Anyone travel in a RV - I am too scared to fly with allergic kids.

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 7:07am
Danielle's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

We need to travel from Florida to Iowa and Ohio this summer and I can't imagine traveling on a plane with my PA 3 year old and my 1 1/2 year old allergic/intolerant to oats, rice, wheat, blueberry, pear, possible egg and also no pn/tn for many years. I have been looking into renting a Four Winds or Thor RV (the big ones) but unfortunately they are NOT car seat safe. I can't beleive it!!!! Now what??? Has anyone traveled with a RV that was child seat friendly? I am just too scared to fly with them and I need to be able to carry a large amount of food and necessities so an RV was perfect. I drive an Excursion SUV but this is not big enough and it does no have as you now a refrig, freezer, microwave... ANy ideas??? Thanks

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 7:46am
margaret's picture
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Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

Why not rent a pull-behind trailer. Your Excursion certainly has the towing capacity, right?

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 7:53am
travelplus's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2004 - 09:00

I don't have a PA but I have traveled in an RV with my grandparents. The benifits to renting an RV is that you controll what goes in and out of the RV. Make sure to to a deep clean before you depart. I would also clean out the refrigerator and cabinets to be safe. A problem that occurs is that other campers at the campground will be eating peanut products. I would assume if you told the campgrounds your child has a PA they would make good accomodations. Also be sure to bring a cellphone a lot of epipens and doctors orders just incase. Be prepared for the worst situation. If your RV breaks down and help is a few hours away, or if you have an allergy in the middle of nowhere. Ask yourself questions and see how much of them you can answer. I would first start with a short excursion and see how it goes.

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 9:19am
PeteFerraro's picture
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Joined: 07/10/2001 - 09:00

What about stopping at roadside rest stops? I'd hate to be traveling through the middle of nowhere, stop at a roadside reststop to use the facilities and have a contact reaction because of PBJ residue on a flusher.
Granted you will have a potty in the RV. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Call the airline before you make your final decision. Airlines are doing much more these days to accomodate PA people. I believe that US Airways is peanut free.
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]http://www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 10:33am
klrwar's picture
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Joined: 02/25/2004 - 09:00

I'd be a bit concerned about gas mileage on the RV -- w/ these $2/gal. prices nowadays that could end up costing a fortune (I heard that some of them only get 3-4 mi/gal). I know this doesn't compare to Florida to Iowa, but my family drove from Pittsburgh to Orlando in our Expedition last year for our vacation and it was totally fine -- we would do it every year if we had to. I think as long as you have a larger comfortable vehicle you'll be fine. Also, Sharper Image makes little refridgerator/warmer things that plug into cigarette lighters that you could use -- saw them in a catalog I got in the mail today for about $180.
We don't fly, but it's not because of PA (PA DS was actually on a long flight a couple of years ago prior to his PA diagnoses and was fine). We don't fly because I TOTALLY HATE IT. I get so anxious that I almost have an attack or something during takeoff and landing. DH is no help because he doesn't like flying either. I've been like this my whole life and believe me, 9-11 definitely didn't help!!! I used to fly all the time for work (I even went to Australia), but after our last family trip back and forth between Pittsburgh and Seattle DH & I said never again will we fly as a family. It's more anxiety than it's worth -- I can't even enjoy myself the whole time we're at the place we flew to because I'm so worried about the flight home. My biggest bummer is that if I ever want to see Europe (which I desperately want to!!!!) I'm going to have to go on a boat or something [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].
Good luck w/ your trip.

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2004 - 2:57pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Just today we stopped our travel trailer today in preparation for our first trip of the season. (traded our first one in last year, this one is a bit bigger). It is a travel trailer. Our previous model was 24 feet long and we towed with a half ton pickup/trailering package. I *believe* we made it to Florida from Illinois last year on 4 tanks of gas. Would have to check our trip diary to be sure. Can't speak for others, but our family was pleased. Currently planning our first trip of the season. Would have already been *on a trip*, but schedules didn't coordinate. (Neither did finances). LOL.
We have found the whole kit and caboodle to be quite reasonable and managable. PA or not, love RV-ing. *Personally*? we thought it was [i]just like the commercials[/i]. (Love it when that happens). And more. Don't know if others would feel that way or agree with us, just that *we* did. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] We could be wrong.
Anyone out there with an RV or Motorhome that travels year around?

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 6:27am
momtomitchell's picture
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Joined: 04/20/2004 - 09:00

I was supposed to travel with my baby last year on a road trip, I thought it would be fun, but you are right, none of them are child seat safe!
I am traveling with my PA son on Jet Blue, they are Peanut Free and will accomodate him and sit him up front if need be. I'd check with the airlines, they are getting very good about things.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 6:39am
nancy023's picture
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Joined: 12/12/2002 - 09:00

We drove an SUV from Pennsylvania to FL with our two Multi-food allergic kids in January. We bought the big cooler that plugs into the lighter and lots of dried foods. I thought about buying a little microwave to use in hotels, but didn't. With a few grocery store stops (and the much needed dvd player), that worked ok.
Are you also worried about where you will sleep when you get to Ohio and Iowa? Then I could see the need for the travel trailer. I can't see an RV being less safe for carseats than any other vehicle. Is it just that they have not been tested in RV's?

