2 Important RV Camping Checklists You Need Before You Go

Fleetwood Pulse RV

An RV camping checklist can be an invaluable tool when preparing for a trip.

The Importance of RV Camping Checklists

The best way to prevent discovering that you've forgotten something important when you arrive at your destination is to make sure you pack everything you need before leaving home. That's why RV camping checklists are so important. You don't want to waste valuable vacation time running to the store to buy things that you forgot to pack when preparing for an RV adventure. Using a thorough checklist when you're preparing for a trip can save time, as well as prevent you from having to spend money on items that you have at home but forgot to pack.

RV Maintenance Checklist

There are several maintenance items you need to tackle before departing on an RV trip. The following items should be taken care of well in advance of your vacation, so you have a chance to correct any problems that might turn up.

  • Verify that the tires are in good condition. Make sure they have sufficient air, and have them rotated if it's time to do so.
  • Ask a mechanic check out the engine and brakes of your motor home to make sure they're in good working order.
  • Examine the electric brake on a travel trailer to make sure it is functioning properly.
  • Check out the interior lights, appliances, and onboard navigation system.
  • Make sure that all of the exterior lights are working.

Packing Checklist

While not every person or family will have an identical RV camping checklist, some items that are necessary for most trips in a recreational vehicle.


  • Axe (for chopping firewood)
  • Battery charger
  • Bungee cords
  • Compass
  • General tool set (hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, etc)
  • Jumper cables
  • Knife
  • Rope

RV Supplies

  • Batteries
  • Canopy
  • Candles
  • Flashlight
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kit
  • Hammock
  • Folding chairs
  • Lanterns and fuel
  • License and registration
  • Lighter
  • Luggage rack
  • Matches (stored in a waterproof container)
  • Outdoor quality extension cord
  • Portable generator
  • Portable radio and/or television
  • Power inverter
  • Proof of insurance
  • Road flares
  • Sewer hookup kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Weather radio
  • Wheel chocks
  • Wooden blocks to aid in leveling

Cooking Supplies

  • Aluminum foil
  • Camping stove
  • Can opener
  • Charcoal
  • Coffee maker
  • Cutting board
  • Dish towels
  • Ice chest
  • Knife
  • Lighter fluid
  • Napkins
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Paper towels
  • Portable grill
  • Portable water filter
  • Pots and pans
  • Tablecloth
  • Utensils (for cooking and silverware for eating)

Food and Drink

  • Bottled water
  • Bread
  • Canned goods
  • Ground coffee, sugar, and creamer
  • Meat (only if you can refrigerate properly during transit)
  • Nonperishable snacks
  • Soda
  • Spices

Cleaning Supplies

  • Broom
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Pot scrubber
  • Trash bags
  • Trash can

Personal and Comfort Items

  • Clothing (consider climate and possible weather conditions)
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Facial tissues
  • Grooming products
    • Deodorant
    • Hairbrush
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Soap
    • Skincare
    • Toothbrush/toothpaste
    • Etc.
  • Laundry bag
  • Linens
    • Blankets
    • Comforters
    • Pillows
    • Pillowcases
    • Sheets
    • Sleeping bags
  • Insect repellent
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
  • Toilet paper (designed for RV use)
  • Umbrella

Travel Aids

  • Binoculars
  • Brochures for places you plan to visit
  • Digital camera or traditional camera with film
  • Maps of the area where you will be traveling
  • Money
  • Road atlas
  • Activities
    • Activity books for kids
    • Games
    • Playing cards
    • Movies
    • Reading material
    • Video games

Housekeeping to Do List

There are also several things you need to do before leaving on any trip to ensure that your home and property are secure, and to let your friends and family know how to get in touch with you in the event of an emergency.

  • Create at least a general itinerary and leave it with a close friend or relative.
  • Make arrangements for your mail to be held at the post office or picked up by a neighbor, friend, or family member.
  • Consider arrangements for pets if you are not taking them with you.
    • If you are taking your pet, make sure the animal's vaccinations are up-to-date and get a copy of his or her vaccination records to take with you.
  • Enlist the assistance of a trusted friend or family member, or a professional service, to take care of your lawn and plants while you are gone.

Using Your Camping Checklist

The best way to prepare for a camping trip is to take a general checklist, such as this one, and customize it for your needs. For example, if you take a gas grill instead of a charcoal grill when you go camping, you'll need to add propane to the list. If you don't plan to cook anything that can't be prepared directly on a grill, you can remove pots and pans for your list. The trick to being prepared is to come up with a list that works for you, and to consistently use it when preparing to travel in your recreational vehicle.

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2 Important RV Camping Checklists You Need Before You Go