7 RV Life Hacks For The Whole Family
RVing is a lot of fun, especially when doing it with the family. Yes, RV holidays are incredible experiences for everyone, since sharing a smaller space often brings you closer together, and the rejection of city luxuries creates bonding moments that will be remembered for a lifetime.
However, an RV trip with sticky, stroppy kids brings its own challenges. You might be bombarded with the following concerns:
- Is there a mess to clean up in the RV?
- What’s this, another plate broke?
- Is someone in your RV group sick and or injured, and needs medical attention?
- Worried that your children will turn to social media for entertainment, when the purpose of the trip is to unplug?
- Are the kids growing antsy from boredom?
No matter the purpose of the trip – to relocate, or to settle in for a summer at your favorite RV park – there has to be easier ways to get cleaner, relaxed, and overall happier experiences out of your RVing, right?
Not to worry! These RV tips are here to save the day, allowing you to seamlessly explore the world with the whole family by your side. The kids will thank you for these experiences one day!
1. Saving Water When Showering
When you’re sharing a small space with the whole family, personal hygiene becomes more important than ever. Yet often, you’ll be forced to use RV hook-ups that might not have an adequate water supply. Therefore, being conservative on how much water you use is crucial. You can practice conversation by using these tricks:
- Make sure you turn the water off while you’re soaping up to preserve your supply.
- A quick blast of water at the start and end of the shower is all you need to plenty of soaking, so that you don’t have to stand there waiting to get enough.
In these ways, you’ll ensure that the whole family can get clean, without you running out of water, or using too much of it.
Plus, you might be interested in upgrading your RV’s shower, to ensure that you’re saving on water. Luxury models like Oxygenics are innovative so where they give you plenty of water to soak in, so that you’ll spend less time in the shower.
2. Tortilla Chips On The Fire
It’s obvious that kids of all ages love a nice campfire; and having them roast marshmallows over an open flame will give them memories that they’ll definitely look back on when they’re older. But before you can create these memories with them, the first step is to start a fire, right?
So, here’s an idea: Raid the cupboard for this fire-starting life hack: tortilla chips. You heard right! Tortilla chips. By oiling up a tortilla chip, you’ll get a fire going within seconds.
It’s also important to note that when doing this hack, you may want to consider doing it on a clever yet little-known RV camper secret: using a baking stone. Yes, whenever you cook in an RV, chances are you’re using an RV oven that only contains a single burner, which can cause the heat to be concentrated in a single area, resulting in burnt food – especially baked goods and casseroles. Luckily, by placing a baking stone in the center of the oven, the stone will absorb the heat and be sure to distribute it evenly for whatever dish that you’re cooking. Plus, there are baking stones in the market that can be used outside whenever your little ones are roasting marshmallows.
However, safe always comes first whenever you handle something that can heat up. In other words, keep in mind that kids should never get too close to the campfire flames, while roasting their marshmallows. So, it’s best to practice supervision whenever your kids take part in activities that involve fire.
3. Wipe It Down
So, now that you and the family has had dinner, what happens now? Well, the washing up part can be a big drain on you and your resources, especially when trying your best to limit how much resources you use.
“Too often, RVers will be tempted to use buckets of water to get their dishes washed on the road or at their campsite,” says Mary Wells, lifestyle blogger at State Of Writing and Paper Fellows. “However, there’s an easier way to do dishes when RVing. Instead of wasting water rinsing every dish, try giving everything a wipe down with a kitchen towel Too often you’ll see many dishes come up sparkling clean without needing a speck of water. And, this is an easy job for children, even if they say that it’s boring. Try to make this job fun by seeing who can clean the most dishes using this technique. By creating a game out of this chore, and putting them to work at the same time, you and them can relax once everything is said and done.”
