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Old 07-18-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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Cool Long trips with children

We hope to take a long trip with the kids in our 36 foot RV.

Going by car I know what to do, up early ( 5am is good ), hit the road, when the traffic picks up for the day, stop for breakfast of eggs and bacon, this heavy breakfast seems to keep the kids calmer in the car. Stops to run the kids are also good, with lunch around 1PM, and then drive until just before dinner, stop for the night, get dinner and bed early.

Now, how will that differ in an RV?

I suspect that getting in and out of the parking lot for a waffle house or Ihop is not going to be easy-- how do people handle this?

I'm plenty sure that the drive through at McDonalds is absolutely out as will be the pull ins at Sonic.

On the up side, we can carry cold drinks and sandwich fixings easily and the toilet is on board so no dealing with public restrooms.

This is all I have got so far-- could really use advice from others who RV with children-- what ought we know?

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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When our kids were little we had simple snacks ready for them and set a tv on the dinette so they could sit on the couch and watch movies as I drove. If they weren't watching a movie they would be reading, doing activity books, playing "I spy with my little eye" games or snoozing. If we were freeway rambling we would hit an occasional rest stop to let everyone stretch their legs, if we hit the right ones we would come across a playground (jungle-Jim and swings). If we were country cruising we would stop at a park in small towns and let the kids run for a bit.

Now they are teens and they mostly read, eat, read some more and eat a whole lot more. All of that and perfect the "are we there yet?" mantra. If you have little kids would you like to trade? If you have teens, would you like a couple more?

Happy trails,

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Old 07-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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LOL! I've been through teens and no thank you! I'm mom to two who are now in their 20's and the two who are traveling with us as 2 and 5mo which are so easy compared to teens!

Right now they are not yet reading. I am thinking they need to be in car seats while we are under way, at least until they are old enough to stay out of the way of the driver.

I think I will look for more games for the mobigo and perhaps find some other hand held gaming system they can put on earbuds. Hubby is not happy with a TV on.

At what age do you think they are ready to be released from car seats during travel time?
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
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20 years old, though the boss set them free years ago.

Seriously, some states have laws regarding children in car seats. I don't think that would differ in regards to a mh.

Our kids started out in car seats too, we would seatbelt the car seats onto the couch. The tv was far enough back that it was not a distraction to me (we didn't use the big tv). I ran a cable from the VCR to make it easier.

We stepped out of traveling for several years while I flew from site to site. We are now just back into the traveling again and are enjoying it.

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Old 07-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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We are still new and figuring things out but so far we have a pretty good system worked out.

We are headed from NC to Petoski MI in August. Will drive 10 hours the first day and get in to a campsite sometime around 9:00 that night. Let everybody play the next day and let me sleep. Will head out around 3:00 or 4:00 and drive another 5 hours to our destination. Our kids are 8 and 5.

We just got back from Buffalo NY and tried driving most of it straight through and it was just too much. Adding two days on to our MI trip to have some down time while traveling I hope will help. I am not as young as I use to be. Took me a couple of days to recover from the drive...

Like I said we are still figuring stuff out but that is part of the fun of all of this!

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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My kids all have kids so I will talk about the Gkids. Nana and the Gkids love to play board games and we have a large selection. They sit in the back at the dining table and play board games and I am up front doing the driving...everyone is seat belted for safety. We use a single word to alert everyone if I need to apply the breaks so everyone sits down immediately, I yell "Traffic"! It works...

We do stop at rest areas to let Bapa (aka, me) have a bathroom break and maybe get a snack. I do not like to eat while I drive but I do drink my ice tea!

We can play the Blue Ray player but the kids seldom ask, they like board games, reading, playing with their DS, etc.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #7
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We are between traveling with kids and Gkids....
When we traveled with kids, we always planned the same way.
We did this by car/motel, tent camp and later by RV (and boat).
Tent camp was a big issue because of the set-up/strike time required.

Schedule is;
Drive to the area of the attraction (or next planned stop), bivouac the night.
Get up, feed the kids and pack for the day.
Wear the kids out at whatever, when they are good and done, pack it in and drive to the next bivouac. The kids are worn down so they are quiet and maybe even sleep. This is good as they need the sleep for the next day and we needed the quiet.

Try not to have two driving days in a row, but if you do there are always the classic road games that an adult can lead the kids along. (I-Spy, adding up license plates, most distant plate.....)

Safe Travel

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KAS View Post
This is all I have got so far-- could really use advice from others who RV with children-- what ought we know?
How old are your kids? Their age will make a big difference.

We have a 32' coach and towed an 8' trailer to MI from TX. Generally, no problems stopping wherever you want to stop.. You just need to walk a little father.

We have a 2-year old who has come to expect the availability of a "snack" in the RV on the road.

One thing we did right is establish that if you're in the RV, you're in your car seat. No running around.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #9
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We just completed 2 long trips with a 8 and a 2 year old. I agree with the rule that when in the MH you sit in your seats buckled up, and the 2 year old is in her car seat. It has become routine now, so no fussing. As long as you have snacks and entertainment the trip can be quite enjoyable. The kids took turns being the "co-pilot" and they really enjoyed helping me out by sitting in the passengers seat. Having a toilet and snacks available is the BEST feature of a motorhome and travelling with kids. We also stop every 3-4 hours and let the kids run and play at rest stops.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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Cool 2yrs and 5mo--travel

I am loving the advice. I'm going to insist on the car seats as the norm, and later they can be seat belted in regularly. I'm seeing a pattern here, similar to how I traveled with my older kids.

As I see it, museums etc, ought to be done early in the day after a good sleep-- and travel done with kids ready to nap.

I can do that.

Does anyone park in an area for a couple of days of short distance day trips from one central point, and how does this work with kids?

I can see how the availability of snacks and the restroom is a real plus. I dislike public restrooms intensely and am going to love having ours on board.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:40 AM   #11
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i can easily use the drive thru at most wendy,s i have not been to one yet that i could not use, even when towing our toad on a dolly. the back up cam is a must for me.

01 WINNEBAGO 35U W20.8.1L SW Wa, Hi. Good Sam, SKP. AMSOIL fluids. BANKS ecm program. SCAN GAUGE II w/ Ally temp. 2 LIFELINE GPL-6CT AGM Batts on their sides. TST tptts. K&N panel air filter. AERO mufflers. TAYLOR plug wires. ULTRA POWER track bar. KONI fsd shocks, toad '14 smart car
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