Has Anyone Ever Done a Road Trip in an RV?

Updated on March 24, 2010
L. asks from Coppell, TX
16 answers

After a couple of exhausting vacations to Disney, my husband and I have decided to try a more relaxing, less commercial, vacation and take the kids on a road trip (am I crazy?) We would like our kids to see the Grand Canyon, and maybe camp in some National Parks. We have a 9 yr old and a small baby girl so we were thinking a small RV might afford us some basic needs for things like eating, bottle making, diaper changing, sleeping etc etc and we can carry tents, fishing gear etc if we happen to stop at a place where we can camp or we could sleep in the RV if we wanted to. Upon initial research, it looks like renting an RV can be pretty pricy. Just wondering if anyone has ever done this with small kiddos, if you rented an RV - how did that work out, or if you have one that you would consider renting for a week or so this summer.

We're just at the phase of tossing around ideas, but the idea of getting on an airplane right now with two kids and LOADS of luggage, airports, security, etc just doesn't sound appealing to us for a vacation.

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Thanks to another mamasource mama, we found an awesome RV rental/flexshare plan. We just went to take a look at the RV's, met the owner and signed up. If you are interested in the company, send me a PM and I can give you all the info. Thanks for everyone's feedback - we can't wait for our first trip this Spring Break!

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T.

answers from Dallas on

This isn't a response, but a question. RVing looks like great fun and my family and I are planning to travel to the Smokey Mountain’s next spring.

Can anyone recommend a good place to rent an RV?

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

L.,

RV's are lots of fun, and some work. I took a 1 year road trip with my 13y/o (now 39) and we saw things we just never knew existed. We home schooled for the year and used the national parks for many lessons on history, english, math etc. We were able to weather a storm or cook out under the stars depending on the weather and our location. It is a wonderful experience. Depending on the RV you may need to decide if the convenience of being able to prepare meals going down the road is more important than the flexiblility of driving when you arrive at destinations. RV driving requires a learning curve and can be unwieldy in cities. You just can't pull in or turn around anywhere. Purchasing an RV is really a financial decision since they can be pricey, renting may work better for you. Another option is the popups that tow nicely and if you park in a campground you can still have the advantage of a shower and washers and dryers.
I think the costs are pretty close to hotel room stays when you factor everything in but you have many more options and freedom. Renting from an individual instead of a company may be a better option for you but that also leaves you with more liability.
Road trips are the best, I know you will enjoy yourself.
K. W

1 mom found this helpful
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M.C.

answers from New York on

Hi L., I grew up going on trips and camping in our RV. I Loved It!! I want to do the same with my kids, 29 month old and 14 month old. We are going to wait until the kids get older however, 4 or 5 at least!!! It can be a big hassle. The RV's my parents used weren't the type that you could get up while you were driving and get food or make a bottle. These were the old fashioned pull campers. We never went more than maybe a 6-8 hour trip. It was definately more work on my mom, she came with meals already prepared or meals you can cook on a campfire. It sounds like fun, what you have planned, but you might want to wait till the little one is a little bit older. It is definately something you should do in the future, great family bonding time!!!!!!!! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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H.G.

answers from Dallas on

No but growing up we always did the national parks and we loved it. We always stayed in a cabin or condo rental. That way we had place to spread out. (7 of us total) You could try driving to New Mexico. The mountains are awesome and it is not as far away. The ski cabins and condos are way cheaper off season. That way you get nature by day and creature comforts by night. RVing sounds like too much work for the mom! Just my opinion.
Hope you have fun!
H.

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P.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Greetings - could you share you info with me please? I have a 10 year old and would love to plan a roadtrip with him to Cali maybe from Texas in an RV to save/eliminate the hotels etc. :O)

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E.

answers from Dallas on

I love your idea, and I've actually thought about it for our family as well (5 and 2 year old boys). Although I don't have a good lead on RVs, I have heard that there is such a thing as timeshare RVs. I have no idea how you get into it unless you buy into it or have friends or family members that already have a timeshare. You might also want to check out the new ad campaign . . . I think its called www.goRVing.com If that gets you no where try a search for "let's go RVing".

I'd love to know what you find out!
E. bartlett

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D.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have been camping with my 3 boys since they were babies (twins now almost 13, oldest 16). We have done RV's and tent camping. RV's are great and worth it in the end because you can pack everything you need in it and leave it. All your conveniences are right there. Places to park the RV are convenient, just plot your campgrounds ahead of time. Best to have things reserved in more popular spots ahead of time. Best thing about traveling in an RV? You can take side trips when you want, nap when the kids need to.

About me: I have twin 13 year old boys, not identical and a 16 year old. All hugely active in baseball and hockey. I am a single mother.

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G.W.

answers from Auburn on

The other ladies make it seem like it would be lots of fun

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

We have a 40 foot motor home....with kids it's the best way to travel, with little stress....Just take your time and DON"T have an iterary!! It is to stressful the try to keep on a schedule with little kiddos....have fun!!!!

Cathy

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P.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

Funny you should ask that question....

