Logistics For Campervan Trips with Young Kids
How-To's & Resources, Traveling With Kids
By Carrie Willink
You’re scrollin’ through Instagram and BAM! Another beautiful Escape campervan is in another epic location. You start clicking around, planning your trip, about to click ‘book it” when you hear a scream: “MOM! Timmy just got sprayed with a skunk!” Snapping back to reality you shut your computer and run to help. First, you might want to get Timmy some tomato juice and then let’s get back to planning that trip. I want to talk about what it really looks like to go campervanning with kids! Our kids are still young, so some things may need to be tweaked to better fit your family, but this will help you get started on the right foot.
Before booking your camper van, there are a few things to think about when planning camper van trips with young kids.
1) Where is everyone sleeping in the campervan?
For our family of four, we all fit in one queen size bed like the Mavericks and Big Sur models have (although sometimes we end up in a big pile of sorts). Escape Campervans offers rooftop sleepers that would be a great idea for a larger family or just a family with older kids than ours. If bringing a baby, a Snuggle Me Organic is a great option to bring along to keep the baby safe in their own little corner.
Be sure to share with Escape Campervans how many blankets/pillows you will need ahead of time and they will be sure you are comfy! Thinking about this will help you know what type of campervan to book. Good rest = better camping experience!
2) What are we eating on our trip?
Here is a link to some recipe ideas, but you know your kids best. Our kids live on snacks and juice so we were sure to stock up once we are in our campervan. Lots of snacks make for happy little travelers 🙂
3) What should we pack for campervan trips with young kids?
The main thing is to make sure you don’t pack too much — you’ll be upset with yourself. Why? You will constantly be moving things around the van for sleeping, eating, car seats & more. Less is more definitely applies here! The vans do have a few different secret compartments to store your belongings which is so nice!
For clothes, I recommend 1.5 outfits (mix and match) per day for kids. Reusable towels are a MUST! You can find them cheap on Amazon and worth every penny. You can dry them while you make breakfast, pack ‘em up without a musty smell and be on your way!
For your bathroom bag, keep everything travel size. Invest in a nice bathroom bag that you can take to a shower room at campsites. This will save a lot of headaches!
Now book that van!
4) Picking up your campervan
After it’s booked, getting to the van is the first adventure. Here are a few tips to make this part of the adventure easier.
Tips with flying with kids. Update to this blog is that kids hiking packs are considered a stroller! This is great to know as clearly you may want to bring a pack instead of a stroller to fit in the campervan!
Once you have arrived at the location, you will have to get to the actual Escape Campervans rental location. With kids, this can be challenging because they need their seats. We have done it where my husband will just go pick up the campervan in his own Uber, while I wait with the kids at the airport. Keep in mind if you want two drivers for the campervan trip you have to be present at the depot. In this case, just be sure and get an Uber XL. It is a little more expensive than a regular Uber, but you’re sure to be picked up in a larger vehicle that will fit the car seats.
Also, keep in mind your timing on the way back. Allow plenty of time for checking back in your van, getting an Uber and getting to the airport. I’m not gonna lie, this is the hardest part of traveling! But you got this, just think of all the memories you are going to make!
5) How do car seats work in a campervan?
Many have asked about this because it’s hard to know through the process of how car seats will work. We have brought our own each time and here are our reasons why: We need the seats to get to & from the airport & depots. Also, it’s free to check in on any airline (again, for more on this check out the flying with kids tips)!
Escape Campervans has thought about car seats as well! They have seats available at each depot. Be sure and mention what type of seat you need when booking, this will help them to be sure they have the age-appropriate car seat available for your child.
Hope this has put your mind at ease and can help your planning process! I do hope you take the leap of faith by planning a campervan trip with your kids! The moments and memories you will make are like none other!
9 thoughts on “Logistics For Campervan Trips with Young Kids”
I’d like to see what a car seat looks like when properly installed in the Maverick model. We used ours in it a couple of years ago when we used Escape for the first time, but I will say that I found the Maverick model to not be car seat friendly. Some pictures breaking down the installation for folks looking to rent these vans would be super super helpful
Thanks for the suggestion, Kristina! We’ll see if we can get a diagram together. Our new Big Sur model is great for car seats — there are 3 bucket seats in the back that don’t need to be put down in order to make the bed.
Are there models that would accommodate three car seats?
Three car seats might fit in the Big Sur model, depending on the size of the car seats. The dimensions of the end seats are 19 inches wide and 24 inches tall, 30 inches including the headrest. The middle seat is slightly smaller.
Hi! We just rented the maverick and are having issues installing the car seat as there isn’t latch system. A diagram would be super helpful! Any tips? Thanks!
Hi Robert! Our Mavericks model works with a variety of options depending on which car seat you have. We’re working on a diagram to help!
If I might recommend the “MiFold” transport car seat? We used it on our last trip in a Maverick and it was a game changer. Best $30 bucks spent at Target ever 😂
Also used going to/from airports with Uber. The only drawback is that the seat is a little hard on smaller tushies for longer trips–but easily fixed with a small blanket as padding.
EC Rockstars–you should consider putting a mifold plus your kids travel pack as an option for those traveling with younger kiddos. Btw EC Kids Explorer was the second best $30 we spent– our little one loved the road bingo game and lighted foam rockets!
If you don’t want to bedshare with your toddler, where do you have them sleep for naps and nighttime?
If you added a rooftop sleeper tent to a van, you could sleep in the rooftop tent and your toddler could sleep on the bed inside the van.