Ready, Set, Go: Your Essential RV Camping Checklist for the Perfect Trip

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RV packing listAn RV camping checklist is the difference between a successful, hassle-free trip and a series of unfortunate mishaps. Every item on your list serves as a safeguard against forgetfulness, ensuring you have a smooth and triumphant adventure.

This post rounds up all RV camping list items. It features everything from must-have maintenance equipment and safety essentials to food supplies, creature comforts, and entertainment gear. We’ve also shared a printable RV camping checklist to help you streamline the packing process.

As you tick your checklist, don’t forget to download the
essential list of apps for RVing.

RV Maintenance Tools Checklist

family camping checklist for RV

The gear in your maintenance arsenal empowers you to tackle common maintenance tasks and address unexpected issues that may arise during your travels. Here are essential RV tools for maintenance and repair:

  • Multi-bit screwdriver 
  • Adjustable wrench or socket set 
  • Allen wrench set
  • Pliers 
  • Multimeter 
  • RV air compressor and tire pressure gauge 
  • RV tire changing tools—hydraulic jack and lug wrench 
  • Emergency flat tire repair kit
  • Jumper cables or jump starter
  • Duct tape, EternaBond tape, plumber’s tape, and electrical tape
  • Zip ties
  • Super glue
  • Scissors
  • Silicone sealant or caulking 
  • RV roof patch 
  • Motor oil and diesel exhaust fluid
  • Utility knife or multitool with wire stripper and cutter
  • Hammer or rubber mallet
  • A lubricant like silicone spray (WD-40)
  • Tape measure
  • Bubble level
  • Protective work gloves, safety glasses, and dust masks
  • Paracord or rope
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
  • Spare fuses, bulbs, hoses, assorted screws, and other commonly replaced parts
  • Filters (air, oil, and fuel)
  • Sturdy RV toolbox to keep your tools organized 
  • Telescoping ladder
  • Bucket to catch leaks
  • Shovel to free stuck wheels
  • Spare wheel
  • Gas can with a siphon hose

Safety Tools for RV Travel Checklist

rv camping essentials

These essential RV equipment will protect you, your passengers, and your vehicle from potential hazards, whether on the road or at the campsite. 

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Wheel chocks
  • RV leveling blocks
  • Surge protector
  • Water pressure regulator
  • Carbon monoxide detectors 
  • Smoke alarms
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Propane gas stop  
  • Trailer brake controller 
  • Sturdy tow straps 
  • Reflective vest and warning triangle
  • Satellite phone
  • A self-defense item like pepper spray, bear spray, taser, or stun gun
  • Other specific things you need for a camper trailer include a breakaway cable, safety chains, a sway bar, and trailer brakes.

RV Campsite Supplies

RV essentials packing list

These are the items you’ll use once parked at the campground. They range from outdoor furniture and electrical components to holding tank essentials. Our RV camping essentials list includes:

  • Camping chairs 
  • Folding table 
  • Outdoor rug
  • Picnic blanket 
  • BBQ grill 
  • Fresh water hose
  • Sewer hose with rinse cap 
  • Hose support 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Tank treatment chemicals to break down waste and keep it from stinking
  • Tank rinse hose or flush wand
  • Heavy-duty RV power extension cord
  • 50/30/20 amp RV power adapter 
  • Portable generator or power station
  • RV water filter
  • Cooler
  • Tarp
  • Hammock
  • Portable electric heater
  • Approved firewood and kindling
  • Matches, firestarter, or lighter
  • Wood axe
  • Lantern or rope lights
  • Tablecloth clips
  • Bungee cord

Kitchen Equipment for RV Checklist

packing a motorhome

What should I pack in my RV kitchen? Here’s the essential kitchen equipment every RV owner should have on hand for a seamless cooking experience:

  • Pots with lids 
  • Cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven
  • Baking pan
  • Plates, bowls, cups, mugs, and glasses
  • Spoons and forks
  • Knife set 
  • Non-stick cooking utensils—spatula, cooking spoon, tong, and flippers 
  • Rolling pin
  • Potholders 
  • Cutting board 
  • Collapsible mixing bowls 
  • Collander
  • Whisk
  • Nesting measuring cups and spoons 
  • Serving tray
  • Can opener and bottle opener/corkscrew
  • Coffee maker
  • Food containers with lids (tupperware)      
  • Grill fuel (such as briquettes or propane) 
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Plastic Ziploc bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Oven mitts
  • Grate to cook food over the campfire
  • Roasting fork or stick for each person
  • Skewers and toothpicks
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Instant-read food thermometer
  • Full propane tanks

RV Checklist for Food, Snacks, and Water

rv camping food checklist

Whether you’re planning gourmet meals under the stars or simple campfire classics, having the right provisions on hand is essential for a satisfying journey. Your RV camping essentials checklist isn’t complete without these food staples: 

  • Spices, herbs, seasonings, and condiments, i.e. salt, pepper, bouillon cubes, and sauces
  • Cooking oil 
  • Bottled water
  • Sliced meats or poultry
  • Grill meats, like hot dogs, burgers, sausages, and steak
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Potatoes
  • Baking items like flour, cornmeal, sugar, leavening agents, and flavorings
  • Rice, pasta, and oats
  • Bread, tortillas, and spreads
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Canned goods (beans, tomatoes, soups, etc.)
  • Juice, soda, beer, or/and liquor
  • Vinegar and wine
  • Coffee and tea
  • Marshmallows
  • Snacks, including crackers, chips, nuts, chocolate, pretzels, cookies, and energy bars
  • S’mores ingredients
  • Ice

Feel free to customize this RV food checklist based on your dietary preferences, cooking style, and the duration of your trip.

Cleaning Supplies for RV Checklist

things to bring rv camping

Here’s a wrap-up of essential cleaning supplies tailored to the unique challenges of RV life, ensuring your home-on-wheels stays sparkling clean.

  • Dish soap 
  • Paper towels
  • Plenty of trash bags
  • Broom and dustpan 
  • Compact vacuum cleaner 
  • Dish rack 
  • Sponges 
  • Dish Towels
  • Toilet bowl cleaner and brush
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • RV exterior wash and wax
  • Laundry detergent
  • Air freshener
  • Water in the fresh tank (at least half full)
  • Microfiber cloths and utility towels for cleaning outdoor gear or wiping down surfaces

Hygiene, Toiletries, and Personal Items for RV Checklist

pdf checklist for rv camping trip

When you are confined into a relatively small space for an extended period, ensuring you stay clean is important for yourself and your family or travel partners as well. Here are RV necessities for maintaining personal hygiene, plus some personal items:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
  • Body soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Hand soap and sanitizer
  • Antiperspirant and deodorant 
  • Lotion
  • Feminine items like tampons, pads, and pee cups
  • Sunscreen
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleep mask
  • Sunglasses, reading glasses, and/or contact lenses
  • Insect repellent
  • Shaving items, including a razor and shaving cream or gel 
  • RV Toilet paper 
  • Combs, brushes, and hair ties
  • Makeup
  • Nail clippers
  • Washcloths 
  • Towels
  • Shower flip flops
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Sewing kit
  • Keys

First Aid Items for RV Trip Checklist

Customizable RV checklist

Having a first aid kit is crucial in case an accident happens, and you are not near a medical facility. It also ensures you’re ready to handle common ailments and unexpected medical situations with confidence. Add the following emergency treatment supplies to your RV packing list:

  • Bandages and gauze
  • Band-aids
  • Disinfectant (such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide) 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Aloe vera gel 
  • Cough drops 
  • Antacids 
  • Imodium
  • Foot powder and moleskin (very important if you are going to do a lot of hiking, especially in humid areas) 
  • Lip balm 
  • Allergy medication 
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Pain medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen 
  • Thermometer
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Whistle
  • Instant cold compress and instant hot press
  • First-aid kit instruction manual

