Vicky Sosa
by Vicky Sosa
Posted January 14, 2021

You’re finally ready to take that dream road trip, but now the question is, what should you put on your RV packing checklist? If you’re a new or beginner RVer, this may seem a bit daunting. Don’t worry, though! We will help you figure out what to pack, depending on your RV type and what amenities it includes. If you’re unsure of what amenities an RV type might have, the Big Guide to RV Classes is a great resource.

Large RV Checklist

If you’re traveling in a larger RV, like a Class A or fifth-wheel trailer, they offer plenty of room and amenities, like kitchens and bathrooms. This means your RV checklist should include items that you would need if you were staying in a small apartment. This includes kitchen and bathroom essentials.

Having your own kitchen is great because you can cook your own meals. This is a great way to save money and is also a benefit for those with dietary restrictions. If you plan on buying your food staples before your trip, we recommend planning your meals ahead of time so that you buy only what is needed. Below are some other kitchen items you should have on your RV packing checklist.

  • Cooking utensils
  • Bowls, plates, and cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Pots and pans
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knives and a cutting board
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and food storage containers
  • Potholders
  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning products
  • Sponges and towels
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Condiments
  • Cooking spray or oil

Having your own bathroom is definitely a perk of traveling in a larger RV. Make sure you travel comfortably with these bathroom items.

  • Towels
  • Washcloths/loofahs
  • Toiletries like shampoo, soap, deodorant, and lotion
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Shaving cream
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • RV-friendly toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Toilet cleaner and brush
  • Hand soap

Small RV Checklist

Your RV packing checklist will look different if you’re traveling in a smaller RV like a Class B campervan or a small travel trailer. You probably won’t have a bathroom and if you have a kitchen, it will be much smaller.

If you don’t have a bathroom, you want to make sure your packing list includes wet wipes, dry shampoo, and portable toilet bags that naturally decompose in the soil within a few days. If you will be using public showers, we also recommend packing a travel towel, shower caddy, and flip flops.

Having either no kitchen or a smaller kitchen also means less room to store and cook food. We recommend packing a cooler, portable grill, and dry goods that don’t require refrigeration like pasta, rice, crackers, pretzels, and nuts.

Additionally, traveling in a smaller RV means that you have more versatility when it comes to where you can stay and park. However, if you are dry camping aka boondocking, you will need to remember to pack plenty of extra water for cooking, cleaning, and brushing your teeth.

General RV Checklist

No matter the size or style of RV you’re traveling in, below are some additional items you should have on your RV packing checklist

You’ll find maintenance and safety gear as well as outdoor gear and entertainment.

  • RV registration
  • Insurance paperwork
  • RV owner’s manual
  • Portable generator
  • Jumper cables
  • Wheel blocks
  • Levelers
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medicine
  • Vitamins
  • EPI pen
  • Bed linens for each bed
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping chairs and table
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Portable phone charger
  • Board games
  • Deck of cards
  • Binoculars
  • Hiking gear
  • Clothes, based on weather and daily activities

What Not To Pack

You also want to make sure you don’t overpack for your trip. Just because you might have the room for it in a larger RV, doesn’t mean you should bring it. You have to consider weight and how it will affect gas mileage and driveability. The items below are things we recommend leaving behind.

  • Unnecessary kitchen appliances
  • Firewood
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Books
  • Heavy tools/equipment
  • Excessive clothes

It might be difficult to not overpack on your first few trips. Everything takes practice, though, and after a few road trips, you’ll start to see what your must-have items are and what you don’t need.


Are you ready to start your RV adventure? Now that you know what to pack for an RV trip, no matter the style or size, you can start searching for the perfect RV on the Outdoorsy marketplace. And with the checklists that we’ve provided, you’ll be spending less time figuring out what to pack and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

Vicky Sosa

Digital nomad and house sitter!

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