RV there yet?

I have always wanted to do a family RV trip, a big on with wandering and adventuring at the core.  Making memories.  The COVID19 epidemic got the whole family on board.

We are sharing the steps to get you on the open road and resources  as we find them and vet them, so this is a work in progress.

Getting an RV:

RV Share
Cruise America
Outdoorsy
RV Trader
All Star Coaches

Here are the planning sites we have been using:

  • TripWizard is a web based planning tool.
  • Good Sam is roadside assistance, travel bookings and so much more.
  • Reserveamerica is an online resource for all things camping.
  • allstays.com offers over 37,000 Campgrounds: Independent, KOA, National/State Forest, State Parks, Public Lands, Army Corps, National Park, Military, County and City Parks, casinos and more.  Amenities noted include open season, rate range, sites, hookups, amps, big rigs access, tents or no tents, club discounts (Good Sam, Passport America, Escapees, KOA, 1,000 Trails, Resorts of Distinction, AOR, Coast to Coast), water, toilets/restrooms, tables, pool, playground, laundry, propane, pet-friendly, RV dump station, age restricted, big rigs, boat launch, trails, internet access and more.
  • thedyrt.com is all about helping you find the right outdoor accommodations for your crew.
  • campendium.com is a site for reviews on camp sites.
  • boondockerswelcome.com is for free overnight stays on private property.  Think exchange student.
  • RV Wizard is a comprehensive paid site for route planning and finding campgrounds.
  • RV Parky is great for finding and comparing camp sites in any area you search for.
  • Recreation.gov helps you dream up your next trip, figure out the details, and reserve experiences at over 3,500 facilities and 100,000 individual sites across the country. There’s something for everyone on Recreation.gov, so get out there, experience America, and bring home a story!  Camping & Day Use -Return to your favorite spot or discover a new one that’s right for you.  Search Camping, Tours & Tickets, Permits, Obtain permits for access to high-demand locations and experiences, Recreation Activities, Find the best spots for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and other activities.

We love the Junior Park Rangers program.  If visiting a national park make sure to check this free initiative out.

We love to make a plan but be flexible.  If you get to a place and you are having a great time, stay an extra day.  Make friends.

Here is our packing list:

A ranger in Africa told us that dark colors attract mosquitos.  I forgot this fact and years later in Little St Simons Island I was very much reminded in black yoga pants.  I don’t know if it’s a fluke or a fact but, never again.  Skip the black and go for lighter colors when doing your packing.  I would also error on the side of overpacking – if you can skip having to be locked down to do laundry that is just more playtime!

Packing cubes make life sooo much easier.  We have monogramed ones for everyone in our family each in their own color for all of their stuff.  Pajamas in one, undergarments and swim in another, day clothes in one, and layers in another.  I feel like preparation allows me to more enjoy the trip.  Then each kids gets a backpack to fill as they choose.  You can bring as many LOL dolls as fit in there.  (eye roll)

YOU

  • Nabee compression socks, we wear them for long rides or big hikes.  Compression socks also alleviate pain, fatigue and swelling while preventing spider and varicose veins. For athletes, wearing compression socks during a workout give a higher rate of tissue recovery and less muscle soreness after.  And moms, this may be a trip – but it’s not a vacation so take care of yourself.  The Nabee brand doesn’t irritate my tender tootsies either.
  • Hiking shoes for mom, I preferred these to a boot style so I could exercise in them, hike, take a run, chase kids…  you get the idea.  These are so comfy!
  • RV there yet. shirts we find highly necessary.
  • Water shoes
  • Bathing suit
  • Pajamas
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Socks – good ones that go up higher than your hiking shoes
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Undergarments
  • Backpack
  • Vest or packable down jacket.  My girls love these vests and these Joules ones work for boys or girls and have lasted as hand me downs too.  (love that brand, sustainable and durable!)
  • Sundress
  • Cosmetics
  • Rain-jackets for kiddos and adults packable and lightweight
  • Travel CBD – you might need it after parking!

