One reason we decided to purchase an RV is because we love to travel, especially to destinations that are within a few days of driving. We would love to travel long-term and know how important it is to provide the girls with a sense of security that comes with predictability and consistency. Something that isn’t as easy to establish hotel hopping.
While we aren’t living on an RV full-time, yet, we’d love to in the, potentially near, future. But there are steps we are taking to make this dream a reality.
Finding an RV- We don’t do debt and we don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars under the mattress for an RV. So we purchased an older, used model. I’ve read too many horror stories about people purchasing brand new models and having too many problems that the dealership refused to fix. We came across our RV at an auction, having been very well maintained by the previous owners it was in fantastic condition! While now it has dated decor and could use a makeover, back in its prime it was a thing of beauty and new technology. We plan on updating it, in time.
Try it out- A friend, who originally endorsed a camper, also recommended staying close to home, if not in your driveway, as the first “outing”. This provides the opportunity to quickly grab items that may have been overlooked. Having two young ones, it would provide us the ability to offer the girls their regular beds if they didn’t care for their RV room setup. If you have a particular model in mind, you may want to consider renting the same model first, to ensure the it is right for you and your family.
Renovations- Is your RV setup ideal for your family, or will a few renovations make it more optimal? We try to provide the girls with as much freedom as possible and would like to imitate their home environment as much as we are able. This includes their bedroom. While our RV doesn’t have a separate bedroom for them, we still want to give them their space. In order to make this possible, we removed the two reclining seats that were across from the couch. This provides an adequate amount of space for their Lotus travel beds/pack and plays. There is a zipper on the side of these beds that allows them the freedom to roam. This is particularly important as they often like to sleep near each other. To make this safe, we used one of the Lotus beds to block the front of the RV, disabled the button that would move the couch out to a bed, used a shelf to block alternative entry to the front, and the second Lotus to block the kitchen. There’s a cover for the stairs, so we don’t need to worry about them falling while providing more floor space. Our goal, is to try and have the RV (due to the size) a ‘yes area’ as much as we possibly can make it.
Materials- “There much be a provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.”- Maria Montessori. When at a camping grounds, we want to encourage as much outdoor time as possible. Nature provides so many opportunities that aren’t able to recreate and is so very important. While finding their own way to enjoy nature, we also provide materials for when they desire them. We also want to be prepared for when being outside isn’t so much an option.
There is a great amount of storage so that, if gone for long periods of time, we may rotate material as needed. Outdoors, we have a special blanket that we can place a few materials on for if they are interested. Indoors, we have shelves that allow us to display a few materials at a time. There is less space than at home, so, if needed, we rotate more frequently. We also rotate their daytime and nighttime materials. And when they wish, we can still offer Music Monday and Crafty Tuesday, just more portable and space appropriate options.
Nature provides plenty of opportunities for movement that we don’t worry about the limited movement we can provide. At one campsite, we came across stairs, slightly more than 250, that the girls enjoyed climbing. E even made it to the top, on her own.
“When children come into contact with nature, the reveal their strength.” -Maria Montessori
Clothing- Like at home, the girls choose their outfits. Unlike home, the options decrease as the choices are used because there isn’t an overflow drawer. So over time, they may not have five choices, but there should always be, at least, two options.
Restroom- The toilet on the RV is different that the one in the house. It is smaller and short, more child friendly (doesn’t hold water in the bowl), so bringing their little toilets won’t be necessary. However, we do have this seat to make the toilet more comfortable; it is portable and may be brought when we are away. They don’t have their little sink, like they do at home, so we provide a stepping stool.
DINING- There are some foods we try to prep before we leave to make short trips a bit easier–like hardboiled eggs and pre-chopped fruits and veggies. While most of our meals will be enjoyed outside, picnic style, we still have their utensils, cups, and plates that are perfectly their size. With plenty of storage available, we planned on bringing their weaning table and chairs. We decided against bringing their table and chairs as we found we eat every meal together as a family.
If you’re interested in seeing how we travel in general, while still staying true to the Montessori philosophy, check out this post.
Do you camp or travel regularly with your little one?
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