As a first-time RVer, you’ve chosen the right RV for your needs and have set a budget for your trip. Next, you may be tempted to fill all the nooks and crannies with essentials. But you might or might not need all that stuff. Discover the RV packing tips that can make your first road trip a success.

Prepare for Repairs

Even if you’ve purchased a new RV, you want to prepare for emergencies. Bring several items that make repairs easier.

  • Important documents in a waterproof folder – RV registration, insurance and operator’s manual, roadside assistance documentation, campground reservations
  • Emergency kit – flashlights and batteries, fire extinguisher, booster cables, tool set, duct tape, extension cords, ropes, tarps, etc.
  • Extra fluids – motor oil, transmission fluid, wiper fluid
  • Water hoses for drinking water and wastewater
  • Sewer kit, including drain tubes and chemicals
  • Wheel chocks
  • Levelling kit
  • Generator
  • Surge protectors

Enjoy Campfires

Create memories as you spend time around the campfire. Add the following items to your RV packing list and make your time even more memorable.

  • Patio mat
  • Canopy
  • Grill and accessories
  • Lawn chairs and hammock
  • Bug spray and citronella candles
  • Lantern and headlamps
  • Games – sports equipment, squirt guns, cards, etc.
  • Outdoor projector
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Sunscreen

Cook Delicious Meals

Energize your crew with delicious, filling meals. First, make a menu and add all the essential groceries to your packing list. Then, list the cookware or grill utensils you’ll need to prepare and serve each meal. You can also simplify meal prep when you label bags with the day and meal and fill that bag with the relevant recipes and ingredients. Customize the following list based on your needs.

  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Can and bottle openers
  • Cookware – pots, pans, lids, skillets
  • Oven mitts
  • Cutting board
  • Utensils – serving spoons, spatulas, ladle, tongs
  • Serving bowls
  • Plates, bowls and cutlery
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Storage bags and containers
  • Aluminium foil
  • Dishtowels, sponge, scrub pad, and soap
  • Cooler
  • Collapsible drying rack

Sleep Well

Get enough rest so you’re alert for your daytime adventures. Here’s what you need for a good night’s sleep.

  • Sheets or sleeping bag
  • Comforters and blankets
  • Pillows
  • Eye mask and earplugs
  • Sleep aids like a favourite stuffed animal or blankie

Dress Comfortably

Ask each family member to pack their own clothing and shoes. Include all the essentials, such as base layers, outerwear and play clothes. Double-check the list to ensure each family member will remain comfortable in all types of weather.

  • Everyday shorts, jeans, shirts for warm and cool weather
  • Pyjamas
  • Rain or snow gear
  • Undergarments and socks
  • Shoes – sandals, sneakers, hiking boots, water shoes
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Swimsuit
  • Diapers

Pack Personal Care Items

From bee stings to bathing, bring your favourite personal care and grooming items. Remember to pack the essentials for your pet, too.

  • First aid kit
  • Medications – prescription and over-the-counter pain reliever, allergy, cold, and other medicines
  • Toiletries – soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, hair accessories
  • Towels of all sizes and washcloths
  • Shower shoes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand and body wipes
  • RV-safe toilet paper
  • Trash can

Play Every Day

Plan to enjoy the outdoors and nature on your trip. Depending on your destination, you may want to pack gear to go fishing, swimming, kayaking, biking, bird watching, and hiking. Pack hydration packs, a GPS device, and communication tools like walkie-talkies and two-way radios, too.

And if the weather is inclement or you need downtime, bring items for indoor play. Pack card and board games, yoga mats, arts and crafts, and colouring books. Consider adding an e-reader and electronic devices with preloaded movies, headphones and chargers, too.

Clean Inside and Outside

Keep your RV tidy with various cleaning products. You can stock a caddy for faster clean-ups and better organisation.

  • Broom, dustpan and hand-held vacuum
  • All-purpose interior and exterior spray
  • Rags and cleaning wipes
  • Sponges and scrub brushes
  • Gloves
  • Antibacterial spray

RV Packing Tips

Because your RV has limited storage space and a weight limit, exercise a few RV packing tips.

  • Buy multipurpose cleaners and toiletries.
  • Use soft rather than hard cases for flexibility.
  • Create more storage with hooks, bars and racks on the walls, doors and ceiling.
  • Place heavy items near the ground and evenly distributed across the RV.
  • Customise your RV trip packing list based on your itinerary and destination.
  • Include pet essentials, if applicable.

You may also want to take an overnight test run and park your RV in the driveway. On your pretend road trip, you’ll discover exactly which items you need and which items you can leave at home.

RVing is fun for the entire family, especially when you’re prepared. While you will need to be flexible in case of emergencies, utilize these packing tips to help your first road trip be a success.

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