Your experience in RVing makes no difference when it comes to engaging your teenage children into camping and RVing activities. It can be challenging.
I personally do not have any children, let alone teenagers. However, I have had the challenges of dealing with my nieces and nephews.
If you do not have a good way with teenagers, get ready for some real problems and difficulties. They have their unique ways of thinking.
Moreover, the more I have talked and spent time with them, the more I understood that they need more space. It will never work, if you try to force them do something.
The way they approach family holidays is some sort of a chore that they have to do.
Based on my experience of RVing with my teenagers, I have prepared a list of tips and tricks to make sure your teenage children enjoy their time with you on campsites.
If you utilize these tips correctly, I guarantee that at least one of your children will have a new perspective on RVing.
- 1 Make sure your teenagers feel useful during camping
- 2 Think about if you want to include the “no technology allowed during RVing” rule
- 3 Make sure to organize game nights for your children
- 4 A good tip is to organize a movie night
- 5 Consider your teenagers help when planning the trip
- 6 Eating arrangements when RVing with teenagers
- 7 The traditional bonfires for night
- 8 Invite your children’s friend or friends with you on your RVing trip
- 9 Let them drive a little
- 10 Let them enjoy their space more
- 11 Take time away from the trailers
- 12 Connect with your teenagers suing RVing and camping
Make sure your teenagers feel useful during camping
When teenagers feel needed, they do not see the situation to be as an obligation. They feel more involved in the process. This makes them feel irreplaceable.
Therefore, they are more eager to help out, as well as be engaged in all activities.
If you have ever been engaged with teenagers in any activities, you may know that they are busy all the time. At least they say they are. Any request has the answer “I’ll do it later” or “Do you really need mo to do that?”.
A good way out of this situation is to delegate certain tasks to them in advance. This way they know that it is their responsibility to do a certain thing. Therefore, they will never argue on the topic.
A good way to start this is to make them get packed for the trip on their own. They start thinking the whole RVing process through. Think of things they might need.
Of course, you will need to make sure they get the essentials, such as warm clothes, comfortable walking and hiking shoes and sunscreen.
Traveling with teenagers requires a special attention to your camping checklist.
Think about if you want to include the “no technology allowed during RVing” rule
I cannot think of anyone who like the fact that technology and teenagers are inseparable. However, it is a fact and there is very little you can do about it.
Most of the time there are two options: they will be either in their phone all the time, or in front of the screen of their tablets, watching something.
I cannot give you advice on whether or not you should let your teenagers use their gadgets during the trip. It is a very individual topic. You will know the best what will work in case of your children.
You will be surprised with how much they might enjoy their trip if they have the chance to take photos and share them with their friends.
By banning them from using their gadgets, they might be depressed all the time and not take interest in anything. Meanwhile, posting and sharing will motivate them to explore and find new things.
The best option in this case is to compromise. You can allow them use their gadgets at certain times. For example, they can be allowed to be in their phones and tablets for about 2-3 hours per day.
They rest of the time they will be involved in camping and RVing activities.
A more liberal approach would be going to a campground with WIFI connection. This way you get them interested in going to a certain place.
So, it can be a very good approach to the problem with engaging your teenagers in RVing. They will feel connected with the outer world due to the WIFI and be with family and engaged in camping activities at the same time.
Make sure to organize game nights for your children
No way will I advise to force board games to your teenagers. They will roll their eyes for sure and feel tortured by you.
You should be a little persistent. I guarantee they will enjoy every minute of the game nights. However, you will not get away without all the attitude and stressing out.
A good way to involve them into all the activities is to have them suggest games they would like to play. If they pick their favorites, they will automatically be interested in playing with their family, just to see how the parents or the older generation deals with their games.
Moreover, this is a good way to make them think that they are in charge of the situation. During the game, they start explaining the rules and point out all the mistakes.
A good tip is to organize a movie night
For you and me RVing, most probably means escaping from the world into the wild and woods, feeling the nature and having a peaceful time.
Most of the time teenagers are not exactly feeling the same about camping and RVing. Therefore, it will definitely be a good idea to delegate a film and watch all together.
This activity is a definite winner among your children. Especially, if they get to choose the movie. Of course, you can agree or disagree with the choice and ask them to think of something else.
