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cheri
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:52 am    Post subject: road trips with children Reply with quote

I had such a great response and help with our coolant issue, I thought I'd see if I could get some thoughts on another topic.

With a two year old, travel time is severely limited. Time spent in the car seat is usually limited to an hour, maybe two if there's a nap involved. The temptation to put down the bed and travel at night is great.

I have read the recent thread about seatbelts. As a rule we wear them. But I'm not sure we will be able to show our son the West coast or even the Rocky Mountains without some creative traveling.

All thoughts and comments are apprecaited. Thanks.
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bljones
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we were kids, we all remember road trips where we ran wild in the back seat, slept up on the package shelf under the rear window, and NOBODY wore seatbelts, and we all lived to tell the tale, right?

Except some of us didn't.

Setting aside the obvious safety issues, remember that big brother is always watching. Imagine getting pulled over for a minor infraction and then getting an additional ticket for not having your child strapped in.

Two is a tough age for travelling- attention span is short, naps are shorter, and vocals louder. Make sure junior has lots of toys within reach, think about picking up a portable DVD player to keep him amused with occasional movies, and don't try to travel beyond junior's limits. drive a couple of hours, take a break for an hour and let the little tyke run around in a park, then get back behind the wheel.
Slow down your pace, and your expectations of travel accomplishment. if you are somebody who enjoys 12 hour iron-butt marathon sessions on the interstate, accomplishing 13000 miles in three weeks and seeing the sights through the windows as you drone past, forget it, it ain't gonna happen. Slow down and just enjoy the journey.
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vwjedi
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheri-

I have a 4 y/o and a 9y/o , I feel your pain with dealing with kids on road trips and stuff. My son is a challenge without a nap, at 2 y/o it was worse. However, sippy cups, toys, DVD players and such are my only suggestion. Risking a trip with a portion unbelted and out of their car seats is a huge risk.

I work as a paramedic and I have countless stories of working accidents of unbelted children. The one that sticks out the most is an 8 y/o girl lying down in the back seat sleeping went out a side window when mom lost control of the car, while spinning uncontrolably down the highway she actually ran over her own kid and killed her befor coming to a stop in the ditch.

Hate to be such a downer on your post but this stuff happens. Be a parent first befor anything else and make safety a priority to ensure years of fun with your kids. Very Happy
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes a two year old can be a treat to travel with no matter what you do, but if travel you must, then a Westy is the best way.
When our son was born we made a 1,500 mile trip to see our family in a honda civic, two adults, a newborn, a 50lb dog and to much luggage. The baby could stand about two hours in the seat without fussing, it was cold out, we had no room to move when we stopped, my wife had fun trying to hide when feeding the baby, ect. ect.
When we got the Westy it was so much better, when we pulled over we could have privacy, we could move around without getting out. we always stay strapped in when the vans moving, but with the westy, my wife could run to the back seat and use that belt and tend to baby without to much trouble(like the incedent involving vomit). Your best bet is just to look on the map of your route and formilirize yourself with the rest stops.
Also give yourself plenty of time so you can stop frequently if you have to.
Our son is five now and he can be passified with the gameboy,and dvd player, but at two he was more likely to destroy a dvd player than watch it for more than 10 mins.
I just got a 12v portable one (dvd player), well several actually, I get carried away sometimes. Laughing Cause our boy is at the stage now of watching movies over and over again.
As far as showing a two year old the sights, they won't remember it so I wouldn't worry about it to much, but you can see out the side windows of a Westy pretty good anyways.
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CF
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have been traveling with our kids and dogs for yrs now
when our daughter was born it was ok due to she slept most of the time.
at 2y/o we got her use to driving at 3 -3 1/2 hrs at one time . we give her a brake of a 1/2 hr so she can waste some energy.that way the dogs can do their thing and my boy can restock the snacks . the dvd thing works for a while.but the most important of all is keeping them dry in the diapper(sp?) so my wife would clime to the back and check every so offen
and change her as required. some times now that she is 6 she will undo her seat belt so she can use the pota potty.but than she knows to get back in and have her brother buckle her up again.now if i can get the dogs to do hold it for 4 hrs???

a very strong suggestions that work is have 3 new unviewed movies so that way she will watch the movie . 1 for the ride out and 2 for the rainny days.
i still have 1 unwatched hidden in my van. Wink

we also have a rubber maid about 8"x12" that we keep crayons and kids crafts. along with various vw art / coloring for her.
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What prtable DVD player are you guys using? Is there one that runs on 12v?
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keppe
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: road trips with children Reply with quote

our son stays in the seat. not always easy, but there are ways to make it easier on you. we have a friend who's a motorcycle cop and he mentioned the state of kalifornia will make it hard on you if you travel w/out the belts.

i agree with the poster who mentioned running around in the station wagon unbelted always and we made it, but i fear this is another, more regulatory environment (unfortunately).

our 3 year old has been on extended trips for over 2 years now. with our 2 crazy active cattle dogs (crated).

