19 Sep Packing Tips for a Successful RV Trip
While an RV certainly has much more space in it than a car or tent, it doesn’t mean you should pack everything but the kitchen sink for your excursions. Packing for an RV trip is different than packing for your typical vacation, and whether you are a first-timer or a pro, it will take strategic planning.
To help make the most of your RV’s space and to ensure a relaxing and stress-free trip, we’ve compiled a packing list along with some dos, don’ts, tips, and tricks.
Important Documents and Paperwork
You want to make sure you have all of the necessary documentation with you while you are on the road. Things like your vehicle registration, insurance information, campground reservation confirmations, roadside assistance information, RV manual, any medical documentation for travelers, etc. All of these important papers should be stored in a safe place away from moisture or extreme temperatures. We suggest a waterproof folder to ensure no damage comes to these important docs.
You should always carry an emergency roadside safety kit that includes things like a tire repair kit, first aid kit, reflective triangle, reflective vest, zip ties, tow rope, etc. We also recommend having a small RV toolbox that you take with you equipped with tools to fix any necessary repairs on the go. Similar to your at-home or car toolbox, you’ll want to have things like jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a hammer, a screwdriver(s), electrical tape, and duct tape.
We also recommend having a fire extinguisher, shovel, motor oil, transmission fluid, bungee cords, matches or a lighter, and a flashlight on board. Leveling blocks will also likely come in handy, as well as extension cords of varying lengths.
For easy kitchen packing, put some thought into meal planning beforehand to help make sure you bring the essentials and skip what is unnecessary. Just don’t forget to pack ingredients for your favorite s’mores!
Here are some standard kitchen/cooking supplies that you’ll want to have on hand:
- Pots and pans
- Bowls, plates, and cups
- Cutting boards
- Can opener
- Tongs and spatulas
- Dish soap and sponges
- Disinfecting wipes or spray
- Garbage bags
- Paper towels and napkins
- Ziploc bags
- Plastic wrap or aluminum foil
- Tupperware or food storage containers
While you will have the ability to stop at grocery stores and food shops during your trip, we recommend stocking your RV kitchen with the basics before you leave. That way, when you’re in a pinch, you will have what you need for a basic meal.
Here are some pantry staples that we recommend packing:
- Condiments including ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.
- Salt, pepper, preferred herbs and spices
- Canned food items
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Cooking oils and sprays
While you don’t want to pack too much clothing, you want to make sure you have what you will need for all of the activities planned for your RV trip. You will have more space than just your standard suitcase, so be sure to pack some extra layers to have on hand in case of unexpected weather. Other than your standard clothing, socks, and undergarments, we suggest also bringing along the following:
- Rain gear (umbrella, boots, jacket)
- Slippers to wear inside the RV
- Hiking boots
- Bathing suit
- Sewing kit
Some RVers rely on sleeping bags while on the road, and others bring classic bedding with sheets, comforters, pillowcases, etc. Whatever your preference, make sure you pack enough pillows for everyone on board!
Keep the weather in mind while packing bedding materials as well. If it’s going to be very hot where you are going, you may consider more lightweight bedding and vice versa. Spare bedding materials are always a good thing to have on hand in case of an accident. You may not have laundry in your RV or access to it where you are camping.
Personal Items & Toiletries
You want to make sure you have all the personal items and toiletries that you need before you hit the road! Don’t forget to pack a charger for your phone and chargers for any other electronic devices you plan to bring along. Extra batteries of varying sizes are also a good thing to have a stash of. Be sure you have the credit cards and/or cash that you will need to pay for gas and other things along the way as well as personal identification.
Some other things to pack:
- iPad or e-reader
- Bug spray
- Glasses and/or contact lenses
- RV-safe toilet paper
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Makeup and skincare items
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail clippers
If you are traveling in your RV with children, that means more stuff to pack, manage and organize. We recommend packing and storing your kid’s items in transparent storage bins so they can easily find and access their clothes, toys, and gear. Definitely pack extra clothing since kids tend to soil their clothing more quickly, especially with the outdoor elements involved. Limit the number of toys each kid can bring along – you don’t want your RV overflowing with stuffed animals and dolls.
Before you travel with pets, make sure you are familiar with the pet policies at the campgrounds you will be stopping at. If you plan to bring your dog along for the good times, be sure to bring everything they need including:
- Food and treats
- Food and water bowls
- Waste disposal bags
- Leash and harness
- Pet bed
- Crate (if applicable)
- ID tags
- Vaccination records
Outdoor Fun Gear
You want to be able to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest on your camping trip, and that means packing some items for outdoor activities. This, of course, depends on what your family likes to do, but consider packing a frisbee, baseball and mitt, cornhole game set, badminton, water guns, and/or a football. If you plan to do some fishing, make sure you pack all of your fishing gear, including rods, tackle, etc.
Pack some playing cards, board games, and a guitar (or wireless speakers if there’s no musician in the family) for fun around the campfire. And don’t forget the camping chairs for sitting around the fire! If there will be swimming on your trip, be sure to pack beach towels, goggles, pool noodles, boogie boards, and other water essentials. And in case of rain and bad weather, pack some indoor activities like puzzles, board games, coloring books, craft projects, etc.
You may also want to consider packing the following:
- Outdoor rug
- Pop-up trash can
- Canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards
- Portable hammock
- Portable fire pit
- Portable camp grill
- Folding table
- Citronella candles
- Firewood (if campsite allows)
How to Safely Pack Your RV for Travel
Besides packing everything you need for an enjoyable camping trip, you also need to be mindful of where you place the items in your RV for optimal safety. Be sure that you don’t pack your RV lopsided – you want to keep it bottom-heavy and evenly distribute items throughout. Refer to your RV manual for maximum weight capacities to make sure you aren’t overloading your rig.
Now that you have your RV packing list, it’s time to hit the open road and plan your next adventure! Lake George Campsites is among some of the best seasonal campgrounds in NY. We have over 200 RV sites and all the amenities you need for a successful family camping trip. Book your 2023 stay today! Our season runs from mid-May through mid-October.