Thursday, September 21, 2023


RV Checklists: Everything you should pack

There’s almost nothing worse than arriving at your campsite only to realize that you’ve forgotten something. That’s where RV camping checklists can help! A checklist is an invaluable tool when preparing for your camping trip. I’ve written two other checklists for you to read and download, too:

The problem with checklists

The only problem? Everyone’s different. We all visit different locations in varying climates. Our preferred campsites may be as different from a boondocker’s private oasis to a luxury campground with every amenity imaginable. Our personal needs vary, as well. You can easily see why it’s impossible to make a checklist that “fits” everyone.

Personalize your RV checklist

If we can’t make a definitive checklist, why make one at all? Because most of us require the same basic items if we’re camping in our RV. The key to a helpful checklist is to make it your own. Personalize it!

You may find items on the following checklists that you would never use. That’s okay. Just delete them. You might think of things you simply cannot live without. And if it’s not on the checklist, go ahead and add it. An RV camping checklist is helpful only if it reflects what you (and your family) need to enjoy your camping experience. But boy, is it helpful!

RV basement

  • Air compressor
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Battery lantern
  • Black tank water hose
  • Bucket
  • Bungee cords/ratchet straps
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Crowbar
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical adapters (30/50 amp)
  • Electrical tape
  • Emergency road kit (high-visibility vest; warning cones; flares; flashlight)
  • Extension cords
  • Extra extension cords
  • Extra freshwater tank cap
  • Extra hitch pin
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight
  • Fresh water hose
  • Fuses (for both truck and RV)
  • Hammer
  • Headlamp
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Large zip-close bag for documents (license, registration, insurance, rig dimensions/weight, reservation info, RV manual)
  • Level
  • Leveling blocks
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Outdoor mat
  • Pocket knife
  • Portable grill and small propane tank
  • Propane
  • Rain gear (we use Frog Togs)
  • Rope
  • Rubber gloves
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver with multi-tip types and sizes
  • Sewer hose and support (we use Sidewinder support)
  • Shovel
  • Small stepstool/ladder
  • Socket wrenches
  • Spray bottle w/bleach water
  • Surge protector
  • Tarp
  • Teflon tape
  • Tire plug kit
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Torque wrench
  • Trouble light
  • Water filter
  • Water pressure regulator
  • WD-40
  • Wheel chocks

Personal items and toiletries

  • Aloe gel
  • Bathmat
  • Batteries
  • Benadryl or anti-itch meds
  • Brush and comb
  • Bug spray
  • CPAP machine and distilled water
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • First-aid kit (e.g., bandaids, antibiotic cream)
  • Floss
  • Glasses or contact lenses and solution
  • Hats (e.g., baseball caps, wide-brimmed hat)
  • Hair ties
  • Health insurance information
  • Holding tank chemicals
  • Lotion
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Nail clippers
  • Pain relievers
  • Phone chargers
  • Ponytail elastics
  • Q-tips
  • Razor
  • Reservation confirmations
  • RV toilet paper, spray cleaner, brush
  • Rubber bands, paper clips, post-it notes
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shave cream
  • Shower caddy
  • Small space heater
  • Soap and/or body wash
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Tissues
  • Trashcan and liners (small size for bathroom)
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Towels (face, hand, body)
  • Travel maps and campground directory
  • Tweezers

Basic RV kitchen supplies

  • Aluminum foil
  • Can opener
  • Cleaning supplies (mop, bucket, rags/sponges, soap/cleaning agent, broom, whisk broom, dustpan, vacuum, Clorox wipes, glass cleaner)
  • Coffee pot, filters, coffee
  • Cooking pot set w/lids (depending on your menus)
  • Condiments
  • Cooking oil or spray
  • Cooler
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener
  • Crockpot or Instant Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Dish cloth/towels
  • Entry rug
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Frying pan
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Knives
  • Ladle
  • Large stew pot
  • Leftover storage containers (also used as serving bowls)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Oven mitts/potholders
  • Paper/pens/pencils
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper plates
  • Paper towels
  • Pizza pan, pizza cutter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Scissors
  • Serving spoons
  • Serving tray
  • Spatula
  • Spices (for meal recipes, grilling, baking)
  • Sugar
  • Tablecloth with weights or tie downs
  • Table settings (plates, bowls, cups, glasses, silverware)
  • Toaster
  • Trash can/liners
  • Water bottles
  • Wine glasses; wine opener
  • Ziploc bags

