by Bob Kelly 2019
A recent discussion on what to bring RV’ing made me realize that I’ve never seen a complete inventory of an RV. An RV is a small mobile house, where you are only limited by what you are daring enough to stuff into the space that you have. A house inventory is personal, complicated and lengthy. I personally carry too much stuff, and fortunately have reached the point where during my annual commissioning of the RV, I try to take out stuff I haven’t used and experience leads me to believe that I won’t need.
A man named Colin Fletcher wrote a book that introduced me to the aspects of Backpacking. That book, “The Complete Walker”, was published in 1968, and was a guide that suggested ways to make backpacking both more enjoyable and successful. Many of the practices of backpacking have made my RV’ing adventures both more enjoyable and successful.
The list I compiled will have too much for some, not enough for others, and may appear to be really silly to others. As Colin Fletcher made a list of ‘essentials’ for novice backpackers to start from, a list I found very enlightening, I have put this list together for those who may be inspired by a different point of view. I’m no Colin Fletcher, and the list, I hope, sits in the middle of the minimum and the maximum you might want to bring. If you never entertain, or always go out to dinner, or pre-cook your food and simply heat things up, there are massive deletions that can be made from the list.
Everyone has their favorite thing, their camping essential, and it’s probably not on the list, but for those who are new, or who are like me and haul around stuff based on the ‘Be Prepared’ portion of their youth, I hope this list initiates thought.
- Large bath towel
- Hand towel
- Face cloth
- Cough medicine
- Hair dryer or/and curler
- Other cosmetics or personal items of your preference
- Bug Spray
- Sun Screen
Everyone has a different idea of what’s acceptable when traveling in an RV, Slumber sacks, sleeping bags, regular beds. I prefer fitted sheets, top sheet, blanket and pillow with pillowcase.
- Fitted sheet, top sheet, blanket, for every bed that you plan on letting someone sleep in.
- Pillows and pillowcases for as many people as you plan on letting sleep in the RV.
- Extra blanket because someone always gets cold.
Books are a really personal thing these days. I used to repair electronics, so I feel that it’s a case of when, not if, until they stop working. I know a paper book will last for years; software, well maybe not. That being said, you can carry a tremendous library on a Kindle, just make sure it’s charged.
- Large format paper road Atlas.
- Tree Identification book
- Bird identification book
- Campground listing book
- Good mind candy novel
- Wisk broom
- Dust pan and brush
- Swiffer (works great for cleaning photovoltaic panels)
- Dirt devil vacuum
- Bar towels
- Mop n Glow
- Pledge (if you have an old RV, for the wood)
- Simple Green
- Extendable toilet bowl pad for cleaning bugs off front of vehicle.
Depending upon the frequency you want to do laundry, or whether you are neat and tidy or predisposed to heavily perspiring, amounts will vary
- Underwear, shirts, socks.
- Long sleeved shirts
- Short sleeved shirts
- Dress pants
- Warm jacket
- Rain jacket or hooded jacket
- Rain pants
- Hiking shoes
- Dress shoes
- Water shoes (carry them in the water center)
- Ball caps
- Sun hat
- Sun shirt
- Knit hat
- Laundry bag containing detergent, softener, bleach of your choice
Expand your possibilities
I carry these so we can always get a camping spot. Walk in tent sites are always open.
- Sleeping bag
- Ground pad
- Backpacking tent
If you don’t cook, and generally go out to dinner, you’ll need very little of these things. If you really like to cook, you’ll probably bring more.
- Coffee pot/Brewing system/French press
- Small omlette size pan
- Medium fry pan
- Large fry pan
- Spaghetti pot
- One quart pot
- Two quart pot
- Dinner dishes for six
- Cereal/soup bowls
- Silverware for six
- Coffee cups for six
- Glasses of a variety to make you happy
- Several serving bowls
- Plastic (Tupperware) bowl for home made cole slaw, macaroni salad, green leaf salad.
- Storage containers for left over’s
- Paper plates
- Koozies (for those places where the label of a can shouldn’t be displayed)
- Container for making lemonade, cool aide or iced tea.
- Large sharp knife
- Bread knife
- Paring knife
- Corkscrew/bottle opener
- Large spoon
- Pair of tongs for grilling or hot stuff
- Pot holders
- Hot pads
- Cutting board, large and small
- Hot pot/Pancake grill/ electric doo dad of your choice
Everyone has different needs and desires. This stuff satisfies me.
- Folding camp chairs
- Fishing rod and lures
- Citronella Candle(s)
- Outdoor carpet (grass, fancy, or nice to stay out of the dirt/mud/straw.gravel, etc.
- Day Pack
- Parachute cord for clothes line
- LED Flashlight or headlamp (Per Person)
- Clothespins (with spring) for sealing cracker packages, potato chip, corn chip, etc.
- Black magic marker
- Rubber bands
- Rubber cement
- Super glue
- Scotch tape
- JB Weld
- Gorilla Tape (White, black or both)
- Mylar packing tape
- Gizmo for putting in socket for the under the sink water filter
- Assorted automotive fuses for the type used in the RV (with puller)
Outdoor Cooking Stuff
Cooking outdoors keeps smells out of the RV (Fish, Cabbage, bacon), keeps the RV cool, and keeps the RV cleaner.
- Propane or Charcoal Grill
- Propane Two burner stove (old Coleman’s at a garage sale are great
- Large cast iron grill
- Butane grill lighter
- Charcoal Lighter Fluid (Boy Scout Juice – great for starting campfire)
- Kitchen Matches/Propane lighter
Some items to carry that just seem to be needed for a variety of reasons
- Large blue tarp(s)
- Spare Oil
- Quick detail wax
- Socket wrench set
- Bits for Mercedes screws and bolts
- Impact wrench
- Impact sockets
- Good pair of leather work gloves
- 50’ 15A Extension cord
- 50’ sanitary (white) water supply hose
- Appropriate number of shrink hoses
- Stinky slinky
- Rubber gloves
- Coaxial cable