Can Families Live In An RV?

Can Families Live In An RV?

As the full-time RV lifestyle trend continues to gain momentum, you may find yourself wondering if your family would enjoy living in an RV; what better way to find out than to hear from families who have already taken the leap. We scoured the web to find the inside scoop on what family life in an RV is really like. So keep reading to learn what works, what doesn’t, and how the RV you choose plays a role in the family RV life experience.

Privacy & Personal Space 

The two biggest challenges that tend to come up most often in discussions on family RV life are the privacy & personal space. As much as we love our families, we all need a space to be alone with our thoughts away from interruptions, distractions, and the everyday chaos of life. Adults need a place where they can be adults just as much as kids need a space to be kids. Bedrooms, family rooms, dens, offices, and basements often fulfill this role in a traditional home, but space constraints can make carving out individual space challenging in an RV. The good news is, RV manufacturers have been hard at work finding innovative solutions to solve the issue of personal space; thus, the latest RV models are full of cleverly designed interior spaces that can accommodate multiple people while still providing a bit of breathing room. Look for these top RV features to ensure everyone in your family has the space they need.

Multiple Slide-Outs

Modern RVs often maximize space by incorporating movable sections that slide into the main body of the RV for travel and slide-out when the RV is stationary. These movable slide-out extensions can add significant space to the RV interior, making it easier to carve out separate areas for individual family members to call their own.  Of course, the downside of slide-outs is the need to retract them into the main structure of the RV when the RV is moving which means this space will be unusable while traveling. Still, a little creative planning usually makes this, at most, a relatively minor inconvenience.  Check out the Puma XLE series by Palomino for a superb example of interior design innovation that makes excellent use of slide-outs to expand the livable space.  The Puma XLE series features slide-outs that provide space for several family-friendly upgrades, including:

  • Theatre style seating so the entire family can gather to enjoy movies or gaming
  • A kitchen extension that carves out room for family size appliances and room for more than one cook
  • A dining area large enough to hold a traditional table and chairs or banquet style seating
  • Bedroom extensions that can accommodate a king-size bed and extra storage space for clothes and personal items.

Basement Storage

Obviously, RVs do not have traditional basements. An RV basement refers to a series of large compartments underneath the main body of the RV that is accessible through locking exterior door panels. RV basement storage compartments are generally expansive and often extend across the width of the RV. Use these compartments to stow large, bulky items and free up space in the interior for people rather than things. 

Fifth Wheel Trailer Design

The Fifth Wheel trailer’s unique distinctive cantilevered design makes it one of the best suited for family RV living. In addition, fifth-wheel trailers feature a large elevated front loft area that is generally separated from the main living area by a small staircase. This degree of separation provides a greater degree of privacy and personal space than is afforded in trailers that feature all of the living space on the same floor.  Rockwood RV by Forest River offers a signature line of fifth-wheel trailers that do an excellent job of maximizing both space and comfort. Forest River RV Rockwood Signature Series fifth-wheel trailers feature elevated living space packed with features like standard queen and king size beds, full-size closets, dressers, under-bed storage, and even a small laundry prep area complete with a washer/dryer combo.  

Outdoor Living Space

While the interior space of even the largest RV can be a bit snug for a large family used to the sprawling expanse of a traditional home, the outdoor space can go a long way towards making up for the lack of indoor square footage.  Maximize the utility of outdoor space with an RV that incorporates family-friendly entertainment features into the exterior of the RV to give both adults and kids plenty of room to enjoy their activities. The Cherokee RV series by Forest River takes full advantage of the great outdoors by incorporating several entertainments and living features into the exterior of their travel trailer and fifth-wheel trailer line-up. Cherokee RV outdoor amenities include:

  • An outdoor shower with hook-ups for both hot and cold running water
  • An outdoor television mounting bracket and connections to allow for full enjoyment of all interior entertainment options in an exterior living space
  • An RV grill quick connects feature that allows for the connection of a full-service outdoor RV cooktop and bar area for easy outdoor entertaining without the need to travel to and from the RV’s interior kitchen area.
  • A remote-controlled power awning system to facilitate the use of the outdoor space in a variety of weather conditions. 

Once you adapt to the changes in personal space and privacy, with the help of the modern RV innovations detailed above, the rest of the family RV living challenges will seem much more manageable. Here are a few more tips and tricks from full-time RV families to help give you a head start on successful family life on the road.

Create A Budget Plan  

Full-time family RV living can offer significant savings over the costs associated with a traditional home and lifestyle. However, it is important to note that the cost of family life on the road can vary a great deal from month to month or week to week, depending on the location that you are traveling to and the activities that your family plans to participate in.  Additionally, depending on the type of work that you do, earning an income on the road can sometimes have a feast or famine quality as the volume of work waxes and wanes with external circumstances.  Looking ahead and budgeting for the ups and downs of both income and expenses will help ensure that your finances don’t get in the way of living life to the fullest in your family RV adventure. 

Take Advantage Of Public Facilities

While your family RV will likely contain everything you need to care for your family, you can lighten the load on yourself, your family and save wear and tear on your RV by taking advantage of public or community amenities whenever possible.  For example, the chore of doing the laundry can be accomplished using your RV’s built-in washer/dryer combo, but the small size of these appliances means smaller and more frequent loads of laundry. By taking advantage of the larger, more powerful commercial machines offered in the public laundry rooms of many larger communities, you can knock out a week’s worth of laundry chores in a matter of hours, freeing up your time for more relaxing and enjoyable pastimes.

Embrace The Unknown

This one is a no-brainer. Full-time RV living means that you and your family are waking up in a new location full of unfamiliar sights and sounds all of the time. If you or any of your family members require the stability of a routine lifestyle, RV living may not be the right choice for your family.   However, for the vast majority of families, even those with young children, the experiences and adventures to be had while living the nomadic lifestyle out on the road more than makeup for the lack of routine and familiar sites and sounds of a traditional lifestyle in a stationary home. The key to enjoying life on the road is learning to embrace the unknown. Each new location means navigating unfamiliar streets, shopping at unfamiliar grocery stores that may carry different types and brands of foods and drinks than you are used to, and dining out at restaurants with menus that may differ greatly from those in your hometown. Each of these things could be seen as an inconvenience, or they could be viewed as a chance to experience something new.  When you and your family learn to truly embrace and lean into the unknown, you will begin to fully experience the adventure that full-time family RV life has to offer.  We hope that these tips and advice from full-time RV families who are already outliving the adventure have helped to illustrate that, yes, indeed, families can live and thrive in an RV. If you are feeling inspired to take the next step towards getting your family out on the open road, then head on out to your local RV Dealership and tour the available models to help you get a clear idea of what sort of features each type and model of RV has to offer.  The friendly staff at RV Wholesalers have the knowledge and expertise to help you select the perfect RV for your family lifestyle without breaking the family budget. Come visit us today; we can’t wait to meet you!