the advice about the dvd player is key. we try to be hugely responsible about tv, but this is one instance at bedtime or when you are in the 4th hour of highway travel that the dvd comes in real handy.

our westy is stocked with traveling tomas toys, those etchaskech's for kids (like 3 of em) and similar. they are dedicated "van toys". makes it seem a treat to play with new toys.i think the trick is to hide the away and always ready for travel. always mix it up, have those snacks handy, and co-pilot gets the hard duty of dealing with the meltdowns.

i have to say, the westy (my wife's idea as she's a bigtime surfer) was the best thing ever for our son. we travel maybe a long weekend a month, see the pacific coast from san diego to the oregon coast, and camping as a family is awesome.

we stop often when he's awake, maybe every hour. a kid's music cd, although it will drive you insane, is also helpful.

we never catered to his fits at first, and he yelled a bit on the first trip, but it's been mostly smooth sailing ever since.

good luck, have fun, bring earplugs and beer!



[quote="cheri"]I had such a great response and help with our coolant issue, I thought I'd see if I could get some thoughts on another topic.

With a two year old, travel time is severely limited. Time spent in the car seat is usually limited to an hour, maybe two if there's a nap involved. The temptation to put down the bed and travel at night is great.

I have read the recent thread about seatbelts. As a rule we wear them. But I'm not sure we will be able to show our son the West coast or even the Rocky Mountains without some creative traveling.

All thoughts and comments are apprecaited. Thanks.[/quote]
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Raggamuffin
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BENADRYL...it's legal and it won't hurt 'em. Made the 900 mile trip to the lake bearable every summer until they were gameboy and DVD age.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one suggestion that I've always thought would work well w/ infants is the vanagon MIDDLE seat..

yes they ARE expensive RELATIVELY there are far more costly options and goodies out there.. and you can always resell it later for dang near no loss in $$ or even maybe some profit.

you do NOT need to buy the HWOLE seat etal.. you only need the tracks and the BASE any van seat will slide into the base.

this is a secure belted middle (ie closer to mom/dad) in the middle and you should find it easy to add the rear restraint for the car seat.

it swivels around so that you can face him in the font seat or back seat and removes when not needed (stores in the garage/attic)

sure it's kind of heavy/bulky to carry about.. but it's a automotive seat shouldn't it be a bit substantial.

get an odd matched seat and you wont worry if it gets child stains on it..

now mind you I am childless and my advice to what/where to store children is prolly moot.. but it's a consideration I would consider..

best of luck.. and the droneing of the VW engine can be soothing to young ears... or instigate a terror tantrum.

Dan
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodknock wrote:
What prtable DVD player are you guys using? Is there one that runs on 12v?


Yes there are quite a few, I have an Audiovox
Since someone asked I will throw this out and see what everbody thinks.
I've been buying store return small electronics and repairing them and reselling them. I've been thinking of putting up a website for other cheap people like me, who want a deal and may not mind a scratch here or a dent there.
I have a couple Dvd systems that I'm about to sell on ebay.
here's an example of on I've got for ebay:
http://www.amazon.com/Audiovox-D1020-Portable-DVD-...lectronics
My thoughts are quality stuff that's not to heavy on the wallet that might make VW camping easier.
So what do you think?
Would any other Vanagon owners think a place selling low priced electronics and stuff geared toward vw buses/vans and their owners be viable?
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mordeaux
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BENADRYL...it's legal and it won't hurt 'em.


Ha! I was going to say that because that's just what my parents used on me. Of course, I too am from the age of rolling around on the package shelf or behind the rear seat of the Beetle.
[/quote]
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
Rodknock wrote:
What prtable DVD player are you guys using? Is there one that runs on 12v?


Yes there are quite a few, I have an Audiovox
Since someone asked I will throw this out and see what everbody thinks.
I've been buying store return small electronics and repairing them and reselling them. I've been thinking of putting up a website for other cheap people like me, who want a deal and may not mind a scratch here or a dent there.
I have a couple Dvd systems that I'm about to sell on ebay.
here's an example of on I've got for ebay:
http://www.amazon.com/Audiovox-D1020-Portable-DVD-...lectronics
My thoughts are quality stuff that's not to heavy on the wallet that might make VW camping easier.
So what do you think?
Would any other Vanagon owners think a place selling low priced electronics and stuff geared toward vw buses/vans and their owners be viable?


I dunno Art, that's a pretty nichey niche. I want a cheap one, like $100.
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cheri
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny about the Benadryl. We used some kind of doggie downer for our dogs when we traveled with them long distances. I hadn't thought of that.

We did little legs for our first road trip in the Westy. The trip back we just drove long and hard and I'm afraid our son was out of his carseat much more than he should have been. He gets carsick sometimes, and wants to be held. The main thing, I guess, is to not be in a hurry to get anywhere.

We haven't yet broken out the videos. A cross country road trip may be time to introduce our son to Walt Disney. We are postponing the whole tv/video thing as long as we can.

The whole purpose of the Westy is so we can take Hwy 101 down the coast. And I want to show Jake the maginificent redwood forests. We definitely want him to be a traveller.

