If you plan to travel in your RV with kids, you’ve probably already considered all of the memories your family will make together. Let me tell you, you will create all of those amazing memories, and you’ll likely go on more adventures than you could possibly imagine.
All that said, there are some special considerations to make when planning an RV trip with little ones. Obviously, your packing list will need to be adjusted to include the needs of the younger travelers, and you might want to change up your destinations in order to ensure your trips will be exciting for the kids. However, the number one thing you’ll want to consider is the safety of your children.
This is not to say that RVing with kids is particularly dangerous. It is, in fact, as safe as any other outing or trips your family might take. However, RVing with your family does put you in new situations, and like any new situation, you will need to carefully consider certain aspects of your RV trips in order to keep your little travelers as safe and sound as possible.
While in transit
Let’s first consider the actual traveling aspect of your RV trips with kids. You will need to get the RV from point A to point B, and this means loading the kids up and driving it there.
Seat belts and car seats
Remember that just because you’re in an RV doesn’t mean you and your children should be wandering around while the vehicle is in motion. Make sure your RV or tow vehicle has enough seat belts for everyone, and install car seats for those who need them.
A second vehicle
Some people aren’t comfortable having their children riding in a motorhome. Others are even afraid of keeping the kids in a truck that’s towing a trailer. If you feel your children are unsafe, you can always opt to take a second vehicle. This requires a second driver but would allow the little ones to travel apart from the RV.
A note on motorhome safety
If you’ll be traveling in a motorhome, you will want to make sure all drawers, cabinets, and loose items are properly secured. Projectiles are some of the most dangerous things to have in your motorhome should an accident occur.
In the RV
Safety considerations while hanging out in the RV itself are actually not all that different from safety considerations you might have to make in a house. That said, there are a few key things to consider that are specific to RVs:
RV front doors tend to be high off the ground, and the steps down are almost always steep. Keep babies and toddlers away from these steps by installing a baby gate inside the doorway. Younger children may require a handrail or something else to hold onto, and some people even install pet ramps for their kids to use.
The oven knobs in an RV are usually pretty easy for little hands to reach. Unfortunately, turning one of these will open the propane line, quickly filling your tiny home with gas. Prevent this by installing oven knob covers.
Carbon monoxide and fire alarms
Always makes sure your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector are in good working order before heading out on a trip. This might just save your entire family.
Bunk beds in campers are fun, but they can also be a safety hazard, especially when it comes to young children. Make sure your kids have an easy and safe way up and down from the bunks and install a bed rail if you think a child could fall out.
Every RV has emergency escape windows. While you need these windows and locking them is never a good idea, it is important to keep an eye on your kids.
You see, these windows allow kids to climb in and out of the RV. If they are high enough off the ground, this could result in a painful fall. Otherwise, the result could be a lost child.
Speaking of emergency escapes, it’s always a good idea to have emergency plans in place. Talk to your kids about what to do in case of a fire and have a “go bag” ready in case of severe weather.
In the campground
Of course, you won’t be spending all of your time in the RV. Many families enjoy spending time in the campground, and most campgrounds are safe places to be. Below are a few things you may want to keep in mind.
While the vast majority of campers are good, friendly people, there is always the possibility that someone with bad intentions could be around. It’s important to teach your kids about the dangers of following other campers, going into other RVs, and hopping into cars without your permission.
Talk about this often and make sure your little campers really understand.
When camping, you can pretty much count on campfires. Teach your kids how to be near a fire safely. Have them practice stop, drop, and roll, and always keep a bucket of water on hand.
You may also do a lot of swimming when camping. For this reason, water safety is also very important to discuss with young campers. Remind them regularly that they are not allowed to be near water without you, ensure non-swimmers are always wearing life jackets, and try to get your kids swimming well at a young age.
Of course, many accidents can be prevented with some adult supervision. Make sure you’re always watching your kids while camping. A campground may feel like a 100% safe environment, and on the whole, they are, but you never know what might come up.
While visiting attractions
Looking to get out of the campground and see some of the world? Great idea! Here are a couple of safety tips to ensure your little ones are safe during your adventures:
When going out and about with your kid, you might consider having them wear a temporary tattoo, bracelet, or dog tag necklace with your child’s name, your name, and your contact information. This will help other adults find you should you become separated from your child.
Keep in mind that any popular attractions will be crowded places. You will want to keep very young children in strollers or carriers, and always have an eye on every child in your party. Remind kids of the rules when it comes to strangers, and have a plan on what to do should they become lost.