29 Unexpected Things About Full Time RV Living With Kids

Living in a camper, RV, trailer whatever you want to call it is a wild ride filled with amazing travels! Here is our list of 10 things that we have learned after 6 months of living full time in our RV with 4 kids and 2 dogs.

RV at Beach

We have also realized that living this life has made us appreciate a lot of things that we took for granted when we lived in a house. Yes this is our Crazy Family Adventure. Also an amazing journey where we are learning so much about ourselves, our family and the world around us.

Full time RV living with kids is definitely a different kind of living. Being on the road means there are really good times and also times of frustration and struggles where you miss the comforts of a house.

** We continued to live in our RV for 8 years before making the decision to get off of the road in 2022. **

We also wrote a book on it: Full-Time RVing with Kids – An Insiders Guide To Life On The Road

You always feel a little bit lost!

Whenever we pull into a new place with our family RV we get ourselves settled at the campsite and hang out to enjoy it! Eventually we have to go out to get groceries or just to explore and the fun begins. Thank goodness for Google Maps on my phone – it gets me everywhere when we are in a new place.

So I might know where I am supposed to go but getting there is always interesting – what lane turns right, can I do a U-turn here, I see where I want to go but how the heck do I get in there and where is parking? We eventually find everywhere but it isn’t always easy. Then there is the fun of grocery shopping in a new grocery store every week . . .

When we were in our hometown I could pretty much drive all the places I needed to go while being half asleep (not really but you know what I mean). Out on the road, not so much!

My husband always laughs but I also feel very lost when I walk into a new grocery store in a new city we are visiting. I don’t know where anything is and I end up walking around the grocery store at least twice before I am done since I can never find everything I need the first time through. Then again we have found some great food and brands around the country that we didn’t have in our home town so I guess it isn’t all bad.

You get really excited when the campground has an awesome laundry room!

RV Laundry – Yes we have a washer and dryer in our RV – but it is mini! So when you see one with industrial size washers and dryers that will dry everything in 25 minutes (instead of 2 hours like the RV one) you get really excited :)! It really does become about the little things you took for granted in a house when you live in an RV. And yes there are times I REALLY miss my large washer and dryer that we had in our house . . .

Then again I was never caught up on laundry when we lived in a house. Now living in an RV we are always caught up on laundry since we don’t have anywhere for it to pile up. Plus we all have a limited amount of clothes so we need to be on top of washing it and putting it away so we have it when we need it.

RV Laundry - Full time RV Living With Kids

Not sure where you are when you get up in the morning

When we wake up in the morning we have to stop and ask ourselves where are we? I think this is especially the case for our 2-year-old Knox. The other day he got up and said “Mommy where are we?”. Does it make us question if that is a good or bad thing – yes! But when we come out of our room and have a view like this we figure it is worth it for everyone!

Awesome views

Water pressure!

When we went to stay with my Parents we thought we were going to get blown away from the water pressure coming out of the shower and sink! I could have stayed in the shower for an hour and then went and washed dishes for another hour. This is one of those things that you don’t realize you are going to miss. Water in general can be an issue, especially drinking water which is why we use a Berkey water purifier which is awesome!

It is really amazing how we don’t take things like water pressure or even having consistent running water. Which we don’t have if we are boondocking or at a site with just electric for granted anymore. I do like the fact that it is also teaching our kids to be aware of water and they are really good at not wasting it now.

Privacy . . . does not exist!

RV Parks when Full time RV Living With Kids

Not only does it not exist in the RV but also at the RV Parks! Sometimes we will be at a place where no one else is there – but most of the time we have people living right next door to us and a lot of the time those neighbors are literally right there – as in our awning would touch their campers! This can be stressful if one of the kids is having a breakdown and we don’t want the whole campsite to hear. But normally it is just helpful for all of us to work on keeping our voices down and not yelling at each other!

