The Ultimate Checklist, NO RVer Should Ever Be Without

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

rving checklist for every rver

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.

  • Shirts
  • Pants/Shorts
  • Socks and underwear
  • Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Sleepwear
  • Jackets
  • Headwear

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 –

  • Bikes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Boat
  • 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.


  • Personal hygiene items are important; soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc. I noticed right away you left those out. I wouldn’t want to camp immediately next to the author of this article! lol. The RV items like the levelers, etc. should ALWAYS remain in the camper storage areas; there’s no need to take them out when a trip is completed. The camper’s kitchen can remain stocked in-between trips with pots and pans, dishes, towels, etc. We have multiples of everything so we don’t need to continually move items from the house to the camper every trip, including games, towels and clean sheets. The only thing we have to pack then each time is clothing and food. Of course, we are lucky enough to be able to store our camper in our yard between trips so we can even “camp” right in our own yard.

    • That is exactly what I do.My camper is stocked with everything except clothes and food. That is the only thing I have to put in it.

    • I agree with you. Our camper is always camping ready except for fresh clothes and food. It’s so much easier. I just type up a camping menu so I am covered in that area. And i go through each room to make sure we are well stocked in toiletries, cleaners and kitchen needs. It’s pretty much a no brainer if you keep it stocked at all times outside of clothes and food.

  • also make sure that as you bring certain things that are needed add them to your list, meds and such, also have a breakdown list that you can check before you leave to continue your journey, like roof vents closed if necessary, sometimes you can leave them open for circulation, and also possibly have a window cracked so it isn’t stuffy. Plus I take a small piece of paper with the exact height of my trailers highest point and add a few inches and put it where it can be easily seen, so when going under a bridge you can quickly calculate if you are safe to continue, this may sound stupid but there are some back road bridges that are not the same height as highway bridges, I have seen a couple trailers that did not make it under. I also carry an xtra 5 gallon container of gas and a 3rd propane tank, and get a fuel gauge for your propane tanks, nothing worse than running out and your in a place that dose not have it.

    • I have more problems remembering the break down to do’s than anything so going to post a list in camper. Left the tv antenna up but someone let us know as we where pulling out

  • Electric cord for R V , sewer hose donut an extra sewer hose , extra water hose , extra leveling pads , black tank deodorizer , extra awning tie downs , misc tools , oil n lubricants, straps and portable seeer tank on wheels , water regulator , electric amp monitor for power surges

  • Just about all the time when I make something at home , like lasagna, stews, meatloaf, or what ever, I seal them with my food saver in portions of 2, because there is only 2 of us, Whether your on the road or already at the campsite, its a flash to microwave a fantastic home cooked meal, some items can also be wrapped really well in foil and tucked under your hood to reheat or actually cook, ive done it a couple times just to try, it works well but not my preference, campground food is usually hot dogs and burgers, steaks and chicken that can be cooked over an open fire on a home made rotisserie. and once again the food saver comes in very handy for theses items, ive sealed homemade un cooked pies after they were frozen and put them in the bottom of a cooler with a lot of other prepped and frozen foods and kept it packed with ice and it never thawed out, that way you can basically extend your freezer space, and when the cooler is emptied ive use it to wash clothes, I put the clothes in it with water and ice cubes, put it in the back of my truck and basically just drove around as usual, the ice and water sloshing around in the cooler with the laundry soap works great, then alls I do is rinse them well and hang to dry, sometimes I go one step further and use a fabric softener as well, but it creates one more step, but mostly for towels, obviously if it is nice slacks or something real nice I don’t do it, but I have not had that problem so far because when im traveling its usually t-shirts and shorts or jeans.

  • Duct tape
    bug spray
    if you take a pet make sure you know where a vet is close to your campground.

  • We also have a small crock pot and a small toaster oven, make a meal first thing in morn or prepared at home before stick in crock pot first thing in morn and dinner is ready no worry.
    Also a lantern is good to have battery or fluid

  • Another good idea is to keep some change and a few one dollar bills.. in the dash for what evers, bridge tolls etc. We also do this in our personal vehicles. It comes in handy for me to grab a quarter at the stores where you put a quarter in for your buggy and get it back when you rechain your buggy when done with it.

  • Don’t worry about every meal. Think 5 days. You can still hit the grocery store. Local food is fun and always fresh!

  • I buy luggage tags at the dollar store and write it Campground name, site and our phone number.
    Then if rover gets lost they know he’s camping and how to get him back to us.

  • Our fifth wheel has an RV Multi use kayak rack on the rear. It simply inserted into the 2 inch receiver that was factory installed. We carry our two 10 foot kayaks and bicycles with us everywhere we go! It’s great! They can also carry SUP’s or surfboards.

  • I also recommend having a first aid kit. Also, make sure you have all medications and your doctor information in case of any emergency.

  • One of the most important items to include are your legal papers. POA, Durable POA for Medical, Contacts for Bank, Lawyer, All Medical Contacts, Password to your Medical Records online, Pet information, etc.

    I was at a seminar last year and the presenter wanted to know how many carried this information to Florida. 100 in seminar. No one raised their hands. We have a Blue Travel Folder with all of this information contained regarding my wife and myself.

  • We have an outdoor kitchen with a frig and grill. It has a pulled out counter so what we find handy is using our portable propane burner. when we do cook, we like to do it outside so it dosent heat up the camper on those hot summer days.

  • My husband and I and our two tux’s don’t need the ultimate checklist because we live in ours full time…❤Our home is a 2015 42 ft Vengeance Toy Hauler

  • All of these lists really cover most everything. As you use your RV you will learn what you need and what you don’t. Add those items you need and remove those you don’t to reduce weight. Use a list to write down items that are used (soap, TP, paper towels, etc.) and replace next store stop. If you winter your unit and remove items damaged by freezing just lay them out on the counter and take a picture with your phone. Next spring you will have pictures to help you load the items you removed.

  • I make small crockpot freezer meals and bring one or two for those days when we are gone all day, throw them in and when we come home we have a great meal!

  • road flares, hydraulic lift (usually comes with unit). Know how to change tire incase its the middle of the night on the highway. I just call a wrecker. I’ve had to, three times for various reasons.When doing so make sure they know its an RV and its weight. Not all wreckers can pull a big unit. Tire iron. engine oil, water, radiator coolant.antifreeze. Tools that are Battery operated. Keep charged! including drill and oscillating saw. (I use this for cutting firewood too). Emergency blanket Can with candles, matches and lighter emergency food. Bear spray. (works for intruders too). Bee Spray. Batteries. Some of these things you will already have in your RV. Also bring your pets shot records. I’ve been told states will ask for them.

  • marine radio, I also have a hand crank radio that has a charger in it for electronic equipment. Also battery charger for jump start. Electric meter