RV Camping Essentials

What to Bring

Are you planning for your first-ever RV camping trip and aren’t sure what to pack? No worries! We’ve created an RV packing checklist to help ensure your motorhome camping trip is a success.

We’ve divided the things you’ll need to pack into several categories, to make your planning simpler.  The list may seem overwhelming at first glance, but once you’ve checked off the list for your first trip, you’ll be ready every time you go camping!

Dutch oven with lid

Skillet with lid

Smaller sauce pan with lid

Microwaveable bowls

Spatulas and spoons

Basic dish set – plates, bowls, cups, glasses, eating utensils

Serving dishes

Camp percolator or teapot, coffee, tea and filters

Water Pitcher

Small cutting board

Pot holders and dish towels

Dishpan, dish soap and scrubbers

Food storage supplies – foil, sealable plastic bags, containers, plastic wrap

Small utensils – potato peeler, measuring cups/spoons, corkscrew, paring and chopping knives, can and bottle openers

Food items from your menu (don’t forget the spices!)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Cleaning

Keeping your motorhome clean throughout the trip means a safe, enjoyable vacation, so be sure to pack these basic supplies. Use a plastic trash container with a lid to stow these essentials.

All purpose cleaner

Toilet brushSponges

Disinfectant spray ( make sure RV is well-ventilated or it may set off the carbon alarm.)

Dual purpose mop/sweeper & pads

Trash bags

Plastic trash containers – large & small

* NOTE: El Monte RV offers housekeeping and kitchen kits that provide some of the aforementioned items for an additional fee.  Check website for exact details.  This makes sense for many RV renters who wish to save time.  (Please note:  these are not available at all locations.)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Safety/First Aid

Basic first aid kit –adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezersantibiotic ointment,insect repellant, sunscreen, aloe skin lotion, saline eye drops, gauze pads and white tape, daily and emergency medications, pain reliever, battery-powered radio, flashlights, small kitchen fire extinguisher

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Miscellaneous

These are the things you’ll wish you’d packed!

Duct tape

Small tool kit with screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches

Jumper cables

Bungee cords with hooks

Extra batteries

Cellphone chargers

Lanterns – battery or gas

Power strip

Lawn chairs (bagged, collapsible ones pack best)


Sun glasses

Small ice chest for keeping drinks close at hand while outside

Firewood and matches – if you’ll being enjoying campsite camping as well.

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Comfort

Bedding – sheets, pillowcases, comforters, pillows

Small electric or battery powered fan

Toilet paper & tissues  that are designed for septic tanks.  It will prevent clogging issues!

Wash cloths & towels

Hand sanitizer & liquid hand soap.

Once you’ve gathered and packed the items above, all that’s left is clothing and toiletries and you’re ready to hit the road. Remember – you can buy many of these things at discount or second-hand stores.  If you purchase separate kitchen, cleaning and safety items for camping, you can store them in their labeled containers between trips for a quick grab & go vacation and they will work double-duty as Emergency KIts as well. 

You really are setting yourself up for a great camping experience as well as being prepared for an unexpected emergency!   You can get a jumpstart on all of this prep work way in advance of your trip and enjoy the peace of mind that you’re prepared to handle just about any situation on the road or at home.  Camping in RV comfort takes planning, but the ease of living on the road in a motorhome makes the preparation worthwhile!

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