Top Five Tips for RV Camping With Kids

When I was younger, and I only had one child, I used to head up the mountains with my toddler strapped on my back. We shared a sleeping bag and used a two-man tent. For food, I’d grab a couple cans of SpaghettiOs and a handful of granola bars. Besides the hard rock in my back at night, it was wonderful and easy.

But times have changed. I am almost twenty years older, we are a family of six, and my idea of camping involves a hot shower, running water, a soft bed and electricity.

But even with a well-stocked camper, it can take some time to pack up. Here are a few things that will make packing up faster, and your trip better.

  1. Stock your First Aid Kit.

    Do you have enough Band-Aids? What about antiseptic wipes, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, and tweezers? Last time we were in Southern Utah, our toddler grabbed a cactus. Hard. With both hands. I was so grateful we had tweezers!

  2. Create a Checklist

    I am addicted to Google docs. I admit it. I have checklists for just about everything, and it makes getting out the door so much faster! I have menus based on what our kids like to eat, with accompanying shopping lists. Create one and save it. A checklist will save you a lot of time.

  3. Be Smart About Your Food

    Take only what you need. Discard extra packaging and cardboard. Don’t take your Costco-sized jar of mayonnaise; choose packets or a small jar, instead. All of these add extra weight to your vehicle and use room in your camper.

    Plan your meals ahead of time. Choose food that your kids like and is fast and easy to cook. When you have spent the day playing or hiking, you don’t want to wait forever to eat. And hungry kids are mean kids. Don’t go there.

    Freeze a couple gallons of water. It works great to keep your food cold while you are on the road and you don’t have to deal with melting ice.

  4. Quiet, Sleeping Children are Bliss

    When your kids sleep, you sleep. Try to make bedtime as “normal” as possible. We make sure to grab their favorite stuffed animals and PJs. We also keep an extra pack-and-play in our camper, and this has been wonderful! Our toddler knows exactly where his bed is, and it feels like home.

    For our older kids, we pack their iPads and load them up with their favorite games and movies. This has been great for bedtime and early morning. When our kiddos wake up at the crack of dawn, they play quietly on their iPads, allowing our toddler (and us) to sleep longer.

  5. Bring Toys

    Our children are generally entertained by a pile of dirt or a small creek. But if the weather turns bad, it is really nice to have playing cards, small toys, and coloring books and crayons.

    We also recommend bringing a soccer ball, Frisbee, and football. This is especially helpful when we are setting up the camper or cooking dinner.

    After years of camping, those are my top five. Have you found anything especially helpful when you head out into the Great Outdoors? I’d love to hear about it!

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