Getting ready for your first road trip might be exciting, but do you know how to pack and prepare for it? Though an RV may seem like it has plenty of space, filled with endless cabinets and shelves, you’ll soon find that this space is often limited. Do remember to spread your heavy items throughout the RV to avoid weighing one side particularly down. From the front to back and side to side, your RV’s weight should be distributed evenly. This helps keep your RV under the necessary payload and towing capacity limits.
Whether you’re new to the RV camping life or you’re here to double-check your packing list, this guide will give you a rundown on the essentials of packing for your RV camping trip!
Personally, when renting out my trailer, I always tell people to bring all relevant documents along with them, especially documents for identification and authorization. These documents include your ID, driver’s license, medical documents, documents regarding your RV, bookings for your campsite, and even your itinerary. Do keep them accessible in a common folder so you won’t be scrambling to find them when you need to present them!
Also, make sure you keep all these documents in a safe and dry place as you cannot afford to lose or damage them. If you’re still worried about losing or damaging these documents, you should bring along an extra set of photocopied versions just in case!
Another important set of equipment includes your adapters, light sources, and your generators. The adaptors are important to sustain your phones, laptops, and other electrical items throughout the trip. It is also a good idea to bring electrical tape, extra fuses, a digital voltmeter for battery checking, and a digital line monitor to check the AC generator frequency and voltage.
If you’re bringing a generator, make sure to bring relevant maintenance, repair tools as well as spare parts. Lastly, bring along light sources like torchlight and lamps to navigate your way in the dark. To be safe, bring along extra batteries too.
In case of emergencies, you should bring along an emergency roadside safety kit and an RV toolbox for last-minute repairs and maintenance work. Your toolbox should contain basic equipment like screwdrivers, duct tape, pressure gauge, and so on. It is important to keep all your necessary vehicle fluids such as coolant and oil in a waterproof and airtight container –– away from children and other important items to avoid spillage.
Water is going to be one of the most important things you need on your trip. However, it’s not advisable to travel about with a full water tank –– it can add an extra 334 pounds to your RV. Instead, ensure that you have access to enough safe drinking water.
Additionally, remember to pack enough water filters for the trip. A good freshwater hose is required to fill up your water tank, whilst a water pressure regulator helps prevent high pressures from the campground’s water source from damaging your RV. If you’re carrying numerous bottles of water, store them evenly across the RV and lay them close to the ground.
For your bathroom, remember to bring black water tank chemicals, sanitation gloves, toiletries, and toilet deodorant. All of these will keep your toilet in useable condition and will make your daily trip to the toilet much more pleasant. Please ensure that you have sufficient disposable cleaning wipes and RV toilet paper too!
We recommend purchasing an RV-specific shower head to make showers better. Not only would this help with conserving water, but it also provides a constant stream of good water pressure for your hot showers.
Normal and RV refrigerators are not the same. For RV refrigerators, you will need a cooling fan as these need proper ventilation to work. You also can’t overstuff it with too much food. Organize them properly so that the heavier stuff occupies the bottom of the fridge, and place the lighter stuff at the top.
RV refrigerators are also subject to outside temperatures, so you have to constantly adjust the temperatures of the refrigerator along the trip. It would be handy to keep extra ice in a cooler if you’re traveling during the summer.
Now one of the highlights of camping is outdoor cooking. For this, it is advisable to bring a dutch oven, a cast-iron skillet, or a camp stove.
For ease of cleaning up, we recommend you use paper plates, napkins, and utensils. For storing items, you can use aluminum foil, plastic wraps, or styrofoam packets. Of course, if you’re looking for a greener alternative, you can use reusable Tupperware and utensils.
Health And Hygiene
The most important factor to consider is safety, hence your first aid kit is very important. Your first aid kit should consist of key items like bandages, antibiotics, scissors, gauze, and so on. Your kit should also be stored in an accessible place where everybody on the trip knows so in case of any emergency, there will be no delay in reaching for the first aid kit.
On top of the first aid kit, do bring along the necessary medication for diarrhea, dizziness, gastric, headache, cold, and any personal or allergy medications. These are items that can save you from lots of trouble should an accident or illness happen.
When camping, it is always important to be prepared for every possible situation, and this includes the clothes you bring.
In case of rain (which has a high chance of happening), bring along your umbrellas, raincoats, and rain boots to protect yourself. Plus, you should pack some rags to clean off the mud on your boots and a doormat to dry your feet before entering the RV.
To battle the cold, it is advisable to pack jackets, gloves, hats, thick socks, and clothes. All of which will make the chilly nights much more comfortable. An extra thick blanket is also a plus for the shivering nights out in the woods! Quality time with loved ones will be even more comforting when accompanied by the warmth of the soft, wooly blankets and clothes.
For those expecting blazing weather, do bring along sunglasses, hats, umbrellas as well as thin clothes. While Vitamin D may be good for health, you wouldn’t want to spend your trip sweating your butts off! Bring along some sunblock so you won’t have to go home sunburnt!
Equipment and Gears
Even if you are in an RV, you’re still going on a camping trip, and it might be useful to bring along the necessary camping gear as well. Be sure to pack essentials such as sleeping bags, camping tents, trekking poles, firestarters, and so on. Most campers find themselves pitching a campfire or two now and then!
If you’re planning on spending more than a day outside, be sure to bring handy accessories –– such as flashlights, a tarp, and extra blankets to be ultra prepared. A couple of ghost stories would help, too!
If you plan on bringing smart gadgets, you might want to bring a portable stereo, a tablet, headphones, and even an outdoor movie projector for movie marathons. However, if you’re planning on going on an Internet cleanse, we recommend bringing card and board games for some quality time. For those looking to have outdoor fun, we suggest bringing a ball, a badminton net, a hammock, a pair of binoculars for wildlife watching, and even water guns for some fun!
Whether it’s your first RV camping trip or one of many you’ve been to, it’s always good to go over the essentials needed on the trip. Missing out on a few of these might not make a big difference now, but when the situation arises, you might end up regretting not packing it in. All in all, after reading this guide, we hope we have prepared you well for your trip and most importantly, we hope you enjoy yourself.
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