An RV camping checklist is a must if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the vehicle. Aside from obvious essentials like food, drinks, refrigerator parts and medication, there are other things you’ll need.
Why You Need RV Camping Checklist?
If you don’t have a list it’s easy to forget things that you have to do. There’s nothing worse than realizing you left an item home when you’re miles away, so you need to make one.
Tips for Creating a List
1. Use This List As A Starting Point
These are guidelines and meant to give you an idea. Use these as a starting point and then create your own lists based on your requirements.
2. Be Specific
List the exact things you need, such as 6x cups, 4x towels etc.
3. Organize Your List By Compartment
Use your RV’s closets, cabinets and drawers to organize content. Group similar items together so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for later.
4. Use Your RV Camping Checklist At The Beginning Of The Season
Follow your list and pack accordingly. It might take some getting used to but it’ll make sorting out easier.
5. Use Your List Before Each Trip
Review your lists before and after each travel. Replace and update items as needed.
6. Add To The List
During the course of your journey you’ll discover you need things that aren’t on your list. Include them. Remove items you realize you don’t need so they don’t take up space.
7. Basic First Aid Kit
Ready made first aid kits are available, but you should add items to the kit as befits your needs.
- Triangular bandages
- Sterile gauze pads
- Roller bandage
- Hydrocortisone ointment packets
- Pair of non latex gloves
- Cold compress
- Breathing barrier
- Space blankets
- Aspirin, antibiotics and other medications you need
- Antiseptic wipe packets
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Adhesive bandages
- Absorbent compress dressings
- Road flares
- Burn ointment
If you’re going camping, bring sunburn relief, a snake bite kit, oak/poison ivy cream, moleskin blister and a bee sting kit.
8. Basic Trailer Equipment
The following are essential supplies.
- Spare fuses
- Spare tires
- Tire-pressure gauge
- Wheel chocks
- Siphon hose
- Sewer hose
- Rubber gloves
- Rubber bands
- Pocket knife
- Pen and paper
- Paper clips
- Lighter, flashlight and matches
- RV jack
- Roadside assistance card
- Fuse puller, drill, screws, hammer and other tools
- Chairs and tables
- Fire extinguisher
- Electronic device chargers
- Solar device chargers
- Electrical, masking and duct tape
- Spare bulbs
- Extension cords
- Battery jumper cables
- Pocket knife
9. Cooking Checklist For RV And Tent Camping
Just pick the ones you’ll need from this list.
- BBQ grill
- Cooking utensils (spoons, forks, knife, tongs, spatula, grill forks)
- Zip lock bags
- Thrash bags
- Water spray bottle to deal with flare ups on the grill
- Plastic silverware
- Scrub pads
- Pots and pans
- Bowls and plates
- Napkins and paper towels
- Assorted kitchen appliances, i.e. potato peeler, blender, coffee maker, anything else you’ll need
- Pot holders
- Pie irons
- Cups and mugs
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Aluminum foil
- Dutch oven
- Dish soap
- Dish pan
- Dish towels
- Food storage containers
- Bottle and can opener
- Firewood, charcoal
10. Kitchen And Bath Inventory
Your kitchen inventory consists mainly of the cooking list above, but you can add:
- Baking soda
- Meat thermometer
- Cleaning supplies
- Serving bowls
- Hand soap
- Assorted kitchen knives
For your bathroom:
- Toiletry kit
- Toilet paper
- Sun block
- Lip balm
- Insect repellent
- Holding-tank chemical
- Hand lotion
- Cleaning supplies
- Bath towels
11. Clothes & Personal Items Checklist For RV And Tent Camping
Don’t just throw all your clothes in the RV closet. Use the following as a guide to better organize your wardrobe.
- Bath and swim towels
- Sleep clothes
- Shower shoes
- Shower bag
- Jeans and pants
- Laundry bag
- Hat or cap
- Brush and comb
- Shower pump
- Feminine products
12. Pre-Trip Checklist
Before you head out for your next trip, make sure you’ve done the following.
- Turn off oven/stove gs pilot lights
- Wheels torqued
- Water heater and pump off
- Fans and lights off
- TV, TV shelf, bathroom supplies and shower stowed
- Outside items and chairs stored
- Ceiling vents, windows and loose parts secure
- Install braces, slides and entry steps are retracted
- Campsite thrash removed
- Stow levelers pulled off
- Disengaged brakes
- Satellite and TV antennas lowered
- Brakes and lights check out
- Jacks and hitch secure
- AC and furnace off
- Thrash cans are empty and black and gray tanks reset
- Drain/fill hoses are capped and stowed
- Safety restraints on
You should also secure the awning, storage pod, roof rack, phone lines and make sure the tires, engine oil and turn signals are working.
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13. Tent & RV Camping Miscellaneous Items Checklist
Plan to camp? Here’s a checklist.