As for the privacy inside the RV – anyone with young kids knows no matter where you are kids have a way of always finding you. But when we were at the house I could go hide upstairs and take a bath and they didn’t know I was there . . . not so much anymore. It has been an adjustment – but again it has been worth it and luckily we all love each other so much and enjoy being close to each other!

One bathroom . . .

Need I say more. This is definitely one of the things that houses usually have more of well that and more spaces to spread out. Not to mention the black tank that my husband has to deal with emptying. But it is all good – at least most of the time. . . You really do get use to one bathroom and a small living space.

Jackets, Shoes, Wet Suits, Oh My!!!

I use to have a mudroom and it always felt unorganized and messy. Well now there is no mudroom and there is no room! Trying to figure out where to put everything has been a challenge and continues to be a challenge. For now we have a big bucket for shoes – that seems to be working.

Then sweatshirts use to have a hook – but the sweatshirts never found it to the hook – so now we just leave them in the car or hang them over a seat. Wet suits get to hang outside on a lawn chair. Is it perfect – NO! It is a work in progress. With 4 kids I think that will always be the case.

WOW . . .

It is amazing how many times we have said WOW did you see that! Or this is so cool! Here is why we are doing this – to see new things all the time and to be able to sit back and really take them in. Living this lifestyle allows us to visit places for weeks or even months at a time.

What that means is we get to really immerse ourself in the location we are at. We don’t have to rush through and only do the top tourist things. Instead we can stay for days and enjoy relaxing some of those days and exploring on others. I have to say it is a great way to see new locations!

Stopping to breath and take it in.

RVing With Kids - full time rv living with kids

It seemed like when we were living in a house we were always running all over the place and doing this that and the other thing. With living in a RV we have had more of a chance to sit back and to try to slow down and really take each moment in. Am I at where I want to be with this? No – it is also a work in progress.

It seems like I am really good at always finding something to do and I have had to tell myself to stop and relax and just enjoy the moment. Which does seem easier to do while being the RV. Maybe because we have less to maintain or else because I am truly amazed by the things we are seeing and the reaction that the kids are having. I will continue to work on being better at this!

Travel Days

Travel days can be hectic. Especially when the kids are little. Plan for this and don’t plan to do much else but travel on those days. As the kids get older it gets easier. Also we are the first to say just give the kids the electronics while traveling. It makes it easier on everyone.

Traveling Families

Traveling Families - full time rv living with kids

There are a lot of other traveling families out there! Fulltime Families has been a great resource for us to connect with a lot of other full time RV families. Or we just show up at a Thousand Trails campground and usually there will be at least 1 if not 10 other families who are living on the road there. Or we head to Thousand Trails Orlando in January and there are like 50 families there.

Learn more:

10 Helpful Tips For Making Friends While Living Fulltime In An RV

How To Afford Full Time RVing With Kids

There are so many different ways to do RV life with kids. If you decide to live in an RV to save money then your budget and lifestyle will look different from someone who wants to live and travel a lot in their RV. We tend to travel a lot and move about every 4 days. Once we get to a location we like to do a lot of exploring so we spend more money.

Our budget ranges from $5000 – $10,000 a month. We know others who do it for way less – it is a lifestyle choice. Here are a few posts we wrote that break it down in more detail:

How We Afford Full Time Family Travel

Full Time Family Travel Budget For A Family Of 6 Plus 2 Dogs – September 2016

Full Time Family Travel Budget For A Family Of 6 Plus 2 Dogs – October 2016

Work Remotely

RV Working - full time rv living with kids

Working remotely can definitely have its challenges when you live in a small space and have kids running around. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I started my business (Virtual Powerhouse where we do Pinterest and Social Media for small businesses) when we got on the road and our kids were 6, 4, 4 and 2. It meant there were times I had to get creative and take calls in our van or head to the local Starbucks. But it is possible.

We have also met so many families on the road that make working remotely work for them from traveling nurses, to remote jobs, to MLM companies, to RV techs, the list goes on and on!

