RV living with family by your side is an awesome way to bond and experience new surroundings together. There is something about the open road that allows you to experience freedom on an entirely imaginative and nuanced level, helping to create lasting memories and insights that you and your family will hold dear for life.
That being said, the lifestyle is not free from obstacles, and those obstacles can be amplified when you live in your RV full-time or take an extended trip. One of the biggest hurdles that RV living with families presents is the simple fact that it can be difficult to live in such close coordinates with each other.
While experiencing the occasional bout of kennel stress is a small price to pay when embarking on such a unique family adventure, there are ways to manage it. To help you out, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Find Fun Ways to Keep Busy with Activities on the Road
Any parent knows that boredom can quickly lead to irritability, which is why it’s helpful to find new ways to stay entertained and enjoy time on the road. These can include:
- Supplying your kids with reading material that indulges their interests is a great way to encourage reading and help them pass the time.
- To make long drives more interactive, have each of your children spend time taking photos from the windows of things they find special or alluring. Even if some of the pictures end up a big blurry, seeing the photos everyone ends up with is a fun way to further memorialize the trip and the specific location.
- There are countless road trip games to play (here is a lengthy list for inspiration), such as the license plate game, the alphabet game, eye spy, etc.
- Engage in a silly game of road trip karaoke by making a playlist in advance that includes songs that each person picks.
- Teaching the act of mindfulness will help your kids handle the idle (or overactive) mind in a more productive way.
Get Creative With Personal Space While RVing
No matter how tight of a unit your family is, or how big of a rig you own, all motorhomes can eventually feel cramped after a long enough time. Personal space is an important part of recharging. Too much time together can lead to bickering and hostility, two factors that can put a damper on any excursion.
Even though alone time is harder to achieve for families living the RV lifestyle, it’s far from impossible. Here are a few ways to help your family keep the peace by getting some space:
- If the RV park allows, you can set up a tent outside of the RV to create a private area for whoever needs it. If not, an RV awning room can help expand your living space. These are designed to attach to your RV awning, creating an additional room that can be zipped up and closed off for anyone in seek of some deeply needed solitude.
- If your spouse needs a break and it’s convenient to do so, consider stopping in a town along the way. Take the kids to run a fun errand while your spouse gets some breathing room. If you both need it, take turns.
- Renting a cabin or an Airbnb for a couple of nights is a easy way to let tension ease and provide some extra space to sprawl out.
Choose Destinations That Cater to Different Interests
Especially for those families who are full-timing the whole RV living thing, it’s important that every family member traveling still feels like an individual.
It helps to choose locations that cater to different interests, as this will allow each passenger to feel like they can develop and maintain their distinct personalities. For example, if your spouse is interested in boating and your child is interested in dinosaurs, try to incorporate a location that has boat rentals and one that has a dino museum.
While it’s always worth it to boondock or seek out a secluded RV park, it’s helpful to occasionally find RV parks that offer a variety of amenities. Whether it’s a clubhouse with movie nights or other scheduled events, a fun playground, or access to hiking trails, variety will help everyone have fun and will also offer more outlets for alone time and personal space.
Encourage Communication While RV Living With Family
Just like with any relationship in any situation, practicing healthy communication skills is the key to resolving issues and getting individual needs met, but it’s especially important to mitigate tension when sharing a cramped space.
The best way to teach your kids how to communicate in a calm, productive manner is to do so yourself. At the end of the day, you all are human, and negative emotions and feelings will inevitably boil up once in a while.
You can help prevent an explosion by encouraging your family to be earnest and upfront when those feelings arise and to practice nonviolent communication when they’re upset. It can take a bit of time, but eventually, you will develop a harmonious communication rhythm as a family if you actively work towards it.
Stay Organized and Divide Responsibility
Small spaces suddenly feel much smaller when they are cluttered and in disarray. Your RV will feel more spacious if you downsize as much as possible as well as if your family can commit to staying organized and tidy. When you’re operating with minimal room, it helps to have a designated place for everything.
On a similar note, fairly dividing and designating the responsibilities in your home-on-wheels will help your household function more smoothly. If everyone knows what their duties are, you are less likely to be tripping over each others’ messes. The RV living with family does wonders for free spirits, but a bit of structure can help your home function like a well-oiled machine instead of a clown car on the verge of chaos.
Happy RV Living!
When it comes down to it, road tripping with your family is an invaluable, unparalleled experience, but family is family. The enthusiasm for adventure doesn’t always override the occasional cramped feeling of too much togetherness.
Hopefully this advice helps shed some light on RV living with family and how to manage your small space in healthy ways that cater to everyone’s needs. If you can manage to do that, your adventures together will be even more magical.
Safe and happy trails!
Think RVing with family is a challenge? Check out the Top 6 Stories of Family Survival and your next RV trip will feel like a breeze!