Tips for RV Beginners – What to Pack for Your Trip

If you have an RV and want to start traveling, you need to keep so many things in mind, that it is easy to forget something important. We compiled a comprehensive checklist of the most essential tools and items for you to take on your trip. In this article, we hope to cover the A-Z of how to start RVing, so that you’re prepared for anything that can happen on the road and enjoy your holiday!

We start with RV equipment that can help you on the road or on a campground. Then we’ll move on to supplies for sleeping, eating, bathing and playing outside.

The market is full of ready-to-use kits for RV-ing. If you are in a hurry, you may choose to purchase one of those. If you are more interested in the quality of the items, then it would be best to buy things separately. The price won’t be much higher, but you will get durable products made by reliable brands.

Tips for RV Beginners - What to Pack for Your Trip

Must-have items

These things are absolutely necessary for a stress-free and safe road trip:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit with basic medical supplies
  • Insect repellent
  • Flashlight with batteries for each member of your journey
  • Light bulbs
  • Trash and recycling bags and cans
  • Tarp and all-purpose drop cloth
  • Tent

Tips for RV Beginners - What to Pack for Your Trip

Before the journey, check the medicine expiration dates and keep them according to the instructions.

Checklist for electronics

RVing is much more comfortable with electric-powered devices like a stove, fridge and cell phone chargers. To be able to use them you’ll need:

  • A portable generator
  • A wave inverter
  • Extension cords

A portable generator uses fuel to create electric power. The single fuel device may require propane, diesel, natural gas or gasoline. While traveling across the US, sometimes you don’t have a wide choice of fuel. In small towns, there are no propane or natural gas stations, but gasoline and diesel are available. With a dual or tri-fuel generator, you will be able to use two or three types of fuel and always have a source for electric power. For budget-conscious buyers, a dual fuel generator is the best option. For those concerned about the environment, a solar generator is the most enviro-friendly choice.

A wave inverter converts the DC (Direct Current) power from the battery to AC (Alternating Current) power. When choosing a device, steer towards the pure sine wave inverter. It is better for delicate electronics such as smartphones.

Tools for camping and RV repairing

RV troubles always happen when you don’t expect them, sometimes miles from an RV dealership. One of the most common emergencies on the road is tire deflation or breaking. For this kind of repair, you will need:

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire glue
  • Jumper cables
  • Jack
  • Portable air compressor

Choose pancake air compressors with an air impact gun. Such items will make tire inflation much easier. Another useful consideration would be a portable air compressor, since these are designed with travel in mind. If you need to get your tire off for changing or repair, use a hydraulic bottle jack.

The following tools are also crucial for comfortable camping:

  • Scissors
  • Shovel
  • Hatchet or ax
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Large adjustable wrench
  • Gloves
  • Multi-fold stepladder
  • Level
  • Wide and narrow types of duct tape
  • Water hose
  • Caulking gun filled with a full bottle of silicone
  • Electrical test kit and home repair kit including screwdrivers and pliers
  • Box with bolts, small screws, and nuts

With the right tools, you can fix just about any urgent problem and drive safely to your RV dealership. RV park neighbors or YouTube bloggers will give you some tips on how to deal with the problem.

Checklist for bathing

Before RV-ing became so comfortable, travelers had to swim in cold streams and lakes to wash out the sweat. Now you can enjoy being clean and fresh with warm water every day. For bathing, take with you:

  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels

For easy storage, you may use a toiletry kit.

Checklist for sleeping

For comfort sleeping in your RV, don’t forget:

  • Pillows and blankets. If the nights are cold where you’re going, make sure to take extra blankets
  • Pillowcases and sheets for all the beds

Instead of these, you can just take sleeping bags with little pillows that are easy-to-pack and use during the journey. Sleeping bags are also suitable for sleeping outdoors in a tent.

Checklist for cooking and eating

When it comes to cooking and eating people have different preferences, so we don’t include products on our list. On the road, there are usually local stores where you can get some essential ingredients such as salt or sunflower oil.

No matter what meals you are planning to cook, take with you:

  • A pot and pan
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Sharp knives
  • Mugs and cups
  • Bowls and plates
  • Bottle and can openers

Necessities for cleaning:

  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges, cleaning rags, dishcloths
  • Napkins

For a BBQ you may need:

  • Matches and charcoal
  • Aluminum foil
  • Condiments, sauces, and spices
  • Apron
  • Tongs and forks
  • Grilling basket or sticks

For an outdoor picnic, you will need a table with a canopy and folding camp chairs. A gazebo, especially a portable one, is a great choice if you’re traveling as a group.

Tips for RV Beginners - What to Pack for Your Trip

Checklist for having fun outdoors

No matter what activity you prefer during your RV trip, here are some useful items:

  • Backpacks
  • Snacks
  • Water bottles
  • Comfortable shoes
  • For summer: sunglasses and sunscreen
  • For winter: hankies

Add to this list the equipment for your preferred outdoor activity, and you are ready to start your first exciting RV journey! Do the research, find some exciting places, and go and enjoy stunning landscapes with full comfort.

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