Packing for an RV vacation is a different process than packing for a trip to stay in hotel. When traveling in an RV, you are basically taking your home with you – and you will need to bring along many of the same items that you rely on at home on a daily basis. Unlike when staying at a hotel, you won’t be able to call down to the front desk if you need something, so packing properly is an important part of enjoying a great trip.
The RV Equipment Checklist
Before you start thinking about swimming shorts and goggles, you first want to be sure that you are packing all of the equipment necessary to run the RV for the length of your trip. Even an experienced RV traveler can forget one or two of these items from time to time, so it is useful to have a checklist in place that you can use for reference as you prepare for the trip.
Here is a list of RV equipment to get you started. Not every item on the following list will apply to your specific RV, and you may have other gear that needs to be added as well.
- Leveling equipment
- Sewer hose
- Tire gauge
- Water hose
- Set of tools
- Wheel chocks
- Emergency road kit
- Jumper cables
The RVing Clothing Checklist
You want to make sure that everyone has all of the clothes they need to enjoy the trip. Obviously, the specific items of clothing that you pack will depend greatly on the destination you have in mind and the time of year that you are traveling. Be sure to pack more clothes than you think you will need just in case something gets dirty or stained along the way.
- Socks and underwear
The RVing Food Checklist
Planning the food that you will eat during your RV vacation might be the most challenging part of getting ready for the trip. Most people don’t think of food ideas several days ahead, so it can be difficult to plan a menu that the whole family will enjoy. However, as you gain experience going on RV trips, you will learn what foods are easy to prepare in your RV kitchen, and which meals you are better off saving to make at home. As you get ready to leave, make sure you have all of the following points covered –
- Dinner supplies for each night of your trip, plus one extra in case of emergency
- Breakfast and lunch foods for each day. These should be meals that are easy to prepare (avoid creating unnecessary dishes that will need to be washed).
- Snack foods that can be taken with you on hikes, boat trips, etc.
- Dessert supplies (s’mores!)
- A supply of ‘safe’ food in case of illness. You want to be sure to pack things like crackers and soup just in case someone in your traveling party doesn’t feel well and isn’t up for eating the planned meals.
The RVing Activity and Entertainment Checklist
Of course, your vacation is intended to be fun. Along with all of the necessities that you need to pack, you should also make room for toys, games, and other entertainment gear. The exact items that you pack will again depend on your destination, as well as what you and your family like to do on vacation. Some of the possibilities include –
- Hiking shoes
- Fishing equipment
- Board games
- Playing cards
- Lawn chairs
- Ball for playing around the campsite (baseball, football, soccer ball, etc.)
- DVD player w/ DVD’s (for use with RV television)
Having a checklist to use prior to your next RV trip is a great idea. However, that checklist will need to be highly customized to best suit your needs. Everyone travels in a slightly different manner, so you will want to create your own list based on the needs and preferences of your traveling group. Take some time to sit down and think about everything you want to have with you when you reach the campsite to enjoy an RV vacation. Once your checklist has been finalized, using the ideas above as a starting point, you can place it in your RV and consult it carefully prior to hitting the road.