Experience report: Vacation in a motorhome with children
Experience report: Do you want to go on vacation with the family and the children with a motorhome? Here you will find our experiences about a tour in a motorhome with small children.
A great aspect of the vacation is the anticipation. And for me especially the vacation planning in advance. And after a long back and forth we decided to spend our summer vacation with the kids in the mobile home in the mountains.
This experience report is about traveling in a motorhome and not about our travel route. We have written a separate article for this:
Motorhome tour of the Alps with children – travel report for Austria / Tyrol
In another article, we looked in detail at the cost of vacationing with a motorhome.
On holiday with children in a mobile home?
All the friends we told about our plan to go on vacation with a motorhome were thrilled. True to the motto "great, especially for children it is definitely an adventure and experience".
However, we were not quite sure. 2 weeks in a confined space with a 5 year old girl and 2 year old boy – and we as parents. Can it go well?
Motorhome = accommodation on wheels
The motorhome certainly has a large share in a successful holiday. So we visited a nearby motorhome rental company before going on holiday and explored the different vehicle types together with the children.
The decision was then made for a motorhome with alcoves. This is this berth above the driver’s cabin. It was important to us that we had 2 large beds in the campervan and that they were permanently installed. For some you can convert the seating into a bed. But then you have to do that every day in the evening and in the morning, we would find that pretty annoying. Instead of a large double bed in the rear area of the motorhome, we got a model with 2 single beds as a bunk bed due to damage to the previous tenant on the originally booked motorhome.
2 single beds as a bunk bed in the mobile home
The equipment in such a large camper is great. Here are the essential features.
- Kitchenette with worktop, sink, gas hob with 3 hobs and a sufficiently large refrigerator.
- Wet room – bathroom – with toilet, shower and sink.
- Dining area – either with firm seats. However, there are also models in which the driver and front passenger seat can be turned over.
- Storage space. More than enough. Train compartments to accommodate
- Bicycle rack for up to 4 bicycles
- Trunk for stowing bulky items (grill, tricycle, chairs, table, etc.)
- Extendable awning as sun protection or terrace covering
- And of course the beds as sleeping facilities
- Heating (with which hot water is also heated. The heating works very easily and very quickly and is powered by gas. I found it difficult to use the heating at night. On stage 2 it got very hot, while stage 1 was hardly noticeable Since we were on the road in late summer, we still had to cope with that.
- Some models still have air conditioning (our only in the driver’s cabin); and possibly a TV (we didn’t have + we wanted)
This is well equipped for life in the motorhome. As consumables, you can use an 11 kg gas bottle and a water tank.
The gas bottle was sufficient for our two weeks. We cooked 3 times of it, and otherwise only operated the heating above it in the morning. Unfortunately we don’t know how much content was left in the end, but refilling or replacing the bottle would have been possible without problems on most campsites.
The approximately 120 liters of fresh water are used for the wash basin, shower and toilet flushing. The water has always lasted a very long time with us. There is also an indication of the level so that you do not have to worry that the water will suddenly run out.
For the interior lighting there is also a separate battery with which the sufficient lights work. Via a 12 volt connection (one that fits into a cigarette lighter in a car) you can also use the battery power for other devices.
If you want to use the normal sockets, you have to supply the vehicle with electricity from the outside. On most campsites, however, a power connection is standard for the pitches and can be easily connected to the camper.
Utensils for cooking, pots, cutlery and crockery must be brought entirely yourself. At least that was the case with us. But since we started from home that was no problem. However, it does take some planning in advance to think of everything. Well, you could buy everything on the go), but if you have forgotten the coffee machine, for example, you certainly don’t want to buy a new one from your holiday budget.
There may be landlords where bed linen and bedding are provided, but questionable whether you really want to use it. In any case, there was none with us and we simply took normal sheets as well as our duvets and pillows.
Space and size in the camper
The space in the mobile home is sufficient. Especially when you are on vacation with small children, you can move around 4 inside very well. A complete rainy day could certainly be spent together inside.
However, the size of the wet room and especially the shower is relatively small. Brushing teeth or using the toilet works quite well, but we did not shower. Since we were at campsites every day anyway, we mostly used the sanitary facilities here. In theory, showering is not a problem.
