The RV Roadtrip Checklist: 10 Essentials You’ll Need

When packing for any kind of vacation, it’s easy to forget some very important essential items. When you’re going on vacation to a hotel or a resort, pretty much everything is provided for you.

But, when you’re going away in your RV, you need to bring everything that you will need. Otherwise, you will find yourself on the road or at a campsite without some very essential items. If you like to go on long road trips, then you might find yourself far away from any kind of store that will be able to provide you with the items you need.

So, to help you remember all the essentials, here’s our guide to the items you won’t be able to do without. Make sure to run through this checklist before you leave and keep it with you so that you don’t forget anything.

  • Cooking Equipment

This is a super important one. It might even be the most important. (But that will depend on your priorities). Cooking equipment is an absolute necessity. This is especially true for any kind of road trip. Especially if you are planning on a long journey across the desert or very rural areas. You could find yourself driving for hours without seeing any kind of diner or convenience store.

This equipment should also include crockery and cutlery. You don’t want to cook up a storm only to find that you have nothing to eat it with! 

Even if you do come across somewhere to buy food, this will be expensive to do regularly. As when you’re at home, it’s much more affordable to cook your own food. 

Your RV likely has a built-in stovetop and oven. But, if it doesn’t, you can easily install a microwave oven and portable stovetop. You can take your usual cooking equipment. But, there are plenty of camping cookware sets available that will be much more compact and practical. 

When it comes to packing up an RV, space is gold dust so anything that can be easily stored away is a must!

  • Air Conditioning

This might seem obvious but it’s a super important factor to consider. Your RV probably has its own air conditioning. But, depending on its age, it might not be of the best quality. This won’t be great if you’re traveling in hot weather during summer vacation.

Before going on a road trip, it’s a good idea to give your whole RV a once over. This will stop you from being stranded on the road with an easily fixed problem. 

When you’re doing this, check out the kind of air conditioning you have. The best option is a soft start air con. A soft start for RV AC will allow for greater longevity and is more efficient.

  • Cleaning Products

Cleaning products definitely aren’t the most exciting items to pack. But they are definitely essentials. Cleaning products should include general cleaning sprays, cleaning cloths, and toilet chemicals. When it comes to traveling in an RV, you’re going to have to deal with a lot more sanitation than you usually would at home

A pan and brush will also be super important. Dirt will be much more obvious when it’s tracked in directly from the ground just below your RV’s door. 

This should also include cleaning products for dishes and laundry too!

  • Hygiene Products

As well as products to clean your RV, you will also need products to clean yourself. Even if this is just a toothbrush, some toothpaste, and toilet paper. These are all absolute necessities. You really don’t want to be forgetting these items.

But, it’s also important to pack other items. These should include a hairbrush or comb, showering products, and deodorant. 

  • Emergency Kits

It’s important to have several emergency kits. At the very least, you should have one first aid kit and one emergency road kit. This will cover you if you have a minor injury. A first aid kit should include bandages, minor painkillers, and antiseptic.

A roadside emergency kit will cover you if there are any problems with your RV. This should include warning triangles, a spare tire, tire repair tools, and anything else your specific RV will need. You will obviously need to buy the spare tire separately. But you can find fully-stocked roadside emergency kits online. 

  • Food and Water

As we mentioned in section 1 on cooking equipment, you might want to just buy food or eat out as you go. But, this will be expensive and perhaps sometimes not practical. Even if you plan to eat out most of the time, you still need snacks just in case. 

You will be grateful for this on long stretches. Especially if you find yourself stuck in traffic or broken down. This is also why it’s important to make sure you have plenty of water too. 

  • Bedding

Bedding is something that is surprisingly easy to forget. It’s not the sort of thing you would need to take on any other kind of trip. You also don’t really think about how essential it is when you’re at home.

But you will definitely realize how important it is once you’re on the road and find yourself sleeping on a bare mattress. Even if your RV is warm and you’re traveling during a hot period of the year, the nighttime will always get cold. 

Even if you just need a sheet during the hot summer nights, this will be much more comfortable than nothing at all. Make sure you also remember pillows and a quilt!

  • Shoes and Clothes

Again, these might seem obvious but they are also easy to forget. Somehow, it’s always the most obvious items that are forgotten. Usually, because we all think “Well, I definitely won’t forget that”. But then you pretty much always do.


Make sure to pack a range of clothes. But not too much as you don’t want to take up space unnecessarily. It’s best to take layers rather than bulky items. This will allow you to better adapt to different temperatures. 

Don’t forget pajamas too! Even if it’s just an old oversized t-shirt. Forgetting your pajamas will be pretty upsetting.

It’s also important to take a couple of different shoes. A pair of sneakers, some sandals, and maybe hiking boots too. This will mostly depend on what you will be doing while out and about. 

  • Portable Washing Machine

This is another item that you might not consider until you want to change the clothes that you have been rotating for a week. When on a road trip or camping, it’s easy to let cleaning slip a little. But, eventually, you’re going to want to have some clean clothes. There is only so much space for your wardrobe on board.

A portable washing machine will be a life-saver. Especially if you’re unlikely to be anywhere near a laundromat.

  • Leveling Blocks

This is another practical and not particularly exciting item on our list. But it’s also another one that you might not consider until the problem it can solve is presented to you.

Leveling blocks essentially do what they say on the tin. Leveling blocks are placed underneath the back of the RV wheels. These blocks help to level out the RV while it is parked on a slope or at an angle. They aren’t intended to stop the RV rolling which is a lot of people’s assumption (your hand break should do this!) But they will allow you to park up and camp in a lot more places.

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