One travel experience I would love to have with my family is an epic U.S. road trip in an RV. While that’s not on the agenda for this year, tons of families are starting to plan their own RV adventure for their summer travel plans. To help you master this kind of trip, we’re sharing some tips from Mighway. Dubbed as the Airbnb for RVs, Mighway is a sharing platform that connects RV owners with travelers, and is sharing some great tips for families on traveling in an RV Read on for more:
RV Travel Tips for Families
1. Get the Right RV
If you don’t own an RV, be sure to rent one that is the right size and amenities. The advantage of peer-to-peers like Mighway is you can see pictures of what you’re getting, see the full amenities and ask questions. Some owners will allow Fido to go too. An RV that sleeps eight generally means four adults and four kids, or six adults. The dinette and sofa turn into a bed but those are usually too short/narrow to sleep two adults. An RV is obviously not going to be as comfortable as the Leesa mattress you have at home but as long as there’s enough room, it can still be pleasant. Make sure to pick an RV size that is not too long for the roads you want to use (some parks/roads have length limits).
2. Plan the Trip in Advance
Although a lot can be said for spontaneity, you don’t want to be completely spontaneous in an RV trip. You want to make sure the roads you are traveling are safe for your RV size, and you’ll want to pre-book spaces at RV resorts, especially during high season. A great resource for trip planning ideas is www.roadtrippers.com.
3. Pack Lightly and Use Soft Luggage
One big rookie mistake is packing too much. Pack light and use soft carry bags, which are easier to store. Be sure to secure them so they don’t become a safety hazard. Don’t forget your comfy pillow/bedding with enough blankets for the cooler nights when you don’t want to run the furnace.
4. Ban the Electronics
Sure, the kids will want to stage a coup at first but bring board games or storytelling the family can do together. The best part of the RV lifestyle is, if you take advantage of the intimacy, it’s a wonderful way to reconnect with each other. Kids quickly get over the withdrawal symptoms surprisingly fast. Another idea you may want to implement for your RV is the use of solar panels to generate power. While many RVs use generators for their power, RVs and solar power really seem to go hand in hand with each other, and solar panels are the more environmentally friendly option.
5. Pack Portable Snacks
For safety reasons, it’s best to pack favorite portable snacks kids can keep with them between stops so they don’t try to get up and get food. Getting up can be risky if the RV must make a sudden stop. Staying buckled up is the law, and if the RV makes a sudden stop it’s a hazard. Store bought snacks work great, but many families prepare food in advance and store it in the fridge so they don’t have to cook during the trip.
6. Don’t Drive Every Day and Make Frequent Stops
One of the biggest mistakes is an overly ambitious itinerary. Shorter stretches with regular stops for bio breaks and food makes everyone happier and more relaxed. Break up the drive with surprise stops at offbeat or unique attractions to engage them in the local culture and inspire a sense of adventure. Avoid driving and booking a different park every day. Take a couple of days to unwind in each destination and do off-the-grid activities like hiking or biking. These in-the-moment adventures together will mean more to your kids than you can imagine, and it’ll be easier on the parents doing the driving and trip coordination.
7. Stay Some Nights in a Full-service RV Park
Although RVs can go for a few days without recharging, national park campgrounds don’t usually have hookups, which can get old fast. Make sure the house batteries are fully charged before the “quiet time” at night in the campground, when generator usage is not allowed. Choose an RV park with full hookups, so you can recharge batteries, and feature fun activities so your kids can meet new friends, such as playgrounds, swimming pools, and game rooms for when the weather is bad. Some of them even have a petting zoo, hay rides, kid’s entertainment, dining options and more. And the whole family will enjoy the upgraded bathroom and shower facilities (the RV shower is good for about 4 uses)! Also, if you think you might encounter cold weather, running the furnace uses a lot of battery power which can drain it overnight.
8. Barbecue Nights and S’mores by the Fire
Many campgrounds offer barbecues, which can be a fun way to make an easy, less expensive meal than always eating in restaurants. If you are someone that is considering bring your own portable barbecue, you could always look to get a BBQ from garden site and then at least you know wherever you go, you’re always ready for a BBQ!
Bring heavy duty aluminum foil as campground barbecues can be dirty or rusty. Most RVsfeature kitchenettes where you can prepare simple meals as well. Take advantage of picnic tables to spread out (bring an outdoor tablecloth in case the tables are dirty). Also make sure to spend time after dinner around the fire making s’mores, which taste best when paired with good stories. And when the kids go to sleep, mom and dad can break out the wine and snuggle by the fire!
9. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Camping in the desert during the summer is not the best choice for an RV, most of which are not built for extreme temperatures. An RV AC can only bring down the temperature so much and it can be uncomfortable. Avoid locations that snow or ice over even in the summer. For moderate cold, you can hook up at an RV park and use the furnace to keep it toasty. You can use it without hookups, but it drains the battery quickly. Do not travel with an RV in freezing conditions (the water system may freeze).
10. Shell Out for Insurance
Even with the best planning and top-of-the-line RVs, things can go wrong. Give yourself the peace of mind of having protection, especially if you’re going to be in the wilderness. Several companies offer insurance, and Mighway offers unique premium option where they take care of road service, repairs, claims – and potentially find replacement vehicles for you. No matter what company you use, better safe than sorry!
Check out more RV tips on https://www.mighway.com/