Whether you’re loading up the RV for a specific hunting location or you’re driving from camp to camp to make the most of the season, choosing what to bring with you can be a challenge. Some of us are notorious over-packers leaving little room for any excess, while the rest are infamous for not packing enough and wishing for items left behind. Regardless of which category you fall into, worry no more! Camping World partners, Zach and Mary, share their RV pro tips for how to pack your RV for a hunting trip.
Tip #1: Use Storage Containers
First things first, it’s all about storage. Start by assessing how much storage space you have available in your RV, and purchase the right storage containers. Whether it’s storing weapons, additional clothing, or camera gear, you really need to have everything stored safely and securely to avoid it knocking around and breaking while in transit. RVs are short on space, but a lot of thought is put into savvy storage capabilities, so it’s wise to look at and utilize the storage options in the best possible way.
Tip #2: Analyze Your RV’s Floorplan
Some RVs are built to accommodate lots of gear, toys, and tools for your outdoor recreation adventures. With a toy hauler, for example, you always have a garage behind you. Pause and contemplate how to pack the garage so that everything fits and is tied down securely using the tie-downs on the floor. There’s a lot of room, so think about all you can bring along: kayaks, camera gear and cases, coolers, pet crates and toys, and even an ATV. It can feel like an intense game of Tetris, but it can also be fun once you master how to effectively pack and unpack it. One of the benefits that many love about a toy hauler is it gives them closer access to hunting grounds. Simply pull the unit up, unpack and drive out on the ATV to get close to the deer stand. The challenge of getting to the hunting site is eliminated.
Tip #3: Make Sure Cords are Safely Put Away
If possible, use some of the drawers inside the unit to store all the electrical cords. Between locations, it’s not uncommon to drive over a lot of bumpy roads or off roads, so using drawers and cabinets in the kitchen will help keep loose items safe and secure. Ask any RV rookie what lesson they’ve learned the hard way and most will have stories of leaving wine bottles or coffee containers out on the counter. It’s a scenario that always ends in a mess. Try storing those items in drawers with dish towels or mats in between them to prevent movement. Bonus tip: invest in a quality broom and mop.
Try our tips for savvy kitchen organization ideas and notice how cooking becomes easier.
Tip #4: Use Outdoor Storage Wisely
With outdoor storage, it’s smart to use these areas for anything that you don’t want to be stored inside the RV itself. Whether it’s equipment for the deer stands, jack stands, extra gas cans, or anything that you wouldn’t want to occupy the same space as you, your pets, and your food. Outdoor storage is the solution for all things messy. Outdoor compartments are perfect for storing outdoor mats and all dirty outdoor toys. Reserve inside storage compartments, like under the bed and under the sofa/dinette area, for blankets and any additional linens.
Tip #5: Plan and Prepare Ahead of Time
The best way to maximize storage space for a hunting trip is to spend time preparing and planning effectively. It’s a tip that seems obvious but is overlooked more often than not. Setting aside a dedicated amount of time to really think through your trip, what activities you’ll be doing where, and what you’ll need to do them will alleviate any stress once you arrive. As a rule of thumb, take only what you need and leave the rest at home.
Tip #6: Make a Checklist of What You Need
During the planning and preparing phase, make a list to ensure you have all the items, gear, and accessories you need. Write it down, you’ll thank us later. Mental checklists are hard to abide by, plus physically scratching an item on a to-do list is satisfying. Think of things that are necessary for the success of your RV hunting trip. Things like a generator, a cooler, a good pair of optics, clothing, food, and obviously weapons, hunting knives and tools, and snacks. Lots of snacks. Making a list helps you to avoid over-packing and encourages you to pack smart.
Tip #7: Be Selective of What You Pack
Be very selective of what you choose to pack. For hunting gear, assign a specific area of the RV to house your gear, and only bring along what you know you’ll be using on the trip. Take advantage of storage boxes to keep items together, organized, and within easy reach when you need something. Consider using one storage box for clothing, one storage box for the weapons, and another storage box for camera gear, and so on.
Tip #8: Do Not Exceed Your RV’s Weight Limit
It’s always a good idea to know the weight limit of what your RV can carry. With a toy hauler, carrying an ATV can add a lot of weight. When choosing to pack and bring one along, think about what else you’ll have with you as well. Will you have a full tank of water on board or are you planning to keep it empty? Pack effectively and be mindful of how much weight you’re supposed to have on the camper as not to exceed it.
Don’t forget to consider where you’ll be storing your game, and how much weight this might add to your RV. Or, maybe you’re cooking up your catch for a feast. Try some of Zach and Mary’s gourmet recipes that showcase the flavor of wild game.
- Zach and Mary’s Elk Medallions with Red Wine Chocolate Sauce and Cowboy Veggies
- Zach and Mary’s Wild Bison Tacos with Jalepeno Duck Poppers
- Zach and Mary’s Aussie Smashed Avo Brekkie with Wild Boar Bacon
Tip #9: Check the Weather Forecast
Perhaps the most important thing that you can pack is your clothing. Pay attention to the weather and pack appropriately. If you are underdressed and you’re in the elements, you’re not going to want to be in those elements for very long. It would be tragic to arrive at your hunting site only to forfeit the experience because you didn’t have the appropriate clothing with you.
By tackling the task of what and how to pack for your next RV hunting trip, there’s nothing left to do but hit the road and enjoy yourself. Hopefully these RV pro tips are helpful and will make your next hunt the best one yet.
Do you have any extra tips we missed? Tell us in the comments below.
Make sure to check out the other Camping World RV pro tips to take your RV knowledge to the next level. Shop more hunting gear at Gander RV & Outdoors and stock up on all the essentials.