Date: July 2014
Destination: Pacific Northwest
Activity: RV’ing (is that a word?)
Traveling with six kids in a confined space of an RV isn’t the easiest travel situation but it isn’t all that bad either. Traveling with kids is rough no matter if you have one or more. In our RV we have six places for sleeping. That was a big factor in choosing the RV that we did. We needed the bunk beds that are a little harder to find in most RV’s.
In our rig we have two couches that make into beds, one of those makes into a double that has a blow up mattress on top and is quite comfortable. Of course like most RV’s the kitchen table makes into a bed and then we have the bunks, and a master king bed in the back. It is quite comfortable and gives everyone a little space to spread out however it is a little bit of a challenge to make all of the beds in the morning.
Another challenge for a family our size is only having one bathroom. I have avoided most traffic jams in the bathroom by waking up kids one at a time and usually starting with the youngest. This way each one can run straight to the bathroom in the morning with out the crazy jumping up and down outside the door begging to get in to use the restroom.
One of the aspects I love about our RV and makes the whole thing doable is the washer and dryer! One thing I’ve learned on our huge summer RV trip is that only 4 outfits are really necessary. Packing too many clothes for a family of eight can make that the only thing we are packing! We didn’t want to drown in clothing so we packed sparingly and just washed either at our RV or some of the very clean and nice parks we parked in.
Speaking of RV parks they aren’t like we all imagined. They are actually quite nice. I’m sure there are the parks that live up to the stereotypes we see on TV but there are some very nice parks and some that are even considered luxury RV parks. The cost of the parks vary on the amenities. Most parks cost between $30-$40 a night which is a huge savings for our crew that is used to paying $100-$200 per room at hotels while traveling. The luxury RV parks do cost more at about $80 per night and of course all of these include the full hook ups we need for water, sewer, and electric.
Along the lines of savings we can’t believe how much we have saved on meals! When we travel I usually try to keep our family at eating just two meals a day to save on costs. A late breakfast and an early lunch. Making our own meals isn’t conducive if we are staying at a hotel so eating out is a must. On our RV however, I can cook breakfast lunch and dinner. Not always the most fun way to spend a vacation but it is cost efficient. Also by making meals in such close quarters means everyone is involved in the process. Some kids are peeling potatoes, while others are setting the picnic table outside. The savings has been immeasurable.
Also along the lines of pitching in everyone has to help keep the RV picked up and clean. At home I can get lazy in my parenting and not worry as much if a bed goes unmade or a bathroom is left in disarray, but in the RV that is impossible. When you sleep in a bed you make it. When you use the bathroom then you wipe it down. We all sweep floors several times a day and swift the floors at least once. There is always a nine year old with a bottle of Windex wiping down the microwave and fridge while another is using a dust cloth to wipe down the cabinets and dashboard. My twelve-year-old has been conditioned to jump up and follow Dad outside when we stop to help with hook ups and unpacking and my seven-year-old knows more about diapering a baby and feeding her a bottle than any of her friends her age.
The RV has taught us all how to pitch in and work together as a family. Not only do we have the amazing opportunity to visit many sites we wouldn’t usually visit but we get to do it as a team.
Safe and Happy Travels!!!