You packing for your full-time RV life is much like a soldier getting ready for battle. You have to make sure that you have all you need before embarking on your journey. However, the difference between you and the soldier is that you have the benefit of stopping and going to the nearest store you find on the road. In this article, we will then be discussing what you should bring for full-time RV living, considering that you can get other supplies on the road.
1. Check What You Are Packing: The Key for Your Packing List
Before packing, it is essential to start with knowing and planning where you are going to go. When deciding which things to bring, whether you will go boondocking or stay mostly in campgrounds is going to make a big difference. For example, if you decide to stay at a campground, you will have access to more utilities so you can opt to just buy things you can’t load into your RV. On the other hand, if you are going boondocking, you will need a lot of camping supplies especially since there may not be any RV hookups nearby.
Definitely, knowing your destination will help you prepare for your life there. So, make sure to know what is available to you in RV campgrounds, RV parks, National Forests, and other areas you are planning to stay in.
2. Packing Your Clothes: What You Should Know
When packing clothes for full-time RVing, always start by knowing how much space you have. This allows you to envision how you can organize your clothes, what size of bins to look for, and how many of these bins you can fit.
It is best to use packing cubes that you can buy in online stores for clothing compression. This is a good recommendation because it ensures that you maximize your space and packing cubes are much more “flexible” as compared to plastic bins.
Going to clothes themselves, a tip is also to make sure your mini closet is prepared for all types of weather. All year-round, you may go from state to state and even when you stay in one place, the weather can change quickly too! Another tip is to create a capsule wardrobe where you only keep clothes you can mix and match a lot AKA the basics or the neutrals.
Instead of bringing a big bag full of clothes, some RVers actually recommend bringing several smaller bags. This makes them easier to store and provides your storage space for clothes with “drawers” you can pull out when you need a specific piece of clothing. For example, you can have separate packing cubes for tops/shirts, shorts/pants, cool weather clothes, socks, and underwear.
You can also pack clothes by how you wear them. To illustrate, you can have a packing cube for clothes for everyday wear and a separate one for clothes you wear out. Just like the majority of things on the RV, packing and organizing clothes depends on what works for you. A tip, however, is to pack a lot of underwear because you may not know when you can do laundry again. They are also the articles of clothing you need to change out of daily so it helps to have a lot of them.
As for the number of clothing to pack, this, again, depends a lot on your plans and how you envision your life to be on the RV. Will you do laundry every week? Will you stay in a cold or hot place for the majority of the year? To provide an example, you can bring about 20 tops and 20 bottoms. If you plan to stay in a warm region, you can bring just one complete outfit for cool weather (which includes a scarf, beanies, mittens, and whatnot). If you plan to go camping, don’t forget to bring hiking pants and outdoor shorts. For underwear, bring 10-20 undies and 5-10 bras. Five to ten pairs of socks is also a safe number to bring.
For winter clothes like heavy thermals and heavy socks, keep them in compression bags until you need to use them. Then, when you do, switch them out with the other clothes you usually use in the packing cubes. Other items you may also want to pack are swimwear an iron and a mini-board.
3. Things to Pack for Hygiene: Always Keep Your Body Clean
These are usually items you can get in the nearest drug stores or groceries. Examples include toiletries, razors and shaving cream, and hairbrushes and dryers. So, you don’t really need to stock up a lot of them unless you plan to go boondocking for a long period of time. Of course, you would also need to pack an initial supply of these items when starting your full-time RV life. Towels and laundry bags are part of this list too.
4. Cooking: What You Should Pack
Full-time RVers recommend the use of either power pressure cookers or crock-pots that help to prepare meals in the RV 100 times easier. The difference between a power pressure and a crockpot is that the latter cannot be used on a stovetop and is slow-cooker which means it can be left to cook on its own for 4 to 10 hours.
There are three reasons that you might want to go with a pressure cooker. (1) It gives you more time to think about what you want to eat (you don’t have to always plan ahead about what you want to eat). (2) It is ideal for small spaces. (3) It can cook vegetables as well as it can cook meat. Aside from these, you are going to need other tools in the kitchen.
To give you a headstart, make sure to include plates, bowls, cutlery, ladle and tongs, cups, glasses, can opener, and corkscrew in your list. You might also need baking tools like a spatula, whisk, and measuring cups in your RV. On top of this, RVers also like to bring Ziploc bags because they help a lot with organization and they are reusable.
If you are one of the many people who can’t live without caffeine, you can consider bringing a coffee maker onboard. However, when buying equipment like this, opt for those that are less likely to cause accidents especially if you are on the road. One of the most used coffee makers is the Cuisinart DCC-3200 Stainless Steel Coffeemaker. Perfect for those who are living on the road.