Bathroom in the mobile home – shower, toilet and sink
The rest of the interior, such as the beds and sitting area, is large enough for 4 people. If you are also out and about in summer like we are, you will definitely try to spend a lot of time outdoors and also spend your meals on camping chairs outside.
Inside seating area – bench and table as seating in the motorhome
If you are out in the summer and have a grill with you, you may not really need the stove. We only used it 3 times. The operation is quite simple and you can work quite well with the 3 plates in parallel. However, I wouldn’t necessarily want to prepare really elaborate dishes, but it is quite enough for simple cooking for lunch.
Kitchen in the mobile home – gas stove, sink and mini worktop
We were very amazed by the available storage space inside the vehicle. Instead of traveling with suitcases or travel bags, we divided our clothes into the appropriate compartments at home. This time we had too much clothing with us – a sign that the existing closets were very spacious and we had a lot of space.
Storage space in the motorhome compartments and closet for clothes
With the many compartments, doors and cupboards you can quickly lose track of where you have put what and so we spend a while looking for something because we did not always know immediately where we had put it.
Most motorhomes still have a trunk on board. Depending on the version, this can be quite large. Because of our double bunk bed in the rear area it was not quite there, but we have managed to accommodate a lot here.
Trunk in the camper
Darkening – Darkening the interior?
Good news for all families with children: the interior of the motorhome can easily be completely darkened (and thus it can be ensured that small children are not suddenly awake at 5:30 am on vacation). Each window or roof hatch is equipped with an insect screen and a blackout blind.
Driving the camper
Such a motorhome is based on a van and basically drives like one. So if you’ve ever borrowed one when moving or from the hardware store and got along well with it, you will also get it with the motorhome. In addition, most RV rental companies offer relatively new vehicles that drive accordingly well. You don’t have to be afraid.
Only the size of the motorhome requires some attention when driving. Eg. you have to take care of the alcove – the superstructure above the driver’s cab – when maneuvering tightly. In addition, the mobile homes are usually very long. Ours was about 7 meters long. In addition, there is the unfolded bike rack with an additional one meter. When driving, this does not notice and does not disturb. Only when parking. When reversing, you can only see something in the exterior mirrors. Since our model didn’t even have a rear view camera, we were partially blind here. We also didn’t even have a distance warning when reversing. The solution was that the passenger had to get out and guide. But be careful: Of course women cannot. At least find the men. And so vacation dispute can be pre-programmed here &# 128521;
Running or lying in the camper while driving? This is of course forbidden. In the front you have two normal seats anyway, and in the back you just sit on the bench in the seating area. There are also plenty of seat belts here. If you are traveling with children, you usually still need child seats. We attached one to the front of the passenger seat and the other to the rear in the sitting area.
Child seat attachment in the camper
On the go – traveling with a motorhome
If you get used to it, driving is quite pleasant. You sit a little higher and have a great overview.
Long journeys on the motorway are also not a problem. Even at speeds of up to 140 km / h everything is still quite relaxed. Our travel speed has leveled off at 120 on the highway. 90/100 is always good to drive on normal federal roads.
Only driving in tight curves or hairpin bends in the mountains can be a bit uncomfortable.
Curves and hairpin bends – In the mountains with the camper
However, if you drive them with sufficient and calm and low speed, this is usually not a problem. However, when a large truck or bus comes towards you on narrow roads with mountains on one side and a slope on the other side, your pulse rises somewhat.
Conclusion: vacation in a motorhome with children
A holiday in the motorhome is a great thing and it is also fun with small children. Enough space in the interior, lots of storage space and everything you need to survive is included. You are also very flexible on the road.
Would we repeat such a vacation? Definitely yes! Maybe not every year, but if the kids are a little older, I think we will travel again with a camper.
Here is our actual travel report: Motorhome tour in the Alps with children and here we have broken down the costs for renting a motorhome.
Experience report: Vacation with children in the mobile home
Winter vacation with small children – it’s worth it? Experience report: winter vacation with small children – is it worth it? We give hints and some tips…
Bad Reichenhall Family vacation in Bad Reichenhall with children I can still remember the “Bad Reichenhaller Salz” that we had at home. Today we take a…
Family vacation in Italy with children Italy is almost predestined for a vacation with the whole family. Whether on Lake Garda, on the Adriatic, in…
Family vacation in Germany holiday search Germany at a glance Get to know and love your own home Why wander far when the good is so close? – Johann…