Van Life with Kids – Choosing a Family Campervan

By Dave Webb on May 5th, 2022

Are you considering van life as an option to bring the whole family together? Then you’re on the right track! Travelling or living in a campervan with your kids is a great way to spend quality time together and escape the busy city lifestyle. Nothing can build a strong family bond like exploring the great outdoors with the whole family. In addition, it can provide plenty of educational opportunities for your little ones to find out more about the world around them, make amazing memories for life and meet friends along the way. 

Travelling in a camper with your kids can be the experience of a lifetime, but to make it work there are some things you should consider beforehand. Sometimes it can be challenging when you have to share such a small space with others as everyone needs their own space. It’s important to choose a camper that will fit the whole family without making anyone feel claustrophobic or frustrated. 

This month on our blog, we’ll tell you some of the things you need to consider before purchasing a family campervan, as well as give you some of our top tips on how to determine the necessary campervan size required for your family. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Family Campervan

How many people will you have to accommodate in your van?

The most important factor to consider when starting your van life with kids is the number of people that will be sleeping in the campervan. Regardless if your family will be living in the van full-time or using it just for the summer and to go on vacations, you need enough sleeping space to accommodate all family members. This will be your home while on the road so it’s important that everyone has a comfortable sleeping space. 

Another reason why this is important is the seatbelts. Safety on the road is essential so you need to make sure that there are enough seatbelts. As well as this, you’ll have to ensure there is enough space for additional safety features such as car seats for the children. 

What activities do you enjoy as a family?

The great thing about van life is you get to experience the outdoors and enjoy your favourite hobbies at your own pace. Consider what outdoor family activities you’d all love to do. If you wish to take part in any sport like surfing, kayaking or biking you’ll need to ensure you have the space to fit all of the necessary equipment. Also, you’ll need to consider storage space for each family member’s personal interests. One member may have a passion for football whereas others might be more artsy so remember to pack everything you need for these activities too. 

How old are your children?

The age of your child or children is an important factor because it will determine what type of beds you need in the campervan, as well as the level of privacy and safety mechanisms you may need to install in your house on wheels. Privacy can sometimes be challenging with the tight living space in a campervan, which might be a concern for both parents and teenagers. But fear not! There are several ways to ensure more privacy, such as collapsible dividers or curtains. 

Another point to consider is if you’re planning to keep the campervan long term or not. A family van that’s been adapted for a family with toddlers might not be the best solution when the children grow up a bit and would potentially need to be refurbished. 

Are you going to be sleeping outside? 

A popular way to secure additional sleeping space is by having a rooftop tent. The issue with that, however, is that it’s only appropriate if you know you’ll be stopping for the night at a place where camping is allowed, for example a camping site, or a caravan site. If you think you might be spending a night or two at a place where camping is not permitted, like a carpark, then maybe this isn’t the best option. However, it’s still handy to have as an addition in case you have a guest sleeping over.

What Family Campervan Would be Best for You?

As we mentioned before, how many people you’ll be travelling with is the key factor to determine which campervan will be most suitable for you. Most campervans come in sizes of 2 berth, 3 berth or 4 berth. Berth is the unit used to show how many people a camper can accommodate in terms of sleeping arrangement. 

Campervans for a family of three

If you’re a family of two adults and one child or one adult and two children, a 2 or 3 berth campervan would be perfect for you, depending on the age of the children. If you’re travelling with a baby or young toddler who can sleep in the same bed as you, you would be able to fit the whole family comfortably in a 2 berth. However, if you’re planning to keep the camper for a while it would be worth getting a 3 berth one, that will have extra sleeping space for when your little one grows up and needs their own bed.

Campervans for a family of four

For a family of four, whether that’s two adults and two children or one adult with three children, a 4 berth campervan would be ideal because it’ll allow for each family member to have their own sleeping nook and wouldn’t be too cramped. When your children get to the age where they need more privacy, you can make simple adjustments to the sleeping arrangement and add collapsible dividers to ensure everyone’s needs of personal space are met. 

Communication is Key

No matter if you’re just beginning your camper life journey or if you already have experience, the key to a successful and happy family road trip is communication. Have an open conversation as a family and discuss everyone’s needs, desires and concerns. This is essential if you’re travelling with older children or teenagers who want more independence. 

We hope our tips have helped you get a better idea on what to look for when looking to buy a family campervan! If you do have any questions or require further advice, our team is happy to assist you so contact us today!

Written by

Dave Webb

Redline Campers