KIDS

GENERAL

  • Airfree T 800 – MUST have – purifies air from mold, mildew, funky smells, viruses, bacteria, pet dander, pollen.  
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Laundry detergent – use that link to get $10 off your order, its eco friendly and little pods so you don’t have to worry about spilling on the trip.
  • 1 ply toilet paper
  • On the Go biodegradable TP kits – so great for hiking (and Mother Earth)
  • Instant pot or slow cooker
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlight
  • Duct tape
  • Sharpie Pen
  • Laundry Bag
  • Umbrella
  • Bedding
  • Pool Bag
  • Surge protector
  • Poopouri for your tiny bathroom
  • Adjustable table to put under your awning
  • Tent if you do not have rollout awnings
  • Outdoor rug to place under your stairs to keep things tidy
  • Clamps to hold things in place
  • Serving tray to take meals to and from the picnic table – and use them for so much more
  • Mat to wipe feet before going in the RV
  • Beach towels, we prefer quick dry camp towels
  • First Aid Kit (we make our own and have bandages, charcoal pills, Benadryl, the bug bite thing,
  • Swimming toys
  • Pocket knife
  • Newspaper and firewood
  • Lighter
  • Outdoor fan
  • Fishing gear
  • Cooler
  • Reusable ice packs
  • Lantern
  • DVDs.  Dont expect to always have internet to stream a movie should you wish.  Many campgrounds do offer Wifi but its not their selling point.
  • Speaker – have a campfire dance party!
  • Cords for phones etc
  • Reusable water bottle for each person
  • Cleaning supplies (we like the brand good green cleaners because of the easy refill and eco friendly non toxic approach)
  • This drying rack.  As a Florida girl I had discounted wool, but it really is the ultimate – natural, renewable, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, flame, mildew and mold resistant, regulates temp and wicks away moisture.  Nature is pretty clever huh.  And the drying mat is nice looking and folds away to nothing.
  • Bug candle or coil
  • Books
  • Picnic Blanket – we like this one because it is washable and waterproof.  It can double as a raincover on a hike.
  • Dish detergent
  • Hand soap
  • Camp chairs, camp sites might have a picnic bench or log benches so its nice to have a comfy place to sit and watch the fire.
  • Hammock
  • Outdoor towels

For kiddo fun we suggest:

Scooters or bikes (fun for you too grown ups!). Some camp sites have golf cart rentals that are nice if you don’t have a detachable vehicle…  but bikes make a good alternative!

Board games.  Uno, Monopoly, Clue, Battleship, Guess Who, Pictionary, Boggle.  Great for nights and rainy days.

Hiking backpack for smaller ones.  We have used the linked Phil and Ted one for 3 kids and countless miles and the 4 year old still fits in it (and falls asleep as soon as she gets in).  Fits my husband and I and stays secure for all terrain.  Lightweight but storage for other items.  Bonus – they have great customer service, when I broke a clip on mine they insisted on sending me a new one.

Cubles an eco and brain friendly toy that the kids create.  Bonus it comes flat so you can store it away for a mid way trip surprise.

Beach/sand play toys, we liked that this one had a sifter, we use it a lot in creeks.

Sidewalk chalk

Bubbles

Magna tiles are easy to store and make for hours of fun for all ages.

We love this activity book about national parks

 

Easy Food Preparation:

You can google lots of great ideas.  I suggest printing them out and making a grocery list before you go so you can meal plan.  Here are a few of our staples.

Make before you go:

  • muffins
  • banana bread
  • pancake mix
  • salsa

Make on the journey:

  • Hot dogs on sticks over fire
  • S’mores goodies – pro tip put them in a ice cream cone instead of a gram cracker sandwich for mess reduction
  • Overnight oatmeal
  • Salad

Groceries we packed:

  • Rasins
  • tortillas
  • crackers
  • dried fruits
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • cheese
  • tostadas
  • cereal
  • melon (uncut)
  • milk
  • jelly
  • peanut butter
  • bread
  • syrup
  • eggs – we love this container to travel with them

 

Have tips or ideas to share?  Comment below.

Wishing you a great journey!

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