family inside rv

Packing Checklist for RVing From A-to-Z


No matter where you plan on traveling in your RV rental, making sure you have everything you need before departing is very important. You do not want to start out by being 50 miles down the road and realize that you left something at home. The easiest way to make sure that you have everything packed and ready before your trip is to make a simple RVing packing checklist of all of the things that you are going to need. Not only does this allow you to plan ahead of time and make sure you have thought of everything, it ensures that you do not overlook anything at the last moment.

Here are some tips to consider when creating your packing checklist for an RV vacation:

Where are you taking your RV Rental?

This is something that many people overlook when making their checklist because they pack the type of items they would be using at home rather than what they need along the way and at their destination. One of the obvious things you will need for your trip is clothes; if you are starting out in Texas in the summer, for example, you may pack a lot of shorts and t-shirts but if you’re headed to Colorado or Montana any time of the year you probably should pack cold-weather clothes as well.

Your destination and route also plays a large part in the type of amenities you are going to have along the way. If you are stopping at a lot of popular RV campgrounds with electrical hookups you may be able to stay entertained with all of your tech gadgets, but if you plan on stopping in areas where you are only using the electrical generator for a few hours each day you will need to plan other forms of entertainment such as board games, bean bag toss, building a campfire, and etc.

How long will you be gone?

The length of your trip is another key area people overlook in their pre-trip planning and checklist. Basically the longer you are gone the more things like clothes, hygiene products, dirty laundry bags, and other absolute essentials you are going to need. The length of your trip is also going to affect your meal planning, so make sure you take into account exactly how long you will be gone in your RV rental, how often you are going to stop, and where you will be camping.

Essential Items to Pack for Your RV Rental Trip

With those few things in mind, here are some of the most common items that you are going to want to consider when you go on your camping trip that you will be able to add to your own checklist. Remember, the number of items you bring (and which ones to include) will largely be based on where you are going, how familiar you are with the area, and the length of time that you will be there. That being said, here are some essentials for your packing checklist (your list may vary):

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit is crucial in case an accident happens and you are not near a medical facility. Here are some items that you will want to include when creating your kit:

·      Prescription Medication

·      Bandages and Gauze

·      Disinfectant (such as rubbing alcohol)

·      Hand Sanitizer

·      Bug Spray

·      Sun Screen

·      Aloe Vera Gel

·      Cough Drops

·      Antacids

·      Lip Balm

·      Allergy Medication

·      Pain medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen

·      Thermometer



As mentioned, the type of clothes you bring will rely heavily on where you are going and how long you will be traveling but generally here are some of the items you might want to pack:

·      Clothes for cold weather

·      Clothes for warm weather

·      Undergarments

·      Pajamas or sleepwear

·      Hats

·      Gloves

·      Extra socks (lots of socks)

·      Regular walking shoes

·      Hiking boots

·      Swimwear

·      Rain gear

Personal Hygiene

When you are confined into a relatively small space for a long period of time, making sure you stay clean is not only important for yourself but your family or travel partners as well. Here are some of the essential personal items you need to remember:

·      Toothbrushes and toothpaste

·      Washcloths

·      Towels

·      Antiperspirant and deodorant

·      Feminine items

·      Soap and shampoo

·      Shaving items including a razor and shaving cream or gel

·      RV Toilet paper

·      Foot powder and mole skin (very important if you are going to do a lot of hiking, especially in humid areas)

·      Combs and brushes

Kitchen Items

This is a really important thing to take care of before you go on your trip because you will have to make a decision: are you going to rent a kitchen set from your RV rental company or are you going to furnish the entire kitchen set yourself? Either way, here is what you need to make sure you have:

·     Groceries (make a separate shopping list and daily meal plans)

·     Seasonings

·     Extra drinking water

·      Food containers to block the scent from animals

·      Grill and fuel (such as briquettes or propane)

·      Lighters

·      Plastic Ziploc bags

·      Lighters and matches

·      Utensils, dishes, pots, pans and cups (may be rented)

·      Items for washing dishes

·      A lot of trash bags


Other important items

Along with your kitchen items, you will have to decide whether or not you want to rent a set of linens from the RV owner for sleeping or bring your own. Make sure you check the rental rate for linens because they are typically per person so the expense can add up quickly.

Furthermore, while most RV rental companies will provide you with a starter roll or two of RV toilet paper and a bottle or two of RV toilet tank chemicals, you may need to bring extra or plan to buy some along the way. Note the RV toilet paper is a special kind of toilet paper that is designed to dissolve rapidly in the waste holding tank. The purpose of the toilet tank chemicals is to break down the waste and keep it from stinking. Read more about this in The Dark Side of RVing Revealed.

Other items you will need to add to your RV rental check list will be any type of sporting equipment (such as fishing gear) depending on your location, entertainment items (such as bean bag toss, horseshoes, etc.), camp chairs and any type of items that you will need if you are bringing along a pet (this includes pet food, carriers, toys, medication, and etc.). Be sure to check with your RV owner in advance to make sure they allow pets and if so whether there are any extra fees or deposits required.

One more thing, don’t forget confirmations, tickets and navigation items such as addresses, maps, GPS, etc. before you take off.

Closing Thoughts: Be As Thorough As Possible

The key to having the perfect RV adventure is to make sure you plan ahead as much as possible. Go through every detail of your trip and plan all of the items that you are going to need. Put them in a simple check list and you will guarantee you have everything you need before your trip begins. And you will be a happy camper!