Linen Items for RV Camping Supplies Checklist 

rv camping checklist excel

From bedding for restful nights to towels for refreshing showers, the right linens can enhance comfort and convenience during your travels. Add these items to your RV checklist for camping: 

  • Bed sheets 
  • Pillows and cases 
  • Duvets, blankets, and throws
  • Sleeping bags and sleeping pads/air mattress if you plan to bring tents
  • Mattress topper 
  • Towels for body, face, hands, and beach activities
  • Bath mat 
  • Laundry bag 
  • Retractable clothesline with pegs
  • Toiletry organizer or caddy
  • Command hooks to hang bath items

Clothing for RV Essentials List

rv necessities

From outdoor outfits to cozy loungewear, this list will ensure you have the perfect wardrobe to make the most of your journey.

  • Warm clothes for cold weather 
  • Light clothes for warm weather 
  • Undergarments 
  • Pajamas or sleepwear 
  • Shorts
  • Sun hat, baseball cap, and beanie 
  • Gloves 
  • Several pairs of socks
  • Comfortable walking shoes or trail runners
  • Sandals 
  • Hiking boots
  • Swimwear 
  • Rain gear and umbrella

The clothes you add to an RV camping supplies checklist largely depend on the weather you expect at your destination and the activities you plan to do.

Kids Checklist for RV Camping

RV camping with kids checklist

You also need to pack RV essentials tailored specifically for children. This RV camping with kids checklist has everything your little adventurers need:

  • Indoor and outdoor toys (balls, stuffed animals, frisbees, kites, squirt guns, hula-hoops)
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • A crib or bassinet
  • A wearable baby carrier
  • A baby monitor
  • Portable baby bathtub
  • Baby wipes and diapers
  • Baby food
  • Travel games or playing cards
  • Arts and crafts box
  • Scavenger hunt template
  • Scooters or skateboards and helmets  
  • Sippy cups or spill-proof water bottles
  • Portable travel potty for emergencies
  • A current photo to easily track them if they are lost

Your RV camping checklist with kids will largely depend on the age of the children.

Pet Supplies for RVing Checklist

essentials for a camper trailer

Whether you’re embarking on a brief weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, it’s important to ensure your furry companions have everything they need for a safe and comfortable journey. Add these pet supplies to your RV essentials list:

  • Leash and harness
  • Tangle-free dog tie-out cable 
  • ID tag
  • Pet food and treats
  • Food and water bowls
  • Crate or dog car seat
  • Favorite pet toys
  • Pet bed
  • Poop bags 
  • Grooming supplies and wipes
  • Dog wash hose attachment
  • Medication
  • Camping dog fence
  • Pet temperature monitoring device
  • Vet records
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • A current photo

Navigation Equipment for RV Camping Trip Checklist

rv camping gear list

Exploring the great outdoors is an adventure filled with excitement and discovery, but it also requires careful navigation to ensure you reach your destination safely and efficiently. Place these items in your RV necessities checklist:

  • RV GPS
  • RV-specific road atlas
  • Compass and destination map
  • Hiking trail map
  • Campground map
  • Local attractions guidebook
  • Smartphone with offline-mode navigation apps

Electronics and Devices for RV Camping Necessities List

rv camping packing list pdf

From entertainment options and productivity tools to remote work gadgets, here are electronics to add to your family camping checklist:

  • Laptop with charger
  • Phone charger, plus 12v cigarette adaptors 
  • USB power socket
  • Tablet with installed games
  • DVD
  • Headphones
  • Watch
  • Portable stereo
  • E-readers
  • Outdoor movie projector
  • Download RVing apps for entertainment, like podcasts or audiobooks
  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot for RV internet
  • Video game console