There is a big chance that the adults might not really appreciate the choice. However, it is a decision you will have to make: either make your teenagers happy by watching a movie of their choice or get them go to bed upset and annoyed by camping and RVing.
Consider your teenagers help when planning the trip
All children have their own interests. Some are into music, art, sports and even food.
When you go RVing, you pass through a few if not several cities. There will, of course, be various places of interest for your children.
By letting them decide where to stop, they will be more keen on travelling and going to those places they want.
I mean, those places may be museums, tasty places to eat, lakes or rivers, where you can do sports activities and so on.
Once we had a rock music festival on our way. We did stop for about 4 hours. It changed the whole mood of our trip. We saw many things and had common topics to talk about during camping.
Moreover, multiple campgrounds offer activities such as biking, hiking, surfing, etc. Make sure you go to a campsite, where your teenagers can find activities of their likings.
You will be happy with your trip, at the same time your teenagers will start looking at RVing from a different point of view.
Eating arrangements when RVing with teenagers
All teenagers, especially when they are not happy with their surroundings, have additional conditions when forced to do something or go somewhere.
Meals are no different. They will almost always demand to know when the next meal will come and what exactly they will be having.
A good way to avoid this particular problem is by letting them into the planning process. This will ensure they are aware of all the details regarding food.
Moreover, you can get them involved in the cooking process too. The setting will be ideal to introduce them to the BBQ cooking nuances.
The traditional bonfires for night
Starting a bonfire is not as easy as it may seem. Since fire is a dangerous element, your teenagers will definitely be interested in the topic.
You can use the chance of RVing with your teenagers to teach them important skills on bonfires. They will for sure need this knowledge later in life.
Once you see that they deal with it on the first day, you can delegate this task to them for the rest of the trip. You cannot disagree that starting a bonfire is way more fun than making them wash dishes.
Finally, a good thing about bonfires is that it is easier to open up and talk about stuff, no matter who you are. This will help you feel more connected to your teenagers.
Invite your children’s friend or friends with you on your RVing trip
This point, of course, can refer to only those who have the capacity to take an additional person to camping.
Having someone their own age will make sure they do not feel isolated from the world. Teenagers are tough to deal with when you make them travel or spend time with family or siblings.
However, if you do not have any space in your camper, you can arrange a trip with families who have teenage children as well. Giving your teenagers a company of other kids their age will make them significantly more interested in the process.
Also, consider these interesting options of small campers with bathrooms.
Let them drive a little
This tip is for those parents and families, whose teenagers have driving licenses. If you know they can handle it, let them behind the wheel for the less dangerous parts of the road.
This can probably be the biggest responsibility for them. Moreover, they can then tell about their RVing experience to their friends.
If you decide to give your teenager this responsibility, make sure you practice first. It can be quite hard to maneuver a camper. A nice large and empty parking lot is ideal for such purposes.
Let them enjoy their space more
Your teenagers will be greatly appreciative if you let them have their space.
One of the ways to do so is to take an extra tent with you. They can sleep outside in their own tent.
However, if you are worried to let them sleep alone outside, you can designate the tent being their private space for the day, where they can spend time alone.
Usually, teenagers have troubles with their parents not trusting them enough by not giving them space and alone time. This can solve this conflict once and for all.
Take time away from the trailers
Any outdoors activity, which takes place away from the parking spots of the trailers, can be a good “time out” for your kids.
Go out to have a good meal, instead of eating in the RV or at the campsite. Take them to a lake for a swim or kayaking, etc.
They will let you know what they want better than anyone else.
Connect with your teenagers suing RVing and camping
Neither at home nor anywhere else you will get the chance to talk to your children normally and freely. There are so many things going on in their lives.
The worst part is that they will never talk to you about it and share their feelings and emotions.
However, RVing, camping and getting away from everything going on in life can be an ideal atmosphere to open up and talk. The road can be very calming and relaxing.
You can use this time to make your teenage children see how you look at certain things, what you think about certain stuff. You can make them see that you are way more progressive and understanding that they may think.
Finally, your teenagers will be parents and have their families in no time. It is your responsibility now to prepare them for that life. Give them the perspective that spending time with family is way more precious than they may think.
Make sure to see my tips on getting the best deals on RVs.