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1st Time RV Renters’ Guide: What You Need to Bring; What you Don’t

When you decide to rent an RV for the first time, you should know what things to bring that will make this experience easier and more enjoyable for you and what things to leave at home.


Things to Bring for Your RV Rental:


1)  Pack Lighter Than You Think – Clothing:

When going on an RV road trip, it’s awfully tempting to bring everything (AND the kitchen sink!). Having too much stuff with you can make the space inside an RV feel a little or a lot cramped. With some planning and creativity, you can embrace your inner, road trip minimalist! For example, schedule a laundry day into your routine each week. Or plan on stopping at thrift stores along the route to stock up on more clothes as needed. Pack clothes you like and that cover a few different weather conditions; shorts, long pants and at least a light jacket are always a good bet. Three or four t-shirts should be enough and 2 long sleeves plus sufficient underwear are always a good bet.

2) Pack only Necessary Electronics:


It may seem like a good idea to bring all your electronic devices on your RV trip, but really, you may only need your smart phone and maybe a laptop. If you are traveling with kids, ask them to limit their electronics too, as you don’t want them to spend their RV trip staring at small electronic screens when you can get them out in the middle of nature to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. This is a camping adventure, after all.


3) Kitchen Necessities:


One of the best parts of traveling in an RV is the ability to cook meals like you would at home instead of hitting a restaurant every night.


Find out what is included in your RV rental before you pack these but if you are driving to rent your RV pretty close to home, it may be worth it to bring some or all of the following, if the RV rental doesn’t include them:


  • Cooking utensils

  • Stackable mixing bowls

  • Pots and pans

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Knives and a cutting board

  • Food (unless you want to stock up once you’re there)

  • Aluminum foil and food storage containers

  • Dish soap

  • Sponges/Scrubbers, towels, and pot holders

  • Trash bags

4)  Be Flexible on Your Itinerary:


We understand wanting to see a lot during your RV adventure. However, sometimes life happens or you find something unexpected that you want to explore. Try to create a flexible travel schedule, giving yourself extra time between destinations so you can make up the drive time if you get behind schedule by a day or two. 


RV rentals can be an absolute blast but the best trips come with some planning and preparation. If you do your planning well, this is a wonderful way to travel the country.


5) What Else Should You Bring?


Flashlights and headlamps

Refillable water bottles

Sunscreen and insect repellent

Camping chairs

Deck of cards or other game your family likes to play

Outdoor rug – to keep the inside of the RV clean

Fishing gear, hiking boots, bikes, or other outdoor gear

Good water shoes for wading in unfamiliar streams or lakes – these can be a godsend, are very small and don’t take up much room.


Things to Leave at Home


Heavy tools 

Abundant kitchen appliances 

Firewood (most campsites require that no wood be carried in because of invasive species)

Food in bulk (try meal-planning to know exactly what you’ll need)


More Tips That May Be Useful


When an RV is rumbling down the road, items inside have a tendency to shift and occasionally jump around. Prevent accidents and potential breakage by securing everything firmly in place. Clear off counters and tables, latch cabinets, and make sure any loose items (shoes, books, the dog’s water bowl) are safely stowed before driving.


Have a Plan B if everything doesn’t go as you planned. As we discussed above about having a flexible itinerary, also have plans for rainy days or campground closures. You should have a backup plan in the event of something unplanned turning up at the place you planned on staying. It’s a good idea to book your campground reservations ahead of the trip and in fact, in some places as much as a year ahead of time. The National Parks, for example, fill up pretty fast and while they do have some access for last-minute campers, most of their sites are reserved well in advance at


As a reminder, when you are getting ready to hit the road to enjoy the RV life for a trip for the first time, check with your nearest El Monte RV dealer, who can help you with any questions you may have. Please also check out our one-way special offers at El Monte RV.


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«December 2023»


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