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 11:13am
PeteFerraro's picture
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Joined: 07/10/2001 - 09:00

I found this on the foodallergy.org website:
[url="http://www.foodallergy.org/Advocacy/airlines.html"]http://www.foodallergy.org/Advocacy/airlines.html[/url]
[i][b]As of January 2003, the domestic carriers that do not serve peanut snacks are United, U.S. Air, American, Northwest, and the Delta Shuttle (flies only between New York, Boston and Washington). American and others continue to serve some tree nut mixtures in the First Class cabin or as part of a snack mix in Coach. The international carriers that do not serve peanut snacks include Aer Lingus, British Air, and El Al.
Just because they do not serve peanut snacks does not mean they are peanut-free, because they may include peanut ingredients in their meals, or other passengers may carry peanuts on the plane with them. No airline can guarantee a peanut-free flight.[/b][/i]
------------------
Pete Ferraro
[url="http://www.FerraroFamily.org"]http://www.FerraroFamily.org[/url]

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2004 - 1:42pm
ajas_folks's picture
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Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Danielle --
I think you could do this trip in your Excursion even without a trailer or RV!!!
Last year we moved from Reno, Nevada to Del Rio, Texas. We towed a ski boat with our Suburban & took 7 days to do the nearly 2000 mile trip!
We stayed in hotels with a minimum of microwave & small refrigerator. Some hotels had full-up kitchenettes. We are a family of four -- mom & dad plus then 2 year-old & almost 5 year-old. (Our allergy issues are generally peanut & tree nuts. And our kids are hideously picky eaters.) We carried 2 coolers -- one for foods & one for beverages. Also carried one collapsable crate (24" by 14") full of food. (Plus we had all the regular clothes, port-a-crib, stroller, kid stuff, and adult needs for the trip -- this included items we would need for the next six months as we would be living in temp lodging & without our household goods until at least December.)
In nearly every town we stayed, there was a super Walmart or large grocery store where we could get safe staples & replenish supplies. Our coolers were the old-fashioned types needing freezer blocks or bags of ice. We carried freezer blocks & were able to re-freeze them in our hotel room OR with the hotel office in every place we stayed. Our Suburban does have an elec outlet in the back cargo area where we could have plugged in one of those refrig/coolers, but we didn't want to spend the $$ on one of those (though we probably will buy one this year to do a drive from Del Rio to Wyoming).
Another small but essential appliance we carried was a B&D toaster oven. SOOOO handy to warm food or make toasted cheese sandwich, etc. Better than microwave for many things.
I even had a Rubbermaid dishpan, soap, dishcloths along to do baby dishes,etc.!
Our kids travelled comfortably & safely in their Britax carseats. (Little gal in Roundabout, Big boy in Super Elite/Husky). They had LeapPads for entertainment & tons of books. Each day we bought some new (CHEAP) toy that was good for carseat play. We had CDs for adults & CDs for kids. Though we are considering getting an in-car DVD player for the brutal parts of trip to Wyoming this summer (particularly the last day on return trip in unscenic area of Texas).
Investigate the hotel options for your trip (the Internet is so great for this) -- have fun planning & don't be too ambitious about how many miles you can realistically do in 1 day. We added 1 extra day to our Reno-Del Rio trip to spend an extra day in Las Cruces, NM -- lovely little town & we'd all had enough of the car & driving.
Hope this helps in some way -- travel IS possible in many means & ways. It just takes more planning (& worrying) for those of us with food allergies or other extreme health needs.
Have FUN!!!
EB

Posted on: Wed, 04/28/2004 - 2:23am
andy k's picture
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Joined: 02/21/2002 - 09:00

Hi Danielle,
We have two kids with multiple food allergies; one also has asthma, GI issues and migraines, so in addition to needing to cook (nearly everything) from scratch, hotel rooms (where cat and dog dander may trigger an asthma attack) are also a problem. Consequently, RV'ing has been a godsend for us.
While still pretty new to this, here's what I have learned: Depending on your child's needs, your expected frequency of travel, and means, there are various options (should you decide to go the RV route at all): first, for someone who already has an SUV with significant towing capacity, a trailer is a good option, costing far less than a motorhome, and allowing you to keep the kids in their current car seats. You get to sleep in your own (trailer) beds, cook on your stove and microwave, have your own fridge/freezer and (tiny!) bathroom. A second option for some is a motorhome; some of the lower end models don't cost much more than an SUV, though admittedly, if you are only travelling a few weeks a year, this is probably not cost effective, even for those who can afford it. We took this route and had car seat friendly belts installed (one would have to carefully research the safety of this in connection with their model and make their own decision). A rental would also work, but with a very, very thorough cleaning, and wouldn't address the car seat issue, which we worried about as well.
Book stores sell a book called "The Next Exit" which lists the location of amenities - and hospitals - near every major interstate highway exit in the U.S. In addition, we purchsed a GPS emergency phone (costs us $9.95/month) that hooks you directly to an emergency operator who can pinpoint your location and direct you to the nearest hospital. Thankfully, I haven't had to test it out, but that also means I don't have any direct experience with their service. I don't recall the name but can check if anyone is interested. We prefer to stay on major interstate highways as much as possible.
The "Good Sam Club" is an RV association that also publishes campsite directories that have given us a decent idea of which campsites are clean, kid-friendly, etc.(the campsites at Disney World are terrific!).
That's just our experience; there certainly are others. Whatever route you decide to take, I hope you and your family enjoy your travels.
Andy

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