Friday, June 2, 2023


Packing your RV’s medicine cabinet the smart way

I remember the first time I looked into our RV’s medicine cabinet. “Tiny” didn’t begin to define the space—or lack of space. My first thought was, “How will all of our stuff fit into this small space?” Over the years as we’ve RVed, I’ve discovered valuable tips for packing the RV’s medicine cabinet. If you have additional tips to share, please do so in the comments section.


When packing your RV’s medicine cabinet, it’s important to include essential items that can help you deal with common health issues and any emergencies you may face while traveling. Yes, you can usually find whatever you need at a nearby pharmacy, but if you’re boondocking or staying in a remote park, finding immediate help can be difficult. Here are some things we always carry inside our RV’s medicine cabinet, along with tips to help you fit everything inside this small space.

Make room in the RV medicine cabinet

  • Remove. First, I looked for things inside our RV’s medicine cabinet that really didn’t need to be there. I removed the hair gel, deodorant, toothbrush/paste, and other items that did not qualify as medicines or first aid items. These products took up valuable space and easily fit inside a vanity drawer, where they are still easily accessible.
  • Reconfigure. The next thing I did was purchase these narrow storage bins. I love that these organizers stack, and it’s easy to find what we’re looking for because they’re clear—perfect for finding things in our RV’s medicine cabinet.
  • Reorganize. I worked to put like items together. All the pain relievers together, cold/flu meds together, etc. Now we can easily select the bin we need and find the specific meds quickly.

What goes inside?

Basic first aid

  • Band-Aids. I select a variety of Band-Aid sizes from our stash of boxes at home. I put these bandages inside a snack-size plastic zip bag to preserve space inside the cabinet.
  • Ointment. I buy the smallest tube of antibiotic ointment I can find. This saves precious cabinet space, too.
  • Thermometer. Running an elevated temperature can mean you’re getting (or are already) ill. Tracking a temperature can help you determine when it may be time to visit a doctor or med stop. For these reasons, we keep a thermometer in our RV’s medicine cabinet at all times.
  • Antiseptic wipes. I look for and save the individually packaged antiseptic wipes that restaurants often offer. The packages take up very little space and stay moist and effective because they are individually wrapped and sealed.
  • Nail clippers and tweezers. I applied this self-stick magnetic strip to the inside of the RV’s medicine cabinet door. The tweezers and scissors are easily located and accessible now.

Pain relief medication

  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These are our go-to pain relievers. We use these to combat muscle aches, relieve headaches, and more. I put pain relievers into smaller containers and clearly label each one. As an alternative, you can purchase small, prepackaged pills at fuel stations, but you’ll pay more per pill.
  • Cold/flu medication. You will probably come into contact with many people as you travel, stop for fuel, and spend time in a campground. Decongestants, cough meds, and throat lozenges will help relieve symptoms if you get sick during your trip. I take along decongestant tablets rather than liquids to save space. Usually, I pack some individually wrapped lozenges to treat coughs. We use a homemade saltwater gargle solution to soothe sore throats.
  • Antihistamines. Antihistamines will relieve allergy symptoms, like sneezing, itching, and watery/scratchy eyes. My husband has allergies, so antihistamines are always inside our RV’s medicine cabinet. Again, I put the antihistamines into smaller, clearly marked containers.
  • Bug Bite Thing. Yep, that’s what it’s named. This product is chemical-free and safe for children, too. We use it whenever we get a mosquito or chigger bite. It’s guaranteed to work on wasps, no-see-ums, and more. Best of all, its small size means it takes up very little room inside our RV’s medicine cabinet.
  • Sunscreen. It’s so important to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. We pack sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and now keep the sunscreen on a small shelf near our RV’s exit door. That way, we see it and remember to apply it each time we leave our rig.
  • Insect repellent. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can quickly derail your camping experience. We used to keep the insect repellent in our medicine cabinet, but it was out of sight and, too often, out of mind. Now it, too, stays on the shelf next to the RV’s exterior door.
  • Prescription medications. We no longer store our prescription meds inside our RV’s medicine cabinet because of the high level of humidity in our rig’s small bathroom. Instead, all prescription medications are stored inside the top drawer in our bedroom. (Bonus: Grandchildren cannot see or access these drugs.)

Well, looky here!

After eliminating items, combining necessities, and repackaging products, there is suddenly leftover room inside our RV’s medicine cabinet! Not a lot of leftover space, mind you. But everything is right there in plain sight, ready whenever we might need it!

Do you have additional tips for other RVers? What items do you typically pack inside your RV’s medicine cabinet? How do you find space for everything? Please let us know in the comments below.



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.


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24 days ago

We carry new skin in our medicine cabinet, works great on cuts as I can never keep bandages on.

Neal Davis
29 days ago

Thank you, Gail!

29 days ago

When “repackaging” prescription meds, get a ‘labeled’ container from your pharmacy.

There are legal requirements that prescription meds must be in a properly labeled container.

Prescription meds in baggies or other containers might look like illegal drugs and could get one in trouble.

29 days ago

I have a van and no medicine closet. I have a soft bright red, official first aid fanny pack stowed under the driver’s seat. It has all the usual items for wound care plus some things you didn’t mention. I carry a couple of instant ice packs, an ace bandage, and spray wound wash. Also, butterfly bandages. My Rx stuff goes in other easily accessible seat pouches. I keep sunscreen in several places, including my day bag.

Daniel A Wallinder
29 days ago

I”am a retired combat air Force Medic Take first aide training no materwhat previose training you have had I constantly train and give lessons to classes. The new laws change constantly .I”am also a retired Af Fire Capt.

29 days ago

Daily task items are kept in medicine cabinet. The first aid items in the plastic bin and daily meds in the kitchen since some are refrigeration required and others with liquid. Simple, straight forward and clean.

Sandi Pearson
29 days ago
Reply to  Skip

I like it!

29 days ago

We keep things that are used everyday in the medicine cabinet. Tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, razor, daily medications (in a weekly container), pain meds, etc.
Since we have floor to ceiling cabinet next to the sink, the other things are stored there in labeled plastic bins. Easy to pull out the bin marked first aid (including bandages, ointments), personal items, insect repellent, anti itch cream and things that are used infrequently.

29 days ago

I use these clips on the inside medicine cabinet door, and I use emptied (and relabeled) medicine containers to replace bottles that won’t fit. (I also use them on the inside of the overhead kitchen cabinet for spices, which was the original intended use.) Bought them from Amazon. Including the description in case the link doesn’t work. By the way, they are cuttable, to fit smaller spaces.

Simple Houseware 30 Spice Gripper Clips Strips Cabinet Holder – 6 Strips, Holds 30 Jars

Cookie P
28 days ago
Reply to  Joan

Thanks for the link. I really like these clips.

29 days ago

We pack our daily prescription needs in individual small envelopes. No need to fumble with multiple small bottles. Each package is labeled for day and time.

29 days ago

Individual Alcohol and Betadine wipes.

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