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Tools (kept in a toolbox) (some are same as basement)

  • Allen wrenches
  • Battery charger
  • Channel lock pliers
  • DC test light
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Extra extension cords
  • Extra freshwater tank cap
  • Extra hitch pin
  • Flashlight
  • Fuses (for both truck and RV)
  • Hammer
  • Headlamp
  • Hose clamps
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Pocket knife
  • Rope
  • Screwdriver w/ multi-tip types/sizes
  • Silicone spray
  • Socket wrenches
  • Super glue
  • Teflon tape
  • Tire plug kit
  • Voltmeter
  • WD-40
  • Wire cutter and wire nuts
  • Zip ties


  • Bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets)
  • CPAP machine and distilled water
  • File box for documents (license, registration, insurance, rig dimensions/weight, reservation info, RV manual)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hangers
  • Laundry bag
  • Laundry supplies (clothes basket, clothesline, detergent, dryer sheets, quarters)
  • Pillows
  • Sound machine
  • Weather radio


  • Bicycling equipment
  • Binoculars
  • Books/magazines
  • Camera/film/lenses/batteries/chargers
  • Camping chairs
  • Cards, board games
  • Fans
  • Fishing equipment
  • Frisbee
  • Hammock
  • Headphones
  • Hiking equipment
  • Hobby materials
  • Kayak/Paddleboards/Float tubes
  • Laptop
  • Outdoor games
  • Pie irons/S’mores sticks
  • Umbrellas

Pet gear

  • Bedding
  • Collar w/tags
  • Copies of vaccination records
  • Food
  • Food/water bowl
  • ID tags/vaccination tags
  • Kennel
  • Leashes
  • Pet’s meds
  • Poop bags
  • Portable fencing
  • Stakes/lead
  • Treats

Basic RV camping clothing checklist

  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Jeans
  • Outerwear (dress for the weather/activities)
  • Pajamas (slippers, robe)
  • Shirts
  • Shoes (e.g., sandals, boots, water shoes)
  • Shorts
  • Shower flipflops
  • Socks
  • Sweater
  • Sweatshirt
  • Swimsuits (beach towels, swim cover-ups)
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Windbreaker

You can download a copy of this checklist here to print out and keep in your RV. Trust me, you’ll want it!

Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


  1. Most of these I don’t need a list for. The tools and many of the things I already keep in my tow vehicle/tool box so the only thing I have to remember is to recharge the NOCO battery charger before I go. I also have a great little air compressor smaller than my toolbox that I keep in the tow vehicle.
    Most of the personal and kitchen items stay in the travel trailer over the winter. The rest go into a large chest with wheels that I have – things like lotions and shampoos and condiments, sprays, cleaners, fire extinguishers etc. that shouldn’t be frozen. I wheel that into the house basement and wheel it back out to the trailer when the good weather arrives. I also keep a set of clothes, towels, sheets, etc. in the trailer. So basically all I have to think about loading for a trip is some food staples, my medicines, and trip planner. I can’t imagine hauling things back and forth from the trailer to the house and back, when they are fine just staying put in the trailer.

  2. Oh, a RV based on a semi truck trailer. The AOC member were advised about taking too much stuff with the comment “there are Walmarts everywhere”. When you don’t need it anymore, donate it.

  3. Great compilation on all your lists. Aside from the kitchen sink, I think you’ve covered it all.
    Now, I look at my list for backpacking for a week in the Sierras and just smile 😁


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