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RV Camping Packing Guide To Avoid Common Mistakes

Date : Mar 22, 2021 Category : Reviews of RV/Motorhome Gear
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RV Camping

There are particular items that absolutely “must” be packed for any RV camping trip. Your partner and children, ingredients for S’mores, and infant’s kiddie film du jour (this is, of course, non-negotiable) and that’s only a beginning!

However, equal time must also be given to what not to bring, namely those things that only take away needed storage space, adding unrequired load, and, well, simply lack any actual compelling reason to carry them around the countryside.

Below is a list of some of the most popular onboard RV albatrosses that campers must cut loose from their packaging list.

What Camping Gear To “Leave At Home”

1. Gourmet Indulgences

At home, your image as a culinary champion is well-recorded. And you have got every cooking appliance on-call prepared to defend that hallowed standing at a minute’s notice. That is all good and well for your Duck ala Orange back home, but RV camping does not really lend itself to this gourmet faire — not the cooking apparatus to make them. Sure, there is likely a nook onboard to stick the bread machine.

The wok could — in theory — be also used to haul firewood. And waking up with a pile of Mickey Mouse waffles  (distinctive waffle iron) and a latte or cappuccino is really a wonderful treat, but all this unnecessary equipment is just taking needed storage space away. Naturally, it is up to you to see if there is enough space (and patience) to haul all these things around, though the family would be equally well served by a few big pots and pans, a place setting for each member of the team, and a couple of utensil than such one-trick pony cooking aids mentioned above.

2. Can It

While we are on the topic of food, it is time to shakedown that ever-growing pantry of yours with the shelves adorned with canned products of every persuasion,” just in case.” Many travelers (especially beginners) suffer from a type of appetite paranoia on their first few excursions. “I will just bring along a couple of cans of soup,” you say. The next thing you know, these natural short trips to Costco are becoming longer and more costly, making an army of aluminum onboard.

Place the six-pack of refried beans down, and walk away with the shopping cart. All of this stuff is adding up, and besides, you are never going to eat your way through it all. Planning meals in advance are the most excellent way to avoid over-packing on food items. Think about what you will need and purchase accordingly. On the other hand, the idea of “stocking up” is more suitable for a Cubs Scout overnight stay than a regular RV adventure. Keep in mind, and you can always purchase more if you run out.

3. Tool Time

We respect the pioneering spirit many of us have regarding servicing our rigs. RVing is among the last bastions of active do-it-yourselves, and we are definitely not looking to change this. That said, there is a limit to what we could (and should do) in terms of support and maintenance on the street, with self-imposed limitations on our tool’s always a wise move. A basic tool kit? You bet — toss it into a compartment and hope you won’t need it. Duct tape? You bet your life.

A Home Depot-like inventory carrying up each precious inch at the pass-thru storage? Better not. That ball pine hammer is weighty; this selection of socket wrenches for each occasion is not feather-light, either. Question yourself before bringing tools together.

First, am I going to need this tool? Second, do I understand what this tool is for? If you answer No to probe, leave it to the workbench in the basement.

4. Getting Tanked

Water is heavy. Do not believe me? Just ask the poor motor home carrying around that 100 gallons of clean water and who-knows-how complete the tanks are in regard to the black and gray. Even half-empty tanks may add countless pounds to your journeys, weight which could be used instead to get a drum set, a dozen additional pair of sneakers, and Uncle Vern.

Get in the practice of dumping tanks early and frequently. At the same time, it’s always best to keep a small level of fluids in these tanks (to prevent materials from sticking, for example ). As a rule, less is surely more. And unless the trip calls for a withdrawn, boondocking (e.g., dry camping) escape, you are likely to skimp on the new water tank by linking to the campground’s aqua stores.

5. Storage Enhancers

It seems nice to have the use of additional carrying devices like an auxiliary trailer, a roof-mounted storage pod, or a receiver/hitch-mounted case for additional items. The issue comes when an RVer then thinks it is their duty to fill the newfound space to capacity, which only leads to an overloaded condition. Suppose you are disciplined enough to learn about this kind of effect for your RV’s GVWR, great. But if you are about as likely to see the dentist as a weigh station, it is probably a great idea to bypass these add-ons. They will only feed your overpacking wishes, worsen aerodynamics and/or fuel market, and create loading/off-loading that much more of a chore.

6. Toeing The Line

What’s the purpose of towing a vehicle? Supporting the motorhome that gets worse gas mileage compared to the RV? Whether you call it an “errand mobile” or dinghy,” a towed vehicle ought to be everything that a Class A is not — small, agile, lightweight, and so fuel-friendly. Switching from a bulky SUV into an economy-sized car will save you a large amount of money at the gas pump and lower the RV’s overtime towing jobs.

7. Fire Sale

As someone who has been measured more than a few times by that convenient, albeit expensive stack of bundled firewood available at the campground office, the urge to transport my supply is a constant mental tug of war. However, my friends, it is simply not worth it. Does a stack of fresh-cut lumber trouble storage pockets with filthy, wet splinters, but also such BYOF (bring your own firewood) are overly weighty of extravagance so as to save $4 in wood?

