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  • Katie Smith

Travel Tips: Kids in Class C

Why would anyone in their right mind want to live cramped in an RV when you could just find an outdoor play space or hiking trail near your more spacious home? (That is assuming you are not someone who can afford to purchase or maintain a large plot of land.)

The overused trendy statement: "All the things," sheds light on the reasoning. We have created our own prison of "things," and we are then slaves to this stuff. Summer estate sales, downsizing, and the tiny-house phenomenon were created as an over-correction to the problem. Perhaps RV-living is a similar solution, but inevitably, we all simply have too many "things" to handle. "Things" does not have to mean material possessions either. Our lives encompass "all the things" that we choose to include in them.

I've heard from many people lately leaving their "mega-churches" in search of something smaller. We, as a species, truly swing our pendulum through generational extremes: Princes of Bel Aire to packing our tiny house on wheels. There is nothing innately misguided about mega-churches or tiny homes (well maybe there is, but that's a different discussion), but our previous lock-down may have altered our understanding of space and honest relationships. The bigger the space, the larger the dust bunnies, and the larger the group, the greater the depth of fallacy. We are playing "telephone" with the world, and missing a lot in the process.

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:19)

Traveling with kids may not always feel spacious or free, but it does open space by closing off all the "things." We take only what is essential and still find room for one another. Whether you travel with kids or adults, you will tire from one another at some point, but just like sojourners before us, when you leave the comforts of home, you roam in search of a new adventure by faith, and then your faith (and peace) grows.

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews 11:13-16, emphasis added).

Our family has felt the call to travel and see where God takes us. Should you choose to begin traveling with your family or try something new over the summer, let us share what we learn along the way...

First up ----choose your mode of transportation. I'll start with a drivable motorhome:

Travel Pros and Cons of the class C with Kids

Several months ago I could not tell you the difference between a Class A, Class C, 5th wheel or travel trailer. I only knew the difference between a car, a truck and minivan (and we have done plenty of minian travel over the last decade. Now though, I've started drinking the camper Kool-Aid, so we are trying out different homes on wheels in hopes of purchasing the right one for our family. We recently drove a "class C" RV out to Phoenix with our four boys, so I'll share the good and bad parts of that particular vehicle, knowing they all vary within their own class. We called this particular rental: Thor...

BAD Parts of Thor -

  1. Having to stop at bad coffee/food places because you have a destination to get to and there's no space for the length of your motorhome. Highway gas station coffee is easier but less enjoyable than quaint local shops you would enjoy if you detach a trailer.

  2. Sickness: although it's always hard, you are stuck in close quarters with less sleeping options and can't always reroute as easily. However, this is also a pro- it helps to feel like you can lay down and rest while driving.

  3. When one person wakes up, everyone wakes up. Just tighter walls for six people. We bumped our heads and arms and shins a lot!

GOOD Parts of Thor-

  1. Everyone can have more space on drive days, including eating, sleeping and using the restroom all while "slowly" driving. There are seat belts for safety, but I'm told it's like a limo when it comes to backseat rules.

  2. You have healthy snacks on hand in your fridge or pantry, so you don't waste money on gas station junk.

  3. The bedtime routine is WAY easier. Everyone seems to get in bed and stay there possibly because we are all in Close proximity, so no yelling for water or another story. They just conk out quicker.

  4. For little ones, naptime seems easier too. Everyone is in the same space, with the humdrum of the road, so they can't complain they want to get up and play with bigger siblings. You drive enough, and they'll sleep enough.

  5. All the OCD stuff fades or gets easier because idiosyncrasies have to be adjusted. Schedules, activities and places change quickly from day to day. Without the natural routined life, flexibility ensues and fluidity follows flexibility. Increased fluidity commonly accompanies travel.

  6. The loft space is a fantastic place for older kids that need a little extra space away from the rest of the family, and it can be used as a nice timeout space too!

Overall, I'd say the good outweighed the bad with Thor, our Class C model. Even though we have also stayed in a fifth wheel and travel trailer, we haven't driven them across the country, YET. We'll compare and contrast Thor with the Avenger, the travel trailer, whom we pick up for our June excursion this week. Three- four weeks to the west coast and back. Stay tuned for our preferences. (And yes those are actually the names of the RVs we rented.)

If you are looking to rent your own RV without any pressure to buy, try RVshare or outdoorsy. There are many options for "deliverable" RVs that you never have to learn a thing about. The owners will set up, clean up, and coach you through anything you need to know during your stay. It's the new glamping style AirBnB.

Stay tuned...

~Traveling Carefully Careless

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