We took our daughter last Christmas to California for 3 weeks. She was 6 months old. Have the RV was great! I was nursing her and well we didn't have to stop cause well I would lean over her...I'm sure you get the visual! We took it to the Alliance Airshow last weekend as well. It was great cause our friends came with us. When we got hot, we went back to the RV had some lunch, cooled off and then went back into the show. I got hot again and went back to the RV with my friend and our 16mo olds. We stripped them down to their diapers and let them play outside with the outside shower hose. It was great! They had a ball and cooled off in the process. I think RV's are great. On that note:

We are trying to sell our RV. It's a Class C Jayco Eagle 31'. We bought it and then a month later we found out we were pregnant. Then I quit my job to stay home with our daughter. We don't use it as often as we'd ike and although we truly DON'T want to sell it, we just feel that the $$$ could better be used elsewhere at the moment. If you're intested in seeing some pictures e-mail me at [email protected]____.com

P.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Yes, best experience ever while traveling with our children. Although we had some challenges with the rental (i.e., we had to vacuum because there was too much cat hair, and the air conditioner went out). We rented from Cruise America and they gave us some of our money back. Although I wouldn't recommend Cruise America the RV experience was great. We traveled with our 3 year and 1 year old. The campgrounds that we stayed at had the best facilities and it was clean. When I didn't want to cook I didn't have to. They made and served great food at the campground. We were able to cookout, swim, exercise, watch a movie outside like a drive-in, but we were sitting on lawn chairs. They sold popcorn, snocones, etc. during this time. Our children loved it!

If you want more information about RV flexsharing please e-mail me at [email protected]____.com

T.L.

answers from Dallas on

After reading this I want to go on an RV road trip at this very instant. Sounds like loads of fun!

T. Lee
Mom of 2.5 boy.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

GO FOR IT! We are RVers...and love it. I hated the idea of camping, but RVing is like bringing your own little hotel with you...A/C, microwave, shower, beds....I highly recommend it. And you are right, it will be more relaxing than packing up suitcases and going to the airport....the kids will absolutely love it, I guarantee it....it will cost about the same as other types of vacations....by the time you put gas into the RV, groceries, camping fees.......but ohhhhh so worth it. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL time....filled with great memories....again I say...Go For It!

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

We did it as a kid--great memories. I think my Mom & Dad would agree it is fun and worth the effort. We have made many cross country road trip since our boys were very young.

The main thing I do know--- for the grand canyon and other Western region National Parks-- make your reservations RV spaces, hotel, lodges ASAP. They are usually booked a year+ ahead. Make some calls right away, and make sure you can stay where you want to. Otherwise you might be Rv-ing just to get "close" to all the scenery.

good luck--have fun. Susan

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I.

answers from Dallas on

Dear L.,
Renting a RV is the best thing you can do for a vacation. I'm not lying!!! We've done it for 2 weeks in New Zealand, our son was 11 months. We've done it for 12 days (grand canyon, bryce canyon, and some more national parks) with a 2,5 year old and a 9 month old. We've done it for 12 days in West Virginia with a 3,5 year old, a 1,5 year old and I was 7 months pregnant. And we've done it last month with a 4,5 year old, a 2,5 year old and a 1 year old in California. Nappa valley , LA, San Fransisco and route one at the coast in between the city's.

The best thing is: your not stuck at the same place for two weeks. I can't imagine to stay at the same hotel for even 7 day's, how boring! Just rent a RV and go explore the world (or start with America, there so many nice parks)

The next best thing is: you park just somewhere along the road, the kids take a nap and you can make coffee (or take a nap too, like we did after wine tasting in the nappa valley.)

And about the "2 minutes shower sprinkel" It's really not a sprinkle but a full shower,nothing wrong with. But with kids you always at night stay at a campground, and they have good facility's like washing machines and showers. We use often their showers, one of us take the two oldest with us and the 3 of us take a shower all together in the disabled shower stall. Just easier.

Another good thing is: you can cook your own dinner everyday. If you're in a hotel you have to eat their (fat) food everyday. Also their breakfast and their lunch. So you safe a LOT of money with buying your own carton of milk and one family pack of cereals. Renting a RV is expensive, but you earn a lot of money back with the food.

I can go on and on and on. We love, love ,love a RV holiday. You're as free as a bird, but it is so much more luxe than a tent (you have a fridge and even a freezer and a microwave!)
It's soooo convinient, you just stop and warm a bottle, you have everything on hand. There's no tv, so it's the ultimate family time. At night you make a campfire, roast marshmallows.

If you want more info about which brand etc. give me a personal message than I'll give my phone nr.

I hope you and your family will have a nice holiday, wether (?spelling?)your rent a rv or go to a hotel.

I.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I can tell you from experience that it is a FANTASTIC idea! My extended family and I made an RV trip from Waco to Pennsylvania last summer. We got one of the mid sized ones I think. It had a ben above the driver, a couch that converted, the seats at the table became a bed, and one large bed in the back. We had 6 adults (my parents, brother & sis-in-law, hubby and myself) and 5 kids ranging from 1yr to 8 yrs. It made traveling much nicer since we didn't have to work on 10 different bladder schedules or deal with the "my bottom hurts from sitting" comments. We stocked up food for breakfast and lunches then did dinner out.
I've made the drive before but the kids got to see parts of the country they wouldn't have seen from a plane. I highly recommend it to anyone. It can cost as much as flying depending on size and travel distance, but the quality of time you will spend is worth the expense.

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