Whining and Wisdom: Our First Family RV Vacation

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GrandCanyon RVGP rv vacation

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Whining. Complaining. Unrelenting protests. Why can’t we go back to the beach in Mexico? What about Disneyworld? Why can’t I just stay home?

As the mother of a 14 year old daughter and 10 year old son, there are times in every parent’s life that we stop and question our decisions. Am I horrible parent? Should we be going to see Mickey Mouse? Should I just save the money and skip vacation all together until our children turn eighteen?

And then as you return to reality from your momentary delusion, reasoning kicks in. Of course they’re wrong. I’m the parent. I’m in charge and yes, we are going to go on a fun RV vacation to the Grand Canyon for an entire week.

Fortunately for us, the RV is fully equipped with a plasma TV, DVD player, and an abundance of electrical outlets to meet all the kid’s electronic needs especially my 10 year old son who is currently inaccessible unless you’re a character in a video game within his PSP.

The journey began relatively smoothly. No major complaints. A few downward smiles but hey, a smile’s a smile.

And then it began. The calm before the storm was over. The snapping, stubborn, and relentless complaints poured out left and right! No, it wasn’t the kids, it was the RV. Anything that could have happened within the first 24 hours of our journey, happened.

First the speedometer stopped working.

Then, the DVD wouldn’t play our movies.

Next, the electrics shut down all together, and shortly after, the kid’s gadgets.

Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back, our driver side rear view mirror snapped off as we tried to squeeze through a tiny toll booth.

I’m ashamed to admit, but after mishap upon mishap, my husband and I lost our cool. We could no longer keep ourselves together and released the wrath of hell upon the RV verbally abusing it until we no longer had air left in our lungs.

After a few minutes of complete silence, a small voice in the back whispered: “Mom, it’s okay.”

More silence.

“Let’s forget about this. I can find a mechanic or someone to fix the broken mirror thing on my iPad Google Maps. We’ll be just fine and we’re going to have so much fun, you’ll see!”

“ Yeah, I can’t wait to get to the Grand Canyon.”

I heard these statements but didn’t know where they were coming from. I certainly couldn’t speak and my husband was more red in the face than I. To my amazement, the kids decided to take control of the situation and transform into model children filled with wisdom beyond their years. Good or bad, they turned into the parents.

We did in fact find help using Google Maps and carried on to our destination after a day of repairs. The delay did not matter though. A weight had been lifted on our family vacation and the kids as well as the RV decided to enjoy the journey soon after the disastrous first day.

A series of unfortunate events brought out family together. Instead of turning us against each other, our family prevailed against the test of the unexpected.

Hands down, making the decision on a RV road trip was one of the most rewarding family vacations as of yet!

Jess Collins is a travel-mad mum with a love for the unexpected. Her writing can be found on a variety of travel blogs across the web, and she enjoys contributing UK camping itineraries to Tourer Trader.


  1. I would love to visit there just once with the kids.

  2. I love road trips in general, and this sounds like a great way to go!

  3. The only place I want to vacation is Orlando. That’s it.

    People don’t get it, though.

  4. I’ve never traveled in an RV but I would love to camp in one.

  5. I have always wanted an RV and I dream of owning one….all the time!! It’s the first thing on my list when I win the lottery. I am serious!

  6. We are preparing to take our first RV trip to Florida. 3 grown daughters, 3 husbands, 2 teenage grandkids and 2 dogs, I’m sure we’ll lose our cool a few times.

  7. LOVE this story! Hahaha… kids can really pull through when we need them too, huh?

  8. I would love to have an RV one day and travel each of the states.

  9. We would love to rent an RV and do that someday. Glad you were able to turn the negatives into a positive!

  10. I would love to take an RV vacation with my family, but it would have to be a fully loaded RV!

  11. Oh wow, that’s a lot to happen all on one trip, glad it got turned around.

  12. The thought of being in an RV with my four children does not appeal to me at all, lol…but with my husband, that would be awesome.

  13. Wow, sounds like you had quite an adventure! At least everything turned out well in the end. I have always wanted to take a trip in an RV. Hopefully things would go smoothly!

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