5. For the Techie People: What to Bring
You might not need a reminder in this area because people are very attached to their gadgets nowadays. Nevertheless, you might want to go over it too. First, you might want to bring an extension cord and surge protectors. The main difference between the two is extension cords are basically used to reach far outlets while surge protectors have the extra feature of diverting excess power surges that can damage your devices.
Second, it is best to bring adapters needed for your devices, Phone, tablet, and laptop chargers. If you are looking for the best surge protector, here is an article that I have written for you.
6. Things to Pack for Your Occasional Needs
On some days, your family might decide to go camping or stay outdoors. Thus, you will need some special equipment. To get you started, you can pack a hammock, frisbee, fishing gear, camping chairs, and some sports equipment. Make sure to bring only what you are sure you will use. Don’t bring things just because you “might” use them. For example, if you want to learn how to play basketball but you will know deep inside that you won’t set aside time for this, leave the ball.
7. Things to Pack for Health and Emergencies
When living full-time in a mobile home, you always have to be prepared. You need to remember that, at times, you may not have immediate access to stores and other resources. So, it is very important to keep items you will need during emergencies.
A basic checklist for this should include a first aid kit, health supplies (i.e. a thermometer), and medicine (like anti-nausea medication, allergy medication, cough syrup, and eye drops). For emergencies, make sure to bring flashlights and extra batteries, lanterns, fuel for lanterns, candles, and a fire extinguisher.
8. Things to Pack for an Organized RV
Because you have limited space, tools that help you organize your RV are also valuable assets. You always have to be on the lookout for ways you can maximize the space in your vehicle. This will make your life on the road more convenient.
A popular choice among RVers is plastic bins. These come in various shapes and sizes so it’s easy to find bins that fit your needs. The crowd favorite is the Rubbermaid Clever Store Basic Latch (41 Quart) which comes in packs of 2 on Amazon. You should also bring folding laundry bags with handles and door hooks to maximize space.
9. Things to Pack for Maintaining the RV
You can say that the RV is a family member that also has its own needs. To keep it working in the best condition possible, you need to take care of it too with the help of a few tools. When it comes to the RV, however, there are a LOT of tools that could surely be a topic of an entirely separate article. To keep things simple, basically, you need tools to clean the RV, assist its connection to hookups, and to repair it in case of road trouble.
You can bring along a Tank Wand which is famous and gets the best reviews. The Valterra A01-0184VP Master Blaster Tank Wand attaches easily to a water hose and makes for powerful swishes that effectively clean your tasks and pipes. A review on Amazon even shares how this tank wand got their tank’s sensors to work properly again.
Next, it is best to bring along tools for hooking up your rig. In order to avail of the benefit of full hookups available at RV Parks and RV Campgrounds, you also need to bring with you a few tools. For starters, you need to have RV Dogbone Power Adapters because you don’t know what hookups are available in the parks or campgrounds you are going to stay in.
For sewage, you need a sewer hose, sewer elbow connection, and sewer support stilts. Lastly, you should also have a fresh water hose and water pressure regulator.
The next things that you should bring are tools for everyday use or unexpected road trouble, basic tools such as wire strippers, nails, and so much more. Also bring along, tools when you need to stop on the road such as wheel chocks, parking bricks, and road hazard lights.
Although these tools might take up space, you might need them to make quick repairs. For example, a cordless drill can come in handy for a few more instances than you’d imagine. A tire inflator is also another good example.
10. Things to Pack for the Kids
When it comes to kids the first thing that comes into your mind might be the truckload of toys they have at home. But, just as you’ve expected, you cannot bring all of these with you. If your children are old enough, they can pick the toys they want to bring. One mom on YouTube actually just provided her kids a plastic bin each, giving them full freedom to bring what they want as long as the toys fit in the bin.
So, when it comes to toys don’t fret too much as long as you bring bins to organize them too. Board games and cards are good picks because they are items both you and your kids can play with. As for roadschooling, you also need to pack some books, notebooks, and school supplies.
11. Things to Pack for Pets
If you have pets, allocate space for their needs in your mobile home too. A basic list includes dog food and treats, bowls (for their food/water), dog toys, a leash, a set of a bed and blanket, and a towel.
To end, when you go full-time RVing, it’s important to know your needs. You need to have the skill and the discipline to only pack things you know are essential. Making an RV your home is making a limited space livable and complete with things you will need on a daily basis. Thus, it is very important to be prepared, to make a checklist, and go on a trial run to see if things work the way they’re supposed to. So, grab a pen and a piece of paper and get writing!