Could any RVers with experience traveling with small children pass alone some tips for the road. Expecially in the area of carseats and safety. We have five children, three are still in carseats. Any advice would be appreciated.
What kind of RV are you traveling in? I assume a MH (A or C) because if you were towing a TT, you would just set them up as in your tow vehicle. I would try to have them belted in with car seats on your forward facing seats (dinette is the only thing I can think of). My MH does not have seat belts on the dinette so if yours is like mine, you will need to install them, try to install them on a frame member or at least to a very sturdy part of the MH.
My wife and I are planing a trip with my entire family, 2 daughters and 6 grandkids, 3 of the grandkids need car seats so one of the daughters is bring her van to transport them and my other daughter will help her with the driving. We will take the other 3 grandkids. That is my way of working around the problem of forward facing seats to the â€œcar seatâ€ children plus we will need the vehicle at the destination anyway.
I would suggest you check with your local Police or Fire Department and ask them for a referral to the Dept. of Transportation to verify the following information. THAT BEING SAID - while it is NECESSARY for tiny infants to ride REAR facing, I do not believe that it is necessary for all car seats to be installed FORWARD facing. Why couldn't you install seat belts on all four dinette seats, placing car seats in two forward facing and one rear facing.(I believe you will likely have to store the dinette table, as I don't think you will have adequate clearance for most car seats otherwise.) I am assuming that you have more some other type of seating (outside of dinette) so allow older children to ride, with seat belts, on the sofa or up front with the driver.
Our family has traveled hundreds of safe miles with both my sons in my parent's motorhomes. Important items to remember are:
1. While it is tempting to move freely around the inside of a motorhome, the rules should be remain seated unless absolutely necessary!
2. We try very hard not to travel more than 200 - 300 miles in any one day. We start early in the morning, stop frequently to see the sights and stretch our legs, and find our next campsite between 3 & 4 PM. After all, the whole purpose of RV travel is to see the world around us!
3. One son was particularly bothered with motion sickness and the rocking and rolling that is inherent in an RV was hard for him to handle. We found that the passenger seat up front was the preferable spot for him (however that was before passenger side airbags were common).
4. As your children get older, you might begin to invest in some travel games for them. We have always played "auto bingo" and have worn out several sets of cards. You might check with the Rand McNalley website. I believe that is where we purchased our last set.
5. My mother, a retired school teacher, mother of 5, grandmother to 8, and great grandmother to 5, always began a long "chapter book" (i.e. Lion, Witch & Wardrobe, Jungle Book, etc. as an example) which she would read out loud right before our lunch stop, mid afternoon, and sometime during the last hour before stopping for the evening. (Little did we know that those occasions coincided with our urge to bicker!).
6. Finally, rely on low sugar snacks! I know, I know - there's never been scientific proof that high sugar snacks create hyperactive, cranky children, but it sure seems to work that way!