There is a popular saying about the living arrangements of a typical class A RV. Entertains 4-6, Dines 4, Sleeps 2.
The idea is a class is meant for two people to stay in and no more. Most all class A RV’s are designed around this principal. This was a bit of a challenge for us because we roll with an 11-year-old boy on board.
There are many fine posts on the internet about picking and choosing an RV. This post will not be about that process. What this post will do is answer the ultimate question about traveling with kids.
How do you get your brown-chicken-brown-cow on when you have kids in an RV?
If you attend any RV show you will see that the newer class A RVs now have bunk beds. Manufacturers have realized that many families would like to buy a class A RV. It is obvious that most designers have never camped with a spouse and kids. You can tell because they let the bunk beds be partially in the master bedroom. Only a cardboard wall stands between a childs head and the master bed.
I do not truly understand the RV demographic. Maybe after working all those long hours the wife has ended up falling out of love with her rich husband? Maybe from working all those late hours at the office the husband is now having a relationship with his secretary and no longer wants to pleasure his wife?
Watching a family walk thru a class A RV with bunk beds for the first time always seems to elicit the same response from the wives: “You Have Got To Be Kidding!”
Luckily I had no money to buy an RV when I chose to start shopping for one, so I had to read a lot of blogs to find out what worked. I found this cool blog of a family who not only brought along 3 kids, they brought the mother-in-law with them.
I found a funny post by Nathan on IRV2.com about how if you want to get it on, the Newmar 3950 was a great plan because the Kids where above you and out of the way. Here are some pictures of the Newmar Allstar:
Well owning a Newmar like Nathan was out of question. Even after 5 years the coaches are still demanding $120,000+. They are a very rare coach. Also for various reasons (that I will one day discuss later) we wanted a gas engine versus a diesel engine. The key feature is you go upstairs to the kids room or downstairs to the master bedroom.
Well for a while we considered the Thor ACE. It was really affordable – we could snag one brand new – and it had a bed on the other end of the RV from the master room. The bed was above the drivers area.
We really loved the ACE – but I had a nagging issue. I felt like Andrei our boy would be too close to us after he went to bed. We would be in the living room with guests, and he would be only 1 foot away with only a curtain for privacy. I sort of dreaded him going to bed at 8pm and Tracy and I having to sit in the master bedroom for 3 more hours. I wouldn’t even feel that it would be ok to go into the kitchen to make a snack or I might wake up the boy.
On a whim I noticed a Camping World in Wisconsin had a Thor Outlaw. It was the first one I had ever seen within 3 states of us. After tricking Tracy into a 2.5 hour drive down to see it she was sold on it. We only sat it in it for about 15 minutes and we realized it was exactly what we were looking for.
It had all the key issues that the Newmar Allstar had – it just lacked the master bedroom on the bottom. All we ended up doing was throwing our king sized bed in the garage and call it home. We loved the fact that the garage took no work to make into a useable bedroom. We loved the fact that we could use the living area while Andrei was sleeping. We loved the fact that it didn’t feel like Andrei was sleeping in the same room as us.
We still have a lot of work to do on it. We would like to build an actual bed frame with storage under it. We would like to install a few more hooks and shelves for clothes and storage. We would also like to get a custom screen so we can sleep in the bed with the garage door down. We have even seen pictures of Outlaws with the rear ramps cabled in such a way that it could turn into a deck.
Every family is different, but we love the fact that a used Outlaw is affordable, easy to maintain, and is one of the only class A RVs with 2 bedrooms. We also love the fact that after the boy is in bed we still have the entire living area to use.
Have you seen another class A RV that works well for families? Let us know!