in order to do those jobs gets easier every year. Not only that, but homeschooling is becoming more mainstream, and subsequently, resources to school your kids on the road are becoming more accessible.
Yes, for many families, it just seems to make sense to get out there and see the world. That said, RV living in general—and especially RV living with kids—is not all sunshine and roses. There are some things you will want to know in order to ensure the longevity of your family RV adventures.
In this article, we are going to share some of our top tips for full time RV living with kids. Use these tips to help ensure your RV adventure is as wonderful as you hope it will be.
1. Choose your RV wisely
First and foremost, you must choose your RV wisely. A rig with a separate bunk room and master bedroom is crucial.
Doors inside the RV are a must-have, and having plenty of storage space (as well as floor space for playing) is ideal. Some families might also want to consider looking for a rig with two bathrooms.
2. Set up an outdoor living space
Even the biggest RV is going to seem tiny at times, especially when your whole family is crammed inside. For this reason, it is important that you set up an outdoor living space wherever you park. Doing so will give you and your family a place to escape when things feel too crowded.
Your outdoor living space can include things like a Clam tent for extra work/play space, a hammock or two for relaxing, an outdoor rug, plenty of chairs, and some sort of lighting. Make it feel comfortable so people actually want to spend time out there!
3. Purge, purge, purge
Regularly purging unnecessary items is another thing that will help you feel more comfortable in a tiny home. Kids come with a lot of stuff, and they tend to accumulate more pretty quickly—seriously, how do they do it?—especially when spending time with family.
Of course, you will want to do a good purge of toys, clothes, and household items before you move into your RV. That said, you’ll also want to set aside time to purge again at least every six months in order to ensure clutter stays at a minimum and your family has space to breathe.
4. Stay organized, but get accustomed to mess
Of course, having a good organization system will also help the space feel bigger. We mentioned buying a rig with plenty of storage space before. Do that, but also find ways to make the most of that storage space. Bins with lids, hanging storage systems, and vacuum bags are all useful items to have.
Just keep in mind that no matter how much you organize your RV, there is always going to be clutter. You live in the space, and there really isn’t anywhere for the messes to hide. For this reason, you will need to learn to embrace the mess as a sign that your family is really making the most of life.
5. Discuss water and electricity conservation
If you ever plan on boondocking or camping without hookups—and you almost certainly will end up doing this, at least occasionally—you will need to talk to your kids about conservation.
Boondocking (or dry camping) means camping without any hookups whatsoever. This means electricity, water, and waste tank space are all very limited, so you really can’t run water mindlessly or leave electronics running for no reason. You will have to take the time to teach your kids these things.
6. Dole out chores
Kids who live in houses have chores. There is no reason kids who live in RVs shouldn’t have chores also. In fact, we highly recommend that you do give your kids some household tasks to keep up with.
These tasks might look different than typical household chores, but kids can do things like wipe down countertops and sinks, help dump tanks, and even walk trash to the campground dumpster if they’re old enough.
7. Roadschool your way
We mentioned homeschooling on the road at the beginning of this article. This is what most RVing families do, as it offers a level of flexibility that allows them to travel as they see fit. It also offers the opportunity to tailor your homeschool style to fit your child’s needs and even weave your travel adventures into your studies!
Give yourself freedom to create your own unique roadschool style. Don’t worry about doing the same thing a school would do or conforming to any particular style of homeschooling. Instead, pick and choose what works for your family and run with it, making sure you allow it to morph as your family grows and changes.
RV LIFE offers an excellent Masterclass entitled Ready to Roadschool. The course will guide you through the basics of roadschooling as well as the different laws in different states, making the transition into homeschooling, and more.
8. Know where to find traveling friends
Nobody wants to go without friends for a long period of time. This is especially true of kids who crave peer-to-peer interaction.
Fortunately, the idea that RVing kids don’t have friends just isn’t true, and you can totally find friends for your kids and for yourself while RVing full time.
The trick? Knowing where to find other RVing families. We’ve found that Thousand Trails campgrounds are always full of full time RVing families. Additionally, communities like Fulltime Families, Xcapers, and Republic of Nomads all have events for younger RVers, meaning plenty of families with kids.
Once you meet some families that your family clicks with, get their contact info and make plans to intentionally meet up as often as possible.
9. Include the kids in planning
People tend to be much more excited about trips that they help plan. Within reason, try to give the kids a say in where you go and what you do. Offer choices as often as possible, and always take everyone’s opinions into account.
This will help keep the whole family happy on the road so your full time RV lifestyle can be as long-lived as you’d like it to be.
10. Take things slow
Learning to travel slowly will help keep you on the road longer. This can be challenging at first, since you start out wanting to see and do ALL the things. However, trying to live in vacation mode for more than a couple of months will definitely lead to burnout.
Instead, allow yourself a few weeks or even a couple of months to explore each area, keep travel days short and sweet, and allow plenty of days for work, school, chores, and simply hanging out at home. You’ll be glad you did!
Plan your next family trip
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.