RV Essentials Checklist: Important Things You Need for a Camper Getaway

This RV essentials checklist will help you prepare for your first RV camping trip and beyond. Because—let’s admit it—it can be a little overwhelming to remember everything you need to pack up in a mobile home or trailer, or even knowing what you should have on hand when you’re a beginner. Experienced RVers have a list. They may even have it committed to memory!

So, continue reading to find out what essential things you need to bring for a camper getaway so your own RV camping trip goes without a hitch.

CONTENTS – In this article, you’ll learn what things belong on your RV essentials checklist, including:

Essential Things to Bring Along on Your RV Getaway 

One of the best ways to enjoy a holiday with friends and family is to travel in an RV. 

An RV getaway can include:

  • Visiting a national park
  • Enjoying the beach
  • Camping in the woods
  • Sight-seeing and passing through beautiful destinations along the way

However, the admin of packing for the trip may be overwhelming. You might feel like you’re packing your entire life.

Although it may seem that way, and because you have the space in the RV, you don’t need to pack nonessential items. 

Here are a few tips about essentials to bring on your next RV getaway, even if you’re a last-minute packer.   

RV Essentials Packing List – Basics

Traveling in an RV is meant to be comfortable and relaxing, so the last thing you want to do is fill the vehicle with clutter. When you go on your first RV trip, you may be tempted to bring everything and anything to be on the safe side. 

Don’t do that.

When traveling in an RV, remember you are not going for good (unless you’ve taken up a permanent travel lifestyle). So, try to pack essentials in moderation.  

You don’t need to strip your house essentials from the cupboards—although it’s true many RVers have two sets of household collections: one for home and one for their home on the road.

Essential Kitchen Items for an RV Trip

But you will want to have these essential kitchen items on your RV Essentials Checklist and on hand for your RV trip:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Apron
  • Bowls
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee, cream, sugar
  • Cooking Pot
  • Cups
  • Dish cloths
  • Dish soap
  • Ice trays
  • Knives
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mugs (including travel mugs) 
  • Reusable bamboo paper towels
  • Oven mitts
  • Paper towels
  • Plates
  • Scissors
  • Skillet and spatula
  • Serving Bowls
  • Sponge
  • Spoons for mixing and serving
  • Storage bags
  • Storage containers for leftovers
  • Tongs
  • Trash bags
  • Utensils

If you opt for unbreakable, inexpensive items (think Dollar Store), you can affordably “set up house” in your RV once and then it will be ready to go any time.

Then, you can plan a few meals for your trip, stocking the food items you’ll need for cooking, and add to it as you go. This way, you’ll incrementally stock your cupboards and minimize any food waste.

Essential Kitchen Staples to Stock Your RV

Depending on how much of a chef you are, you’ll probably want to have some of these basic pantry staples stocked:

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Coffee
  • Cream
  • Cooking Spices
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Jelly
  • Milk
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta
  • Peanut Butter
  • Rice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sugar
  • Tea
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Vanilla
  • Water for drinking

Outside the kitchen, you’ll want to pack your clothes and personal care items as though you were traveling for any road trip, plus a few other essentials, like:

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo 
  • Soap

Then, know that even if you run out of toiletries, you’ll find stores along the way to restock your RV cupboards.    

More S’mores, Please

When you’re out camping in the RV, you’ll encounter a few unspoken camping rules. One of them is having a blazing fire outside at day’s end with s’mores for dessert. 

If you’ve never made s’mores, you simply squish a melted marshmallow and a chocolate square between two graham crackers. They are delicious!  

So, it makes sense to bring along marshmallow roasting sticks you can store under the RV. These extra-long stainless steel marshmallow roasting sticks have the added benefit of telescoping for easy storage. And of course, don’t forget to pack the makings for s’mores in the cabinet:

  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Bars
  • Graham Crackers

One thing to mention though: Whenever you’re traveling to a new destination, make sure to research the local firewood policy. Many places require campers to buy firewood from local vendors or the campground to make fires. 

It may seem like a racket (even though it’s usually very affordable), but it’s for a good reason. This helps prohibit the movement of damaging tree pests from one location to another. And if you want to camp beneath the trees, it’s important to take care of them!

So firewood for your campfire is one thing you probably will NOT want to pack. But do make sure you bring a lighter or matches.    

Say Yes to Electronics

When you plan an RV getaway, you’ll discover a list of essential electronics you cannot live without. Even though you’ll be enjoying the great outdoors, you must acknowledge that electronics still have their place.

For many people, a kindle reader is at the top of that list. You’ll save a few more trees without paper books, and reading is an excellent past-time while camping. 

Depending on your favorite device, you may consider saying yes to your:

  • Kindle reader
  • Smart phone
  • Tablet
  • Laptop

This way, technology becomes an option to keep everyone occupied and not bored, especially if you are traveling with your grandkids

Don’t worry, electronics can get boring when overused, so limiting their usage will maximize the lasting effect and serve the intended purpose during the trip, mostly during drive time. 

One of the most effective electronics on a road trip is your laptop. It offers various things to do beyond work—don’t do that if you can avoid it! 

Instead, use your laptop to:

  • Watch movies
  • Look up local attractions
  • Video conference with loved ones at home
  • Plan your travel route
  • Try out new camping recipes

To keep all of your appliances and electronic devices powered up with no interruptions, find yourself a 200w Solar Panel at ShopSolarKits.com.  Then you won’t worry about losing power right when you need it!

For non-technical activities, you’ll also want to bring along:

  • Playing cards
  • Board games
  • Crossword, word search, or Sudoku books
  • Puzzle
  • Hobbies or crafting activities (crochet, coloring, sewing, art)
  • Frisbee, corn hole, or ladder toss

Don’t fall into the idea that your time in an RV has to be all one thing or another. A good balance of online and offline activities will help keep everyone happy.

Wi-Fi Extender

Nowadays, an internet connection has become essential for almost everything we do, whether work, entertainment, or keeping in touch. When traveling by RV, Wi-Fi is just as crucial. 

The purpose of traveling in an RV with friends and family is to enjoy nature without losing the convenience of being at home. 

When you want to sit somewhere a bit away from the Wi-Fi connection during the trip, you’ll need a good Wi-Fi extender. That will provide you with internet access at a broader range so you won’t have to deal with a spotty connection.  

Final Thoughts on RV Essential Checklist for Your RV Getaway

RV camping can be a great adventure and so much fun! Now that you know what essential supplies and equipment to pack up in your RV, you’re about ready to hit the road. Who knows? After a few trips, you might decide you’d be comfortable living permanently your RV. And we wouldn’t blame you one bit!

Click here to continue reading about how you can finance your RV as your primary residence.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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