This summer, photographer Kendall Ruth loaded up his family of four and took everyone on a Colorado road trip. The family had traveled in a GoCamp camper van once before on a 10-day tour around Seattle. After the Colorado trip, Kendall had some nuggets of wisdom to share regarding the best camper van rentals for families. Read on to learn about key features, perks and challenges of traveling with a family in a camper van, and advice for those looking to get their family out on the road.
Q: What features should a renter look for in the best camper van rentals for families?
Kendall’s top priority was finding a van that fits two car seats. This was little surprise to the GoCamp team, because it’s one of the top questions we get asked by people looking to travel with kids. Ultimately, Kendall chose Vanny McVan Van, a Ford Transit.
When searching for the best camper van rentals for your family, start by filtering GoCamp vans for those that seat more than two people. In most cases, car seats and booster seats fit in the vans. But please check with a friendly GoCamp counselor if you have questions about a specific van.
Additionally, Kendall looked for ease of converting additional seating into sleeping quarters. In the case of Kendal’s rental, Vanny McVanVan seats and sleeps four people. There’s a queen-size mattress for two adults. For the kiddos the back bench seat folds down underneath the queen bed. The result is a double decker sleeping situation for the whole family. One also has to think about where the car seats go will when the back seat is in the bed configuration.
Kendall has some great advice to consider when picking out a van for the fam. He says, “Think about where the kids are actually going to sleep. Most likely they’re going to end up in the bed with their mom, so realistically I’m trying to figure out where I will be sleeping.”
Q: What were some of the best things about traveling with your family in a camper van?
With much intentionality, the Ruth family uses their road trips as a break from screens. Kendall emphasized the opportunity that travel time provides for stories.
“The kids are pretty well trained with road trips,” he says.
Even when the kids were tired on their recent road trip through Colorado, Kendall remarked that his son stayed engaged and asked a lot of questions. Why is the mountain like this? Is that a buffalo?
“The road trip creates an opportunity for kids to ask questions that they’re not going to ask while reading a book or watching television,” says Kendall.
Q: What were some of the challenges about traveling with your family in a camper van?
Managing expectations while traveling with your family in a camper van is super important. New challenges arise each day. And if the kids are having fun, the onset of tiredness is inevitable. In the spirit of keeping it real, here are some challenges the Ruth family faced while traveling together:
- Someone stepped in dog poop and tracked it into the van.
- Kendall and his wife were constantly trying to keep mosquitos out of the van.
- The kids tracked dirt into the van each day, and maintaining cleanliness in the camper van was a daily chore.
- And kids often needed to pee in the middle of the night. Meaning, one parent had to help them, open up the van door, and risk waking everyone else in the van.
If you’re worried about finding enough things to do to keep the kids busy, check out GoCamp’s Top 25 Things to do While Renting a Camper Van.
Q: Do you feel like your kids enjoyed the camper van?
“We have our home with us. We can go wherever we want,” said Kendall’s son. The freedom that a camper van rental provides keeps a lot of people coming back to experience #vanlife.
At GoCamp, our camper vans are fully equipped with camping equipment. This way, you can spend less time on the boring stuff like packing and more time planning your family adventure. Each camper van comes with a custom detailed supply list that you receive two weeks prior to your trip departure. To learn more about what is generally included in your rental, read What Do You Need to Pack for Your Camper Van Rental With GoCamp.
As well, Kendall mentioned the ease that the van brings to different moments in the trip. For example, one afternoon the family decided to take a swim in a creek. Once they were done, it was easy and convenient to return to the van and cuddle up inside.
Q: What advice would you give someone thinking about taking their family on their first camper van adventure?
Kendall’s answer was simple. Don’t have a plan.
Or if you do have a plan, be prepared to stay fluid and go with the flow. And it never hurts to have some fun games in your back pocket.
And bring snacks. Fill the onboard cooler or refrigerator with snacks for the kids.
Here’s a quick list of kid friendly places Kendall and his family enjoyed on their most recent Colorado trip.
So, what are the best camper van rentals for families?
Well, in the case of Kendall’s trip, they chose a Ford Transit. Generally, Ford Transits are very spacious compared to other camper vans. Here are Five Reasons to Rent a Ford Transit Camper Van for Your Next Adventure. In second place for the best camper van rental for your family is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
Either way, you can’t go wrong. GoCamp’s beautifully curated fleet offers hundreds of camper van rentals that will accommodate the whole family!
Ready to book your family road trip?
Click the button below to look at all GoCamp vans that seat and sleep at least three people.