Essential Packing Tips for First Time Campers 17523

If you have an RV, whether you have a motorhome or a towable, and have selected your first destination, you’re ready to pack it up and have some fun. The biggest challenge most new campers have is deciding what to take without overloading your RV with unnecessary items and camping gear. Follow these tips to save space, time, and stress.

Outfit Your RV With The Basics

Packing for your next RV adventure can be simple by following these tips.

The easiest thing to do is keep some basics in the RV during the camping season to make things simpler when you’re ready for a trip. Of course, you’ll need to be sure to wash everything thoroughly before storing the RV between trips.

Start with the basics for your RV regardless of where you’re traveling. These include:

  • Bedding: sleeping bags or sheets & blankets, pillows.
  • Cooking essentials: basic pots & pans, can opener, colander.
  • Other kitchenware: plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, trash bags, dish soap, sponges, dish towels, napkins or paper towels, a lighter for the grill/campfire/propane oven.
  • Bathroom: toilet paper, toiletries, towels.
  • Health supplies: first aid kit, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray, and any other personal medications needed.
  • Power source: a generator fuel and propane.

Make a List and Check it Twice

For the remainder of your packing, the best thing you can do is make a list based on the following categories: meals, clothing, and fun.

Consider your destination to determine what the campground accommodations will provide and what you’ll need to bring. Write a list of the items you need for that trip. Over time, you’ll find this process easier and will know exactly what you need for your family RV adventures. In the meantime, feel free to check out this checklist.

Plan Your Meals to Save Money and Space

When it comes to cooking meals while camping, the simpler, the better. Planning your meals ahead of time will help making packing simpler and reduce waste.

Pantry and refrigerated space are often limited in an RV. Follow these tips for easy meal planning for your next camping trip. When it comes to cooking meals while camping, the simpler, the better. Once you’ve created your daily menus, you can make a list of the ingredients and groceries you’ll need. This not only saves space but saves money as well by reducing waste.

Stick With Simple Clothing Options

Consider where you’re going and what activities you plan to enjoy. Nothing ruins a good trip to the lake than forgetting the swimsuits. For spring and summer trips, pack one lightweight jacket per person and supplement with clothing that can be layered in case of cooler weather in the evening.

Choose comfortable items that can be mixed and matched. For longer trips, don’t forget that many campgrounds have laundry facilities. This will allow you to reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack. If you’re going to take advantage of this option be sure to bring a laundry bag and detergent.

Don’t Forget Your Outdoor Toys and Gear

One of the advantages of traveling by RV is that you can bring some of your toys with you. Don’t forget to bring along your own bikes (and locks), kayaks, and games.

One of the advantages of traveling by RV is that you can bring some of your toys with you. Don’t forget to bring along your own bikes (and locks), kayaks, and games.

You’ll also likely want to bring a few camp chairs, flashlights, and maybe even a portable fire pit. Before you go overboard and try to bring along everything you own, consider how long you’ll be gone and how much available time you’ll have to use the items.

Organize by Usage

No one wants to arrive at the campground and have to immediately unpack everything. If you organize your camping items into groups, such as kitchen supplies, bathroom items, and outdoor items, it will be simpler to find things as you need them.

When you’re loading the RV, store the items close to where you’ll use them. For example, take a few extra minutes in advance to place the toiletries in the camper’s bathroom. Store items you’ll use outdoors—such as campfire roasting sticks, extension cords, and lanterns—in a plastic bin in your basement storage or tow vehicle.

When done correctly, packing for a camping trip doesn’t need to be stressful. Like anything else, a little planning ahead of time will pay off once you reach the campground.


How do you prepare for your camping trip? Leave a comment below!

If you have an RV, whether you have a motorhome or a towable, and have selected your first destination, you’re ready to pack it up and have some fun. The biggest challenge most new campers have is deciding what to take without overloading your RV with unnecessary items. Save space, time, and stress with these essential packing tips for first time campers. #rving #rvlife #camper #camping #camperlife #happycamper

Julie Chickery AuthorContributor
Julie and her husband Sean started traveling in their RV full-time 4 years ago after they each served 20 years in the US Air Force. Having lived in more than 10 states and 4 countries, the Chickerys decided it was time to enjoy the rest of the United States. They manage Chickery’s Travels, an educational and inspirational blog and YouTube channel aimed at helping people realize their full-time travel dreams.

1 Comment

  1. When stocking the kitchen don’t go cheap. If you are used to good knives for example, and then buy some cheap one, you will be disappointed every time you use them. Same wth appliances as electric fry pan, furnish the kitchen with the same quality you have at home. This is your home on wheels, not some homeless setup.

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