RV Life with Little Kids: What We’ve Learned

We travel in our RV with three kids under 5, and we’re about to go full-time. We’ve traveled a lot over the last two years, and we’ve learned so much. A lot of what we’ve learned fits our family, and each road warrior family is different, but I hope these help. 

Be realistic about the amount of space you all need. 

Does everyone need a “real” bed? Do you need a lot of living space? Do you want an outdoor kitchen? Does everyone need a door to close? We asked all of these questions before we bought our RV. We purchased (what feels like) a giant RV because we travel with three generations and three little ones. We appreciate the separate spaces, especially since our kids go to bed pretty early. Keep in mind, National Parks aren’t usually big rig friendly, but there are great options for boondocking out west. It is all about how you want to travel.  

Bedtimes are different. 

Long days outside enjoying nature sometimes mean your little ones pass out with sleepy smiles on their faces. Other nights, it is a different story. Sound carries in an RV. Rainstorms are loud. The wind is noisy, and voices are hard to hide. We added a box fan to the bunkroom, and it helped so much. It quiets some of the noise and circulates air. We also added window covers to darken the room. Bright sun makes for early risers. 

Don’t skimp on meal planning. 

I never want to cook after a full day of sightseeing. It is so much easier to eat out, but it gets expensive and often unhealthy if we do it a lot. So, I try to plan our meals for a week and make sure I have everything I need on hand. It helps to keep it simple because we don’t’ have a ton of food storage space, and I cook over the fire or in our outdoor kitchen most of the time. Our oven and cooktop heat the inside of the RV pretty fast. 

Dirt doesn’t hurt (but it is so dirty).

I feel like I need a smiley emoji at the end of every sentence I write. Anyway, it is tough to control the dirt inside the RV when the outside is nothing but dirt. We use a large outdoor mat, a mat at the bottom of our steps, and a mat at the top of the stairs. We have a stick vacuum, a broom and a wet cloth mop. That’s how dirty it gets. We let our kids get messy, so I’m well prepared, and I bring lots of extra clothes for when we can’t do laundry.  

Everything about RV life is an adventure.

I love traveling in our RV. Waking up to a new view and endless backyard are the best. Living with less is freeing, and the ability to clean my home on wheels in 20 minutes is epic. I wish there were a way I could encourage every family to take an RV trip. You’ll make unforgettable memories together!

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