Hobby and Outdoor RV Fun Gear Checklist

camping hobby gear list

Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast, an avid photographer, or a birdwatching aficionado, there’s a wealth of hobby gear that can enhance your camping experience. Include these items in your RV fun camping gear checklist:

  • Binoculars
  • Camera with charger/extra batteries and memory card
  • Fishing gear (rods, reels, tackle box, bait)
  • Sports equipment like baseball mitts, soccer balls, volleyball net
  • Lawn games, like cornhole, horseshoes, bocce, and badminton 
  • Bikes and helmets
  • Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards
  • Hiking gear like a backpack, hydration bladder, and trekking poles
  • Golf club
  • Pool floats
  • Lifejackets
  • Guitar or other instrument to play music around the campfire
  • Yoga mat
  • Other RV recreational gear includes a telescope for stargazing, a sketchbook, puzzle book, and lightweight RV exercise equipment.

Paperwork for RV Travel Checklist

rv travel documents list

Amidst the excitement of planning your trip and packing your gear, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of paperwork. From vehicle documents to reservation confirmations, having the right paperwork in order can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

  • Tow vehicle and RV registration
  • Proof of insurance for RV and tow vehicle
  • RV owner’s manual plus guides for appliances and other equipment
  • Warranty documents
  • Vehicle inspection documents (if required in your state)
  • Driver’s license
  • Personal ID or passport
  • RV rental agreement (if renting)
  • Reservation confirmations for RV parks, campgrounds, or resorts
  • National park passes or permits (if visiting national parks)
  • Tickets to special events or local attractions
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Cash for tolls, parking fees, and emergencies
  • Travel itinerary with emergency contact list for family members and friends
  • Health insurance cards
  • Medical history and allergy information
  • Directions to the nearest medical facility and vet clinic
  • Roadside assistance contacts
  • Notepad or journal

Tips for Creating an RV Packing Checklist

van packing list

Use these tips to create an effective checklist for camping in an RV:

  • Tailor your RV checklist based on the specific destination, duration, and activities planned for your RV trip. Think about the weather, terrain, and any special requirements or restrictions at your destination.
  • Involve your family or travel companions in the checklist creation process to ensure you consider everyone’s needs, wants, and preferences.
  • Begin creating your camper checklist well in advance of your trip to allow time to gather and buy the items.
  • Divide your checklist into categories to ensure you cover all the necessary bases.
  • Long before the trip, take an inventory of items already stocked in your RV, such as kitchen utensils, bedding, and basic supplies. This will help you avoid overpacking or duplicating items.
  • Identify essential RV items that you absolutely need for your trip and prioritize packing them first. If space allows, non-essential items can be added to the list afterward.
  • Periodically review and revise your checklist based on your RV camping experiences.
  • Remember that some items, such as firearms, fireworks, and out-of-state firewood, are often prohibited.
  • Once you’ve finalized your RV camping checklist, have your companion look it over to see if you forgot anything.
  • Print out the checklist and save a copy on your smartphone.
  • Before you hit the road, double-check your checklist to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything important.
  • After the trip, try leaving most items in the RV (except perishable items and things that may attract rodents.) This will help you have a shorter packing list and minimize the chances of forgetting a necessity.
  • Utilize pre-made RV packing checklist templates available online. Or download an RV checklist app. Our RV camping list PDF is one of the most exhaustive documents.

Other Checklists for RV Owners

Of course, an RV essentials packing list isn’t the only checklist an RVer needs. Here are some other common types of checklists for RVers.

  • Pre-trip RV inspection checklist
  • Home RV departure checklist
  • Trailer hitching checklist
  • Campsite RV set up checklist
  • Campsite RV departure checklist
  • Routine maintenance checklist
  • RV winterization checklist

RV Packing List: 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 the items you are going to need. Put them in a simple checklist and you will guarantee you have everything you need before your trip begins. And you will be a happy camper!