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.

Packing for your first-ever RV trip can seem stressful. Your mind is probably running through the seemingly endless list of items you’ll need for your trip. Even if it’s just a weekend trip, you’ll need food, gear, clothing, cooking supplies and more. But with some organization, preparation, and a few of these RV packing tips for beginners, you’ll be smooth sailing on your first trip out along the coast or visiting unworldly national parks in the southwest.

8 RV Packing Tips For Beginners

Before we get started, remember that as a rule of thumb, it’s best to pack as light as possible. If you’ve ever been backpacking, you know that a heavy pack makes for miserable days. The same applies to RVs. Packing light keeps you safe and lets you focus on enjoying being with your loved ones and soaking up nature, not organizing your RV or worrying that it’s too heavy.

Check out these 8 RV packing tips for beginners to have a successful trip in your home on wheels.

1. Make a List of Necessary Items Based on Daily Activities





When figuring out the best way to pack your RV, think about what your days will look like. Will you be hiking, biking, surfing? Make a list of the gear and clothing you’ll need for daily activities so you don’t forget the gear that would be expensive to replace during the trip.

Also prepare for the daily, routine activities as well. Make a list of items you’ll use in the kitchen, the bathroom, and don’t forget, bedding, chairs and other essential items you will use daily. Check out this RV packing list for more info.

2. Safeguard Your Plans With The Dyrt PRO

The Dyrt PRO, our upgraded app, allows you to download maps, campground info, photos, and more for offline use. This make trip planning easier and safer so you are prepared for your first big trip.

3. Bring Some Entertainment

Although you will be spending your days outdoors exploring wild places, you’ll still have down time. Make sure to bring your favorite movies and board games for the slower-paced moments.

4. Plan Your Meals and Bring Food With You

Plan your meals and make a list of the food items you’ll need for your trip. You don’t want to overpack your RV with food, but  it’s a good idea to be prepared with food before the trip, so you don’t end up spending too much money at smaller grocery stores in remote areas.

5. Bring Basic Tools, But Don’t Over Do It

Although there is a pioneering spirit and DIY attitude when it comes to RVing, there’s a limit to what we can do ourselves. So don’t over do it with the tools. Bring the tools you are most likely to use (definitely duck tape) and bring those. You can leave big, bulky and heavy tools behind.

6. Dump Tanks Early and Often

Water tanks and other tanks get heavy. It’s good to keep small amounts of liquid in tanks to prevent anything sticking. Filling your water tank to the brim though, or leaving your black water tank full will weigh down your RV, which can be dangerous. Unless you are boon docking/dry camping, you can plan to connect to a campgrounds water supply. And although it stinks, try to empty your black and gray water tanks often.

7. Pack Light and Evenly

As with any travel experience, you’ll be happier toting stuff around when it’s lightweight. The same goes with your RV, and you’ll be more safe for it as well. Even brining paperback books instead of hardcovers can make a difference. It all adds up.

Make sure to pack your RV evenly as well. If you have a heavy item on the right side of your RV, make sure to even it out with an equally heavy item on the left side. Uneven weight in your RV can be dangerous, so make sure to keep it light and keep it even.

When the packing is all said and done, make sure to go to a weighing station to weigh your RV before you hit the road to make sure it isn’t overweight. Check out this RV weight guide for more info.

8. Leave The Breakables At Home

Bumpy roads can make your RV a mini earthquake on wheels, and things can break. You don’t want to be cleaning up glass during your journey. Try out Nordic Ware dishes and cooking bowls. Sili Pints makes great cups and stemless wine glasses as well.

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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.