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!
Money, debit and credit card
ID’s or passports
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.
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.
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)
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)
Dishpan, wash brush and dish soap
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.
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.
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).
Sheets, blankets or sleeping bags, and pillows
Air mattress, air pump and a repair kit for air mattresses (only necessary when your kids sleep in a tent)
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
Cooking oil or olive oil
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)
Plastic cups, plates, and bowls
Potato peeler (or little knife). We use these with every meal, but we now know that it’s rather Dutch to use these.
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.)
Cook spatula, slotted spatula, serving spoon
Can opener, bottle opener, and corkscrew
Folding table or (small and foldable) garden set
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.
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
Long sleeve t-shirts
Socks and underwear
Hat or a bandana and sunglasses
Soap in plastic case/shampoo
Toothbrush + tooth paste
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
Flashlight and batteries
Maps/directions (don’t always trust your navigation system)