- Water purification filter
- Sewing kit
- Water bottle
- Mall saw
- Safety pins
- Plastic bags
- Pocket knife or Swiss knife
- Food (crackers, marshmallows etc)
- Hand wipes
- Fishing gear if you fish
- Camp chairs
If you made the other checklist above you’ll already have other camping essentials like duct tape, electrical tape, tape, sunblock, ax and shovel.
14. Tent Camping: Shelter & Bedding Checklist
- Mattress/cot/sleeping pad
- Repair kits
- Utility storage bags
- Sleeping bag
- Air pump
15. Used-Vehicle Evaluation
If you’re buying a used RV, check out the following.
- Accident history
- Cooling system
16. RV Checklist For Camp Set-Up
- Back into your chosen site and park your RV.
- Apply the brakes, chock the wheels and disconnect the trailer and RV.
- After raising the trailer, disengage the brake and pull until the RV is clear.
- Extend the trailer steps and stabilizing jacks. Level side to side and front to back.
- Use the testers to evaluate polarity and horsepower.
- Connect the sewer, water and shorepower.
- Extend the slides.
17. Safety Tips When Camping And Hiking
You can avoid a lot of problems by observing and following a few simple rules.
- Don’t go near wild animals.
- Don’t leave food in your tent as it may attract animals.
- Keep an eye out for snakes, bees, bugs and other insects. Have snake venom medication, insect repellent and other ointments handy.
- Wear sunglasses and sunblock when the sun is out.
- If possible, always hike with someone.
- Always bring your mobile phone, compass and flashlight.
- Bring water purification treatment.
- Don’t camp if the weather’s not good.
- Let a friend know where you’re going to camp.
- Have water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
18. RV Campground Etiquette: Be A Good (Campsite) Neighbor
The basic rule is treat other RVers and campers the way you want them to treat you. Also remember to:
- Be friendly and say hi.
- Don’t be noisy.
- Get to know the other RVers but respect their campground space.
- If you’ve got pets, keep them on a leash. Dispose of pet poop correctly. Unattended pets are a no-no.
- Try to avoid arriving late and/or leaving early as it may wake the other campers. If it can’t be avoided, be as quiet as possible.
19. RV Troubleshooting Tools
Even a well kept RV can develop glitches and hiccups. Be prepared for anything with a troubleshooting toolkit.
- Wire splicers
- Windshield-washer fluid
- Electrical wire, different gauge sizes
- Auto transmission fluid
- Jumper cables
- Motor oil
- Wire crimper
- OBD-II Diagnostic scan tool
- Combination wrenches
- Spark pug socket
- Regular and needle nose pliers
- Locking pliers
- Extra cotter pins
- Electrical tape
- Circuit checker
- Slot and Philips screwdrivers
- Butt connectors
- ½-inch drive socket set
- 3/8-inch drive ratchet set
- Wheel chocks
- RV power cord adapter
- Portable water hose
- Collapsible shovel
- Black flush hose, tank deodorizer and other black tank requirements
Best 7 Checklists For RVers
Some more reminders
1. Before You Buy a New RV, Motorhome or Travel Trailer
Decide if you want a new or used RV. Either way, inspect the vehicle thoroughly and make sure all documents are in order. Take the RV on a road test and try as many of its features as possible.
2. Supplies RVers Generally Like to Have On-Board At All Times
The checklists above include the essential items you’ll need to go camping and RVing. You may tweak the list as you feel is necessary. If you don’t need to carry so many items, don’t.
3. To Do Before You Hit the Road
Make sure your RV is in good condition before traveling. Double check everything. Research the routes you’re going to take, and familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in the towns, cities and states you plan to visit.
4. If You Have Pets
Bring enough food, medicines, water, health papers, grooming supplies and toys to keep them busy. Keep them leashed and clean up after they litter.
5. If You’ll Be Camping
Get the items on the checklists above. You don’t need to bring everything as you can limit them to food, drinks, cooking supplies, medicines as well as entertainment supplies like books, games etc.
6. Before Arriving at & Departing From RV Camping Locations
Leave the campground as you found it. Clean up your thrash. Make a list of things to do before hauling your RV out, such as turning the levelers off and pulling the slide outs in. Check your campground and make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
7. Maintenance & Tech Checklists
The troubleshooting list given above should be enough to handle RV issues. Still it’s a good idea to service your vehicle regularly for preventive maintenance.
RV Winterizing Checklist
If you don’t use your RV during the winter, here’s a checklist of things you’ll need.
- Hand tools for drain plug removal
- Water pump conversion kit
- Holding tank cleaner, i.e a wand
- RV antifreeze
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Turn the water pump and pressure on. Turn the nearest faucet on until the antifreeze shows. Repeat for all faucets. Check your RV manual for instructions on how to winterize the other fixtures.
The RV camping list given here is a guideline and suggestion. Feel free to add more items as you see fit. What’s important is that you prepare at least one so you’ll be ready for anything that comes up when you’re on the road.