Must-Have Packing List for RV Camping

RV Essentials: A Must-Have List When Camping

Camping with your recreational vehicle (RV) is only as good as the preparations you make before going on a trip. You don’t want to be spending days or nights outdoors without the necessary supplies or your packing list, or you may be forced to make a detour for a quick supply run somewhere. 

It can be a waste of time and money, which isn’t a good way to start your adventure. Indeed, a lack of foresight about your RV travel needs may only spoil the experience for yourself, your family, or your friends.



What’s in your list?

Your RV camping essentials may be a long list if you’re guilty of filling your bag with all sorts of things, or it can be something light if you’re not a fan of over-packing. Either way is fine as long as you’re sure you’ll be safe and comfortable during your road trip.

Of course, one of the main things to remember when getting your bags ready for camping is that you’ll be traveling in a motorhome. It doesn’t have the full amenities of a regular residential property, such as a spacious living room or a gourmet countertop oven. 

So instead of hitting the road with your thousand-dollar espresso machine, you may want to settle for a portable coffee grinder and French press instead. Sure, you can’t have your usual dose of frothy cappuccino, but you can still have a nice cup of coffee while enjoying the countryside. Come to think of it, that’s still a nice tradeoff.

By packing light, you can save space in your RV. Your RV will thank you for not overloading it with things you can live without since doing so may only affect your trailer’s aerodynamics or fuel efficiency. 

You get to benefit in a couple of ways, too. For one, you can have some extra space to stretch your legs and prevent yourself from feeling uncomfortable during long travels. Moreover, you don’t have to trouble yourself loading and unloading a lot of items, which, admit it or not, is one of the least exciting things when traveling.



What are the essentials?

Having said these, let’s get you ready for your first-ever or next RV camping adventure. Here’s a list of RV camping essentials that you should put together to ensure a fun, safe, and responsible road trip.



  • Kitchen/Dining Supplies

    As mentioned, you don’t need to haul your entire gourmet cooking equipment into your trailer. Just take a couple of pots and pans, cooking utensils, knives, a chopping board, microwaveable food storage containers, pot holders, and dish set items like plates, mugs, and spoons and forks.


  • Food Staples

    Food items are, of course, important, but you don’t need to overstock either. Best to plan your meals ahead of time, so you’ll know what and how much to buy at the grocery. 



Canned foods, soups, eggs, bread, peanut butter and jelly, cereals, bottled water, fruit drink packets, frozen meat, fruits, vegetables, condiments, cooking oil, and herbs and spices—these are food staples that should be in your list. You may also include chips, chocolates, and cookies for snacks, especially if you’re traveling with kids.


  • Groceries

    Keep your trailer looking and smelling nice by packing basic cleaning supplies like all-purpose cleaners, sponges, disinfectant and bug spray, trash bags, and toilet brush. Personal items like toiletries, hand sanitizers, sunscreen, and first-aid kit also fall into this category.



Prepare for the Journey

As a rule of thumb, you should always choose what RV essentials to bring based on their functionality, as well as your travel needs. For a complete list of RV camping essentials, check out our featured infographic. It can help you cover all the bases by identifying must-have items like tool sets, camping and outdoor gear, and electronics and gadgets. We hope you enjoyed our Packing List!


Author Bio: Richard Gastmeier

Highly Proficient Professional manager with a diverse skill set in Sales, Marketing and related digital technologies. An entrepreneurial career focus has resulted in a penchant for decisions that provide maximum efficiency and profitability to any project. Most recently, he developed three online ecommerce stores providing recreational vehicle aftermarket parts and accessories, as well as outdoor lifestyle essentials. and launched in August of 2014.



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  1. Suzanne
    30th December, 2020

    I learned the hard way that it’s not a good idea to rely on moist, perishable foods in cans or pouches when traveling in a hot climate where your RV will be parked at times with the AC off for a few hours. I didn’t know until I got sick from foods that had been exposed to excessive heat in my RV, that heat could cause spoilage. I believe I read it’s exposure above 95 degrees Farenheit that puts them in the danger zone. We all know, vehicles get much hotter than that on a hot day. I had to throw out three weeks worth of my food supply. Thankfully, I had also taken along a store of dried rice, lentils, dehydrated veggies, and other less perishable items. Hope this info will help someone else avoid getting sick and losing part of your food supply!

    1. Sam Leash
      16th February, 2021

      Hey Suzanne! I hadn’t realized this either. Thanks for this information and for your input!