The idea of the special van toys is a good one. We'll start that now for local trips.

Thanks.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read all this and smile. Our kids are 4(almost) and 8. They entertain each other for the most part. Yes, yes, some hitting and so on, but for the most part it is fine. (Our 4 year old girl, somehow, strangely, now prefers Pokemon, to Dora which gives her something to talk with her 8 year old brother. They have lots of "battles.")

We keep a little potty for emergencies and it works well as a foot stool so the little one can get up to her car seat. We have car toys. Snacks. Use the fold out table. We hardly think about this topic anymore.

Basically if you keep enough stuff in the van, you are fine. No big deal....since we need to stop every few hours to fill up because 18mpg only gets you so far!
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vansmack
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another nice thing about traveling with kids in the Westy is the use of a portable potty. Its been great not venturing into disgusting jons with my kids on road trips - pull over take care of business and move on.

We have actually had great times traveling with our boys. We drove 13 hours straight home at the end of a trip in our Westy when my boys were 5 and 3 - no zoning into the tv or gameboy and we had a great time. Sure there was some fighting, etc. but overall it was a great experience.
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RCB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, Are you buying these "returns" from the store itself or directly from the manufacturer?
I have the AudioVox D2010 and I couldnt be happier with it.
The speakers on these units are pretty rough...do you use any external ones?
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rodknock wrote:
mightyart wrote:
Rodknock wrote:
What prtable DVD player are you guys using? Is there one that runs on 12v?


Yes there are quite a few, I have an Audiovox
Since someone asked I will throw this out and see what everbody thinks.
I've been buying store return small electronics and repairing them and reselling them. I've been thinking of putting up a website for other cheap people like me, who want a deal and may not mind a scratch here or a dent there.
I have a couple Dvd systems that I'm about to sell on ebay.
here's an example of on I've got for ebay:
http://www.amazon.com/Audiovox-D1020-Portable-DVD-...lectronics
My thoughts are quality stuff that's not to heavy on the wallet that might make VW camping easier.
So what do you think?
Would any other Vanagon owners think a place selling low priced electronics and stuff geared toward vw buses/vans and their owners be viable?


I dunno Art, that's a pretty nichey niche. I want a cheap one, like $100.


Oh it's a very small niche, i'm not trying to get rich or nothing, just supporting my new hobby, and since most of the stuff I buy is for camping I figured people who are like minded would think some of the stuff I was getting was cool to.
I'm cheap and I don't want to pay much for anything if I don't have to.
About 100.00 or so is all I expect to get for this monitor:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&...1&rd=1
I'd just hate selling it on Ebay.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCB wrote:
Art, Are you buying these "returns" from the store itself or directly from the manufacturer?
I have the AudioVox D2010 and I couldnt be happier with it.
The speakers on these units are pretty rough...do you use any external ones?


I buy them from a place that liquidates Store returns, the stuff I buy comes mostly from best buy and circut city, It is tested by the place and has a problem of some kind, I buy it and fix the problem. some are easy to fix some are only good for parts.
I think I can do it cheap enough that I can make some money, and the buyer can get a good deal on something worth having.
It's funny you metioned an external speaker system, when I first got mine, it didn't have side speakers, so I bought this boom box that was made for Ipods, the holder for the ipod was broken so I got it real cheap,
I didn't have an Ipod anyway, and this thing had an aux input on the back.
It was made by Altec Lansing so it must be semi decent, so I took a chance.
Man the sound quality blew me away! the thing ran on batteries so we could take it camping! That's what gave me the idea of selling stuff like this for camping.
Anyways I've got the 12" model(audiovox tv/dvd) and the side speakers are better but I hook it up to this: http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing-inMotion-iM7-P...lectronics
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jeremysmithatshawdotca
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last time we went on a long trip with the kids, we made a daily grab bag in a big ziplock bag. A toy, some treats, and some sort of activity in the baggy. Now we might just do it all in a big bin (our oldest was three then, the 2nd just 4 months old), I guess it depends on the kids. The one and only time the boys had a problem was a day when we clearly pushed too far. We drove all the way from near Florence up to Seattle. We should have camped about the time we reached the Columbia River, but decided to press on instead. That said, most other days we'd get up eat, break up the camp and get on the road for a couple of hours. We never kept a rigid schedule, we'd drive as much as the kids could take (3hrs or so), then find a playground for a play break, make some food, wander around, etc. We'd usually get two drives a day, then find a camping spot. Usually we'd have a look at the map, see what campgrounds or parks were in the 5 to 6 hour range from where we were, and pick a route for the day. We had a fabulous time, and found some great places (We went from Edmonton to the Oregon coast, then up to Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Whistler, then home, 21 day trip).

Have fun on your trips, Good Luck!
Jeremy
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mr_vanagon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 'rents have a '68 bug and one of the "features" for '68 was a flatter folding rear seat so that baby had a place to sleep on long rides. Funny how things change. Wonder when they'll start requiring you to have a special cert to drive a card with kids on board.
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