When planning out your RV life, the size of your RV is a big deal. We have been RV living in 26 feet as a family of four since October 2015. While the space is quite small, (less than 230 square feet), we have been able to enjoy our RV journey and learned quite a bit of how to live day-to-day.
It gets Noisey
As you can imagine, RV living isn’t always quiet. Not only are there no real walls and no real insulation, but you often find yourself in RV parks with close neighbors or right next to the railroad tracks. You would be amazed at how many parks have trains passing by all night so close that your entire RV shakes!!
So in addition to all those amazing things, you also have A/C units and furnaces that make a lot of noise whenever they kick on and off. If you have a generator, whether an onboard one or a portable one, they make noise. Some, of course, are louder than others, but none of them are silent.
For us, the bulk of our noise comes from our children. We have 2 kids under the age of 11. Sure they can play outside, but they make noise out there too. When they are inside, they tend to play and squeal and laugh with zero volume control.
Privacy While Living in 26 Feet
When you have a family of four full-time RVing in 26 feet, privacy gets very tricky. The kids have stacked bunks with curtains and we respect those as we would a door to a bedroom. We knock and ask if we may enter. The kids also notify us if they are going to their room for quiet time and would like to not be disturbed during that time. They do the same for us as well.
Our master bedroom has 2 doors. The kids know that they can come and go when the doors are open, but they must knock and wait to be invited in if those doors are closed.
Every now and then the kids forget and knock and then open the door. Always an exciting time because those doors are usually only closed if someone is naked and changing clothes or other... Thank goodness for quick reflexes. So far we have been caught, but nothing was seen.
Our RV, like most of them, has only just one full bathroom. You can imagine how congested it can get! However, the door is open unless someone is in there. It makes it pretty easy to make sure no one walks in on anyone else.
After 4 years of RV Living in 26 feet, we pretty much have it down.
Our travel trailer has three very large storage areas:
Under the Master Bedroom Bed (front)
Reusable shopping bags
Under the Kids Bunk (back)
Excess dirty clothes (because sometimes we get a backlog)
Coco Coir (because we have a composting toilet)
Extra power cords
Extra fresh water cords
Grey Water hose
Extra sewer hose
Kitchen Pantry (center)
In addition to those large areas, there is also storage under our U-shaped dinette for things that we don’t need and can’t really think of what’s in there right now, and two large drawers for the children’s clothes as well. There are also normal cabinets in the bathroom, in the kitchen, at the very front of our RV just before the Master Bedroom.
For such a small RV, we have quite a bit of storage. What doesn’t fit inside the RV ends up in the truck.
The key to our successful RV living in a small space is keeping things minimal. And it can take work to decide what is really a necessity instead of a luxury too. It can really be a process of trial and error. Nowadays we just don’t have a lot of stuff and we go through our storage areas quarterly and get rid of what we don’t need.
Since we have a truck and a travel trailer, travel days aren’t convenient. We have to stop any time anyone needs food or has to go to the bathroom. If we had a motorhome or van, we would make fewer stops. With a motorhome or van, passengers can unstrap momentarily to go to the bathroom or to grab a snack. Of course, it is always safest to pullover to do these things, but let's be realistic. Everyone that isn’t in a towable unstraps and quickly takes care of what’s needed without stopping.
As our kids have gotten older, our travel days have gotten much easier. We can drive for longer periods of time without stopping. Tiny bladders were a serious issue when we first start this RV life with kids.
Our RV is only 26 feet and this is a really great size when it comes to finding campsites. Not all parks are big rig friendly and there are always small spots left once all the others have been taken. Additionally, our smaller length makes even a small campsite seem roomy. It’s nice to find last-minute campsites, especially since we are not big on planning.
I hope this gave you an idea of what it’s like RV living in 26 feet. It’s small, but manageable, even for a family of four. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Exploring the Local Life is a Latino Roadschooling family of four that has been on the road since October 2015. We blog and vlog all about RVing, but it's not always rainbows and campfires. It's real-life every day as we navigate love, unschooling, and breaking free from the mold in our 26ft home on wheels. This post contains affiliate links. We receive a commission for purchases made via these links.