Packing list for RVing with kids in Europe

Procrastinating packing for your RV trip? Stop the delay and get done with it by using my packing list! After almost 3 years RVing in Europe with baby, and then with baby and toddler, we know what you need to pack.

I’ve made an extensive list, so you’ll not forget important RVing stuff. Some things might not be useful for your family situation so ask yourself with everything you want to pack do I really need it? When in doubt, don’t take it with you! The less the better 😉

And be honest with yourself. No need for four pairs of shoes with high heels to match four of your dresses, because you will probably walk on flip flops and in shorts most of the time anyway.

Also, mind the maximum weight of your RV if you travel with a mobile trailer!

The necessities

  • Money, debit and credit card
  • ID’s or passports
  • Insurance papers

Make sure you have these important papers with you. But also, save (photo) copies in the cloud, so you can access them if they got lost.

Outside material

  • Awning or porch and its equipment (like extra tent pegs, line, and a hammer)
  • Ground cloth/tarp. There are different types available: ground sheets and so-called footprints to put under a tent, but of course, you can use these for other purposes as well (e.g. as a playing field for your kids when the grass is still wet). There are also awning mats which are great to use in your awning or porch.
  • Lamp (to put in the awning)
  • Doormat. We have three mats, one made of rubber for outside the awning, a normal one for inside the awning and a third one in the RV. You might think this is extravagant, but I just don’t like sand and grass in my awning and RV.

Optional:

  • Extra tent (for your children to sleep in when they are old enough)
  • Kitchen tent (a rectangular tent you can use as a storage room, very convenient when you stay in one place for a few weeks)

Cleaning equipment

  • Dust pan and brush
  • Vacuum cleaner. I first used a handy, but we recently switched to a small vacuum cleaner with more power. I totally recommend you to take one with you! It’s brilliant for a quick daily clean up and it works so much better than a handy vacuum!
  • Soft broom (mostly for swooping the awning)
  • Dish clothes
  • Dishpan, wash brush and dish soap
  • Draining board
  • Tea towels
  • Sponges
  • Paper towels (take many with you! We use them so much!)
  • Trash bags, zip lock bags, and baggies
  • Foldable trash can or garbage bag holder
  • Buckets. Take at least two in different sizes, you might not know it yet but I can guarantee you, you will find a purpose for it.
  • Laundry bag
  • Detergent (for washing machine and hand wash)
  • Clothespins and clothesline
  • Drying frame. I have two small round drying racks that are especially convenient for drying little clothes like socks, undies, and everything little children wear.

Optional:

  • Washing machine. A lot of campsites have extra facilities like washing and drying machines. Mostly you have to pay around €4 for one wash cycle. We have had the experience that there are always lines for the washing machine. So we decided to take our own little washing machine. It works brilliantly and for us, it’s worth the initial investment (of around €110).

Sleeping material

  • Sheets, blankets or sleeping bags, and pillows

Optional:

  • Air mattress, air pump and a repair kit for air mattresses (only necessary when your kids sleep in a tent)

Cooking equipment

  • Water bucket or large plastic bottle to refill with tap water. We use the 5-litre bottles you can buy at supermarkets. Although the water in most European countries is drinkable, it sometimes tastes like chloric, and then we only drink water from the store.
  • Fuel or propane tank
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cooking oil or olive oil
  • Seasonings/sugar/condiments
  • Scissors
  • Pots and pans: baking pan, several sized pans with lid, Dutch oven or tin can stove
  • Mixing bowl (can be used as a fruit plate or salad bowl as well, but also to make mud pies)
  • Cutting board
  • Strainer
  • Plastic cups, plates, and bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Potato peeler (or little knife). We use these with every meal, but we now know that it’s rather Dutch to use these.
  • Measuring cup
  • Aluminum foil and clingfilm (plastic wrap)
  • Containers for food storage (for preparing dinner for your travel days, but also for day trip, to keep leftovers etc.)
  • Potholders
  • Oven mitts
  • Cook spatula, slotted spatula, serving spoon
  • Can opener, bottle opener, and corkscrew
  • Folding table or (small and foldable) garden set

Optional:

  • Coffee maker. You can take a complete coffee machine with you, but mind the amount of ampère the device needs.
  • Electrical kettle. Of course, you can also use a pan to heat water, but we use this thing approximately 10 times a day. Do mind that on some campsites you only have 5 A. Then you need to switch off other equipment like the portable heater and the boiler, to prevent that the stops burn down. Read more about electricity here.
  • Thermos bottle. We use this to make coffee, but you can also use it to take a hot beverage with you on your day trip or during traveling days.
  • BBQ and its necessities. On most campsites, you are not allowed to use a BBQ or grill. Several campsites have special places with stone BBQ grills that you can use freely, though.
  • Tablecloth. Our oldest was a messy eating baby, so we sometimes used a tablecloth under his chair to catch the food he spilled, but I am sure lots of people use it on their table.

Personal items

When packing, keep in mind how much room you have inside your RV and how often you won’t mind doing the laundry. We have enough clothes with us for around twee weeks, and we can change into clean clothes once every two or three days (undies every day, though).

This is my packing list (just multiply everything by the number of family members you have):

Clothes and stuff

  • Hiking shoes
  • Rain boots
  • Flip flops
  • Jeans/warm pants/belt
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeve t-shirts
  • Hoodie
  • Jacket
  • Socks and underwear
  • Pj’s
  • Hat or a bandana and sunglasses
  • Rain gear
  • Swimsuit

Toiletries

  • Towels/washcloth
  • Soap in plastic case/shampoo
  • Toothbrush + tooth paste
  • Deodorant
  • Comb/brush and other hair stuff
  • For the ladies: feminine products
  • For the gents: shaving stuff
  • Toilet paper (although a lot of campsites have toilet paper at their sanitary buildings, there are still some campsites that don’t provide it, so take some with you)
  • Sun crème and after sun crème
  • Glasses with box, contact lenses and its necessities

Other RVing stuff

  • Portable heater
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Bug repellent
  • Maps/directions (don’t always trust your navigation system)
  • Backpack/fanny pack
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic grocery bags (take many of them, you cannot imagine yet how much you are going to use these)
  • Duct tape (yes, duct tape is the number 1 solution for all small and big repair jobs)
  • Hand wipes and tissues

Extra’s

  • Cards and other (small) games
  • Toys (for outside and inside)
  • Notepad/pen
  • Camera/battery/film/video
  • Reading material, like books and magazines (although an e-book is so much more convenient, space and weight wise)
  • Laptop or tablet and its charger (!)
  • Smartphone & charger

Checklist packing list RVing with kids

This is it: my ultimate packing list for RVing with kids.


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