RV Trip planner: Camping from a kid’s point of view!
We’ve been planning RV trip adventures for many years, not only for ourselves but for our customers. For families with kids, RV Adventure-USA always adds in sights and activities that are age appropriate. We want the kids to have fun too.
As I was working on a trip for with a family with 3 young kids, I wondered if any of us ask our kids – where do you want to go, what do you want to do, do you enjoy going camping, what is your favorite thing to do when you are camping? I thought, what better resource for an RV trip planner than kids? So I contacted my niece, Olivia, to see what her thoughts were on camping.
Olivia is 8 years old and has been tent camping with her dad for several years. They took their tent out as often as possible whenever they could get away for a weekend or a week, but dad drew the line at tent camping in the snow.
Last year her dad bought a travel trailer (“RV”). According to Olivia, it is so
much better sleeping inside the RV than in a tent. Sleeping on the ground even though her dad gave her a pad that went underneath her sleeping bag, it was not much fun. She had trouble getting comfortable and sometimes the ground was cold. Olivia says she could still feel
the rocks and uneven ground wherein the RV, the bed is nice and comfy. She didn’t like the hard rocks but did enjoy hearing the animals at night, such as the sound the Owl makes.
When they went tent camping, Olivia said she didn’t like setting up the tent when they got to their site. I don’t know too many kids that enjoy setting up camp either. While at the campgrounds, Olivia used the bathrooms and showers offered by the campground. Sometimes she had to walk a bit to get to them and it wasn’t fun in the dark. She loves spending time with her dad but doesn’t like it when it is too cold or too hot – she felt it was hard for her to sleep. She also took advantage of the activities offered by the campgrounds such as volleyball, bocce ball, and horseshoes.
As an RV trip planner, we have to remember that she definitely enjoys traveling in the RV more than tent camping. The bathroom is inside the RV, the shower has hot water instead of lukewarm. As an RV trip planner, we have to remember that she definitely enjoys traveling in the RV more than tent camping.
The bathroom is inside the RV, the shower has hot water instead of lukewarm. The RV has a heater when it is cold outside and air conditioning when it is a hot summer night for easier sleeping. Their first trip in their new RV, the thermostat didn’t work and her dad had to keep getting up throughout the night to fix it so they weren’t too cold. She was glad her dad got that fixed before their next outing because he didn’t get much sleep. Now when they camp in the RV and it rains or it is really cold outside, she doesn’t mind it so much as she is inside, nice and dry.
Why does Olivia like camping? She enjoys going to a lot of different places to experience nature, she meets new people and enjoys playing with other kids. Olivia and her dad bring their bikes so they can go explore the trails in the area too. Spending quality time with her dad and trying new adventures such as skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, kayaking is a lot of fun too. Olivia believes “it is all about having fun”. You get to experience the outdoors – sometimes she feels like a wolf running around, trying to see everything, catching all the scents of nature, she even enjoys the bugs, animals, but not the poison ivy!! Her dad takes her fishing but so far they haven’t been able to catch anything, she said they will keep trying.
One of the best parts about going camping besides spending time with her dad, is the fire pit at night. A quiet time talking about their day, what their plans are for the next day, cooking dinner, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. They do most of their own cooking at the campsite but sometimes her dad will take her to a nearby restaurant to enjoy the food of the area. Her favorite foods are biscuits, eggs, and bacon for breakfast and for lunch salad with ranch dressing, cucumbers, croutons, and lettuce.
When asked what her favorite campgrounds were, Olivia came up with a few of her favorite places that can help any RV trip planner:
Blackwater Falls State Park (Davis, West Virginia) – Olivia’s first camping trip in the RV was to Blackwater Falls State Park. “We saw waterfalls, it was the coolest thing ever. We rode our mountain bikes and went down a hill and saw a big waterfall. I enjoy time with my dad on these camping trips.” The area offers hiking, waterfalls, river with kayak and paddleboard rentals.
Lost River Campground(Lost River, West Virginia) – There’s a playground, the pool was great when it was hot out, it was close to horseback riding, it is close to a reservoir for kayaking, and many great trails for biking and hiking.
Thousand Trails Lynchburg (Lynchburg, Virginia) – Activities included biking, hiking, fishing, playing in the pool and on the playground.
Canaan Valley Resort – (Canaan Valley, West Virginia) – The resort is a go-to destination for skiing in the mid-Atlantic region and the campground is open year-round. Camping is less than 5 minutes from the slopes and from ice skating.
Olivia has not been there in the summer yet, but she loves skiing and ice skating so this was a great combination for a winter campground..
Where to next? SHENANDOAH RIVER STATE PARK. Olivia is planning to go mountain biking with her dad, hike trails, go fishing, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boating.
So where to take the kids on a camping trip? Sounds like anywhere with lots of activities, a pool, and kids to play with.
Parents – time to start thinking about where to take your kids on their next RV adventure trip. If you live on the East coast, we hope these campground choices will help you. It definitely sounds like they are kid approved!