Plus, did you know that you can use things like file folder boxes as a means for storage? You heard right! File folder boxes aren’t just for putting files in! Consider using file folder boxes to store your kitchen supplies in whenever you’re RVing. If you have too many kitchen supplies, and not enough drawer or cabinet space in the RV, then don’t panic. Just use hanging file folder boxes to help you organize and quickly access kitchen supplies before and after meals. Consider storing kitchen stuff like:
- Eating utensils
4. Nesting Crockery Is A Space Saver
Did you know that nesting ware is your friend? Yes, believe it or not, nesting bowls and spoons are a big win for those traveling in an RV, since such crockery not only act as space-savers, but also serve as toys for the kids!
First, when being with your kids in an RV, it can often be cramped in there. Therefore, saving space is more important than ever. Nesting ware, that is, crockery that neatly fits into each other, is a key space saver. You can store little things like food, toys, candy, etc. in nesting crockery, which tend to come with lids to make storage a breeze.
What’s more, younger kids will love exploring the dimensions of these objects, and fitting them into each other. In fact, think of all the creative possibilities for them to take part in when playing with nesting crockery:
- Building things (almost like Legos)
- Using them as “boats”
- Using them as “treasure chests” when “looking for buried treasure”
- Setting them as dollhouses for their playthings (i.e. Barbies)
Thus, playing with nesting crockery can provide hours of satisfaction, depending on your child’s ability to conjure up imaginative ideas.
So, why not keep the kids occupied, and save space at the same time, with this RV hack? Your kids will surely thank you for it!
5. Anti-Moisture Packets
The threat of dampness infiltrating the RV is ever-present, no matter the weather conditions. So, when you’re trying to keep the kids clean and healthy, avoiding moisture is even more important, since it can cause mold to grow substantially, and get people (especially those who have allergic reactions to mold) sick.
One way to combat the pesky moisture that can plague your RV is to stock up on the tiny anti-moisture packets (often a silica powder) that you would find in shoe boxes and appliance boxes. Once you accumulate enough of these packets, stash them in all your drawers and boxes in the RV.
Plus, keep in mind that temperature control is essential, especially when dealing with dampness. Since RVs aren’t insulated like houses, temperature, including dampness, can be harder to regulate. Therefore, a vent cushion can go a long way, in conjunction with anti-moisture packets. You can find vent cushions in the RV section of most hardware and superstores.
Just remember: Whatever material you use, including anti-moisture packets, keep them out of reach of children as they’re toxic, and can cause significant health problems. In addition, once you’re done using the packets, be sure to dispose of them correctly.
6. Keep Coolers Cool Longer
“Nothing is worse than having children that are drenching with sweat, and are complaining about how hot the weather is – outside and inside the RV,” says Victoria Lagarde, travel writer at OXEssays and Essayroo. “Therefore, hot and sweaty kids can mean the following – tantrums and unrest, which are not something that you want your RV experience to be about.”
One solution to this is to treat your kids to ice cream, which is inexpensive and can keep them happy for a while. Though, while keeping your holiday peaceful by handing out the ice creams when things heat up is essential, keeping these tasty treats cool is extremely crucial. Now, consider the refrigeration that you have access to in an RV:
- Most RVs will have refrigerators in them anyway. However, these refrigerators are usually best for your perishable goods and meat.
- Having a cooler is also essential, because it keeps the little things like ice cream where people can have easy access to, instead of having to dig around in the RV refrigerator. Or, if your RV doesn’t have refrigeration, then a cooler would suffice. Although coolers require ice to keep the stored food and drinks cold, there are also great ways to stretch its ability to keep things cool.
“Freezing a few bigger jugs of water, which melt much slower than the regular cool packs, allows the cool box to stay cool for longer,” adds Lagarde. “As an upside, once the water is melted, you’ll be able to use it for drinking anyway, thus making this a space saver as well. That means the ice cream is on hand for when you need it most!”
By having plenty of cooling options at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about food spoiling during your RV adventure.
7. Laundry Day
Finally, when you’re RVing, you’ll have to tackle the piling dirty clothes sometime. In fact, kids are always going to find a way to get themselves dirty, especially on trips. So, you might find yourself doing laundry even more often than when you were at home!
