Everyone’s guilty of overpacking. Unless you’re a minimalist, there’s almost always something in your bag you don’t really need. When packing for your first RV trip, extra things can get in the way – and add lots of weight.
As you consider what to bring on your first trip, try to avoid filling the RV to the brim. Here are a few camping supplies and staples you’ll want with you on your first trip, and many more.
How to Pack for Your First RV Trip
We’ve suggested a few things we recommend leaving at home to save you space and ensure you have a great time on your first trip.
One of the best parts of traveling in an RV is the ability to cook great meals. Avoid going out to eat for every meal by having a well-equipped RV kitchen. You can bring kitchen items from home, but you’ll be packing and unpacking those items every time you go on a trip. Instead, consider outfitting your RV kitchen with space-saving items like collapsible, stackable, and nesting kitchen tools. We recommend some of the following:
- Cooking utensils
- Stackable mixing bowls and food storage containers
- Pots and pans
- Skillets and griddles
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knives and a cutting board
- Dinnerware and placemats
- Coffee maker
- Toaster or toaster oven
- Pot and pan protectors
- Bar accessories and unbreakable wine glasses
- Food and canned goods (unless you want to stock up once you’re there)
- Aluminum foil
- Dish soap
- Sponges/Scrubbers, towels, and pot holders
- Trash bags
Think about what small appliances you’ll really use, like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or toaster. Be considerate of your space. Do you really need your bread maker? Or that particularly bulky blender? The more trips you go on, of course, the more you’ll realize what you use and don’t use.
Remember to bring a bedding set for every bed in your RV that will see use. Don’t forget about bunks and dinette beds. Have an extra set of linens on hand in case you need to wash or swap out a set mid-trip. If you’re camping in the cold, extra blankets are always welcome and can double as padding for breakable items when in transit.
- Mattress pads and toppers
- Comforters and blankets
- Closet storage items (hampers, hangers, organizers, etc.)
- Bunk ladders and accessories
Toiletries are a must, but here’s a full list of everything you might want in your RV’s washroom.
- Towels and washcloths
- Towel racks
- Toothbrush and soap holders
- RV toilet paper
- Shower curtains and liners
- Shower caddies and organizers
- Bath mat and other accessories
- Bathroom cleaning supplies
- Sewer chemicals
RV Setup Needs
So you’ve made it to your first campsite – now what? If you’re new to RVing, here’s the equipment you’ll need to set your RV up when you arrive.
- Leveling blocks
- Wheel chocks
- Hitch lock (for towables to prevent theft)
- Potable water hose
- Water filter and water pressure regulator
- Sewer hose and connection adapters (you can buy these as a kit)
- Sewer hose support
- Power cord (if your RV isn’t already equipped)
- Power cord adapters
- Surge protector
Of course, your exact needs will vary depending on your RV’s make and model. If it’s your first trip pulling a towable RV, learn about everything you need to hitch and tow. Don’t forget any smaller hand tools you might need to maintain your RV.
If you’ve been camping before, you have a good base idea of what to bring along for this. Remember, you’re going out to relax. You may still need to work but think of the various ways you’ll also get to play.
Below is a list of popular camping supplies you might want to bring for additional comfort.
- Flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps
- Refillable water bottles
- Clothes (be sensible)
- Insect repellent
- Camping chairs
- Outdoor toys and games
- Indoor board games (or a deck of cards)
- Patio mats and outdoor rugs
- Smartphone or tablet
- First aid kit
- Any other recreational equipment you need to enjoy your time!
The truth is, your camping list can be as long or short as you desire. It also depends on your RV’s available storage space. On longer trips, keep your RV light on gear to maximize your RV’s fuel economy. Remember, most destinations offer opportunities to rent gear from nearby outfitters.
What NOT to Bring on Your First RV Trip
Before any trip, it’s important to remember a couple of things. First, unless you’re becoming a full-time RVer, you don’t need to pack up your entire life. A few nice decorations for the RV go a long way.
Otherwise, be practical and remember that camping is often about doing more with less. Storage space is important on any RV (like the Happier Camper, for example), but so is weight. These are a few things we recommend leaving at home.
- Heavy tools (other than must-have tools for operating or working on your RV)
- Kitchen appliances you won’t use more than once (as mentioned above)
- Firewood (most campsites sell wood on site, and many prohibit wood from being carried in due to the risk of invasive species)
- Food in bulk (try meal planning to know exactly what you’ll need)
- Your entire wardrobe (bring the essentials for the weather you’ll encounter)
With a few trips under your belt and a few more miles on the RV, you’ll soon grasp what you need for a fulfilling trip. For the must-haves, visit Camping World – we’ll outfit you with all the necessities.
What questions do you have about preparing for your first RV trip? Let us know in the comments below.