With summer finally here, families across the country are planning their next big adventures in their RVs and travel trailers. Those who are planning for their first-ever RV trips with their kids often find that they have a hard time packing, though, which can really put a damper on trip planning.
Want to make sure nothing essential gets left behind? Check out this list of the top ten things families need to ensure that their RV adventures are fun for everyone.
Kids can wind up getting stressed out about long-term travels but a familiar meal can go a long way toward providing them with some extra comfort. Make a point of bringing everything required to make family favorites in addition to the obvious items like bowls, plates, silverware, knives, a pot for pasta, a large skillet, and a griddle for things like cheese sandwiches and pancakes.
One item that isn’t found in the average American kitchen that can’t be overlooked is a water filter. Berkey makes an exceptionally effective filter and while most families would prefer not to worry about what happens when clean water isn’t available it can be a lifesaver should a boondocking trip wind up being extended or a local town have less than palatable water.
Make a point of bringing along plenty of outdoor toys so that kids can take full advantage of their summer fun. Exactly what toys parents should bring along will depend largely on their kids’ ages, genders, and personalities but most like to bring, at a minimum, a frisbee, some Nerf guns, baseballs and bats, and adventure packs. Adventure packs can include anything from some twine to binoculars, jars for collecting “samples,” and more.
Plan for at least a few rainy days and plenty of driving time and let the kids play an active part in deciding which toys to bring. Consider giving each child a backpack or a box that he or she can fill with whatever favorite toys just can’t be left behind. Make a point of packing at least a few toys that can be played with while in motion, as well, to keep kids occupied while on the road.
Most kids aren’t going to actually use outdoor chairs very often. Those kids’ camping chairs may be cute, but chances are, they’re not going to be used. Instead, bring along a chair for each adult and accept the fact that they will likely wind up in rotation while adults are cooking, starting fires, and performing other nighttime tasks.
Bedding and Towels
Expect most RV parks and campgrounds to have laundry and bring just one towel per person. Bring one pillow and one blanket for each kid, as well, but consider packing a few extra blankets in case a particularly cold night comes up.
A Selection of Clothes
Don’t just assume that because it’s a camping trip, the kids will have no reason to look their best. Instead, pack plenty of clothes that can be sacrificed to dirty knees but also pack at least one nice outfit for every family member so that fancy restaurants and other town activities won’t be off the table should they come up. Plan for cold weather, as well, since even areas that are known for their hot summers can wind up getting cold at night.
Families often find that they wind up wearing their clothes more than once before washing them. This helps to cut down on how much they need to pack. Those who don’t relish the thought of wearing “dirty” clothes can usually count on finding laundromats at campgrounds and truck stops, though, as well.
Avid RV campers suggest bringing along all of the tools necessary to ensure that everything remains in good operational order, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of space. At the very least, make a point of packing a hammer, a screwdriver, a foldable saw, a high-quality knife, some zip ties, duct tape, and WD-40. These will cover most of the basic RV emergencies that wind up coming up over the course of the trip.
Laptops and Movies
The idea of an idyllic camping trip with no technology in sight may sound appealing but after the first few days most parents, especially parents of younger kids, wish that they could have the brief break afforded by plopping them down in front of their favorite movies. Bringing along a laptop eliminates the need for having a television, which can wind up sucking up too much of the family’s time, but still allows kids to watch their favorite movies. Of course, plenty of the travel trailers available at RV Wholesalers LLC do come equipped with luxury items like flat-screen TVs, but a laptop can still make a big difference when it comes to things like planning.
Even a small solar panel should be enough for most families. Having a solar generator will allow them to charge tech devices, lights, cameras, and other little niceties and they offer a much quieter, less intrusive alternative to conventional generators.
It’s tempting for parents who have carefully planned each leg of their trips to include stops in RV parks that offer full hookups to leave this item behind. Having the ability to generate one’s own power, even if only on a small scale, can really up to the ante when it comes to opening up options, though, and it can make all the difference in an emergency.
The Bottom Line
Packing for a family camping trip in an RV can be a challenge given the need to balance weight and space requirements with having everything necessary to ensure that everyone has a great time. Of course, every family is different so every packing list will be a little bit different, as well. Hopefully, this checklist has offered some insight into basic necessities that should never be left behind so that first-time travelers can make the most of their upcoming RV vacations.