Choosing an RV for Our Big Family

Taking our kids on the Great American Road Trip across the country in an RV has been on our bucket list for awhile. We love to travel, explore, and learn about new places and we want to be able to experience this with our kids. We are looking to take multiple, extended trips to different areas of the continental U.S. (and maybe Canada) over the next several years. Don’t pinch me, but we are actually in a position to make this a reality. First, though, we need an RV.

Kevin and I have been educating ourselves on RVs–trying to determine what will be best for us and our four kids for longer-term travel. This is what we have learned about ourselves. We are “glampers”. We do not enjoy roughing it. While we have our boys in scouts and we have participated in events with them, “roughing it” is not really our cup of Starbucks coffee. We like extra space, bells-and-whistles, and nice finishes. We don’t want to pack up the kids’ beds every morning in order to eat breakfast. We want an actual door between our sleeping space and the kids’ area. We may even (eek!) want our own bathroom. A full-sized refrigerator, room to prepare meals, and homeschool space are also amenities that would make life on the road doable for us. We also need to be able to tow a car (big enough for our whole crew–so at least a Ford Flex-sized car) so that we can explore the places we visit.

This is our list. We want a Class A or Class C motorhome. We want a bed-over-cab space for our older boys and a bunk space for our younger two. Everyone should have their own sleeping area that doesn’t need to be transformed from another piece of furniture before sleeping every night. We want a diesel pusher (as opposed to gas). In order to tow a larger car for our family, we need the power of the diesel engine.

All of this totals up to a very large RV. Kevin has very few reservations about this. I, however, have some concerns. I know that this will limit us for entrance into state and national parks. If we end up with an over-40-feet-long rig, we will not be able to fit into most of the parks. I have tried every way around this. We have looked at smaller coaches that would fit our tribe and also fit into the smaller sites at national parks. We just really think that we will be setting ourselves up for failure if we go this route. We want to love the experience and feel like we will be so much happier with a little more elbow room then this situation would allow. Larger water tanks would allow us to wash clothes and take showers. More cabinet space would allow us to bring toys, homeschool materials, and have a space for dirty clothes. Walking space around the bed in the master bedroom would allow us to actually get dressed in the morning without crawling onto the bed to put our clothes on. An extra bathroom (Did I say EEK already?) would give us some much needed privacy. (Where will we hang all the bath towels?)

How do other families/couples do it? This is where my current research is focusing. There are lots of people with large RVs out there. How are they getting around? Where do they stay? How many nights will we camp in one place? Would boon-docking be a good option for us? What does road-schooling look like for our family?

We are not looking to be full-timers. (We love our home and our community too much to pack up and leave indefinitely!) We are, however, trying to plan our future schedules (and those of our children) with caution. I know that this is up the not-so-far-ahead road for us, and I want to limit our commitments to allow for this experience for our family. I want to bring others along with me on this journey. This was one of the greatest motivators for starting this blog! We are extremely excited to be planning all of this. I look forward to sharing our Woodventures with y’all.

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