So, consider the following solutions:
- Find a laundromat. If you have enough money in tow, then a laundromat is your best bet, so that you can get that same laundry experience that you would at home. Though, you may want to bring your own detergent and softener, if you choose to do laundry at a laundromat. Plus, make sure to scout out the nearest laundromats – ones closest to your RV site, which you can do with a quick Google search, or a touch of your map app(s). OR,
- If you prefer to do things by hand, and save money, then consider creating your own laundromat by using a bucket of soapy water, and then hanging your clothes out to dry on a makeshift clothesline.
Plus, you want to have space to put your laundry – dirty and clean – in. So, to save space, use a collapsible laundry basket as a wastebasket for your RV. Such wastebaskets can be collapsed between uses, and stored out of the way when necessary.
BONUS: Being Safe
Much like any other vacation, adventure, or outing, you have to make sure that you and your family are safe from anything that can happen:
The last thing you want is for something bad to happen in your trip, which may result of someone being rushed to the hospital. Don’t let that be you!
First, invest in a first aid kit, if you haven’t done so already. First aid kits help you treat things on the spot like:
- Minor cuts
- Insect bites
- Allergic reactions from plants, insect bites, etc.
Although those injuries are typically minor, they’re still realities of campsite life. Therefore, it’s important to have a first aid kit in your RV at all times.
Or, if you already have a first aid kit, take the time to go through it each year and see if you need to replace and or restock anything. Chances are, you might be harboring outdated or depleted supplies. Therefore, be sure to have the following when checking inventory:
- Ointments and creams
- Bandages and gauze
- Hand sanitizer
- The necessary medications (i.e. pain relievers)
Plus, make sure to have bug spray and or bracelets handy, since you’ll be exposed to more bugs when RVing, especially mosquitoes, which are notorious for carrying the West Nile Virus. So, keeping a bug spray in your camper will prevent the likelihood of contracting the virus from being bit by mosquitos. Plus, be sure to grab some bug repelling bracelets for the kids to wear whenever they’re playing outside. Both the spray and the bracelets can help you keep the bugs at bay, and keep your loved ones safe.
And, as always, be sure to be at close proximity to a community center (or at least know where one is at), should there be any emergencies during your RV experience. Sometimes, things might escalate to the point where you’ll need assistance fast. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local community center.
Community centers are the most valuable parts of RV parks and campgrounds, since they give guests the privacy that they need, open spaces, comfortable seatings, and pixel-free TV. And, they may have sinks, refrigerators, microwaves, and Wi-Fi. Though, you may want to keep these centers in mind whenever there are emergencies, not to take you away from the natural RV experience.
Family holidays can be stressful at the best of times and in confined spaces it can take a little more refinement to create the perfect family trip. However, RV trips allow you to generate incredible and unforgettable experiences for the kids, and watching them discover the landscape you travel through can be life affirming.
The major takeaways that we’ve discussed in this article are the following:
- Use storage to your advantage by seeing what needs to be stored, and what things can suffice as storage.
- Simplify chores to save on resources.
- Make sure that the kids are having fun – with leisure or chores.
- Be conservative on resources (i.e. water, space, etc.).
- Take note of changing temperatures inside and outside the RV.
- Have the right supplies with you, including essentials (i.e. first aid kits).
Simple hacks like these can take all of the guesswork out of enjoying your RV. Try them yourself, and do your friends and family members a favor by sharing with them. Many of these clever RV hacks are so useful, your friends will thank you, even if they don’t travel. Plus, don’t be afraid to add your spin to any of the tips and tricks that we’ve discussed today.
So, we hope that these greats ideas help out some of the stress that may come from RVing, whether you’re new to the game, or a regular RVer looking to freshen their know-how. By following these tips (along with the bonus), you can rest assured that you and your family will enjoy RV living and exploring places together for many years to come.
Katherine Rundell is a journalist at Academic Writing Service and Assignment Help. She loves travelling and since starting a family she’s been taking her kids all over the world, picking up family-oriented travel tips along the way. Her further writing can be found at Write My Essay.