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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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!