How I Started My Online Business

Making 6 Figures From The Road Using Multiple Income Streams

How we manage (or don’t) running a business, being parents, and traveling full time

How To Start A Blog

How To Make A Successful Income While Full Time RVing


It seems like we are always planning our next move (in more way then one). I am ok with this since I like planning. But it can be overwhelming! When you don’t know where you are going to be parking the next month you need to make decisions and make a plan and it isn’t always easy. But again it is fun and worth it and over time this part gets easier.

So those are just 10 things I have learned so far – and I know there is so much more learning to come. We are happy about our decision and what we are doing and sometimes we have to stop and sit back and say – is this really our life?! It is funny if I hear about someone else doing something like this or see a blog about it I get the feeling like – Wow that is awesome! I wonder how they are doing it?! Then I say – oh yeah that is right – we are doing it!

Buying An RV For Full Time RVing With Kids

You want to be a full timer but now you need to buy an RV. Which one is right for your family? That is a hard question to answer. We have now been on the road for over 6 years and have had 5 rigs. Everything from a motorhome to a Class C to a travel trailer an a 5th wheel. Here is a post we put together to help you figure out which RV to buy:

Everything You Need To Know To Pick An Awesome Family RV

Life on the road is awesome and amazing and stressful and not so much fun . . . In all honesty parenting is still hard, you still have to work, find where you are going to stay, work on your marriage, go grocery shopping and do all those regular life things. The amazing thing is when you RV with kids you get to pick where all of that happens!

Locations to visit

Here are a few of our favorite places to visit from National Parks to Road Trips here you go!

6 Epic National Park Road Trip Ideas [Maps Included]

41 Best Things To Do In Destin, Florida [Plus Where To Stay]

21 Epic Things To Do In Glacier National Park [Map Included]

Florida Keys Road Trip: 29 Amazing Places To Visit [Map Included]

Florida Road Trip: 31 Amazing Places You Won’t Want To Miss

Yellowstone Vacation: 73 Places To Visit In & Around The Park

More RVing With Kids Content

Since writing this post we have written a few more about what life in an RV is like:

10 Things We have Learned From 365 Days Traveling In An RV

What We Have Learned After 2 Years of RV Living

How We Became A Full Time Rving Family

11 Things We Have Learned After 3 Years Of Full Time RV Living

Check out our You Tube Video: How We Afford Full Time Family Travel:


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17 thoughts on “29 Unexpected Things About Full Time RV Living With Kids”

  1. Yes! These are great and oh so familiar. We’re traveling in a car with a tent, but so many of these are exactly the same for us. Great laundry bringing unexpected excitement? Check! Lack of privacy? Check! But you’re right – it’s so worth it. At least once a day saying “This is why we travel” makes the hard parts worth it. Plus, you gain a whole new appreciation for things you took for granted. Like washing dishes – I can totally relate. Enjoy your travels!

  2. Enjoyed this story of your RVing life with 4 children. I thought I was brave full-time RVing as a single woman; you guys are astonishing! Hope all is continuing to go well with your adventures.

  3. Something that you wouldn’t expect in this day and age, but not all campgrounds/RV parks accept credit/debit cards. Make sure you always have cash or have plenty of checks with you. And then there is the campground we stayed at in TX. A self check in, automated kiosk and they tout that they are the only campground in the nation to have one.

    • Great point Janet. This is also true when staying at National Forests and some state parks that do “honor” payments where you put your cash/check in an envelope and drop it in a slot. Thanks for the comment!

  4. We live full-time in a fifth wheel and our water pressure is awful especially when I try to wash dishes
    My poor husband has tried everything
    Do you know any solutions to this problem and if not thank you anyway I enjoyed reading your article

    • What is the pressure of the water supply from the campground? Do you have any restrictors on your hose line? Not sure what else it could be other than perhaps a blockage near the city water hookup.

  5. We had the same issue…no water pressure at the kitchen sink. Nozzle was clogged with hard water sediment. Replaced the nozzle and voila!

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