The Ultimate RV Camping Checklist for Families
Packing up the whole family for an RV camping trip can feel like an Olympic sport. You won’t have a hotel concierge as a backup plan, which means you’ll need to think of everything you need to enjoy a few nights away from home. Not to worry — we’ve done most of the thinking for you with our RV camping checklist, perfect for busy families juggling multiple priorities. Start packing!
Whether you’re traveling with children or enjoying a couple’s getaway, you’ll want to stock your RV with some basic necessities. These are items that you might not need when tent camping or staying in a hotel, so make sure you don’t overlook them:
- Trailer hitch
- Wheel chocks
- Portable generator and fuel
- Surge protector
- Battery jumper cables
- Tire pressure gauge
- Emergency roadside kit
- Small toolkit with basic tools
- Water pressure regulator
- Shovel (in case you need to level the ground)
- Water purifier
- Fire extinguisher
- Sewer hose
- Gloves (for handling the sewer hose)
Bonus Tip: If you’re renting an RV from RecNation, your RV will already have basic essentials on board.
You might not have a King-sized bed, but your RV bed can offer all the same comforts of home if you plan it right.
- Fitted and flat sheets
- Blankets (1-2 per person)
- Heated electric blanket (for camping in the cold)
- Mattress pads (preferably waterproof)
- Mattress protectors
- Pillows (1-2 per person)
- Sleeping bags
- Window curtains/coverings
- Blow-up air mattress (optional)
Bonus Tip: Depending on where you’re camping and the time of year, you might want to double up on some of these bedding items.
Whether your RV has a shower or you’re at the mercy of the bathhouses at Dallas RV parks, you’ll need to have a strategy to clean off. Stock up on these personal care essentials:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body wash/soap
- Hand soap
- Hand towels/paper towels
- Small paper cups
- RV-grade toilet paper
- Small trash can and trash bags
- First aid kit
- Plunger or toilet snake
Bonus Tip: If you don’t want to deal with sewer stations, here’s how to make your own portable camping toilet.
RV kitchens come in handy when you’re in the middle of nowhere. You can cook complete meals or just use it for quick eats and snacks. Some items to stock in your kitchen include:
- Pots and pans
- Plates bowls, and cups
- Utensils for cooking and eating
- Dish soap
- Microwave-safe bowls
- Baking sheets (if you have an oven)
- Instant Pot pressure cooker
- Air fryer
- Ice cube trays
- Tabletop grill
- Napkins and paper towels
- Dish rags and dish towels
- Can opener
- Coffee Pot
- Food containers for leftovers
- Zippered bags
- Trash can and trash bags
It wouldn’t be a complete RV camping checklist for families without considering everyone’s favorite foods and drinks. Get input from each person to make sure you have things on hand they’ll love. Here are some ideas to help you save time and money:
- Buy bulk drink mixes like Gatorade or Kool-Aid to cut down on fridge space.
- Create snack packs for each kid so someone doesn’t get all the “good snacks” and so they’re not asking for food every five minutes.
- Keep drinks in a separate cooler with ice to free up fridge space.
- Pre-cut fruit and veggies for quick, healthy snacks.
- Opt for big meals that make lots of leftovers to cut down on cooking (e.g., hot dogs, hamburgers, casseroles).
- Prep meals and snacks at home as much as possible.
- Use paper plates, bowls, and cups to reduce your dishwashing.
From babies and toddlers to teens and older adults, everyone needs a little entertainment. Consider these camping entertainment ideas to chase away boredom and make fun memories:
- Board games
- Card games
- DVDs and a DVD player
- Books and magazines
- Outdoor scavenger hunts
- Sports, like bocce ball, tennis, or flag football
- Cornhole boards
- Hide and Seek
- Water balloons and water guns (make sure you clean up any balloon debris)
Bonus Tip: While RV camping can be a great time to disconnect from devices and enjoy the great outdoors, keep in mind the weather may have other plans. Always have some backup options.
Camping in your own hotel on wheels means having to absorb any maid service duties. Having the right cleaning supplies on hand will make this part a breeze:
- All-purpose cleaner
- Broom and dustpan
- Toilet cleaner and toilet brush
- Window cleaner
- Mop and bucket (or a Swiffer-type mop)
- Brillo pads
- Cleaning gloves
- Cleaning rags
- Magic Erasers
- Diluted bleach
Babies and small children have unique requirements when making your RV camping checklist. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to bring the following:
- Portable crib or pack-and-play
- Stuffed animals
- Extra blankets
- Bottles and bottle warmer
- Baby food and utensils
- Extra clothes
- Waterproof sleeping pad
- Sun hat
- Swim diapers
- Rain boots
- Sterilizing tablets for bottles
- Sippy cups
- Portable high chair or booster seat
- Portable baby seat
- Diaper pail with lid
- Sanitizing wipes
- Trash bag for dirty clothes
- Nail clippers
- Baby-safe bug spray
- Teething rings
- Baby medicines
- All-terrain stroller
- Baby/toddler life jacket
Bonus Tip: If this is your first RV camping trip with children, rest assured it gets easier!
To complete your RV camping checklist, we suggest the following items for a well-rounded, carefree trip:
- Clothesline or rope
- Awning or shade tent
- Tablecloth for outdoor table
- Camping chairs
- Extra batteries
- Portable power banks
- Bug spray
- Bug screen for the RV door
- Portable fans
You might find more to add to this list. Bring along anything you need that gives you the comforts of home while satisfying your sense of adventure!
Our RV camping checklist is a great starting point for planning your trip. If you have your own RV, you’re all set to start your travels. And if you don’t, RecNation can help. Our RV rental program puts luxury camping within your reach. Contact us today to learn more.