Note: I’m very aware of the time that has past since my last post. Let’s say summer has been busy. But I’m back in the swing of things and so ready to share my favorite things every FRIDAY!
If you follow me on IG (@selfishmomproject) you saw me post last week about our vacation to Destin, Florida. I’ve finally managed to get sand out of most of our things (all the laundry!) and ready to tell y’all all about our first big RV adventure!
Yes, you read that right! Earlier this summer my husband had the ‘grand’ idea to buy an RV and start the process of touring (*driving*) our kids all over the country and being more outdoorsy. I was super hesitant about this idea. Our three thousand square foot house often feels like its caving in on me how on earth will we survive in a couple hundred square feet? Reluctantly I went with it and I’m so glad I did! We all agreed this was the best vacation we have ever taken as a family of five. None of us even wanted to come home.
We checked into Camp Gulf right outside Destin on Miramar beach. Things I learned early on was that there are two types of RV parks…The regular standard parks and the RESORTS. I’ll let you take a guess on what I’m more into, lol. This place was definitely a resort! The bathrooms were amazingly clean, there were two pools (one with a pool & one with an obstacle course), a large laundry facility, and a private beach just for those of us in the RV resort.
We spent most of our days on the beach, coming in for lunch and rest and then going back out to the beach. Our tan lines are fierce and our kiddos were exhausted. 🙂 My favorite combos. Sharing below some of my favorite things and learning moments.
I’m a self proclaimed loner. I like my space and my alone time. Hence why I was terrified of packing our family of five plus one dog in a tiny house on wheels. However, not once did I find myself complaining or even thinking that the space was too small. Besides eating (which we also did outside), rest time in the afternoon and sleeping I found we weren’t really in the RV that much. There was so much other stuff todo. Our RV is set up great with two sets of bunk beds in the back, a kitchen and living area in the middle, and a queen in the front. Everyone seemed to find their own space no problem making size not an issue.
Do Your Research
I did TONS of research on RV living, parks, travel, things you need, and tips. My recommendation, especially when packing, is look at everything you are bringing and put at least one thing back. Besides swim suites and pj’s we did not really wear any of our clothes. I packed some food from home and we still ended up at the grocery store. There are a million lists of things you must have on an RV trip and I would say some of them are essential but most are not. Most places have a Walmart or Target and anything you find you need you can get from there, so wait until you really need it other wise its just taking up space. This was our first big trip so I think we learned a lot about what we need and what we don’t. It will just get easier with each trip! Good Sam is a great App that really helped.
When RVing, at least at the couple places we have gone to, your pretty close to your neighbors. I wondered how I would feel about this, the caliber of people we would encounter and over all if I thought it would effect our privacy. I also had this preconceived notion that only old people RV and would they be mad about my wild kids and dogs being around? This could not have been further from the truth. Every single person we encountered was amazing, they loved the kids (the french bulldog was a big hit), and were just so nice. I felt like I was automatically part of this amazing community. Our kiddos made some sweet friends and we got lots of tips from veteran RV travelers who’ve been doing this for years.
Being a Mother
I do not consider myself a hover parent. My kids and husband might, but I do not. As my bigger kids are getting older I find they are begging for more independence. Things like walking the dog or riding bikes in front of the house, I’ve said no to simply because I’m terrified of something happening to them. All the things I did as a kid to find my own independence I tell my own kids no because of my own fear. I told myself I was going to slack off a little and found it so easy on this vacation because much to my surprise tons of kids walked to the playground and played by themselves or with friends and siblings while parents cooked meals or did other things. There wasn’t a ‘hover’ or ‘helicopter’ parent in site. It was a big lesson for me to trust more and maybe worry a little less. Of course we set ground rules (not out after dark, don’t go in anyones RV, check in every 30 minutes, we must know where you are going) but I can honestly say I enjoyed their freedom as much as they did.
All this fun stuff you have to be wondering was there anything that sucked? Yes and no.
Laundry sucked but honestly doesn’t laundry suck at home too? I think I would take more tips to the laundry facility rather than saving it till we literally had no suites or towels left.
Sand. I love the beach but I hate sand. Unfortunately when you are at a RV park on the beach its really hard to get out. By day two I just sucked it up and learned to get over it.
Cleaning. Again this is one that sucks at home too but it sucks more because when vacay is done and your back at home you still need to clean the RV out. I did find a cleaning service here in Dallas that comes and cleans your RV for you (inside & out) that might be worth it to me.
Overall I’m so glad we bought this RV. I feel some good quality, family time in our future. I also feel some growth and nature filled adventures coming. All I can’t wait for. We’ve already booked our next trip on Labor Day weekend at Catherine’s Landing in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Picture drop below of our vacay. Would love to hear your RV experiences, tips & tricks, or places you have been!