Looking at Travel Trailer Floor Plans

If you’ve been following us at all you know that in 9 months we plan to travel the US with our three boys for one year serving in different non-profit organizations along the way. We still have a lot to do to get ready. Things like sell existing vehicles, and purchase ones that will function best on a long journey. We also need to map out our travels. Keep following and you will see us reveal and put plans into place.
To involve our boys in the process we thought it would be fun to go look at some new travel trailers to see what floor plans we like and think would work to actually live in for a year. The reality is the majority of travel trailers are not intended to live in as a primary dwelling. There are some, but they are designed with the retired couple in mind. So we walked to B.Young RV, it’s not too far from where we live, and it was a nice day for a walk. Some of the features that are important to us are storage, room for individual space, and functional kitchen and bathroom.
The first trailer we looked at pushed the upper limits of our budget At 31 feet my wife said “I’m not sure this is big enough, I’ve seen trailer floor plans with more floor space in the bedroom.” Our two older boys were impressed that there was space for 2 TV’s and immediately commented how this would work great with the Xbox. They were ready to buy, not caring about how their belongings would fit, as long as the Xbox fit.
We toured several other models and floor plans, in fact we looked at every model they had available. We found one that that we all saw the potential. It met all the requirements we have in a year long road trip, except it is not even close to our budget. It was a 39 foot toy hauler starting at $90K.

This trailer has 4 queen size beds. Perfect for a family of 5. Because it’s a toy hauler there is lots of open space, well and it’s nearly 40 feet long.

Besides the fact that we would need to sell our house, which is not part of our plan, and purchase a semi-truck to pull it, it was perfect. I have to admit the the trim, the space, and the design were impressive.

The kitchen isn’t quite a full size, but it definitely rivals a apartment size kitchen. Yeah, this would work for a year.

The bedroom had lots of closet space compared to many travel trailers I’ve seen.

It’s tough to see the top of the line trailer, and then work your way down to reality.

Long Trip w/ Kids

When I was a kid we went on long trips as a family that after awhile led to comments from siblings like, “don’t cross this line” or a dad who said, “Do you want me to stop this car?”. Once those comments were said you were pretty sure the family excitement about a fun vacation was over.

Today many vehicles are equipped with DVD players, or families can bring along a portable DVD player. They are great tools for long trips, but do you want your kids to miss all the sites along the way? We took a road trip from Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ. There are many of those miles that are just boring and plain, but there are several places that you just need to take in the view. We planned our trip around some significant landmarks and mapped out reasonable drive distances for us (8-10 hrs per day). We took the standard fuel/meal breaks too.

We limited DVD/electronic gadget time to evening hours or long boring stretches of highway. We did allow some texting to friends and family, but the remainder of the time we tried to engage their minds with questions about our surroundings or state facts. We would pull up state trivia pages on the cell phone and and award points that would lead to a prize at the end of the day. Our kids got into this I’m not sure if it was the competitive nature of boys or just a fun way to pass the time. We also played the standard alphabet games using signs along the road. Besides that we had car seat totes equipped with travel versions of games like Othello, battleship, and decks of cards. We even through in math and spelling card too. Of course answers to these also counted toward the end of the day prize, which ended up being a special dessert or candy.¬† These totes were changed around each day to keep the games fresh and fun for the kids. I never once heard the comments I did when I was growing up, and I never threatened¬† to stop the car. A little pre-trip prep can help your kids engage in their surrounding, and make for some great memories later.

What have you done that has worked on a long trip with kids besides movies?