A Guide to RVing with Young Kids

Jesseca and Charles Perry from @travelinperries talk homeschooling, making friends, and must-haves for travelling with young kids in an RV.

In April 2021, Jesseca and Charles Perry packed up their house and moved into their 2013 Forest River Salem tow trailer full-time, along with their dog and two kids under ten.   

Their first foray into the world of RVing was with a Coleman pop-up tent trailer. “We started renovating that trailer, and we were looking up some YouTube videos on renovations,” Jesseca says, “And it led us into this world of these families living on the road in their RVs, and we just became attracted to that idea.”

They discussed the idea for a number of years, before committing to at least a year on the road. “We didn't want to get into it and quit within the first couple months, because of some hardships,” says Jesseca, “And now we're on year two.”  

At this point, they have no plan to return to “Normal life,” says Jesseca, “We're actually trying to create a new lifestyle. So we're trying to iron out the kinks of what works and doesn't work and what makes us all happy.”

Follow their adventures on Instagram @travelinperries, and read below for their tips for RVing as a family:

1. Choosing the right RV

“Definitely go to an RV show, they’re so much fun,” says Jesseca, “And it's a great way to see what's out there. That was one of the first things we did actually, before we bought the pop-up tent trailer, was go to some RV shows and get an understanding of what's out there, and do a lot of online research and just go out and camp, maybe with a tent and see what you like and what you don't like and go from there. It's all about personal tastes and interests. And the more you see what's out there, the easier it'll be to [figure out] what you want to do.”

2. Must-haves for RVing with kids

“iPads and headphones go a long way!” says Jesseca. “While driving, it's really nice if they're able to chill and watch the show and have a snack. It allows us to listen to what's going on with the truck and the trailer as well, because you're always on alert traveling down the road. It's a big unit that we're traveling with, so we have to be really cautious. So whatever we can do to keep the cab calm during the travels is what we try to achieve."

3. Getting enough alone time

“We spend most of our time outside,” says Charles. “And we each have our own activities that we like to do to find space on our own,” Jesseca adds, “So I like to go hiking, Charles likes to go fishing, we’ll enroll the kids in some community activities, like maybe a camp or swimming lessons or something that can get them engaging in the community where we're staying and meeting some friends their age.”

4. Working on the road

The couple have had two Work-Camping contracts – one at Bon Echo, and another in British Columbia, which involves performing work duties, such as general park maintenance or office work, in exchange for a wage and/or free or discounted sites.

“Work-camping was something that we had no idea existed either before we started entering this lifestyle and it was a way for Charles to earn some income on the road,” says Jesseca, “Generally the contracts that we've seen for work camping, is they want you to be there at least six months to open and close [the park]. So we lived there all summer, and the kids had a blast, because there were tons of kids in that park, which was great for them. It was a great experience.”

5. Reliable internet while travelling

With Jesseca working from the road, and the kids homeschooling, finding reliable internet was a priority. “We went through so many different options to try to get as much accessibility to the internet as we could on the road. And we found that a really difficult task at first, but we eventually landed with Starlink,” says Jesseca, “They have an RV option where you can travel to access internet. So you don't have to just have one fixed address, which is really helpful. And then we just use our mobile data plans if we're out on the road, and need to use hotspot.”

6. Finding Community on the Road

“We're always striving to obtain [community] wherever we go, and that's why we've found the six-month intervals work best for us. If we do summer in one place and do winter in another place, it allows us to really get to know the community where we're exploring,” Jesseca says, “And experience everything there is there,” adds Charles.

7. Connecting with other RVing families

“We want to connect with as many people as we can that are doing the same thing as us,” says Jesseca, “It's nice to have a sense of community or people you can go to ask questions when you're stuck, so don't be afraid to reach out to people online. We did a lot of that before we hit the road, and it was really helpful.”

Inspired to start an RVing adventure with your family? Read our Complete Guide to the RV Life, get more RVing tips and inspiration, learn how to rent an RV, and see where RVing could take you.  

About Celeste Percy-Beauregard

Celeste Percy-Beauregard is an Ontario-based writer who discovered just how large our province is when she travelled across it in a cube truck performing children’s theatre and eating all of the poutines along the way.

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