At The Dyrt, we share camping tips from our community of campers and campgrounds. With so many campers staying home, we continue to share this info so you can plan future camping trips across the U.S.

Sitting behind the wheel of your new RV comes with a lot of elation and anticipation. The open road is in front of you, and with all of the national parks and wild spaces available to explore in the U.S., there is nearly endless adventure ahead.

But of course, you’ll have to make sure you are prepared before any big trip. Having the right gear ensures safety, and will save you money and time in the long run. You don’t want to have to go out hunting for niche pieces of gear or be worried about getting lost during your journey.

The Checklist Every First Time RVer Needs

We’ve created first-time RV checklist for you to read and use while packing up your RV for the first time. This list isn’t exhaustive, but should provide you with the basic items, and a few extras, for your trip.

RV Essentials





You’ll need some essential, mechanical gear that will help you stay safe on the road. Depending on the type of RV, you may need to add a few items or ignore others on this RV-first-time checklist.

  • Drinking Water Hose
  • Sewer Kit
  • Surge Protector
  • Generator
  • Electrical Adapters
  • Water Pressure Regulator
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Duct Tape
  • Flashlight
  • Emergency Road Kit
  • Extra Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Closed bag for documents like registration, insurance, reservations, etc.

Clothing Items:

You’ll know which clothing items are best for you, but when on the road, it’s best to keep it simple and not overpack.  We’ve put together a list of clothing items that work well in the RV as well as on adventures like hiking or backpacking. Make sure to choose clothing items that are comfortable, made of high quality materials to keep you warm or cool, and are suitable for both adventure and relaxation.

  • Sun protective hat
  • Rain Gear
  • Shoes: Chacos or Tevas, hiking boots, running shoes, etc.
  • Bathing suit
  • Down Jacket
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Short and long sleeve shirts
  • Base layers (if backpacking)

Bedroom Items:

These bedroom items will be obvious to bring along, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things you’ll need to fill your RV. These are some must-haves for your bedroom that you wont want to forget.

  • Bed and sheets
  • Clothes hangers
  • Sewing kit
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Pillows

Camping Gear and Technology

Your camping and outdoor gear should reflect how you spend your days outside. Think about your favorite outdoor activities and make your gear list. Below are some basic items that apply to a variety of activities.

Games/Leisure:

After a long day of hiking or biking, you may want to spend some time relaxing and having fun with friends or family inside or outside the RV. Bring indoor and outdoor games for just that.

  • Frisbee
  • Yard games (corn hole, horseshoes, etc.)
  • Puzzles
  • Cards
  • Boardgames
  • Laptop
  • Guitar

Kitchen and Cooking Supplies:

You’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the kitchen between hiking, biking or even surfing. Cooking is a great way to bring the people in your RV together. You’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to cook and bake the things you love.

  • Cutting Board
  • Utensils and Cutting Knives
  • Dish Soap
  • Cooler
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Skillets
  • Dish Towels
  • Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels
  • Can Opener
  • Camping griddle
  • Pot Holders
  • Napkins
  • Reusable storage bags
  • Tupperware
  • Sponge and other cleaning utensils
  • Disinfecting wipes

Food Ideas:

Check out any of the hundreds of camping recipes we’ve got listed on The Dyrt!

Personal Items / Toiletries:

You’ll know best which personal items you’ll need in your RV. Below are some basics to help guide your own RV first time checklist

  • Phone chargers
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Reservation confirmation
  • Bug Spray
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap
  • Medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clippers

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  • Emily Gallegos

    Emily Gallegos

    Emily Gallegos is a travel-lover, backpacker and is generally curious about all this world has to offer. She grew up in the front range of Colorado where she fell in love with snowboarding, fishing and being outside as often as possible. She has studied Spanish in Spain and Argentina and has written for magazines in Boulder, CO such as Elevation Outdoors.