In this post, I will cover some of the most basic items you want to keep in your camper to have with you every time. You’ll want to create your own RV Camping Essentials Checklist, but this is a great place to start, with items that most anyone will want to have.
Some are more along the “fun” side of things, such as lawn games that I enjoy, etc. So if there is something on this list that you don’t particularly care for, I won’t be offended if you don’t add it to your own list.
And likewise, if you have something on your own list that I didn’t include, I would love for you to leave a comment down below, so I can add it to my list if it’s something I like. Maybe even someone else here might like it and add it to their list. We love hearing feedback!
I’m going to break these items down in to categories so they’re easier to organize and keep track of. Here is a breakdown of the categories I’ll cover:
- Kitchen Supplies
My number one kitchen appliance that I bring is my counter top ice maker. I mention this is my other post Beginners Guide To RV Camping – Must Haves For Every Adventure and I wanted to mention it here, because it paid for itself in one summer. Being able to make our own ice instead of buying it at every campground saves a ton of money.
The other one is an electric coffee maker and filters, and don’t forget the coffee! To me there is nothing like waking up in the morning and brewing that first cup of coffee to enjoy under the awning.
Another one I have mentioned before is the Instant Pot. It’s so easy to do one pot meals with these things that they make perfect sense for a camper, especially since they’re so compact, they take up little space.
One thing that people don’t think of is pots and pans that will FIT on your cooking appliance. Whether you are cooking on your gas cook top in the camper, or a cook stove outside, having cook ware that is too big will be a pain in the neck trying to cook on.
Cleaning supplies are a must. Some of the more common ones that I keep right in the camper at all times are:
- Broom and dustpan
- Dustbuster vaccuum
- Rags (for cleaning off chairs and picnic tables etc.)
- Paper Towels
- Dish cloth
- Dish Soap
- Dish pan
- Glass cleaner
- Paper plates are easy but create a lot of trash, so if you’re concerned with waste, good plastic ware that can be washed and reused is always good too. Just be conscious of the amount of water you are using when doing dishes
- Trash bags (I like to use contractor bags, they’re much more sturdy, and can be used to keep things waterproof)
Other items I keep in the kitchen that help with cooking and eating are:
- Can opener
- Bottle opener
- Table cloth
- Good knives
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Aluminum foil
- Ziplock bags (different sizes)
- Plastic wrap
- Pot holders
- Salt & Pepper shakers
- Cutting board
- Plastic egg carrier
- Cooking utensils
- Eating utensils
Clothes aren’t something that most people pack into a camper and leave them there, unless of course, you’re a full time RV’er. Some things I’ll throw into the camper in the spring, like my favorite camping sweatshirt, or a few pairs of grungy jeans and shorts that I don’t care if they get ruined.
Other than that, I pack a laundry bag with clothes for my trip. The reason I use a laundry bag is because I take it to the camper and I put all my clothes in the closet/dresser before I even leave the house. That way, when I get to the campground, all I have to do is worry about set up, not unpacking clothes.
I’m not going to make a bullet-ed list for clothes only because it really depends on what the weather forecast is for when and where you are going. But some items you really do want to have just because sometimes the weather can change without notice. A good windbreaker, boots, and gloves are always good to have, in fact, I keep them in the truck at all times.
When I am packing my clothes, I always throw in my ditty bag. I didn’t want to have separate toiletries just for the camper, and I usually have my ditty bag all packed for my next trip so it’s just a grab and go situation for me, but some items that are always in my ditty bag are:
- Body wash
- Shaving cream
- Bandaids (I also have some in the first-aid kit, which will be covered below)
Other things that are handy to have for the bedroom and bathroom are:
- Sleeping bags/linens
- Pillows and pillow cases
- Hand soap and lotion
- Bath towels
- Air freshener/black water pods
- Matches (for when someone does the #2, it really helps mask the smell!)
- Toilet paper
- Tissues and wet wipes
- Nail clippers
- Small paper cups
The items you’ll find on this list, don’t really belong to any particular category, but are necessary items nonetheless.
- First-aid kit
- Bug spray
- Custom fire ring (as mentioned in the previous post about must haves)
- Folding chairs for around the fire
- Folding tables (I use one for an outside kitchen set-up)
- Water cooler with dispensor
- Lanterns with batteries, or gas
- Mini fridge for outdoor kitchen
- Grill (either table-top or full size, whatever you can take)
- Extension cord with power strip
- Outdoor rug
- Collapsible laundry baskets (for trash and recycling)
- Gorilla glue
- Duct tape
- Vinyl tape
- Extension cord and power strip
- Nylon rope
- Bailing wire
- Army Foxhole shovel
- Board/card games
- Bungee cords
- Ratchet straps
- Pocket knife/multi-tool
- Emergency roadside kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Expandable drinking water hose and accessories
- Expandable garden hose and accessories
- Sewer hose and accessories
- Rubber gloves
- Leveling blocks
- Flashlights/head light
Make A List!
Obviously not everyone will need to take every item on these lists, but they are some things that I have found to make camping much more enjoyable. The best thing you can do, is MAKE A LIST! Check things off the list as you go, don’t try to do it by memory, that’s when you forget things.
Do you have any items on your own list that I’m missing here? If so, leave them below in a comment!