8. Workin’ It

Note the notebook and briefcase over there at the corner. It seems like a fun weekend. You have planned cuddled up with that inventory file, a mailbox full of unwanted/unread emails, and P/L statements. First off, the boss is back in Cincinnati, so you are not getting any brownie points by turning the weekend into an all-work-no-fun proposition. Second, you are not likely to do any work anyway, and you know it. So why not save us all the trouble and leave this”work” stuff back in the office?

9. Heavy Issues

This may sound like overkill, but do not bring anything heavy. To put it simply, if there is a lightweight equal, prefer that instead. As an example, opt for paperback books over hardcovers. Go with paper plates rather than the typical dinnerware. Substitute cans rather than bottles, plastic rather than glass—condiment packets over full-size containers of ketchup, mustard, and such. Take items from the bulky packaging and shop in zip-lock bags or other space-saving ways. The list continues on and on.

10. Johnny Rotten

The worst thing to bring along when RV camping is a bad attitude or stressed-out mood.  You cannot force everything to go perfectly according to plan. The snapping, the barking, the racing around like a madman/madwoman to get everything the way you prefer. Enough already.  Being irritable around your companions will weigh everybody down.

All that impatient driving, the mumbling beneath the breath, ushering the children about like the holiday is ruled by some type of demented clock. Relax. This grouch is your 9-5 version of you, not the let us -get-out-of-town-and-have-some-fun you. Gently escort Grumpy Pants from camp and begin over. Adopt the weekend warrior in you and let it all go already.

What To Bring On The Next RV Trip

Now that we’ve figured out “what not” to bring, let us take a look at “what to bring“! From the very beginning, you’ll learn that packing your RV for your family is essentially a compromise. Make mental notes of what to bring, and start initial packing on your family room or living area. There, begin to store and sort through items you will really be using. Consider everything at least a half dozen times.

Among the most important things to don’t forget to package are tools. A fantastic collection of tools to include are utilities, a variety of both closed and open, end wrenches, extra hose, adjustable wrench, several wooden leveling blocks, and, generally, a hammer and a few sizes screwdrivers, to add a regular blade and Philips blades.

Next comes clothing. For early summer traveling, the heaviest item of clothing should be a sweater. Sports clothes, like jeans, t-shirts, and shirts, will become your basic wardrobe. In reality, anything that’s clean and wear or permanent press is recommended highly. This sort of clothing fits in with sightseeing really well. Strategy to take along at least five times of clothes (shirts, underwear, socks, etc.) and use laundry in between. Footwear should include old dependables, sneakers, and one set of the comfiest casual shoes.

You can have some clothes on hangers in the cupboard and fold the remainder from the camper’s drawers. You can take it with an iron but will likely barely use it. Needless to say, if you would like to go to some special places, you will want to pack some dressy sort of clothing.

Do not forget cushions, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, sleeping bags, and towels. One set of bedding for every individual and two towels each should serve. The bedding items are no issue to store because they will remain on the beds.

The kitchen may prove to be the toughest part in packing for this trip. Your very best option is to arrange around a menu program—carry three different size baskets to cook with. An electric frypan and coffee pot are necessities. Disposable aluminum pans are useful also. If you do not like doing dishes, aim to include plastic forks, paper plates, knives and spoons, and paper towels.

Plastic glasses, paper cups, and a few plastic mixing bowls could be thrown in for good measure. A toaster and a few cooking utensils are left to your personal tastes. Pack the cabinets in the kitchen very closely so that when the RV is in motion, the things won’t fall all over the place. Stay away from glass posts if at all possible.

When deciding what food items to pack, leave enough space to store up to four or five days of meals. Again, avoid glass things—powdered milk, cocoa, packed ice tea, cereal, punch mix, canned foods. And anything else that will not spoil and take up too much space ought to be included. The simplest way to choose kitchen supplies is to experience the things in your kitchen at home and notice which things you use daily.

Many RVs have a medicine cabinet. Pack it with a first-aid kit, toothbrushes, aspirin, and toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cleaners, RV toilet paper, bowl cleaner, and a hairdryer. Some of these things can be kept in a little box and saved in the sink cupboard.

Try to pack your RV in a well-organized way. Take advantage of the spaces which are there. Check out the list and use it. Go over it all of the time. Do not forget that if you tried to fit the contents of your home into a 22-foot RV, it just will not fit!

The essential thing is to secure everything on your RV. When in motion, should the door be shut and locked? Drawers shut, counter and tabletops removed, and fridge locked. If needed, use rubber bands to tie your cupboard doors down.

Take along maps, rubber slippers/ flip flops, a CB radio if possible, bathing suits, ice cubes, alarm clock, oil to your RV, a gasoline can, rags, a water hose, camp stove, lanterns, gas, wooden games, portable radio, loads of batteries, wood planks to keep your RV from rolling when parked, camera, cards, games, sponges, little broom, and plastic bags.

Though there is much planning involved for RV camping and careful planning will allow you to enjoy your trip. The first time you pack your RV, you are going to make mistakes, but hopefully, you’ll discover that RV camping or RVing is a terrific way to travel.


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