Jamie and Kristin,
You probably know this, but you can get an inverter that will turn 12V into 120V, so that you can use a laptop or other low to medium power loads while driving. These aren't expensive, starting at about $25 for a 200W model. I've got a 400W inverter that I've wired into the 12V panel (so I don't have to plug into a cigarette lighter). Note that the inverter will use a good bit of battery power, so you can't use this forever while dry camping, but while driving, the engine's generator also charges the house batteries. They won't run down when the engine's on, even if the generator is off. To get started, plug an inverter into a lighter outlet, then use an extension cord to plug in all the kids' dvd players, computers, etc.